Posts Tagged With: city

Jump kick in Machu Picchu

Last year, I wrote about some secret tips that were given to me by a local. My promise still stands, if you’re ever going to make experience the sacred city, please write me and I’ll gladly expose a few hints that will enhance your journey! Until then, the secret remains amongst them who have made the trek with me.

4:00am- Alarm sounds to an already awake room of travelers.
4:30- Showered, packed and ready to leave.
5:00- Lined up at the first bus to depart!

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5:30- Bus ride in the dark to the base of the city.

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6:00am- Whats this? We’re the first people in line to enter the sacred city!

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The next 20 minutes is to remain undocumented for the strength of the “secret”… but here is one photo along the way before reaching our lookout point.

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Once arriving, the fog acted like a curtain that requested patience as it protected the artwork we all came to see. We took advantage of this moment with a few fun photos!

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Layer by layer, the curtains gracefully lifted as the masterpiece was revealed.

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On the way down into the city, I realized that I wanted to mix up the handstand photo from last year . How amazing are my friends? They patiently waited as I ran into the empty field (that was apparently off limits) and snagged the picture. Can you spot me?

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Time to head in and explore the walls that make up this mystical place.

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A happy picnic break to take it all in as we watched the herd of people (who slept in) make their way towards us.

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Between the four of us and our enthusiasm for fun pictures, it was hard to pass up any of the next photos!

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Here’s the classic pose and snap shots taken before our final hike down the trail.

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A sincere thanks to my new friends Colin and Ann for the incredible partnership and enthusiasm towards this remarkable journey. Hayden, you blindly booked a flight with the trust in me to make it happen… I’m honored for your company on this priceless journey as you enhanced the experience for all of us!

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Categories: Fitness, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

30 hours in Guayaquil, Ecuador

Knowing that I’ll be flying out of the capital Quito, I chose to arrive in Guayaquil to spend some time exploring the largest city in Ecuador. Naturally, my choice of transportation for the day is my two feet with no map and a camera in hand.

I was totally satisfied staying out of the heart of the city in order to catch a glimpse of the smaller venders and local markets. Right away I spot a health food store, well more like a vitamin stall, but either way it’s nice to see an effort towards better nutrition anywhere.

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Next door to the “healthy” stall we have soda, candy, gum and cigarettes. You can actually purchase a single smoke or the whole pack, they even have a lighter for your convienence. I’m not a smoker, but this one stood out to me!

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This woman was focused and straight faced as I caught myself staring into her little work box. As soon as we made eye contact, I asked with my best attempt in Spanish “Is a photo ok?”. She responded with a huge smile!

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I choose to limit my wheat and corn intake for general health, so most bread is off my “must try” list. With that said, you can imagine my excitement when I saw a sign for “Pan de Yuca”. This tasty treat is about the size of an average dinner roll, has minimal ingredients, no preservatives and is primarily made from the root of cassava (a cholesterol lowering, inflammation reducing vegetable that’s rich in potassium). The best part was the fluffy texture and the hollow inside that will make a perfect pocket for my next sandwich!

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With the sound of it, I thought for sure that I was approaching a daytime dance club blasting local hip hop music. No, that’s just a store in which sells electronics. “Woh, look mom!” says the little boy. Mother replies, “Yes sweetie, she is wearing a swimsuit, you just can’t see it”.

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Next door to the risky music videos? A dancing cow promoting ice cream and a clown passing out balloons… Go figure.

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In between the small shops there were several chain restaurants like McDonalds, Burger King, and KFC. I was a little discouraged to see those places packed, however this is a large city which means convenience tops the priority list.

I spot out a grocery store so I swing in for the usual wander, (this can drive my travel partners crazy!) as I just love to browse and check out the goods that I’ve never seen before. As soon as I walk in, I almost tripped over the… Salon chair? Nice! Makes sense to me to get your hair colored while running other errands.

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My new find for the day is vegetarian ceviche in a to-go container including broad beans, corn nuts and plantain chips for the topping.

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I pass a cute little square with a neat fountain and a little girl sleeping in a box? I’ve definitely been that tired before!

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I reach the end of the street which brings me to the El Malecón boardwalk overlooking the Guayas River. The first three pictures were taken from the balcony of my hostel earlier in the day. To see the Manso Guesthouse in detail take my photo tour in the accommodations category.

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Tourists?

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These guys made my day. Not only were they talented and entertaining, they were extremely friendly and patient with my Spanish. (Hopefully they understood the paper I wrote on that directed them to my blog).

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My turn for a little gymnastics!

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As the sun started to lower, I found stairs leading to lookout points providing a perfect view for these pictures.

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Again with the distant sound if music, I follow my ears towards a few well lit buildings up the way. This time it’s an indoor mall with independent singers giving it their best.

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I stopped on the way back and put my camera on a “special effect” to try and capture the loud energy that circled my evening stroll. This was the winner!

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Tomorrow morning brings a 6 hour bus trip to the coast of Manabi, Buenos Noches!

Categories: Edibles!, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

City to night life in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

The captain comes on and announces our arrival, first in Malay then in English. This is when my heart picks up pace and I feel those familiar butterflies come alive in my stomach. I can’t believe I’m landing in Malaysia right now! Why here? Ill skip the first dozen reasons that include but are not limited to the culture, jungles, beaches, food, and so on…. and remind you of my new friend Kuldip. I met this fellow backpacker while we were volunteering together in New Zealand. We shared a log cabin along with daily chores that ranged from cleaning and gardening to canning jars of marmalade. Here are some recap photos from February in Akaroa, New Zealand.

Our shared cabin, working away and goofing off!

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You can imagine the length of conversation we had during our days of work and hours of tea time. Often we’d share cultural fun facts about our home towns following up with an open invite if either of us ever want to visit. Most of you know me well enough by now that with an offer like that… I’m there! Well actually, I’m here!

The first 48 hours consisted of errand running due to the fact that she’s leaving in two weeks to live in Australia for a year. No worries to me though, I’ve enjoyed riding along to see what the city life in Malaysia looks like.

The following are pictures from the passenger seat (in motion and with the windows up, so I apologize for the lack of extreme clarity).

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Yes Malaysia, you kept the streak going… Irish Pub!

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A peak of green in the city as we pass by a local park.

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For the first few meals, we checked out some street food. I’m so thankful to be here with a local who can look first and say, “No, too expensive” or “Not fresh enough” or “This is the best vendor in the city!”.

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I happen to have come at the right time as this night was a double celebration out on the town. Her friends birthday and another couple was sharing their 5th wedding anniversary with everyone!

The club we went to actually offered free makeup and complimentary professional photos. Pretty neat way to start off the festivities!

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Quick shout out to the DJ duo that kept the crowd alive! It was absolutely refreshing to dance to their mix. Well done! Thank you Werner’s on Changkat!

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Random snap pictures from the balcony and a quick set of new friends!

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Here are some of our posed professional photos followed by all the action shots!

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I should admit that when I dreamt of Malaysia, sky scrapers and smog didn’t jump into my vision. Now realizing that she lives in the capital city, I’m understanding the traffic jams and the amount of McDonalds I see. Although I enjoyed the experience here in Kuala Lumpur, I’m definitely ready to get out of the city lights and see what else this beauitful place has to offer.

Tomorrow we leave for Ipoh to visit her family… That means green trees, waterfalls, home cooked meals, traditional street markets and more trees!

Categories: Edibles!, Fashion from a backpack, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Bajans in Frankfurt and Americans in Wiesbaden

Who gets up before sunrise, takes a train to one of the largest international airports with fingers crossed in hopes that they can find a friend in passing just for a hug? Ooh, pick me pick me! (pretend my hand was eagerly raised like a hyper school girl).

This is the segway polo team that I met at the world cup in California, celebrated with them during crop over in Barbados and now get a 20 minute visit with them in the Frankfurt airport.
As I left the hostel, a fellow backpacker asks if I want her to come with me to help spot out the group. With a small giggle I explain how no “help” would be needed. Not because there was a dozen of them but due to their unforgettable accent and natural energy, I can feel them from afar!
Here we are in years past.

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Sure enough, I could hear the sweet sounds of the Bajan tone as they approached the departure counter. A couple of quick pics and priceless hugs before they head back to the sunny island of Barbados.

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This beautiful couple is always shining from the inside out. Great friends (and hair clients) from Folsom that have traveled the distance to participate in the Euro Segway cup with the Bajans. What an extra bonus to snag a hug from these warm smiles before they head back to the west coast of North America.

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This was the start of my last day in Frankfurt… Perfect! Now for some city sights:

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We lost points on our driving test in the States if our tire even swiped the curb… They post signs of encouragement here!

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For the few who know and understand my love for Cherimoya, you can imagine the excitement I had to control when I spotted out these at a local health food store. It’s a fruit from South America that became a part of my regular diet when I was volunteering in Peru. Since then, I only dream of it in my best nights sleep. Not today, I get to indulge… Does that means it’s a “dream come true”?

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Although this shop looked tempting, I was too busy with my cherimoya so here’s a couple pictures from the outside.

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What’s this? A double surprise! I do believe my dear friend Tiffany is the only person on this earth who can fully appreciate the fact that I found Dinkles! Last year, she allowed me to,stop on every German health food store with high hopes in relocating these treats I had discovered the year prior. They’re made of spelt, with only a few ingredients and no additives. Oh happy days!

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A jog around Frankfurt before my final stop in Weisbaden . Here’s what I caught when I actually remembered that I had a camera on me!

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Love the love!

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My jog led me to the botanical gardens which was the perfect cool down. I misuse through the rose garden to get to the cactus showing. Spent most of my time in the hibiscus room and enjoyed watching everyone near the water. If you come to Frankfurt, this is a great escape from the city.

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On the way out I snagged a sample of this basil spread on a pumpkin seed cracker. They asked which jam I wanted to try so I picked then one that all the bees were in… It must be their favorite right?

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My last weekend in Germany was spent in the city of Wiesbaden. I don’t have many pictures to show you because honestly I was too busy enjoying the peace of staying in a home with a couple that I absolutely adore. This is Brooke and Tim, an American duo finishing up their 3rd year stationed here.

Tim is a proud man serving his country with an abundance of energy and the ability to quote any comedic line from a film to make the room laugh. So refreshing! Brooke is one of those people on earth that quickly makes an impression much farther than the surface. She naturally exudes a calm warmth that extends throughout her household with an outlook on life that comes from hard work and self discipline. I felt comfortable with them last year and even more so this year.

Here is Brooke, Tiffany and I last October, followed by Brooke and I this trip.

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First things up, I got to play babysitter! Funny how things are so exciting when they’re removed from your usual routine. I even got to cut the hair of this little guys mom as well, Thank you!

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They took me to a Market Bizarre that was put on by the families from the Army base, definitely a different experience that I’ve ever had.

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Tim, you crack me up. Brooke, you make my heart smile. I look forward to the next path crossing… Hoping it will be somewhere new!

Next stop is Malaysia! I’ll be staying with Kuldip, a backpacker I met in New Zealand. During our volunteering she invited me for a visit which of course I dare not pass up… See ya soon Kuldip!
Here we are last February on the South Island of New Zealand.

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Categories: Edibles!, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

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