A Travellerspoint blog

December 2017

Videos from the GoPro

various videos

These videos are:

Fish eagle on Lake Naivasha

Lost in Kenya

Maasai village

Snorkelling at Mnemba

Driving to and from Dharamshala and McLeod Ganj

Snorkelling Hikkaduwa reef Sri Lanka

Enjoy these videos. I may upload and post some more...

Posted by kelshell 16:40 Comments (0)

Home again

Back in Canada

overcast 0 °C

I think that Kellie and I should get together and write a final blog post together. I also now have video to add as the gopro footage is all on my laptop. I have just added a few photos to Paris and although I named them all, I don't see the names on there. Hopefully this auto corrects. Tropical snorkelling videos will be uploaded to their respective posts as I am able.

Stay tuned for our grand finale....

Posted by kelshell 15:04 Archived in Canada Comments (0)

Intriguing Iceland

Into the cold

sunny -4 °C

I am sitting at the Keflavik airport reflecting on the end of this adventure. I am happy to be returning home and on to the next adventure. Micah has gone back into Reykjavik to stay overnight with a friend fro Kelowna who just moved here for a job. He flies home tomorrow evening. We have had a wonderful time in Iceland. With our rental jeep (manual, which Micah handled superbly) we scoped out the Southeast part of Iceland. Our first stop was Thingvellir park where I braved the Silfra fissure, snorkeling in a dry suit in the 2 degree water between North America and Europe. Kellie and I had reserved wetsuits for this thinking we would want the opportunity to swim down to see things. When I arrived at the parking lot in the dark (sunrise would be later morning closer to 11:00 a.m.) at minus 10, I had already decided on a dry suit. And the young lady from Adventure Vikings immediately suggested that only cold hardy seasoned divers should go with wetsuits so it was a no-brainer. Changing in the open parking lot was just the beginning. With approximately 30 minutes to wait half garbed, I was grateful for Micah's hat and gloves. The wait was just the time it took for the other 4 people in the group to suit up. We were all questioning our decision as different body parts started to go numb. About 3 minutes before we actually left to walk to the water's entrance, I almost gave up. I was literally in pain from the cold. But the thought of water 12 degrees warmer spurred me on. Into the water we went. I would like to say that the gopro footage I have is mine. However, my gopro would turn on, then flash blue and shut down. Another couple had the same problem. But the couple who rented their gopro got the footage and shared it. If I can get it on here once home, I will. Along with warm water snorkeling footage. I remember floating and swimming for the 30 minutes in the clearest water, passing over rocks with tendrils of white wispy seaweed. I am glad I did this but would recommend doing it only in the summer.

Micah had a warm blanket for me when I got changed. He came prepared to share his warm clothes which was so thoughtful. We continued on to Hvollsvollur about 90 km south. Our first stop in a small town with some interesting sights. After checking into our homestay, we ventured back out to the LAVA museum, an interactive attraction that simulates earthquakes, etc. while you learn about the formation of Iceland. It was well worth the entrance fee. The next morning after our picnic breakfast (buy groceries if you go) we left for the three waterfalls at Selandjafoss. These were very beautiful falls with a place to climb up so Micah was able to spend some time communing with nature here. We traveled on to the southeast with hours to drive to our next stop. We found ourselves driving in the dark most of the way as sunset is around 3:45 p.m. We arrived at the horsefarm and visited with the other guests who were all doing ice cave tours the following day. This area is home to the largest glacier on Iceland called Vatnajokull. After waking up to rain, we drove back toward Reykjavik, stopping at a lagoon with chunks of glacier floating in it. Directly across the highway is the Atlantic Ocean so Micah braved the wind and rain to explore a bit. I opted to stay warm in the vehicle. A little further along we came to the next guesthouse and had a nice lunch in the town before checking in. We met a lovely group of Italian young people who thought Kellie's and my travel story was very inspirational to them! On the way back from there we went to a mountainous area overlooking the sea. Micah left to hike and I was not dressed adequately for the cold so I stayed back. We continued on to Vik, a small oceanside town and after arriving back in Reykjavik, settled in for the night. On the 14th we went out early in the morning to one of the Viking museums to have breakfast and explore. It was a very interesting museum detailing the Viking settlement of Iceland and had a full viking ship hanging from the ceiling. This ship had been built in the 1990s by a local crew in order to sail the route of Leif Erickson from Iceland to L'anse aux Meadows in Newfoundland. The ship, called the Islendingur, made this journey in the year 2000 and also continued into the US, stopping at many major ports. As we didn't have enough time here due to our Blue Lagoon entrance time, we opted to return later in the day. The Blue Lagoon was beautiful and although the pools are man made, the thermal water comes from the area. We spent about 2 hours in the pools where the warm water meeting the icy cold air formed a mist over the pools making them quite beautiful and seemingly private. We returned to the museum and looked around some more before going back to the hotel to get ready for dinner with a friend who has recently moved to Iceland for work.

Micah and I decided to walk downtown to meet Dave at a funky market with bars and food kiosks. Dave used to work with Tristan and Micah at Club Penguin and Disney and was in Tristan's band. Most recently he worked for Tristan at Hyper Hippo but decided to take a job with a gaming company in Reyjavik. We had a great meal and visit with Dave and the guys arranged to meet up the next day after I was dropped off at the airport as Micah would be staying at Dave's for an extra night. The following day we leisurely packed and shopped in the quaint downtown before returning the rental vehicle at the airport. Micah took a bus back into town while I waited to board my second last flight. Micah and I had a great time in Iceland and he hopes to return with his wife Kris next October. I hope they can do it!



Posted by kelshell 14:59 Archived in Iceland Comments (2)

Paris in December

Beautiful in any season

overcast -2 °C

Paris was grey and cold after the sunny heat of Tanzania. But such a beautiful city in any weather. After flying for 14 hours via Doha I arrived at 6:30 a.m. Tuesday morning and immediately jumped on the RER train to the city from the airport. Another European city with an excellent transit system. I was wondering by this time why it was still so dark but sunrise is 8:30 a.m. I walked to the hotel and luckily they could let me check in right away. I slept for a few hours then got up to explore the 17th arrondissement. I made my way past the Moulin Rouge and wound my way up the cobblestone streets of Montmartre to the basilica Sacre Coeur. Very beautiful! Artists in a square nearby were selling their paintings and this was quintessential Paris as we all imagine it. The next day I set off to walk the Champs Elysees, starting at the Arc de Triomphe, following it down to La Place de La Concorde where I rode the Big Wheel (ferris wheel) for a 360 degree view of the city. Then I walked through the Tuileries gardens and into the Louvre. Although you can spend days in the Louvre I was satisfied with a couple of hours. What an impressive place. The museum is housed over a fortress built in the 1200s and you can go into subterranean halls to see the original foundation. As I walked back to the Arc de Triomphe I stopped and indulged in a little Parisienne fashion shopping!

On Thursday I took the RER to Versailles to visit the Chateau. The gardens were even beautiful in their winter state. The palace was magnificent. I headed back into Paris and decided to go to the Musee d'Orsay to see the permanent collection. I was fascinated by the impressionist collection housed there. It is also an amazing building architecturally. After going back to the hotel to warm up (and so thankful I broke down and bought Kashmir pashmina in India) I ventured back out into the cold to meet Emilie for dinner. Emilie was a lovely lady we met in Mongolia on our Gobi Desert tour. She has a very interesting job with French immigration evaluating refugee claims and used to work in the Hague for the international court of justice. We had a very good time talking about our various adventures and sharing good food and wine. Oh by the way, the food in Paris, c'est magnifique! The Parisienne people were lovely and excused my broken French at every turn. One night I had a lengthy conversation with a shopkeeper who spoke no English. Well, she talked, I understood everything she said but my broken and halting replies were in Frenglish! But we talked for 30 minutes. On my last day I went to Notre Dame Cathedral to admire the amazing architecture and stained glass. I would highly recommend Paris. Anything negative I had ever heard was not what I experienced there at all.

I left on Saturday morning for my dreaded WOW airlines flight (Wow, we actually left on time; wow my luggage made it) to Iceland and other than a one hour delay because the cargo door wouldn't close, they were actually a good airline. I did, however, have to pay a lot for my bags online the night before but.... I arrived in Reykjavik, meeting Micah who had arrived early that morning and patiently waited for me all day. So wonderful to see my baby boy! I tried to blog from Paris but for some reason was being told that traveler's point was an unsafe website so not wanting to mess up my only means of communication (Eli's tablet Kellie kindly left me) I decided to wait. Stay tuned for Iceland adventures with pictures care of Micah's phone. A teaser... My fingers have only just thawed out after snorkeling in the Silfra fissure this morning....


Posted by kelshell 20:52 Archived in France Comments (4)

(Entries 1 - 4 of 4) Page [1]