I waited politely, until the food was served to everyone, the introductions were done and the chef had told us exactly what we were about to eat. I even waited until we’d all taken our pictures. And then I lifted the Bao Chicka Bao Bao to my mouth and took a bite. And wow. I knew immediately that I would be dreaming of this food for years to come.
Do you want a great day trip out of Coromandel Town? The Matamataharakeke Track only takes about three hours, going along a stream through the forest, a walk up a ridge with views across to Kennedy Bay and out to Waikawau Bay, a great lookout point that’s perfect for a picnic, and then a descent back to Waikawau Bay with more stunning scenery.
The city of Zìgòng, with its measly 1.2 million people, is not a well known city in China. But tucked away into a corner of Southern Sichuan province, it’s not difficult to get to and quietly but proudly displays its history for the few visitors who venture in this direction. Did I mention that there are DINOSAURS?
I did the tourist thing in Hpa-An. I took a boat across the river and climbed a big hill to watch the sunset. I took a day trip around to all the cave temples and karst scenery. I visited a popular swimming hole. And when I’d done all that? I wandered. Beyond the market, towards the river, I followed a road down a slight hill, into an area remarkably different from the rest of town.
Onawe Peninsula juts out into Akaroa Harbour like an elongated pyramid, connected to the mainland only by a thin ridge reminiscent of a dragon’s spiny backbone. A walk on this old Maori pa site is a lovely way to spend an afternoon, basking in the sun and watching people fish from the nearby beach.
“Eeet’s mees-teee,’ Maria says, “Eeet’s coooo.” She flashes a huge grin when I say yes, it’s misty and cool. We are talking about the top of the mountain, while we are waiting at the bottom of it for our ride. Here it is definitely neither misty nor cool, and the four of us have been loitering here for an hour already. There is no sign of any bus, but I am having a great time.
It was pretty hard to get up. Why would I even want to? Sitting on the pure white sand with my legs stretched out before me, facing the ultra-clear blue water of Dead Man Beach and basking in the warm sunshine, I was very content.. Why move? But I had to, because as glorious as that was, I still had a walk to finish by the end of the day, and I had no idea how much further I needed to go.
I didn’t find Cuba to be the easiest place to travel. Although things are changing fast, there are still difficulties in terms of availability of goods, customer service, and communications. So after spending 37 days in Cuba I feel like I have some advice to offer that will make your trip easier and more enjoyable! Read my Cuba travel tips and learn from my experiences for a great trip!
In summer I can imagine Cook’s Cove Walkway is busy, the short trail well trodden by people drawn to this site that is not only stunning but also has a history dating back to 1769. But Cook’s Cove was deserted at this time of year, the chilly grey weather of late July turning people off driving the hour from Gisborne to come here. It was one of the most quiet and peaceful places I’ve ever been.
Before I went to Cuba I spent a long time trying to answer one question: As a solo traveler, what would be the cost of travel in Cuba for 37 days? I saw estimates everywhere from 25 CUC all the way up to 80 CUC per day! The real number fell somewhere in between those. Check out this article for a full breakdown of all my expenses in Cuba, as well as ideas on how I could have saved some money!