snapshots of my adventures

August 2015: Mighty Five National Parks in Utah

Utah day 8: Zion – The Narrows

The Narrows. The most famous hike in the entire US National Park system, we are told. We hadn’t heard of it until a couple we met in Bryce during the horseback ride recommended it. Then, when we arrived in Zion a couple of days ago we realized that...
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Utah day 7: Zion – Angels Landing

Majestic Zion. I can understand why people come here as their first stop and never get to the other national parks nearby. Zion National Park is beautiful with steep mountain cliffs and a few rolling hills of sliprock, all leading down to narrow canyons and a...
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Utah Day 6: Bryce Canyon

Up an’ at’em bright and early again this morning with our day starting around 6am with a sunrise hike around the Bryce Amphitheatre for a few hours. Spires and hoodoos of different heights, shapes and colours (mostly red sandstone with white and...
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Utah Day 5: Goblin Valley

Today: six hours of riding, two national parks, one state park, one mountain lion, one hail storm, one award winning restaurant in the middle of nowhere and countless different rock formations and landscapes. Where to begin? After an early breakfast in Moab we...
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Utah Day 4: Delicate Arch & the Fiery Furnace

Another day, another early start. Today we woke up early to see the Delicate Arch (in Arches National Park). It takes about 30 minutes to get to the hiking area from our campground, and another 45 minutes to hike to the arch, so a Clif Bar and coffee/tea after...
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Utah Day 3: Dead Horse Point & Canyonlands

An early but fun day. Today we explored Dead Horse Point State Park by mountain bike and then drove through Canyonlands National Park in the early afternoon. We woke up at 5:30am to have a quick breakfast in town (Denny’s – an all american…
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Utah!

I’m on the road again. I have a course in Vegas from August 5-9 so decided to head out a week early, rent a motorbike with a friend (I’ll be on the back!;)) and explore Utah and its Mighty Five National Parks. Day one was a doozy: 5am wake up call for...
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June 2015: Peru

Amazonia: Glamping in the jungle

After a week and a half of trekking and taking in the Inca history and culture, it was time to wind down and head to the region of Amazonia for three nights of glamping. That’s right: glamourous camping. We flew from Cusco to Puerto Maldonado then took a...
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A free day in Cusco

Finally, our first (and only) free day to explore as we pleased and nothing on the agenda. Yay! We slept in, left our hotel around 10am and headed straight for the local market. We’d been there once before but with our guide so didn’t have time to roam...
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Machu Picchu

Finally, the day has arrived. The day to visit Machu Picchu. And an early day at that. We were ready and in the lobby to meet Henry by 5:30am since the gates open at 6am. A twenty minute bus ride up the mountain and through the gates we enter the mystical land...
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Lares 2 day mountain trek

We just arrived in the town of Machu Picchu by train and we are exhausted from our two day Lares trek. So I will keep this to the facts and highlights:) Fact: This trek is normally a three day trek which was modified by our organizer, Uniktour, to be two days to...
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The Sacred Valley

Today was short but intense. We left Cusco around nine headed for Pisaq in the Sacred Valley with a few stops on the way: an animal rescue centre, a llama and alpaca ‘zoo’ and textile exhibit as well as a few stops near the valley simply to take...
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Cusco, the navel of the world

Today we spent the day with our guide, Henry, visiting many of the original Inca archeological sites in the morning, and touring the main square (where festivities were in full force) and wandering around the markets of Cusco. The navel of the Inca world, to be...
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The Andean Explorer

From Puno to Cusco we rode the 10 hour train The Andean Explorer. Considered one of the best train journeys of the world, it’s easy to see why; the journey was an experience in luxury surrounded by breathtaking landscapes. After arriving at the station...
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A day trek near Puno

A long day of trekking today, but not a lot to report. We started our trek about 20min from the hotel around 8:30am and 32km later we arrived at Sillustani, a well known archeological site outside of Puno, around 4pm. A long day indeed, hiking up and down...
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Peru, we’re here!

Peru and Machu Picchu have been on the top of my bucket list for a while now, so what better way to mark a milestone birthday than a two week getaway to explore Inca territory with a friend. We left Montreal Monday afternoon, and with a 2hr layover in Toronto...
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February 2015: Palau

Mystical Jellyfish Lake

After a full week of diving, our last full day on the liveaboard came all too soon. On Saturday, February 14th – Valentine’s Day – we had to stay close to the surface for a full 24 hours before getting on a plane on Sunday. Snorkeling was in...
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Peleliu Island: A journey into the past

On Wednesday we were given the option to skip our second dive and instead take a field trip to the nearby Peleliu Island for a land tour. Peleliu Island, I learned that day, was an infamous battle ground in World War II between the Americans and the Japanese. A bit...
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Palau: more underwater pics!!

An unplanned post: I just received the DVD of the dive pictures that Captain Scott took during our trip with his fancy underwater camera and lighting system. They are stunning and worth posting….it really was like swimming in an aquarium with colourful,...
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Paradise: A week of diving in Palau

The moment we had been waiting for: Sunday afternoon we boarded the liveaboard, The Palau Aggressor. First order of business: getting all of our diving gear set up on the deck. Well, let’s be honest, I didn’t have the first clue how to get my gear ready...
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Welcome to Palau: A day of kayaking & snorkeling

We finally arrived in Palau late Friday night (it was a five hour flight from Taipei) and were exhausted. We are spending two nights on the island in a resort before boarding a liveaboard scuba diving yacht to tour the islands of Palau for the next seven days....
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Taipei continued….

Next stop: The Grand Hotel. Built years ago and once the most opulent hotel in the city, it is now a very reasonably priced hotel (according to Jan) and has recently undergone a makeover to bring it up to date. Jan said he stayed here 23 years ago when first...
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Taipei…in half a day

On a whim back in January, I decided to join a friend on a scuba diving trip to Palau. After a month of anticipation February 4th finally arrived when I was finally able to leave the snow and cold weather behind and board a plane for a warmer weather and what...
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December 2013-January 2014: Myanmar & Istanbul

Istanbul’s Turkish delights

In my five days in Istanbul, I have seen the best and the worst of this city. This is a beautiful city offering thousands of years of history and architecture. As a blond haired, blue eyed single girl roaming the streets alone I was also a beacon for...
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Istanbul…a beautiful city with turkeys everywhere

During my first few days in Burma, Lili, Aki and I met a Turkish guy that hung out with us for a few days until he had to leave the country to meet his friends. He was direct, could sometimes be rude, and made us roll our eyes on more than a couple of...
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Yangon: Last days in Myanmar

I arrived back in Yangon in the early evening of December 29th. Two more nights in Yangon before leaving Myanmar. Since most of the cheapest flights are on December 31st, a few of the people I had met and kept in touch with during my travels around the country...
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Golden Rock: the Disney World of Myanmar

Our time to leave the beach had finally come. Not only is five days kind of my limit for doing nothing (I know, I really need to get better at it, especially on vacation!) but our guest house was fully booked on the 27th onward, so it was our cue to leave. Lili and...
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Merry Christmas from Ngwe Saung Beach

Merry Chrstmas! After two days in Mandalay Lili and I were both ready to move on. Aki left to go back to Finland at the end of day one – after 10 days traveling together we were sad to see him go. Also, after a night bus and a full day sightseeing with Aki...
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Mandalay in a day

Lili and I arrived in Mandalay at 2:30am after a bumpy night bus from Inle Lake. Aki had left the night before and had booked us a room at a guest house so we were lucky enough to know exactly where we were going when we arrived (thank you Aki!). After a short...
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Inle Lake day 3: hosted by a local

My third and final day in Inle Lake area was very special. I had met Sandee at the Oasis Lounge in Bangkok where she works as a server and after talking for a bit she told me that she is from Myanmar. When I told her I was headed here and would be visiting Inle...
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Inle Lake day 2: Sightseeing on the lake

Such a busy and full day on the lake it’s hard to fit it into one post (plus I was tired last night after such a long day), so here is the second. After seeing many of the long boat fisherman paddling with their legs (which was really the main reason I wanted...
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Inle Lake day 2: A day on the lake

Another amazing day! We woke up early (6am!) to meet a long boat driver at 7:30am this morning at the market. Aki and I had met him last night before dinner and he agreed to take the three of us on a tour of the lake all day for the well-negotiated price of...
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Inle Lake day 1

Another overnight bus, this one from Bagan to Inle Lake, deposited us at our destination at 2:30am exhausted and cold from the night air and high altitude. We found a taxi driver who would take us to find a guest house and quickly found one after only two stops....
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December 2012: Thailand & Cambodia

Bangkok Round 2: the last days

My last two days of the trip were spent in Bangkok. I have to say I wasn’t really looking forward to going back to this city. After having such wonderful experiences in places like Siem Reap, Chiang Mai and Koh Samui, and now realizing in retrospect...
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Phuket Town

After five glorious days on a beach or in the water, believe it or not I was kinda sick of beaches and the crowds that go along with them. But I was already scheduled to travel to Phuket for one day, where I would then fly to Bangkok. So I made a last minute change...
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Christmas on the Island

It’s been a while since my last post (over a month, but who’s keeping track?) but I’ve met so many people that have been interested in my trip and the blog, I feel it’s only right to finish it properly.  After all, there is a whole week...
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Christmas Eve on Koh Samui

Warning: this post contains nudity. Not appropriate for everyone:) It’s been a little stormy here the past two days (much more than normal for the dry season). I arrived here the 22nd, and Pat and Rivers met me at the resort on the 23rd. Our resort is...
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Chiang Mai by bike

On my last day in Chiang Mai, I had no plans and no place to be. I was enjoying a lie-in in my relatively soft hostel bed (everything is soft after two night of sleeping on hard bamboo floors). I woke up and headed down for my complimentary breakfast on the...
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Chiang Mai trek: Day 3

The last day of our three day trek, we woke up with the sun only to find a campfire already started and our toast and omelets almost ready. The omelets were made in bamboo, of course. Eggs were broken into the open end of bamboo and stood on end near the fire to...
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Chiang Mai trek: Day 2 Part 2

The second afternoon and night deserves it one post and you’ll understand why. After our lunch or squirrel and noodles, we trekked for a few hours, mostly downhill along another narrow path that was clearly well traveled (if a bit precariously narrow and next...
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Chiang Mai trek: Day 2 Part 1

After a restless night’s sleep we woke up with sore backs and sleep in our eyes. Not for long. Our day began with more delicious food (we certainly didn’t starve on this trek). A westernized Karen breakfast was prepared again over the open fire pit in...
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Chiang Mai Trek: Day 1

Our first day was a two hour trek to a Karen village, eat with the locals and stay overnight with a Karen tribe host family. Tee, our guide, is Karen as well (although from a different village) so was able to explain the Karen culture and act as translator during...
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Chiang Mai: The touristy adventure capital of Thailand

I arrived in Chiang Mai Monday evening and checked into my hostel. Tired from the day of travel from Siem Reap and not having met anyone at my hostel (which is unusual since most hostels are bustling with travelers) I was stuck for what to do in this small...
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