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Old 09-06-2012, 07:18 AM   #31
familygoboston
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Originally Posted by MooksterL1 View Post
Perhaps you should! You would make a great travel writer.

I didn't see it as negative at all, but more honest about your experiences and expectations. Those are the kind of things that are very helpful for those of us that travel with extended family and have come to expect certain things from a brand.
You are too kind!! Let us know if you decide to go...i'd love to hear about your trip too!
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Old 09-06-2012, 07:32 AM   #32
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Oh I will! It will probably be a couple of years. My youngest is 6 and I think he would get more from the experience when he is a little older.

My plan is to do the ABD Cities of Knights and Lights, England/Pari next summer. I am excited already and I haven't booked yet!!
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Old 09-11-2012, 08:42 AM   #33
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More Camera details...as promised!

From DH- and I'll pass along any questions, but I have no earthly idea what any of this means

For lenses I used the 24-120 f/4 VR on the D4 and the 70-200 VR with the 1.4TC on the D800 (in DX mode). The former camera/lens combination was my “go to” rig. The latter camera/lens was only used on the islands in the Galapagos to get me some needed reach without a lot of weight. I also brought the 16-35 that I used for the interiors as well as the rainbow. I thought I’d use the 16-35 more, but found the 24mm end of the 24-120 plenty wide enough most of the time and the 24-120/70-200 & TC combination effectively gave me 24-420 f/4 between the two cameras. I carried them on a dual BlackRapid strap (highly recommended). For the Quito shots I used the 10-30 and 30-110 Nikon 1 lenses on my V1.
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Old 09-11-2012, 10:45 AM   #34
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From DH- and I'll pass along any questions, but I have no earthly idea what any of this means

For lenses I used the 24-120 f/4 VR on the D4 and the 70-200 VR with the 1.4TC on the D800 (in DX mode). The former camera/lens combination was my “go to” rig. The latter camera/lens was only used on the islands in the Galapagos to get me some needed reach without a lot of weight. I also brought the 16-35 that I used for the interiors as well as the rainbow. I thought I’d use the 16-35 more, but found the 24mm end of the 24-120 plenty wide enough most of the time and the 24-120/70-200 & TC combination effectively gave me 24-420 f/4 between the two cameras. I carried them on a dual BlackRapid strap (highly recommended). For the Quito shots I used the 10-30 and 30-110 Nikon 1 lenses on my V1.
First of all, thanks to your DH for taking time off in his football game to share this info. Man oh man! That is some serious gear and glass! Well, it's all worth it since your photos came out ah-mazing!! I use Canon and I would love to go on trips with two bodies. Your DH can get away with it since he is 6'6". I'm about a foot and a half shorter and using a Double strap with two cameras and humongous lenses will make me look dorky. I'll look into it since the vests will make me look like I'm wearing a bulletproof vest and I'm not big enough for the belt holsters to fit right. I looked into the mirrorless digicams (his Nikon V1) as an alternative to a giant dslr but the crop factor is dissuading me. Thanks again!
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Old 09-11-2012, 11:02 AM   #35
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First of all, thanks to your DH for taking time off in his football game to share this info. Man oh man! That is some serious gear and glass! Well, it's all worth it since your photos came out ah-mazing!! I use Canon and I would love to go on trips with two bodies. Your DH can get away with it since he is 6'6". I'm about a foot and a half shorter and using a Double strap with two cameras and humongous lenses will make me look dorky. I'll look into it since the vests will make me look like I'm wearing a bulletproof vest and I'm not big enough for the belt holsters to fit right. I looked into the mirrorless digicams (his Nikon V1) as an alternative to a giant dslr but the crop factor is dissuading me. Thanks again!
LOL! But he does look like a dork Just kidding...no doubt between his size and the ability to carry the weight, he can get away with carrying two bodies and large lenses.
Honestly, its entirely too much equipement for anyone not seriously interested in photography as a hobby as part of the reason to take the trip or a pro. He does it because it's how he enjoys the trip, under no circumstances would most people want or even need that much stuff to get great shots! It's kind of like...you can wear capris and fit in perfectly at dinner, but some people want to bring a sundress and some jewelry because they enjoy it! It's in no way necessary to carry that much stuff, but it's his hobby and he's willing to bring the stuff to get the shots he wants
I tease him mercilessly about it, but in the end, I am always so pleased about the results!

Now our next trip is to French Polynesia and since there is far less wildlife (above the water) to see, he will carry a very pared down kit (probably one body and two lenses) and our water camera!
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Old 09-11-2012, 11:39 AM   #36
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Ouch!!! That would be me too! I almost always bring 2 bodies and 2 or 3 lenses. Actually, with your DH, I found my match! My DH is kind enough to carry the backpack for me. On our last trip, I brought my 70-200 mm lens as well (equivalent to your DH's 70-200 BUT it's about half the weight) and boy, he kept complaining how heavy the backpack was. So now, I'm considering a camera roller bag. It's also my hobby and since I use only L lenses (Canon's counterpart of Nikon's VR lenses), they are extra heavy. I thought your DH is some Nikon exec. And that's me too. I do wear sundresses and jewelry for dinner on trips, so that's an extra load as well.

PS - sorry, I meant I found my match in camera gear-carrying, he's way beyond in terms of photo quality.
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Old 09-11-2012, 11:57 AM   #37
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Originally Posted by tufbuf View Post
Ouch!!! That would be me too! I almost always bring 2 bodies and 2 or 3 lenses. Actually, with your DH, I found my match! My DH is kind enough to carry the backpack for me. On our last trip, I brought my 70-200 mm lens as well (equivalent to your DH's 70-200 BUT it's about half the weight) and boy, he kept complaining how heavy the backpack was. So now, I'm considering a camera roller bag. It's also my hobby and since I use only L lenses (Canon's counterpart of Nikon's VR lenses), they are extra heavy. I thought your DH is some Nikon exec. And that's me too. I do wear sundresses and jewelry for dinner on trips, so that's an extra load as well.

PS - sorry, I meant I found my match in camera gear-carrying, he's way beyond in terms of photo quality.
No Apologies...your photos are great!! You are lucky to have a guy willing to lug the gear, I try to be a helpmate by carrying all the other "stuff" raincoats, water etc, in my back pack.
DH says all you photographers joke about how many different camera bags you own too, is this you too? We are otherwise really light travelers so that's why the cameras take up such a big percentage of our bag weight! We are seriously thinking we can go to FP for 10 days with just carry ons, and just do a little laundry. We will see once we start packing.
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Old 09-11-2012, 01:11 PM   #38
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DH is a light traveler, I'm not! I have one trusty camera backpack but will be looking at a rollerbag to fit my gear. DH carries the backpack when we go around and I just have the camera with me, anything else, I don't think I'll be able to walk!! LOL I even tried coaxing DH to carry the second body and I got an outright no. Hey, I'll look into that Black Rapid dual strap. I found a review and a petite woman (a wee bit tinier than me!) said it worked for her!! Thanks again for all the info. I can only ogle in awe!!
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Old 09-11-2012, 06:17 PM   #39
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First of all; Howdy neighbor! I'm from justt outside Boston

Second: The Galapagos is my dream trip and when I found out there was a Galapagos trip for ABD I nearly fainted When I found your report, I let out an audible excited sound Your report was AMAZING and all the pictures took my breath away! Thank you so much for sharing this adventure its already helped me so so much!
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Old 09-11-2012, 09:29 PM   #40
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Thank you so much for writing this amazing trip report - I loved reading it. Maybe someday we will go on this trip - it looks awesome!
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Old 01-14-2013, 06:21 PM   #41
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Guanabana

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Finally the wind and flying sand send everyone back to our bus, where we drive down the hill to lunch at Puerto Lago on Lake San Pablo, in the shadow of the Imbabura Volcano. Here in a beautiful lake side dining room with a view of the lake and Imbabura beyond, our family tries the " Tipico" a typical Ecuadorian lunch of pork, plantains, sweet potato patties and corn. For dessert we all enjoy the Guanabana helado. A sherbet made from local fruit that I have been enjoying in yogurt and helado, but cannot pronounce for 2 days! Finally, my daughter reminds me of the muppet song ...manomanom...do do do dodoot. And after much practice I get it;-)
You should be able to find guanabana juice (or nectar) in the latin section of your local super markets in the states. Look for Jumex or Goya brands. We used to buy them both in Indiana and in Texas!
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Old 01-14-2013, 09:18 PM   #42
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Thanks for the tip! I will check and if not there is a large Brazilian population in our area, I'm sure I can find a market nearby! Great stuff!
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Old 01-19-2013, 04:23 PM   #43
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This trip report is just amazing. I am seriously considering this Adventure next. Thank DH for the great pictures! My favs: the roses, the local people on days 2 & 3, and all of the wildlife.

This never occurred to me: your comment about the "upbeat" people who tend to go on a ABDs - it totally makes sense and made me even more pleased with my choice. This: "Paraphrasing the worlds most interesting man from the beer commercial "I don't always take an organized tour, but when I do, I often take ABD." made me

I have some questions because I'm new to ABD:
1 Tipping: "tip from driver level ($5 pp per day) to guide level ($10 pp per day)"
I'm a generous tipper so this question is about not wanting to insult someone or do it "wrong".
Did you tip the driver at the end of the ride or the end of the tour? Do they provide envelopes for the tips like on a cruise or do you just hand the tip to the person? Is this tip amount standard or will it be different in Costa Rica?

2. You stayed a pre-day and a post-day? I am too. Did you have to check out of the hotel for either of these or was that taken care of by the tour? I'm wondering if I have to wake up early on Day One to check out because I arrived early? (Does this question even make sense? sorry )

Thanks
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Old 01-19-2013, 05:48 PM   #44
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2. You stayed a pre-day and a post-day? I am too. Did you have to check out of the hotel for either of these or was that taken care of by the tour? I'm wondering if I have to wake up early on Day One to check out because I arrived early? (Does this question even make sense? sorry )

Thanks
In my experience, if you booked the pre- or post- days through ABD, then you stay in the same room during the ABD portion. You do not have to check out, or do anything. When you check in, it's for the entirety of your stay there.

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Old 01-20-2013, 07:57 AM   #45
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This trip report is just amazing. I am seriously considering this Adventure next. Thank DH for the great pictures! My favs: the roses, the local people on days 2 & 3, and all of the wildlife.

This never occurred to me: your comment about the "upbeat" people who tend to go on a ABDs - it totally makes sense and made me even more pleased with my choice. This: "Paraphrasing the worlds most interesting man from the beer commercial "I don't always take an organized tour, but when I do, I often take ABD." made me
Thanks, you are very kind! I passed along your kind words to DH too. We are using Blurb right now to make a photo book of our trip (I'm going to give as a gift to my mom and dad for mothers and Father's Day ) and its so fun choosing the photos for the big two page spreads. We are getting a PDF, so I might be able to post it when it's done!
One thing about photographing locals; they are pretty camera shy in Ecuador, and anywhere he goes, DH always engages them first as people, then asks or gestures if he can take a photo, then shows them on the camera how it turned out. The hoot of the older lady, she looked annoyed, but was very open to DH taking the photo, after she saw it she had a big toothless smile!

I have some questions because I'm new to ABD:
1 Tipping: "tip from driver level ($5 pp per day) to guide level ($10 pp per day)"
I'm a generous tipper so this question is about not wanting to insult someone or do it "wrong".
Did you tip the driver at the end of the ride or the end of the tour? Do they provide envelopes for the tips like on a cruise or do you just hand the tip to the person? Is this tip amount standard or will it be different in Costa Rica?
The tipping I mention is only for the guides and drivers on our own- with ABD everything, I mean everything (read in my review - they tip the restroom attendants for you!) is included. The only tips you pay is for your Adventure Guides at the very end of the trip and all your docs make that amount super clear! I would google " tips and CR" and read the tipping section of a good guidebook. Each place is different and changes over time. For instance in FP, where we went in October, it used to be an insult to tip, and there is still very little expected, but now some people in the travel guiding business have come to expect something, so it's so variable. We did tip our private guide in CR, but the amounts may have changed since we were there, We always tip as we are shaking hands to say goodbye and thank you. I usually parcel out the tips I know I'm going to need in small bills, into envelopes and label them with the date and tour ( again only for private tours!) this what I am not fumbling for the right change when the tour ends, I just slip it out of the envelope and hand it over!

2. You stayed a pre-day and a post-day? I am too. Did you have to check out of the hotel for either of these or was that taken care of by the tour? I'm wondering if I have to wake up early on Day One to check out because I arrived early? (Does this question even make sense? sorry )

Thanks
As the ever helpful Say Hello shared, if you are doing your pre stays with ABD, it would be a very unusual case in which they would move you on day one. Most of the pre stay hotels have a good relationship with ABD and want to make their guests happy, so even if you book on your own for pre and post nights, the hotel will make every effort to accommodate you! Also, whether its a pre night or ABD night, you'll need to put your incidentals on a CC, so you can check out before you head out with the AbD just once, and just double check that your bill is properly split, that ABD Paid nights are not on there.
I've never experienced all the ABD people being in the same "floor" of the big hotels, they spread us around to the rooms they have and meet the standards ABD has specified. So in either case, let them know what you'd like, you'll very likely be taken good care of!
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