Australia’s Bibbulmum Trail

Here is the link to this blog

https://thebibbulmunblog.wordpress.com

The Bibbulmun Blog by Ian K. Brown is a beautiful and informative blog about hiking the Bibbulmun Trail in Australia. I’m a day hiker so I really appreciate this perspective of someone willing to backpack a trail like this!

We are on the trail. The two of us kicked off from Kalamunda , the Northern terminus of the Bibbulmun . There should be a straight pathway that leads us 1008km in a generaly Southern direction , and we are hoping to be walking for about 50ish days .We were like a pair of kids […]

via Day 1 Km 1 — The Bibbulmun


If you scroll all the way to the bottom there are previous and next buttons to just continue reading (after the comments section).

They are up to day 25 and many posts cover multiple days so you can catch up quickly and then sign up for updates. Beautiful descriptions and pictures in his blogs.

Last year he did a blog about the Pacific Crest Trail along the ridges of the US West Coast and published a book with amazing pictures.

Here is the Amazon link


Until the next time – be adventurous and enjoy this short life! Vicki and Bob

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Things To Do in The Yucatan Peninsula Mexico – To Travel Too

If you have plans to go to the Yucatan Peninsula in Mexico,  check out this post from ‘To Travel Too’ blog. This is a complete guide to various locations on the peninsula.

https://totraveltoo.com/things-yucatan-peninsula-Yucatan Peninsula /

Until the next time – be adventurous and enjoy this short life! Vicki and Bob

Featherdale Wildlife Park

Source: Featherdale Wildlife Park

We recently came back from a trip to Australia, New Zealand, French Polynesia and Hawaii.  I plan to start blogging about the trip soon.

For now, wanted to share our picture at Featherdale Wildlife Park outside of Sydney where we had our picture taken with a sleeping Koala Bear.

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Australia was wonderful…great people, great sights and wonderful landscapes.

More soon.  Until the next time – be adventurous and enjoy this short life! Vicki and Bob

Salt Point State Park, California

Salt Point State Park and nearby areas

In late November we were back at one of our favorite places, the north coast of California.We drive thru Petaluma, CA and out to the coast on the Bodega Bay Highway until we connected with Highway 1.  After going north, we reached a beautiful spot where the Russian River meets the Pacific Ocean at Jenner, CA. The beach changes with the seasons and is not always open to the river.

During this trip while doing some work on our cabin, I had the opportunity to join some wonderful ladies that have an unusual hobby. Particularly considering that most of the group is past retirement age!

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Salt Point Visitors center sits above Gerstle Cove

Below, the view from the back of the visitors center looking at Gerstle Cove which is a Marine Reserve.

The women try to get together weekly to put on their wetsuits. Grab their fins and masks and hike down to the Salt Point State Park Gerstle Cove shore.  From there they swim out into the cove, snorkel, ‘bob’ around and spend an enjoyable time checking out the seals, fish and underwater views in this protected cove.  After their ‘bobbing’ the ‘Bobettes’ as they call themselves, hike up to the top of the hill to dry off, and have a cup of hot tea and snacks before heading off for their workday in the local area.  I find it quite amazing that they do this almost weekly all year.  They have no concerns that no one is on shore waiting for them to check if they are safe.  They say that they can all take care of themselves and each other.  How brave and empowering! Of course, they say, ‘it’s no big deal’.

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Final steps before heading out, note that one woman is already past the surf line

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Paddling out into the cove

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The small black dots are the ‘bobettes’ near the entrance to the cove

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The cove down at the water line

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Looking from the cove up to the Visitors Center

The Salt Point State Park area is quite large with various sections.  It includes two campgrounds, various small parking areas off Highway 1 and some lovely trails both along the shore and in the dense Redwood, Pine and Douglas Fir forest areas.

At the North end of Salt Point Park, the Kruse Rhododendron Trail is great anytime, but probably most lovely in May when the wild Rhododendrons and wild Azaleas are in bloom.  The short loop trail has lots to see.  If you have more time, there are also longer trails nearby.  During the raining season many types of mushrooms grow, some of which are deadly if eaten.

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Baby mushrooms just coming up

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Large mushrooms, some are up to 5 inches across

At Stump Beach, there is a parking lot, picnic tables and trails.  Our favorite trail is down to Stump Beach itself.  This is not an area to access the ocean but it is a beautiful place to look at the ocean.  Stump Beach has tremendous waves that can sneak onto the beautiful beach and quickly sweep you out to sea.  This is not a place to turn your back on the ocean!

From the beach is an easy trail to climb to the bluffs along the ocean.  In the spring this trail is filled with wild flowers.  In the fall and winter, it is filled with breathtaking ocean views of crashing waves. The last time we took this trail we were lucky enough to see a sea otter hauled out on the rocks below the bluffs. The trail can be followed back to the main parking areas at Salt Point State Park and down to Gerstle Cove which is often a great place to enter the ocean.

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Back at the outer edge of Gerstle Cove

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Walking trail from parking area near Gerstle Cove

It’s nice to think about these nice hikes and sunny days as I sit today watching another snow storm in Truckee.  This has been quite a winter. More snow in January 2017 than the average snowfall for a full season.  Unfortunately, we have not had an average snow season for over 5 years.  We have snow piled everywhere and they say to expect 1 foot to 3 feet more snow before the end of this weekend!  At least, for now, California is no longer in drought conditions. Yeah!  However, due to global climate change they say that we can expect more extreme weather patterns with long periods of drought followed by storms with erratic yearly patterns.  It has been over 10 years since we have had anything close to this much snow around the house.

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Digging our our friends car, late January 2017. Notice how high the snow is piled around the driveway! Still that high!

Until the next time – be adventurous and enjoy this short life! Vicki and Bob

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US National Parks blog to visit

If you haven’t already found this blog, please take a minute to look at the beautiful photos and information about United States National Parks.  The photos are exquisite and the writing about the visits is wonderful.  I highly recommend following it so you get their updates.  For now, here is a link to all the parks they plan to visit and each one with a photo instead of just a title is where they have already visited.  I usually go to the site and do one park a day when I want to ‘arm chair travel’.  I just started following this blog when they were at Glacier Bay National Park .   Hope you like this blog as much as I do!

The Greatest Road Trip blog link.

Happy Thanksgiving to all of you!  We are blessed with health, friends and family and hope you have many blessings too.

Below are a couple of pictures to inspire your journeys to US National Parks:

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Grand Canyon National Park

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Mt. Lassen at Lassen Volcano National Park

Grand Canyon picture is from a 2015 trip that I should write up for you.  The Mt. Lassen picture is from the Highway 89 road trip posts.

Until the next time – be adventurous and enjoy this short life! Vicki and Bob

Start Hyw 89 seriesStart Peru series | Start Galapagos series | Start Remodel series |

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Galapagos – 20, Goodbye to the Galapagos

Enjoy the magnificence of the Galapagos Islands! These beautiful photos are from our amazing naturalist, Andrés Moreano.  He did an absolutely wonderful job leading our tours on all the islands, helping everyone with photo ideas and always trying to help our group see everything possible on our trip.

We enjoyed Peru and the Galapagos Islands so much!  It truly was a trip of a lifetime.  We hope you have enjoyed this series of blog posts and maybe it has inspired you to plan your own ‘bucket list’ trip.  At the very least, we hope you enjoy this as ‘armchair travel’ and it inspires you to find out more about these wonderful places.  We are so thankful to the Anahi Catamaran for the outstanding crew, captain, tours, food and accommodations. Also, Rainforest Cruises for helping us select this boat and upgrading our cabin on this amazing trip.

Until the next time – be adventurous and enjoy this short life! Vicki and Bob

Start Hyw 89 seriesStart Peru series | Start Galapagos series | Start Remodel series |

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Galapagos – 19, More Tortoises!

Not ready to leave the Anahi, I do believe we should have taken the 15 day trip! Up early and we bring our airport bags down to the main deck.  The crew takes the bags and leaves us with just our backpacks for the days adventure.  We take our last trip in the panga to the boat dock at Puerta Ayora, Santa Cruz island. Part of our group had stayed on this island before the cruise and some were staying here tonight.

We took a walk up the main street to meet a bus to the Charles Darwin Station which is a research and animal protection facility.

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The long paved road up to the facility

The facility has many areas of study but we were focusing on the Giant Tortoise Restoration Program area. Lonesome George was the mascot of this facility.  Lonesome George died in 2012 but his fame has helped to keep and expand the tortoise breeding programs. There are over a dozen types of tortoises in the Galapagos and the most defining feature is the rise in the carapace which determines how far they can raise their head to reach for food.  You will notice differences in the pictures below.

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Notice how high they can lift their head to reach food

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Juveniles

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Close up

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Tortoise in motion

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Showing their flexible legs

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They move faster than you’d expect

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The facility also protects endangered Land Iguanas

After about an hour at the Charles Darwin Research Center we took a long bus ride to the highland area of Santa Cruz.  We went to Rancho Manzanillo. This part of the island was much more wooded. Not trees like you would see in the mountains of the Hawaiian Islands, but small diameter and shorter trees. Here was a large tortoise reserve and it had quite a nice facility to greet guests and serve lunch.  They allowed us to walk quite a bit of the reserve.

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Rancho Manzanillo, Santa Cruz Island welcome area and restaurant

This place is set up for large groups but don’t let that stop you from going and wandering the large grounds where the tortoises can live freely in an environment that offers them everything they need.

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This gives you an idea of the trees and area where the tortoises live

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Tortoise coming towards us on the path

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Large fresh water area for the tortoises to cool off

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Tortoise at the side of the pond

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Tortoise in the covered area

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Large tortoise

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Anther large tortoise

We enjoyed walking this area and seeing the tortoises in a more natural habitat than at the Charles Darwin Station.

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Not my most flattering picture, but it does give you the size of the tortoises

Next, it was back onto the bus and finding out how we would get to Baltra Island and the airport.  We found this very interesting, particularly if we were to come back and stay on one of the islands.  I posted the instructions that were on the wall at the airport at the start of the blog.  But since we were being escorted, I really didn’t pay close attention.  However, after understanding that you must have a boat pick you up to get to any land accommodations from the airport, I was now much more interested.

The bus took us down a narrow two lane road, with many taxis and buses parked hugging the side of the road.  Obviously, they were waiting for a ferry to arrive and pick up passengers.  This was the ferry we would take.  We departed the bus and walked to the ferry landing.  There, we noticed our luggage being put on top of a small passenger boat, which we found out was the ferry.

All went well.  It seems that we were picked up almost at the same location that the pangas picked us up to get on the Anahi.  At the other side was a bus that took everyone to the airport.  We had a couple of hours before our flight to Quito, Ecuador. The Galapagos Airport had a large shopping mall of stalls and a few take out restaurants to pass the time.

We had booked ourselves from the Galapagos to Quito to Atlanta to San Francisco with about 3 hours between flights which was not smart.  If we had to do again we would have done something different.  Staying in Quito was not appealing since the only flight out was very early in the morning, 5:30 AM. If we could have found a later flight that would have been best. Alternatively, we arrived in Atlanta at 8:30 am in the morning and maybe should have just spent the day and night at an airport hotel and fly home the next day.  But we made it.  We have done worse! Somehow, leaving SFO at 7 am to Atlanta, GA then to Lima, Peru did not seem near as bad as the flights home.  But we did pick up a bug the last day of the cruise and I’m sure that didn’t help our flights!

Overall, an amazing trip.  Peru and the Galapagos Islands exceeded our expectations and we highly recommend doing this trip whenever you can! One more post to follow, it will showcase the beautiful pictures from Andres Moreano.

Start Hyw 89 seriesStart Peru series | Start Galapagos series | Start Remodel series |

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