2018 was a year full of travel, adventures, and some nice time back home. I made sure to keep things interesting by having a wide diversity of themes to each trip, probably more so than I’ve done in recent years. From cooking classes in Dubai, Hong Kong, and Kuala Lumpur to backpacking trips in Kyrgyzstan and the Grand Canyon, and cycling through Western Australia, it was a great year.
I never used to be a big enthusiast of monuments, preferring the serenity of green spaces and clean mountain air. There’s something about Communist pride and the grandeur of that era, though, that makes me love exploring the endless epitaphs of Bishkek, capital of Kyrgyzstan.
One of the things I love best about long walks (and travel in general) is the rich history waiting to be discovered. Like the ruins of this Augustinian Priory, built in the 13th century. (In)famous Robert the Bruce loved this place so much he endowed it in 1317. Continue reading “Scotland is falling apart”
It’s been pretty gentle walking on the West Highland Way so far. Today, beyond Inversnaid and its beautiful waterfall, the walking got a lot rougher. Continue reading “The Way Gets Rougher”
I had the chance to visit Death Valley this spring. I loved exploring the desert, camping and backpacking throughout this vast park. The wildflowers were out-of-this world, adding a splash of colour to such a tranquil landscape. When I heard about the forgotten Panamint City ghost town I was really excited to make a backpacking trip to see it but I had no idea what sort of hike I was in for.
Continue reading “Panamint City Ghost Town Backpacking Trip”
Last December I visited Ballarat, the historic Australian gold boom town. Unlike many mining towns, the gold continued to flow for decades and the town grew large enough to survive even after gold production declined. Nearly 50 years after the discovery of gold in the hills not far from Melbourne, another rich gold find popped up, this time half way around the world. Taking its name from the now famous Australian city, Ballarat California was born in 1897. I’ve just had the opportunity to visit and the contrast between the two towns couldn’t be more striking.
Continue reading “Ballarat – A Tale of Two Towns”
The Great Ocean Road stretches for 250 km along Australia’s rugged southern coast. Built by soldiers returning from World War I and dedicated to their fallen comrades, it’s the world’s largest war memorial. It also has some of the best scenery in all of Australia. After having such a good time cycling in Tasmania, I was keen to tackle the tight turns and steep climbs of the Great Ocean Road but I hadn’t counted on the intense traffic (thousands of tourists came during Chinese New Year). After my first day, I decided to leave the bike behind and simply enjoy this stunning place as a road trip.
Continue reading “Australia’s Great Ocean Road”
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”
Cycling Tasmania – Day 31
Bridport to Gladstone
60km, 360m elevation
It was hot today! I remember reading about how cold Tasmania can get before I set out on this cycling trip. One couple even said it snowed only a few weeks later in the year during their visit. I must have chosen the hottest summer of all as only a few days have been cold and some, like this one, have been scorchers!
Continue reading “Obscure history in Tasmania’s remote northeast”
Cycling Tasmania – Day 30
Low Head to Bridport
79km, 820m elevation
Only three days left in my Tasmania cycle tour! A complete loop around the island I won’t quite finish, though. I decided to spend more time exploring the remote West Coast and northwest, knowing that I’d come up short on time to make it all the way back to St Helens where I started. That’s ok. I really enjoyed the remoteness and beauty of the west.
Continue reading “Back to the East Coast of Tasmania”