Dana Nature Reserve


If you travel to Jordan, you typically spend a few nights in the desert of Wadi Rum at a Bedouin camp. Its one of the things here “not to miss.” So, we missed it. As it goes. But we had good reason! We’d desert camped in the Sahara, and judging by recent temperatures here neither of us were particularly interested in spending the day in triple digit heat in sand dunes. So instead, we headed north to Feynan Ecolodge (Truffle Pig recommended) where it was still hot, but at least had proper rooms and cold water. This time we drove the desert highway, which in the south is incredibly boring. If you can imagine something far worse than I-5 from SF to LA, then you have this highway, hot, flat shrub forever. Luckily, the drive was in no way a reflection of how we’d spend the next few days. Continue reading

Desolation Wilderness Backpacking with Trail Mavens

Mt. Tellac

Mt. Tellac

I tromped my way through the backcountry in the Wicklow Mountains, in Western Ireland, desperately trying to keep up the quick pace of my fellow hikers, who seemed to be skipping easily across the weed-laden, muddy grounds of the valley floor. I was mostly trying not to get stuck in mud, which when hiking in Ireland is omnipresent. While they all carried on easy conversations at a 5-6km/hour hiking pace, I nodded and smiled, hoping my temporary distraction wouldn’t result in my falling over, or sliding down the embankment. One of the group leaders yelled back “careful now, last week your woman* got her leg stuck in the mud up to her mid-thigh! We had a hell of a time getting her boot back!”

Excellent. Continue reading

Hiking Wicklow Mountains

Views over Glendalough

Months ago, after returning to Dublin from Morocco I joined a hiking group. This weekend I finally went on my first hike. I’ve only been back from the Camino ten days, but have been itching to get back on the trail. So, I dove in, choosing to join a 20km higher difficulty hike around Wicklow, an area I’d been but had never hiked. But I figured, 20km was nothing, even with a near 1,000m elevation gain, right? Saturday brought a cool, clear day¬†during a week of bizarre and mercurial weather. A welcome change, and a good thing too, as this hike would wind up being hard enough without the often present inclement weather.¬† Continue reading

Day One: St. Jean to Roncesvalles, 25.1 km

untitled (19 of 342)

Last night at communal dinner we started the evening with introductions. We stated our names, where we were from and why we were hiking the camnio, the people and their reasons varied greatly. Ages 20-80 from all parts of the world, most people were hiking for some version of bettering themselves. I almost felt ridiculous that my reason is simply for the adventure. Although on today’s hike I met Sarah, one of three Canadian women about my age, who is walking with her mother. She too is walking for the adventure of it, stating, “my life is good right now, I’m not trying to fix it, I’m just enjoying it.” Which, pretty much sums up how I feel.

Continue reading