Sam’s Samples

Short updates about our travels will appear here almost daily (depending on the adventure level and stabel Internet :))
Check it regularly!

# day 286 & 287: After a couple of days we finally found enough courage to tell the teachers at the school what we exactly want and don’t want to teach… From now on we give guest lessons about Holland and Europe, and due to the lack of an IT teacher, we also give IT-lessons.

# day 285: We like going to church in Kathmandu… 🙂

# day 284: Our day off we spent exploring the surroundings of Bhaktapur. We went to the quiet and peaceful village of Nala and saw a really beautiful Buddhist monastery with monks as young as 5 years old!

# day 283: Ohh and btw we also started teaching something something on one of the primary schools in town. Slowly we give structure to our days. In the mornings at the school, in the afternoons at the dystrophy center. What we have to do at the school is still a bit vague. Thus we taught math today to class 4 and 5 about fractions. We first had to asked the students to explain their methods. Please don’t put us unprepared before a class if the students don’t speak English… time for a deep chat with the teachers!

# day 282: Our daily food…

# day 281: We started today in a muscular dystrophy center for boys. At the moment there are still three boys living here. In the past there were more but some of the boys passed away because of the short life expectancy of this disease. We play games, help them practice their muscular exercises and help them with painting. These guys are really artists!

# day 280: Today we packed our stuff and moved to the king town of Bhaktapur. Coming month we will be volunteering in this beautiful old town. And the highest Hindu temple of the world will be our next-door neighbor

# day 279: We found out that there are indeed monkeys at the famous monkey temple of Kathmandu. And lots and lots of prayer flags…

# day 278: Buddhism is everywhere in this country. You find the most colorful statues around everywhere.

# day 277: Time for Bouddhanath, the biggest Bouddha stupa of Nepal and one of the biggest in the world.

# day 276: Happy to be better! It feels so good. Today we explore the old city center of Patan…

# day 272-275: And then the Kathmandu Quick Step struck us. For 4 days our bed was our castle and the toilet our best friend. And we were really proud if we were able to climb the 5 stairs to our roof terrace to see the sunset over Kathmandu.

# day 270 & 271: Time to explore the city. Touristic Thamel, Newari food and some old temples throughout the city. We also made some new nice friends at church…

# day 266-269: After another long flight we arrive in busy, chaotic but friendly Kathmandu. The first couple of days off we take the time to rest from our jet lag and to get used to Nepali life!

# day 265: After a short flight to Auckland we took a long overnight flight towards here… but we’re still not yet at our destination.

# day 264: Some weird people (I don’t think they are called Steve & Anne) decided that it was time for a change. They put their car for sale and sold it in a few days for more than they ever expected. At the moment they are waiting on the airport… probably they will take a plane. Hope that at least they know where they are going… Bye, Bye NZ

# day 262 & 263: On Sunday we went to the reformed church of Christchurch. Very friendly people invited us to stay in their guest room when they heard we were living in our car… We spent 2 days at their house, playing with their 4 young daughters and organizing something new. Unfortunately we forgot to make some pictures at this place.

# day 260 & 261: And then the cloud came in and took away our sight of the Alps. Bad luck… The good thing was that we had the chance to visit some nice friends from Franz in Fairlie and sleep in a real house. That was absolutely really cool.

# day 259: Left the coast for an inland tour through the Southern Alps. The first stop at Lake Ohao looks already promising.

# day 258: Just because fur seals are soooo cute 🙂

# day 257: Chocolate… we went to the Cadbury factory in Dunedin. And we left happy with a lot of for us unusual chocolates. They are very good!!!

# day 255 & 256: The south coast of NZ is worth a visit. And if you have enough patience you are maybe as lucky as us and you will see the rare yellow eyed penguin returning from sea…

# day 254: This morning Steve and Anna explored a big limestone cave on their own (nope no other visitors today) and they enjoyed themselves a lot. Crawling and climbing they made their way which was lighted by glow worms. After all this strenuous body stretching they spent the afternoon seeking for gem stones on Gem Stone Beach. They found no real gems but a lot of other stones which Anna couldn’t get rid of, so they took them along…

# day 253: Go orange! On the 5th of May we found this beautiful cruise to make our way through Milford Sound even more spectacular. We celebrated our 6 year relation anniversary by making perfect reflection photos of the worlds’ 8th nature wonder and spotting magnificent dolphins in the middle of the sound!

# day 252: We drove the road into Milford Sound and it is narrow and windy but just gorgeous. We also made it for the feeding time of the takahe, an almost extinct flightless bird with beautiful colors…

# day 251: Queenstown is nice and after months we found ourselves in a normal shopping center to replace some of our overused clothes and shoes. As you can see our kitchen is a bit small and cold but the view is great!

# day 250: We enjoyed the sunshine while reading books at the lake front and made our way to the gold town of Arrowtown today. It’s a lovely village with a rich history… By the way, driving in NZ is super nice, after every corner you can expect a new fantastic landscape!

# day 249: After a freezing cold night we woke up to find ourselves scratching ice of from the inside of the car windows. Cooooollldd! We made our way into Mount Aspiring National Park and did a nice hike around there!

# day 248: We missed going to church a lot during our time in Franz, so we did go as many times as possible today… And that was fantastic! The rest of the day we enjoyed in cold Wanaka

# day 247: We spend the day puzzling at puzzling world. Tilted houses, illusions, a great maze (and great it was…), the hall of following faces and millions of puzzles later we happily stepped out of the door of puzzling world…

# day 246: A beautiful autumn day in Windy Wanaka 🙂

# day 245: Relaxing day. We slept in the small beach town of Haast and made our way to Haast pass in the afternoon. The view (pictures below) from this small campground was absolutely fabulous so we decided to stay and cook ourselves a good dinner.

# day 244: There and back again… After a good evening dip in the hot pools we slept deeply and refreshed we took off to walk the way back: out of the Copland valley.

# day 243: We woke up early to see the sunrise at Lake Matheson, a perfect time for his famous reflection. Just after this perfect moment a flat battery again disturbed our peaceful moment. Some jump cables, 2 other cars, a garage and a new battery later we were ready to start the Copland Track. A good 2-day hike into the valley with an overnight backcountry hut stay.

# day 242: We took off… or at least we tried to take off. And then it stopped. After trying several times to start our car, we discovered that we had a flat battery… Luckily a nice old kiwi with a very big truck and some jump cables started our car and we took off to spend the night at the beach with snowy peaks in our backyard…

# day 241: Dear Franz, we called you home for months, but the time has come to leave you. We loved you Franz, your beauty, your Glacier, your sunsets. On some days we didn’t like you, on those days that people spoke about the centimeters of rain going to fall. Dear Franz we will certainly miss you, and we’ll be back one day!

# day 240: Today is our last working day… No more reception, gardening and running on the park to fix all kind of weird problems. Yeaaaaah…

# day 239: Today we are celebrating that we’re married for 4 years. A good day for a pizza. And by telling Kris the owner of the pizzeria he was more than happy to pick us up in his supercool hummer!

# day 235-238: Here you go, the sunsets of last Monday till Thursday. Sunsets on the good days in Franz Josef are absolutely incredible… We’ll certainly miss that!

# day 228-233: Lake Mapourika is located just 5 minutes driving from Franz… its famous for its calmness and its beautiful reflection of the southern alps. Except for the annoying sandflies a perfect spot for a good dinner!

# day 227: Hokitika gorge is just gorgeous… This mini holiday ended way to fast!

# day 226: We took off for a 2 day mini holiday to Hokitika and Greymouth. A curious Weka made our day by showing himself around our car!

# day 220 – 225: Living on a holiday park has some advantages to keep the evenings exciting… we have an onsite pool table, a couple of trampolines and a jacuzzi… Not bad at all!

# 213 – 219: We bought a car! Yes, we really did 🙂 Freedom on wheels, it makes us so happy. It also means that with the ending of the season we won’t necessarily be needed here anymore so that we will be traveling again soon. In the meantime we are still enjoying the beautiful sunsets from our caravan or at the beach…

# 206 – 212: Whaaa this view is fantastic. You know you’re living only 10 km from the coastline and the beach is close, but climbing this small coastal hill to see the sea, the snowy alps and everything in between made us smiling!

# 199 – 205: Sometimes after work we spend the evenings with our colleagues: having a drink in town, eating out at the local restaurant where 50% local discount applies, spontaneous barbecues, baking and cooking in the communal areas and pizza parties… time for fun 😀

# 192 – 198: On a nice afternoon two colleagues asked us to go with them to Lake Matheson to look if we could find the reflection of Mount Cook and Mount Tasman in the lake. And we did! The picture in the lower left hand corner shows the incredibility of the Fox and Frans Josef Glacier. We took the photo almost at sea level so you could imagine how low the glacier face comes…

# 185 – 191: When your day off is a rainy day the best solution is the Glacier Hot Pools, a good place to relax after a long week of work… Luckily the rest of the week was actually nice and sunny, so that we could eat our dinner outside.

# 178 – 184 On a beautiful sunny day, two happy people got the chance to fly in a helicopter to the Franz Josef Glacier and back again. It even made a landing on the snow! You could have read the happiness on their faces even a couple of days after the flight…

# day 174 -177: Nothing is as changeable as the weather in Franz Josef. It took the cloud only 8 minutes to change the view from our caravan completely…

# day 172: Valentine’s Day is today. Our managers took us to a Maori cultural show. During the show the Maori performed some of there love songs, dances and of course the well known Haka.

We made a short movie about their show, which you can watch here.

# day 164 – 169: Hi, here are Steve & Anna, the happy TOP 10 Holiday Park Assistants. How can we help you today?

(The dark photo is supposed to be so dark to show you the beautiful snow capped mountains you can see through the windows. We liked to share you our view while cleaning…)

Ahh and we still love to wander in the bush around Franz Josef.

# day 163: Proud to live here… Yes, today we have our first sunny day off. Time to explore the beautiful glacier valley…

# day 162: Today we did something we never did before and it was really scary to do. Today we walked into our managers’ office with the keys of our caravan ready. Today we told someone that he is the worst manager ever and that we wanted to resign immediately. Today we again became homeless with an uncertain future. And today we are really thankful to our Heavenly Father because at the end of this day, besides having a wonderful place to live, we also have a new job at a cool place with a fantastic couple as managers.

# day 156 – 161: On our days off we explore the beautiful rain forest around Franz Josef Glacier. We love to be in there because it is ultimately green and after a big rainfall everything is dripping of freshness.

# day 154 & 155: Hi dear Kiwi! We heard you calling yesterday and the day before and we really liked it. Please do it as often as you can! Oh and we would be very pleased if you show yourself to us once… Thanks dear Kiwi!

# day 153: We gladly present you with our new home: a 7 meter long caravan 🙂

# day 152: Franz Josef is amazing. The two foto’s on top show the view from our caravan, the other two are taken in the village… This morning we worked for the first time. We got the afternoon off to explore the town, because it’s a bit handy to at least know where the supermarket is if you are working at the reception 🙂

# day 151: On day 2 we made it all the way from Picton to Franz Joseph and we happily arrived at our caravan. On the way we stopped at a beautiful lake where we saw these big, big eels…

# day 150: We left Napier (and the sun) this morning and made our way to Wellington. Over there we took the ferry to Picton, a 3,5 hour ride with incredible views in the Queen Charlotte Sound.

# day 149: We love Napier, the Art Deco city… unfortunately we are now going to miss the Art Deco festival in February.

# day 148: Yeah, we got a job! Bye Napier, we are going to leave you… Hi Franz Josef Glacier, we are going to visit you the next couple of months. Today, by the way, we found this eel eating cormorant (een aal etende aalscholver :)). Check it out!

# day 147: Yeah, we finished the deck today! We can proudly say that it looks really cool…

# day 146: We went for a 60 km bike ride in Hawkes Bay. On the way we’ve had two job interviews, we will hear if we were successful in the beginning of next week. The only nasty thing was that we had head wind twice 🙁 Ohh and it is really windy in here..

# day 144 & 145: We live on a hill. It was an island until 1930. A big earthquake at that time pushed up the land around us. Napier was built at that time. Luckily the hill is an excellent place for good views over sea, the harbor and the sunset…

# day 141 & 142: The other good thing is that we started our first real job today: painting the terrace around the pool… Not bad at al 🙂 Free to start and stop whenever we want and a good dip in the pool at lunchtime.

# day 140: Good news: We started our 4th housesit in Napier. We are going to take care of a 16-year old cat called Cefer. The house is supercool, it has a pool with access from the living room: that’s fun 🙂

#day 138 & 139: Today we left for Napier by bus, a 7-hours drive. A beautiful scenic route, on which we could even see Mount Doom in the distance 🙂 We had some delicious “oliebollen” while travelling from Auckland to Napier, giving us a feeling of home. We are still looking for work, which we`ll surely find in the Napier area.

# day 137: Yes, yes, yes! We have a working bank account. The post office accepted our tax papers this time, making us feel happy and relieved… 🙂 Time to celebrate by drinking good coffee and making necklaces 😉 By the way, we just love using creme fraiche as an ingredient in dishes… Unfortunately it’s quite unaffordable in New Zealand (see photo).

# day 135: New Zealand beaches are the absolute best… we love the black volcanic sand. Although it definitely burnt our feet!

# day 134: It took us 1 day to get frustrated. It took us a second day to get upset. We have been to 5 banks, before we got one that actually wanted to open a bank account for us. Took us two hours before the address was set right. 5 minutes later at the post office it became clear that they needed another address… by now we are 2 bank visits and two different post offices later and nothing is fixed yet….

# day 133: We could use some tips in order to find work… Working in NZ is something we really would like to do. However, this is easier said than done. To be able to work here, you need an IRD number, for an IRD number you need a bank account, for a bank account you need a proof of address, for an address you need work… Where did something go wrong? Let’s start again 🙂

# day 132: Slowly we are getting used to our new live… All the advantages are cool: drinking water straight from the tap, a working toilet, working WiFi (finally, Skype :)), a washing machine, speaking English (hmm, we are met with some surprise every time I start with ‘Hola!’) The only disadvantage is that NZ is the most expensive country we’ve ever been to. Luckily we found this $2 box full of fruit – not the pick of the day but no matter: we use them as tasty ingredients for delicious smoothies!

# day 130 & 131: We started our stay in Auckland with a house sit. This time taking care of three cats is part of our responsibilities! We are grateful for these days in order to recover from our jet lag. We spend most of the time relaxing and sleeping.

# day 129: After 129 days of traveling we arrive in New Zealand. Since our departure from Schiphol, Amsterdam on the 26th of August last year, we have visited 8 countries, have had 4 jetlags (2 hours or more), 7 one-hour time changes, 0 food poisoning, both of us got sick once, 13 passport stamps (Steve 1 more because they stamped Galapagos in his, but sadly not in mine), we’ve done 2 housesits, we’ve seen 2 mountain ranges, 21 national parks, 10000 flamingos, more than 20 sharks and we’ve made a couple of new friends… We’ve really had the time of our life!

# day 128: The 31st of December 2016 came, and went… It only lasted 5 minutes before it was over… We woke up the next morning realizing that we skipped the last day of the year. Are we now stuck forever in 2016?

# day 127: Bye bye South-America, we are leaving you tonight! Bye bye busses, we are travelling by plane this time! We are sad to leave this beautiful continent, but Godwilling, we will definitely return someday!

# day 125 & 126: After spending 22 hours on a bus to Santiago, we arrived at the airport with one goal in mind: speaking to the staff of Latam Airlines about the possibility to change our flight. This would save us time and money. Thankful and happy we can report that the Latam crew changed our ticket. The only costs involved were treating them on two cups of hot chocolate and two muffins to say thanks!

# day 124: After waking up early in the morning, at 4 o`clock to be precise, we are able to observe the world`s third largest geyser field at dawn. Bearing in mind that this field is situated 4300 metres above sea level, it is minus 8 degrees and freezing cold! But seeing the sun rising through the water vapor makes it well worthwhile!

# day 123: San Pedro de Atacama is one of the best places in the Southern Hemisphere to spend an evening stargazing and that is exactly what we will be doing tonight!. You can even see two other galaxy’s with the naked eye!

# day 122: Today is Christmas … Neither of us have ever spent Christmas away from home, but today we celebrate it in Chili. The day starts off colder and ends warmer than we ever will experience at home…

# day 121: We wake up at 5 in order to see a 5000 meter high geyser field at dawn. It is absolutely amazing. Thereafter we take a dip in a hotspring warmed by volcanic magma. On our way down to San Pedro de Atacama (2500 meter) we see colorful lakes and more Volcanoes.

# day 120: This day we wake up in a hostel which is made completely of salt. Volcanoes, lagoons in red and white, lots of flamingos and much more is what we see on the second day of our salt flat tour…

# day 119: Our perspective on salt…

# day 118: Bad luck today. At 6 in the morning, while still 16 km from the town Uyuni, our busdriver drops us, telling us that we need to walk the last part into town. The reason being that the road is blocked by locals. So we spend the morning by walking in the burning sun and arrive in Uyuni too late for our tour. Yup,we are stuck in a desert town and are curious as to what is going to happen next…

# day 117: We spend the day by enjoying beautiful Copacabana. In the evening we travel to La Paz, the highest capital in the world. Our visit to La Paz is quite short seeing that we travel to Uyuni during the night.

# day 116: Whaa it’s Steve’s birthday today! We are going to celebrate it by enjoying a fish dish at Lake Titicaca, the biggest high altitude lake in the world 😀 Yummmie!!!!

# day 115: We spend the day by relaxing, walking around the beautiful Island and listening to a Dutch church service (in absence of a church). Together with the locals we enjoy the benefits of living on an internet-free island; we admire their way of living and we cuddle with their cute lambs…

# day 114: Without any problems we pass the border with Bolivia and arrive in Copacabana. In the afternoon we take a boat to Isla del Sol and walk to the quaint village of Challa. Here we are going to spend the weekend in a nice hostel with lovely views!

# day 112 & 113: We spend the first day by exploring the lovely city of Cusco. Because of the freezing temperatures, we decide to shop for a warm Alpaca sweater. From now on we are perfectly clothed against the cold :D. The second day we travel to Puño, at lake Titicaca…

# day 111: Turning in at 19:30 and having slept for 12 hours on end, we were ready for the walk and bus ride back to Cusco. Upon arrival in the evening, we were tired but more than happy…

# day 110: It’s definitely very early to wake up at 4, but hiking out of the sacred valley and up to see the sunrise over the lost city made us feel so humble… Seeing Machu Picchu for real is something you won’t forget your entire life!

We spend the day hiking up Wuayapicchu. This is the mountain in front of Machu Picchu and is seen on many photographs. We wanted to see where the kings of the Inca’s have lived, explore the ruins of the lost city and hike (up) to the sungate for stunning views of the city.

# day 109: Machu Picchu, here we come!!! To get there we took a long bus ride to Hydroelectrica. After that we walked through the sacred valley along the train tracks to Aguas Calientes to spend the night. We are so super excited about tomorrow, it will be one of the most special days of our trip!

# day 108: We just fell in love with Cusco, the old Inca city. It’s so quaint and because of the height it’s so cold that it even feels like Christmas is coming soon…

# day 107: Welcome to Cusco and the Sacred Valley. We left the surroundings of Arequipa and took a night bus to Cusco. On the way to Cusco we had a good view of the famous Misty volcano (5800 m). Waking up in the bus by dripping water reminds us that it is unwise to keep a water bottle above your head while climbing a summit of 5300 meter 🙂

# day 106: Waking up at 5 to start the hike up is quite early but definitely worth it. The sunrise is amazing and just after sunrise the sun is already burning!

# day 105: We spend this day by walking 7 hours into the Canon del Colca. The views are fantastic. We visit some Inca villages deep in the canyon and spend the night in Oasis de Sangelle, with a welcoming dip in the swimming pool!

# day 104: Today we arrived in Cabanaconde. This small Inca town has an altitude of 3200 meter and lies on the edge of the second deepest canyon of the world. Canon del Colca is twice as deep as the Grand Canyon and for the coming two days we will be trekking through this beautiful canyon. The view from the hostel is already promising

# day 103: Today we relax in our chill hostel in the small oasis of Huacachina. The weather is lovely and swimming in the pool is quite enjoyable, so we certainly don’t mind staying here for the day 🙂 Steve is not feeling well today and we really hope he will recover soon!

# day 102: Sand, sand… and more sand. Welcome to Huacachina. Ohh, we are becoming real experts in sand surfing 🙂 It’s such fun (walking uphill excluded). Stargazing in the sand while eating chocolate and ‘pepernoten’ is how we spend ‘Sinterklaasavond’.

# day 101: Lima: the amazing view from our small pension over the city!

# day 100: Wow!! On the road for 100 days! Today we explore Miraflores, part of Lima.

# day 98 & 99: We travelled by two night buses from Guayaquil to Lima. This morning we arrived in Lima, and yup, we were exhausted 😉 We spent our evening at the airport waiting for Anne-Dieke, who is going to accompany us for the next 4 weeks.

# day 97: Today we woke up in Banos! After our stay on The Galapagos and returning to Ecuador, we decided to go to Banos. In order to be in Lima on Friday, we decided to take the night bus. Thus it came to be that we definately swung on the swing at the end of the earth…


# day 96: Today we left the paradise called Galapagos. We made some really nice new friends and spent lots of time with them! We also built the biggest turtle sand castle in the world 🙂 Goodbye, friends! See you in the Netherlands… 🙂

# day 95: Today is a day of snorkeling and swimming with sea turtles, sharks and manta-rays. Ohh and the synchronism with which blue footed boobies catch fish is awesome to see! We end the day and our time on The Galapagos with cooking dinner for our newly made friends from Canada, Germany, The Netherlands and Argentina , 9 of us in total 🙂

Beautiful pictures coming soon!

# day 94: Penguins are cute, cute, cute! 🙂 Specially when they are swimming and hopping around you! Ohh and we love baby tortoise too, even if they are already twenty and we love them still when they are over a hundred!

# day 93: The Wall of Tears, which we’ve visited this morning, was built by prisoners in the time that Isabella was meant to be a prison. It is really weird to think about this paradise as a prison! After this exhausting 12 km walk in the burning sun we jump in the waves at the harbor to play with the sea lions!

# day 92: We take the early morning ferry to Isabela Island and arrive in Puerto Villamil where we are welcomed by (a couple of) sea lions stretching out on every available bench. They are quite arrogant: a human being stands no chance of relaxing on one of these benches. After finding a decent cheap hostel we spend the afternoon playing in the waves and relaxing on the beach.

# day 91: How to spend your ultimate day in Galapagos? Book a day tour to Pinson! After an hour of shopping around for the best last minute tour deal yesterday afternoon we left for Pinson quite early today for a perfect day at sea and lots of snorkeling :). The result: Sea lions, 5 blue-footed boobies, 20+ white tipped sharks (yup swimming above 2 meter long sharks is definitely scary!) and lots of giant sea turtles. It’s only day 4 and we have seen 4 of our Galapagos big 5… the penguins are still on the list 🙂

Beautiful pictures coming soon!


# day 90: We spend the morning on a beautiful beach with snorkeling and kayaking. Whaaa, we saw our first sea turtle and some manta-rays. In the afternoon we jumped in the cold water of Las Grietas to enjoy the spot and to see some more colorful fish!

# day 89: In the morning we do a highland tour on Santa Cruz. That means that you visit some amazing large sink holes, lava tunnels and a tortoise reserve. We make friends with these peaceful, quaint animals of whom some are over 180 years old, just walking freely around the island. The afternoon we spend at Tortuga Bay, an incredible white beach with lots of sun-tanning iguanas and beautiful birds, including THE finches…

# day 88: Today is a very special day because this morning we are flying to Galapagos, the destination of our dreams! We will spend 9 days on these beautiful islands… On our first day we visit the Darwin Breeding Center and we check out Puerto Ayora. This morning we’ve met a very nice Canadian couple on the airport and we decided to travel together for the coming days to increase our haggle power on these incredible expensive islands.

# day 87: We met some new iguana friends today (tipped by our iguana friends in Miami)… And we discovered that it is already November and that Christmas is coming soon. Really a weird experience because of the warm weather.

# day 86: Colourful Guayaquil… We love Ecuador! We just traveled by bus for 8 hours from Quito to Guayaquil. Actually is far more comfortable than we expected after paying 10 dollars for the whole trip…

# day 85: We visited Quito today! Quito is the capital of Ecuador and its altitude is around 3000 meter. It’s a beautiful town wit a lot of Spanish influences. We learned three lessons being here for one day: 1) the roads around Quito are a lot better than the roads around San Francisco, 2) altitude sickness does really exist (Anne found out after taking a few flights of stairs and 3) we really have to practice our Spanish

# day 84: Celebrating the launch of our new blog!

# day 83: We just love iguanas and turtles…

# day 81 & 82: And there we are… Outside it’s at least 25 degrees, but air conditioning is seemingly very popular here. Currently we are working to improve our blog at a university in Miami. Here they’ve got a beautiful pond with trees, iguanas and turtles. Somewhere there’s also an American world-map. We’re enjoying ourselves for sure!

# day 80: It’s with a tear and a sigh that we say farewell to Tobias and Sparkle, our last hosts in Trinidad. We have greatly enjoyed our time at these two fantastic people en their cocoa project. (Read more about that here: …). We really believe in this project and we know for sure that something beautiful is going to come out of it. We already look forward to July next year, to welcome Tobias and Sparkle in our home in The Netherlands. With a heavy hart we arrive in Miami today; fortunately we have some phenomenally delicious chocolate Truffels, made by Sparkle herself, to comfort us 🙂

Sometimes live works out so weird. We were doing everything in our power for weeks to get some volunteering work to do in Trinidad, but nothing seemed to work and nobody answered our emails. But when we’ve booked all our accommodation, we get at least two offers to work somewhere. A little frustrated we ask ourselves how it’s possible that we hadn’t met Tobias earlier, so that we could have spent some time working in his cocoa estate…

# day 79: We get a lesson in making chocolate! From tree to truffle 🙂 Today we’re rehabilitating a cocoa estate, harvesting a lot of cocoa beans, preparing the beans for the fermentation process; in short we’re seeing the whole magical process of how the beans are being transformed to the best chocolate ever! (Seriously, have you ever tasted 75% chocolate which isn’t bitter, like, not even a little bit?)

# day 77 & 78: This is absolutely our most adventurous day ever. Today we were asked by David, a neighbour of our host, if we want to join him to hike to “Three Pools”. This is an adventurous hike through a rainforest (and yes, it rained), where the trail sometimes leads through a river. Eventually the trail just ends at a part in the river where there are 3 relatively deep pools (hence the name). Jumping from a 5 meter high rock was also part of the fun (it takes quite some time to reach the water :D). We ended our adventure by eating Bake ‘n Shark, a typical Trini meal.

# day 76: Yesss! We’re traversing around the whole of Tobago to spot the most beautiful beaches! Although we had a great day, it ended in some frustration. At 4 in the afternoon, we were dropped at the Scarborough ferry terminal by our guide. We wanted to stand in line to buy tickets for the ferry of 11 in the evening. The ticket office opened at 7. After three hours of waiting, the ticket officer announced that no more tickets would be sold that day, because they don’t want anymore kids crying during the ferry ride. Well, image yourself with a heavy backpack on your shoulders, no accommodation, no ferry ticket, in an unsafe city… Oh wait, next ferry leaves at 5:30 in the morning, how nice…

# day 74: A crab eating a piece of banana is sooo cute 🙂

# day 73: Since today we believe that the Maldives really exist! Welcome to Pigeon Point, the most beautiful beach of Tobago…

Yesterday we received the offer to work at a our guesthouse for ten days. Unfortunately we fly to the US before the hosts arrive back, so it’s not possible. This really is a great pity, because this is precisely what we hoped to do during our trip to Trinidad. We know that we would have enjoyed it very much.

# day 70: We’ve said goodbye to our guesthouse en have travelled back to the civilized world of Trinidad. Today we’re headed to Maracas beach, the most fun and beautiful beach of Trinidad. The way there already had it’s surprisingly beautiful views of the Trini coastline. (Due to safety reasons, it’s not always wise to take photo’s of all the scenic beauties we come across on our way…)

# day 68: Today we are visiting a place called ‘Grande Riviera’, and it’s surely grand, but also quite deserted. We enjoy the combination of green rainforest blue skies and yellow sand. The sea also learnt us some lessons when a great wave threw us on the rocky beach! Especially Anne is quite blue…

# day 67: Today Steve is helping our half-blind, very friendly host to boost the popularity of his beautiful guesthouse by putting it on Airbnb. So, does anybody want to visit the beautiful town of Toco in Trinidad? We have two empty beds!

# day 66: The famous lighthouse of Toco, built in 1857, is the aim of a visit by us today. The 3.5 km hike in this humidness leaves us with some 3.5 litres of sweat. We are in luck when we walk past a very nice beach, with nice cooling waves.

# day 65: Today is Sunday. It’s a bit of a weird day, for us, though. We went to Trinidad with the intention of working at an organic farm or at a guesthouse in exchange for accommodation and food, Although we have tried everything, mailing guesthouses, signing up on, emailing churches, etc., nothing seemed to work. We tried the local church this morning, but also that didn’t get us anywhere. Now we are out of options. We’ll just travel around a bit and see if anybody needs our help on the go.

# day 64: It is so warm and humid!! Fortunately, swimming in the sea cools one down. We met a new friend, he was quite shy and hid himself in the sink. His name is Jack and he’s very friendly…

# day 63: Very proud of Steve!! He has driven more than 5000 km in the last three weeks. That’s the same distance as from Amsterdam to Moskou and back! Unfortunately, in the USA they charge double if you want to drive in a rented car when you’re under 25. This morning at 5am, we dropped all our camping gear at the Salvation Army in Denver, and made our way to the airport. To strengthen our ‘going home-feeling’, we get “stroopwafels” in the airplane. After we told the stewardess that we are from the Netherlands, where stroopwafels come from, and that we haven’t had one in a very long time, she brought us a bag full of them! 🙂 And by te way, Trinidad and Tobago, here we are!

# day 62: Time flies and our provisional last day in the USA has arrived. We are driving through Arches National Park, where we see some beautiful arches, and a balancing rock. Afterwards, we ride on to Denver. Halfway we make a stop in a very quaint ski-village. This really gives us the feeling that we’re driving home through the Alps!

# day 61: Today we are visiting two National Parks: Bruce and Zion. Bruce is beautiful, but we think Zion is the most pure. And spiders are very cute and cudly, such as this Tarantula 🙂

# day 60: Wow! The Antelope Canyon is really spectacular!! Truly amazing! Today we’ve made the most photos ever on one day. And looking at the Milky Way and shooting stars by night is highly recommended!

# day 59: Seeing the Grand Canyon in real-life is so much more stunning than any picture can ever convey…

# day 58: We spend the Sunday in Las Vegas and we also attend church there. After church we drive on to somewhere along the Colorado river where we spend the afternoon, and we end the day with a very nice camp-fire!

# day 57: Have a guess where you could be when, within a few hours, you’ve visited Egypt, New York, Paris, Venetia, and Rome? 😉

The city by night, although we had some doubts…

# day 56: Trees, trees and some more trees! Today we awoke in a frozen environment with frozen toes. We’re headed to the world’s biggest tree and his friends who, being over 2000 years old, really makes us feel humble. Hiking back from this awesome experience, we come accross a very different tree, the Joshua-tree. Meanwhile our toes are thawed again 🙂

# day 55: Awakening with the view in the above-left picture is absolutely fantastic! Today we see our first centuries old monster trees, of course with corresponding pine apples.

# day 54: Having breakfast on the beach is fun, ice cream is just delicious, and the King’s Canyon is beautiful! 🙂

# day 53: We learn some more about the very interesting history of San Francisco. We learn for example that the name ‘Golden Gate’ doesn’t apply to the colour of the bridge, but that the bay was once the gateway to the gold. After a nice tour on Highway 1, we arrive on the beach in the afternoon, where we enjoy ourselves and play in the waves.

# day 51 & 52: San Francisco! It took both of us only a few hours to fall in love with this beautiful city at the ‘Golden Gate’! However, we’ve never seen a city with such steep roads. Therefore we’ll just reconsider our plan of going to live there 🙂

# dag 50: Can you hear the chipmunk scuttling up the tree, can you smell the sweet smell of the pine trees, can you feel the wind blowing across your face, can you see the stunning mountainous view… We hope we have given you a taste of Yosemite National Park!

(The photo in the right-hand corner, is our best shot of a rainbow at night!)

# day 49: After a last glance on a salty death valley and an encounter with a desert fox, we drive on to Mono Lake. In the afternoon we do a beautiful hike to the lake, which has a crater in the middle. We sleep next to the lake, and we see for the very first time a rainbow by night; that was very extraordinary!

# day 48: This park has the most fascinating natural beauty I`ve ever seen: colorful rocks, salt crystals, beautiful canyons, and all of that in driest place on earth. It`s a cold day for October: only 37 degrees. But we won`t complain 🙂

# day 47: Today we arrived in Death Valley National Park. It`s a desert here, and we sense it immediately when we visit some sand dunes. At night we sleep under a very starry sky, in the middle of the park. It`s very beautiful here.

# day 46: You get three guesses to guess where we are and which deal we got! We got till Monday morning to bring this cute camper back to San Francisco. We`re in for 6 days of enjoyment 🙂

# day 45: Today is an exciting day for us. We have searched far and wide the past few weeks for relocation campers from Seattle. Till last week, there were a few available, but just now that we want to go, it seems that they`ve all disappeared into thin air. We`re not sure about what to do next. Meanwhile we enjoy downtown Seattle, and head to the first Starbucks ever to look for relocations on Internet 🙂

# dag 44: Vandaag is onze laatste dag in Blaine…Vanmorgen zijn we naar de kerk geweest, de dienst duurde bijna 2,5 uur (incl. koffiepauze). Vanmiddag zijn we door de huiseigenaren meegenomen naar Mount Baker om ‘even’ Mocha uit te laten. En tja ook deze avond moesten we geloven aan het debat

# dag 43: Vandaag komen de huiseigenaren terug wat betekent dat onze housesit bijna ten einde is. Gelukkig mogen we tot maandag blijven waarna we hopen te vertrekken naar Seattle om aan aan onze West USA roadtrip te beginnen. Superveel zin hebben we daar in! Ons project is nog helaas nog niet helemaal af we missen nog 1 set. De zon hier heeft namelijk elke keer verassingen voor ons :)…

# dag 40: De tijd vliegt hier in Blaine… we genieten nog iedere dag van de zee, het strand en de rust hier! Om ons zelf wat uit te dagen zijn we begonnen aan een ingewikkeld project :). Zaterdag hopen we het resultaat te delen!

# dag 34: AM is jarig. We vieren het door een mistige zonsopgang te bekijken met op de verre achtergrond Mount Baker, veel taart te eten (nog nooit een verjaardag gevierd waarbij je de taart niet hoefde te delen met de gasten :D) en alle staten van Amerika uit ons hoofd te leren (onder het mom van; nu we hier toch zijn )…

# dag 33: Even een time-lapse van een van de prachtige zonsondergangen hier… Ha mijn batterij was helaas leeg voor de zon helemaal onder was 😉

# dag 31: We zijn vandaag een maand onderweg! Dat vieren we door een tuinwerkdag te houden en door ons bezig te houden met het plukken van bramen. Iets wat Amerikanen niet echt doen te zien aan de struiken! Ohh in in de avond kijken we uiteraard HET debat…

# dag 29: Vandaag zijn we door vrienden van onze huiseigenaren meegenomen naar de farmers market in Bellingham… Na afloop hebben we met deze aardige mensen geluncht in de oudste brouwerij van de stad!

# dag 27 & 28: Even wat wildlife gespot op het strand… 😛

# dag 26: Vandaag hebben we visite uit Chilliwack en Nederland :). We hebben genoten van een heerlijke zalm… Supergezellig en nooit gedacht dat wij in Blaine (of all places) nog eens tante Gerrie zouden tegen komen!

# dag 25: Prachtig weer dus tijd voor een strandwandeling met onze oppashond Mocha!

# dag 24: Koken en alles wat daarbij hoort vinden we allebei erg leuk… nu we weer een eigen huis hebben zijn we maar meteen begonnen met oogsten van de eigen tuin 🙂

# dag 22 & 23: Na een lange reis zijn we aangekomen in Blaine, Washington. Gelukkig zijn we te voet de grens overgegaan, wat ons zeker 2 uur tijdswinst opleverde. Hier in dit prachtige huis met uitzicht op de zee verblijven we de komende 3 weken en zorgen we voor Mocha, een prachtige hond.

# dag 21: Vandaag meegelift met Joanne en Bart naar Victoria… Heel maf zo’n lift aan de andere kant van de wereld! Een mooie canyon gezien onderweg en ook een flitsbezoek gebracht aan Victoria…

# dag 20: Een nieuwe uitdaging naar de top van de berg op het eiland: 600 meter stijgen in 1,8 km. Ondertussen maar even geknuffeld met de bomen onderweg om even bij te komen :). Gelukkig maakte het uitzicht alles goed! In de avond gerelaxed in de hot tub en een eigen kampvuur gemaakt op een van de stranden… Dit is SUPERGAAF 😀

# dag 19: Vandaag zijn we naar Tofino gegaan, een stadje met prachtige stranden ( de mooiste die ik ooit heb gezien ), een regenwoud en veel walvissen… We slapen op Maeres eiland op een camping gerund door indianen.

# dag 18: Vancouver…

# dag 17: Het schilderij is beklommen :)… De tocht naar mount Cheam ging over een forest service road met de nodige hobbels, de 4*4 was geen overbodige luxe. Het uitzicht was super!

# dag 15 & 16: Aangekomen in chilliwack en daar ontvangen door ontzettend aardige mensen. Prachtig huis met een mooi schilderij in het keukenraam: dat vraagt om een uitdaging…

# dag 14: Op naar de top van Mount Revelstoke… Hoewel veel beren in de omgeving hebben wij ze niet ontmoet. Het uitzicht op de andere bergen en op Lake Eva is just fabulous 🙂

# dag 13: Halcyon hot springs… Om er te komen moest de snelweg even een stukje op boot. Het warme bergwater was de reis zeker waard!

# dag 12: Revelstoke, Bear town. We hadden vandaag een laaghangende wolk, we twijfelen een beetje of er echt bergen zijn om ons heen…

# dag 11: Afscheid genomen van ons gastgezin 🙁 en vertrokken naar de Rockies. Vandaag naar de Grassi lakes, Banff en Lake Louise geweest en vanavond aangekomen in het prachtige Revelstoke…

# dag 10: Labour Day in Calgary: meedoen met de stadsbbq, piano spelen voor de toeristen en even opkomen voor de rechten van de vrouw (women are persons… :))

# dag 9: We verblijven op dit moment een gastgezin van de Christian Reformed Church. Nadat we vanmorgen met hen naar de kerk zijn geweest hebben we vanmiddag ‘even’ een wandeling gemaakt in Kannanaskis… Dat was supermooi!

# dag 8: Bye, Ontario, Welkom Alberta… Haha en ja dit mini vliegtuigje vloog ons van Winnipeg naar Calgary 🙂

# dag 7: Toronto!!!

# dag 6: Afscheid van het huis en de honden in st. Catherines. Uiteraard niet zonder een goede voorraad perzikjam. Dat wordt smullen…

# dag 5: Port Dalhousie, een prachtig strand aan Lake Ontario met een carrousel voor 5 cent…

# dag 4: perziken, perziken en nog meer perziken… We beginnen nog eens een bedrijfje.

# dag 3: Op de fiets naar de Niagara falls. Supersportief geweest, we hebben zo’n 80 km gefietst 🙂

# dag 1 & 2: Whaa ons supervette huis voor de komende week. Duizenden perziken, eieren en een eigen groentetuin; welkom in ons kleine paradijs…

# dag 0: Op naar Canada…

# dag -1:  Inpakken maarr… En ja hoor, het past!


# dag -7 en -2: Afscheid ouders & vrienden 🙁