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Adventure Travel

Surviving J’ouvert in Trinidad

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When I was first told J’ouvert in Trinidad started at 1am and lasted until after dawn, overlapping with Carnivals 8am start, I immediately said “hell no, I need my sleep!” But of all the events we took part in during Trindad’s carnival celebrations, this was my favourite!!

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Surviving J’ouvert in Trinidad

Generally you should try and buy tickets to play with a band, as early as possible. Because like any popular event, the ticket prices increase as the event rolls in closer. We weren’t this organised. We were umming and arring about whether to play until two days before hand. Lucky for us, a friend of a friend was able to hook us up with Clay tickets!

Along with the ticket we were given a T-shirt, drinking cup and a few other goodies with the promise of unlimited drinks available. We were also told to only wear items that could be thrown in the trash afterwards. Unfortunately for us, we need everything in our suitcases, and certainly did not have ‘old’ shoes available. So, with limited choices, we decided to wear our jandals (or as Trinidadian’s would say – ‘slippers’)!

We had good intentions of going to bed by 6pm the night before, but who were we kidding! It was still light outside and we had a lot of things to organise before our two days of partying would begin. Waking to our alarms at 2am we quickly discovered that most of Trinidad was already in the streets!

After being awake for less than 30 minutes, it was time to get into the groove and start sipping a rum and coke. Then it wasn’t long before people covered in clay from head to toe started passing through the crowd – and that clay was freezing! So, deciding it was better to cover ourselves, than be covered by a prankster passing by, we found the mud truck and began j’ouvert! From that moment on, we were the pranksters pointing at clean people, telling them to get amongst it and get covered in clay. I also learnt why no one else was wearing jandals!! As soon as the clay found its way between my jandal and foot, it was impossible to walk in a straight line, let alone ‘chip down deh road’!!

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Later as the sun started to rise, the paint powder was introduced! Pinks, purples, yellows – there were clouds of it everywhere and I was very quick to learn to keep my mouth closed and shut my eyes when it was flying in my direction.

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By the time 8am rolled around, I was covered from head to toe in clay, paint powder and chocolate sauce! I was stoked when a passer by from another band started pouring chocolate sauce in my mouth, but of course their intentions were not that innocent and I was soon wearing a lot more than I swallowed!

Normally everyone would get hosed down when they reach the final destination of Clay, but I was busting for the loo and not prepared to squat in broad daylight as many Trini girls do. So we headed back to our accommodation and made an amazing mess of the shower before heading to bed for a quick power nap before heading out for Carnival!

Some facts about J’ouvert

Cost: From my research, most j’ouvert bands generally cost about $98 US

When: It takes place on the morning that Carnival begins. For us it was Monday 16th February 2015

Tip: Have some sleep before going, hang a cup around your neck, and be ready to get dirty and have fun!

Note: The pink paint was the hardest to scrub off! It left Moss with pink eyes for the rest of the day and after many washes, my hair is still pink!

Translating the Trinidad lingo

Who would have thought there could be so many new words to learn! Yes every country has their unique names for things, but in Trinidad they might as well not be speaking English, especially with their strong accent! Slippers instead of jandals was easy enough to understand, but then the rest must have been created by someone who was VERY hungry. Drinks and nibbles would normally spring to mind if someone said chip, wine and lime!

Here are the definitions from Wikipedia

  • Chip – a walking shuffle step done to slower soca tunes
  • Wine – a seductive form of dance involving circular or semi-circular movement of the hips especially. Can be done alone, with a partner, or many partners.
  • Lime/Liming – a party or any get-together/to hang out, or (more recently) to date someone

Since May 2014, Rebecca has been wearing out her jandals. She loves anything that involves the ocean whether it be scuba diving, wakeboarding, jet skiing or more recently - sailing! Consider following her via RSS Feed, Twitter and Facebook.

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16 Comments

16 Comments

  1. Lauren

    February 24, 2015 at 1:03 AM

    This looks incredible! I love a good festival and this definitely seems like one with a difference. I’m very jealous!

    • Rebecca Barlow

      February 25, 2015 at 1:53 PM

      Hi Lauren, yes it is certainly different from any festival I have ever taken part in before. I highly recommend it 🙂

  2. podgoran

    February 26, 2015 at 12:58 AM

    Seems like a dust till dawn 🙂 Clay till toes 🙂
    Happy!

  3. louis

    March 11, 2015 at 8:50 AM

    thanks for playing with us this year, glad you had fun….we would love to see some more of your pics

    • Rebecca Barlow

      March 15, 2015 at 5:46 PM

      Thanks Louis, we had an amazing time! I’m afraid all of our pictures taken before sunrise turned our blurry! Such a shame, but it will give us an excuse to go back and celebrate J’ouvert a second time 🙂

  4. Jenny Jaunts

    March 12, 2015 at 2:38 AM

    Looks like an awesome time, guys. I strongly feel the Caribbean is a much overlooked place in the travel world because people just lump it all together and think it’s only as exciting as the all-inclusives, but in reality it is so full of life, Carnival, and good food and drink. Thanks for sharing!

    • Rebecca Barlow

      March 15, 2015 at 5:43 PM

      Hi Jenny, yes you are so right. The Caribbean is amazing, and each island has its own culture and traditions! I look forward to exploring more of it!

  5. Jess

    March 16, 2015 at 4:28 AM

    Wow, I see true madness there, so you changed my plan for this year.
    Somehow I want to go there this summer to live the same experience.

    • Rebecca Barlow

      March 18, 2015 at 3:44 AM

      That’s awesome Jess! You will have an amazing time

  6. Neha

    March 17, 2015 at 4:27 AM

    This festival is similar as in India hindu peoples are also playing with colors and they called it “Holi” so i want you also to come India and play with us.

    • Rebecca Barlow

      March 18, 2015 at 3:39 AM

      O wow! I look forward to experiencing Holi one day!

  7. Jonathan Look, Jr.

    March 25, 2015 at 3:38 PM

    I am in! 2016. Even with the early hours. It looks so amazing and your photos look like something from the Holi Festival in India! (next year too!)

  8. Rona

    March 27, 2015 at 10:28 AM

    This is an exciting trip. I’ve tried similar activity in India and it was so festive with very colorful powder scattering all over the place.

  9. Noel

    March 28, 2015 at 9:57 AM

    Such a festive event! I also visited J’ouvert last year and I had a very great experience. I enjoy my trip because I no longer experience jet lag.

  10. Adam

    June 30, 2015 at 8:26 AM

    Trinidad is such a unique place in the Caribbean … gotta go someday soon!

  11. Christian

    July 4, 2015 at 12:25 AM

    Looks fun! Haven’t experience that kind of street party. I might go to Trinidad next year!

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Adventure Travel

Skin-Care Rules to Always Follow When You Travel

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With the holiday season nearly upon us, most of us are hit with a bout of wanderlust. Traveling will take us to different places, and these places likely have completely different climates from what we are used to. Nobody wants to have a skin breakout or any other type of skin problem during vacation. To prevent this problem, this article will give you Skin-care rules to always follow when you travel.

Every time you step on a plane, your skin is exposed to a whole different condition. You are plagued by stale, dry, circulated air that can do wonders to your skin (in a bad way, of course). And that is just your flight. Your actual vacation can be a nightmare for your skin. From weird hotel products to bad sunscreen, to stress from forgetting stuff at home or from family members and a host of other problems.

Thankfully, there are things you can do to keep your skin looking great despite the challenges of travel.

  1. Drink Water…a lot of water

Staying hydrated is extremely important. Being hydrated inside and outside is one of the most important skin routine tips at all times, even when you are not on vacation.

The switch from a hot to a cold climate or from a hot to cold climate can cause skin dryness and irritation among other things. Even the air on the plane is dry and can sap all the moisture from your skin. Therefore, make sure your drink a lot of water. That would keep you hydrated inside.

For your skin, you should liberally apply moisturizers to keep your skin looking radiant and beautiful.

  1. Use Sunscreen

Next to staying hydrated, sun protection is one of the most important routine for your skin type.  While travelling, you should be extra diligent about your sunscreen.

It might sound strange, but you should apply sunscreen even while on the plane. Why? Because you are in a metal container 10,000 feet close to the sun. In fact, you are likely to get a sunburn while in a plane than on the ground. You might want to close the shades, but others might want of view. Hence take precautions and apply the sunscreen.

When you are travelling, it can be easy to forget to use sunscreen, or you might run out of sunscreen. You can go the extra mile by setting a reminder on your phone either to use sunscreen or buying a new one before the current one runs out.

  1. Use Minimal Makeup

During your vacation, leave out heavy foundations and other heavy makeup products. If you are traveling to a location with extreme weather, your makeup will wear off fairly easily. This not only leaves you looking silly, but the heavy makeup can clog the pores of your skin and result in breakouts.

If you choose to use makeup at all, use breathable makeup. Preferably it should be water-resistant and offer protection from hot climates.

  1. Take your facial cleanser and moisturizer along with you

To keep your face looking great even in extreme climates, your facial cleanser and moisturizer are very important. The daily cleanser helps to clean impurities on your face, while the moisturizer will feed your skin with the important nutrients required to keep it healthy during the duration of your trip.

  1. Use trusted products

Trying out new products is fun, but you should be very careful doing this while on vacation. The change in climate is enough stress on your skin. If you add new products to your skin, you might be increasing the stress on it. Invariably, this might lead to skin breakout and other issues.

Therefore, stick to what your skin is familiar with. When you go back home, you can try out new products. To make it easier to keep using your familiar products, you can buy travel-sized versions of your moisturizer, lotion, cleanser and other stuff.

  1. Have a medical emergency kit

This should contain smoothening calamine, aloe vera potion and other things that can be used in case of skin emergencies.

To enjoy your trip, no matter where that might be, follow these skin-care rules. Your skin will thank you for it!

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Adventure Travel

Scottsdale – Come for the Sights, Stay for the Experience

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Scottsdale, Arizona is one of the most popular destinations in the Grand Canyon State. Known for its resorts, natural trails, and association with nightlife, the city has become a must visit for anyone who wants to experience contemporary life in a former desert.

Scottsdale is very famous for its modern hospitality and geographical sights. Keeping this in mind, it wouldn’t be surprising to know that finding a Scottsdale nightclub is on the minds of many tourists who pay the city a visit – even those who do so to explore one of its mountainous ranges.

If you are planning to head down to the Copper State anytime soon and enjoy life, then Scottsdale may prove to be a great summer destination.

To help you understand what the city would have to offer in terms of recreation, here are some of the top Scottsdale vacation and dining options that make the West’s Most Western Town, a must visit.

Old Town Scottsdale

Old Town Scottsdale is perhaps the most popular destination in the city. With its unique lineup of culturally rich events, this colorful area has a vibe that defines old West meeting its modern counterpart to a T.

While Scottsdale remains famous for its modern nightlife, club scene, and luxurious resorts, Old Town Scottsdale brings about the old Western charm for tourists to experience firsthand. Old architecture, preserving museums, and cultural activities are just a few of the many things that you could experience at this destination.

With an array of fine dining restaurants that prove to be the best in the state, you could grab a bite in luxury after roaming around in the sun.

And if you feel a bit more adventurous, then you could do that exploration while riding on a Segway instead of using your good old feet. With plenty of Segway tours being conducted each day, you will easily be able to find something that suits your schedule.

Taliesin West

As the winter home to famed architect Frank Lloyd Wright, Taliesin West boasts of an unmatched architectural design.

Now a museum, the destination doesn’t only showcase the building in all of its glory, but also offers insights into Wright’s work and his mind through detailed tours of the facility.

It is due to these reasons that Taliesin West ranks as one of the topmost destinations to visit in Scottsdale among many professional guides.

Since the building or its experience cannot be replicated elsewhere, it remains a must visit for whenever you are in Scottsdale.

Scottsdale Fashion Square

Want to visit the biggest shopping mall in Arizona? You would find it to be located in the heart of Scottsdale.

With around 2 million square feet of shopping space, the Scottsdale Fashion Square is one of the biggest malls in the whole country. Made up of high end, luxury retail locations, it is literally the one stop shop for upscale items that you may not find elsewhere in the city. With that, the mall holds plenty of fine dining locations as well. What more could you want from a shopping destination, really?

Due to its modern inventory and access to high fashion, the Scottsdale Fashion Square could be a must visit before you hit the popular nightclub scene of the city. Whether you are finding some club wear or just want to spruce up your existing outfit with some Loboutins, this mall would provide you with plenty of choices and fun to boot.

Scottsdale Has Something for Everyone

Depending upon your personal preference, Scottsdale has plenty to offer.  Whether you want to indulge in the city’s party scene or just explore its natural history, you would find that the destination has something for everyone.

So the next time that you are about to visit the Wild West, don’t forget to put Scottsdale at the top of your list. You won’t be disappointed with what you get to work with.

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Adventure Travel

5 Fun Adventure Activities in Vietnam

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A stunning country with glorious scenery and an amazing culture, Vietnam offers many attractions for the modern tourist. It would be easy to spend a holiday in Vietnam just sightseeing and immersing yourself in the culture – which thanks to a heavy French influence, is different to its South Eastern Asian neighbours – but why pass up on some of the fun adventure activities in Vietnam?

Sandboarding

Also called sand surfing, sandboarding is an extreme sport, exactly like snowboarding, but on sand dunes instead of snow. Regularly named among the best sandboarding destinations in the world, are the Mue Ne Dunes. A series of red dunes around the resort town of the same name, sandboarding has not yet hit the professional heights here but is more of a fun cultural experience. Women in cone hats rent out boards to everyone from kids to saffron-robed Buddhist monks.

Mue Nie is also home to the magical Fairy Stream. This small shallow river winds through moon-like rock formations and is fun to walk through. You can watch the fish as you walk up to two kms in the water or you might try your hand at fishing. You’ll need some basic tackle including rod and reels. Check out these great options for beginners.

Take on Mount Fansipan

Nicknamed “the Roof of Indochina”, Fanispan at 3,143 metres is the highest mountain in the region. Located in Sapa, a town in the Lao Cai province in Northern Vietnam, the mountain can be conquered via two main climbing routes, one categorised as 2D1N, the other a longer 3D2N route. Both climbs require a guide. For those who prefer an easier way to the summit, the Fanispan cable car takes just 15 minutes to achieve what climbers do in 2-3 days, travelling on cables high above primitive forests.

Ride a Motorbike from Ho Chi Minh to Hanoi

One of the enduring images of Vietnam is the streets of Ho Chi Minh crowded with motorbikes, but motorbikes are also popular outside the cities and Vietnam has become known for some amazing motorbike routes. One of the favourite journeys is from Ho Chi Minh to Hanoi. There are various routes to cover the distance of more than 2,000 kms, all taking you through gorgeous scenery and fascinating towns and villages.

Marble Mountain Rappelling Tour with Temple and Cave Exploration

You might think that abseiling down a vertical rock face is for experienced adrenalin junkies but not so on a rappelling tour in the Marble Mountains in Vietnam. Located just north of the popular resort city of Hoi An, the Marble Mountains are known locally as the “Five Elements Mountains”. Tours start in the city and once in the mountains, all equipment and instruction is provided to complete at least two rappels (depending on the tour company you choose). Besides the rappelling, the tours have spectacular views of the coast and include trekking through the mountains, visiting caves and temples

Canyoning

Canyoning is a thrilling adrenaline rush of an adventure sport wherein you jump into a fast-flowing mountain stream and allow yourself to be carried at high speed downstream. The most popular place for canyoning in Vietnam is Dalat. Dalat is in the Central Highlands and is a lovely resort town near a lake becoming renown as a destination for honeymoons as well as the adventure sports of cliff jumping, waterfall rappelling, natural water slides, and hiking, as well as canyoning. Various companies offer canyoning tours in Dalat all at similar prices for similar itineraries, so just choose which appeals most.

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Meet Cole and Adela

Cole and AdelaWe have been wearing out our jandals (Kiwi for flip-flops) on our travel adventures around the world since 2009. We think our blog is thought provoking and a little witty. But we have been proven wrong before. Find out more about us here...

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