Witnessing the reindeer crossing near Inuvik, NWT

Reindeer Crossing Inuvik

Reindeer Crossing in Inuvik Witnessing over 3,000 reindeer cross the ice road between Inuvik and Tuktoyaktuk, N.W.T is an experience that is hard to put into words. So it's a good thing I caught some of my adventure on video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AcNfMCInKQk On Sunday, March 29th, roughly 3,000 reindeer crossed the ice road, on the 80th anniversary of their annual journey to the calving grounds on Richards Island near Tuktoyaktuk. The day was cold (-17°C without the wind) and snowy. After we'd layered up against the chill, our friendly guide, Gerry from Up North Tours, picked us up and we headed down the ice road to witness this crossing. The ice road from Inuvik to Tuktoyaktuk is 194 km long and the crossing is approximately 75 minutes away from Inuvik (at km 105). The landscape changes from hills and trees to open tundra as you continue down the MacKenzie. At the outset, the road conditions were good but as the day went on, things got more slippery and we had Continue Reading

Visiting a Tobacco Farm in Viñales, Cuba

Vinales Tobacco Farm

Cuba was a destination I had been wanting to visit for years, but the idea of spending a week at an all inclusive wasn’t appealing.  When I was booking my trip there, Viñales was one of the towns I knew I wanted to explore. Viñales is a World Heritage Site, but the main reason why I wanted to visit was to explore the tobacco fields and see how cigars are prepared. My trip was with Cuban Adventures, on the New Years Rumba tour. In Viñales, they did a wonderful job, arranging a guide for us who lived in the area and knew it as only a local could. He had a wealth of knowledge on tobacco, vegetation and the people who live there. Even for those not big on tobacco, Viñales has lots to offer: its surrounding farmland is lush and plentiful, with organic farms, caves, horseback riding, beach excursions,  swimming and lots of day hikes. Valeri, our main guide for the tour, gave us plenty of tips about what we could do, joined us for lunch and made sure we were taken care of in our homestays. Continue Reading

Celebrating Christmas Eve in Cuba – Las Parrandas de Remedios

Las Parrandas de Remedios 2014

I'm home from Cuba and it has been a hard transition back to my everyday life in Vancouver. I miss my travel companions from the Cuban Adventures tour, the delicious and cheap mojitos, the hot weather, smoking Cuban cigars, walking around exploring new cities and towns and the people that I met. The photographic opportunities ranged from crumbling old buildings in Havana to white sand beaches at sunset in Varadero and lush, tropical fields of tobacco in Vinales. I can't wait to share my stories and photos of my Cuban trip. One of my adventures was heading to Remedios to celebrate Noche Buena (Christmas Eve), a night that I won't forget anytime soon. Las Parrandas de Remedios is a night of partying in the streets and celebrating Christmas Eve on a rooftop. We enjoyed fireworks, dancing, partying, wandering the streets, exploring the stalls and squeezing past locals drinking rum and Cristal, all while the final touches were being made to parade floats. Las Parrandas de Remedios Continue Reading

Jumping in at Lake of the Woods

Lake in the woods

Have you ever had the desire to pull your car over and jump into a cold but refreshing body of water? Well, go for it! I was on my way home from a road trip to Lytton, BC, driving along Hwy #1 when I pulled over on the shoulder of the road. I was hot, sweaty and a bit tired, I needed something refreshing and drinking water wasn't doing it. I did a Google search and found out that there was a lake only six minutes away just before Hope, BC.  I decided that Lake of the Woods (Schkam Lake) would be my next stop. As I pulled closer to the lake, cars were parked along the side of the road and the parking lot was full. It was British Columbia Day and the place was packed. As the view of the lake came into view, the colours drew me in, crystal clear blue waters with a hint of green. I climbed down a small, dirt hill to enjoy a spot away from the families enjoying the lake. I threw my sandals to the side and walked in, the cold water was exhilarating. No bathing suit was available so Continue Reading

Road Trip to Lytton, British Columbia

Lytton White Water

One Incredible Road Trip to Lytton, British Columbia I needed an escape from the hot weather for a weekend and wanted some time to myself. I decided a road trip would solve this dilemma. In August, I picked up a Modo car and headed east towards the Fraser Canyon, along Hwy #1 to Lytton, British Columbia. The Fraser Canyon was on my left as I drove through tunnels in the mountains and stopped off at a view points along the way. After stopping for breakfast, I pulled into the small town of Lytton, BC. Lytton was my destination for the weekend full of white water rafting and exploring. Lytton is a small town of approximately 228 people, most people would drive right past the small town, but I encourage you to stop and get out on the river. You don’t know what you are missing until you experience it. If you aren’t up for paddling, jump in one of the motor boats and get a unique view of the Thompson River and the Fraser Canyon. My highlights of the weekend are included in the video Continue Reading

Birthday and holiday plans!

https://www.flickr.com/photos/cesar_fernandez/9669173900 By Cesar - Creative Commons

  As I pull on my sweater, grab my tea and open the front door, I realize that colder weather will soon be coming. I was walking to my day job, when I was wished that I had taken my gloves with me. The summer had flown by! Granted, I was recovering from my accident for most of it but I still can’t believe fall is here! It is sitting by a fire, sipping hot drinks and wearing rain gear season again. I do love winter in Vancouver but the rain can get to you. The temperature hardly ever goes below zero, and the snow usually stays on the mountains; the rest of Canada laughs at Vancouver at how we handle snow if it does fall in the city. This year, I’ve planned a winter escape as a celebration for a milestone birthday. The big news is I'm going to Cuba for my 30th birthday! I’m excited for this trip. As I enter into a new decade, I want to do something memorable. I could have booked an all-inclusive package for the two weeks but I wanted to see Cuba that is outside of Continue Reading

Taking the ferry to Bainbridge Island

Washington State Ferry

Day trip to Bainbridge Island Do you enjoy a ferry trip while travelling? Yes please for me! One of the things I love about travelling is when I get to go out or be by the water. If I can't be in a kayak or a canoe, I'll take any boat that I can. I thought about renting a sailboat when visiting Seattle with family but it was out of the question as none of us knew how to sail! After searching for different options, I stumbled upon one that was accessible and inexpensive, the Washington State Ferries. There are a couple of different route options but we chose one of the short ones, a trip to Bainbridge Island! What I love about this ferry is that it leaves right from downtown Seattle, no commuting out of town to the terminals. You have the option of walking on and off or driving on. A tip, you don't need a car if you are exploring the small but cute downtown area of Bainbridge. We drove on the ferry as we couldn't find a good deal for downtown Seattle parking and didn't Continue Reading