Monday, July 7, 2014

Summer planning...

During these dog days of summer when our travels slow to a snail's pace, ebbing and flowing like a wimpy tide, our minds wander to far off places.  We pull out maps then do the inevitable internet search and find...tada... The World's 8 Best Places to Retire in 2014:

      1. Coronada, Panama~~Monthly budget $1800, rent $600
      2. Languedoc, France~~Monthly budget $2300, rent $800
      3. Ambergris Caye, Belize~~Monthly budget $2000, rent $800
      4. Cuenca, Ecuador~~Monthly budget $1300, rent $500
      5. Chiang Mai, Thailand~~Monthly budget $1100, rent $400
      6. Puerto Vallarta, Mexico~~Monthly budget $2000, rent $700
      7. Granada, Nicaragua~~Monthly budget $1300, rent $500
      8. Medellin, Colombia~~Monthly budget $1800, rent $500
Our studio apt. is part of Villa Delfin

Wow, this stoked our curiosity big time and got us to thinking we might try a month in one of these locations.  We've started to experiment with life outside the motorhome, spending a month in an apartment or condo in foreign locations, like last year's trips to Roatan, Honduras in February, and April's drive down to San Carlos, Mexico. 

We walked down the hill to the beach
We've been to Ambergris Caye and Puerto Vallarta a few times so want to try something different. The Languedoc has always fascinated me since reading The Narrow Dog to Carcassonne and Thailand bodes mysterious and enchanting.  Alas, these locations will have to wait for another year perhaps.

View from our 13th floor San Carlos condo balcony
We had brief stops in Cartagena, Colombia and Panama on our Tall Ship cruise aboard the Star Flyer in 2011, and would like to eventually spend more time on Panama's west coast.  We narrowed our choices down to Granada or Cuenca in countries we've not visited in the Americas.  Next we checked out accommodations on Vacation Rentals By Owner and found both locations very reasonable.  We've also learned over the years that owners are usually amenable to negotiation, especially for extended stays such as a month.  

An overview of San Carlos, MX

I guess in the end our choice of Granada might have been simply its proximity.  Plus the owners live in Vermont and responded to our many questions and did offer us a sweet deal for the month of October.  Here is the web site with photos and overview of our "intown" Granada condo.  We chose the 1 bedroom, lower level, end unit with the infinity pool right out our door.  Croissants, Nicaraguan coffee, and fresh fruit each morning will be a bonus!

Though a couple of hours drive to the Pacific, Granada is situated along the shores of Lake Nicaragua (Cocibolca), the 10th largest lake in the world.  Nearby is the now dormant Mombacho Volcano that blew its top and now forms a lake with the 365 Islets of Granada.  Transportation is cheap so we expect to do much sightseeing.  I envision most early mornings and late afternoon/evenings strolling the short distance into el centro for dining experiences and seeing the sights of this oldest colonial city in Latin America which was founded in 1524, just 9 years before Cartagena.  

Before signing off I should say....No, we're not planning on retiring anywhere at this time and surely not in one place, and not outside the USA, but extended periods of travel in some of these locations does hold a lot of fascination.  And...we have another wonderful motorhome trip planned for August and September! 
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