Photo story: Bryce Canyon

“Descending into the canyon, I sink into another world. I notice not only incredible geologic gargoyles but also the eclectic plants of Bryce’s innards.” Trail guide, Bryce Canyon Natural History Association

Of all the national parks in the US that I visited last year, Bryce Canyon would have to be the strangest. We arrived late afternoon, drove to the highest point of the park, and gazed across a buckled and fractured landscape that was momentarily bathed in a golden light. It was an incredible sight.

There are 14 viewpoints along Bryce Canyon’s 18-mile (29km) scenic drive and we stopped at three of them – Rainbow Point (9115ft/2778m), Black Birch Canyon (8750ft/2667m) and Inspiration Point (8100ft/2469m). It was the perfect time to gaze at the sweeping vistas, with the colours changing subtlety as the sun sank lower in the sky.

 

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March in March

“Love and compassion are necessities, not luxuries. Without them, humanity cannot survive.” The Dalai Lama

Just over a week ago, I attended the March in March in Melbourne.

This was “a peaceful, non-partisan citizens’ march and rally at Federal Parliament to protest against the current [Australian] government’s policy decisions that are against the common good of our nation … the people’s vote of no confidence in policies of the government that go against common principles of humanity, decency, fairness social justice and equity, democratic governance, responsible global citizenship and conserving our natural heritage.”

And while I normally wouldn’t stray into politics on my ‘travel’ blog, I feel the need to share some of my own thoughts, in particular about the treatment of asylum seekers, as well as sharing some of the photographs from the march.

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Canadian Rockies

“I have been and still am a seeker, but I have ceased to question stars and books; I have begun to listen to the teaching my blood whispers to me.”
Hermann Hesse

This week marks the two year anniversary of my little travel blog and almost 12 years since I had my first travel article published. Because I’m feeling a bit sentimental – and because I’ve been reminiscing a lot about Canada lately – I thought I’d share my first writing success here.

It’s so weird reading my old words. In hindsight, the article below reads a bit like a travel brochure and is not written in the style that I feel most comfortable in … which is sharing my adventures through first-person narrative.

But I can’t help it. I LOVE this article. Firstly, it’s about one of my favourite places in the world – the Canadian Rockies. And secondly, an editor liked it enough to publish it!!

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Whistler: hiking

“Adopt the pace of nature: her secret is patience.” Ralph Waldo Emerson

After spending the previous day in Whistler Valley – see last week’s blog – my brother Ross and I decided it was time to go hiking on Whistler and Blackcomb mountains. We caught the Whistler Village Gondola up to the Roundhouse Lodge – a long ride – and enjoyed the incredible views en route.

The first thing we did on the mountain was take a ride on the PEAK to PEAK gondola, which opened in late 2008 and is something of an engineering marvel. This gondola journeys from Whistler Mountain to Blackcomb Mountain and has the world’s longest unsupported span of 3.024km (1.88 miles) between towers two and three. At the midway point, if you’re afraid of heights, don’t look down! This is the highest lift of its kind at 436 metres (1430 feet) above the valley floor. The PEAK to PEAK gondola also completes the longest continuous lift system on the globe.

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Whistler: skiing and biking

“The lake and the mountains have become my landscape, my real world.”  
Georges Simenon

Whistler Village is only a couple of hours drive north of Vancouver in Canada and it’s such a fun place to visit, especially if you love spending time outdoors. The Village is located at the foot of two beautiful mountains – Whistler and Blackcomb – and there are several gondolas and chair-lifts operating throughout the year to take you onto the mountains (with a few less operating during off-peak season).

I’ve been to Whistler in both seasons and have gone skiing, biking and hiking here. In this week’s blog I’ll talk about my skiing and bike riding experiences, while next week I’ll share an amazing hike from Whistler summit.

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