Bolivia is a high and mountainous country, especially its altiplano, a place where it’s cold year-round, it’s hard to breathe, and the sun burns any exposed skin. It’s surprising, then, that the Spanish Conquistadors gave this inhospitable place much attention at all. But they sure did. Why? Silver. Lots and lots of silver. Continue reading “Potosí – Bolivia’s Silver City”
South America’s oldest estate still exists
I enjoy discovering hidden places full of history. That’s exactly what I found when I visited Bolivia’s oldest still-active hacienda, Cayara. A hacienda is essentially a grand Spanish estate or ranch. Continue reading “South America’s oldest estate still exists”
2018 in 12 Photos
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.
Bishkek, City of Communist Monuments
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.
Scotland is falling apart
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”
The Way Gets Rougher
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”
Panamint City Ghost Town Backpacking Trip
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.
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Ballarat – A Tale of Two Towns
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”
Australia’s Great Ocean Road
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.
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Tasmania Cycle Tour
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”