I stare hard at the long wall of loose gravel, then shoot a look at our guide, waiting for him to say that he was just kidding and that this isn’t a part of the trail. Except that he wasn’t. And yes, this is the trail. A light kick sends a rain of pebbles tumbling down. Yup, that’s a long slide from here.
Geirmundur, our guide, patiently holds my hand as I shuffle slowly sideways, facing the wall. Deep breath, baby-step. No, don’t look down. Deep breath, baby-step. All my wits are funneled into this delicate dance, until we finally make it to solid soil after what seemed like forever. Lucky me, I live another day! And this was only Day 1.
One big perk of living in an archipelago is that surprises ALWAYS await. A new island, a new beach, a new destination comes out of the blue, daring you to call into mind another place that is as breathtaking as where you are now. It makes you shake your head in disbelief, as you ask yourself, ‘How could I have not known this before?’
Song: All Smiles All Day by Dexter Britain
Dumaguete is an excellent home base to explore the jewels of Negros Oriental. Here are links to some of my trips wherein Dumaguete was the jump-off point:
Apo Island – where you can swim with giant turtles and laze away at tranquil beaches
Oslob – where you can swim with the whale sharks, snorkle at lively reefs and enjoy a majestic shower from a waterfall
Siquijor – where you jump off and dive from a waterfall, scour peaks, and chill to the island’s pace of life
Glorious. That’s how I shall remember everything that went on that day. From my first step on Apo Island’s rocky surf, to my first peek underwater, only to see a giant turtle casually snacking at the aquatic greenery. Simply glorious. Continue reading A Day Trip to Apo Island→
In a month, I’m turning 30! To celebrate three decades of delight, heartbreaks, and most importantly, adventure, my goal is to churn out as many Top 30 articles as I can to share the bits and pieces I’ve learned and realized for the almost-thirty years I’ve been blessed with. This is the first article of the series; if you have ideas for brilliant and funny topics I should write about, feel free to let me know through the comments. I’m really excited to kick things off — I hope you enjoy reading these!
The use of traveling is to regulate imagination by reality, and instead of thinking how things may be, to see them as they are.
–- Samuel Johnson
The great difference between voyages rests not with the ships, but with the people you meet on them.
–- Amelia E. Barr
You don’t choose the day you enter the world and you don’t chose the day you leave. It’s what you do in between that makes all the difference.
–- Anita Septimus
How Taiwan isn’t rolling off everyone’s tongues when they speak of adventure trips in Asia is a bit baffling. In the brief time I’ve spent overall in this country, I’ve seen stunning landscapes, met inspiring people, and took part in memorable traditions. Hualien County, around 2-3 hours by train from urban Taipei, is one of such little-known places, but one I would urge all my friends to see. Continue reading Wow, Hualien!→
Before I get to the list, there’s one important thing I need to share — Ferdy. That’s the only name you’ll ever need to know in Bali.
Ours was a serendipitous meeting — we were a group of six stranded in Jimbaran, at the mercy of the overpriced taxis that lurked outside the restaurants. That was, until Ferdy came along in his Bluebird cab to drop off his passengers.
“Six, can?” – Us
“Can!” – Ferdy
And with three words, a bond was formed.
Ferdy had a smiling rest-face, which puts you at ease at once. We liked him so much that we hired him to be our driver/guide for the whole of the next day. He was honest, cheerful, and extremely generous the whole time, as if he were taking long-time friends around to see his home. I can honestly say that our trip wouldn’t have been as memorable if we didn’t get to know Ferdy.
Okay, now that you know the best driver-slash-guide in Bali, it’s time to explore! The island is simply humungous. For the six visits I’ve made to Bali, I’ve barely scratched the surface. It’s uncanny: each time I go, I find around 5 more things to do when I return to the Island of the Gods.
Here are ten suggestions on how you can make your own Balinese adventure unforgettable, based on the knockout experiences that made me come back for more (I’ve listed them in no particular order):
1. Paraglide at Timbis Beach
A sure way to get a Bali high is to paraglide at Timbis Beach. It sounds crazy to jump off a bluff, but once you soar above the hills and the sea, over the ridiculously expensive cliffside mansions, then it will all make sense. If you’re lucky, your tandem instructor may let you take the reins and control the chute for a bit. If you’re extremely lucky, you may even get to literally touch the clouds! This adventure is time-dependent; paragliding season in Timbis Beach is from May to October.
If you would have told me a year ago that I would be spending Christmas 2013 spotting wild elephants and zebras all over a reserve in Africa, I would have just smiled and thanked you for the nice daydream. Definitely, this is one of the most coolest ways I’ve spent the holidays ever.