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.
I haven’t actually started on the proper track yet, and I’m already lost. I backtracked to the last sign I chanced upon for the Ben Lomond trail, and saw the shaded path that I’ve missed. The thick canopy of bare-leafed pines looked ominous, as if I were Little Red Riding Hood who should have known better than to wander alone.
Out of the blue, the trail suddenly opened up to a great vastness of sky, sunshine and meadows. The green horizon met the wild blue yonder of the heavens for almost the whole trail. On every spot you stood upon, you can freely admire the range of the Remarkables, glimpse upon the near green and yellow rows of trees, smile at the intense blue-green of Lake Wakatipu. Continue reading “Meeting Ben Lomond”→
New York has the Empire State. Dubai has Burj Khalifa. Cape Town, on the other hand, didn’t have to spend a dime nor lift a finger for epic 360-degree views. Why build a tower, when your city’s naturally blessed with the colossal crag that is Table Mountain? This breathtaking backdrop to the Mother City perhaps prepares you for the awe-inspiring landscapes that lie in waiting as you go off to explore the rest of the city.
As we lay down together, legs intertwined, I can’t stop chuckling as I think to myself, “Ish, what crazy thing have you got yourself into now?!”
It may be easy to think that Capri is solely about the ultimate seduction, a haven for indulgence, opulence, and above all, romance. However, being my stubborn self, I sought to find out if it could also have a space for cheapskate solo backpackers like moi. After leaving my beloved Atrani, I hopped on the earliest ferry to Capri.
During the boat ride, I looked at the seats in front of me. Couple. Beside me? Couple. Behind me? Yup, couples on a double date. When we docked, couples shuffled out one after the other. Maybe this was going to be more challenging than I thought. Continue reading “Capri for One”→
Word on the backpacker’s grapevine says that Batad is one of those rare glimpses of heaven on earth. A village that used to be a well-kept secret, Batad is neatly tucked away, almost in the shadow of Banaue, its more-familiar neighbor. A few souls have dared call it as the 8th Wonder of the World, but seriously, the title has been thrown around so often, that we can probably come up with a Top 7 ‘8th Wonders of the World’ list.
The Anti-Midas Phobia: fear of doing something, lest turning gold nto lead.
I’ve been putting off making this video for months now. Yes, I was excited to share the clips I took during hikes, tours and walks around Scotland, but there was always the problem of finding the perfect song, concept, <insert-other-excuses-here>. Finally, the perfect song hit me during my morning jog, and you have to love it when things fall into place. It was a loooong labor of love, but it was well worth it.
Stunning landscapes. Killer hilltop views. Everything wonderfully Gaelic. Thanks Scotland, for just being you.
Our guide told us that this chant was 99.9% effective — as long as we go all-out with the bellows and the dance steps required to convince Nessie to surface from Loch Ness. Well, our guide was a local after all, so we figured he was telling the truth. After taking a quick peek at the Urquhart Castle, we made our way down to the banks of the loch, where Kyle taught us the words and the steps. Believe me — we summoned everything bestial within us and poured out our hearts and souls into the chant — much to the delight of the other tour groups who were snapping away with their cams.
Picture a genteel castle, perched on a solitary island in the middle of Loch Duich. Picture the classic stone bridge leading to it, that has seen both gallant knights and violent warriors. Picture a small room with tiny windows, albeit with a breathtaking view of the loch. Ladies and gents, welcome to Eilean Donan castle.