The UK and Ireland were not originally on our list for our world tour, as we knew they would be expensive countries. However, with enough house-sitting, we made the trip very affordable. Thankfully, this allowed us to stay for about a month and a half while seeing some top sites and even getting out into the countryside. Being in some English-speaking locations for a bit was refreshing. Seeing what felt like America’s great uncle was also fascinating as there were so many similarities. Here is a sampling of some places we visited and a short video with the highlights from this part of our world trip.
Holland is a land of many winding canals, amazing architecture, old churches, traditional windmills, and rich culture. These things easily made us fall in love with the area. During our trip, we spent most of our time in Rotterdam and did several day trips from there. The places we visited were sometimes even better than our home base of Rotterdam. Can you guess which city was our favorite? It may not be what you expect.
Spitzkoppe, Namibia is a beautiful park of large rock formations in the middle of a long empty desert, named for the incredible mountain that dominates it. As we made our way south from Etosha National Park, this place was a must for us. It was hard to miss as we could see it from over a hundred kilometers away. Known as the Matterhorn of Africa, it stands at 670 m (2,200 ft) above the desert floor at an altitude of 1,728 m (5,669 ft) above sea level. We camped there for one night and were able to explore most of the park. It felt like we were in another world.
This has been an incredible year! After 6 months of travel, we are ready to begin the new year by switching continents. That’s right; we are finally leaving Europe in February! It is exciting and a bit nerve-wracking as we have a lot of planning to do. How did we get to this point? Let us review our year of 2019 in photos and a video.
Namibia is home to more than just spectacular wildlife. It also has some of the tallest sand dunes in the world. The Namib-Naukluft National Park is the home to most of these wondrous landscapes and also the famous Deadvlei. We camped for four days in Sossus Oasis Camp which was enough to cover everything well. This campsite was inside the gate, and this allowed us to get in the park an hour earlier than those outside the gate. We had some unexpected surprises during our visit that turned out to be amazing and even eerie.
Big cats and other carnivores have been on the decline for a long time as they have nowhere to go. Farmers do not want them eating up their livestock and humanity’s footprint is continuously increasing. Hunters make them trophies or just kill them for sport. Others are taken to zoos around the world. To see these animals driven to extinction is terrible; as they are so beautiful and deserve to survive. That is why we support the AfriCat Foundation.
Driving in Norway was easier than we thought it would be. The road signs were easy to follow and many times we had the road all to ourselves. Doing a car camping road trip through the country was very peaceful compared to anything we’ve ever done in the U.S. or in Costa Rica. It was hard to believe we drove over 2,000 km, but some of the best views were right off the road. Why do a 20 km hike for one view, when you can drive for a thousand? Here were some of our best views.
We just got back from Utah after visiting Zion and Bryce Canyon National Parks. Our goal was to go to a national park in the winter to avoid the crowds and hopefully get a little snow for our photos. We got our wish! Both parks were stunningly beautiful and we did some hikes that tested the bounds of our fear of heights. It was not only a park visit; it was truly an accomplishment. Here are the main places we visited while in Zion. Continue reading “Our Extreme Adventure – Zion National Park”→
A solar eclipse is something I have always wanted to see, but never really expected to. Especially not right in my home state of Oregon, where I live within 50 miles from totality! I have seen plenty of lunar eclipses which are a lot more common, but no where near as cool. This hasn’t happened here in nearly 100 years, so I would consider it a “once in a lifetime” event. And it definitely lived up to my expectations and beyond.
For my 40th birthday, I wanted to do something pretty awesome. I always enjoy doing some kind of boat ride whenever I travel. So we took this cruise from Puntarenas to Isla Tortuga. What a beautiful trip! The boat ride was nice with a loaded bar, a couple of mini pools to stay cool, and awesome views. It couldn’t get much better…… Continue reading “Isla Tortuga Banana Boats and Snorkeling – Costa Rica”→