New Zealand. Wow. We road tripped around South Island and North Island for 6 weeks. I think the photo above really says it all. That's me at the top of the Roys Peak Track celebrating the climb. New Zealand hikes are amazing, and the scenery is stunning. Colin and I combined forces to write a detailed blog here. I hope it helps your trip! Also, you'll definitely want to take a look at the photos we have from South Island here and North Island here.
Our main reason for visiting Australia (other than that it’s been on my list for literally forever) was to celebrate our friends’ wedding. Cam is from Kurri Kurri, Australia, and Amanda is from the USA. They had their wedding in Georgia, but also traveled to Australia to celebrate with the Aussie side of the family. Kurri Kurri is small but beautiful. They are close to the beaches in Newcastle and the wineries in Hunter Valley, so there was a lot to keep us busy.
Southern Patagonia, while majestic and beautiful, was a letdown for me. Maybe I built it up too much in my head; maybe it was from hearing so many wonderful [possibly exaggerated] stories from other travelers; maybe it was how hard we tried to do it on a budget. Whatever the reason, I was disappointed.
Colin and I rented a campervan and road tripped around the Southern Patagonia, from El Chaltén to Ushuaia, for 16 days, September 1 – 16, 2017. We had trouble finding information about how exactly to road trip around Patagonia, so we wrote about the details of our trip in our how-to blog, McPatton Manual. See that post here.
At the bottom of this post, there are photos of each of the major parts of our trip. To see even more photos from the trip (which I highly recommend), check them out here, and for an EVEN BETTER visualization of the trip, see our YouTube videos on the playlist here.
Everyone tells you that you need to book WAY in advance to do Machu Picchu (MP). You also never really hear about doing anything except the typical 4 day trek. We didn’t make the time for that, so we did it in 1 day using trains and buses. There’s also an option to do it in 2 days using a car (the road the car uses is longer than the train tracks). We also didn’t book until a few days in advance.
Rainbow Mountain is very beautiful (see some photos below), and it only takes 1 day to see. I suggest going for the scenery even though there will be a lot of tourists and the hike is difficult because of the altitude. What I don’t know about is Red Valley. Keep reading for what I do know about it, but if you’re thinking about doing Rainbow Mountain, Google Red Valley first and see if it’s something you’d prefer to do.
San Gil is known as the adventure capital of Colombia, and that it is, but I’ve been to a few different “adventure capitals” (two of the most memorable being Interlaken, Switzerland and Livingstone, Zambia) in my day, and this was definitely the most boring one.
Yep, we hiked some more volcanoes. Central America is just full of them! I actually never knew that until we came here. We did a 2 day trek with Quetzaltrekkers León. You can see more information on our specific trek here, but the summary is: We hiked up Volcán Cerro Negro and volcano boarded down (more on that later), and then we hiked through the Las Pilas – El Hoyo volcanic complex. We camped near a giant crater, and then the next day continued on to Volcán Asososca and swam in a crater lake before hiking through the jungle to get down.
We came to Guatemala with the main purpose of learning the basics of Spanish. The schools in Antigua are pretty cheap (only a little more expensive than in Quetzaltenango), and it’s still not too far (about an hour or an hour and a half) from the airport in Guatemala City (whereas I think that Quetzaltenango is about 4 hours from Guatemala City). It was $525 for both of us to have 5 days of one-on-one tutoring (from 8 AM – 1 PM with a half hour break at 10 AM), and that includes our lodging and almost all of our meals. Unfortunately, it didn’t include our beer :(
Yet another amazing national park. Yosemite has a lot of waterfalls and big rocks - both of which I love. We did the Mist Trail hike to Vernal Falls and Nevada Falls. You DEFINITELY need rain gear this time of year because with the snow melting, the waterfalls are just gushing. We got soaking wet! You can shorten the trail and only go to Vernal Falls, but since we did a pretty long hike, I got to 30,000 steps!
There's something so majestic about snow-capped mountains. It's probably just because I'm from Florida, so I think we're going to have to spend the next part of our life in the west. Otherwise, I'm going to have to keep taking pictures every time I see a mountain...
Hi, I'm Sara Monica Patton. I love animals, traveling, and eating. Read more about me in my first blog post here.