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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Lamma

Anticipation. I navigate the hectic, crowded streets of Hong Kong Central. Tourists and business men alike plough through the incessant traffic. Bodies run into me as I seek a ferry escape to the nearby island of Lamma. After navigating the complex, impassable streets of the Central Business District, I gratefully board a ferry to an unknown destination, a village name, and cross my fingers I’m headed the right way. Such is life. Continue reading “Lamma”

Queen of the Castle

Sunday morning I wake up with a busy mind and a desire to get lost. I grab a cappuccino freddo and set out on foot towards a distant castle, somewhere on the island. Dodging motorbikes, I ascend a road along the edge of a cliff, looking down at the maze of houses below, stretching out to the ocean. Indeed I get lost, looking for a path that will lead me to the castle. After making countless wrong turns, I realize the path I’m looking for isn’t a road, but a narrow staircase pathway. What seemingly is an entrance to a house is really a secret stairway leading to a quaint village on a beach. Continue reading “Queen of the Castle”

Tsingy

A rust colored dirt path leads me to the rock formations I’ve been so determined to see- Tsingy. Tsingy means to walk on tiptoes and it’s been said that Malagasy people crossed these jagged pointed rocks on their tiptoes (no idea if that’s true). I’ve spent a few sleepless nights googling these limestone pillars that point up to the sky and now I’m just a few kilometers from them.

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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”

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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