Category Archives: Budget

A Taste of Egypt

My Personal Egyptian Spread In my last cuisine post, food aficionado Mark Wiens asked about a dish he’d tried in Egypt.

Because Saudi’s capital boasts a seemingly endless array of ethnic eats, I inquired about an Egyptian eatery.  I easily came across Al Feshavoy, an authentic Egyptian restaurant.  It’s only half an hour by foot from my hotel.

Cuisine Scenes From Saudi

Enjoying Delicious Saudi Arabian Food Now, after being in Saudi’s capital for just over two weeks, it feels like much longer. Because the Middle East is new to me, I feel like I’ve seen and witnessed so much. Maybe it’s because I’ve never been to this part of the world, and that my introduction to the region is being viewed from its most stringent land.

I’ve learned a handful of Arabic, yet I’m coming to the realization that I may never become fluent. To do that I’d need full immersion. It’s hard to become fully immersed when I’m often conversing with Filipinos who speak Tagalog, or Pakistanis who speak Urdu, and many other foreigners , many of whom have at least a functional knowledge of English.

You Went to Nazca but Didn’t Fly Over the Nazca Lines?

This question has been posed to me a few times.

Nazca is a tranquil little city off the Panamericana, on the desert coast. It’s home to one of the biggest tourist spots in Perú. The Nazca Lines is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Gone are the Hotel Nights That Include Breakfast

25,000 right.”

Actually it’s 35,000.  But that’s with breakfast included.”

I thought: Breakfast is nice.  I read somewhere online that it was 25,000 but . . .  Prices go up.  Bills need to be paid.  It’s not super easy to make a solid living off of running a little place of accommodation.

25,000 Colombian Pesos = $14.  35,000 is $19.50.  I shouldn’t have been spending that much each night in Manizales.  At the time I justified it being a good value because I had my own room and a home cooked breakfast was included.

Peruvian Cuisine

Ages ago I wrote a post entitled Nicaraguan Cuisine. Nicaragua was the first foreign country that I’d started blogging in.  Now, after a drifting escapade through Perú, the ninth land that my virtual publication has seen outside of the US, I’ve decided to dedicate a post to a country’s cuisine again.

There’s a consensus among aficionados in the Americas. Many believe that Perú possesses preeminence in the category of cuisine.

There’s good food everywhere.  But in Perú, it’s easier to find.

Chala to Arequipa: A Bus Passage For the Ages

 I found myself in the small city of Nazca.  This historic city lies about three hours south of Ica and the dunes of Huacachina.    My goal was to get to Arequipa which is about 12 hours south of Nazca.

I am Waiting for the Pictures: Memories From Chan Chan

Upon my arrival at the entry point to the vast Chan Chan ruins along Peru’s northern coast, a guide was trying to sell me a tour.  He wanted 50 soles or $18.73.  I wasn’t sure how to respond.

Ah.  Guided Tour.  Señor.  Muchas gracias.  Muy amable.  But I really prefer to see the ruins on my own.”

I was being totally honest.  I thought:  I like to drift solo and not with a guide if I can help it.

But it’s only 50 solcitos.”

Under the Incan Sun: A Morning Workout and Photo Session in Huacachina

 The goal was to be out at the crack of dawn, when the desert air is at its finest. Due to evening food and internet complications, a whole other story, I got to sleep a bit later than planned.  My body clock finally forced my eyes open just after the sun began its ascent.

I was out the door at 6:25 and on the dune at 6:40.

Dental Tourism in Trujillo

While in Trujillo a few days ago, I came to realize that my last dental cleaning was in Delhi five months ago.

I was on an afternoon mission:  To find a dentist that would clean my teeth for around $20.

I left Casa de Clara for a very short stroll and a right turn before I noticed a dental establishment.

I rang the bell.  A girl popped her head out.   I said something along the lines of:

I’d like to have my teeth cleaned.”

“¿Una limpieza?”

Haquillas, Ecuador to Tumbes, Perú: A Confusing Crossing

I was under the asinine assumption that the border crossing from Huaquillas to Tumbes would be ridiculously smooth like the one from Colombia into Ecuador that I’d crossed five weeks prior.  That super easy crossing conditioned me to think that my next land pass over would be equally as easy.  Oh how wrong I was.

After a six-hour bus ride from the Andean city of Loja to the lowlands of coastal Huaquillas, I retrieved my red backpack from the bus’ conductor and asked him where the border was.  He pointed in one direction and told me to walk straight. After slightly less than a crowded kilometer away, I came to what appeared to be a border crossing between the two countries.