Hawaii Part 1 - Kauai

If you’ve ever watched Magnum PI, or Lost, or you’ve seen pretty much any movie about giant monsters made by Hollywood, you’ll be familiar with Hawaii and it’s lush rolling green mountains and big surf.
Some facts about this beautiful range of islands. It’s the most isolated population centre in the world.  A third of the world’s exported pineapples come from here.  The mountain ranges are the tops of the highest mountain range in the world - Mauna Kea on the Island of Hawai’i is the tallest mountain on the planet from base to summit.  Hawaii has its own timezone.  It’s the best place to stargaze, housing the world's biggest telescope and more scientific observatories in one place than anywhere else in the world.
One thing you notice about Hawaii, even in Oahu, is that it is gloriously litter free and there is very little construction.  It's also home to some of the biggest surf in the world and some of the best beaches.  They also grow coffee, have active volcanoes, tons of wa…

Down Mexico Way - Baja

Everyone has heard of Baja, probably just as famous for its winter-sun seeking celebrities as it is for the whales that come in winter every year to mate.  It’s somewhere I’ve always wanted to visit – one of the few places in Mexico that I haven’t been yet. 
The Baja peninsula stretches down from California and is actually known as California South, something I didn’t realise until I was looking it up on google maps.  It’s an extraordinarily beautiful mix of rolling cactus-covered hills and sparkling blue ocean.  Marine wildlife is predominant here and actually very well protected, so it’s always been on my ‘to do’ list as a place to visit.
Cabo San Lucas was my first stop.  To me this is like the American equivalent of Benidorm, as in it’s more American than Mexican.  Weirdly there are more sushi restaurants than Mexican restaurants and a distinct lack of a Japanese population, just another indication of catering to the American masses that flock here every year for winter sun, ch…
Imagine a place where horses run down an endless beach at sunset and dawn; muscled surfers and wavy haired hippy girls take to the water with their boards searching for the ultimate wave; howler monkeys whoop soulfully at one another across the treetops; well-fed beach dogs play happily in the shallow surf next to long-lashed sunkissed toddlers; the supple-limbed practice yoga as the sun sinks into a golden ball and birds wheel and dive across a pink-hued sky; people gather with their cameras for sunset beers at Banana Beach at the end of another post-card perfect day, just before the sky lights up with a million stars and you can walk back along the beach by the light of the moon.

It’s hard to describe paradise, but one stroll down to the beach in Santa Teresa and you have found it.Stunning uncrowded beaches, small and big waves, with a laid-back vibe, no rubbish and lots of beautiful people, this place is firmly on the surf trail and well worth a visit.  A long, palm-lined beach stre…

It's a Bird's Life!

I’ve posted on Facebook about some of my daily adventures with the animals of Inti Wara Yassi.  I wanted to go a little more in-depth on my blog not only to to encourage other people to come and have this rewarding experience, but to treasure the memories for myself.  
Spider Monkeys!
My first day I was assigned to the spider monkeys.  This involved a hike upwards into the jungle, carrying over 10kg of ‘api’ or porridge in a backpack.  I was in full waterproof gear, as it's very wet in November and it's pretty mucky.  Once there, we let the monkeys out of the cages and put them on runners by way of a carabiner.  The monkeys will take you to the runners they want to be on.  There are only 4 caged/leashed monkeys out of the whole troop in the spider park.  Then it’s time to clean the cages, and cut up fruit for their breakfast. They are fed in 3 bowls, one of which is hoisted to a tree so you have to be quite quick to winch it up and move before getting ‘api-head’!  These guys are…