Staying just within government social distancing and travel regulations, on July 4th 2020 I went on a special rail tour of Scunthorpe British Steel works with my friend Paul (whom had arranged the rail tour). The schedule was up at 6:20am, breakfast, out the door around 7am and back at 2:59am! Quite a packed full day, featuring Skegness, Scunthorpe, walking the Humber Bridge, fish & chips in Grimsby and Lincoln Cathedral and Castle!
Like many others, I’ve wanted to see the Amazon river since my Dad first told me about it when I was 5 or 6 years old. The biggest(and back then longest) river in the world! Then in October 2019, was lucky enough to find myself on a 3 week trip to Brazil, based in Rio de Janeiro. Had just gotten married and my wife randomly suggested we go and see the Amazon! What a Brilliant idea! So, after a quick bit of research, I discovered that Manaus is the main Amazon experience town and where most Amazon tours depart from + it’s the cheapest Amazonian place to fly to in Brazil. So, booked return flights from Rio to Manaus town, for a 6 night stay and found a bargain tour to go on.
Then I discovered a slight problem!
The tour was all well and great, BUT upon checking the map I noticed it was primarily a “rainforest tour” and wasn’t along the actual official Amazon river either! In fact it turns out Manaus isn’t actually on the “Amazon”, but sits on the Rio Negro river instead.
Now, my wife did not mind this one bit and am sure 99% of people that visit Manaus are booked on tours and don’t mind either, most people really want to see the rainforest and the animals, BUT I really mostly wanted to see the Amazon river! So what to do?…
Here are some tips from my trip to Iguazu Falls. You really don’t need to take an official tour, as the waterfalls are very easy to get to on your own. You can either walk or get a taxi or Uber to them, on both sides. It takes about half a day to visit the Brazil side and nearly a full day for the Argentine side(it’s a lot bigger and more developed). Try to visit the Brazil side first and then the Argentine side, both are very spectacular, but that is the best combination in my opinion.
This is a long blog write up of my trip to the Lake District in Feb 2017, it’s purely for amusement and to (erm) write something. Back in 2007 I attempted to climb Scafell Pike and got lost on the mountains(another long story), so I decided to re-visit the place this year with my friend Paul. He’s lived in the USA the past 17 years, so was well up for this trip to arguably the finest of English countryside.
Tues 14th Feb 2017
The plan for the morning: up at 8am, breakfast, pack car, 9am head to Wimbledon, go for 10km run, back by 10:30am, pick up Paul and head to Lancaster!
Take bus 747 from Montreal airport, it runs 24/7.
Travel card costs $8 and lasts 24hours after 1st usage on bus and metro + includes a ride on the 747 bus. $16 for 3 days usage.
Montpelier Highlights for me were:
1) visiting the Skinny Pancake shop for good/different food
2) pick up a free town street map from the Info stand a bit along from Subway, on the way to the state Capitol. this is highly useful.
3) tour the State Capitol building, very friendly and helpful guides there.
4) visit the Hubbard Park tower – about 20mins walk.
5) you can walk back down from Hubbard Park to the town via either path. the higher path is nicer, the lower path goes steeply down the ‘mountain’ and ends up.
6) visit the Uncommon market – reminds me of Bailey and Sage in Wimbledon village 🙂
The Greyhound Bus stop is on Main Street just by the Fire station, it’s on one side of the road only, The other side are for municipal buses.
The supermarket is the south end of of mainstreet.
You can take Bus 29 and 6 from to Greyhound station.
Get hold of the B&B map.
Visit the Capitol, found very interesting, we don’t really have this kind of thing in the UK.