Have I mentioned that I like zip lines? I’m going to put my affinity for them along with waterfalls and sky cars. Here is the list of the top 4 lines in the world and so far I’ve done #1, 3,4.
Getting to Toroverde will require some driving or booking a tour, and it is definitely not going to be cheap either way but It is not hard to get to Orocovis from San Juan – the roads are quite good.. However, if you’re going to drive, it will actually cost you more in terms of gas than a non-subsidized tour price.
A couple things about Toro Verde
From the picture above there are 8 different zip lines and The Beast. I could say a lot more and describe La Bestia to you in many words, but if a picture tells 1000 words, then think about what a 4 minute video will tell you about the ride.
Here is the pre prep to get on the Beast …
This is the flight … on such a long ride, they don’t want to risk you being stuck, hence you’re paired with one of the guides and you do a little race. This is one ride where the more mass you have, the better you will do.
I always have a tough time finding stuff to do in San Francisco … NOT! Here is a love list completely copied from the San Francisco CS group. I always get asked for lists of things to do in all the cities I’ve visited … so this is a start to those lists. Who said that you can’t find anything to do on a Monday night … well it’s tough if you live in a crappy city … true story!
After the last couple of years of working and travelling, I’ve met a lot of people on the road. Typically, once I’ve told them about where and how much I’ve travelled, I get responses and questions in the following ilk
To most people, they think that I have the best job in the world. Essentially, I get paid to travel and I happen to work on the side (Well this is the way I tend to look at things, even though the reality of 70hr work weeks with three day weekend trips is much closer to the truth). Of course, who wouldn’t want to get paid to travel the world? Right?
That being said, most people with those response above, also only think about the good side. To most non consultants, I’ve stopped trying to explain what I do for a living and I’ve also basically stopped explaining why I travel. Now, I rarely ever mention it when I meet people unless I know the person is extremely interested in travelling. My lifestyle isn’t all roses and I hate the gushing. The grass is always greener on the other side.
When I first started really travelling a couple years ago, I did it with selfish and rather shallow desires in mind:
Then it evolved into trying to be a travel writer. I wanted my name in guidebooks … to be an expert at something … for people to say that I was an expert at “XYZ Pigeon Shooting” or something else. Of course, after speaking and chatting with guidebook authors and travel writers, I quickly realized that for the vast majority of them, it was a life of penury and considerable struggle. It dawned on me that their jobs weren’t these phenomenal jet setting adventures that I visualized but instead it was a melange of long hours, tight deadlines, last minute travelling and demanding micro managers aka Editors. That vision quickly changed to say the least.
There is a great quote by Susan Sontag that goes like this :
Boredom is just the reverse side of fascination: both depend on being outside rather than inside a situation, and one leads to the other.
I think when you travel for a long time, the same can be said about long-term travel. There are many wonderful things I’ve learned while travelling but it does provide a paradox of sorts. Nowhere else will you learn as much about yourself as when you’re in a tiny cafe in Morocco or any country, surrounded by laughter and strangers, completely alone yet with everyone. Long term travel is a very lonely existence in many ways.
Being on the road offers you the chance to see new places, experience new cultures, make new friends, and learn about yourself. However being on the road also means that your relationships will suffer … whether it’s with your BFF, partner, parents or just regular day to day friends.
These days when I’m on the road, I really have no inclination on meeting people anymore. There was a time where I was excited to meet as many people as I could … listen and learn from their stories and experiences. I’m done with the general phase now. I’ve learned that every hello comes with a goodbye. You meet new people and they can be friends with you for a day, week, month or years … but as a traveller, you will naturally have to say goodbye, because you’ll be on to your next destination, as will they.
One becomes numb to new people, since it’s just another useless entry into your Facebook friend list … someone who might be a great contact, if you ever cross paths again. Despite the best intentions and Facebook, you know that 95% of the people you say goodbye to, you’ll never see again. Your life is filled with 24-hour friends who made that brief stop over great, but are soon gone. Who wants a life filled with that?
I’m also tired of a lot of things … which is sad. So many things have become yet another “one of those ..”. I’ve gotten
Yes!!! I know these are #FIRSTWORLDPROBLEMS!!
That 100th church, 100th waterfall, 40th hostel, 800th bus ride, 600th bar… it’s not the same after a while. It loses its charm and luster. Travel becomes unexciting. Ask any traveler – at some point, they hit that point where they are sick of traveling. They just need a few days or weeks to recharge their batteries. After all these years, I move a lot slower than I used to. I’m in no rush now. If I want to spend 12 hours out sightseeing, I can, but I tend to be out for a few hours and just relax the rest of the time. After all, I’ll be wherever I am for a while. Slow travel is better travel, and it fights the “just another” syndrome. But even still, travel can become exhausting, and there are times you never want to see anything with the word “historic” in front of it ever again. Some days I just want to spend a week in front of my computer watching moves and TV.
Long-term travel takes a certain type of person to enjoy. You need to be independent, you need to be able to spend lots of time alone, you need to be flexible, and you need to be able to deal with constant change. Eventually, I’ll find the answers. I don’t think people can move forever unless they are trying to escape something.
For now, I’ll just continue enjoying the process of making my Chicken Soup at home.
There are very few places in the world where I actually think that a morning jog would be awesome, especially since this Trini does not do the “cardio ting”. That being said, I think if there was a stretch of beach that would inspire a run, it would be America’s finest and most reliable treadmill : Magens Bay. It’s a heart shaped, one mile stretch of gorgeous white sand, easy waves and picture perfect tourist brochure charm.
Everyone talks about Magens Bay, it’s kinda like how we talk about Maracas Bay, except that Magens Bay is prettier, less over run with tourists and doesn’t have tons of shacks selling stuff now.
As for Magens Bay, there is very little to explain that a couple pictures wouldn’t do a lot better. Thankfully, our local guy Kurt got us into the Bay area without paying (I’ll leave that to the Americans ) . The pictures show the view sweeping from right to left and as you can see, it’s pretty difficult to take a bad picture on this beach with the combination of white sand, turquoise waters and great foliage.
If walking the beach isn’t your thing … (I don’t know if that’s really possible) … you can also have some spectacular views from the mountaintop, which is a short drive uphill.
You can walk in free and you don’t have to buy any of the tourist crap that they have on offer. Additionally, you can feel free to ignore the “Banana Daiquiris” that they have on offer. Whether or not, this was where the Banana Daiquiri was invented, it’s like drinking a Singapore Sling at Raffles Hotel … completely touristy and overrated.
Mountaintop was completely rebuilt after it burned to the ground, and the all new structure is definitely an improvement … there was a local story about the owners actually setting it on fire because they were losing money with the old arrangement of sharing the location with other people, but this is all rumor and hasn’t been proven – just a curious rumor.
As for the view, you can see many of the surrounding islands and is just breathtaking. You’ll have to take a taxi, since it’s much too far from the cruise ship docks to even consider hiking.
If you feel like skipping the Mountaintop, then you can get the same view just a little further up the hill and around the corner …
However the trip on the beaten path to Magens Bay is still completely worth it, no matter how much of a cliche it is, it’s still a must see when you’re in St. Thomas, tell them Rishi sent you.