A Travellerspoint blog

The final post...

Sadly, this will be our final blog entry. We are home from our trip and are trying not to get overwhelmed with unpacking our bags, moving back into our house, going to work, and all of the other responsibilities we have avoided for the past 8 months. And besides, our life is a lot less interesting now and not noteworthy enough of a blog!

Every once in a while when I think of something new in our lives, I think, "I should write about this in our blog!" And then I give my head a shake and realize that I'm back in Canada doing what normal Canadians do and whatever I was thinking about is really not that interesting to anyone else, just me. So we would like to end on a high note and not bore you with the less interesting comings and goings of our lives.

But for those of you who want a little more, we are planning to do a slide show sometime early in June to tell our stories and show our pictures, all 7,000 of them. Just kidding, I promise that it will be no longer than an hour. I'll send a message out on facebook and a message here on our blog once we have a time and place selected. We are also doing a slide show at the Unitarian Church Sunday, June 27th for our Unitarian followers (ie. Dave's mom's friends) and I'll be doing a lunch-time slide show at work June 11.

I did a numerical summary of our trip that I think you will find interesting.

Adding it all up
Number of nights away from home = 250
Number of countries = 7
Number of towns visited for more than 1 day = 35
Number of hotel rooms = 42
Number of beaches visited = 29
Number of beaches surfed= 21
Number of buses taken = 21
Number of buses rides shared with a chicken = at least 2
Number of boats = 13
Number of flights = 23
Number of photos taken = about 7000
Number of yoga classes = 54
Number of doctor visits = 6 (4 were to the Optometrist for pink eye)
Number of migraines = 5
Number of vomit episodes = 10 (8 were car or bus related)
Number of things lost = too many to count but nothing important
Number of things stolen = nothing as far as we know
Number of blog entries = 105
Most popular blog entry had 878 hits
Average number of hits = about 500
Page views = 25,442 (this is a count of the total number of times the blog was opened)

How much did it all cost?
International flights = $11,000
Day to day travel costs = $29,000
Our experiences = priceless

This may sound like a lot to shell out but it is pretty close to the amount that we would have spent just living in Edmonton for the same period of time. I went shopping yesterday to restock our fridge and to buy a lawn mower and spent over $600! That is equivalent to 1 week of living expenses or 2 months rent in Nicaragua!

We would like to thank everyone for following our travels. Counting the number of people who read our blog, inspired us to write about more things more often. We spent hours each week uploading photos and drafting stories. We do intend to take the blog and turn it into a book (for a keepsake, not for sale) though it would be nice to find a way to fund another trip one day....

Here is our contact information if you would like to get in touch with us. We are also on facebook.

home: 756-8276
cell: 200-8276
email: audrey.inouye@gmaildotcom
email: chachi.hamar@gmaildotcom

Peace and love,
Dave, Audrey, Taro and Kiyoshi

I will leave you with some final photos that were taken by a friend that we met along the way.



Posted by McNouye 21:52 Archived in Canada Comments (3)

How did the kids do?

In one word, amazing. They both adjusted extremely well to the climate, food, people, everything. The only time we had difficulty was when we were in a big city. It was too difficult to let them run around freely. We had to watch them so closely all the time that it was stressful for us too. This limited some of the cultural things that we could do, but we still had loads of fun on the beaches.

While we were away, as you would expect, the kids learned many things that they may not have learned at home. Here is a list for you.

Both kids learned...
To count to 10 in three different languages (Indonesian, Thai and Spanish).
Greetings in three languages.
To swim and snorkel.
How to ask for the bill in Spanish.
How to flag down a cab.
That the tides go up and down.
That motorcycles drive on the road and the sidewalk.
Tree pose.
How to sleep in a different bed every night.
Where bananas, coconuts, mangos and pineapples grow.
A few dozen words in Spanish.
The difference between good water and bad water.
How to structurally engineer about a million different lego vehicles.
How to recite most of our books almost word for word.
Carry on a conversation with complete strangers.
What geckos eat and about all kinds of bugs like praying mantis, ants, beetles, mosquitos etc.
Where and how other people live in the world.
How to nap, pee and pooh when you need to where ever you are.
To recognize when they are going to throw up.
You can eat helado (ice cream) everyday even when your mother is a nutritionist.
How to say Gracias in Thai.
That you have to put toilet paper in the garbage because it plugs the toilet.

Taro learned a few more things too
How to use the ipod better than his mother.
How to boogey board.
How the Panama Canal works and why they built it.
How to collect all kinds of crabs without injuring them.
How to identify barracuda, shark, red snapper.
How to take the sting out of a jelly fish bite.
Not to walk under a palm tree and why.
How a crater lake is formed.
That bats, kinkajous and owls are nocturnal.
About Buddha and Jesus.
How to paddle a kayak.

And so did Kiyoshi
To stay off the road.
How to be very gentle with animals.
How to eat pad thai without chewing it.

With that said, I will leave you with an excerpt from Patti's blog (http://rymansatlarge.travellerspoint.com/) about their experiences parenting their kids while traveling. This hit the nail so squarely on the head for us, I couldn't have said it better myself...

When the kids were managing beautifully and the traveling was easy, we thought about what excellent parents we were for showing them the world and spending so much time in their company: 24/7 for 6.5 months. It was harder to be smug when they fought non-stop, resisted home-schooling, threw up on their shoes and missed their friends. And when occasionally we found ourselves in physically dangerous situations with them, we were appalled at the poor judgment that had caused us to drag them halfway around the world just so they could possibly die in a fiery bus or motorcycle crash.

Posted by McNouye 10:18 Archived in Canada Comments (0)

And now...a word of thanks.

snow 3 °C
View Bali,Thailand, Canada, Costa Rica, Columbia on McNouye's travel map.

Look out. The McNouye's are back!
Before we left on our grand journey, Audrey spent many a nights up awake wondering if we were doing the right thing. What if the kids got sick? What if we lost them? What if they were kidnapped for ransom? What if they got in an accident? Doing this as a single person or just as a couple is one thing, but having kids complicates things.

We did our best to mitigate her fears through reading and buying things that would provide some security. The purchases included car seats, necklaces with the kids names on them, and proximity monitors that would go off if the kids got too far from us. All of these devices definitely lowered the anxiety of going on the trip, but did not remove it entirely.

It did not help when we came across a Canadian government pamphlet with the disturbing title, “International Abductions” (the pamphlet deals exclusively with parents taking their children away from their spouses). We also had read that the hospitals were not so good in our first destination, Bali, which fortunately turned out to be not the case.

Yes, we had one visit to the emergency room, but that could have happened anywhere. Sure Kiyoshi got ringworm and we all had pink eye, but overall we were healthier in the last eight months than we would have been in an Edmonton winter. No one was abducted, no car accidents, and no one got lost (for more than five minutes). All in all it was a roaring success.

It is fitting that I am finally writing this on mothers day, as I been thinking about this post since we left. We are back. We took our kids on a crazy 8 month adventure half way around the world and all made it back alive. Thank you my love for being my travel partner and the planner on the trip. Thanks for putting your fears aside and embarking on this grand voyage with me.

We did it. We all made it home safe and sound and we are better than we were when we left.


Posted by McNouye 19:31 Archived in Canada Tagged family_travel Comments (3)

Laguna D'Apoyo


Thanks to a few great recommendations, we decided to spend our final three days at the Monkey Hut in a place called Laguna D'Apoyo. Laguna D'Apoyo is an old mountain that erupted and then formed a bowl. It looked like someone just scooped it out and filled it with water.

Here is a nice photo of the whole lake.

They had no spoons so the kids had to eat their cereal with a spatula and serving spoon.

What a lovely morning view.

It was a great place to spend our last few days. We also took a day trip and went to Granada which is described as the Belle of the Ball of Nicaragua. There were lots of pretty coloured buildings and lovely churches. We decided to rent bikes for the day and bike to a park on Lake Nicaragua. It was really fun despite getting caught in the rain and having to bike back with Kiyoshi sleeping on my back. The rain didn't seem to bother Kiyoshi. Around here naps happen where and when they need to happen!


Back at the Monkey Hut, we had a fabulous final day. The kids spent the whole day in the water then we found some sort of special May event going on down the beach where we ate supper, listened to Nica music and saw loads of drunk people.

Taro has become such a strong swimmer that he swam all the way out to the floating dock and back several times!

We got back to our room, packed all of our bags and got to bed reasonably early as we had to leave for the airport at 4:00am. The stress came that night when the skies opened and the rain bucketed down. I started to worry that the road to get out of the bowl might flood or that our taxi driver would sleep in or that I had the wrong date or that our flights had changed and the airline couldn't get in touch with us etc. You know, these are the usual things you worry about before a long flight. Well, we actually had something much more serious to worry about. At midnight, Dave got up with a fever and diarrhea. Try sleeping now, I was going over all of the worst case scenarios in my head. What if we are both sick? What if the kids get sick too? We had another 18 hour travel day ahead of us with 3 different flights to catch. Try sleeping now.

So, Dave and I both took an antibiotic and tried very unsuccessfully to get some rest. In the end, the road didn't flood, the taxi driver didn't forget us, we didn't miss our flight, the kids didn't get sick and Dave started feeling better about noon the next day. We made it home safe and sound just really really tired and in need of a wardrobe change.

The all the flights went off without a hitch with the one exception of Kiyoshi peeing in his pants. Fortunately we brought an extra pair of pants which lasted us until he peed in them again. As the plane was taxing down toward the runway with the whole plane wearing their seatbelts I had to do the walk of parental shame from row 5 all the way to the back with Kiyoshi dripping pee from my outstretched arms. As if this wasn't enough when we were done in the bathroom he took two steps forward and announced in an excited two year old voice: "I'M NAKED!" The passengers chuckled and we walked back to our seats with Kiyoshi naked from the waist down.

I'm naked!
Like my outfit?

With this fabulous trip over, I couldn't help but think about where we should go next. Any suggestions anyone?


Posted by McNouye 19:35 Archived in Nicaragua Comments (2)

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