2024 Calendars & Traveling in Today's World
As you read this, we are finishing up a week of fishing in Belize. We'll let you know how it's going with the next blog which will be November 30. Next week is Thanksgiving so we won't be doing a blog.
Thank you everyone for helping us with our survey. We received a much better than “normal” response and it just shows that we have really great readers! I've been thinking about how to liven up the blog and have thought that we need to do something different but didn't know exactly how. I've decided to go to a monthly blog instead of weekly and doing a longer piece with each issue along with a couple shorter pieces. The survey told us that you will continue to read the blog whether it stays weekly or goes to monthly, so starting with the November 28 blog, we're do a biweekly schedule, or every two weeks.
The most important thing is that I don't want to lose your interest but I also know that that depends on me providing something interesting for you to read! Several comments indicated that you would like to see more fly tying and more fly fishing news and tactics and I will pay attention to those requests. At the same time, the blog is how we let you know about our trips and hopefully inspire you to join us on a departure. So, we'll continue to write about our travel destinations too, but try to do a better job of all subjects, meaning more information on the subjects that you want to read. Again, thank you. You're the best!
Our 2024 Calendars will be here this week. 13 months of our favorite photographs from around the world and at home. Each calendar comes in an envelope.
8-1/2 x 11 format, 13 month (through January 2024), large boxes to record notes, U.S. and international holidays. $14.99
Traveling in Today's World
My attempt at a longer blog article. I hope you find it interesting.
If you Google something like, “Is it safe to travel internationally today?” you'll get a load of articles and stories of experiences shared by travelers – everything from backpacker and hostels to escorted travel and 5 star hotels.
The guests who travel with us are not interested in hostels and backpacking. I think I can safely say that most of them have never stayed in a hostel and are not backpackers. We travel with small groups (usually 8-10 people) and pass through cities on our way to a fishing lodge which is usually located in a more rural part of the country so an internal domestic flight, or flights, is often required. While traveling our guests want a nice hotel in a safe part of town, a reliable transfer, a nice restaurant, and assistance should something go wrong. And that is why we host trips for Frontiers International.
In last week blog was an article on 10 Common Travel Scams, and we've experienced a few of them in our travels. Lucky for us Frontiers has people all over the world all of the time who have their finger on the pulse of international travel, and they are not going to send us with a group of clients to a destination that is not safe. Period. Soon after we pass through immigration and customs in foreign airports, we are met by someone who is responsible for getting us safely to the hotel, if we are staying over in the city, or the transportation needed for the next leg of the trip, whether a private coach or the fishing guides and their trucks, whatever. This service is a huge comfort and eliminates the need to deal with taxi drivers and/or public transportation, not be mention that there is often a language barrier which immediately makes one vulnerable to a scam. While it might be fun to tackle this challenges when they were young and foolish, at this stage of the game they want comfort and security.
Frontiers contracts with an amazing transfer company in Buenos Aires. This is a small group of three or 4 people english speaking agents and one of them is always waiting for us when we arrive in BA. The company arranges our hotels, transportation needs, makes dinner reservations for us, has a driver available for anyone wishing to take a city tour or see a tango, and solves problems (like missing luggage). We had a guest who wanted to visit an upscale shoe store she saw advertised in a magazine and the transfer people arranged to have a driver take her to the store. They know if demonstrations are causing traffic problems (BA has lots of demonstrations), and let us know us if we should not go to a certain part of the city. They are very helpful and knowledgeable and most of all they look out for us and they are worth every penny!
We spend a lot of time in Buenos Aires, it's our favorite city in the world. But like all cities, there is a risk that we need to be aware and we need to take precautions. Just last spring a couple with us were walking through a park in a very nice part of the city when a good looking man came up to them to let them know that a bird had dirtied on the back of our guest's jacket. He offered to help wipe off the bird poop and while doing so, he had his other hand in the man's coat pocket. He had sprayed some kind of white stuff on the man's back before starting the conversation. Zip your wallet inside a pants pocket, preferable on the front or side of the pant leg. Don't be distracted, be aware of what is going on around you at all times.
Another time I remember being in Barcelona standing at a busy tcrosswalk next to a bike stand with a long row of bikes locked to the stand when a man came up beside us wearing a trench coat. He looked around, didn't see any police, pulled out a pair of bolt cutters and cut the locks off two bikes. An accomplice suddenly appeared and they rode off with the bikes. In broad daylight on a busy street corner! Be aware of what is going on around you at all times.
Barry and I were walking down a street one afternoon in Buenos Aires when a man on a small motorcycle, more of a motor bike, slowly motored past us and grabbed Barry's wrist trying to get his watch. The band broke but the thief didn't get the watch. This is a trick often used in cities. Sometimes they get a shoulder bag, shopping bag, watch, purse, camera, whatever. Use a backpack, possibly worn in the front, or if it's a shoulder bag wear it across the opposite shoulder and under a jacket. Again, if you are only carrying a little currency, a credit card, and hotel key card a zippered front pocket is perfect.
Speaking of hotel room key cards, do not carry the card folder with your room number shown. If you are alone and injured and end up in the hospital, your room might be cleaned out when you get back. It is important to carry some type of hotel identification in another pocket, anything with your name and the name of the hotel so you can be identified, but don't give away your room number and leave your passport and a message with someone with where you are going and when you expect to return.
I remember a situation that happened early on in our hosted trips career and one that I will never forget. We were in the Santiago airport in Chile. One of our guests went into a shop, bought an expensive crucifix. Once outside the shop he stopped at a bench and put the package, his passport, and wallet in the top zipped pocket of his backpack and continued to the gate. By the time he arrived at the gate and went into his backpack to get his passport for boarding, everything was gone – the passport, wallet, and the crucifix. Someone fell into step behind him and got into his backpack while he was walking without him ever knowing it. You think, how is that possible? But, it's what thieves do, they spend everyday thinking up ways to improve their game and they get very good at it. Remember the zippered front pants pocket and pay attention to what is going on around you.
It's a big world out there with lots of fascinating cities to visit, rivers to fish, wilderness to enjoy, people to meet and for the most part, the world is filled with good people, people just like us, and they want to share their little corner of this great big universe with us. They want us to be safe, to have a good trip, so maybe we'll return to do it again. Do bad things happen? Of course they do, but the good always outweighs the bad and it never fails that we come home feeling enriched with the travel experience. As we get older we see a lot of our traveling companions are getting older too. We don't move as fast, fish as hard, stay up as late, or run a breakneck speed anymore, but we still go.
Don't stick your head in the ground and be afraid to go. We have a friend who can fish but won't fish anymore, he says he's too old and might fall and break something. I told him he could break something by falling in his bathroom! You could get robbed at the grocery store today, get hit by a car in your home town. Don't let the evil in the world win because it surely wants to. Surely there are precautions to be taken but live life, love life, and if you have the opportunity, get out there and see the world.
RIO Introduces the Compostable Spool
RIO has adopted a new 100% compostable and recyclable spool—the most sustainable fly line spool ever made. Our new spools are made of 100% recycled newsprint from renewable resources that have been used at least once and will deliver the lowest environmental impact of any spool on the market. Once you’ve spooled your new RIO line, simply drop the new spool in the recycling bin or better yet, add it to your compost pile or garden.
While packaging isn’t always glamorous work, it plays a significant role in reducing our impact on the earth. We've made progress towards a more sustainable solution was further validated by two awards—“Best Eco-Friendly Gear” at AFFTA’s 2023 Confluence event and by the Institute of Packaging Pros (IOPP) with a 2023 Ameristar Award in the sustainability category.
The new spool will still work with any current line winder as they’ve matched the geometry of current spools to ensure compatibility.
We’re committed to improvement in all areas of our products. We’re passionate anglers who feel obligated to make sure the outdoors we love will still look the same in the years to come, so that future generations can enjoy spotting a rising fish as much as we do.
That's all for this week. We wish you all a very Happy Thanksgiving next week. We'll see you on November 28. Thank you for following along!