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A Revealing Photo Tour of Panama

There has been a lot of attention on Panama this year with the 100th Anniversary of the opening of the Panama Canal. While most travellers to Panama don’t venture very far from Panama City and the Canal, there is so much more to the country than the engineering marvel.

The following is a brief photo tour of Panama capturing some of the different elements that you can find around the country.

Panama Canal






Historical Forts






An Adventure Bucket List for Shark Week

Belize-SharkWith Sharknado 2 having just aired and Discovery Channels’s “Shark Week” set to begin next week, all the world’s attention is on one of the world’s most feared fish. While most people are happy to watch the infamous predators from the comfort of their couch, there are others who want to get up close and personal with them. If your buckle list includes swimming with sharks, the following are five sharks you’ll want to see and five places to see them.


Whale Sharks in Koh Samui, Thailand

A veritable gentle giant, whale sharks are the largest known fish in the world .

Nurse Sharks in Ambergris Caye, Belize

Calm and slow moving, nurse sharks are bottom-dwellers that typically live in shallow waters.

Hammerhead Sharks in Galapagos Islands, Ecuador

Hammerheads are aggressive hunters, but rarely attack humans unless provoked, possibly because of their strangely small mouths.

Basking Shark in Rhodes, Greece

The second largest fish in the world, basking sharks are largely harmless and fairly skittish, though young ones are often more curious.

Great White Shark in South Africa

The most infamous shark on the list, the great white shark is the world’s largest predatory fish, and the one shark on the list you’ll want to see from a cage.

How to Protect Your Bike From Being Stolen

With summer in full swing, there are more people than ever out on their bikes. Unfortunately that also means that there are more temptations than ever for bike thieves. Granville Island, one of the most popular tourist destinations in Vancouver, even has a Bike Valet where tourists and locals can leave their bikes safely under supervision while checking out the island.

Even if there is no supervised place to leave your bike for any length of time, there are ways you can reduce your risk of returning to find it gone. The following are a few tips on how to protect your bike from being stolen.Bike-not-locked

  • Lock your bike in a well-lit location with lots of people and video surveillance.
  • Don’t lock your bike in the same location every day.
  • Lock your bike next to other bikes instead of on its own.
  • Don’t lock your bike with a cheap lock, which are easy for thieves to remove.
  • Lock your bike frame to something solid that cannot be broken, cut or removed.
  • Don’t lock your bike to anything it can be lifted off.
  • Take any unsecured parts with you, like tires or the seat.
  • Make sure your lock doesn’t touch the ground, which will make it easier for a thief to use a sledgehammer on it.
  • Leave as little space as possible between the lock and the bike so thieves can’t break the lock using leverage.
  • Take your bike with you if you notice a punctured tire since it may be a tactic used by a thief to get you to leave it unprotected for longer.

How to Pack a Backpack for Easy Access

If you have ever taken a backpack on a trip, I’m sure you’ve experienced a situation where you need to access something quickly and it just happens to be at the very bottom. It is inevitable that this will happen again, but the following are five tips on how to reduce the chances of always having to dig to the bottom for that one item you’re looking for.

Organize gear

Sort your gear with stuff sacks of different sizes and colours

Least used at bottom

Pack the items you use least at the bottom of the pack

Commonly used at top

Put items like raincoats and gloves at the top for easy access in case the weather changes

Emergency items on outside

Keep small emergency items in the outside pockets for quick access

Fill in the space

Fill the empty spaces by putting smaller items inside larger related ones, utensils inside cups or socks inside shoes

The Different Types of Outer Layer Shells

Last week I wrote about layering clothes for travel outdoors, starting with the base layer and finishing with the outer layer. A shell, which is the name commonly used for the outer layer, protects you from wind, rain or snow, but some do better than others.

Shells can generally be sorted into one of the following categories according to performance, ranging from the cheapest to most expensive options.

Breathable, Water-Resistant Shells

Best For: Aerobic activities in light precipitation.

How it Works: Made from materials that are tightly woven to block wind and light rain while being stretchy for comfort during high-energy activities. Most are treated with a Durable Water Repellency(DWR) coating so that water beads and rolls off the jacket instead of soaking through.

Non-breathable, Waterproof Shells

Best For: Light activity in heavy precipitation.

How it Works: Most commonly made from a polyurethane-coated nylon that is windproof and waterproof, but not breathable. Also treated with a DWR finish that causes water to bead and roll off the jacket.

Breathable, Waterproof Shells

Best For: High-energy activities in heavy precipitation.

How it Works: The best ones are made with a thin membrane that has microscopic pores to stop water from getting in while allowing sweat escape. This membrane is bonded to the shell’s outer fabric, which is also treated with a DWR coating.