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Old 08-27-2018   #81
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I don't have a lot of experience with rail travel in Europe but during my visits to Great Britain I have always found rail travel super. I wish we had a better system here in the US.

I purchased my rail passes from Edinburgh to Inverness and Inverness to Glasgow a couple months ago.

And last year while doing the C2C I could not believe how someone was smart enough to actually put a train station in the Manchester Airport. I wonder if we here in the US would have been that smart.
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Old 08-27-2018   #82
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It's difficult to believe it could be worse...

There was a time when you could get off the train, walk a few yards and be on the ferry at (say) Newhaven and then on arrival in France get off the ferry and walk across to the train. Alas, them days is gone...

The train companies seem to be aping the air travel people in jamming in as many as possible and supplying strange food. This old fool can remember the "Flying Scotsman" in the 60's and the Midland Pullman and so on from the 90's. Luckily there's the heritage raitways but sometimes it makes you sad to remember how it was.

Anyway, enjoy Scotland and bring back lots of photo's for us to see.

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Old 09-06-2018   #83
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Well, Scotland is five days away. My wife and I are both looking forward to lower temperatures, rain and greenery which will be a nice break from the desert Southwest. We are still having temps of 95 degrees (35 C) and very little green here in El Paso even though we are over 4100 (1100 meters) above sea level.

Have been told the Whisky Experience in Edinburgh is worth a visit (I am a scotch fan) while the wife is looking forward to her first long distance hike while staying in a nice B&B every night. We are looping Loch Ness from Inverness during the second half of our trip.

Even though I have seven M mount lenses from 25 to 135, I really don't want to haul them all. I am having a hard time deciding between 25/35/90 or 25/50/90. I could also throw in a fast f1.1 or f1.2 but don't see the need with the ISO capabilities of the MP240.

Presently, it will be the MP240 with 25/50/90 and letting the wife use the Fuji X70. And I am thinking of a stop at Ffordes to check out a Leica IIIf or some other screw mount Leica as I have never owned one.

Thanks for all the info and advice on Scotland. I am thinking February, 2019, for my next trip and my wife has never been to Asia. So, SE Asia including Thailand, Cambodia and Vietnam, India or Japan. Or, South America. So many choices.
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Old 09-07-2018   #84
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Worth a look https://www.walkhighlands.co.uk/ also search on youtube, Scotlands Mountains, Renegade Scot, Simon Baxter and Thomas Heaton.
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Old 09-07-2018   #85
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Thanks for the tip on walking highlands but I have been a member for five years. I will check out the other references.
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Old 09-25-2018   #86
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I love the Loch Ness Trail, it's amazing.

Besides you should go to Waverley, enjoy your trip
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Old 09-25-2018   #87
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After watching Biggest Little Railroad, I'm thinking about Scotland too.
Enjoy your trip.


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Old 09-27-2018   #88
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Should travel to some Southest Asian countries like Thailand or Philippines.

The scenes, street food ... are amazing!
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Old 09-27-2018   #89
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I've been to Finland in 2006 for 10 days, when it was still cold there.
Now, with global warming it's tropic.

I've studied Finnish for one year in evening class too. Really nice and funny language to learn.
However, my life got too busy the day I met my wife, and didn't finnish the Finnish class later on...
These days, I had some coworkers from Finland and I liked to hang out with them in my breaks to drink a coffee. But after saying hello in Finnish, I always switched to English.

I'd like to share my photos here, took with a Nikon F401, to get you warm already:
https://www.skyscrapercity.com/showthread.php?t=1902113

I'd like to go back one day to Finland. PRKL !!
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Old 09-27-2018   #90
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nickthetasmaniac View Post
The odd thing about Finnish is ...
Finland is number 1 coffee consuming nation:
https://www.worldatlas.com/articles/...g-nations.html

In Finland the heaviest-drinking 20% of the population drink almost 66% of all alcohol.

Finland is has the highest amount of metal bands per capita:
https://jakubmarian.com/number-of-me...ita-in-europe/

... you'll soon discover other cool rarities when you travel there
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Old 09-27-2018   #91
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I live in both places, but can anyone only recommend to come to Northern Norway and Georgia (Caucasus).
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Old 09-27-2018   #92
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One place?

Indonesia.
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Old 09-27-2018   #93
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Italy, Sardinia: not the coast but the interior. And not during summer.
or the small vulcanic Aeolian Islands, a few miles north of Sicily. Avoiding touristic times. But they are small, not place for long hiking
again a small island in the south of Italy: Pantelleria

Very different from the nordic places you have already been!

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PS: but a trip in Alaska is in my dreams...perhaps and day...
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Old 09-29-2018   #94
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Well, I just returned from Scotland last night and like my previous trips to the UK it was wonderful. My wife loved it. As a quick recap we spent a few days each in Edinburgh, Glasgow and Inverness and then spent 8 days hiking around Loch Ness on the Loch Ness trail and Great Glen Way staying in b&b's each night.

Again, it was my wife's first trip to Scotland and long distance walk. Even with a cold she loved it and wants to go back. It rained on us and temperatures never got much above 60 but she is from Alaska (leaving tomorrow for 3 months in Anchorage) and enjoyed everything (me, I like it a bit warmer).

The only excitement photographically was the loss of my Fuji X70. I loaned it to her and she thought she lost it. Well, we found it at the bottom of her pack after walking all day in the rain so she might as well have tossed it into the loch, it was so wet! I am hoping it may come back to life but not holding my breath. The MP240 worked great (it should for what it cost).
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Old 09-29-2018   #95
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Welcome back, glad you both enjoyed yourselves.

Gentle heat, meaning the top of the computer and so on, might just cure the X70's issues. I has worked with a mobile that fell in a river and a watch for us. Anyway, I'll wish you luck.

Regards, David

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Old 09-29-2018   #96
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Glad you had a great trip!

I did the West Highland Way with everything on my back, and my feet still hurt. Iíll go back and hike like you did next time. Did Absolute Escapes handle the gear movement from place to place?
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Old 09-29-2018   #97
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Sounds like you both had a lovely time …. apart from the X70
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Old 09-29-2018   #98
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Absolute Escapes handles some of the transfer themselves but Loch Ness Travels handled the part of the hike on the Great Glen Way. We were really impressed with the quality of all the b&b's booked by Absolute Escapes (offices in Edinburgh).
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Old 09-30-2018   #99
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ktmrider View Post
Absolute Escapes handles some of the transfer themselves but Loch Ness Travels handled the part of the hike on the Great Glen Way. We were really impressed with the quality of all the b&b's booked by Absolute Escapes (offices in Edinburgh).
Great, thank you!
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Old 09-30-2018   #100
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I will let the X70 sit in the front of my truck for a few days. It is still 90 degrees here in the SW so a good source of heat. I don't care that much about the camera but the SD card still has photos I want so hope that can be salvaged.

Note to self: wife is competent but not good with cameras.
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Old 10-02-2018   #101
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Also, check out Sherpa Adventures out of London. They offer the same services as Absolute Escapes and have a great reputation. I have not done travel with them but they offer trips all over Europe in addition to the UK and Ireland. Absolute Escapes seems to be limited to UK and Ireland.
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Old 12-10-2018   #102
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Had a great time hiking around Loch Ness in September and it appears we may be moving from the US/Mexican border to Anchorage, Ak this coming year (wife's home). She has been there since 1 October and is coming home at the end of the week.

I am actually searching for a travel destination for February or March, 2019. I have been home taking care of pets and the house and now my wife is ready to stay in El Paso for awhile and I am ready to go. It may be someplace warm so thought I would revive this thread.
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Old 12-10-2018   #103
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Visit Sri Lanka

And if you decide to do, pm me and i'll give you all the info you need
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Old 12-10-2018   #104
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I recommend New Zealand, but not from firsthand experience (yet).

I used to let my outdoor activities influence my travel destinations. Caving and climbing has prompted travel to eastern Europe and Russia (mostly Bulgaria), northern Mexico, several states in the U.S. (lincl. Alaska), British Columbia, Wales and England, Ireland (my wife's "homeland"), and Baja (for whale sharks). All wonderful trips to wonderful locations

Next is New Zealand to cave, climb, and photograph with friends.

Also on the list: Argentina, Chile, Spain, and Sweden (visit family). I also dream of visiting Kyrgyzstan, Bhutan, western Australia, Lake Baikal, and Wetzlar, Germany.

I need to retire first. Then the travel can begin in earnest. Right?
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Old 12-10-2018   #105
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I'll suggest Sheffield in England, but make sure it's a really wet, miserable day.

You'll only need to spend a day there but it'll feel like a month.
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Old 12-10-2018   #106
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We did Madagascar a few years ago, very interesting place. There's a lot of sights you won't see anywhere else.
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Old 12-10-2018   #107
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Southeast Asia. Still one (of very few) places in a tourist-dollar-mad world where you get the best value for your travel dollar.

Climbing Everest can be fun (not for me!) when you are 30, but after 65 those snowy hills can be a burden to climb. India is crazy. Pakistan and Bangladesh are no-go's just now. Myanmar too volatile.

Many tourist destinations in SEA are everywhere, and most are truly beautiful, but the costs, wow.

Bangforthebuck places abound in SEA if you think laterally and take the time to do some proper research. Google everything and everywhere.

Now for the important question - where would I go? Whee I go often. Malaysia. To be geographically precise, Sarawak, Brunei and Sabah. Well serviced, civilized cultures, people and comforts. Enough cultural diversity and travel adventures to keep anyone young at heart. Good bus services let you wander around and visit places I would have found difficult in the 1970s when I was younger, fitter, and more prone to wandering about with only a backpack.

When one is 60 or older, good comforts become more important. I use the Ibis and Novotel chain of hotels when I travel and find their rates are pleasantly affordable with a (free for the asking) membership - I'm not a shareholder, just a satisfied guest. Last month I was in Kuala Lumpur and coughed up A$45 for room and breakfast, A$37 in Melaka, Ipoh A$40, Kuching A$50 (hotels cost a little more in Sarawak) - 1980s US prices.

I've been here six times since 2014 and I'll be going back with my partner and friends in March 2019. We'll get around by bus and occasionally hire a car or a river boat for forays to more isolated areas. No orang-outans, that's now too travel-tour touristy for us. Treks, visits to isolated villages, lazy days spent traveling up rivers. Enjoyable and still quite affordable.

Fly to Kuching (the capital city of Sarawak) and explore for a few days. Prepare an itinerary and then wander around Sarawak by bus.

Whether you want to cuddle orang-outans or visit museums and art galleries, Sarawak will satisfy. Brunei is great for an overnight stay and to visit mosques, good food also but no alcohol. Sabah is a small paradise as yet largely undiscovered by the global hordes.

New Zealand is stunningly beautiful but has become tourist-cash-grabby, also overpriced for what's on offer. Australia is gorgeous, travel distances are vast (2500+ miles from Sydney to Perth, east to west coasts) and accommodation costs can be high - in our country town in Tasmania the two local motels are distinctly ordinary and want A$125 a night for their second-tier rooms. Otherwise, very friendly people, eye-melting scenery, excellent food and a brain-boggling array of good wines. Sydney is every US city rolled into one with a stunning harbor. Melbourne every country in Europe linked by trams (streetcars to you).

Wherever you decide to go, when one is retired with good health and a reasonable budget for travel, the world is your oyster. Make the best of it. I am!

Wherever you go, bon voyage.
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Old 12-10-2018   #108
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I've long wanted to go Russia, Germany, Japan and Italy.

For Russia its the facination with the Former Soviet Union and the Cold war, I'm not old enough to have experianced it but still it intrigues me.

Germany and Japan, its the history, the tech, the automotive sides and in Germanys case the beer and in both cases the food.

Italy its the driving roads, alongside photography a good hard drive is what I use to calm me down and I also love italian food and wine.

I'd also like to go back to London and Edinburgh at somepoint, London is easy for me as its only 30 miles its just a case of funds, Edinburgh I could get happliey lost in, I'd pick a hotel at the bottom of the mile and start at the distllery at the top by the Castle and observe the gradual increased blurryness of my photos as I get to the bottom.
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Old 12-29-2018   #109
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I am still looking for a destination in February or March of 2019. The wife does not want to go as she has only been home two weeks in four months. I am thinking about Asia again with special attention to Japan or India.

Now I lived on Okinawa for a year back in the 1970's (Marines) and I spent a month in Nepal about six years ago so I am not a total newbie to either part of that world. India is so big and diverse I am thinking of a Roads Scholar guided tour (never done a group trip) but also feel India is either a country one loves or hates. Am not sure what I would do in Japan but would like to spend a couple days camera shopping.

Other options are motorcycle trip down to Panama or even TDF, a long walk somewhere warm (Malta, Greece, Italy, New Zealand), or the Galapagos.

So, just about anything is on the table but I do prefer a warmer climate as March is kind of marginal.
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Old 01-08-2019   #110
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Well, after talking with my wife I think we will head toward the Lake District and York the first two weeks of April. I did the C2C solo a year and a half ago and was stunned by the scenery in the Lake District but I don't want to do the 93 mile loop described on the Absolute Escape webpage.

I am thinking five or six days in the Lake District and two or three in York. So, I still need advice on interesting destinations around England to round out a two week trip. The trains make travel in England SO easy.
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Old 01-08-2019   #111
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Originally Posted by ktmrider View Post
Well, after talking with my wife I think we will head toward the Lake District and York the first two weeks of April. I did the C2C solo a year and a half ago and was stunned by the scenery in the Lake District but I don't want to do the 93 mile loop described on the Absolute Escape webpage.

I am thinking five or six days in the Lake District and two or three in York. So, I still need advice on interesting destinations around England to round out a two week trip. The trains make travel in England SO easy.
I love York, but I’d say a couple of days would be enough. Time to visit the cathedral, railway museum and generally wander around the place.

How about the Norfolk Broads?

https://www.visitnorfolk.co.uk/explore/Broads.aspx

The North Norfolk coast is also meant to be lovely, though I haven’t been myself, so can’t offer any specific places.
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Old 01-08-2019   #112
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So, I still need advice on interesting destinations around England to round out a two week trip. The trains make travel in England SO easy.
How about a trip on the Channel Tunnel? You could board a train in London. You could also board it near Folkestone, England.

A high school friend of mine, who now lives in London, and who I saw at our high school reunion, told me that people go to Paris for dinner and then return that evening! The Channel Tunnel makes it possible to do this.

So, I am basically saying you could do this for the experience of riding the train across the English Channel. And, it would be an interesting destination around England.
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Old 01-08-2019   #113
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Looks like you've settled on a destination, but my top three choices would be:
  1. South Africa (my wife and I have a family friend who lives there)
  2. Japan
  3. Iceland
I'm sure each one would be an enjoyable trip.
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Old 01-08-2019   #114
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Even though I'm quite happy here in the Southwest desert, I do remember traveling to the US Virgin Islands once. It was a memorable experience. We landed on St Thomas on a "runway" that looked no bigger than a Safeway parking lot. Didn't care for the US islands, so we took a ferry to Tortola in the BVI. They had the most pristine beaches I had ever seen, and many could only be accessed by water.

The locals were friendly, and it was all very low key. They don't get mobbed by the cruise ship crowd on that island. You found accommodations by simply driving around and going up to people's houses and asking if they had a room to rent, w/ or w/o meals. The water was incredible. It was this warm, clean, turquoise/bluish colour. I wanted to move there badly, but no go. You could only stay 6 mos even if you were a British citizen and then they booted you off. The only scheme that would keep you there was if you started a business that did not compete w/ anyone else there, and you hired only local help.

One thing I remember about St Thomas was that you could go out in the water and see and feel where the Caribbean ocean met the Atlantic. The Caribbean was warm and gentle, while the Atlantic was cooler and had a more insistent tug to it. At least I think it was on St Thomas. It's been a long time. Beautiful part of the world. Much more to my liking than the Hawaii islands.

https://www.google.com/maps/uv?hl=en...Q8BUZ052GM99PJ
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Old 01-08-2019   #115
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Not sure if I said this already. But I have something of an interest in experiencing what little remains of traditional Japan. The place the appeals to me specifically in Japan is the Nakasendo Trail one of the old feudal foot highways between Edo (Tokyo) and Kyoto. Which strikes me as being something like stepping back in time.





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Old 01-09-2019   #116
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Thanks for the replies. I will give serious thought to the tunnel idea. As for the Virgin Islands, we lived in Puerto Rico for four years. I spent a lot of time in the Virgin Islands combating drug smuggling and often had my wife and daughter along on the governments dime.

One of my best memories was a high speed boat chase from St Thomas to BVI and while the smuggler's boat was smaller and faster then the US Customs go-fast (could not go through the yacht anchorage at 50kts although the smuggler did), we went ashore at BVI, described the boat to British authorities and they immediately seized the vessel. It turns out the owner/operator was standing trial for smuggling even as he continued to smuggle. Sometimes the good guys do win. And the reason it is such an outstanding memory is that I was usually overhead in the cockpit of an aircraft and rarely got to participate in the "fun" stufff.

And the photos from Japan are beautiful and inspiring.
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Old 01-09-2019   #117
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February? I'm thinking Cuba. Ned Sublette's culture and music tour. Weather should be good. And it's surely sufficiently photogenic.

Otherwise, Japan.
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Old 01-09-2019   #118
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Well, I am thinking early April for the Lake District. And, I wonder if Cuba is not too similar to Puerto Rico.
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Old 01-09-2019   #119
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Well, I am thinking early April for the Lake District. And, I wonder if Cuba is not too similar to Puerto Rico.
Hi,

April might be difficult in England this year; Easter is late and the week leading up to Easter and the week after are usually taken as holidays by schools. This puts pressure on accommodation.

I'd aim for mid May and will add that the 27th May is a Public Holiday and that, again, the schools will be shut for that week and all the world and his wife and dog will be out and about that week...

Regards, David

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Old 01-10-2019   #120
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Dave, maybe school vacations are longer in UK but my calendar shows Easter as 21 April. My dates for UK would probably be last week of March and first week of April. Do you really think stuff would book that early? I plan on being back in the US by 15 April (Income Tax Deadline).
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