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Posts Tagged ‘landscape’

View From the Volcano

This picture was taken about half way through our hike on Volcán San Pedro in Lake Atitlan, Guatemala. The hike was definitely hard, appropriate footwear/ broken in shoes are HIGHLY recommended, i’d recommend strong sun screen too, the sun at the top is very powerful. The view from the top was absolutely incredible, and I felt super accomplished by the end. I’d recommend taking a taxi to the gates of the park, we skipped out on that extra expense, but definitely started our hike a little low on energy, as it’s a 40 minute walk from the town to the entrance. We also started at 5 which I definitely recommend, because then it’s not too hot on the way back down. The hike is about three hours up and two hours down, and it is a bit steep. It’s a work out for sure, but absolutely worth it. The view is amazing, and the area surrounding the path, which passes through jungle-y bits and farms with corn and coffee, is really beautiful too.

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Lake Atitlan

This picture was taken on Lake Atitlan, in Guatemala. The lake is accessible by bus or shuttle from Antigua, and probably other nearby cities. The lake is surrounded by towns that can provide you with plenty of places to stay and plenty of shopping. Santiago de Atitlan also has a very cool tourist attraction. If you are looking for an authentic experience here this is the place to go. Ask any tuk tuk driver to take you to see Maximon (pronounced Mashymoan). He is the patron saint of gamblers and drunkards, and going to see him in the house where he is currently being hosted is quite an experience. The room is usually decorated with streamers, lots of fruits hanging from the ceiling, and bottles of Quetzalteca rum around on the floor. The room will also likely be filled with smoke from the cigars that are burning away in the statues mouth, and maybe some incense. It’s really cool to see, and I would highly recommend it. All the towns have shopping and places to stay, but I’d recommend Panajachel.

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Amazon Shore line: Adventures in the Flooded Forest

This picture was taken in the Amazon Rainforest somewhere on the Juma River. The Juma is one of the many offshoots of the Amazon and the Rio Negro. Taking boats along any of these river areas gives you an opportunity to see birds, monkeys, and sometimes Caimans or Iguanas; all of which are pretty difficult to see when hiking through the dense forest. Boats are also a pretty good way to stay cool and still cover a large area. It’s a fun, not stressful, way to spend a day!

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Boat on a River

This picture was taken from a boat on the Mekong River in Myanmar. You can take a boat on the Mekong to go see the sunset, and I’ve got to say, it’s really beautiful. I like boats, and taking the boat trip gave me a slightly different perspective of the area than walking around did. The view is really cool, and it’s also pretty interesting to see people in different types of boats doing different things. These men were fishing with a net, which was interesting to watch. We also saw passenger boats carrying tourists, Buddhist monks, and locals who were just getting from one side of the river to the other. Also visible from the boat are the many pagodas in the area, their mountain-like shapes and spires make for a really cool horizon. You can also see people on the banks, just going about everyday life; planting or harvesting, collecting shells, kids play and bathing in the shallows near the rivers banks, it’s a good way to get a better idea of what life is really like here. If you are interested in arranging a boat trip for an hour or two, you can probably do so at your hotel, or you can just head over to the banks and see if there are any boats taking tourists/ travelers out.

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Cityscape

This picture was taken from one of the many bridges in Portland, Oregon. Portland is a cool city with a lot to offer, it’s not too big, or too fast paced, and it’s in pretty close proximity to some very cool natural areas. The city is nice to just walk or drive around, and it’s got some very cool and quirky places to visit. If you’re planning a visit to Portland make sure Voodoo doughnuts and Powell’s City of Books are both places on your list of sites to visit!

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Portland Waterfront

This picture was taken at the Waterfront in Portland, Oregon. The waterfront is a nice area, it has a lot of nice, higher end hotels that face the river. Personally, I love seeing a city at night, it seems like a great big glass forest of skyscrapers, and all the lights just look like stars. The water in Portland gives off great reflection too, and walking along the side of the river provides for a great view.

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On the Shores of the Mekong

This picture was taken on the river bank of the Mekong in Laos, somewhere outside of Luang Prabang. We came on this spot while riding elephants on a joint elephant ride/ waterfall visit outside of the town we were staying in. Luang Prabang is a beautiful place, and it’s a great central location to stay and visit some of the outlying areas like this. Tours to visit the waterfall, ride elephants, visit the whiskey village, and visit the Cave of a Thousand Buddhas (Pak Ou Caves), can be arranged in the town of Luang Prabang. The Mekong is gorgeous, and there are lots of spots along the banks that offer beautiful views like this one. You can see the Mekong when you’re in town, but you get really nice views like this outside of town, and it’s great to explore and visit some of the outlying areas. I would recommend an elephant ride as a great day trip, I love elephants and it’s definitely an interesting experience to ride them through some of the more jungly areas outside of town.

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These pictures were taken at the amazingly beautiful Tat Kuang Si Waterfall, just outside Luang prabang, Laos. The waterfalls are absolutely gorgeous, and, you can swim in any of the pools that are marked for it (there are signs to tell you which pools you can or cannot swim in). The you can find a place in town to set up a visit here, and often the trips are a joint package with some of the other sight seeing stuff in the area. Just outside of the waterfalls there is an area where you can see asiatic black bears (in captivity); this area is a rescue center through Free the Bears. The group rescues bears that were captured for use in traditional medicine. The area is really cool, and the waterfalls are just stunning. Absolutely worth a visit!

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Sunset on the Mekong

This picture was taken from a boat on the Mekong River in Laos. The river is huge, and extends into China, Myanmar, Laos, Cambodia, Vietnam, and Thailand. We were in Luang Prabang, Laos, and took a small boat from a riverside temple. You can take boats all along the river from town too. Boats can also take you to the Cave of a Thousand Buddhas and the Lao Whiskey village. We didn’t visit the latter, but the former was an interesting site. If you have time i’d recommend taking a boat on the Mekong, the scenery is really beautiful and it’s a really good way to get a look at Laos outside of the place that you’re staying.

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Another picture of beautiful Kenya, taken while on safari in Samburu National Park. The tour company we use is Steenbok, and they’re really wonderful. We’ve been on safari in Kenya twice and we used them both times, and both trips were fantastic. No matter what you are looking at in Kenya, the scenery is always, always beautiful. I don’t think i’ve ever been to a country with such diversity, in terms of landscape (or maybe I just haven’t been exposed to it the way I have here) but i’m in love with Kenya and all of it’s natural beauty. If you have the opportunity to go, I would strongly recommend exploring this amazing country.

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