PerfectPhoto.CA: Blog en-us (c) Rob vanNostrand (PerfectPhoto.CA) Wed, 18 May 2022 08:02:00 GMT Wed, 18 May 2022 08:02:00 GMT PerfectPhoto.CA: Blog 80 120 Costa del Sol - Andalusian region, Spain (Torremolinos) - Expat explorations a Canadian couple Expat first time explorations of Torremolinos, in the sunny Costa del Sol - Andalusian costal region of Spain, shoulder season, spring 2022.

We are staying in a lovely beach front unit in Torremolinos, about 20 minutes from the Malaga airport, which has direct flights from Canada.  This helped minimize COVID related complications. Canadian side travel arrangements were all handled online, including uploading the Canadian government vaccination QR code, and also obtaining the Spanish health QR code which is mandatory.  We observed two un-fortunate couples who were refused entry at the boarding gate because they didn't have the proper Spanish health QR code.  This was a bit surprising, because the airport baggage check did ask to see our codes which we kept in our phone wallet, but they didn't actually scan it at that stage.  Biggest delay at the Montreal airport was not security, but was the surge of Air Transat customers checking in over the 3-4 hours prior to departure.

Slide Show with 50 photos: Arriving on a Sunday meant that the beaches and related restaurants were quite busy, since most businesses are closed on Sunday.  The mid day temperature was a very warm 26C, with light cooling breezes from the ocean.  Evening cooled to a more comfortable 22C for dining in the outdoor market squares.  The generally lower humidity than other tropical destinations make the temperature more enjoyable.

There are a lot of fish centric restaurants along the beach strip, as well as a multi cultural collection of others like German/Belgian, Italian, East Indian, and oriental.  My beer of choice is Guinness, which is harder to get here, but is available in some Irish pub type places which cater to the UK visitors.  I tried a possible local alternative which is a "dark beer" by Leffe (Belgian) called Bruin. Its a little sweet tasting, but ok. Corona seems like a popular choice here.  BBQ sardines are popular, with outdoor BBQ pit's arranged as show pieces in old boats near the beach front strip.

Aside from the many public access points to the beach, there are an abundance of daily rental beach palapa's with recliners at beach clubs.

The winding back streets remind me of Greek Mykonos, providing access from the beach strip up to the main business areas.  We enjoyed walking up San Miguel Street, to Costa del Sol street, to get to purchase a local mobile phone SIM card at the Vodaphone store.   A data plan here was C$20 for 50GB for the month!  WOW

Most store keepers have "some" English, but the google translate app became my friend, when I needed to clarify key details.  The photo translate feature was very handy for a chalk board menu at one side street restaurant, which had a E9.50 lunch special, with 2 courses, beverage, desert.  All were delicious. 

Many businesses and schools close in the hot mid day, from 2pm to 5pm.  This can be a little frustrating if you are trying to shop then, but if you are living here it really makes so much sense, because the mornings and evenings are a much more comfortable temperature.  Also bigger stores in the main street's that cater to tourists don't seem to take the Siesta break as much.










]]> (PerfectPhoto.CA) 2022 Andalusian Costa del Sol costal Expat explore first time shoulder season Spain spring sunny Torremolinos Wed, 18 May 2022 07:58:33 GMT
Old Montreal, Quebec Explored Old Montreal area, including Notre-Dame Basilica, St. Catherines.  Caribbean heritage street performers.



]]> (PerfectPhoto.CA) Basilica Notre-Dame Old Montreal Quebec tourism Sat, 14 May 2022 13:46:31 GMT
Ice Sculptures at Dartmouth Ice Festival, winter 2022 Gallery of a variety of Ice Sculptures at Dartmouth's Winter Ice festival 2022.  Ice Throne, Beaver, Mermaid, Lion, Seahorse.

(Click Photo to see more sculptures, and use the Slide Show to see largest sized photos)

RVN05332webRVN05332webThrone, Ice scultures, Dartmouth Ice Festival, Nova Scotia, Canada; Rob


]]> (PerfectPhoto.CA) ice sculpture Sun, 06 Mar 2022 18:38:00 GMT
Vintage Electronics (Click on the images to go to the full sized photo gallery)

In the mid 1970's, during my teen years, my interest in electronics resulted in my building of a totally "home brew" computer.  It was based around the RCA 1802 microprocessor.  I started with a basic circuit diagram as published in "Popular Electronics" magazine, who referred to it as the Cosmac Elf.  I wanted something "fancier" than the open breadboard type of circuit, so I designed mine based loosely around the IMSAI 8080 that I had seen in magazine advertisements.

Cosmac Elf 1802 home made computer, 1975

Cosmac Elf - Home made computer, 1975My FIRST computer - homemade "Cosmac Elf" from 70's. No keyboard, no screen. You flip the 8 switches (7-0) into a pattern that represents a number or letter, then press input. The display is the two squares which could display TWO numbers or letters at a time! Years of fun from this...1975

It featured eight on/off input switches (7-0) to set the binary data input of HEX digits.  Plus a 2 digit HEX display (0-9, A-F).  Also 4 special EF input switches that could be set to control other devices

1K MEMORY BOARD, home made

Elf2Home made memory board - 1024 bytes (i.e.1K)Home made etched circuit board Memory, in Cosmac Elf home brew computer.1975

The circuit board shown here was an evolution of the original 256 Byte design, adding 1024 more bytes (1K).  I used a kit from Radio Shack to etch the copper backed circuit boards, using my own designs, based on the schematic.

My interest in electronics was spawned at the age of 8 years old, when my dad showed me how to build a home brew "Crystal Radio", using a 50 foot long copper wire as an antenna, a toilet paper roll coil, cat whisker diode, and headphone set from his dad.

CrystalRadio1CrystalRadio1Cat wisker diode for Crystal Radio CrystalRadio2CrystalRadio2Coil and headset for Crystal Radio

]]> (PerfectPhoto.CA) 1802 1975 computer Cosmac Elf home made Sun, 14 Nov 2021 14:34:47 GMT
Off the Beaten Path Driving Adventures in Rural Nova Scotia: Cobequid Bay south side Home to the World's Highest tides with tidal swings of 15 Meters (50 feet), the Cobequid Bay, Nova Scotia is fascinating to explore. That also means that at low tide the ocean water will actually be more than 1 kilometer away from where the grassy edge of the shoreline was at high tide.  This happens twice per day - every day, all year round.
The Bay of Fundy enjoys more notoriety probably because the fishing industry is stronger there, combined with it's longer coastal exposure, but the Cobequid Bay tides are even higher.  The Cobequid bay is actually a funnel tip which amplifies the tidal water swing that squeezes past Blomidon, into the Minas Basin.

I love driving "off the beaten path" and have come to appreciate the many hidden gems in the rural parts of Nova Scotia.  This article encompasses an interesting rural area which is fun and easy to drive through, but also has much more to see and enjoy than first glance if you take the time to look beyond the obvious.  My content is a mixture of what's there now, combined with insights to some past gems that have faded into history.

How do you live with such an ever changing ocean environment? Discover more about the people, places and things of the southern shore area of the Cobequid Bay, located between Maitland, and Summerville. It includes many rural communities who embrace the coastal rural lifestyle there.  Noel, Walton, Kennetcook, etc.

Tip: Use the "Slideshow" option to see the largest versions of the photo's in each of the galleries below.


Cobequid BayCobequid Bay

Family Beach Fun

2015086119web2015086119webNoel, East Hants, Nova Scotia, Canada




RVN02813webRVN02813webBurntcoat lighthouse, Noel, Nova Scotia

Bass Fishing

IMG_0828webIMG_0828webBoy holding 36 inch Sea Bass fish, he caught, Noel, East Hants, Nova Scotia, Canada

Nature and Science

2014105340web2014105340webWaterfalls, Noel, East Hants, Nova Scotia, Canada

History lost

IMG_9243webIMG_9243webDEMOLISHED: Abandoned school, Burncoat / Burntcoat, Noel area, East Hants, Nova Scotia, Canada; now demolished; historical society; front



Coastal Beauty

RVN201308_1008585RVN201308_1008585The Notch on the East Point, Noel area, East Hants, Nova Scotia, Canada


]]> (PerfectPhoto.CA) Atlantic Canada climate change Coast Cobequid Bay country drive driving erosion Maritime Nova Scotia NS Ocean rural Sea tour tourism world record Tue, 01 Jun 2021 01:43:08 GMT
Sailboat, Classic Widgeon 16 foot dinghy  

20140625642014062564Noel, Nova Scotia

A classic 1980's Widgeon sailboat was a delightful beginner boat for me at my cottage in the Cobequid Bay (Bay of Fundy) of Nova Scotia, Canada.

My sailing was mostly in the Noel Bay area, sailing across to the "notch" point, or up along the coast to the Burntcoat Lighthouse museum.

The keel that folds up into a trunk is well suited to the 50 foot tide swings and mud flats at low tide.


Click the image to see the slide show:


]]> (PerfectPhoto.CA) dinghy sailboat Widgeon Thu, 25 Feb 2021 01:08:24 GMT
Jungle waterfalls beaches and botanical garden, con español

English / Español 

Following the coastline south of Puerto Vallarta, you can find a flourishing rural lifestyle, picturesque waterfalls as you head inland into the lush jungles.  Each of the coastal fishing communities seem to have beautiful sandy beaches.  About an hour away the Botanical Gardens provide an amazing collection of local plants and trees, centered around a well equipped visitor center with a great restaurant, museum and Tequila bar.

Click on the image to see 88 more photos  Use the Slide show button to view full screen size.

RVN02160Click photo to see 88 more images.Mismaloya Beach, Rural jungle, Puerto Vallarta, Jalisco, Mexico

Arnold Schwarzenegger starred in the movie Predator which was filmed on location at El Eden, which has a great waterfall and restaurant as well as zip line.

These photos were taken on the eve of our current Covid-19 corona virus pandemic, while in Mexico in early March 2020.






Siguiendo la costa al sur de Puerto Vallarta, puedes encontrar un floreciente estilo de vida rural, pintorescas cascadas mientras te diriges tierra adentro a las exuberantes selvas. Cada una de las comunidades pesqueras costeras parece tener hermosas playas de arena. Aproximadamente a una hora de distancia, el Jardín Botánico ofrece una increíble colección de plantas y árboles locales, centrada en un centro de visitantes bien equipado con un gran restaurante, museo y bar de tequila.

88 imágenes más al hacer clic.
RVN02186(Haga clic para ver 88 fotos) Cascada de la selvaLush Jungle Park, El Eden, Rural jungle, Puerto Vallarta, Jalisco, México; tirolinas, set de película Predator
Playa Mismaloya, selva rural, Puerto Vallarta, Jalisco, México
Haga clic en la imagen para ver 88 fotos más. Use el botón Presentación con diapositivas para ver el tamaño de pantalla completa.

Arnold Schwarzenegger protagonizó la película Predator, que se filmó en el lugar en El Eden, que tiene una gran cascada y un restaurante, así como una tirolina.

Estas fotos fueron tomadas en la víspera de nuestra actual pandemia del virus corona Covid-19, mientras que en México a principios de marzo de 2020.

(Esta traducción fue realizada por Google)

Places: Conchas Chinas, Mirador los arcos de Mismaloya, Mismaloya Beach town, Capomo Paradise, El Eden, Boca de Tomatlan, Chicos Paradise, Botanical Gardens

  Lugares:  Conchas Chinas, Mirador los arcos de Mismaloya, Mismaloya Beach town, Capomo Paradise, El Eden, Boca de Tomatlan, Chicos Paradise, Botanical Gardens



]]> (PerfectPhoto.CA) beach botanical garden Chicos Paradise drive El Eden exploring Jungle Mexico Mirador los arcos Playa Palmares Puerto Vallarta rural waterfall Thu, 09 Apr 2020 11:52:55 GMT
Gringo Gulch and Rio Cuale zone, Puerto Vallarta We enjoyed seeing the famous BRIDGE over the street, between two Hollywood star's homes - Liz Taylor and Richard Burton, who were in the movie "Night of the Iguana",  One man... three women...  one night...  located in the area of Puerto Vallarta known as "Gringo Gulch".  The neighborhood has many up-scale homes which overlook the Cuale River that leads down to the Pacific Ocean.  There actually are a few rustic style local homes in the same upscale neighborhood. RVN02057Click photo to see 33 more images. The famous bridge across the streetThis famous bridge crosses the street between the two homes of Liz and Richard. Liz Taylor / Richard Burton, Gringo Gulch, Puerto Vallarta, Jalisco, Mexico; Night of the Iguana movie.

In the popular bohemian style Babel Restaurant, which overlooks the Rio Cuale, we enjoyed some regional folk music with our lunch.  The group Tajin had an interesting collection of musical instruments.  Harp, pan flute, box drum plus a VERY UNIQUE horse head bone set, with guitars and violin.

Our adventures this day started out at our AirBNB, when we watched the locals in bare feet, climb a coconut tree with rope in hand, to harvest the coconuts, by gently lowering them using the rope.

We had an opportunity to view a lovely home for rent, located in the romantic zone.  It had one very unique ingenious feature, whereby you could open the entry door from the top of the long flight of stairs, by simply pulling on a loop wire!

While stopping for a refreshing drink later in the afternoon, it was interesting to observe the "cigar smokers group" gathering in a large open area at the back of a nice jungle atmosphere restaurant.  The restaurant was even equipped with water mist sprayers, and a mermaid!   RVN02078Horse head bones instrumentHorse bones,Tajin band music, Babel restaurant, Puerto Vallarta, Jalisco, Mexico; Harp, pan flute, horse bones, violin, box drum

In order to bolster our Covid-19 defenses, we took a trip in our neighborhood to the BIG grocery store where we were able to purchase some Lysol disinfecting wipes!!  We ended up sharing this treasure with our fellow B&B friends when we left town.

Click here to see full gallery of 33 photos (use the slide show button to see the full screen sized images)

]]> (PerfectPhoto.CA) Babel Restaurant Gringo Gulch Liz Taylor Mexico Music Puerto Vallarta Richard Burton Rio Cuale Tajin tourism travel Sun, 05 Apr 2020 00:55:11 GMT
Fine dining on rooftop at sunset in Puerto Vallarta Layla's Restaurant, which happened to be very close to where we were staying, turned out to be an excellent (6 out of 5 stars review) restaurant experience.  The rooftop patio is a great way to enjoy the sunset after a fun day exploring the romantic zone of Puerto Vallarta. Layla's server demonstrating his skills

They provided us with some excellent unique appetizers even though we didn't order them.  We were a bit lucky that we had a very good server to ourselves because our section had very few others.  The "skirt beef" was a new experience for me, but was very flavorful and tender the way they prepared it.  For dessert there was a very lemony creation, maybe a bit like baked ice cream.  For our finale, our server performed an awesome preparation of a "flaming coffee", sort of like Irish Coffee on steroids.

Exploring the "romantic zone" of Puerto Vallarta, we enjoyed some ice cream at Lix which we saw featured on the RVN01962man washing laundry in Cuale RiverWashing clothes in the Cuale river, Romantic Zone, Puerto Vallarta, Jalisco, Mexico
TV show "Mexico Life" or similar.  The owners were from the US, and wanted to change their lifestyle by moving to Mexico.  The Rio Cuale (River Cuale) 
has been a thread of life for the local Mexicans for many years.  Twenty years ago when i visited here, there were numerous "Laundry Services" that would wash your clothes in the river (with soap) and dry them on the rocks.  That practice is not common any more, but we happened to see a young, possibly homeless, man washing his clothes that were carried in his suit case.

The romantic zone is vibrant with various fresh food producers.  We visited a tortilla factory (La Gloria - a tortilleria), and found a fresh fish on ice place, then fresh fruit and vegetables stand.  The local art gallery was fun to see statues and painted art including some VERY large pieces, and some humorous ones.  We stopped to taste some fresh chocolate dipped coffee beans next door - yummy. RVN01973Fresh fish on iceFresh fish, Romantic Zone, Puerto Vallarta, Jalisco, Mexico

We were slightly confused when we could not follow our map, because the 2nd bridge that crosses the Rio Cuale had been washed away in the last rainy season.

I wanted to find the hotel that I had stayed in 20 years ago, when I traveled to PV with my teen aged son.  The Las Palmas has changed quite a bit, like everything else in PV since then, but still had many recognizable features still in place.

Gallery of 30 photos. (Use slide show option for full screen view)

]]> (PerfectPhoto.CA) fine dining fresh fish Layla's restaurant Mexico Puerto Vallarta Rio Cuale River Cuale Romantic zone tortilla factory Sun, 29 Mar 2020 19:12:33 GMT
Sayulita Surf Town day trip, out of Puerto Vallarta Sayulita is a small surfer's haven on a beautiful HOT white sand beach.  Its about an hour's drive north of Puerto Vallarta.  We took the regular "local" bus, which was generally full, as numerous people got on and off along the way.  It has a regular 30 minute schedule and is inexpensive.  The trip goes through the mountainous areas with lots of twists and turns along the way (plus a lot of bumps).  The small town is mainly a one way loop, which is full of life, supporting the surfer population.  It's pretty easy to get around town by walking, but if you live in the nice villas in the nearby hills you probably use a "golf cart".  We rented an ELECTRIC AWD type golf cart, which had lots of range and power to get up the many neighborhood hills that we explored.

Click on the photo below to open the full gallery of this "out of PV" day trip.  Use the SLIDESHOW option if you want to see the full screen view of the images.

RVN01916Surfer beach, from restaurant perspectiveThe beach has beginner and expert sections. Don pedros restaurant, Sayulita Nayarit, Mexico. Near Puerto Vallarta (PV).

]]> (PerfectPhoto.CA) Sat, 28 Mar 2020 22:56:41 GMT
VIP Sailing Tour in Puerto Vallarta, Banderas Bay, Mexico Very enjoyable day sailing with Ada Sailing Tours in Puerto Vallarta.  Their VIP tour limits the number of people on board to make it a more intimate experience.  They also kept us well fed with numerous excellent "Hors d'oeuvres", and drinks.  The delicious lunch meal was white table cloth style dining on board a fine ship.  Before departing there were numerous Iguanas of various colours and sizes wandering freely in the sun and in the trees.  We were lucky that the mother whales were busy teaching their young how to dive and gather food.  We stopped for a swim in front of white sand beach resort near the mouth of the Bay.  It was fun to see the Malecon and shoreline strip from the ocean perspective, enjoying a great view of Puerto Vallarta spreading into the mountainous jungles, and icons including the Crowned Church (Our Lady of Guadalupe), the viewing tower at the top side of town (Mirador), plus a sail past a resort I stayed at 20 years ago with my teen aged son.

Click on the image to see 20 more images from the day trip.  I recommend you use the Slide Show option to see the full screen view of the images.

RVN01615Sailing out of the Bay.Day sailing, Ada Sailing, Brewer 78 Ketch, Puerto Vallarta, Jalisco, MexicoPuerto Vallarta, Jalisco, Mexico



]]> (PerfectPhoto.CA) Sat, 28 Mar 2020 01:18:54 GMT
Puerto Vallarta, Mexico 2020 Insights into the vibrant Puerto Vallarta area of Mexico, taken in March 2020, just prior to the Covid19 Corona virus outbreak.

  • Encompassing the Malecon tourist strip
  • Traditional Mexican back streets
  • Nearby Jungle area including the Botanical Gardens and film set site for Predator
  • Sailing and Whale watching
  • Side trip to surfer town Sayulita, Nayarit

Overview Gallery (27 photos)

Use the Slide Show option there to see the biggest versions of the photos.

(OR you can see the whole gallery here: Whole Gallery )
RVN01251Click image for 27 more photos.Colourful Mexican celebration banner flags. Hotel Posada de Roger, Romantic zone, Puerto Vallarta, Jalisco, Mexico, spring 2020

]]> (PerfectPhoto.CA) Mexico Puerto tourism travel Vallarta Thu, 26 Mar 2020 22:32:56 GMT
American Chestnut trees in NS Although the "American Chestnut" tree is an endangered species because of a blight that kills the tree, there are a few survivors in Nova Scotia.  The biggest one in Canada (Circumference) is in Hants County and is known as the Ashdale tree.  The Uniacke House Museum which is run by the province of Nova Scotia has a very tall one on the Hot House Loop trial, with good signage to help you find it.  There is also one in the City of Halifax Public Gardens.  Click on the image to see the gallery.

RVN00996webRVN00996webAshdale famous, American Chestnut Tree, An Endangered Species, Nova Scotia, Canada; Castanea dentata; 1905 oldest Canadian tree

]]> (PerfectPhoto.CA) American Chestnut Ashdale tree Mon, 24 Feb 2020 01:04:45 GMT
Mount Teide, Canary Islands Climbing Mount Teide (12,000 feet high) involves travel by auto, cable car and hiking by foot.  All manner of vehicle seems to enjoy the National Park (bicycles, motor cycles, dune buggy's).  The final ascent to the top most summit requires a special permit, purchased months in advance.

The lava flow and volcanic rubble create fascinating abstract photos through the well maintained Spanish trail system.

The green pine tree forests are rare in Tenerife, until you climb up into the mountain area away from the beach resorts.

TIP: Use the SLIDESHOW button in the top right hand side to see the biggest version of the photos.

IMG_8050wMount Teide road tripDriving through the volcanic rubble in the caldera of Mount Teide, Tenerife, Spain


]]> (PerfectPhoto.CA) canary islands el teide mount teide spain teide tenerife tourism Sun, 13 Oct 2019 14:05:34 GMT
Canary Islands, Spain - Main island of Tenerife Recently returned from our wonderful first visit to The Canary Islands.  This group of 7 islands are actually part of Spain, and located off the coast of Africa, near Morocco.  Its about the size of PEI in Canada.

  • Beaches: Golden Sahara desert sand and black volcanic sand

  • Clean modern / classic buildings plus old Spanish

  • Staircase style Architecture

  • Mini Las Vegas if you want it

  • Many natural attractions, and other attractions

  • Small cars and narrow streets - plus major highways

  • Underground building construction

  • 12,000 foot mountain climb


(Click photos below to see Gallery of more related photos of that subject - use the SLIDE SHOW option to see biggest photos with captions)

30 photo SUMMARY:
IMG_8460wIMG_8460wPlaya de Las Teresitas, Tenerife. Golden Sand beach IMPORTED from the Sahara Desert, nearby!

The touristy part of the island is the south, which is very hot, with dry savannah / bad lands like African safari:

IMG_7561wIMG_7561wStaircase architecture, Los Cristianos, Tenerife, Canary Islands, Spain

The Northern part of the island is greener:

IMG_8191wIMG_8191wSteep downhill mountain switchbacks, enroute to Garachico, North shore, Tenerife Island, Canary Islands, Spain 2019

Rural roads through base of mountain:

IMG_7693wIMG_7693wStone arch bridge, Barren mountain desert, Rural drive, South side, Tenerife, Canary Islands, Spain; 2019

Mt. Teide National park, takes you to 12,000 feet by cable car:

IMG_8116wIMG_8116wMount Teide

Pico del Teide, Tenerife, Canary Islands, Spain 2019


]]> (PerfectPhoto.CA) Canary Islands Spain travel vacation Sun, 22 Sep 2019 22:51:57 GMT
New Logo My son Andrew thought I needed a new logo to go with the new site, so he crafted a nice new logo which is now in place here. (Red maple leaf, with eye in camera lens - Top left hand corner).  Thanks Andrew!  :-)



]]> (PerfectPhoto.CA) Sun, 02 Dec 2012 22:56:22 GMT
Now live as PerfectPhoto.CA I have decided to continue using the web site tools and hosting, and subsequently have now attached it to my normal web site: www.PerfectPhoto.CA

I hope all continues to run smoothy.

You may notice a few "broken links" from google searches, that are trying to find the old page.

]]> (PerfectPhoto.CA) Sun, 25 Nov 2012 20:54:04 GMT
Hawaii I have just returned from a 7 day Cruise Ship tour of Hawaii, which covered four islands.  My sample photos for this new web site are focussing on that trip.


]]> (PerfectPhoto.CA) Hawaii Mon, 12 Nov 2012 02:09:46 GMT
New Web Site I am considering moving to this new web site provider, and would appreciate any comments about presentation and layout to assist me in my evaluation over the next two weeks.

Thanks, Rob


]]> (PerfectPhoto.CA) Mon, 12 Nov 2012 02:05:57 GMT