Yearly archive - 2011

Highlights of My Travels in 2011

Highlights of My Travels in 2011

 

I’ve had such an incredible year and now 2012 is approaching so fast it’s making my head spin.

The first half of 2011 was pretty quiet for me on the travel front, but the second half certainly made up for that!  I travelled to some of North America’s most spectacular places this year, I redesigned my blog and my readership has increased dramatically over the past six months. So thank you so much to all of you who have made that happen!

There were some very definite highlights from my travels, so these are the places and experiences that had special significance and are the best memories of my adventures in 2011.

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A Winter Camino, a Cancelled Flight…and a White Christmas

A Winter Camino, a Cancelled Flight…and a White Christmas

 

It’s a traveller’s worst nightmare. Well, one of them at least.

 

Those huge red, flashing letters next to the departure time of your next flight have the power to rattle even the most frequent of flyers: CANCELLED. A delay is frustrating enough but you see ‘cancelled’ and your heart just sinks.

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Old Friends, New Lives: Vancouver, British Columbia

Old Friends, New Lives: Vancouver, British Columbia

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Arctic Dreams: The Polar Bears of Churchill. PART II

Arctic Dreams: The Polar Bears of Churchill. PART II

 

There are no words to describe the feeling you have when your face is only a couple of feet away from a polar bear: so close that you can imagine the heat of their breath.

 

Of course, if this happened away from the safety of the hulking polar rover, there would be no imagining necessary. These polar bears  have been living on a diet of berries for months now. They are carnivores. They are starving. I rest my case.

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Arctic Dreams: The Polar Bears of Churchill

Arctic Dreams: The Polar Bears of Churchill

 

 

“When you are driving your bus across the tundra through a snow storm and you can’t see the windscreen wipers…you know it’s going to be an interesting day”

 Rhonda – bus driver in Churchill, Manitoba

 

Things can get pretty wild this far north. And I’m not talking about the nightlife.

But for today at least the weather is behaving itself. It’s minus 13 degrees Celsius with wind-chill out on the sub-Arctic tundra near Churchill, Manitoba but the skies are clear and the barely-there dawn light is perfect.

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On The Road: American Road Trip

On The Road: American Road Trip

 

I feel like I have been driving forever.

Since that first nerve-wracking drive through Anchorage over two months ago I have driven nearly 4000 miles (6400 km) through Alaska and the western states of the USA. I was sure I would never get used to that uneasy feeling of driving on the right-hand/wrong side of the road, and yet now I feel as though I could do it in my sleep.

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Rain, Hail or Shine: Hoh Rainforest, Olympic National Park

Rain, Hail or Shine: Hoh Rainforest, Olympic National Park

 

It hasn’t rained at all today. The sky is blue and the sun is out in full force. None of which is usual on the northwestern side of Olympic National Park in America’s Pacific Northwest.

The tiny lumber town of Forks* where we have based ourselves has an annual rainfall consistently over 100 inches.

But not today.

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Photo Essay: Northern California and Oregon

Photo Essay: Northern California and Oregon

 

And so we drove. And drove, and drove. With long, tiring driving days and only a couple of nights for each stop, it was torture to not be on a time frame that allowed us to stay in some of these places for a week, two weeks…a lifetime.

The often mist-enshrouded Point Reyes National Seashore, just north of San Francisco was bright and sunny for our few days there and we were fortunate to have accommodation inside the park itself.

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A Lighthouse Oasis on the California Coast: Point Montara

A Lighthouse Oasis on the California Coast: Point Montara

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The Aussie Accent: ‘Could you say that again please?’

The Aussie Accent: ‘Could you say that again please?’

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