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Denise&Paul STL

Nature Cruising

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I've seen the NEOs before-seems like an interesting idea. I've heard they are expensive and not very sturdy. If I know it's not going to be really cold I sometimes take a crummy pair of tennis shoes and just slog through whatever, then toss them and the ruined socks. I can't donate my rubber boots; it took forever to find a pair that would fit my feet and aren't so heavy I can't walk. Thank goodness for Tractor Supply-good boot selection! I always bring back coffee. February last year I stayed on an organic coffee farm on top of a mountain in Nicaragua. That was interesting; driving on roads that are more pothole than pavement was a challenge, but there were almost no other cars on the road-buses and trucks, but the people can't afford cars.

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I use my neos mostly for pre-work birding...to protect my legs a shoes from moisture and mud. I have not really tried them out in rugged conditions.

 

How was the birding in Nicaragua?

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Actually I didn't see anything I hadn't already seen in Costa Rica, Panama, Honduras or Guatemala. But the people were wonderful, the scenery was beautiful and I think if it is birded by more skilled birders who have longer to visit,it is likely that some good lists could be put together. Not many birders go there. It was the only place I've visited that the guidebooks say to stay on the paths because of possible unexploded land mines! We were in the mountain areas that some of the rebels had used as headquarters during the war. I would go back-not so much for the birding, but for the experience and because the people were great and they could definitely use the tourist money. Debby

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Well...our summer plans have changed radically, and instead of taking a med cruise with some additional touring of Italy and Greece, we are going on a 14 day Alaska cruise. Probably won't see any "new" birds or animals, but we will take several birding and whale watching excursions. I am especially excited about seeing St Lazaria Island in Sitka to see the puffin colony, as well as doing some orca watching by zodiac in Victoria.

 

My son has a new Panasonic digital camera...with 18x zoom and 1.7x teleconverter; not all that expensive, and seems to take some pretty nice pictures, especially in brighter light, so we hope to have some nice photo ops along the way.

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Whale-Watcher - which line will you be going on? Is it a cruise or a cruisetour? Where else will you be stopping? Sounds very interesting!

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We are cruising on the Tahitian Princess. It is round trip out of Vancouver, so no land tour this time, but stops include Ketchikan, Glacier Bay, Skagway, Valdez, Seward, Kodiak, Juneau, Sitka, and Victoria BC. We thought the fare (for balcony cabins) was really reasonable for a 14 day cruise, and we are hoping to have a chance of some more interesting alcids in Kodiak as well (Parakeet auklets). There is also a chance of seeing sperm whales on our sea day between Kodiak and Juneau.

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Wow, I've never heard of a 14-day cruise to Alaska that wasn't partly land (at least not on the typical cruiselines).

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It's a new itinerary for this year...we are looking forward to seeing a few new ports, as well as enjoying some of the excursions we missed in the "big three" ports last time we went.

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