My name is Rob and I'm a gregarious gentleman who travels and blogs. http://stophavingaboringlife.com/
Joined Jan 9, 2014
222 Blog Posts

Video – Helicopter Tour of Cape Town, South Africa

Today we’re going to watch an older video from a trip I took to South Africa with their tourism board in 2012. It was two weeks and I hit up most of the major hot spots. I’m sitting by the beach right now on Little Corn at this hotel that has a superior internet connection and view; I can’t tell you how happy I am. Also, coffee and tea or $1US a cup; nothing wrong with that.

Video speaks for itself and Cape Town is a cool city. If you’re doing a tour of the world it’s one of the places you might as well scope out for a few days. Lots to do in the city but also lots around it so renting a car and hitting the streets hard is definitely something I’d recommend you do. A few cool sights and even penguins for the kids nearby…

If you’re ever in a helicopter and you want a better shot, don’t put your camera out the window. That goes double if it’s a flat smartphone not attached to your hand. If you do, grip it like you’re entire family and existence is dependent on your grip as it will surely wish to fly out. I tell you this as I almost lost my iphone filming this and can imagine it crashing into someone’s pool.

More on South Africa and the world later…

Now, back to lazy beach life with a side of business.


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Video – Skiing in the Canadian Rocky Mountains

This is a video I shot last winter and put together recently. It’s from a trip I took to Alberta and British Columbia, Canada to experience some of the Rocky Mountains. I hit up Nakiska, Fernie & Kicking Horse as well as did a day of cross-country in Canmore which was exhausting.

Nakiska is closest to Calgary and a good mountain that hosted the Olympics; of the three its strongest point is that it’s close to Calgary. Fernie is the highest and supposedly gets the most snow; I made it down Polar Peak which is the highest peak in the Rockies and it was a trip, let me tell you. Kicking Horse was just a cool spot with great terrain and lots of big bowls.

I actually went to Kicking Horse in 2006 or something with my old job for an AGM at Banff Springs. The restaurant is called “Eagle Eye” and it offers delicious dining and spectacular views. Fernie was the coolest all around though as it had a monster mountain real close to town. Also, the town was really fun and had everything you’d need, I got involved one evening and it was a solid time.

If you rent a truck at Calgary International Airport it’s easy to do a big loop. I did this campaign with Tourism BC, Tourism Alberta and Resorts of the Canadian Rockies who also own Mont St. Anne in Quebec. I played their golf course, blogged about it and one thing lead to another. The internet is a crazy place, yes?

Also did some snowmobiling; it’s a lot of fun flying on those things.

I was holding the GoPro in my hand as I refuse to wear one on a helmet unless I’m attempting a 4x backflip Double McTwist Combo with a side of Lobster Roll. Not much footage from Fernie; there could be a few reasons why. Also, being high on big mountains is the polar opposite place on this planet to the beach.

They’re incredibly different but equally enjoyable.

As I sweat in my “office” which is an upstairs patio with wooden lawn chairs, a square plastic table and an edge connection, the idea of skiing any of those spots or even just falling face first in to fresh snow sounds really appealing.


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Fresh BBQ’d Fish & Thoughts for Lunch


I’m stressing out on a small island where everyone else I see is on vacation. I say things like “this internet is horrific and uncivilized” in the direction of strangers. Random tourists wearing 1930’s vintage safari suits say things to me such as “I don’t use the internet while I’m on vacation” while lifting their runny noses. They look down on me as though I’m some kind of crazy internet fiend stinking up the scene like a sweaty diabetic in search of insulin after a chocolate bar binge.

This brings me to the point of this post and it’s to show you a BBQ lunch I walked in on the other day. Part of my stress has to do with the week off I took as I forgot about something, and pushed an envelop I should have known was already near full. Suffice to say, said envelop is overflowing in a windstorm and it’s valuables are being blown down a dirty street to the delight of degenerates.

I digress.

That photo up top is what myself and a few local friends eat for lunch the other day. It’s so weird that I can be living on a Caribbean island spending near nothing a month on rent and eating like a king. There is a reason why kings were often fat, they sat around all day and eat out of this world meals. On that note, I’m getting fat and better watch it or I’ll be “just another single loser in his 30’s who let himself go” when I land in London in early April.

I’m waiting for the ferry home, today has been equally productive as infuriating and frustrating. On the topic of diabetes and getting fat, I’ve been here a week now and I’ve eaten lobster everyday while guzzling insane quantities of that insidious poison called cola. The other day, I eat lobster for all three meals and in three different styles. For breakfast it was a lobster burrito or taco, whatever.

The more I travel, the more I realize there are no perfect places. Anyone who ever touts they know the “best” or “top” anything is not to be trusted. Treat them like a pervert wearing a trench coat in the park or some snake who touches up his mustache with wax from his ears. The latter are ONLY to be trusted when it comes to trading cards and rare coins, nothing else.

The fish on the grill was yellowtail jack and one of the better fighting fish you’ll find anywhere. They also taste quite nice but a bit tough as they are stressed out fools who fight until they are dead. Capitulation is not in their vocabulary and as a result their meat isn’t as tender as some lazy fish that just lets you reel them in before sending a spike through their skull.

Some Norwegian girl I know caught a monster yesterday and on that note, it’s back to the grind for another hour before letting loose and meeting a reader for a few drinks at the “Sunset Shack” this afternoon. It’s a small shack that is painted like the Jamaican flag and you can basically do whatever you want there.

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Surreal Snorkeling off Little Corn in the Caribbean


I’d like to show you photos and write much more but I’ve done little the last week. It’s been a big blur of sunshine, sweat and slushy drinks. That said, I did find time to go snorkeling.

The north end is the best, without a doubt but I’m lazy when it’s 30 degree heat and humid so I just went in the port and I was surprised… I saw more schools of minnows than I thought possible. It was as though every size in the sea was there.

I felt like a big whale shark moving around as they were literally surrounding me like a big bait ball. Just when I thought I saw them all, I saw bigger ones, smaller ones and felt like swimming in a fish tank; unreal.

I need a net, yesterday.

Read this post “Snorkeling is Sensational” for more…

In other news, I’m spending inordinate amounts of time on my property. In 2012, I decided to start acquiring land as I knew I’d want to return year after year and eventually, my cheap room would be gone and I’d be ready for my own space.

What I love about property is that I can walk around on it, build forts and eat mangoes fresh from the trees. All my designs look like a military compound so trying to soften them up. I also love a good view of the ocean, easy to kill time with a blank mind staring at it.

Turns out, since I left the whole hill is basically sold, a deal is going down this week and lots of new construction. Things are changing but not for the worse, it’s just different and all good is still good.

Photo is from the north end, my favorite beach spot.

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Business Trip to Big Corn Island


This is where I’m sitting right now drinking a coffee that is making my feel uncomfortable. I’m at one of the restaurants in the port waiting for a flight from Bluefields on the coast.

I’ve got to pick up some documents, run some errands and take the last ferry back at 4:30PM. I will note that on Mondays and Thursdays they have the big boat(in photo on the right) instead of the open air skiff; it’s a welcome change.

The little island is as busy as I’ve ever seen it, more on that later.

That is all.

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Back on the Corn Islands


I’m back on the Corn Islands and it feels good. What’s changed the most is that the landing strip is now further along and the vegetation has become more dense. Apart from that it’s business as usual, if you want to call it that and I’m on the smaller of the two islands, Little Corn.

Not a lot is happening but it’s exactly what I remembered. People come here to do nothing, relax on beaches, go scuba diving, kitesurfing, fishing, snorkeling and some even to party. I do believe those who came here to party quickly realize the err in their ways but the rest are pleasantly surprised.

What’s interesting is that since I’ve left Little Corn Island last May, I’ve had the privileged of traveling to 6 of the 7 continents; two of them new to me. I’ve had adventures in Africa, Asia, Europe, North America, South America & Australia and guess what? Having just been around the world, I like this place even more than when I first got here.

What does it for me is just that this place simply oozes character and is completely unique to anywhere I’ve ever been. It’s that deserted island that has developed enough to let you live and not start talking to beach balls. It also just so happens to be in the Caribbean Sea and overflowing with characters who speak English?!

Something I had forgotten was that country music is big here. You think reggae but for lots living on a small island where little but the date changes; country is what hits home the hardest. The song below was the first song I heard being back in the cab from the airport to the ferry.

It’s 5:25am, I can hear voices and smell tobacco coming from downstairs. I do believe it’s time to investigate before making my daily trek at this hour to a friends for dark coffee and light conversation. I’m here to relax and work on a project, more on that later.

Photo is of Big Corn Island as you’re approaching by air.

I rise early for several reasons, one being power dies at 6.


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Video of Flight to Corn Islands & Supply Shopping

The video above was filmed last year at some point; I went on a video editing binge from Lima to Los Angeles and I have all sorts of interesting things to share. Also, I went back to Oriental Market aka largest market in C. America today and filmed the insanity.

All islands have a specialty shop and my friends who run a shop like the idea. I brought back lots of spices from South Africa and they were a hit; I figure over time as the demographic of the average visitor changes, so will their tastes. In the meantime it would be nice for current residents to have a little more spice in their life.

This is basically what I’ve bought: 2 x 30 chocolate bar packs, 2 x 12 small Pringles, 2 x 28oz packs of California Trail Mix,1 pack of 52 Quaker flavor variety, 6 pack of Red Bull, 2 x 1lb of peanut butter, 4 x 250g packs of granola, a twin pack of some kashi rip off, 1 x Planters variety 24 pack, 3 small bottles of soya sauce, 1 medium sized, 3 small bottles of extra virgin olive oil and that’s about it. For personal consumption, I just bought a few heads of broccoli.

Chocolate bars & Pringles will have biggest markup and volume.

I couldn’t help but note that the biggest winners would be worst for you.

I was let down when it came to wasabi as I couldn’t find it anywhere. Apparently it’s not a “big thing” down here in Nicaragua. Also, PriceMart aka the Costco of Nicaragua was cool but also a let down as it was built for large families or restaurants; I need things in individual packs. That said, if you’re looking to meet attractive Nicaraguan women, forget the club and get a Pricemart card…

If the items don’t sell they will just sit on the shelves until they do.

In the video, I’m landing on Big Corn Island and that air-strip is basically the entire length of the longest part of the island to give you an idea and that island is 3x the size of the one I am going to called Little Corn. When the plane lands it’s going over some dirt runway; that’s the expansion project for international flights which is moving slowly but… surely(ish).

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Oriental Market & Getting Drilled in Managua


First I’d like to make a correction, did I really say that Oriental Market was a small slice of paradise in the last post? This is a problem with travel writing across the board; people tend to romanticize the past whether it’s a trip abroad or a failed relationship.

I started SHABL after being a longtime reader of iBC and respected the real-time of it all; most travel writers talk about the past through technicolor glasses while sipping LSD infused lemonade through a straw.

The Oriental Market is a chaotic mess. That said, you can find near anything you need, just don’t look for any type of luxury item or high end electronic; everything else and more is there. It’s city blocks that form a smelly labyrinth of stalls with sellers grabbing your shirt or getting in your face trying to push their wares.

Most of it is covered but with cracks between the not quite connecting roofs that let through flashes of light and soak the place when the sky cries. The lanes are filled with people and carts moving cargo or selling cola.

That said, you’re rewarded if you go and we found basically everything we were looking for. Claro aka the most useless cell carrier in the world is what works best on the Corn Islands. The shop is always filled with brain dead service staff filing their nails and listlessly looking for keys they don’t have.

Long story shorty, they don’t setup what I need anymore which is a data plan for an iphone 4?! That said, some guy in Oriental can sell you a SIM & data for a month on the spot for C$120 or roughly $6; go figure?

Afterwards it was off to the Dentist where she did a stand up job for $12 aka below the gums too before telling me I had a deep cavity in a molar. She drilled me without anesthetic; the moment that drill gets near your nerve your eyes will pop and you’ll spring from your seat.

The filling only cost $10 and she did a good job, I dare say. Drillings are different but find the best cleans are from mom & pop dental shops abroad. The clinics back home treat you like cattle and let a dental hygienist do all the dirty work while you pay for a dentist to inspect and say “looks good”.

FYI – Top photo is from just outside the market.

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Friday Morning in Managua, Nicaragua

I’m writing this from my friend’s compound in the core of Managua, Nicaragua which is supposedly one of the 10 cheapest cities to live in the world. To get here, there is an alley we drive down before you reach a massive steel gate.

Behind the gate there are kids playing, big black SUVs and a safe haven of sorts; on the streets it’s a rough place to say the least and anyone who tells you differently is just biding their time before losing whatever they are carrying.

I’ve been up most of the night making use of my friend’s wifi connection as once I hit the islands it slows to a crawl. This is not a problem for most since it’s a vacation meant for diving and hanging out on on white sand beaches drinking rum from coconuts.

Lots of business to take care of today, when you’re in one of the world’s cheapest cities you do some shopping. I’m off to Oriental Market which is a spot where you bring what you need to spend and little else. That said, it’s a small paradise and you can literally get almost anything you want.

Yesterday as I got off the plane from Miami and that humidity smacked my face, it felt like I was home again. The islands are as busy as ever and flights are fully booked up so I’m here until the 10th.

Question: If you were on a tropical island rich in seafood but little else food wise; what non perishables would you want? I’m bringing wasabi powder and soya; I’d love to hear some ideas before a big Sunday shop…

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Sushi & Steaks in South Beach


It is early and I’ve been up for hours as I sleep little, am jetlagged and on this occasion woke up with meat sweats from an overdose of of rare flesh.

Lots come here aka South Beach aka SoBe for the beaches and the nightlife, I got involved with the latter but why swim near an international port?

The food options around here are pretty sensational and I’ve been stuffing myself silly with sushi and steaks. Took out a lady friend so I brought her to Toni’s and had their sashimi platter; it was good but not worth $70 and the clam made me want to vomit. Afterwards we hit up Foxhole which was a good club.


I hit up Moshi Moshi for lunch and it was delicious; my friend who lives in South Beach recommended it and now I’m passing on the word. I had a sushi roll at Chesterfield Hotel and it was decent but nothing special so I’ll stop talking about it now.


Last night I went to RED The Steakhouse and it was exquisite. The fine people there set me up with a Chef’s Tasting Menu… Just a few things being processed in my stomach now include stone crab, Alaskan king crab, prime certified angus beef and of course Kobe beef sent by Fedex straight from Japan.


Do you know much about Kobe beef? I didn’t but think it’s unreal that they massage the cows because basically any stress makes the meat tough and we’re buying a steak, not a bouncer.

Kobe beef is an acquired taste and very fatty. It almost “melts in your mouth” but I can’t keep a straight face saying it so we’ll leave it in quotes. The prime certified angus beef is some of the top beef you can buy in North America and was out of this world. I loved the Kobe but my associate preferred the certified angus so it’s really a matter of preference.

I’m flying to Managua in a few hours then off to Little Corn Island after doing some shopping, activating sim cards, $12 teeth cleaning and loading up some goods for a new business venture. Little Corn is just developing and lots of amenities aren’t there yet, why not be the guy who bring$ them?


I really liked it here and I’ll be back; Miami is a real hub for flights and easiest way for me to go from C. America to Europe. Oh yeah, this was sunrise an hour ago.

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