Entries from 'Hiking'

Some pros and cons of hiring a tour company for your Everest Base Camp trek

Planning an Everest Base Camp (EBC) trek through Sagarmatha National Park can be intimidating, and like many travelers setting out to complete the 62-kilometer hike from Lukla, Him and I were torn between hiring a tour company and going at it on our own. We ultimately decided to play it safe and hired the Amazing…

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Making furry, fuzzy friends on Miyajima Island

According to “Nihon Kokujisekikou” (“Observations About the Remains of Japan’s Civil Affairs”), Confucian scholar Shunsai Hayashi’s painfully titled book chronicling his 17th century travels through Japan, Itsukushima ranks among the country’s three most scenic spots. Our own travels did not include the other two locations – Matsushima and Amanohashidate – but we’ll give Hayashi the…

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“Oh my Buddha!”

We had been hiking, single-file, through the bamboo jungle of Khao Sok National Park for about an hour when a dreadful notion suddenly teased my over-active imagination: This was an ideal scenario for tour guides with malicious intent to rob us and leave us to wander helplessly in the wild. Anticipating wading through the chilly…

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Top-10 porter loads on the Everest Base Camp Trek

Nepal’s Sherpa population has served as the backbone of the country’s tourism industry ever since the first westerners set their sights on Mount Everest’s summit. Despite the passage of more than 150 years, Everest and her base camp remain isolated, the rough terrain preventing construction of true roadways or railways. Crude “airports” dotting the region…

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The missing link between homo sapiens and fowl?

So our new year didn’t exactly start off on a high note, but we spent the next two days — before taking the ferry to Waiheke for the wedding — making up for it by cramming in a colorful garden and exploring a few volcanoes. In the Domain near the Auckland Museum is the splendid…

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Middle-earth (Or at least the middle of New Zealand)

I’m not sure if this is always the case, but when one tours Wellington just before, during or after a Tolkien-related theatrical premiere, there are signs. Everywhere. Times Square-grade Bilbo Baggins posters cloak entire sides of buildings. Gandalf banners flutter from light posts. Elephant-sized fiberglass trolls glare at passersby. While it seems the entire Kiwi…

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Christmas abroad

Kia Ora!  We’re a tad behind on our posts, but we’re working to catch up!  In the meantime, a very belated Merry Christmas to all of you! Christmas Day abroad was a strange experience for both of us.  Her and I have spent every Christmas of our lives with at least one of our families,…

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Fur seals, insects, and serious Lens Envy

The drive from Charleston to our lodge just outside of Abel Tasman National Park on the sixth day of our trek would take approximately 3 hours if one were to drive straight through, but it’s worth spending an extra couple of hours to explore Cape Foulwind.  This negatively named area of the West Coast was…

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The West Coast in two days (not enough time, but plenty of glaciers)

Day 4 – Dec 22 – Te Anau to Fox Glacier Like the Great Ocean Road in Australia, Highway 6 on New Zealand’s South Island is jam-packed with stunning places to stop, both marked and unmarked.  It seems that every turn in the road leads to a rushing river cutting through marvelously steep mountain passes…

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Camels, kangaroos, and contagious conjunctivits

“That is one big rock!” Her exclaimed. We were seated in our rented Toyota RAV4, A/C blasting, in the sunset viewing parking lot several kilometers from the base of Uluru, the massive monolith in the Red Center of Oz.  We decided to stop over here to see the “postcard view” before going to see the…

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