Blog written by Martyn Cook with the assistance and photography skills of Shauna Cook
Traffic is amassing already; with our hiking boots donned, backpacks loaded with provisions, the day begins. All roads lead to adventure; terra incognito awaits. Driving down the south coast’s single-lane highway reveals a different side to the country; one of a lifestyle of working people living off the land that tried once to reject them. Now communally they thrive, working with nature. Sheep farms line the sides of the road. Icelandic horses, barely tamed, roam the pastures of this wild country. The sub-tundra foliage now gives way to grasses. Read More >
Written by Martyn Cook on his adventures with Shauna
Iceland sucks in so many ways. First, it sucks at meeting your expectations; it exceeds them. Iceland also sucks at embracing your idea of beauty, for it shatters it, instantly replacing it with a new meaning for the word. It also sucks at allowing you to maintain your own self image; the blossoming idea of beauty makes you examine what is important to you.
The instant you break through the clouds it’s almost like entering the wardrobe to Narnia. You are about to enter a beautiful new world. You are to be born again, as you will leave the old person you once knew and meet a new version of yourself. The runway rushes up to meet you; the journey begins. Tires hit tarmac. Smoke rises up cleansing you for the experience that awaits. You are filled with a sense of adventure. Leaving that sense of longing to find what you miss in your day-to-day life, having it fill your spirit with that missing piece. Like the last puzzle piece, it will fit right in. Iceland takes the familiar and replaces it with a sort of ‘through the looking glass’ idea of a world. The volcanic rock looks like giants took a roll of moss and sub-tundra plants and covered the landscape. Clouds play hide and go seek amongst the peaks as the rain washes away your misconception of a world you once knew and replaces them with a raw truth. Contrast dominates the landscape, everyday. It really is the land of fire and ice. Black sand beaches, lined with white caps riding upon waves crashing amongst the beaches. The world changes from moment to moment in an intoxicating wonderful way. Our senses are alive. Read More >
My Spanish teacher Renato, who is originally from Peru, has been telling me for four years how great the food is in his home country. After my recent trip, I can confirm that’s true.
There are some dishes specific to certain regions but many that are widely available in most restaurants throughout Peru. Each time I encountered a dish that Renato had mentioned, I was excited to try it. Read More >
Great Wolf Lodge is a fantastic resort destination. It’s 100% geared towards families. You don’t even have to leave your resort, as everything you need is right there, from food to accommodations, to entertainment, you can simply spend your entire trip at the resort. Read More >
If you are a music lover, you should definitely visit Nashville, TN. Especially now with our Winnipeg Jets playing there at least twice per season.
It was my third time visiting a few weeks ago, and cannot wait to go back. Read More >
Fish On. That is 2 words I love to hear. I was up in Northern Manitoba at Gangler’s North Seal River Lodge. I went fishing for Northern Pike and Lake Trout. Every few minutes someone would yell out “Fish On”; This meant that someone in the boat had caught a slimy, squirmy, yummy fish on their hook.
Gangler’s is a fly in fishing, hunting and eco-tourism camp in the north-west corner of Manitoba, near the border of Nunavut and Saskatchewan. The 5,000,000 acres of barren land, 12 river system and hundreds of lakes allows guests endless outdoor opportunities. Read More >
October 17, 2018 may not be a special day for you for any particular reason, but for those in Canada, it marks the day that allows adults (18+, depending on which province a person lives) to legally possess cannabis, share it, buy it, grow it, and make cannabis products from it. And whether or not you agree with this law, it will be there and those who wish to participate in such activities should know what they need to do if they decide to travel outside of Canada. Read More >
Repost: We have an escorted Botswana Safari in 2019. For 6 nights, you can experience the Linyanti Concessions and the Okavango Delta with a Great Canadian Travel Group escort!
It is a little unusual to say, “I am really looking forward to going on a wet African Safari.” Most people wonder why you would want to go and sit in the rain. But a ‘wet safari’ is the experience offered in the
Okavango Delta of Botswana and the camps that I had the privilege of staying at in March 2017. Read More >
Wow. You can see and do a-lot of things when it is light out for 24 hours in the day. We have had a marvellous day of meeting, sharing and being involved in the community. I have never been so warmly welcomed by so many people. The kids are so keen on knowing what your name is and why you are there. By the way, I wrote this note at 11:35 at night after having just come in from playing soccer with some kids. We actually heard the kids’ laughter into the wee wee wee hours of the night. Read More >
Iceland, according to the Institute for Economics and Peace, is the most peaceful country in the world. It is home to just under 350,000 people and is also the most sparsely populated country in Europe. For an island with an area of 103,000 sq. km (40,000 sq. mi), this country has everything from volcanoes to geysers to fields of green moss that takes hundreds of years to grow to majestic waterfalls.
Geologically, Iceland is part of the Mid-Atlantic Ridge. This ridge marks the boundary between the Eurasian and North American tectonic plates. What is especially amazing about this area is that you can scuba dive (or as a day tour) in between these plates to see some fascinating marine life, be in the spot that Iceland was created and, in some places, actually touch both continents at the same time. This rift, called the Silfra rift, has visibility that exceeds 100m, making it the some of the clearest water in the world.
Iceland is a world leader in renewable energy. Almost all electricity in Iceland is produced using renewable energy sources. According to Inspired by Iceland (the country’s tourism website), 90% of Icelandic households are heated with geothermal water. About 73% of electricity is provided by hydro power plants and 26% from geothermal energy, accounting for over 99% of all electricity consumption in Iceland. And although modes of transportation in Iceland still use conventional fuel, there is a growing number of electric vehicles in the country.
Tourism is Iceland’s largest export sector as it accounted for more than 10% of the country’s GDP in 2017. It is among the countries in the world who are most dependent on tourism. Read More >