The Most Beautiful Village In Spain – Fornalutx, Mallorca

An idyllic mountain village sprawled in the mountain range of the Serra de Tramuntana is precisely what you can expect when you visit Fornalutx. The spectacular views from the village are what dreams are made of.

When I was informed of this village that has claimed the title of ‘The most beautiful village in Spain‘ on two separate awards occasions, I knew I must see it for myself.

It is located very near to the town of Sollér on the west coast of the island. To reach Sollér from Palma you can drive or take a bus. I took the 40 minute bus ride which came to a total of €5.40 return trip, as I intended to walk from Sollér to Fornalutx. To reach Fornalutx you can also drive, however there is limited parking in the village, so in the high season this could be a problem. You can take a bus, or like I did, enjoy the beautiful 40 minute scenic trek from Sollèr. The scenery along the journey is in a sense – mindblowing. The picturesque landscape makes one feel as though you are walking through a real life painting.

The trails are very early marked so you will not get lost on the journey.

As I approached Fornalutx, the small village of 700 inhabitants that was sprawling down the mountainside looking so perfectly nestled between the mountains, I could not help but feel in complete awe.

I was surrounded by the many orange and lemon trees and the blossoming almond trees. It was pure magic.

The history of Fornalutx beginnings dates back to over 1000 years, to a time when it was an Arab farmstead. The gothic church in the village dates back to 1639. The villages architecture from the 13th century after the Catalan conquests has remained virtually unspoilt and is also why the village is known as an architectural jewel. At one time Fornalutx was actually a part of Sollèr, however in 1837 the village gained its independence.

Once you enter the village you will be welcomed by narrow winding streets, stone houses and the most beautiful stone steps.

The square known as Plaza de España has a couple of cafes, a small food store and a bakery. It is a great spot to just relax in the tranquil atmosphere. This is a small village however there are a good handful of restaurants to choose from. They range from local Mallorcan cuisine to Italian and Indian.

Fornalutx is also a great starting point for many exceptional hikes. It is right on the flanks of the Puig Major, which is the highest mountain on the island with an altitude of 1,445 meters. I did partake in a short 1 hour hike up a trail which brought to me an incredible view of the mountains and valley. The trails are easy to use as they are more like steps and very easy to navigate as they are also all marked.

After my hike, I sat on the terrace at the restaurant Ca N’Antuna where there was the most incredible view. It was the terrace that caught my eye as I was passing by and inclined me to go and bask on it. I did not actually eat here, I just enjoyed a nice cold caña. However, the menu boasted plenty of Mallorcan dishes and I was told they make an incredible paella.

I would absolutely set a whole day aside to come and enjoy the history, architecture, hiking and then finish it off with some local cuisine on a stunning terrace taking the unforgettable view. This whole experience had such a romantic feel. With a good selection of hotels for such a small destination, it makes for a great place to book a romantic getaway.

After visiting Fornalutx, I can absolutely see why it has won the title of ‘The Most Beautiful Village In Spain‘ on two different occasions. It is small on size and very big in beauty. An absolute bucket list must if you are visiting the island.

A Luxury Stay In Radium Hot Springs

Steaming hot springs and refreshing outdoor pools aplenty, that is exactly what you will find when you visit Radium Hot Springs Village in British Columbia. The drive into Radium from Calgary was absolutely beautiful. I had not been there since I was a child, so everything was new to me. I was actually shocked that it was such a short drive from Calgary and that I had not visited more often.

As you cruise along the highway the mountains sprawl on the sides of the winding roads. On the outskirts of Radium, the road is carved through mountain walls. It feels so majestic and dreamy. I was driving through it all, with the snow lightly floating down, and in complete awe of the beauty that was engulfing my eyes.

The destination was Bighorn Meadows Resort. It is different than your typical resort, as these are self-contained condos. That being said, these are not just any condos, they are luxury condos. There is the opportunity to own a condo, or you can just spoil yourself and your loved ones with a rental getaway. I would not mind owning a holiday home here in the slightest.

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The condos are incredibly spacious, much grander then you would expect walking up to the door. As you enter, the long hall leads past the two bedrooms onward to the open concept kitchen, dining and living room area. The view from the windows is spectacular.20191217_1132124108673947330798273.jpg

The fireplace is the perfect place to sit and unwind on a chilly wintry evening. As soon as I laid my eyes on it, I knew I would be planting myself right in front of it with my slippers on to unwind for the evening.

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Why settle for one fire? Go ahead and double it up.

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There was the most amazing welcome package waiting for me. It had everything a lady could ask for upon arriving. A welcome package after my own heart.

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Plus a fridge and countertop stocked with snacks.

They do take great pride in making everyone at their resort feel extra special. Whether you are a condo owner on the property or a rental guest of a beautiful suite. They will tailor things to your individual wants or needs.

The kitchen is fully equipped with everything down to a blender. If you stay for two weeks you will have everything you need to make gourmet meals, or even just enjoy a light meal with a view.

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The balcony boasts a fantastic view as well as a barbeque and it makes it easy to envision gatherings with family and friends there.

The bedrooms have the most comfortable beds, and each room also has its own TV.

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There are two bathrooms, one connected to each bedroom. The bathrooms are stocked with organic toiletries, which of course my nature-loving heart was instantly impressed with.

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The master bathroom was huge. It was almost the same size as the bedroom. Hands down one of the largest and most spacious bathrooms I have ever used.

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There is a jet tub in there to ease your tired muscles from outdoor adventures. If that is not enough there are even the outdoor hot tubs. Those were my happy place.

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They are located right outside the gym and on the other side of the fence from the little ice rink.

A good workout, followed by a nice soak in the outdoor hot tubs surrounded by the snowy mountainous landscape – pure magic.

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This destination is a golfers haven, as there are 2 golf courses right there and 12 others in the area, along with ski hills, lakes and year-round mountain activities. Did I mention hot springs?

The Radium Hot Springs pools are very accessible and nearby. When I say near, don’t forget we are in a village. Everything is near when you are here.

If you want to get more rustic and immerse yourself in nature you can take an hour’s drive to the Lussier Hot Springs. Set on the side of a river, you can soak in the mineral-rich hot springs and then enjoy a cold jump into the river. Every hot spring you visit will welcome you with the aroma of sulphur, or to some, it may be more like rotten eggs. It doesn’t take long for your nostrils to become accustomed to it. Once you’re in the water all your woes will melt away and the scent will be a thing of the past.

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Don’t forget to remove your silver jewellery or the minerals in the water will turn your rings some very interesting colours. Nothing a good polish can’t fix.

A quick pitstop at the Fairmont Hot Springs is not a bad idea either. You can do a short hike up the mountain and see where the hot springs originated and take in an incredible view.

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The condo at the Bighorn Meadows Resort had such a home away from home feel and was so comfortable. My trip was to short and I didn’t go explore any of the culinary scenes in the area. I simply took in the idyllic setting and fabulous ambiance that the resort had to offer. When something is that you good, sometimes you just need to bask in it. This was a place that was checked off my bucket list only to be put back on again.

My Top 5 Activities While Visiting Nungwi, Zanzibar

Sometimes you dream of being in the most magical place, surrounded by an endless array of beauty to ignite your senses. Then suddenly one day you wake up and you are on the island of Zanzibar. Your dream is now your reality.

Ten years ago I was privileged enough to spend many months in Zanzibar, diving every day and enjoying the postcard life. Since that time, Zanzibar has always been in my dreams. I knew I had to return one day; I didn’t know when that would be. Then recently I woke up and there I was.

Well, maybe after a few plane rides across the world, then a small plane ride across the Country of Tanzania and a good sleep from all the travel, I woke up and there I was. Back in the place that left an unwavering imprint on my mind.

 

 

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It is always surreal to return to a place after so long. So many things change, and so much new infrastructure goes up. With infrastructure also comes more people, and life seems so much busier than I once knew there. It took me a day to absorb it all.

One thing that has not changed is the beauty. It is still there like the most amazing buffet you have ever feasted your eyes on.

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Zanzibar is known for its diving, and for its spices. Its nickname is spice island. Diving and spice tours are popular activities when visiting the island. I did none of this, this time around.

This time was for relaxing, being present in the moment, and taking in every second.

One thing I should add is there are no ATM’s in Nungwi, so you must bring enough cash to fund your whole trip. There are a few places that accept credit card, not many, so I would not rely on that. The closest place to withdraw money is in Stonetown.

That being said, here are my top 5 activities that were simple and brought me a great deal of pleasure, while I enjoyed life in and around Nungwi, Zanzibar. Simple yet strong enough reason’s for me to recommend that you take a getaway to this incredible destination right now.

  1. Enjoy the beaches, grounding with the earth, and swimming

I think this goes without saying; I am saying it anyway. Zanzibar has some of the most beautiful beaches you will ever set your eyes on and dip your toes in.

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The water is such a crystal clear blue, so warm and refreshing, it will not only cleanse your body but also your soul. Some of the best grounding/earthing is done when you are barefoot on the wet beach. You get the ultimate recharge from the earth. Mother nature has it on offer and she is so generous with her giving, that it is hard not to embrace it to the fullest. It was my daily rejuvenation.

2. Walk to Kendwa

Four Kilometres from Nungwi is my favourite beach on the North coast – Kendwa beach.

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When the tide is out, the walk from Nungwi to Kendwa is absolutely amazing. It takes about 30 – 35 minutes to walk, yet it is pure bliss every step of the way. Not only is the view incredible at every angle it is a great way to get a bit of extra exercise. Especially when you are relaxing and enjoying the chill life. I did this walk almost daily. The beach in Kendwa is so vast and with a lot fewer people than Nungwi beach. The swimming is pristine, and extra inviting. It is the perfect spot to relax and enjoy an afternoon.

3. Enjoy all the amazing food

From the seafood to the street food your tastebuds are in for a treat. This is the time to enjoy every morsel. Take the word ‘diet’ out of your vocabulary and just indulge. If you eat seafood you are about to be in seafood heaven. Every day the fresh catches are prepared for your delight. My favourite in Zanzibar is the Octopus. It is the most tender you will ever have in your life.

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Mama Mia – one of my favourite restaurants in Nungwi, they boast an incredible view, and they accept credit card.

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The street food and local restaurants are equally delicious and a fraction of the price you will pay in the touristy restaurants. Be prepared to eat though, the local restaurants are not shy with their portions.

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Let’s not forget about the fresh fruit. You can go anywhere in the village and buy fresh, beautiful, sweet tropical fruit in abundance. I could not get enough fresh passionfruit juice. It was a splurge on the daily.

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4. Swim with turtles

I never knew that swimming with turtles was on my bucket list until I did it. At the Nungwi Natural Aquarium, you can swim with rescued turtles. These turtles were caught in fishermen’s nets and injured. The aquarium will actually give money to the fishermen for the turtles, they will rehabilitate them and then release them back into the wild.

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They live the good life in the aquarium, getting loads of love and food all day long. They are such gentle creatures.

Although, move out of the way when seaweed gets tossed in as they will push their way past you to get a mouthful. I even got a turtle bite on my arm. It did not break the skin, just nipped me with a hard pinch. Not his fault, there was a piece of seaweed right next to my arm. I was actually proud of my turtle bite. Hands down one of the coolest things I have ever done.

5. Take in all the sunsets

The sunsets are stunning. It is the refreshing cool down from a hot day. The finishing of another beautiful day of being alive and the welcoming of the evening ambiance.

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I love a stroll on the beach in the evening. The stars light up the sky, and when the moon is fuller, it lights up the earth in such a magical way. As you watch the sun disappear over the horizon, you can not help but reflect and bask in the beauty of life.

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I will be back!

This trip to Zanzibar was about filling my soul, being present and overflowing with high vibe energy. The more you have, the more you have to share. Not every activity has to be extravagant when you travel. It is the simple things that when appreciated will bring the most pleasure.

Summiting Mount Kilimanjaro -The Trek That Changed My Life

A physical, mental, emotional and spiritual journey that will change your life.

Walking up a mountain. No big deal right?
At least one would think it was no big deal until you find yourself immersed in it all and in a very different reality.

Mount Kilimanjaro has been on my bucket list since I first laid eyes on it when I was doing my solo trip across Africa with my portable massage table. I knew I would one day be back to conquer it, I just didn’t know when. Then the opportunity arose recently in my life, years after my solo trip across the continent and it was suddenly time.

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We chose the 7-day trek up the Machame route. Not the most difficult route, but absolutely one of the most challenging.

From day 1 we were amongst some of the most incredible scenery.

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We began at the lush rain forest, and as we progressively got higher in altitude the vegetation continually changed. The landscape and beauty were spectacular every day.

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I was totally blown away by the porters running up and down the mountain with very heavy loads. We would leave camp they would pack up and run ahead of us to make sure everything was ready for our arrival.

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Blown away, and incredibly grateful. That is not an easy job.
We had some long days in the beginning with a duration of 6 – 7 hours hikes, as we got higher the hikes got shorter yet more intense particularly due to the altitude.

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We always had snacks and warm drinks waiting for us when we reached our next camp.

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It is about around day 3 that most people start to feel the effects of the altitude. I made sure to have all of my natural supplements and remedies with me in order to prevent altitude sickness as much as possible. As we get higher our blood begins to thicken which in turns starts to make us ill. So I had plenty of natural things in my little health kit that helps to thin the blood. It all worked so well, I had my moments, but really nothing too bad at all.

Altitude sickness comes in waves. At one point you can feel totally fine, then suddenly you feel awful, and then shortly after that you feel fine again. It is like a roller coaster ride all in itself.

The most important things are – rest and water.

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We chose the absolute best company to guide us. They are called Safari to Summit, and they continually went above and beyond for us on the daily. Our safety and health were number one, and the food blew us away every day.

Literally, the chef also known as ‘the stomach engineer’ prepared our meals in a tent on a propane stove, and the things he would produce were what dreams were made of on a cold, strenuous journey up Kilimanjaro. No matter the elevation, the food was always on point.

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Summit night was tough. My lips were cracked, my body feeling the pressure, and my mind having to keep strong. We started our last leg of the journey at 11pm. It was dark, cold, and where the real challenge was about to begin.

About an hour in is when I started to feel the altitude. There were some that were vomiting, others with severe headaches and body aches. For myself when it would pummel me like a crashing wave, it would come on as tight pressure in my chest and body making it very difficult to breathe along with vertigo that would make it hard to focus as well as giving me the feeling I was about to fall down the mountain. It was extremely tough, to say the least. I had to stop a couple times to even out and give myself a pep talk. I shed a few tears and asked my body if it could go on. It said yes. So onward I marched.

As we got higher the weather became more brutal. It was blizzarding and so cold that even with two pairs of gloves and two pairs of socks plus hand and feet warmers, I was still so cold my fingers and toes were burning with the icy bite of frost. Pushing through the last few hours was one of the hardest things I have ever done in my whole life.

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Having an incredible team of support absolutely helped make the success of this possible. At times I was the support and at other times I was receiving the support. This time I joined a group trip with UGO Travel for Change, and it was one of the best experiences of my life.

This accomplishment put so many things into perspective for me. I found a drive in myself that is so much bigger than I ever thought before. I can clearly see I am capable of so much more.

The journey down the mountain was split between two days, and I will say aside from the summit the trek down was the hardest. It was rough and my knees almost couldn’t take it. I was ready to throw in the towel and say I couldn’t go on. It was so painful. Although clearly, that wasn’t an option. How in the heck else was I going to get down?
On the last morning of the trek, we were treated to a farewell song and dance by the guides and crew. They were so amazing and what a high vibe way to say goodbye.

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My knees were swollen for days after and I could barely walk. Going down is no joke. This adventure turned out to be more than just a physical challenge. It was physical, mental, emotional and spiritual.

I had so much support to help me achieve this incredible feat. I had the intention to fly this flag at the summit to show my gratitude to all those who supported me in so many ways. However, I never expected this to be as difficult as it was, nor with such extreme weather conditions. My time at the summit was so short as it was unbearable and my flag was in my bag that one of the porters took to carry when the altitude was nearly doing me in. I still flew my flag with nothing less than overflowing gratitude when I returned to base camp, and it was with us all at the top.

Metaphorically speaking, here is what I learned about life from this amazing experience – having been crashed on by waves of altitude/challenges along the way, having to stop and shed some tears a few times, check in with myself and have strong self talk to keep going onward and upward to finally reach the top. The summit. Where I shed more tears, this time of joy. It showed me that in life when we are climbing our mountains, building our success and working to achieve greatness, it will not always be easy, the hardships will come in waves, and we may cry a few times along the way. Yet if we can keep our eye on our goal, our mindset strong while being gentle on ourselves through the hardships, we can do anything and everything that we set our mind to. Ending up at the exact destination we were reaching for or somewhere even better.

Northwest Territories – The Land That Lures You

There are some places in this world that hold special places in our hearts. A place that heals us, rejuvenates us and sets us free. These places seem to hold an energizing power over us like none other. Perhaps it is because we match the vibration of the land. Or, perhaps it has been such a part of our life that it seems to be engrained in our being.

In the essence of it all, one of those magical places is the Northwest Territories. The land where I roamed as a child and where I grew into a woman.

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With vast seemingly untouched forests, a multitude of serene lakes, rivers, a surprising amount of waterfalls, and an abundance of wildlife – you will be amazed and wowed at every turn.

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It is the land of the midnight sun in the summers and has a sky of colourful Northern lights that will dance for you all winter long. A splendour that makes the cold and dark winters more bearable and inviting.

The sunsets will pull you into a trance that will take you straight into a glistening stary night. You will be treated to endless shooting stars whizzing through the sky.

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When you stand amongst the trees with the wind gently breezing by, you will be surrounded and cradled by the healing energy and interconnectedness of it all. The sounds will soothe your soul.

This land is filled with the rich traditions of our ancestors and the spirits of the animals.

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The pulsing of the land will fill you, penetrate your cells, and lure you to a place that feels so much like home in a dream that you often dream.

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Northwest Territories is the land the sings the song of your soul.

Forever Young – The Art Of Getting Better With Age

Here I sit at 35 years young, and if I have learned one thing about ageing in my time being alive, it’s absolutely that ageing is an art just like a fine wine. We can choose to embrace it or we can resist it. Although I will say, the path of least resistance is far more rewarding.

I don’t mean resisting it in a way of doing things to assist our skin in maintaining it’s young youthful appearance. Let’s be real here, a ladies gotta keep a youthful glow on. I mean more in the resisting the fact that time will keep on ticking and there really isn’t anything we can do about that.

Instead of dreading it, it is about embracing it.

To me, every year that passes just means that I have had another incredible opportunity to live, and being alive today means that I still have this amazing opportunity to adventure the heck out of life. That means through the good, the bad, and the ugly times. It is all about where you put your focus. It is possible to see the positive in every situation.

My laugh lines show that I have lived a happy life full of joy. I have laughed so hard that I was slapping the table and no sound was actually coming out anymore on numerous occasions. Those are the best moments. Laughter is the best medicine.

That being said, a sure fire way to look younger no matter what age you are is to be happy. It makes one look radiant. To be truly happy we need to make sure we are letting go of any sort of resentment and grudges. If we choose to hold resentment and always point the finger at others for our problems, that means we are playing the victim in life, and that right there will age a person. The first place harbouring negative feelings shows up is in our faces. Instantly making us look a bit more haggard. Those negative feelings if not released will then begin to take form inside our bodies as ‘dis-ease;’ and illness.

If you feel wronged by someone, or as though someone is not good in your life, it is so much healthier to just forgive them, forgive yourself, send them high vibrations, and wish only good things for them. You get what you give in life. Life is just too short to waste it on low vibrational stuff.

Make cleaning out the clutter of your life a consistent thing. Clutter weighs you down holds you back and ultimately ages you. This goes for materials and people. You become who you surround yourself with, so choose wisely.

Let’s not forget also that a little self-care goes a long way.

That means taking some time for yourself as part of your lifestyle choice.

Some of my favourite self-care practices that don’t take a lot of time or money are –

  • Reading
  • Being in nature
  • Dry skin brushing
  • A rose petal bubble bath
  • An at home facial
  • Working out
  • Meditation
  • Listening to music
  • Writing
  • Colouring or painting

It is truly just about doing what makes you feel good. Small steps accumulate to big rewards. When you feel good you are a magnet for miracles and shine out high vibe energy to the world. Plus, when you give and give to others without also giving to yourself, you become drained, and it is impossible to give from an empty cup.

That brings me to another point. Make sure to eat healthy and whole foods. You are what you eat. Think of it this way, the more vibrant, colourful and fresh food you eat – the more colourful and vibrant you will be. I am not one to eat a certain way. I eat a variety of things but I love veggie smoothies. I will say though, I am very mindful of where my food comes from and the life it lived.

Thoughts become things, and the more you think beautiful thoughts and tell yourself beautiful things, the more you will transform into beauty. No matter what shape, size, age or ethnicity one is if they are full of wonderful thoughts and energy you can’t help but take notice. They just exude beauty.

Of course, we must remember to take care of our skin! Nourish it, love it, protect it, supplement so the cells renew and restore themselves. I love doing things as naturally as possible. So for me, it is a great skincare line, top of the line supplements and nutrients, whole healthy and healing foods, and I would even throw in some micro-needling – if that is your thing.

All in all, love life and it will love you back. Age is just a number and life is an absolute gift, so stop and smell the flowers as often as possible. Art is beautiful and so is your age.

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Diaries Of A Road Trip From Alberta To Utah

Cruising down the open road of adventure with the tunes blasting is one of the most soul-soothing places to be.

I have done one road trip in the United States prior to this one, and it was from Texas to Arizona. I had such an incredible time that I knew right then I would be embarking on some more adventures on the USA highways. There is a lot to see, and I really dislike missing out on things in life. It is kind of a pet peeve.

This time around the trip began in Calgary, Alberta and finished in Salt Lake City, Utah. Aside from the smoke from the forest fires, the conditions were pretty amazing.

Before even departing from Canada the sights were pretty pristine. First stop was at Lundbreck Falls near to Pincher Creek in Southern Alberta. The Crownest river flows right over into the canyon below to create these small but mighty falls.

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It is a great opportunity to take a swim or simply kick your shoes off and dip your toes in for a nice refresher before hitting the highway again. There is also a campground in the area if you feel like sticking around for a while.

From there it is not a long drive before you reach the US/Canada border. Even though I am a world traveller, the excitement of crossing a border into a new country gets me every time. The appeal just never wears off.

So yes, I was excited! To say the least. It was as if I was off on my first adventure once again.

Hello Montana!

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Now let me tell you about our initial experience with Montana.

It started off really exciting. Not long into our time there we came across this very interesting historical spot. It was a stunning spot. Minus the smoke.

Then, we drove, and drove, and drove some more. We saw plenty of prairie land. As the day was turning into night and we had driven for hours, plus we were hungry, we pulled into a place called Great Falls. It was about 9 pm, and everything was closed. There was barely any people or vehicles, yet there were loads of police patrolling around. It was a bit eery, so we left. Perhaps it is actually very amazing and we just arrived there at a quiet time. Something I am not sure I will ever be back figure out.

From there we drove on to Helen the capital of Montana. We figured surely it is the capital city so there would be lots going on there…. Alas, it was also deadsville. There was nobody around, most things were shut, there were not even lights on in houses and it was only 11pm. All we could find open was a Mcdonalds, so that is what we settled for as our stomachs were gnawing away at us.

Just outside of Helen we found a roadside turnout which is where we decided to sleep for the night. Thank goodness for having a jeep with a back seat that folds down.

Would have been a little more comfortable if I had of remembered a foamy.

We hit the road bright an early at 6 am and let me tell you, we were not in prairie land anymore.

Lining the highways were rocky hills, looking totally majestic and awe-inspiring. It was pitch black the night before and all we could see was the fluorescent markers on the road.

What a pleasant surprise in the morning to see what we were amidst. The landscape changed from the rocky hills to tree blanketed mountains.

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Suddenly you could see people fly fishing in the river, and the magic of Montana was taking over. I was worried there for a bit.

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The fact that Yellowstone National Park was so close, and the opportunity to enter yet another state on this adventure, we clearly had no choice yet to take another detour. So off to Wyoming it was!

I had never researched Yellowstone National Park or seen photos, or even knew what to expect what-so-ever. I knew I had definitely heard of it and I was totally looking forward to the spontaneous adventure.

Once again, I was blown away.

The best part is, is when you go into something with no expectations, then there is no room for a letdown, and only room to be amazed.

From the minute we entered the park, it was a smorgasbord of the mother natures finest offerings. My jaw had to be picked up off of the floor a few times.

The Paint Pots are especially memorable. Throughout the whole park there are several dispersed collections of geothermal features which is an expression of Yellowstone’s volcanism, of which the paint pots are most popular. They are like nothing I have ever seen before. I actually didn’t even know things like this existed prior to this visit.

No two features are exactly alike, and they range from those that have a lot of water(hot springs and geysers), and those that have a limited amount of water(mud pots and fumaroles).

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There is a beautifully built path so you can walk along and take in all of the majestic power and incredible beauty of this amazing display.

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We arrived early in the day and the parking lot was already full! It is a popular spot, which is something to keep in mind.

From there you can take another short drive to Yellowstone Lake, which is the largest body of water in Yellowstone National Park. It is a perfect location to just sit and take in the sights, or dip your toes in the water for a little refresher.

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What a treat that little pit stop in Yellowstone National Park was!

From there it was a short cruise to Idaho, where you can take a moment to appreciate Idaho Falls.

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Another very unique destination where there are waterfalls that were created by a diversion dam for a hydroelectric power project.

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They are quite long and very different from any waterfalls I have ever seen.

The cherry on top of this spectacular road trip cake was cruising around Salt Lake City on scooters. Not only was I blown away at how clean and tranquil the city felt, but I was also super excited to see these little joy rides.

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This seriously rocked my world. I had no idea I would have so much fun burning around on these.

The coolest part was that you use an app to rent them, and you just pick them up and leave them anywhere and everywhere. There are no particular spots for them. So if you are walking along and suddenly realize you need to get somewhere, or you no longer feel like walking, you just sign on on your app and take off.

Road tripping in the United States just continually proves to be epic time and time again. It is hard not to anticipate the next one.

Say yes to adventure! You never know where it will lead you.

Takakkaw Waterfalls And The Whiskey Jack Wilderness Hostel

Solo adventures in pristine destinations. That is a win-win if you ask me. There is nothing like being disconnected from the world, and totally immersed and connected to nature. That is where ultimate recharging happens. High heeled in the city and barefoot in the bush.

Plus taking myself on the best ‘me time’ dates ever is just what I do.

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I have been ever so grateful to have experienced a few various wilderness hostels this summer. It has been on my bucket list for years and this year I made it happen.

Recently I made my way to Takakkaw Falls in Yoho National Park. These falls are some of the highest in Canada, and their remote and lush location simply adds to their magical majestic splendor.

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They are only a summer destination as the road to visit them is closed in the winter.

Located in perfect view and a short hiking distance to the waterfalls is The Whiskey Jack Hostel.

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It is a wilderness hostel where you get basic and very comfortable accommodations.

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There is no cell phone reception, triple decker bunk beds, a kitchen with a propane stove and refrigeration, and there are even toilets and showers in the rooms, which is a big luxury as the other wilderness hostels I stayed at only had outhouses on offer.

 

I absolutely love the tranquility of being in nature, and being totally in the moment doing nothing other then recharging with natures endless abundance of energy.

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The beds were actually super comfy, and truly nothing could beat that view. I sat there in the evening with me tea, and in the morning with my coffee.

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Of course I also did spend a lot of time barefoot connecting with the earth. Yet there were also a lot of slugs.

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It was like a little slug mine field, which means watching my step while I was running around barefoot took some careful placement. I wasn’t really interested in experiencing what it would feel like to squish a slug with my barefoot. Not only that, they seemed so happy doing there little missions, I would have not wanted to abruptly end that for one of them.

Right from The Whiskey Jack hostel there are plenty of trails to hike, there are also plenty of wilderness campsites located in various spots throughout the forest in the area. Another activity I want to return to enjoy.

Hiking up to the Takakkaw Falls is so amazing and so easy from the hostel.

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You can feel the power and energy pulsating all around you. There is the Yoho glacier very near by.

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To the left in the distance behind the trees is the Yoho Glacier

From that the glacier river that flows past the waterfalls.

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As you walk the path just over the bridge towards the waterfalls the surroundings turn so lush. It is impossible to not feast your eyes on the beautiful shades of green. Within moments on that path you will begin to feel the mist from the falls. Refreshing and cold, it is a spectacular feeling.

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Getting up close and personal is extremely accessible. No matter what your fitness level it, the hike is so easy, and you literally just walk right up to the base of the falls.

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That right there is where the ultimate surge of energy comes. Just when you thought the energy could not be any higher, you feel the pure boundless energy right at the base.

This whole experience left me feeling on top of the world, and full of over flowing recharged energy. My vibrations have been soaring ever since.

If you have not already been, I highly suggest getting yourself to Takakkaw falls, booking into the wilderness hostel or pitching a tent, turning off your cell phone as it ain’t going to work anyway, and recharging your awesome energy in one of the most energetically abundant places I have ever had the privilege to experience.

Top 5 Free Sights To See On The Icefields Parkway

The Icefields Parkway is labelled one of the most scenic drives in the world, and for a very good reason. While cruising along it you will be immersed in dazzling scenery the entire way. From beginning to end, you will never in your life forget the feast that your eyes indulged in.

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From all the various lakes, rivers, streams and waterfalls, to the exquisite mountain ranges and majestic glacier, you will be in total awe for the whole trip.

Every single visit I make to the Icefields Parkway, I never cease to be totally amazed. It supplies you with an energy surge like none other. You literally feel on top of the world.

Throughout the Icefields Parkway, there are plenty of lodges, hostels, and even the glacier experience.

Yet if you want to do things on the cheap, there are so many amazing and free things to see. Some of the best experiences you will ever have will be those that cost you nothing, other than a little time in nature and tank of gas.

So without further adieu, here are my top 5 free sights to see on the Icefields Parkway.

     1. Valley Of The Five Lakes

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A beautiful, very comfortable and easily navigated 4.5km hike where you will be amazed at the stunning beauty of the 5 lakes.

Each lake has pristine turquoise blue water, yet also boasting their own unique beauty and shape. It seems around every corner you are wowed with mother natures splendour.

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The paths are extremely well maintained with sign postings throughout for easy navigation. You will be ridiculously happy that you made the decision to embark on this little journey.

          2. Athabasca Falls

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The green glacier water from the Athabasca Valley Glacier that flows over this cliff is sure to get your appreciation for nature peaking.

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Surrounded by the incredible mountain range, it brings the magical energy of this spot up to an all-time high.

The falls may be small, yet you can feel the power of the water when you are right beside them. Flowing straight through a gorge only adds to its majestic beauty.

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With well maintained and easily accessible paths surrounding the falls, you will be delighted at all of the pristine photo opportunities of all angles that are on offer.

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     3. Sunwapta Falls

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These tiny falls are the perfect spot to stop and have a little sample of when things are small in size, yet big in beauty.

With that glacier water and unforgettable views, you will once again be amazed at the landscape.

     4. The Athabasca Glacier

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Awe-inspiring. That is exactly what it is. Getting up close and personal with a glacier is an incredibly powerful feeling. It is an easy hike up a path to the base of the glacier, and totally free to do also.

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Prior to this experience I never imagined that a glacier would feel this incredible. The power of nature is all over it.

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The sad part is, is that the glacier is melting at an accelerated rate, which means in the next 100 years it may very well be pretty much gone. So now is the time to get a good look at it.

     5. The Iconic Peyto Lake

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Where dreams are made of. A short uphill hike will take you to this dreamy spot, where you will see that mother nature did not hold back in creating this canvas to be one of mind-blowing proportions.

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The colour of the water is so vibrant it will create waves of inspirational emotion in your mind.

It is so easy to sit and get lost in the splendour of it all. Taking your imagination to new heights. It will make you wish you could stay forever.

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These 5 places will set your soul on fire and re-charge your energy like none other. Let’s not forget – one of the main reasons to visit the Icefields Parkway is to simply enjoy the endless array of beauty that you will not even believe. Seeing is believing, yet when it is that good, it is still hard to believe.

A feast for the eyes, and a treat for the soul.

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What can I say? The best things in life truly are free!

A Healing Soak in a Volcanic Mud Bath In Columbia

Lying on the top of a mud volcano soaking the soothing minerals of the earth, was by far one of my most memorable travel moments.

While I was in Cartegena, Columbia, I had heard about this active mud volcano called the Totumo Mud Volcano, which was located approximately 50km away in an area. Having no idea at the time what I mud volcano actually was, it only made sense for me to check it out.

A group of us hired a van to take us there, and after some time on the main highway, we turned off onto a dirt road that led us through a totumo forest where located at the end of the road, on the shores of a lagoon, was the Totumo mud volcano.20180522_182955.jpg20180522_182935.jpg

Its mound has a prominence of 15m, with a staircase leading to the top. The volcano itself goes about a mile and a half into the earth.

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The mud is so buoyant that it is impossible to sink.

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It is the strangest feeling upon entering the earthy smelling clay. You can literally stand up straight in the mud and try with all your might to push yourself down, yet it will be to no avail. When you come to terms with the fact that you will not be able to sink no matter how hard you try, then you can stretch out and lie on the surface, totally surrendering to the experience. It is truly a surreal feeling.

The temperature of the mud was very intriguing also, as some spots were cool and then when you moved you would suddenly enter a warm spot.

There are locals at the top that offer massages in the mud, which definitely adds to the experience. While you float effortlessly in the volcano, they gently rub you down the front of your stomach and your back at the same time as are you suspended there on the mud. It is well worth the tip they ask for at the end of the massage, as that adds a relaxing charm like none other to the whole experience.

 

Eventually, you can’t help but get yourself totally submerged in the clay, feeling the mud fill all orifices of your head.

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Relaxing in the mud, taking the in the rich nutrients and enjoying some top notch company is healing for the mind body and soul.

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After floating around and absorbing the mineral-rich mud deep into your pores for well over an hour, you climb out holding on for dear life as it is slippering when you are coated in mud and so is the surface you are walking on feeling totally blissed out. There is an undeniable surcharge of healing energy pumping through your veins.

Down at the shores where you wash off, there are some local women waiting, whom also for a small tip will give you a good scrub down. Seeing as how this is there only source of income, I could also not decline.

It’s a rigorous cleaning, with buckets of water being poured over you and barely time to take breaths in between, hands rubbing away all the mud, fingers poking and cleaning your ears, and bathing suits and shorts being pulled in all sorts of directions. I will say, watch your lady and gent parts if your shy, as they will unexpectedly do their best to thoroughly clean you like no big deal. There are some areas I can’t help but prefer cleaning myself. You actually walk or possibly stagger away quite stunned at the end.

A few tips if you are visiting the Totumo Mud Volcano.

  • Do leave valuables behind as there is no place to keep them at the sight
  • Make sure to bring some money for the small entrance fee and the tips for the massage and washing
  • Try and time your visit so it is not at the same time as big tour groups from hotels and such
  • Go with an open mind and enjoy every minute of it!

The whole experience is as unique as they come in life and one that will leave you feeling totally rejuvenated. It is the epitome of natural healing, health and wellness while you travel.