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Machu Picchu

Thursday, 26 May 2016 | link | tag | / Trips / Peru
Up at 3:30am to start our big day, van ride to Ollantaytambo to catch the Vistadome train.

The train was really lovely, winding its way along the Urubamba river and the valley floor. At almost every turn, postcard views of white water, mountains and snow capped peaks.

Once we arrived at Aguas Calientes, we boarded the bus for the short journey up to Machu Picchu.

Nothing can prepare you for your first glimpse of Machu Picchu, the old mountain and city. You've seen pictures. The old city itself is quite small, but the setting: the vast mountain range that surrounds it, the yawning expanse of the deep valleys barely fits in your head.

We visited the Inti Watana stone, the Temple of the Sun (Torreon) and the Room of the Three Windows.

All together, we stayed for about 3 hours. We grew very tired from the constant climbing up and down, and the blazing hot sun.

We caught the bus back to Aguas Calientes, just in time to catch the train back. This time with the setting sun behind the Andes, it was even more lovely.

Foz do Iguaçu day 3

Saturday, 3 October 2015 | link | tag | / Trips / Brazil / Parana
One last look at the falls and the flight home. A great weekend.

Foz do Iguaçu day 2

Friday, 2 October 2015 | link | tag | / Trips / Brazil / Parana

Foz do Iguaçu

Thursday, 1 October 2015 | link | tag | / Trips / Brazil / Parana
The UNESCO World Heritage listed Iguaçu Falls have been on our list ever since we arrived in Brazil.

Flying in from São Paulo gives you the first glimpse of the falls. No photo does this place any justice - it is vast in every way - size, sound, length.

The Park is extremely well setup, no private vehicles are allowed entry and everything is done by bus. The result is clear views uncluttered by car parks and visitor centers.

We stayed at the Hotel das Cataratas right on the falls, and after checking in we immediately hit the trail to the Falls, just across the road.

The walk was spectacular and runs for about 2 kms along the top of the canyon on the Brazil side giving an ever changing view of the falls. The walk ends near the "Devils Throat" and a platform that takes you right out the very edge of the falls.

Simply breathtaking place. Go there man.

Blue Mountains daytrip

We've spent so many weekends at home that we had to get out today, and the nearest location you can do that is the Blue Mountains. We packed Isabella, some food and the camera in the car and headed to Katoomba via the tourist drive. We stopped on the way home and walked to Princes Rock lookout at Wentworth Falls. Isabella loved the sound of the falls and jumping in the puddles on the path.

Khao Yai National Park, Narok Saew Falls

Tuesday, 17 April 2007 | link | tag | / Trips / Thailand
We did a lot of walking in Khao Yai today. We need the loop walk from the HQ which takes in some amazing jungle and rope bridge.

We did the walk and climb down to Narok Saew falls "Fall to Hell" - named because elephants playing in the water at the top often fall to their deaths down the 60 metre waterfall.

60 metres on near verticle steps is a long way to go down, and and even longer way to climb back up again, but this water fall is absolutely worth it, its breathtaking.

Khao Yai National Park, Thailand

Monday, 9 April 2007 | link | tag | / Trips / Thailand
Khao Yai (Big Mountains) national park, about 200 km north east of Bangkok was our 'half-way' rest stop on the drive to NongKhai. We stopped for lunch on the way just before reaching Khao Yai, had a spectacular meal, roast pork and chicken, and Pad Thai Khao Yai - a local speciallty and my new all time favourite dish.

Once we'd settled into the resort rooms, we hit the road into the park. Every few hundred meters after the checkpoint into the park, we had to stop for troupes of monkeys (gibbons) sitting about on the road, laying in ambush of tourists that might give them food.

The bush was very special, so rich and noisey with life, from chain-saw loud cicadas, to woop-woop-wooping gibbons and grasping leaches trying to latch onto your feet.

Blue Mountains, Sydney

Saturday, 26 November 2005 | link | tag | / Trips / Australia / New South Wales / National Parks
Took Bud to the Blue Moutains for a drive today, she's been talking about going there ever since the subject of Sydney came up, so it was a spectacularly easy no-brainer after one quick look at the blue sky this morning.

Quite a pleasent drive up, even for a Saturday. Looks like all the roadworks they've been doing has paid off.

We stopped at Echo Point for the Three Sisters, and then I took Bud on the old coal Railway to the valley floor, we walked to Katoomba Falls, which were magnificent after the recent rain - the rainforest close and cool and fresh.

We walked along the forest boardwalk, and took the cablecar back up.

Singapore Botanical Gardens and National Orchid Garden

Saturday, 22 January 2005 | link | tag | / Trips / Singapore
I spent a few hours at the botanical gardens in Singapore today. They were closer to my apartment then I was expecting...

The gardens has a huge expanse of natural rainforest in the heart of it, and is surrounded by formal gardens and paved and grassed areas that seemed fairly popular with family groups and picnicers.

I concentrated mainly on the Orchid gardnes, which is the only part of the park that has an admission charge - on corner of the gardens is given over to the Orchids.

I got the impression that it wasn't really the right time of year for the Orchids to be flowering, as many weren't. Those that were though were putting on a mighty fine show of diversity and colour.

Highlights were the coolhouse, showcasing some orchid species from cooler climes, and the Celbrity garden, featuring hybrid orchids named after visiting dignitaries and heads of state. I thought the Orchid named after Margret Thatcher was particularely apt - withered and twisted little flowers :)

The photos tell it better than I can...

Uluru and Kata Tjuta

Wednesday, 3 March 2004 | link | tag | / Trips / Australia / Northern Territory / National Parks
Up at Sunset to take a photo of the rock, the walked around the base of Uluru in the early hours of the morning.

Visited Kata Tjuta after a short drive.