walking tagged posts

Photo Friday: Hiking the Pyrenees’ Green Hills

Pyrenees-Photo-Friday

I took this picture of my husband when our family embarked on a three-day walk in the Pyrenees in early summer, not far from the town of St Jean Pied de Port. It is the last stop in France on the pilgrimage route over the Pyrenees to St James grave in St. Jacques de Compostela. This is one of Europe’s most well-known and also very crowded walks but there are equally spectacular trails, such as this one above the Valley of the Nive, that are completely deserted.

The Pyrenees form the border between France and Spain. At lower elevations there are dozens of moderate trails that traverse a softly folding landscape of limestone hills covered in lime green grasses dotted with grazing sheep which supply delicious brebis cheese for the hungry walker.

France is a walker’s paradise...

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Photo Friday: Walking California’s Point Reyes National Seashore

Walking along the Point Reyes National Seashore

I took this picture of a couple of avid walkers of a certain age along the Tomales Point Trail on the Point Reyes National Seashore in West Marin.

This spectacular stretch of wild coastline offers one of the world’s great day walks from historic Pierce Point Ranch to the end of Tomales Point with its stunning views over both the Pacific Ocean and the entrance to Tomales Bay, which is right on the San Andreas fault line above San Francisco. Along the way you will see waves crashing along cliffs and windswept beaches and small herds of native tule elk grazing on the lush green hillsides. In springtime, entire hillsides are blanketed with California poppies, wild iris and mustard flowers while overhead hawks and kestrels ride the wind currents looking for small animals.

This landscape could so easily have been destroyed if it were not for a broad ranging group of conservationists, farmers, ranchers, widows, politicians and volunteers who fought a hard-won battle between 1950 to 1970 to p...

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Six Best Adventures on Kauai’s Na Pali Coast

Six Ways to Experience Kauai's Spectacular Na Pali Coast

 

Kauai is the northernmost and oldest island in the Hawaiian chain. It is draped in emerald valleys of tropical rainforests, sharp mountain spires and jagged cliffs often sporting dramatic waterfalls. And Kauai’s Na Pali Coast offers one of Hawaii’s most iconic landscapes, 26 kilometers of sheer fluted cliffs, some up to 1200 meters high, dropping straight into the Pacific Ocean. Na Pali, means ‘the cliffs’ in the Hawaiian language, and they are the must-do adventure when you are visiting the ‘Garden Isle’. This coastline is completely wild…there’s no development, no phone reception and no roads. The roads end at the northern and southern entrances to Na Pali so you must explore it via boat, on foot or from the air. Along the way depending on the seasons you may also see spinner dolphins, bottle-nose dolphins, whales, green turtles and even monk seals.

Last year one of my daughters and I kayaked along the coastline in what must be one of the world’s great one-day kayaking trips, often nicknamed the ‘Everest of kayaking trips’!  We also enjoyed a 13 kilometer round-trip day hike along the coast and up to the Hanakapai’ai waterfall.

There are, in fact, six different adventures you can enjoy along the Na Pali coast. Here is the lowdown on how to do it.

Sailing

The best sailing experience...

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Walk the Amalfi Coast

walking the amalfi coast mfp

A sunny day on the Amalfi coast…steep, craggy limestone hills rise like an ancient dragon from the indigo depths of the Tyrrhenian Sea.

Alas, most visitors miss the magic, trapped as they are in a cacophony of honking horns and diesel fumes, kitschy limoncello souvenir shops, and serpentine traffic jams on the cliff-hugging roads.

Positano Walking Adventures

Enter the PositanoFrank Carpegna-Walking with the Gods…the perfect way to slow down and smell the rosemary, while marveling at a culture and a cuisine hewn from a landscape as harsh as it is breathtaking.  By walking on paths that have been used for centuries by monks and farmers you not only feel the majesty of place in your pounding heart but also carve a monstrous hole in your stomach.  All the better to be filled with mountains of made-this-morning fusilli tossed with everything fresh from the garden which goes down very easily with the Tears of Christ wine grown on the slopes of Mount Vesuvius...

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Kayaking and Walking in New Zealand’s Abel Tasman National Park

Kayaking and walking in New Zealand's Abel Tasman National Park on the South Island

“Sweet as…” says Bruce, one of our easy going Kiwi kayaking guides who is leading us along the coastline of Abel Tasman National Park, New Zealand’s smallest national park on the north of the South Island. It is a paddler’s nirvana.  What finer way could there be to explore a pristine coastline of granite headlands and tiny coves of golden sand backed by voluptuous hills cloaked in emerald green.

It is a cloudless autumn day and we are suspended on an aquamarine bubble between land and sky. Eight yellow double sea kayaks glide over a sea so translucent that a casual observer might think for a split second that no water was there at all.

Wilso...

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