Australian Adventures: New South Wales and Victoria

Are you all still bearing with me? The trip is coming to a close, only a few more destinations left! I know! I’m as shocked as you are, who knew a year was practically no time at all?

When we last spoke, I had just survived a skydive (the last ever in my life, for sure!) in Byron Bay. After killing the rest of the afternoon, it was time for another (and final!) overnight bus! This one brought me, at long last, back to Sydney. I’d booked a bed at Blue Parrot in Potts Point, a fun and quirky — if slightly seedy — part of town (read: upscale coffee houses by day, shady-looking strip clubs by night). The hostel was nice though, and full of fun and interesting people. Continue reading “Australian Adventures: New South Wales and Victoria”

Stunning South Africa

Alright, friends, I’m going to level with you. I was happy to leave South America. Don’t get me wrong, I had an amazing time there and I fully intend to return someday, but I was beyond ready to move on. The countries I visited were all different, but in many ways were so similar and my itchy travel feet were wanting new lands to explore. And so it was that I found myself winging eastward across the South Atlantic for my first visit to the African continent! I know South Africa is kind of Africa-Lite, but I think it was a good place to start. Continue reading “Stunning South Africa”

Meditations (and Malbec!) in Mendoza

After ringing in the new year in Bariloche, my travels took me north (by way of another 17 hour bus ride) up to Mendoza, the heart of Argentinian wine country.  I honestly didn’t have much of an agenda coming here (other than to drink delicious wine!) and so that’s pretty much what I did.  I had met an American girl in Santiago who works here in Mendoza as a lawyer for a vineyard, I’d hoped we could meet up, but unfortunately, that didn’t work out.  No matter though, I ended up making a lot of great friends at my hostel, and good times were had! Continue reading “Meditations (and Malbec!) in Mendoza”

Santiago Seconds: Epic Tales of Adventure!

After finally prying myself away from Viña and my friends at Street Garden, I headed back to Santiago to regroup and also spend some time with the brilliant and talented (and of course, thin) Mr. Jonathon La Chapelle.  JLC is one of my only lawyer friends, though he worked at a much fancier firm than I did.  Soon after I stopped working, he decided 33 was a fine age to retire and now he is also hop-scotching around the world (albeit with a much bigger budget than mine).  He had a wedding to attend in Rio, and after a bit more travel, he swung through Santiago before heading home for Christmas. Continue reading “Santiago Seconds: Epic Tales of Adventure!”

Mom on the Move – Cusco City Tour

Cusco Cuzco

The day after our Paracas adventure, Mom and  I were up early again to catch a flight to Cusco, deep in the heart of the Andes mountains and situated at about 3400 m (11,200 ft) above sea level.  Everyone says that the altitude is no joke — and everyone is right!  We could feel the difference almost immediately, the air was super dry and it was hard to catch your breath.

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The Andes: Land o’ Llamas

 

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Mom On The Move – Paracas and Ballestas Islands

When I last left you, Mom and I had arrived at the Cruz del Sur bus terminal at the last possible second in order to catch our pre-dawn ride down to Paracas. Our nerves were pretty rattled from the rapid (and unexpected) packing and checkout from our hotel and we had no idea what to expect going forward. Imagine our pleasant surprise when we boarded the bus to discover that we were seated in the VIP section, featuring massive leather reclining seats, personal video terminals, and even a dedicated bus attendant serving us food and drinks! This went a long way toward assuaging our anxiety over the events of the morning, and we both settled into our plush seats in the hopes of sleeping away the majority of the 4-ish hour ride. I think we both managed to sleep a bit, and when we woke up, it was like we’d traveled to an entirely different planet. Continue reading “Mom On The Move – Paracas and Ballestas Islands”

Mom On The Move – Welcome To Lima!

My mom had never been to Peru (or South America, for that matter) so when I decided to spend some time here on my RTW tour, she figured that this was her chance to finally come here and check a few things off her bucket list. We booked a 9 day tour through a company recommended by a friend of my sister in law and were pretty excited by all the varied places we’d go and sites to visit. The tour operator was a little slow in answering e-mails, but we gave him the benefit of the doubt and just assumed he was doing things on Peruvian time. (Peruvian time is a lot like Hawaiian time, except more frustrating because everything is in Spanish). Continue reading “Mom On The Move – Welcome To Lima!”

Weekly Whim: Day Trip to La Piedra Del Peñol and Guatapé

For our last full day in Medellín, we decided to get out of town with a day trip to La Piedra del Peñol and the town of Guatapé, based on recommendations from both guidebooks and people. We hopped on a microbus from Medellín’s Terminal de Norte and settled in for the 2(ish) hour trip out to La Piedra.

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However tall you think it looks…it’s taller

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