Day 7: Wednesday, November 25th 2015
I had the most terrible time falling asleep last night. I just couldn’t quiet my mind. I was excited about my sudden change of plans to stay another ten days in Namibia and I was crazy excited for our sunrise adventure in just a few hours. Finally, around 1am I drifted off only to awaken an hour later needing to pee. The moon was so full and bright, I didn’t even need my head lamp as I trudged half asleep across the dirt road to the bathroom. I fell back asleep quickly, but 445am came all too soon. Up we rose and within 20 minutes we had the tent all packed up, were dressed, made bathroom stops and boom – we were on the road! I was impressed with our efficiency – we were getting damn good at packing up camp in a hurry! We were third in line to get to the gate and only had to wait for five minutes before they opened it and let us through. You could feel the excitement rippling through the line of vehicles waiting, it was like the line to get in to Disney World or something; I didn’t know people could collectively muster that much excitement at 5am! Rug and I blasted Macklemore’s Downtown to get us even more pumped up.
I would have loved to have gone a half hour earlier to get the full effect of sunrise, to be able to enjoy the vast array of colours as the sky shed her sapphire night gown and donned her flushed violet, copper and periwinkle ensemble. But alas, they don’t open the gates quite early enough so as to limit driving in the dark to protect the wildlife. The drive only took a half hour this time as we were following the other cars who were most definitely not obeying the speed limit! And so by the time we reached dune 45, most of the pre dawn stunning sunrise colours had already played out. But we could still at least catch the sun itself as it crested the dunes if we scrambled up this dune fast enough. Continue reading
Day 1: Thursday November 19th, 2015
Well, it was a blasted long 30 hour journey with another sleepless night in another airport, but I at last have touched down in the Motherland. Africa. Windhoek, Namibia to be exact. Since I was a little girl I can recall feeling the desire to one day visit Africa. I have no idea where it started or what fuelled it, but it’s only grown stronger and stronger as I grew older and older. When I decided to travel around the world, I knew without a doubt that I would find myself in Africa. Ten months into my journey and I am finally here. I don’t know what it is about Africa that has always called to me. But, being a desperate lover of nature, the vast expanse of her epic wilderness no doubt beckoned me more than anything. And the unknown, the mysterious, this land so drastically different in every way from my own. I suppose I’ve always been pulled to that which I do not know, the enigmatic and exciting. To say this is a big one on my bucket list just doesn’t do it justice. It feels like a satiating of my very soul – not just food for my soul, but life for my soul. And now at last, I am finally on those strange and extraordinary soils of Africa. Continue reading
With some flight delays and missing baggage, our little jaunt across the country wasn’t entirely smooth, but we didn’t let that dampen our moods. Our first day ended up being a freebie because no one had their bags, and thus the warmer clothing needed for our tours, so we instead got the full tour of the Michelle Dream Cave Hotel. When Butch and Brenda first came to Turkey in 2002, they had no idea they would fall in love so quickly with this incredible country and end up buying a condo and spending their winters there. They also happened to make an amazing business contact and now life long friend, Ahmed. Before they knew it, they began making plans of purchasing land and building a cave hotel. If Cappadocia is known for anything, it’s the caves! The hillsides are peppered with caves. From hundreds to thousands of years ago, these caves were carved into the mountain sides as houses, refuges, stables and pigeon houses. Today they are used as storage for lemons (the temperature remains the same in the caves year round even with the changing seasons), but mostly – they are turned into cave hotels. Continue reading
After being bed ridden in Medellin for several days, the itch to move on had become unbearable, despite my illness. It was time to get out! The bus up to Santa Marta would have taken me 24 hours, and since I was on a tight time schedule (and wouldn’t trust my bowels for 24 hours on a bus!) I booked a flight for a decent price with Avianca, a huge airline in Colombia. I arrived in the morning and while I waited for my room to be ready, slipped into the pool at the Dreamer hostel where I was staying. The cool pool was refreshing and kept the fever at bay. I decided I was going to tackle heading into Tayrona National Park even though I felt awful. I wanted to see a little of this beautiful country and didn’t want a little illness to stop me. So I packed a day bag, grabbed 5 litres of water and began my adventure into the park.
My tuk tuk pitched out into traffic and jolted to a stop at the first set of lights. As it turned green, the motorcycle beside us lurched into a cat wheel, shooting ahead of us, the scooter next to him bolted after him, and our tuk tuk picked up the rear, gears grinding, engine struggling as it coughed to life and chugged through the intersection. Each gear shift was a screeching protest from the stressed engine. We puttered across the bridge and made our way from Santa Elena into the beautiful and quaint Flores. Cobblestone streets in abysmal disrepair took over for the pavement and we bumped our way along to my hostel, Los Amigos. Continue reading
Laguna de Apoyo is a crater lake located a short distance away from Granada, and was one of the hot spots that was mentioned to us over and over again. A friend from home had even messaged me and told me I absolutely had to go there as it was her favorite place in all of Nicaragua, so I was pretty excited to get there. We took a short 45 minute shuttle ride; our bus meandered up the hills to climb the old volcano and then winded back down to reach the lake that filled the old crater. Our hostel was called Paradiso and was a sister hostel to Oasis so I knew to expect good things, but I was totally blown away. Continue reading
I’ve only been on the road for a mere 10 weeks, but it’s extraordinary how much you learn when you travel, even for a short time. I will be writing a couple of these posts, for travel is but a continuous lesson in life, love, friendship and all the workings of this marvellous universe, and I am but her eager student. Here is my first instalment: Continue reading