Tag Archives: hiking

Rice terraces at Tegalalang, Bali

Following the tourist trail through Ubud is not difficult, there are the usual temples and diversions and if you venture outside the town plenty of gorgeous vistas await.

One of the most photographed locations in the area are the rice terraces of Tegalalang. True, it is swarmed by tourist vans and trinket sellers however it still manages to be fairly tranquil and wonderfully photogenic. If you are on an organised tour it will surely feature on the trip list, if you have your own transport it’s about a twenty minute drive north of Ubud itself.

Rice Terrace Tegalalang
Rice Terrace Tegalalang

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The Fall(s) Guy – Iguazu Falls, Argentina and Foz do Iguaçu Brazil

I have to admit it; I am a sucker for waterfalls. I will hike through jungles and climb mountains to find them. Okay that may be a little bit of an exaggeration; nonetheless I will travel far and wide to gaze upon these wonders of nature and marvel at the force and ferocity of the water.

This time I was aiming to get to the big daddy of them all, less flow overall than Niagara but absolutely first class in presentation; getting there on the other hand was a little more complicated.

devils throat

Located in the far reaches of a finger of northeast Argentinian territory poking into the border of Brazil and Paraguay, Iguazu falls draws visitors from all over the world be it by bus plane or car. As I was in Buenos Aires, the most typical starting point for a trip to the falls, I had several options; I could board a bus for the twenty-four hour trip, undoubtedly the cheapest way, or I could opt for a short flight to the airport on the Argentine side of the falls.
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Surf’s up dude – Welcome to El Tunco, El Salvador

It was raining and cold in La Antigua de Guatemala, I was tired of cobbled streets and being damp. The rainy season had dragged on and landslides had closed a number of roads. It was time for a change. Although not a surfer I was keen to check on the hotspots of surfers’ paradise in El Salvador and the promise of some cold beers and sunshine was just the ticket.

Fortunately there were plenty of minibus options to take care of the travelling gringos in the region and get us to El Tunco, the heart of it all, in style. Great style as it happened as we were the only two aboard for the four hour journey winding from the hilly heights of Guatemala City to the canyons of El Salvador’s coast.

The journey is very scenic, taking in the volcanoes surrounding Antigua and passing through the lush countryside near Montericco. From here the road twists and turns through tunnels in the mountainside offering tantalising peeks of the rough Pacific coast and a foretaste of crashing surf to come.

el tunco
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Walking in Plakias, Crete

I have to start with a confession, I am a little hung over and am writing this in the shade of an olive grove with absolutely no intention of walking today, that being said my friends have completed an arduous river walk yesterday and have set their mind to cliff jumping today. For my part it is rehydration therapy and a chance to put to paper and try to capture the atmosphere and conviviality of this secluded part of Crete that is Plakias.

Many travellers will have read about the beauty of Crete already and some of you may be familiar with the brash resorts on the north coast such as Malia, our journey takes us to the more laid back and personable resort of Plakias, home to the famous youth hostel and its legendary manager Chris. Bearing in mind the maxim that some of the best places are the hardest to get to Plakias makes a big effort to stay off the beaten track.

plakias youth hostel

There are several options when it comes to getting to the island, a quick browse on skyscanner.net will provide the best price for a flight however a large number of visitors seem to arrive by ferry from either Athens or Santorini. Whichever method is used you will need to get to Rethymnon on the north of the island to pick up the bus to Plakias, arriving on a Sunday, a national holiday or late at night may require an overnight stay.

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