Posts Tagged ‘hiking’

sensory overload

Thursday, February 25th, 2010

The past week+ on New Zealand’s South Island has been a string of stunning alpine scenery and pristine beaches. I am feeling overwhelmed. Maybe I’ll spend tomorrow at the Burger King next to our motel, just to put a stop to all the prettiness.

We spent the past four days “tramping” near Christchurch. It was as good as hiking can get. Great scenery, entertaining hiking companions, cozy hobbitesque cottages to sleep in. This country kind of freaks me out. It’s almost too nice. Where’s the edge?


Friday, December 5th, 2008

I was walking in the woods around dusk yesterday (which comes at the alarming hour of 4:30 these days) and a dog started barking like crazy somewhere nearby. This worried the dog owner in front of me, who started sweet-talking his own dog to make sure he didn’t run away. His favorite word was schätzchen, which translates as something like sweetie pie. Of course, his dog eventually took off at top speed towards the barking dog. The man then began screaming “schätzchen, komm!!!” It made me laugh so hard that I nearly walked into a tree.

back to the basics

Monday, July 28th, 2008

My favorite thing about staying in English bed and breakfasts were the beds and the breakfasts, naturally (including the very cozy sleeper car). The luxury of box springs after years of not-so-comfy flexible slat beds! Breakfasts of poached eggs, bacon, sausage, fried toast, beans, etc. after years of corn flakes!

area of outstanding natural beauty

Monday, July 28th, 2008

Cornwall’s coastal path lived up to its Ordnance Survey designation. This wasn’t your average, run-of-the mill pretty, this was whack-you-upside-the-head gorgeous. We spent five days hiking and several days recreating. In total, we maybe walked 50 kilometers. The trail wasn’t easy. It kept going down to the coves and then back up to the top of the bluffs. There were only a few small villages along the route and the countryside was mostly pastures, heather and hedges. There were also some beautiful beaches. It was the perfect mixture of sea breeze and sunshine.

hugging the coastline

Wednesday, July 16th, 2008

Yep, headed out on a hiking trip to Cornwall. Plan to do about five (leisurely) days of the South West Coast Path. We have been excited about it for months, but nervous as well. The big unknown: will it rain every day? We’ll find out soon enough.

wine weekend

Monday, September 11th, 2006

Faced with the most gorgeous weekend since June (yes, it’s been awhile) we opted to spend a few days on the Mosel, a famous wine-growing region near Bonn.

Since we were only a few kilometers away, we set out Saturday morning to hike the Calmont Klettersteig, which is supposedly Europe’s steepest vineyard trail. It included a sidetrip to the Todestangst Fahne (Fear of Death Flag) and other fun things like lots of climbing ladders and holding on for dear life to metal ropes.

The region is popular with the 60+ set and was swarming with retirees who’d had one too many glasses of Riesling. We spent the weekend with Markus and his family. Plenty of tourist bashing from the locals, even as they schlepped us to castles and wine festivals, camera always in action. Markus’ mom, in keeping with German motherly tradition, made us delicious cake. Did I mention the weather could not have been more gorgeous? Nothing like a weekend getaway to take one’s mind of the German Bureaucracy Blues.


Tuesday, February 14th, 2006

We had to do the volcano thing. The tourist swarms were thick at El Teide National Park. But, as always, once on the trail we were on our own.


Monday, February 13th, 2006

We definitely had our share of driving on narrow, winding, fogged-in mountain roads. We headed to the beach town of Taganana and saw some crazy looking jellyfish. Then headed to the big port city of Santa Cruz de Tenerife where I satisfied both a Corte Ingles and strawberry zumo fix. Robert also took his second swim of the vacation on a beach with dozens of wind surfers.

perpetual fog

Tuesday, February 7th, 2006

Drove to the rain forest on La Gomera. It reminded me of the Olympic Peninsula in Washington without all the big trees and crazy rednecks.

Valle Gran Rey

Sunday, February 5th, 2006

Decided to start the trip with a mega hike. We got in on Saturday to the island of Tenerife and headed out immediately by ferry to La Gomera. We ended up staying in an area called Valley Gran Rey which is gorgeous. So our hike took us up the side of the valley and to a lookout point far above the city. It turned out to be our most animal-filled hike. The insanely steep route up was called The Milk Trail. There were goats everywhere. We also ran across a couple mules (in the Movie about Me, I would’ve hitched a ride down the mountain) and some wild sheep. It was an exhausting accent and descent, but after the sore muscles went away, became our favorite hike of the trip.