Posts Tagged With: travel

Swimming with the Sea Lions

Jumping into freezing, smelly water isn’t something I generally enjoy doing, but that’s exactly what this excursion was…and I LOVED it!!

While travelling in Peru, we opted for a unique excursion in Lima – swimming with sea lions!

Map of the IslandsWe headed to the marina in Callao to meet up with our tour before setting out into the Pacific Ocean. Our guide pointed out the smaller islands we passed en route, as well as different wildlife including pelicans and Humboldt penguins! It was a rough ride out, but as we rounded the bend to Palomino Island, you could already hear the sea lions. There were hundreds of them. They began jumping off the rocks to follow the boat, splashing and barking away. They were ready to play!Sea Lions

We got our wetsuits on and one by one jumped into the chilly water and swam out to them. The curious sea lions would come very close, sometimes even touching your toes, before swimming away again. We spent 20 minutes in the water swimming with them all around us. What an incredible experience!!

 

More Info

  • Went with Mar Adentro Excursiones 
  • Wetsuits are provided
  • Bring a camera that can go in the water, towel and warm clothes for the boat ride back…you’ll be cold!
  • Hotel pickup is included  (be sure to book that option)
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Spooky places to spend your Halloween

Halloween is my favourite time of year. I love all the decorations and costumes and how everything seems just a little spookier as the leaves change colour and the carved pumpkins glow.

It’s also a great time to explore some of the world’s creepier destinations.

Here are a few of my favourite spooky spots to check out this time of year:

The Catacombs of Paris.

Exploring the Catacombs of Paris

Exploring the Catacombs of Paris.

“The City of Love” has a darker side waiting 20m below the city streets. Here, in the underground ossuaries lie the remains of more than six million people. The bones are laid in a small part of a tunnel network built to consolidate Paris’ ancient stone mines.

During the late 1700s, many of the city’s cemeteries had reached capacity. Some, including the Saints-Innocents (Cemetery of the Innocents) had gone beyond capacity. Here, people were buried in mass graves, piled one on top of the other until it became a source of infection for those nearby. In late 1785, the Council of the State closed the cemetery and decided to remove its contents.

Millions of bones

Millions of bones found in the underground ossuary of Paris

This transfer began in 1786 after the blessing and consecration of the site and continued until 1788. The moving of remains took place at nightfall, where a procession of priests sang the service for the dead along the route taken by the carts loaded with bones and covered by a black veil. Until 1814, this site received the remains from all the cemeteries of Paris.

Nowadays, the 2kms of bone-filled tunnels is a perfect place to spend a couple of hours on Halloween!

 

Wat Rong Khun, Thailand

Koi fish

Koi fish swimming in the pond surrounding What Rong Khun

Better known as the “White Temple,” Wat Rong Khun is one of the most famous temples in Thailand. Located in Chiang Rai, this temple looks like something out of a fairy tale… until you get a closer look.

There are demons and villains popping out of the ground and hanging from trees all around the temple. To enter the main chapel, you cross a narrow bridge over a pool of hands and faces reaching up, trying to claw their way back to the surface, representing suffering souls in Hell.

And they sure are creepy to walk across!

 

Walt Disney World, Orlando

Mickey Halloween Lanterns

Mickey Halloween Lanterns

While it may be known as the happiest place on earth, Disney World turns into a spooky night out with Mickey’s Not- So-Scary Halloween Party.

Jack and Sally

Jack and Sally from The Nightmare Before Christmas with Mary Poppins and Bert!

It may not be as creepy as some of the other spots on this list, but with all the Halloween decor, characters like Jack and Sally out for photos and special shows like the “Hocus Pocus Villain Spelltacular” and the “Boo-to-You” Parade, it’s definitely a fun night out. Plus, it’s the one time of year that as an adult you can dress up as your favourite character at the park – and you get to trick or treat along the way, no matter how old you are!

Disney is truly a place where you never have to grow up, and that makes celebrating Halloween there even more fun!

 

And then, of course, there is Salem, Massachusetts

Salem is widely known as the site of the witchcraft trials of 1692, and the history and stories surrounding the hysteria of the witchcraft trials is found everywhere here, from museums to historical re-enactments to haunted walking tours.

During the month of October, this small town of 40,000 doubles in size as Halloween enthusiasts make their way here to explore the haunting history

You can visit the memorial dedicated to the 19 innocent people who were killed during the witch trials and you can also check out some of the film locations of my favourite fictional witches, The Sanderson Sisters from “Hocus Pocus ” 

Allison's Mansion from Hocus Pocus

Allison’s Mansion from Hocus Pocus

Salem has something for everyone and should definitely be on your Halloween travel list!

Zombie Prom

All dressed up for Zombie Prom in Salem

Next on my list of places to visit for Halloween are New Orleans, and of course, Transylvania!

What’s on your spooky travel list?

Categories: Asia, Blog, Europe, North America, Photo, Where in the World | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Trying Cuy in Peru

One of Peru’s most famous dishes is not exactly a conventional one – at least not by North American standards. Here, though, Cuy (guinea pig) has been a staple in the Andean diet for around 5,000 years. Long before they were considered cute fluffy pets, they were raised in the Andes for food.

While gourmet chefs have spruced up the original recipes and are now adding their own flare to the dish, Cuy is generally roasted whole, with the head, teeth, ears, and other parts left intact. They are doused in salt and garlic to crisp up the skin. You can find them being sold as “street meat” on sticks in areas surrounding the Sacred Valley, but many restaurants in Cusco and a few in Lima also serve the dish. For Peruvians, Cuy is a dish served on special occasions, not part of the everyday menu anymore. But with the influx of tourists over the last decade, many restaurants keep Cuy on the menu for those curious travellers to taste. It’s generally one of the most expensive items on the menu, costing anywhere from 40-70 soles ($15-28 USD).fullsizeoutput_1be0

I like trying local dishes while travelling, but this one was harder than most. Growing up, I had pet guinea pigs named Fuzz and Magic, and seeing the little face still intact on this Cuy dish definitely made me feel guilty for taking a bite. If you can get your head around it and forget what you are eating, the crispy skin tastes a lot like fried chicken.

I certainly won’t be making this dish a regular, but if you are in Peru, it’s definitely a must-try!

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Watching Sunsets around the World

Watching sunsets around the world is boring-2

I am obsessed with sunsets and love to catch beautiful ones on my travels around the world. While any colourful sunset is beautiful, I especially love watching them set over the ocean, like this one in Negril, Jamaica!

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Climb that mountain

Because in the end, you won't remember the time you spent working in the office of mowing your lawn.Climb that goddamn mountain.

Eight years ago, I was making my way up Mount Kilimanjaro. Our days started with a cup of chai tea and ended with group singing and dancing.  It was a six day journey and one of the hardest things I have ever done. Long hot days of walking, cold nights in tents on rough ground, holes in the ground for washrooms and no showers. By the end, we were all physically and mentally exhausted. Beginning the last section of the climb at midnight felt almost impossible, but getting to the top, just as the sun was rising over the ‘rooftop of Africa’, is a memory I will never forget!

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Travellers are dreamers

Travellers are dreamers who make their desires for adventure a reality

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Best classroom

‘Travel is the best education you can give yourself.’
Growing up, I heard this a lot from my Grandmam, often as she was showing us photos and telling us all about her latest trip.
She saw the world and inspired me to do the same.
Grandma was teacher her whole life and knew the importance of education. However, she also knew that the world had so much more to offer than you could ever find within the four walls of a classroom.

Thank you for filling my veins with a thirst for travel and a need to always keep educating myself on this amazing world we live in.

Happy birthday my travelling Grandma! I hope everyone up there enjoys your travel stories as much as I always did! Xo

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Travel isn’t always pretty

RIP Anthony Bourdain

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A Lifetime of Adventures

Actually, the best gift you could have given her was a lifetime of adventures...

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Let’s get lost

Let's get Lost

Sometimes the best trips are the ones where you just say “Let’s go” and figure it out on the road!

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