JoefromTO

About JoefromTO

I’m an aspiring world traveller. I’ll be taking my family of five on the road for a year to see where it leads us. While I’m writing this there is approximately 10 months till we hit the road with our backpacks. Till then I’ll be teaching and trying to survive being a dad.

Two nights in Salento, Colombia

Our last stop in Colombia was two nights in Salento before returning to Bogota for our next flight. We've been moving fast and have had a lot of great experiences. We have spoken to many backpackers on our route who had great things to say. After learning that we enjoy small towns better than big cities, would we enjoy Salento as much as everyone else?   Getting to Salento From Jardin, you will need to take two buses to Salento. The first bus takes you to Rio Sucio, where you have to purchase seating on a second bus to Salento. The first part of the ride is through the mountains over some bumpy roads, while the second trip is smooth over mostly nicely paved roads. The total trip time was approximately 6.5 hours. The first bus we travelled on was an open-air old school bus. There wasn't assigned seating and no bathrooms on the bus. So what happens if there is a potty emergency like Mateo had? Luckily, he only had to pee, so we called out to the bus driver, Mateo jumped off the bus, found a tree, watered the tree, and returned to the bus no problems. If you can hold it for a bit longer, there is a bathroom stop Midway through the trip. Just be warned, the line up can get long. The bus is an old school bus, and seats are limited. Since we are a group of 5 and wanted to make sure we had a place, we purchased our tickets two days before. If you read my last post, you'll [...]

By |2020-06-21T04:24:05-04:00December 26th, 2019|Airbnb, Booking.com, Colombia, Salento, Solento, South America|0 Comments

Falling in love with Margus Coffee Tours in Jardin, Colombia

We woke up at Margus Coffee Farm in Jardin, Colombia when it happened. Waking up that morning I had an extra spring in my step. Something was different, I felt different. I gazed over at Charo, and she felt it as well. We both fell head over heels in love with Jardin, Colombia. What's not to love. If you had a chance to stay with Gustavo and Marta you'd know as well. Our time was well spent seeing Jardin, learning about coffee trying to figure out why does everyone here drinks instant coffee? Getting to Jardin We travelled by Rapido Ochoa from Medellin, Colombia. This was a small coach bus and was the only coach bus we could find to travel to Jardin. In Medellin, we went to Terminal Sur to get the bus. ***NOTE: When you're looking for a bus, do not assume you know where the bus station is. We've found that, especially in larger cities, there can be several different terminals. Always check online, or ask a local. You don't want to risk missing your bus. Gustavo and Marta I often write about the people who are hosting us at some point in my blog entry, but this time it's different, and why wouldn't it be, this was our first homestay. As I'm writing this blog entry I find that I mentioned Marta and Gustavo's name over and over so I thought I'd give you a brief introduction to their family.   Marta - Wife, and mother. If you call to book a tour, you will be [...]

By |2020-05-09T07:35:40-04:00December 1st, 2019|Colombia, Home Stay, Jardin, South America|0 Comments

Our 3 Nights discovering Medellin

After our few nights in Cartagena, we took a flight to spend 3 nights discovering Medellin, Colombia. I wasn't sure what to expect as I was tired of the big city scene. Before we even arrived in Medellin, two people, Miriam and Andrea, expressed interest in what I thought about it. I wondered if it was as polarizing to travellers as Cartagena? Medellin So what about Medellin? The city itself is located in the Aburrá Valley, in the Andes. When you look around you can see various peaks around you with the city sprawling up them. The population is around two and a half million people, and when you get a look at the city, you think it's probably larger. A night view of Medellin from Cerro Nutibara During our visit to Medellin, we spent our time exploring the art the city has to offer. Discovering Medellin: Botero Park Found in the Old Quarter, Botero park is filled with 23 statues from Fernando Botero. Just like the art in Cartagena, you will notice the size of the statues. Most people describe his characters as fat, but as this article from Google arts & culture describes this as his "lifelong exploration of volume."   Botero's art is just one type of art Colombia boasts. Medellin is full of art, brought to life because of its recent violent history. Like many citizens in Colombia, Botero was against the violence. I found this quote. I'm not sure where he said it, or when. Truth be told, I found it because because Walmart sells this as a poster. "I [...]

By |2020-05-21T05:18:07-04:00October 28th, 2019|Airbnb, Colombia, Medellin, South America|2 Comments

Our Three Nights in Cartagena

We arrived in Cartagena mid-afternoon. From the moment we got there we realized we were back in the big city. Cartagena is the largest city we’ve been in since Bogota. We got off our bus and took a 40-minute taxi ride to our Airbnb. Three nights in Cartagena should be enough time to see some sites and to enjoy some relaxation time. […]

By |2019-10-29T12:45:58-04:00October 8th, 2019|Airbnb, Cartagena, Colombia, South America|2 Comments

Backpacking with kids: 8 tips for your family trip

Ninety-two days. That's the last time we saw our house, and that's three full months we've been living out of a backpack. We started in Cancun, Mexico and are now in Cusco, Peru. We've travelled through 9 countries and have several different types of experiences. When backpacking with kids, one of the most important considerations is your filling your backpack with the right stuff. Disclaimer: I have added links to items we found useful, or not. I am not endorsing any website over another, nor am I currently making any money from these links. I did this to give you an idea of the products that we have purchased. Feel free to click, or not. Get ideas and hunt for the best prices. Backpacking with kids: The story so far... My wife, Charo and I had been backpacking before, however, this was the first time we took the kids along with us. Like all parents, we tried to plan for every eventuality. We've learned a few things since we packed and hopefully, I can give you some helpful tips for your backpacking trip with your kids. I know I've already written about some things I've learned after a month, but now after three months of travel through Central and South America, I think there a few new things to help plan a backpacking trip with kids. Size of the Backpacks This part of the post is for us seasoned backpackers, and I'm not talking about being an experienced backpacker, but more in terms of life experience. As we wander the streets, I can't help notice all the 20 something backpackers with a 60 - [...]

By |2020-05-20T10:09:35-04:00October 5th, 2019|Airbnb, Booking.com, Pillar Content, Travel tips|11 Comments

Our Two Wonderful Nights in Minca, Colombia

Even though we hadn't been to Santa Marta for long, it was enjoyable to get back to a small town. Our plan when we arrived early to Minca was to arrive early and enjoy our one night stay there. When Charo was researching our stay she came to the conclusion it would be like our stay at Sierra San Juan in Bonda, a small town with beautiful scenery and mostly quiet. Read more

By |2020-04-29T10:01:49-04:00September 22nd, 2019|Booking.com, Colombia, Minca, South America|1 Comment

Our One Night stop in Tayrona National Park

I hadn’t been on a motorcycle since I rode on the back of my brothers when I was about 15! Thirty years later I had a chance to try it again, and that’s how we left Sierra San Juan Ecolodge to get our next destination, Tayrona National Park. […]

Our Marvelous stay in Bonda, Colombia

Where we were on the first day of school Charo and I have been planning this trip for the past 4 years. Actually, Charo has, as you know I’m just along for the ride. There is only one thing I planned to do. On the first day of school, while my friends and former students settled in for their first day, I wanted to live cast myself on a beach, drinking something with an umbrella in it. That didn’t happen. […]

By |2020-04-24T01:49:23-04:00September 14th, 2019|Colombia, Bonda, Booking.com, Caoba, South America|0 Comments
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