Posts tagged nature

Hiking outside of Whistler BC – Garibaldi Lake

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Garibaldi Lake is a glacially fed destination to the southeast of Whistler BC. This is a hiking destination which may be a bit of an effort but is also 100% worth the effort. Taking at least 4 hours or so at a reasonable hiking pace this 20km or so hike takes you through a typical BC forest into sub-alpine terrain. Walking through wildflower meadows beneath the well known landmark Black Tusk this is not only extremely beautiful but also gives great context to the alpine peaks surrounding Whistler.

If you have never considered this hike and call the area home this should definitely be on the hit list. Starting off between Squamish and Whistler a short gravel road drive will take you to the trail head before a well marked trail escorts you to the top. On a summer weekend there will undoubtedly be traffic along the way but the beauty of the lake, wildlife and scenery is like nothing else. Do yourself a favour and make this BC adventure a priority!

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A Costa Rican Road Trip

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With the busyness of summer and fall passing a week away from the usual in somewhere hot and tropical was long overdue. Kelly and I took the trip down to Costa Rica and rented a vehicle out of Liberia. From here we spent 7 days exploring the Nicoya Peninsula in the Northwest corner of this amazing country.

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As could be expected, a good portion of the trip was spent in the ocean and on the beach drinking beer. Not the worst way to relax in a Central American country.

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The highlight beach-front location for the trip was Samara Beach. Here we pulled up and booked two nights in the Samara Tree House Inn. This is definetly worth the money. Small, quiet and classy these elevated, beach front apartments offer luxurious accommodations with the intimacy lacking in a larger facility. 2012_11_CostaRica-477

Being that we were on the West Coast of Costa Rica, the evening light was always amazing offering sunsets and beautiful views as the glow settles beneath the horizon.

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Once the sun sets though, that is not the end of it. The Samara accommodations were just as magnificent in the dark as they were in the tropical sun.

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One unexpected happening of chance put us in the area during a full moon when the phosphorescence given off by plankton was at its height. The glow coming in off the crashing waves was out of this world.

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The night sky was simply spectacular while the full moon gave the foreground a magnificent glow.

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No vacation is complete without some quality micro-brewery action right, well part of our trip we made a point of stopping at the Volcano Brewing Company. This is the only micro-brewery in Costa Rica and is situated in Arenal at the base of the Arenal Volcano. Here they serve four different beers brewed on site giving some diversity from the otherwise ‘beach pilsner’ style of beer.

 

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The whole trip was not on the beach. In fact our time was split approximately 50/50 between the beach and the mountainous interior. It was inland where the nature fix took place and we were able to get some hikes under our belts.

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This is a bridge crossing a valley in the Monteverde Cloud Forest.

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The view below the bridge was a spectacular aerial view of the valley floor.

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Next to the Cloud Forest is a hummingbird observatory where feeders are set up to attract the many species in the area.

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The Coatimundi is a Marsupial that we found in plenty at the Arenal Volcano. As neat as it was to see this raccoon like creature, it was even more interesting to see the territorial battle happen on the forest floor.

2012_11_CostaRica-356Not all the wildlife was in the forest though, Iguanas were a beautiful site chilling on the beach and in the trees.

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Watching the Pelicans hunt is another spectacular show while relaxing on the beach.

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Okay, I won’t lie though. It did rain a bit.

 

If you are curious about the trip or want to know more about where we went here is a map of the road trip. If you take on a trip like this, do not use google maps as a reference for time. The times and distances are very unreliable in the presence of many gravel roads and marginal driving conditions. If you have additional questions feel free to leave your comments below.


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A hemisphere away makes for a bit of a story to tell

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My latest endeavor took me all the way to the other side of the World. Over the span of three weeks I travelled down the west coast of Australia seeing as much as possible between Cape Tribulation and Sydney. Starting off in Cairns, I drove north through Daintree and up to Cape Tribulation. Following this, the drive took me South along the coast to Airlie Beach where a three day sailing trip was in order. Wow, if you you are ever in the area, spring the cash and go for a sail. It is worth every penny. Post sailing, I continued South to Brisbane where I spent a few days before venturing to the Gold Coast. From the Gold Coast, a bit of a short cut was in order so after flying to Sydney I finished off the trip in the city.

Between the beautiful beaches, incredible nature, wonderful cities and of course the people Australia is a magical place. Worth every second and every penny. As with my lack of writing style of the blog, let’s get the photos to tell the story. Which ones are your favorites? If you really like them, check out more in the complete flickr album.

The Ferry to Daintree National Forest

A Single Mangrove Tree reaching into the sea

A basking crock, warming in the morning sun

The magnificent Cassowary, showing off its colours

Camping, Australia Style... (it is a bit different)

Sailing the Whitsunday Islands on the S.T. Whitehaven

The sleaping sailor, settled in for the night

The distance view of Surfer's Paradise

The sun setting over Miami Beach on the Gold Coast

Day time activities on the Gold Coast are… As expected…
No Australia trip is complete without…
As I said, the wildlife was magnificent.
A walk on the beach beside the setting sun
The Cormorants had vibrant faces like no other.
The Opera House is a staple of Sydney. The incredible texture is not always illustrated though.
This is a little more typical, but Sydney was a great place to end a wonderful trip. I would love to go back soon and see all that was missed.

If you skipped reading at the top, you missed out on this link… check out more photos from this latest trip at flickr.com

 

Until next time, Happy Travels!

 

Dustan

One with Nature

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I call him chip…

An Impressive Eight Legged Creature

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Somehow this spider managed to catch a wasp… without actually having a web? That is a pretty awesome spider if you ask me. That is like catching a fish with a line but no hook! Besides that though, I thought it made a pretty sweet photo. I particularly like the vibrance and depth of field between the flower and the greenery in the background

A smelly, but kind of cool plant… Skunk Cabbage

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A staring contest with a toad

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This picture was taken at the Vancouver Aquarium. Love the toad, love the camo.

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