2021 in 12 Photos

2021 was a year of staying at home in Canada, a place that many people dream of visiting. Even though I really wanted to travel, staying at home gave me the opportunity to foster kittens and to welcome a wonderful dog into our home. I reconnected with the mountains at the BMC climbing camp and got together with good friends to explore a rarely visited park, hidden in northern BC. With the cooler temperatures of autumn, I began exploring many more of the beautiful trails that the Kootenays have to offer and set myself a goal of hiking every one of them in my guidebook. Finally, at the end the year, I got to travel again. We picked Chile, one of the safest but most complicated countries to visit, where both the capital and the amazingly scenic Patagonia left a lasting impression.

En 2021 me tocó permanecer en casa en Canadá, un lugar al que mucha gente sueña con ir. Pero, qué sitio tan bonito. A pesar de tener muchas ganas de viajar, me hice amigo de muchas gatitas, a las que cuido como dueño de paso, y una perra cariñosísima. Volví a las montañas rocosas de Columbia Británica a hacer alpinismo y me reuní con buenos amigos para explorar un rincón escondido en el norte del país. Descubrí muchos nuevos senderos y me propuse terminarlos todos, lo cual será un meta a largo plazo. Por fin, a finales del año, me tocó viajar de nuevo. Me fui a Chile para conocer la capital y para desafiarme en los caminos patagónicos. Que el año entrante sea muy especial y lleno de aventuras.

– January – After many years of spending winters travelling, it’s wonderful to snowshoe everyday.
– Enero – Después de muchos años viajando, es maravilloso disfrutar del invierno canadiense.
– February – Binnie, our foster kitty, brings lots of love into the house
– Febrero – Acogemos esta linda gatita que nos ofrece puro amor y cariño.
– March – Miley, the neighbour’s dog, becomes part of my daily routine. We go for long walks and Miley always finds a stinky stick to chew on
– Marzo – La perra de nuestro vecino pasa cada vez más tiempo conmigo. Damos largos paseos y Miley siempre encuentra un palito bien podrido para morder.
– April – Spring has arrived and Monte heads right to the sprouting catnip plant.
– Abril – Monte, el gato de mi madre, adora la primavera y aprovecha la oportunidad de comerse la creciente menta gatuna.
– May – Miley hikes to the top of Red Mountain for great views (and a few treats too)
– Mayo – Miley sube a la cima de Red Mountain para disfrutar de las bellas vistas (y para recibir algunos premios, por supuesto)
– June – Helen, our next foster cat, is deaf and needs special care but she’s also very affectionate.
– Junio – Elena, nuestra próxima gatita de paso, es sorda y necesita mucha atención, pero es tan afectuosa que es muy difícil dejarla irse.
– July – Mountaineering camp is back on this year!
– Julio – Por fin, vuelve el campamento de alpinismo a lo Canadiense!
– August – A group of great friends explore a rarely visited volcanic paradise, hidden in northern BC.
– Agosto – Vamos, algunos buenos amigos y yo, a un paraíso volcánico, escondido en el norte del país.
– September – Curious Georgie wins over our hearts with his delightful playfulness (and curiosity, of course!)
– Septiembre – Jorgito, el gatito curioso, conquista nuestros corazones con su jocosidad (y curiosidad, por supuesto)
– October – With the arrival of fall, I discover lots of new trails around the Kootenays.
– Octubre – Con la llegada del otoño, descubro muchos nuevos senderos en mi propio patio trasero.
– November – Back to travelling! Here I am on the top Cerro San Cristóbal, one of the best views of Santiago de Chile.
– Noviembre – ¡Vuelvo a viajar! Me encuentro en la cima de Cerro San Cristóbal, que tiene una vista maravillosa de Santiago de Chile.
– December – Very excited to be in Torres del Paine, one of the most scenic backpacking trips in the world and a gem of Patagonia.
– Diciembre – Estoy muy emocionado de estar en Torres del Paine, uno de los caminos más lindos del mundo y una joya de la Patagonia.

I hope to have as many great adventures and make as many animal friends in the year to come. As we continue to travel through latin america, I’m sure we’ll do exactly that.

Espero tener muchas aventuras y hacerme amigo de tantos animales en el año que viene. Ya que estamos viajando por Latinoamérica, estoy seguro de que lo haremos.

Happy New Year!
¡Feliz año nuevo!
Felice anno nuovo!

2020 in 12 Photos

2020 hasn’t been the best year for travelling, which has been my main theme and focus for the last ten years. Despite that, I did manage to visit five new countries at the beginning of the year before the coronavirus turned into a pandemic and I’ve also learned a new language – español. While I couldn’t travel during most of the year, staying put in Canada gave me the opportunity to explore my own backyard and to spend time with my loved ones.

El 2020 no ha sido el mejor año para viajar, lo que a mí más me gusta hacer. Sin embargo, logré visitar cinco nuevos países y he aprendido a hablar un nuevo idioma – el hermoso español. No pude viajar durante gran parte del año pero eso me permitió conocer mejor mi propia tierra y pasar más tiempo valioso con mis queridos familiares.

– January – A tea ceremony welcomes us to Kinosaki Onsen, Japan
– Enero – ¡Bienvenidos a Kinosaki Onsen, Japón! Una ceremonia de té nos da la bienvenida más cálida

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Valhalla Climbing

Valhalla Climbing

After spending a fantastic week canoeing on Slocan Lake, I really wanted to explore the mountains higher up. Valhalla Provincial Park is an alpine paradise that few people ever visit. The interior of the park is hidden by big hills that block the view from the lake and road below. But, believe me, it’s worth the effort to hike up and explore this enchanting place. Continue reading “Valhalla Climbing”

2019 in 12 Photos

As I look back over photos from the past 12 months, my year looks a little inside-out. I spent the winter in nice warm New Zealand walking the 1200-km long Te Araroa. It was a great year for long-distance hiking. In the spring I returned to Canada to hike the Great Divide Trail – which looked a lot more like winter even though it was summer! I spent the second half of the year travelling around the world – my first ever circumnavigation of the earth. Cycling in the Netherlands, exploring the ever mysterious North Korea, celebrating China’s 70th anniversary in Beijing, learning yoga in Sri Lanka, scuba diving with sharks in the Maldives, and eating everything possible in Singapore.

January – Hiking length of New Zealand’s South Island on the Te Araroa trail

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Chengdu China – Home of the Giant Panda

Chengdu China – Home of the Giant Panda

I’m stopping over in Chengdu China on my way back from visiting the “Stans” of Central Asia. Chengdu is famous as the home of the endangered Giant Panda. The weather here is perfect for them – warm and wet – just what you want for growing lots of bamboo. I’m very lucky that it’s actually clear and sunny! A rare occurrence, especially in winter, and a great opportunity to capture some photos of people enjoying themselves outside.
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100 Scuba Dives

100 Scuba Dives

I’ve just completed my 100th scuba dive! I got into scuba four years ago on a trip to Cuba and I’ve been lucky enough to explore the underwater world in some fantastic places since. Learning to dive was a big challenge for me. I’ve always felt a little uneasy around water, having grown up in a landlocked city where the only lakes and rivers are freezing cold. I remember how nervous I was the first time I strapped on all that complicated scuba gear and sunk below the surface of the water. Something inside of you yells out “but I can’t breathe under water!”. It’s a real leap of faith to suppress that sense of panic. Once I started to overcome it, I began to love diving. There’s a real sense of freedom that comes with floating weightlessly. The marine world is so vibrant and distinct from what we see in our everyday lives.
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