Tales from today, preserved for tomorrow.

Posts tagged “angela a

Torres del Paine

One of the main focuses of our trip to South America was a trip to Torres del Paine. TDP is a national park that, despite being in a remote southern point of Chile, celebrates international acclaim and is visited by many foreign and local visitors every day. We visited this park during one of the busiest, but warmest, months of the year.

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1 down, 9 to go

Its been about a week since I left the states and my mind isn’t used to the idea that I am not done. It has been programmed to expect 7 to 9 day vacations and I’m happy to know that I am only 10% through.

The week was jam packed since we are trying to fit in as much as possible while Ange is here (until 1/24). For this reason, we haven’t had much downtime and I’ve had no motivation to type too much on my Android tablet. Well today we are returning to El Calafate from a short 2 nights in El Chaltén on a 3 hour bus and this seemed to be a good way to pass the time.

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Gauley Season!

Usually the best season to raft/kayak is in the spring when the snowmelt is bringing fresh water down to the rivers. The Gauley River is a special exception. Each year before winter the Army Corps of Engineers drain Summersville Lake into the Gauley, bringing consistently high water levels and thousands of whitewater enthusiasts to the area. Over the period of 30 years, it went from being considered an “impossible” stretch of whitewater to one of the most popular day trips in the country.

There were several ECPers in the campsite next to us, so we joined them on Sunday for a day of climbing.

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España

Looking out from the Alhambra to the Sierra Nevadas, towering over Granada.

I could tell you that we went to Spain because it has always been my dream to travel to Spain, because I was fascinated with the culture, food and los toros y los matadores, etc. But that wouldn’t be true. It was as simple as this: Chad saw flights for only $280 roundtrip from NYC.

While its true that I had always been interested in Spain, the only matter of convincing Angela and I needed was the price of the flight. We would go in early April, before high tourist season and right when all of the flowers were blooming. The timing was perfect. Perhaps the Mediterranean was still a bit too cold to swim, but I’ve been to Lake Erie a bunch and figured I wasn’t missing much, right?

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Pacific Northwest

The Oregon coast as seen from Ecola State Park.

It seemed that when all of a sudden our travels starting taking us west, we always ended up in desert climates. Joshua Tree, the Grand Canyon, Las Vegas, Zion, Bryce, and all of the sites in between. Deserts are awesome, but I always felt like I was only seeing a portion of what the west had to offer.

Portland was high on my list of places to visit after hearing about the biking culture, the outdoorsy population, the Cascades, Columbia River Gorge, and Smith Rock. Ange had a buy one get one $99 companion ticket to use, so it seemed logical that the way to get the most bang for the buck was to travel as far as possible in the continental U.S. (to a place we wanted to visit, that is).

Most of our reading indicated that the best time to visit the PNW was the summer. However, we were eager to have a trip before then, and we had to use the BOGO$99 ticket before it expired. We decided to go in March.

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New Zealand

New Zealand landed the top 2 spots in Trip Advisor’s 2008 Travelers’ Choice Destinations list. The #1 spot was taken by Milford Sound in Fiordland National Park, New Zealand.

My home country is a beautiful place. The Pacific Northwest has rain forests, glaciers and volcanoes. Arizona has deserts and the Grand Canyon. Florida has beautiful beaches. The northeast has endless expanses of deciduous forests and rolling green hills. So what could New Zealand have that the United States doesn’t? Consider this: It took 4 separate vacations and a dozen flights over the period of 2 years to visit these 4 corners. I saw the same and more in 2.5 weeks in New Zealand with just a camper van.

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