The Drakensberg Mountains completely captivated me, and may just be the highlight of my entire trip around Southern Africa. After an early morning slog to Witsishoek Mountain Lodge, buckets of rain forced us indoors. Luckily watching creeping tendrils of fog curl around distant peaks from inside a cozy hotel room is my idea of a lovely afternoon. I went to bed that night crossing my fingers that the weather would improve enough for us to hike, and woke up the next morning to bluebird skies. I’ve never been more grateful for a good weather window, because the jaunt to Tugela Falls (Africa’s tallest waterfall, the second tallest in the world) was one of the most beautiful hikes ever.
We’ve left the coast for the Southern Alps, and for me, this is where the country really shines. I thought the North Island was great, but now the South Island has me gasping and pulling the car over with each new bend in the road. It’s honestly like living in a movie, with the scenery just slightly too grand to feel real.
Continue reading “Into the Mystic”
So far the South Island has been good to us. While the West Coast is famous for its rain, we were treated to perfectly sunny, crisp autumn days. In our three days exploring the area around Karamea, I saw more primary growth rainforest than anywhere else in the country so far. I loved being afforded a glimpse of what the entire country used to look like, and I was just about ready to pick one of the gnarled, mossy trees, build myself a little treehouse, and stay forever.
Continue reading “Most of All”
As the year comes to an end, I’ve managed to find yet another place to leave a piece of my heart. How can there be so much to love in this world? After finishing up a second season with Naturalists at Large, I took a canoeing trip with co-worker friends down the Black Canyon that basically rocked my world and spent the following week playing around in my old stomping grounds back east. Following a cozy Thanksgiving with family I then landed in Big Sur, where I pitched my tent to volunteer at the Henry Miller Memorial Library.
Continue reading “The Moon As a Kite”
Peru! Peruperuperu. I kicked off my newest love affair in Arequipa with a three day trek through the deepest canyon in the world, the Colca Canyon. After a 2:30 am wake up, followed by a sleepy bus ride, we arrived at Cruz del Condor to watch the condors do their morning hunting. I had no idea just how big condors are, it was impressive to watch them glide in circles over the canyon, on occasion swooping close enough to hear the sound of their wings cutting through the wind. Afterwards we continued our drive up through the Chivay Valley, 14k of land purely dedicated to cultivation. The farmers still maintain plots built during Inca times, creating a colorful patchwork divided by ancient stone walls for me to gaze at out the bus window.