California: Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks

High-up in the California’s Sierra Nevada Mountains are two of USA’s most spectacular National Parks, Kings Canyon and Sequoia. Sequoia National Park gives you the chance to get up close to the largest trees on the planet whilst in Kings Canyon you can explore the most incredible alpine scenery with the backdrop of some of the tallest peaks in lower 48 States.

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Oregon: Portland – No Bones Beach Club

Located along the trendy Mississippi Ave in Portland, No Bones Beach Club is Tiki-themed vegan restaurant with all the expected trapping expected of a Tiki Bar; surfboards, fishing nets and bamboo screens pineapples, coconuts; tropical drinks (with plenty of rum and coconuts) and tasty bites. While most Tiki menus contain a heavy focus on seafood and meat, No Bones replaces this with vegan alternatives such as jack fruit, soy curls and even cauliflower.

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China: Hong Kong – arriving during a tropical cyclone

We were greeted in Hong Kong by some wet, miserable weather. The weather in the tropics are complex. For Hong Kong and this part of South East Asia this time of year can be wet, and our arrival coincided with a passing tropical storm. I was happy though, because I hadn’t seen any rain for 3 months! Karen was concerned by the warnings at the airport, but we were assured that the “standby signal No. 1” was nothing to be concerned about.

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Spain: Andalusia – Granada, home of the Alhambra

Set in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada, Granada is the capital of the region. It has a rich history, resulting from its ownership has changed hands many times throughout its long history. Granada was first settled by native tribes in the prehistoric period and was known as Ilbyr. When the Romans colonised southern Spain, they built their own city here and called it Illibris. The Arabs invaded the peninsula in the 8th century and gave the city its current name of Granada. It was the last Muslim city to fall to the Christians in 1492, at the hands of Queen Isabel of Castile and her husband Ferdinand of Aragon.

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Sri Lanka: Habarana – Minneriya, Kaudulla and Hurulu Eco Park

One of the reasons we were drawn to visit Sri Lanka was the opportunity to see some wildlife, especially elephants. The area near Habarana in Central Sri Lanka is one of the best places to go to see elephants. Here you will find two National Parks, Kaudulla and Minneriya and the Hurulu Eco Park which was granted biosphere status in 1977.

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Hawai‘i: Volcano National Park – encompassing the mighty Kilauea and Mauna Loa

Hawai’i, the Big Island, like all the other islands in the 50th State of the US, has been formed by volcanic activity and is the youngest of all the islands. It sits over a hot spot in the Earth’s crust, resulting in two of the world’s most active volcanoes, Mauna Loa and Kilauea. Visiting Volcanoes gives you the opportunity to get up and close to a volcano and learn more about the science of volcanology and its role in the creation of these islands.

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Mexico: Mexico City – The Historic Central District

The energetic heart of this megalopolis has oodles of historical and beautiful places to visit, plus some great eateries and shopping. During our visit to Mexico City, we discovered the wonderful Palacio de Bellas Artes, explored the Aztec ruins of the Templo Mayor and marvelled at the stunning murals of Diego Rivera at the National Palace.

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