I’ve just finished a month-long, 1,500-km cycle tour around Tasmania. This remote island is a pleasure to travel by bike with long winding roads that pass through incredible scenery with little traffic. Its diversity is striking. There are vast temperate rain forests, tropical white sandy beaches with turquoise water, rugged coastlines with towering sea cliffs, and peaceful sheep pastures and lavender farms. Tasmania’s history is equally rich. From its notorious convict beginnings to hardy miners who struggled to make a life in the remote corners of this island, there’s so much to learn. Whether you stay in campgrounds or treat yourself to character-rich B&Bs and historic hotels, you’re sure to discover some real gems along the way. Continue reading “Tasmania Cycle Tour”→
We stayed with Simon & Stuart last night and got along so well that they asked us to come back for another night to look after their pets while they’re away. I’d planned on continuing my cycle tour but these opportunities don’t come up everyday. I’m a huge animal lover. That’s one of the wonderful things about spontaneous travel – unique experiences that just seem to pop up. Continue reading “Pet Sitting in Paradise”→
I’ve finally found it! The endangered, elusive Tasmanian Devil!
Today I visited the Tasmanian Devil Unzoo where you can get up close and personal with some of Tasmania’s wild creatures. It’s more than just a zoo. Or, I should say, it’s not a zoo at all. I’ll get to that but first the exciting part – I got to watch two Tassie devils wait in anticipation of fresh food then devour a chunk of wallaby! They’re such interesting creatures. About the size of a small dog, they look really cute and cuddly. Yet, they have the strongest jaws next to a shark and can tear tough meat and crunch through bones as if they were toothpicks. They’re carnivores but they don’t hunt. They scavenge for food. Continue reading “I found the Tasmanian Devil!”→
I decided to take a day off cycling to see Maria Island by boat. Maria Island is the oldest penal settlement in Tasmania and it’s also famous among geologists internationally. Plus it’s surrounded by hundreds of dolphins surging through and jumping out of the water! At least it was today for the lucky folks who joined Skipper Steve on the East Coast Cruises tour of the island. Continue reading “Dolphins sighted at Maria Island!”→
Melbourne is a city with a tremendous amount of variety and there’s even something for the cat lover looking for a fix. Cat Cafe Melbourne opened in 2014 with the aim of creating a calm and relaxing environment where people could come share some affection with their 14 resident cats. Cat cafés got their start in Taiwan and Japan and have been experiencing rapid growth in popularity over the last few years. Melbourne’s Cat Café is the first to open in Australia. Continue reading “Melbourne’s Cat Cafe”→
I’m exploring Sri Lanka by bicycle with a great group of people, visiting Buddhist temples and ancient ruins while cycling through remote rural areas that few people ever see. One of the highlights so far has been Wasgamuwa National Park. Wasgamuwa is home to a large population of Sri Lankan elephants (which means you have to visit on a jeep safari since the elephants might trample cyclists). Continue reading “Stranded in the Sri Lankan Jungle”→
Turks and Caicos is a set of Caribbean islands a few hundred miles east of Cuba. It’s a tropical paradise in every sense – endless white sandy beaches, warm turquoise water, friendly people, and delicious food. But it isn’t such a paradise if you’re born here as one of the unfortunate street dogs often seen picking through trash for food or scurrying away into bushes as cars whip by. As in many places where spaying/neutering is uncommon, the population of street dogs is growing rapidly and the dogs are considered a nuisance. The life expectancy of a stray is a short three years. A large portion die from diseases like parvo and distemper before they even make it to adulthood. Continue reading “Turks and Caicos Islands’ Puppy Rescue Group”→
After a wonderfully relaxing time paddling Alberta’s only canoe circuit in Lakeland Provincial Park, Sil and I decided to head to Jasper’s Maligne Lake for yet more canoeing. The two couldn’t be more different! Maligne Lake is a striking turquoise colour and it’s surrounded by spectacular snowy mountains. You paddle beneath lush avalanche slopes (where you might spot a bear if you’re lucky!) and relax around campfires as you watch the sunset illuminate glaciers high above.