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 >
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 >
When in Glasgow last month I had an evening to myself to enjoy the city. Being a solo traveller, I was not thrilled about sitting in a restaurant on my own, so I decided to find something unique to do. I had done walking food tours in others cities, so I was thrilled when I booked a tour with Walk Eat Glasgow. Read More >
Driving through Salar de Uyuni in the dark, I felt like I was at home on the prairies, driving down a gravel road in the middle of January. The salt looked exactly like snow in the glow of the headlights.
We climbed to the top of Isla Incahuasi to watch the sunrise, and as the sky began to brighten, it truly felt like we were on an island. In the dim pre-dawn light, the salt seemed like a lake surrounding us. Read More >
There’s solo travel advice and then there’s solo travel advice for women — in very many circumstances, these two lists intersect quite often. Everyone should upload their travel plans, ticket numbers, passport pictures etc, to a Dropbox, Google Drive or other cloud-based service. Everyone should keep some cash socked away in a secret spot in their bag. It’s a good idea in hotels to leave the “do not disturb” sign out or your television on so people think the room is occupied and you avoid thieves sneaking in while you are out.
Then, there’s advice specific to women — and specific ways female solo travellers can stay safe while travelling alone. Here are few of our favourites and a few tried and true ways that keep us ladies safe on the road. Read More >
On Thursday of our trip to Cuba, we opted to visit Havana. We didn’t want to take a tour with a group, so we spoke to Michel, the concierge at our hotel, and he arranged a taxi for us. We got to ride in one of the old cars from the 1950s. Read More >
On my most recent trip to Iceland I had the great experience of descending into the earth on three separate tours that involved ice, lava caves and a volcano. You could think of it as experiencing the hottest and coldest places on the planet all in one comfortable day. Read More >
On my recent trip to Varadero I stayed at Meliá Marina Varadero. I really liked this resort. The nightly entertainment was professional quality, with a variety of styles of entertainment. There was live music in the lobby every evening, including high-quality opera singers one evening. There was often a preview of the nightly show in the lobby as well. The shows were either music and dancing or acrobatic-type shows and were all well done. And of course there was lots of Cuban music throughout the week. Read More >
Imagine you are sitting in something that looks somewhat like the seat and roll cage from a race car, without the race car around it. Imagine you are hanging from a cable 15 feet above the ground. Imagine you begin to pedal, which propels you slowly through the trees, the ground falling away until you are 60 feet or more above the ground. Imagine that it is peaceful, the only sounds made by the breeze rustling the trees, some birds chirping, and the occasional squirrel squeaking. Imagine that all you can see are the treetops surrounding you and perhaps the next rider, depending on your location along the one-kilometre trail. Imagine that the only sensation is the gentle swaying of your pod and the occasional bump as it runs over a connection in the cable.
Now imagine you have vertigo or are scared of heights. That was me exactly. Read More >