First day of our Markha Valley trek. We weren’t quite certain what to expect for the remaining six days of trekking through the Himalayas, but we were sure the following day would be steep and uphill, to 4,950 meters/16,200 feet. So on our first day on the trail we were relieved to find relative flatness, to lose ourselves in the red rocks of the canyon around us and to look off into the distance of the climb that awaited us.
Open the panorama to full screen to join us on that first day of our Markha Valley trek. Continue Reading »
This is a story about faraway places and our relationship to the somewheres we dream of visiting. It’s also about the fact that we fly to New Zealand next Monday.
Some places on our planet seem to lend themselves to the imagination, that is to the image of the mind, to putting eyes closed and attempting to place yourself somewhere you’ve never been. Think about it: there are endless beautiful places on Earth that evince all manner of beauty, but among them, there are a few special places whose reputation so precedes them.
One of those places: New Zealand. Continue Reading »
While we’re not usually ones to wake up early, sometimes we’ve been rewarded for the effort when we have. Waking up to double rainbows while camping atop El Hoyo volcano in Nicaragua was one of those moments. Continue Reading »
On the topic of trekking in Patagonia, the two names most bandied about: Chile’s Torres del Paine and Argentina’s El Chalten. Although their hunks of uplifted granite are similar enough, the prevailing style of hikes they offer are quite different.
Whereas the “W” and Circuit treks at Torres del Paine are mainly about the long haul, El Chalten’s strength: its day hikes. On the edge of Argentina’s Glacier National Park (Parque Nacional Los Glaciares), El Chalten also offers the thrill of nature at a lower cost than its Chilean neighbor — with the added feature of a microbrewery on the way home from the hills.
In other words, two Patagonian trekking centers; two rather different experiences. Continue Reading »
Most articles we read about Torres del Paine National Park in Chile focus on Patagonian meadows, turquoise lakes, and rose-tinted granite towers in sunrise.
We’ll allow our photos to do that bit for us.
Instead, we’ll take a different tack and share some of the lessons –- about yourself, your marriage (if you have one), Patagonia, expectations, life, and travel – you might learn from trekking in Torres del Paine. Continue Reading »
Barely recovering from self-inflicted death march from Kazakh mountains. Copter airlift looked likely. Rappelling down waterfall = escape.
– Our Twitter update from Almaty, Kazakhstan on 3 September 2007
My, how things can go wrong. Continue Reading »
Sometimes we seek beauty and sometimes we find it. Sometimes we seek a thrill and it finds us, giving us more than we had bargained for. Along our journey into the Tian Shan Mountains in Kazakhstan, we encountered pieces of history, stunning landscape, a draining hike, and the softer side of Almaty. The only thing missing: a map. Continue Reading »
When you get there, you’ll meet the Afghan at the telephone pole.
These instructions given to us in Mestia by the Svaneti Mountaineering Tourism Center left us baffled. Is our mountain guide a member of the Mujahideen who’d lost his way and made his home in the mountains of Georgia? After all, in Svaneti just about anything seems possible. Continue Reading »
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