LIVE LARGE – TRAVEL FAR!
Dec 2016. Bali, The Island of God. The sheer beauty of nature and the warmth of its people is what creates this harmonious and spiritual feeling! With just a weeks’ time I packed in as much as I could. High in the cool mountains of the interior of Bali, Ubud will charm you with its serenity and cultural attractions. There is something of a spiritual air about Ubud. Perhaps this is why Yoga and Meditation are two popular practices here. It is also a major arts and crafts center with many artists’ workshops and galleries to be found throughout the town. Heading northbound through the hills and mountains, weaving through the terraced rice fields, stopping at coffee plantations and temples on the way, we reach the tranquil setting of Lovina, located on Bali’s northern shores. The beach stretches for eight miles, dotted with small villages and black volcanic sand. Sunsets in Lovina are exceptional! We continue our journey westward reaching Menjangan Island. This island is situated in the protected marine reserve of the Bali Barat National Park. The island is surrounded by hectares of beautiful coral reef gardens with a very diverse eco biology, which makes it a favorite destination for snorkelers and divers. The island’s most well-known dive site is the USAT Liberty wreck, which lies just 80 feet from the shore. We visited temples everywhere. Most impressive were Ulan Danu Bratan and Tanah Lot. Ulun Danu Bratan Temple is found on the shores of Lake Bratan in the mountains near Bedugul. The temple was built in 1926 and is dedicated to Dewi Batari Ulun Danu, goddess of lakes and rivers. Tanah Lot Temple is the most famous of Bali’s temples and means “Land in the Middle of the sea”. The temple sits just off the coast on a rock, which is quite spectacular. The temple at sunset and provides amazing photos. I also enjoyed savoring the spices and flavors of the local food and exotic fruits. A quintessential tropical paradise- Bali!
Sept 2016. Iceland-From the moss covered lava fields in the southwest through the barren highlands in the center, to the soaring fjords in the northwest, Iceland attests to the great diversity of landscapes! This land of fire and ice is a country of sharp contrasts. We hiked down valleys to swim in thermal rivers and hiked up Mýrdalsjökull glacier, all in one day! Seljalandsfoss and Gulfoss waterfalls were simply spectacular! One can actually walk behind Seljalandsfoss falls. In the evening we took a boat excursion into the ocean to see the Aurora Borealis! On our last day, we went to the blue lagoon. I found it to be a bit commercialized but discovered an area behind the lagoon that was very natural and beautiful! This is one destination for the adventure seeker!
June 2016. A week in The Galapagos Islands was the most amazing trip of my life! This Archipelago of 13 large and 6 minor islands along with more than 40 islets is a living museum of evolutionary changes. Our home for the week was this amazing 130 Ft. 16 guest yacht . We hiked on volcanic islands, snorkeled with marine iguanas, tropical schools of fish, sea lions and turtles, saw nesting Blue footed Boobies and Frigate birds, white tipped sharks and so much more. It was a surreal experience to be able to get so close to the wild life. We saw the mating ritual of the giant Galapagos Tortoises. These ancient creatures weigh about 500 pounds. The scenery on Isabela and Fernandina islands is just spectacular! Another place ticked off my bucket list!