Jiufen Old Street

Waiting. Waiting for a number. Number 1062, the bus number that will take me across Taiwan to a picture of something I once saw, an idea I’ve followed here. Is this a good idea? The number appears, I drop my money into a box, and squeeze my way into a crowded bus, standing room only. An hour later, I am surrounded by lush, green hills, and the bus pulls drives into a painting. A painting of an old city on a hill, colorful temples, a market like a maze that stretches deep into the village, winding roads that travel up the mountains, weaving through the city, contrasted by a piercing blue sea below. Continue reading “Jiufen Old Street”

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Wild Lemurs

My morning starts just after dawn before the bright Madagascar sun begins to bake the forests and radiate heat off the calm ocean water. I sleepily pull on my hiking boots and start hiking through the cool misty forests, climbing rock boulders, jumping over mud puddles, pulling myself up with vines, heading to the top of the lush volcanic island to watch wild lemurs. Continue reading “Wild Lemurs”

Madagascar

I wake up in the urban chaos of Johannesburg, and fall asleep in a secluded Madagascar island – no electricity, no light, no walls or even doors. The adjustment is quite hard for me. The first thing I notice about Madagascar is the heat- a wet heat that covers you in seconds, as if someone sprayed you with mist. I feel the humidity immediately and start peeling off layers before I even get from the plane into to the airport. I wait in about 5 lines, get stamps, signatures, my bag searched, then hop in a taxi which takes me to a small boat that takes me to my island home. I go rock climbing with my suitcase (backpack only next time) and settle into an island bungalow. Continue reading “Madagascar”

Dunes

Sand dunes and the ocean have the same effect on me- I have this inner bubble of excitement and overwhelming desire to run straight to them, like a child witnessing something extraordinary for the first time. I had not expected the striking beauty of Namibia, the sprawling land a thousand shades of brown, and the sky a light clear blue, the sand dunes that appear from the cracked dusty ground, suddenly replacing the mountains as we drive towards the coast. Continue reading “Dunes”

Lion’s Head

This is a great hike and semi challenging climb in Cape Town. On the way up this beautiful mountain, you will get a panoramic view of the picturesque city of Cape Town, from Camps Bay to Clifton Beaches. The windy mountainous trail eventually gives out to straight up rock climbing about half way through, and the adventure begins.

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Cerro Chato

This is probably one of the coolest things I’ve discovered. Cerro Chato is a 3000 year old dormant volcano and it’s crater is no longer full of hot lava- it’s a swimming pool! Amazing. All I wanted to do once I discovered this, was jump in that volcano – normal reaction. So, I executed a plan. Continue reading “Cerro Chato”

Petra

Instead of writing a full post about this magnificent rose-colored city, I really just want to post my photos. I’m not going to lie, I could barely pay attention to my guide giving me the history of this place, because I was so enamored with the beauty of the rocks and colors. My inner 5 year old just wanted to climb everything. Continue reading “Petra”