Geyser At Secret Lagoon

We loved our visit to Secret Lagoon in Iceland and one of the best parts is the geyser! Iceland is so volcanic, and Secret Lagoon is one of those places definitive of this activity.

About Secret Lagoon

For those don’t know, Secret Lagoon is the oldest swimming pool in Iceland. Located in the south, just 90 minutes drive east of Reykjavik, Secret Lagoon is a top tourist spot. Visitors can soak in the pool and explore the grounds with lots of geothermal activity. There’s even a bar there!

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Off Road Driving in Iceland

Our Road Trip

We got a camper van with 4 wheel drive for one important reason: to leave the ring road, Iceland’s main drag, for some adventures! Some of our most fun times included off road driving in Iceland.

Nothing against Iceland’s Ring Road: it takes you to the country’s most well-known spots, including waterfalls and hot springs. But. We want to go off-the-beaten path, to parks that are harder to get to. So we have a 4WD and we are using it!

Camper van with 4WD Iceland
Our campervan in Iceland

Off Road Driving in Iceland Video

This was us crossing a river yesterday. We had fun! I am not going to lie, we were a little bit hesitant at first, me more than Brian, but we made it through that river twice.

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A Bogota Bike Tour And the Food to Fuel It

Today was a beautiful day in Bogota, so we experienced the city on two wheels with a Bogota bike tour.

Biking in Bogota

Sunday is a big day for cyclists in Bogota Colombia because they close the streets to cars. You heard me right! A big chunk of main streets in Bogota are shut down for pedestrians and cyclists for Ciclovia, and we wanted to be part of it! Since we don’t travel with bikes, we participated in a bike tour with Bogota Bike Tours. For 35,000 COP (less than $16 Canadian), we got a 5 hour ride around the city with a lot of facts and fun!

Fuel for the Bike Tour

The best way to get ready for a bike tour is to eat! Since we didn’t eat dinner last night because of our massive lunch, we stopped at a street with lots of Colombian restaurants. We wanted an authentic breakfast and got it at La Puerta de La Tradicion. We consumed coffee, a milk soup called changua (which was delicious) and chorizo. The food was good, the service was too, and from there it was a quick walk to the bike shop.

Bogota Bike Tour

The English language bike tour left around 10:40am from Bogotá Bike Tours and took us approximately 8KM around the city, with a lot of stops along the way.

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A Trip to Tolu

For my last weekend on my own, I wanted to explore the country around Cartagena. I looked in my Lonely Planet for ideas of a weekend getaway. Then I read it – 2 hours by bus to the south and a cute little beach town called Tolu! Sold! I took a trip to Tolu.

Planning for Tolu

I booked a hostel for Friday night in Tolu and packed my bag. Another independent adventure in Colombia! I couldn’t wait.  And when I learned the school was closing at 1pm on Friday, I was even more excited. I could catch an earlier bus and check out the seaside town before nightfall.  Fun!

Bus Ride to Tolu

The 2 hour bus ride turned out to be almost 4 (we left late and then got stuck behind something without moving for 40 minutes), so I missed the sunset. The bus leaves from the Terminal Transporte in Cartagena, supposedly every hour. I got to the terminal at 1:45P, was told the bus was at 2:30p and it left at 2:45p. The cost itself is very cheap, only 30,000 COP each way ($13.50 CAN, $10.50 US). The bus is air conditioned, has WIFI, reclining seats and shows movies. I am told this is standard for the distance bus services in Colombia. Not bad! I just wish it had been faster.

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Hanging with the Hostel Crowd at Petronio

After the cancelled tour and troubles with Avianca, I’ll admit I was feeling a little down yesterday evening. I didn’t want to spend my Saturday night in Cali alone, so I did what I came to a hostel to do: went downstairs and grabbed a beer and started talking to people in the lobby. Within ten minutes, my plans for the night were set: Petronio Music Fest with about ten 20-somethings from all over the globe who were visiting for the festival itself. Being a solo traveler, you have to put yourself out there and when I did I got to spend my Saturday night hanging with the hostel crowd at Petronio.

Petronio Festival

Yes, I got lucky and came to Cali during an amazing free festival called The Petronio Álvarez Afro-Colombian festival. It is held in a large sports complex across town and includes free live music and a huge food tent and today is the last night. So you see how good my timing is!?

The Music

I have been to a lot of music festivals, and this one was a great new experience. I saw 4 different musical acts last night, starting with the incredible Pacifico Sinfonico, a Colombian symphony orchestra.

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