For the Love of Travel – Animal Encounters

Although the week of love has passed, the Valentine’s Day holiday had me thinking – what do I love about travel? A post on all those things would last for days, so I narrowed my focus.

With two googly-eyed pugs staring at me as I pondered my love of travel, I immediately thought of all the animals we’ve seen along the way.  So this post is devoted to my love of animals around the world. There are  plenty more I’d like to (safely) encounter, but this is a good start.

Capybara in Curitiba-PR, Brasil

Capybera in Curitiba, Brasil | The 3 Star Traveler

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Irish Food Markets

We’ve had the pleasure of traveling to Ireland several times and one of my favorite things remains the Irish food markets we’ve explored around the country. 

Coast of Dun Laoghaire, Ireland | The 3 Star Traveler

Ireland didn’t draw me in with food; it was the scenery I wanted to see. But after multiple trips, I’ve learned that when it comes to all things culinary, this is a country that is not restricted by its small size.

Despite the confines of an island, the Irish make the most of resources. Cheeses, breads, and seafood; you will find few places in this world with better offerings. Foods not grown there can be found in markets as well, and they are the best imports available; cherries from Italy, plums from France, and chocolates from Belgium.

If it weren’t for my husband tugging my arm as a gentle reminder that there are other sights to see; I’d spend the whole day in an Irish market. Should that opportunity arise, here are a few I’d choose.

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On the Other Side: Port Antonio, Jamaica

It took us several trips to the island to get there, but we eventually found our way to Port Antonio, Jamaica. This is our recap of travel tips for visiting this beautiful location. 

Port Antonio, Jamaica | The 3 Star Traveler

We took our driver’s heckling in stride. “But, you’re not the typical tourist,” he said on several occasions throughout the day with a laugh. It was said often when we passed an attraction that the majority of visitors would have flocked to.

Six trips to Jamaica and not one had taken us to Port Antonio. That is, until this past December. I searched high and low for a private driver to get us there from Ocho Rios. Our original desire was to visit Twyman’s Old Tavern Coffee Estate in the Blue Mountains, but with a road damaged from the last hurricane I could not find a driver in our price range that also had the appropriate vehicle to navigate the terrain.

We settled on a day sightseeing in Port Antonio. After several drivers offered a day full of raft rental, swimming and extra entrance fees upwards of 150 USD, I finally found Paul. He gladly took us where we wanted to go, but that wasn’t without a comment here and there indicating that he didn’t quite understand why these were our choices.

Since I first discovered Port Antonio through websites and blog posts, I wanted to see if it would keep the promises made about its beauty; its uniqueness among other cities of Jamaica. When experiencing the Parrish of Portland first hand, I wanted to watch, to see, and to eat; not ride, splash, and spend the time with hoards of other visitors.

I don’t know exactly what I was expecting as we set off on the two hour drive from Ocho Rios. We’d taken a similar driving tour of Antigua a few years before, but the experiences were not at all similar. It was another reminder that while the area is referred to as “the Caribbean,” each island has its own identity; its own vibrant personality.

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