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I have never even been tempted to climb mountains. I am not a thrill-seeker, at least one who wants to risk their life, but I do have a strange fascination for those who take on the most challenging adventures. I am addicted to reading books on an extreme adventure.
A journey of discovery into the explosive power of mother nature that grips New Zealand and a shallow dive into Maori culture. We visited the volcanic pools and vents of Hidden Valley before visiting the Maori Cultural Centre in Rotarua.
Accommodation: Located along the trendy Alberta Street on Portland’s Eastside “Caravan” or the Tiny House Hotel is a great option over traditional hotels or bed and breakfasts. Also. you might want to try out tiny house living to see if it the thing for you.
As part of our road trip through Eastern Oregon, we stayed in Baker City and dropped in on the close-by Oregon Trail Interpretation Center. Afterwards, we headed further east in Oregon passing through the curiously named Halfway
Despite his lack of experience of water adventure, in 1995 Joe Kane joined a group of adventurers intent on being the first American to travel the full 4,200-mile length of what may be the world’s most treacherous river: the Amazon.
We spent the day travelling along the southwest coast of Sri Lanka, stopping to snap some photos of the stilt fisherman before visiting the UNESCO listed Galle Fort which was founded by Portuguese colonists in the 16th century and has since been added to by Dutch and British colonists.
I had visited Jurong Bird Park 25 years earlier and loved it, I wanted to return to see if the passing of time had romanticised my memories. Sadly, some of the birds were in enclosures that I would say have not been updated for years and had wire meshing that made it hard to clearly see the birds. I did enjoy the visit but I don’t think I will be going back again.
A day tour of the Ecuadorian capital of Quito, with its delightful colonial architecture. We also visited the Inti Ñan Solar Museum, dedicated to the culture of Ecuador and the equator.
The coastal redwoods are associated with northern California, so we were surprised to come across a forest of redwoods in Rotorua in the centre of New Zealand’s North Island. So, we had to take a hike. Afterwards, we headed to Rainbow Springs, a wildlife sanctuary to learn more about the Kiwi, New Zealand’s unique national symbol.
We spent a night at the splendid Geiser Grand Hotel in Baker City, Oregon. This a historic hotel opened in 1889 and saw a meteoric rise during the Gold Rush times when it got its nickname “The Queen of the Mines” and was described as the best hotel between Portland, Oregon and Salt Lake City, Utah.
I had grown up watching John Wayne movies with my parents and loved them. When planning a road trip across the western States of the US I simply had to put Monument Valley on the schedule.
With the addition of Alaska and Hawaii to the Union, the geographic centre of the United States moved from Lebanon in Kansas to a point on the borders of South Dakota/Wyoming/Montana. The nearest community to this point is the small town of Belle Fourche (some 20 miles away) where there is a memorial to the commemorate the nearby geographic marker.
Custer State Park is famous for its bison herds, other wildlife, scenic drives, historic sites, visitor centres, fishing lakes, resorts, campgrounds and interpretive programs. In fact, it was named as one of the World’s Top Ten Wildlife Destinations for the array of wildlife within the park’s borders and for the unbelievable access visitors have to them.
As you drive along I-94 across North Dakota it is difficult to miss the giant statue of a buffalo that sits on a hill above the highway. This is apparently the World’s largest buffalo/bison statue, standing at 26 feet tall and 40 feet long and weighing a mighty 60 tons.
Regarded as sacred by American Indians, exploration of the the area known a Wind Cave did not begin until 1881, when the entrance was noticed by two brothers, Jesse and Tom Bingham. They heard a loud whistling noise, which led them to a small hole in the ground, the cave’s only natural opening.
The Badlands National Park is a rugged, harsh and beautiful landscape. Set in 244,000 sq acres in South Dakota it can be explored as a day trip or you can spend several days camping and explore deeper into the park along the trail system.
Big Ole, located in the small town of Alexandria, Minnesota, is the purportedly the World’s largest Viking. Ole was built in 1965 as an exhibit for the New York World’s Fair. When completed Ole stood 28 feet tall with the words, “Alexandria, Birthplace of America” emblazoned on his shield.
Mount Rushmore is a relatively recent creation and started as a concept by state historian Doane Robinson in 1923. The choice of artist was Gutzon Borglum, a radical sculptor with a sense of scale and outlandish ambition.
(National Park / USA /United States)
“Sandy”, the 40ft high statue of the Sandhill Crane at Steele, North Dakota stands in a little park adjacent to the Cobblestone Inn. This monument is a celebration of this elegant bird that is found on the plains, in fields and wetlands across the United States.
The Devils Tower in Wyoming was America’s first National Monument. This incredible rock has been visited by man for millennia, from first nations people to today’s tourists. It is visited by over 400,000 people each year, drawn by its unique geological character and imposing presence.
Many years ago on a family road trip across the USA, I had set out in search of Otto, the world’s largest otter, located in Fergus Falls, Minnesota. This detour almost resulted in the end of our marriage. Fast-forward 12 years, armed with Google and smartphones we successfully located Otto!