In Iceland, you are able to snorkel not only between two tectonic plates but also in glacier water! It is some of the cleanest water in the world. So while you snorkel you can drink it, just like I did. It was very cold but during the time in the water we wore a dry suit (so no peeing in it like a regular wetsuit). I wore thermal leggings and a long sleeve shirt along with warm socks. It was not as cold as I thought it would be. The only thing in the water is your face. I definitely felt stinging at first then it went num which is totally normal. The guides kept letting us know it is okay for that to happen. The awesome dive company we went with was DIVE.IS. It was about a 30- 45 minute tour. It is more on the expensive side but where else in the world can you say you swam between the North American and Eurasian tectonic plates.
This has to be one of my favorite places to see in the US. The natural beauty is unbelievable. Here are a few places I visited during my short stay of four day. I have been in the winter and spring.
– Antelope Canyon: there is an upper and lower canyon. You must buy tickets to enter both canyons. I thought both were amazing. More tips in a post to follow
– Lake Powell: I kayaked but there’s is numerous other activies. Watch out for the strong winds! It is easy to tip!
– Horseshoebend : small hike through sand to get here with an incline
– the wave – on my bucket list. Have to apply for a permit four months in advance. On my bucketlist!
– hike Kanarraville
I took a quick outdoor escape to the great state of Colorado for the first time this last weekend. We boarded an early morning flight from Los Angeles to Denver and picked up our rental car to start the journey to Colorado Springs for the day. Being tired from the exhausting logistics of an early flight, we stopped at Crowfoot Valley Coffee in Castle Rock for a much-needed caffeine fix. I had a vanilla chai latte with soy milk and a chocolate chip muffin at this cute little coffee-house. Nice place and successfully recharged us for the busy day ahead.
We made it to Colorado Springs in good time and started our first hike at Garden of the Gods Park. This registered National Natural Landmark has a fantastic Visitor and Nature Center with exhibits and history of the area. Admittance to the park is free and the large main parking lot makes stopping at the Visitor Center convenient. There is limited parking along the road throughout the park to pull off and take a view of the towering sandstone rock formations set against the snow-topped Pikes Peak and bright blue skies. There are fifteen miles of trails within the park area. Due to time constraints, we took a few of the shorter trails where we could see the red rock formations surrounded by the brilliant blue sky peppered with fluffy white clouds. Nature had made photography easy for me by creating the postcard perfect weather.
2020 was a rough year, but we were blessed with a little boy. I may have not been able to travel but now I have someone to look forward to showing my outdoor escapes with.
So far we have been to a few different parks and beaches around San Diego. We joined a moms fitness group called fit 4 mom stroller strides. It is the best thing we have done together. The group incorporates workouts with our kiddos in the stroller. Not to mention we have wonderful views of the ocean. Getting out a couple of times a week with stroller strides has not only helped my fitness postpartum journey but also my confidence with being on my own outside of the house with my baby. He also loves his stroller adventures.
I am so behind on posting on here. I can’t wait to get back into it over the next few months. I now have a new adventure buddy to be my sidekick during my travel escapes.
Back in November of 2018, I spent a few days in La Paz, Mexico. I have always wanted to swim with whale sharks and discovered two years ago that whale sharks are in La Paz, Mexico. It is a two hour flight from Tijuana airport. So I finally made it happen and I booked my flight to go see them! I parked my car at the lot on the US side and bought the Cross Border Xpress pass for $30 usd round trip to make it over to the airport. It was very easy and safe. I would do it again when we can start safely traveling.
A few things to know about whale sharks:
– are endangered unfortunately, so we need to do everything we can to protect them
– every shark has their own unique pattern of spots
-feed off of plankton
La Paz is very strict in the area these beauties feed. Only 14 boats are allowed at a time and up to 5 guests with a guide in the water near a shark. Boats are only allowed out for 3 hours at a time. When getting into the water, do not splash or move too fast. It will scare off the shark. I am in total agreement with the area being strict so the sharks can be protected.
I went out to swim with the whale sharks two times with two different companies. Both were fantastic! My first day I went out with La Paz VIP tours and the second time was with Whale Shark diaries.
Can’t wait to go back again in the future!
Over the past 8 months, I have accomplished many of my bucket list items. I have been busy with the typical life events but I would love to get back to sharing my escapes.
In August, I traveled to Kenya, Tanzania, Zanzibar, Zambia, Rwanda, and Switzerland.
In November, I went to La Paz to swim with Whale Sharks and seals, see Balandra Beach, and Isla Espirito Santo.
In December, I visited Death Valley.
In the first few months of 2019 I hiked all over Southern California. February 2, I scored a permit to Havasupai. This has been a major bucketlist item for many years and last minute I decided to give it a try one more time for a permit and it was well worth the wait!
Here is a few pictures of my travels:
In a few days, I embark on another journey to Africa to visit some new countries and places I have not seen yet. I am beyond excited to be able to visit this beautiful continent that my heart has fallen in love with. Stay tuned for my future outdoor escapes. Thank you all for the love and support of this blog.
The magical valley of Gjain was high on my bucket list to visit when I traveled to Iceland. Gjain is not that easy to get too. It is a long, several hours journey along a solitary road with no stores or homes in sight. Right before the turn off to Gjain there is a road to Hjalparfoss. A must see dialing waterfall. Once arriving at Gjain valley there are signs posted of the various trails to hike. We walked up a slightly steep hill on a gravel road while wondering if we were going in the right direction. Once we got to the top of an overlook, we were in awe of the hidden beauty we found. It was like coming across an unclaimed land of fairytale-like essence. Pictures do not do justice to the stunning beauty of Gjain. Streams and waterfalls flow all over the area with vibrant colored trees and caves scattered along the hillsides. We walked down into the valley and explored some of the caves. Although it was very cold and windy here, I never wanted to leave this beautiful outdoor escape!
During my visit to Utladalen, Norway, I stayed at an Airbnb in the Utladalen camping area. It was a beautiful little cabin with a private restroom and kitchen. I spent the day hiking to Vettisfossen waterfall. It is the tallest unregulated free-flowing waterfall in Norway, standing at 275 meters high. Vettifossen is about a 12 km hike to get there and back. Along the way there are multiple waterfalls to stop and look at. The trail runs along a river for the majority of the hike. About an hour into the hike, there is a farm to pass by with a beautiful view of the Utladalen Valley below. The hike continues past the farm down the hill through a picturesque area loaded with tall skinny trees. Once at the bottom of the hill there is a bridge which crosses the river. Stay hiking along the trail to reach Vetifossen. This was a long hike but well worth it for all the amazing sights along the way.
Bondhusvatnet Lake is at the north end of Folgefonna National Park in Norway. A glacier sits above the lake creating waterfalls to flow down into the lake from different directions. This place is so beautiful with green grass meadows, blue streams along side of the trail, flowers blooming, tall mountain sides, and waterfalls all around. The trail to Bonhusvatnet is rated easy and took me about an hour one way. Along the trail is a section to cross a bridge over a waterfall, hop some rocks, and climb through green mossy hill sides yielding different views of the lake. I could not reach the bottom of the glacier during this hike since the glacier was melting due to the heat we encountered during our stay. This is a great place to have a picnic and sunbathe when the weather cooperates as it did for me. Overall, Bondhusvatnet Lake is a stunningly beautiful find. Coming here was not originally on my itinerary but what a rewarding stop it was since this is what wonderlusting is about (finding new and unplanned outdoor escapes).
Taking the Loen Skylift was one of my favorite things I did while visiting Norway. I originally had it on my list of things to do and when we arrived it was a little expensive in my opinion just to take a gondola to the top of the mountain. It is $60 USD per person. The lift which is an inclosed gondola is scheduled to run about every 15 minutes. It has glass windows for 360 degree views along the way up. Once at the top it was very windy so make sure to bring a jacket. The views are out of this world. The Hoven Restaurant at the top highlights the stunning views of the valley below. There are also places to sit outside. Located here is the beginning point of many hikes in this area. Once to the top, I had no regrets in spending the money for the chance to partake in the beauty I saw.