Page 2 of gabanie Travel Blog Posts

South America » Brazil » Santa Catarina » Florianópolis November 27th 2012

We spent 7 days and 6 nights on the island of Santa Catarina - fondly known as Floripa. It has been everything we hoped it would be and more. We rented a car, and through the course of the week were able to explore many of the island´s 42 beaches, the lagoons, points, and fort. When we weren't exploring, we were at the beach 100 feet from our apartment. Classic honeymoon times. But like much of our trip so far, our first few hours on Floripa were kind of rough. We took an overnight bus from Sao Sebastiao. The seats were nice but they didn´t lie all the way flat, so neither of us got the perfect night sleep. Our plan was to find an apartment to rent for 5 nights (we extended it to 6) ... read more

South America » Brazil » São Paulo » Ilhabela November 22nd 2012

The 4 hour bus from Paraty to Ihlabela was really scenic. I think I read that stretch is known as the Emerald Coast (or something similar), and for a good reason. Luscious green mountains to the right, blue water to the left. We a passed a lot of enticing little beach towns on the way - if we were driving ourselves we probably would have stopped many times, maybe for the night. But on the bus we had to just hang tight and enjoy the scenery. Ilhabela is an island (ilha means island in portuguese), reached by a short 15 minute ferry ride from Sao Sebastiao on the mainland coast. The ferry is for cars too, and is actually free for pedestrians. Luckily the ferry departs fairly close to the bus station in Sao Sebastiao so ... read more

South America » Brazil » Rio de Janeiro » Paraty November 18th 2012

Up until now our internet time has been filled with booking buses and rooms - hence the delay in posts. Anyway... As I mentioned in the previous blog we bailed out of Rio early due to bad weather and inflated prices from the holiday. Holidays can get realllyy pricey in Rio, after talking to some folks I found out during Carnaval rooms are up to $200 USD per PERSON for a crappy dorm in a hostel. Heresay, but I believe it after the prices we saw for the Nov 15th holiday. Anyhow, the holiday was still going strong as we tried to leave Rio, and since we hadn't made any reservations we had a tough time deciding where to go next. We had originally wanted to go to Ihla grande next, but it was fully booked ... read more

South America » Brazil » Rio de Janeiro » Rio de Janeiro November 16th 2012

Already falling behind in the blogs and we've barely started our trip! We'll see if I can keep pace... I'm counting day 1 of our honeymoon as our travel day from L.A. to Rio de Janiero. Normally I wouldn't count it as a day but it was awesome so it counts. The reason it was awesome is all thanks to our good friend Jeremy who hooked us up with first class tickets. His dad is a pilot so he gets a certain number of standby tickets to use - and we could get first class if it was available. First class was full on the way from LAX to Miami but we got on first class from Miami to Brazil. That was the leg that counted. We got a 5 course meal, free drinks, ipads for ... read more

North America » United States » California » San Diego November 12th 2012

Packing time. Luckily we had our list from our Asia trip to start from. For the most part we packed pretty well so we only needed a few modifications. Here's what we're bringing this time: Gabe's Travel Wallet Passport Credit Card Debit Card Vaccination Record Copy of Passports Driver's License Passport Photos Insurance Policy scuba card cash Carry on Bag (see-through plastic, also for Brazil beaches) Travel wallets Steph neck pillow Gabe neck pillow Steph kindle Gabe kindle Gabe headphones Steph headphones Hotel info Zune + cable Micro usb cable Ipod + cable 2 ac to usb adapters headphone splitter glasses case pencils + lead Footprint Handbook’s gabe old smartphone Stephanie old iphone Stephanie puzzle book ... read more

Asia March 10th 2010

Boracay was our last stop of our 6 month journey. AAAAUUGGHHHH! I still can't believe how fast this trip went. Boracay is an island that is home to a beautiful 2 km stretch of white sand - and is also the most popular and overdeveloped tourist area in the Philippines. Still, it's pros outweighed the cons for us. As long as you don't mind saying "no" to hundreds of touts a day, the beach really is top notch. That is, as long as you don't mind wading through a few feet of green slime on your way out into the ocean - that was a little weird. Our plan was to do nothing for the 4 days we were there, and I think we executed the plan nicely. Just hanging out at the beach, swimming (past ... read more

Asia » Philippines » Donsol March 5th 2010

When we first read about swimming with the whale sharks in Donsol, and that the best time of the year is March, we knew we had to go. Donsol will probably rank as one of the best experiences of the trip. From Manila we flew to Legaspi, and then got on a bus to Donsol. On the bus we met a friendly American couple, who I'll call Mr. and Mrs. D, and we agreed to go out on the same boat to see the whale sharks the next day. The first thing we did when we got to Donsol was head to the visitors center and pay for a boat the next day. The boat holds a max of 6 people (not including the boat men, spotters and the BIO - I'll get to them later). ... read more

Asia » Philippines » Manila March 3rd 2010

We spent one night in Manila, in between Coron and Donsol. Basically all we did in Manila was drop off our bags at our hotel and head straight to the Mall of Asia. The Mall of Asia pales in comparison to the Mall of America in Minnesota, but it was still pretty impressive. They have an ice rink, a bowling alley, and an IMAX theater among many other things. We had a pretty great time there. After exploring a bit we hit up the ice rink for some ice skating. Steph learned of my secret talent for ice skating. I'm really not very good at all but she is terrible so I guess she was impressed. For dinner I had a Wendy's double cheeseburger. Steph had a few pretzels from Annie's. Ahhhh, American junk food. We ... read more

Asia » Philippines » Palawan » Busuanga March 2nd 2010

Coron town (the port town on the island of Busuanga) doesn't have a whole lot going for it - it is mostly just boat docks and tricycles - but the surrounding islands and Japanese ship wrecks are what people come for. Our boat from El Nido to Coron was advertised to take 4 hours, but most people we asked said it would take 6 or 7. It ended up taking over 9 hours. This was partly due to an engine break down shortly after we left El Nido, which took them a while to fix, and then another one about half an hour later. We were a little worried that the engine would fail when we weren't so close to shore but the boat men just laughed and said that if we did break down we ... read more

Asia » Philippines » Palawan » El Nido February 26th 2010

El Nido is the crown jewel of Palawan, and rightfully so. It is surrounded by over 1000 islands of the Bacuit Archipelago, many of which are a short boat ride away from town. The island hopping is amazing. The boat ride from Port Barton to El Nido took about 5 hours. It was pleasant enough, but the longer ride when compared to the Sabang-Port Barton trip had us dreading the much longer El Nido to Coron trip to come. As we got close to El Nido we marveled at all the karst limestone islands. The cliffs go straight down to the water, with an overhang 5-10 feet above the water due to erosion. Most islands have little hidden coves of white sand beach. The town of El Nido is surrounded by limestone cliffs, making it a ... read more

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