travel adventures

where in the world

Aztec, New Mexico

05 Oct 2011

We visited the Aztec Ruins over the border in New Mexico – the ruins of the Anasazi Culture which existed before B.C. We are currently staying with Kim & Brian (& their 3 dogs & cat) – also couchsurfers – still in Durango which is near the border of New Mexico. It is also the largest town close to the centre of the ‘Four Corners’ ­ intersection of Utah, Colorado, Arizona & new Mexico states. Everywhere we go, there are pumpkins – all different shapes, sizes & colours – in preparation for Halloween later this month. Tomorrow, we travel to the state of Arizona to explore the Grand Canyon & Sedona.

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around Durango, Colorado

03 Oct 2011

We are still here, exploring this wonderful area. We ‘camped’ in a tiny one-room cabin with a loft – no electricity or running water – at an altitude of 2000 m, overlooking The Animus River snaking through the valley below. That night we were fortunate to see 3 shooting stars in the clear night sky. We also visited Pagosa Springs to spend some time soaking in the healing waters. The day ended with a magnificent sunset.

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Mesa Verde National Park, Colorado

01 Oct 2011

We visited ancient sacred sites within a 10 km loop at the top of the Mesa Verde (Spanish for ‘green table’) mountain range which is classified as a ‘world cultural heritage park’, containing historical homes and structures of the Ancestral Puebloans who lived here for more than 6 centuries (AD 600 to 1300). Ten excavated sites and a number of cliff dwellings are visible.

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South to Durango

30 Sep 2011

These are photos of the magnificent mountains, following the Colorado river: barren mountains and lush green valleys; moon-landscapes; rugged snow-capped mountains in the background. The golds of autumn shone in the sunlight – nature in all it’s glory – spectacularly beautiful breath-taking scenery. We are staying with a fellow ‘couchsurfer’ Mindy, her 2 dogs & cat, in a beautiful setting of natural surroundings & wild-life: coyote, prairie dogs, rattle snake, deer, elk, eagles, humming-birds, black bear & mountain lion. We enjoyed a heart-felt connection with Mindy who is a warm & welcoming host. We spent an evening: attending an art lecture at Fort Lewis College on the late Georgia O’Keeffe, a famous American …

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Mid-west to North-west

28 Sep 2011

Just before we left Salt Lake City, we heard the great news of the safe arrival of Millie Jacquiline, born to Kim and Simon on 26 September – a baby sister for Charlie & Harrison and a grand-daughter for Glenda. We are happy & relieved that she has arrived safely and all is well. We are looking forward to meeting her when we return to the land of Oz!
On our way, we passed through spectacular scenery: driving through mountains with brilliant colours of autumn against the back-drop of green; sparkling streams, eagles riding thermals; and incredible rock formations – all on great roads.
We entered Colorado via the Brontasauris Fwy, continuing on the Stegasauris Fwy (near Dinosaur National Monument and a …

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From West the Mid-West of America – California to Utah

26 Sep 2011

The 2-day trip took us through 4 states: California, Oregon, Nevada & into Utah – through snow country (desert mountains in the summer) at an elevation of 2,000 m – passing large lakes, salt flats and Hotels/Casinos in the middle of ‘nowhere’. We arrived in Salt Lake City – a place of magnificent mountains in autumn colours, an area for rock-climbing, hiking & skiing. We stayed with a fellow couchsurfer, Claudio and his family of birds and dog. Claudio is the most wonderful, generous host – treating us to a party to meet his friends, family & neighbours. His house and garden is a wonderland of fountains and lights. Martin was in his element, with music and …

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Mount Shasta northern California

21 Sep 2011

The journey from Sebastapol was beautiful – coming through mountain ranges lakes, to view Mount Shasta from a distance nearly 200 kms away. We stayed with our ‘couchsurfing’ friend, Stacey in her beautiful cottage nestled between the Sacramento River and the rail road tracks, Mt Shasta visible from the front of the property. Stacey, her partner, Jeremy, the 2 dogs & cats – were wonderful hosts. We felt welcome and spoiled during our stay. Temperatures during the day were hot (even though there was snow on the mountain) with fresh clear air and the inspiration from the magnificent Mt Shasta – a real ‘wow’ factor. We explored an area up the mountain called Panther Meadow – a …

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South-West to North-West California

18 Sep 2011

We left Simi Valley in LA to travel north to Sebastapol to stay with Martin’s nephew, Leif. We drove via Santa Barbara which has the largest Morton Bay Fig tree in the U.S., then via a huge lake area (Lake Cachuma) to stay in Solvang – a quaint Danish village in vast wine country. Further north, we visited Hearst Castle, a mansion on an estate of 250,000 acres – established by William Hearst in 1947 who was an American business magnate, leading newspaper publisher. We decided to continue north via the windy scenic coast 200 km coast road (similar to the Great Ocean Road in Victoria) and stayed at Monterey – a picturesque town on the bay inhabited by numerous …

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Simi Valley, California, Los Angeles, SW-USA

13 Sep 2011

We spent a few enjoyable and relaxing days in Simi Valley, staying with our ‘couch-surfing’ friends: Salim, Adriana, Kevin & Coco (their cat) who are the most wonderful hosts. We were shown some of the local sights, including the Ronald Regan memorial library where we saw a large piece of the Berlin Wall – an amazing piece of history. The weather was hot & dry with the odd thunderstorm. LA is known as the city where the sky is always blue – a place of glamour, fame and wealth, with a fabulous climate. Areas of California reminded us of Spain, with its dry rugged mountains. We hired a car and will be driving a 10,000 …

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New York, USA

09 Sep 2011

We arrived in New York at night so we saw some of this ‘bright light city’ as we drove through on the way to our hotel in New Jersey. Since then it rained – for the duration of our visit (hence, no photos): a tropical storm which followed hurricane Irene a week earlier. We have seen some familiar sights from movies: yellow cabs and the old-style yellow school buses; the NYPD; diners such as IHop and TicToc, etc; and Broadway lights and narrow skyscrapers that make up the famous skyline that is New York. We used the time to rest and plan for LA. We will be staying with a family from the ‘couchsurfing‘ network we …

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