Luang Prabang was the cure for the restlessness that has been tugging at me for a while now. It was a pull back to being grateful for all things simple, carefree and beautiful — a getaway well needed and much appreciated.
Thanks to Eyjafjallajökull, it is now common knowledge that Iceland is laden with volcanoes. The second thing that in abundance is less obvious: water. The country is an island after all. Given its combination of unique geographical gifts (perched on a hotspot, on top of the American and Eurasian continental plates, way way up in the North), Iceland can be quite a hotbed of earth-porn, so to speak.
If you want to emerge a whole lot smarter after a tour in Iceland, here’s a good recipe:
1.) Grab a geologist (or better yet, a glaciologist!).
2.) Make him show you around.
Luckily, we stumbled onto GeoIceland Tours, ran by the very witty Javier — a glaciologist-turned-land-surveyor, who eventually found himself creating his own tour-guide business. From the moment we set off from Reykjavik until he dropped us back home, he rattled on facts one after the other — not just about geology, but also about history, folklore and everyday Icelandic life. There was no lull nor dull moment, I kid you not.
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
Have you ever had one of those days when you already knew everything was going to be epic, and then the day turns out to be even better for reasons you didn’t see coming your way? This was one of them. Continue reading Adventures in Oslob→
It was hard to believe what was right in front of our eyes — the cascades of crystalline blue-green water had me hypnotized, and we had the waterfalls all to ourselves. I look around and think — friends, we’ve made it to paradise.
Siquijor is a gem of a find, one of the places that really makes me want to know my home country better. It blew my mind thinking how an island as accessible and gorgeous as this one could stay under the radar for so long. As I looked around to see my co-passengers at the ferry from Dumaguete, almost more than half were actually foreigners, aside from the few locals making their way home. And then there were us, a gang of giddy local backpackers — not a usual sighting, I guess. Continue reading Enchanting Siquijor→
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.