Adventure - Trails

Adventure Blogs

26 May 2022

Adventure Blogs Adventure Blogs
  • Sherpa Tenzing Norgay
    26 May 2022
    Sixty-nine years ago this week, Sir Edmund Hillary and Sherpa Tenzing Norgay became the first climbers to officially summit Everest. To mark their achievement, we’re republishing this piece about Sherpa Tenzing Norgay. – Ed. On May 29, 1953, at 6:30 in the morning, Sherpa Tenzing Norgay and Edmund Hillary began a seven-hour assault to the […]
  • Why I Learn A Bit of the Language Wherever I Travel
    26 May 2022
  • Top 5 US Road Trip Routes to Add to Your Bucket List
    26 May 2022
  • 10 Best Summer Activities in Alberta
    26 May 2022
  • 10 Underrated campgrounds in Alberta to consider booking
    26 May 2022
  • 10 Countries You Need to Add to Your Bucket List
    26 May 2022
  • Guide to the Best Dog-Friendly Trails in Alberta
    26 May 2022
  • Reconciliation in Australia: It’s about the heart of things
    26 May 2022

    To help us mark Reconciliation Week 2022, award-winning Yorta Yorta writer, author and radio host Daniel James shares some thoughts on what meaningful reconciliation really looks like. 

    The post Reconciliation in Australia: It’s about the heart of things appeared first on Intrepid Travel Blog.

  • Travel Tales | Rachel in Kenya
    26 May 2022
    Rachel with pupils at our partner school.

    I’m writing to you from our hotel in Nakuru, Kenya – my home for the next few days and nights. It’s incredible to finally be here, after the many amazing stories I have heard about this place and its people, and especially our partner schools. I first came to Kenya at the age of 22, having only ever been on comfortable family holidays to Western destinations, and it’s safe to say that I experienced a culture shock. I spent a week in Nairobi volunteering in the Kibera slum and it is a trip that has never left me, and I don’t think ever will. Fast-forward a good number of years (I’m not telling you the exact number!) and I have made it back to Kenya at last, after several ‘obstacles’ the past few years have prevented me getting here.

    I am travelling with the wonderful Derby County Community Trust (DCCT) group, 48 of whom are here currently, and another 22 of whom are joining for the half-term week. They are a passionate and hardworking group, and will no doubt achieve a great deal whilst they are here. It is a privilege to be able to share this experience with them. They are well-versed in what work is needed and how to get the best out of the manpower available, having been here on eight previous occasions. Something special keeps bringing them back…

    Rift Valley View Point on arrival

     

    Even better than being here with DCCT is being here with my brother, who has long been keen to volunteer in Kenya. He is throwing himself into the experience and loving every minute so far. It’s nice for him to be following in our dad’s footsteps, as he volunteered here in 2019, also with DCCT, and it’s rather fitting that my brother will be volunteering at Ungana Academy, as dad assisted with building new classrooms there three years ago. I also spent our first volunteering day at Ungana, and it was an emotional and special day. I can honestly say that we have been welcomed with open arms by the people here.

    On the way to Nakuru, we visited the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust’s elephant orphanage in Nairobi, which was an amazing experience. Nothing compares to seeing elephants in the flesh, close enough to touch. After this, the journey to Nakuru was a long and interesting one, with the roads – and the driving – being very different to what we are used to in the UK. The baboons and warthogs on the side of the road, and the giraffes in the distance, were a constant reminder that I had finally made it here! The sights as we travel around Nakuru are a real eye-opener, and the more deprived areas just reinforces why we are here, and why African Adventures exists. Our partner schools are doing an amazing job of providing a free education to young people who would otherwise go without.

    I look forward to visiting our other partner schools and will provide another update. Until then, I hope you enjoy my pictures from the trip so far.

    Rachel Northover, Head of Fundraising

    The post Travel Tales | Rachel in Kenya appeared first on African Adventures.

  • 25 Best Things to do in Brooklyn, New York in 2022
    26 May 2022

    There are many amazing things to do in Brooklyn. You can admire art in Brooklyn Museum or street art on Troutman Street. You can dine at a Michelin restaurant or...

    Read the original post 25 Best Things to do in Brooklyn, New York in 2022 on The Planet D: Adventure Travel Blog.

U.K Hiking blogs

UK Hiking Blogs

26 May 2022

UK Hiking Blogs UK Hiking Blogs
  • NEW PATHS AT HURST GREEN.
    26 May 2022

    I’ve probably walked out of Hurst Green dozens of times. The Tolkien Trail takes you along the River Ribble and going the other direction towards Longridge Fell you have the delightful Dean Brook and Stonyhurst College. Today I was walking with a group whom I first met at Haigh Hall a month ago – they always walk the last Wednesday in the month.

    It was still raining when we met up at The Shireburn Arms at 10am. The forecast said it would stop at 12. I didn’t bring my camera partly because of the weather but also because in a group there are limited chances for photography. Of course, we all have our phones these days with functional built-in cameras. Anyhow, I didn’t expect to tread new territory.

    As we walked up through the village and down into Dean Clough I contented myself with idle chatter. The interesting mill weirs and races in Dean Brook went unnoticed to most. The quarry, Sand Rock, where the building materials for many houses in Hurst Green originated passed us by. Greengore, a medieval hunting lodge of the Shireburns was duly admired. It is currently up for sale £1,250,000.

    Onwards up the bridleway and I realise it has stopped raining which is a bonus for the assembled crowd, although it is very muddy underfoot. We are on the edge of woodland belonging to Stonyhurst College where they have their own private lake as a water supply and fishery. I have trespassed many times into those secret  lands where there is a hidden cross, Park Cross, with a history going back possibly to a Maria Shireburn, whose body may have been carried past here on the way to her burial at Mitton in 1754. It is one of nine  Stonyhurst crosses I incorporated into a walk from Hurst Green. I digress.

    To my delight our leader takes us off on a bridleway through Hudd Lee Woods an area I had never knowingly trodden. The bluebells were over but the greens of the beeches and ferns were splendid, as a little sunlight filtered through. My spirits were lifted.

    On down to the main road where we saw the remains of the C18th grade II listed Punch Bowl Inn. It is said to have been visited by the highwaymen Dick Turpin and Ned King in 1738. They stayed for three days after which Turpin travelled to York while King attacked travellers on the local roads. King was executed in 1741 and his ghost was reputed to haunt the pub. The pub had been closed for many years and the new owners tried to get planning permission for several schemes which were turned down so last year they demolished it without permission. An investigation followed, leading Ribble Valley Council to instruct the owners to rebuild it! I can see them appealing the decision and getting away with a slap on the wrist. We seem to have lost any sense of duty and honesty in this country as exemplified by the findings of the Sue Gray report published today on the goings-on of our ‘honourable’ Prime Minister.

    Back onto the quieter Shire Lane with views over the Ribble Valley. Just when I thought we were cruising into Hurst Green we were taken through a farmyard and into fields trampled by a herd of frisky bullocks. While most of us tried to avoid the worst of their  excrement a brave member of the group held the beasts at bay with his walking poles.  “They weren’t here yesterday – honest” was the plea of our leader.

    A bonus was one of those Peak & Northern Footpaths Society green signs erected in 2016.

    A couple of awkward high stiles slowed the less agile of the party, but they were the only ones uncounted all day. Then we were heading downhill quickly and slipperily back to Dean Brook. At the bottom we found ourselves in the garden of a couple of stone built properties, one had been originally a bobbin mill supplying bobbins and shuttles to the Lancashire cotton mills  using power from a mill race taking water from Dean Brook. Again this is something I had missed in the past.

    We had come full circle and retired to the excellent Shireburn Arms for lunch.

    Greengore.

    The Punch Bowl 2019

    Now.

    Heading down to the old bobbin mill.

    That had been an excellent circuit and I regretted not bringing my camera.

    .

  • TGO Challenge Day 13 - 24 May 2022
    24 May 2022

    Walking 6am to 2pm
    Distance walked 15 miles
    Distance remaining 0 miles

    I heard a couple of loud noises this morning whilst under the tarp. I thought a bird had collided with it but when starting to take the tarp down it appeared that one or more birds might have taken exception to me being under their tree. There was a lot of it but I was able to scrape it off and then wipe down with a wet cloth.

    The woodland I had planned to camp in would have been fine; also around an electricity substation immediately before it. However, the exit of the path on to the road was totally blocked by a fallen tree but it would have been possible to exit just before the gate.

    I road walked all the way into Brechin. There wasn't much traffic. I shopped for breakfast and lunch at the large Co-op.

    All was well with my planned route until I reached a farm shown on the map as Caldcots. Here, I asked a lady walking dogs about my route as there were a couple of stretches with no right of way on the map. She wasn't sure but just then the farmer came along and I asked him. He said my route wasn't on rights of way but kindly gave me directions with advice to keep clear of cattle in a couple of places. Looking at my map, he pointed out a stretch further on where he wasn't sure there was a right of way. Sure enough, there wasn't. I went down a farm track marked private which, after a while, led to a grass track along a field margin (although shown as a white lane on the map). After this, I just trespassed along the route I wanted to go. There was no path at all and at one point I went through a hedge backwards to emerge on to a vehicle track.

    Eventually, I reached a highway and road walked to Hillside and then on to Charleton Fruit Farm where there is an excellent cafe. Here, I stopped for a coffee and a substantial chocolate, pecan and caramel tray bake. Sustained, I walked the half mile across Kinnaber Links and on to the beach to complete my Challenge. It was then a walk of something over a mile down the beach to Montrose where I booked into the campsite and then on to the Park Hotel to check into Challenge Control, collect my certificate and rather good Rab t-shirt.
  • CICERONE’S LANCASHIRE – Cockerham Coast and Canal.
    24 May 2022

    The day was gloomy and so was I – perhaps I overdid the whisky last night. I was still mooching around the house late morning. But I keep trying to push my walking that bit farther. As you know I’m slowly working my way through Mark Sutcliffe’s Cicerone guide to Walking in Lancashire. In this I’m mirrored by Phreerunning Martin who always gets an interestingly different take from me, the pleasures of blogging. I needed something not too long and preferably as flat as possible. Walk 15 seemed perfect. I know the Glasson Dock area well and have done several variations of this walk before, probably most recently on my Lancashire Monastic Way. But looking at Mark’s  route I spotted some paths I had never walked. I might struggle to say something original about this walk.

    I was a little embarrassed to leave my car in The Stork’s private car park, but the other space was taken by Travellers and their caravans. The channels of the Condor don’t look at their best during low tide. Following the old railway I came into Glasson, busy with people visiting an outdoor market. I couldn’t go past the little shop without buying a coffee, this time to drink as I climbed the minor hill to the viewpoint. The views were disappointing but the coffee good, sorry about the environment polluting cup.

    I worked my way around the coast. The tide was out, so Plover lighthouse was accessible, it was previously maintained from the shore before becoming automatic. The incumbent keeper was based at Lighthouse Cottage where there was another light atop a wooden scaffold to line up ships coming into the tricky Lune channel. Across the channel I could see Sunderland Point at one time the major port on the Lune.

    A sign talks of plovers nesting on the shoreline, but I wonder about this as the tide comes in fully most days.

    Lots of walkers were converging on Cockersand Abbey, of which the only remaining building is the octagonal Chapter House. This has survived because it was used as a mausoleum by the Daltons of Thurnham Hall (see later) during the 18th and 19th centuries. The red sandstone rocks on the shore  line  show where the building blocks of the Abbey originated.

    Continuing around the coast on the sea embankment passing several caravan parks which looked very vulnerable to high tides. It will be interesting to view this area in the coming decades as sea levels rise.  Those are the Bowland Hills behind.

  • TGO Challenge Day 12 - 23 May 2022
    24 May 2022
    
    Walking 7am to 2.30pm
    Distance walked 10 miles
    Distance remaining 15 miles

    As I was packing up, Peter and Rachel Cornish passed by. They had been camped a few hundred yards back. Had a nice chat and Rachel took a photo of the three of us which she'll post to the TGO Facebook page. 

    It was easy walking down to the end of Glen Lethnot. My planned route had been over Ordies Hill and then following landrover tracks up and then down to a narrow lane at NO512707 but it was much easier to simply follow the tarmac lane around to meet at the same point. It was a lovely morning and Road walking doesn't get much nicer with fine scenery and I ascents. For some of the way I walked with Darren from Northumberland until I stopped to make coffee and he went on. In fact, as I had time to spare, I stayed for over an hour reading and admiring the view. 

    Eventually moving on, I took the lane that passes between White and Brown Catarthuns, Iron Age hill forts. I had lunch by the small parking area. I asked some people coming down from White Catarthun whether it was worth going up to have a look but was told that it depends what you expect to see. Hmm.

    Walking on, it rained hard. I had been planning to camp in some woodland before reaching Brechin but before then I came to the Tigerton National Grid Odourless Gas Installation. It's well fenced in but inside  the hedge and tree perimeter it is grassed and ideal for pitching a tarp. There's been a couple of waves of torrential rain while I've been here. Tomorrow I'll have a look at the woodland where I intended to camp. There's been so much tree damage up here lately. 




    Sent from my iPhone
  • 457 am Tetney Lock to Cleethorpes
    23 May 2022
    After an anxiety-ridden bus ride, I walk the wide beaches and marshes to Cleethorpes.
  • 4 Creative Hiking Blog Ideas.
    23 May 2022

    This post is for people who're looking for inspiration for their hiking blog. It's for people that have no idea how they want to theme their blog, and it's for people who have so many options that they don't know which option to select.

    Here are some hiking blog ideas that will draw in an invested audience that will stick around - if you do it right.

    Key Takeaways:
    • You can advertise something that you care about.

    • There is a lot of history to be found on hiking trails and people want to hear about it.

    • Although there is already lots of hiking advice out there, there will always be room for more, especially if it's from an expert.

    • People will always be invested in others and their personal stories.

    Hiking Influencer

    We all know what an influencer is. They're the people you see all over social media with their faces too close to the camera, advertising a product that no one needs, or has ever heard of.

    This can be you.

    You can be the person advertising some obscure product for money. Or better yet, you can advertise something that you care about. It will come off as more genuine and in turn, will make the product easier for you to sell.

    Being an influencer is not all about advertising, you're also going to have to give people a reason to follow you. What are you and your page offering other than a pretty face to look at?

    Some people follow influencers because they like to hear their daily updates. They're interested in their life story. Or they may be interested in the places that they go or the activities that they get up to whilst hiking.

    Providing History

    There is a lot of history to be found on hiking trails and people want to hear about it. So you can give a little history lesson on the trails that you visit along with your own personal thoughts and opinions as well.

    You will not only be educating other people but you will also be educating yourself too. If you're a history buff this is definitely an option you might want to consider.

    Hiking Advice

    There are billions of people out there in this world, and many of them want to hike. Although there is already lots of hiking advice out there, there will always be room for more, especially if it's from an expert.

    Not every hike is the same, and so not everyone is going to be an expert in every type of hike. You could pick an area of hiking to specialise in and solely focus on that. So for example, hiking in the winter and heavy snow.

    You could also provide your expertise on activities that you take part in on a hike. Maybe you take part in something unique that no one else does.

    Documenting Your Adventure

    People will always be invested in others and their personal stories. This gives you a great opportunity to be completely unique because no one can possibly have the same story as you.

    Doing something as simple as documenting your own personal story could draw in a whole host of followers who're interested in seeing how your story ends.

    Someone is going to relate to you or your perspective on the world, and they are the type of person that you need to be targetting.

  • TGO Challenge Day 11 - 22 May 2022
    23 May 2022

    Walking 7am to 3.30pm
    Distance walked 13 miles
    Distance remaining 24.5 miles

    A very overcast morning but not cold. I walked down past the Glen Doll car park; just one campervan their presumably having spent the night. A lovely location. I then road walked the three miles along the almost deserted lane to Clova. In the car park of the Glen Cova Hotel I picked up someone's recently dropped bag of cheese and onion crisps and made quick work of them.

    It was then a long, slow ascent to Loch Brandy but half way up found I had a 4G signal so made my last check in call to Challenge Control. I also phoned home. Shortly after, Paul from yesterday came up behind me. He and a couple of other Challengers had overnighted at the Glen Clova Hotel. He was following the same route as me today so we walked together. Up on the tops the mist was swirling and there was quite a wind. With his navigational gadget, a Garmin Fenix (I think), we got across some pretty featureless terrain. It was pretty boggy with stretches of black peat. His navigation brought us precisely to the landrover track which led us down to Shielin of Saughs bothy. This was to have been my planned overnight stop but it was far too early. Here, we took shelter from the wind although the mist had totally cleared. I made coffee and he went on to find a wild pitch as the day for both of us was to end in Glen Lethnot which we were about to enter. I stayed and my coffee stop morphed into lunch.

    Glen Lethnot was quite lovely and the route followed a landrover track all the way until a marked footpath snaked down to the river. Along here I found what is possibly the best and flattest pitch so far and the river for water very close by. I haven't seen Paul so he must have gone further. I didn't want do as I have now walked nearly four miles into tomorrow's mileage.
  • 4th April to 10th April
    23 May 2022
    On the 4th I took the boys for a nice stroll in the afternoon along the banks of the River crouch at South Fambridge. The
  • Down to the Pretty-Gritty of Taranto
    22 May 2022

    Taranto is not one of Italy’s Instagram destinations. There are no grand piazzas lined by statues from Michelangelo and other artists whose names you may remember from high school, no scenic inland waterways that break up the sunlight into thousand shards of sparkle.

    Taranto’s beauty is of a different order – and, on top of that, habitually photo-bombed by harsher realities that are lurking everywhere.

    The city, named after the vast Gulf

    ... Down to the Pretty-Gritty of Taranto

    The post Down to the Pretty-Gritty of Taranto appeared first on EASY HIKER.

  • What Equipment Do You Need To Start A Blog?
    22 May 2022

    The truth is, it really doesn't take much to start a blog. So if you're someone who has aspirations to become a blogger and you haven't gotten started yet, there's no excuse.

    You don't need to buy lots of expensive equipment and I'm going to prove that in this post. I'm going to go through exactly what you need to start a blog.

    Key Takeaways:
    • To start a website and to properly edit photos and videos you're going to need a laptop or computer.

    • A lot of people go on to use their phone long term as the cameras are so good nowadays.

    • Your phone is how you'll keep up to date with your blog on the go.

    • If photos are an important part of your blog, then you may want to consider getting lighting equipment.

    A Computer/Laptop

    To start a website and to properly edit photos and videos you're going to need a laptop or computer. They'll allow you to work on your website easily and set yourself up properly across other platforms like YouTube for example.

    You can do a lot of the same things on your phone, but it's not as easy, and you can't do everything you can on your computer on your phone. You'd be surprised how limited a phone is compared to a computer.

    A Camera

    If you don't have a camera in the beginning you can get away with using your phone. A lot of people go on to use their phones long term as the cameras are so good nowadays and will only continue to get better.

    A camera will allow you to take high-quality photos for your blog site and social media. You can also use it to film videos which can be used across all platforms.

    If you're a vlogger it's essential that you learn to use a video camera rather than your phone. The difference in quality will be massive.

    A Phone

    Your phone is how you'll keep up to date with your blog on the go. From your phone you can make minor changes to your website and YouTube, you can also update your social media profiles which is crucial.

    You can take pictures and videos and keep in constant contact with your followers. Your phone is your main tool when trying to showcase your lifestyle to your followers.

    Lighting Equipment

    If photos are an important part of your blog, then you may want to consider getting lighting equipment. Something as simple as a light will enhance your pictures to the point that they start to look professional.

    A Stand

    A camera stand for your camera, or a phone stand for your phone. A stand will help you take the influencer ready shots that you're looking for. Not everyone has someone to take pictures of them everywhere they go, so a stand is needed.

    An Office Set-Up

    An office set-up is not a must, and it's definitely not something you need to worry about right away. But it's something that you may want to consider in the long term.

    An office will give you a good place to work, which will increase your productivity. Comfort and ease of access are some of the things that will help you be at your best.

Australian Hiking blogs

Australian Hiking Blogs

26 May 2022

Australian Hiking Blogs Australian Hiking Blogs
  • Lunges Are Not A Beginners Exercise
    26 May 2022

    ​​Lunges are one of the most popular exercises in the world for hikers. But many hikers struggle with them. If that is you, don't feel bad. Because they are NOT a beginners exercise. 

    Inside this episode I share my thoughts about lunges for hikers, and offer some simple alternatives for hikers who struggle with these.

    ​Want to get fit, strong and resilient for your hiking adventures?

    Check out the Online Summit Program
  • How to use a telescope for astrophotography
    25 May 2022

    It’s no secret that Australia has some of the biggest and brightest skies. We’re home to many places that feature on the International Dark Sky Association’s list of ‘Dark Sky Places’, like the Warrumbungles near Coonabarabran (NSW).

    With this in mind, it’s no wonder so many Aussies with an interest in photography will at some point turn their lens to the night sky. If you’re one of them, you may be considering obtaining a good telescope for beginner astrophotography and looking into how to use a telescope for astrophotography.

    While lenses, mirrorless cameras, and DSLR cameras do a fantastic job at taking photos of galaxies, telescopes are custom-made to view all the nuances of the night sky, so they should be considered when piecing together your astrophotography kit. Here are some tips on telescope photography to get you started.

    Choosing the best telescope for astrophotography

    When it comes to exploring product listings for your first astronomy telescope, there’ll likely be some new terms to wrap your head around. Here is a glossary of the key telescope terms:

    • Reflector telescopes. A good beginner astrophotography telescope and one of two main types of telescope designs, reflector telescopes utilise a mirror-based system and are known for being great value for money.
    • Refractor telescopes. These telescopes are the best choice for those who want to view and photograph deep space objects. Refractor telescopes use a series of large lenses to function and are often more expensive than reflector telescopes.
    • Aperture. Just like in photography, the aperture of an astronomy telescope refers to the size of the opening responsible for gathering light. The larger the aperture, the better the telescope is at gathering light.
    • Focal ratio. The ratio is the telescope’s aperture divided by its focal length. This figure tells us just how good a telescope is for astrophotography purposes, with a smaller f-number being more desirable
    • Focal length. This is effectively the length of the astronomy telescope. Focal length is where light crosses on its way to the sensor to provide the sharpest focus.
    • Eyepiece. In some cases, you won’t need to use the eyepiece for telescope photography. Essentially, the eyepiece is what you look through when using a telescope and it works in conjunction with the focal length of the lens to decide its magnification.

    With all these new terms to consider, which is the best telescope for astrophotography? This depends on what type of astrophotography you wish to produce.

    For planets, the moon, and similar objects, opt for a telescope with both a large aperture and a long focal length. To capture vast galaxies, star clusters, and other deep-sky objects, a telescope with a shorter focal length and larger aperture will work wonders.

    Connecting a smartphone to a telescope for astrophotography

    Many modern telescopes can be paired with your smartphone so that you can capture exactly what your telescope is seeing. Some telescopes come with a smartphone adapter for you to simply position the smartphone directly over the eyepiece of the astronomy telescope.

    This approach may not yield the same results as using a larger, dedicated camera with your telescope, but it is a much simpler technique. 

    For something a little more advanced, consider the Unistellar EVSCOPE Reflector telescope which features a built-in sensor to capture images and send them directly to your connected smartphone.

    Using a telescope with your mirrorless or DSLR camera
    If you’d prefer to mount your telescope directly onto your camera, it’s possible with either a DSLR or mirrorless camera, a T-mount adapter that attaches to the focus tube of the telescope, and a camera mount lens adapter that’s specific to your camera. This is the next best thing to a telescope that takes pictures.
    5 Tips on How to Use a Telescope for Astrophotography

    Now that you’re all set up, here are some basic tips on how to get brilliant astrophotography results:

    • Shoot with your camera set to RAW. RAW allows your camera to capture as much detail as the sensor allows, making post-production editing much easier.

       

    • Use a slow shutter speed. For astrophotography, 15-30 seconds is recommended. Select a shutter speed within this range, or set your camera to ‘bulb mode’ and experiment to your liking.
    • Always use a remote. Avoid camera shake and use a remote control to fire the shutter. If your camera features Bluetooth connectivity, you may be able to shoot remotely using a dedicated smartphone App.
    • Use a high ISO. Increasing the ISO of your camera allows more light in, so you’ll be able to capture dimmer details of the night sky. Raising ISO does increase image noise, so start at ISO 800 and raise it if necessary.
    • Choose your night and location carefully. For successful astrophotography endeavours, your view of the sky requires little-to-no light pollution. Check the weather before you head out, too. Cloud cover is no good for astrophotography, so save the excitement for a fine, clear night.

     

    Now that you know how to use a telescope for astrophotography, it’s time to take your stargazing to the next level. Get yourself some gear and the sky’s your limit.

    Have you tried your hand at astrophotography? If you have any stories, updates or corrections, please let us know by commenting below.

    The post How to use a telescope for astrophotography appeared first on The Bushwalking Blog.

  • A rainforest walk to Greenes Falls in D’Aguilar National Park
    25 May 2022

    After the spectacular waterfalls along the West Canungra Creek Circuit yesterday, Greenes Falls is a little underwhelming… although it’s still a pleasant walk through rainforest in the D’Aguilar National Park, which is only 45min from Brisbane.

    Rainforest Circuit

    The large Maiala car park is pretty full as I head down the Rainforest Circuit track (there are a few walk options, which all start here).

    The first section of the trail is pretty flat, as it passes large fig trees (including a giant Watkins fig) and a giant Sydney Blue Gum.

    Aftr about 700m, the trail crosses Browns Road, before reaching the junction with the Cypress Grove Track after another 300m

    Greenes Falls Track

    The Greenes Falls Track starts descending from this junction, with some timber stairs and sections of boardwalk. A couple of red gums which fell across the track, temporarily closing the walk, have steps cut into them.

    At the end of the Greenes Falls Track is a viewing platform, above the top of the waterfall.

  • Best Portable Fire Pits for Camping
    25 May 2022

    While traditional campfires made from natural materials in your camping environment can be more than satisfactory in many situations, they’re not going to suit everyone or every situation. They can be smoky, unpredictable, and not always reliable for heat and cooking. Sometimes they’re even illegal. The best camping firepit is often one you can take home with you.

    That’s why many avid Australian campers prefer to add portable fire pits to their kit. Rather than gathering rocks and trying to set up a comfortable and safe campfire, you can haul out your camping firepit and set it up to offer heat for cooking and to take the chill out of the air.

    Although, even when you’ve decided to purchase a portable fire pit for camping, it’s not always easy deciding which one you want to buy. You might be able to speed up the shopping process by checking out these considerations and products below.

    Considerations for Purchasing the Best Portable Fire Pits

    Price is always an essential factor when you’re shopping for an outdoor portable fire pit or any camping equipment, for that matter. However, it should never be your primary consideration. 

    There are many other factors to consider to ensure you’re entirely happy with the firepit you buy, such as the fuel type, portability, materials, safety, and any standout features.

    Fuel Type

    You might be surprised to learn that you’re not limited to just wood as a fuel source for portable fire pits, unlike a traditional campfire pit. You might not be camping somewhere where wood supplies are plentiful, or you simply want something cleaner, more convenient, warmer, or easier. 

    Weigh up the pros and cons of different fuel types to end up with a camping firepit you enjoy. Wood always produces an intense heat, not to mention an unbeatable ambience once night falls. 

    However, charcoal tends to be quite popular since it’s easier to light and keep going, and it’s often less smoky while also being suitable for cooking. However, it can be dirtier than wood and produces less heat. 

    Some people might also prefer the cleanliness of gas, not to mention how easy it is to turn off and on, unlike a wood fire. Alternatively, you might consider ethanol or biofuel, which is an alcohol fuel that you can use to cook meals cleanly and quickly.

    Portability

    All portable fire pits are different, making the purchasing process potentially much harder than you expected. However, when portability is a primary consideration, you might pay close attention to the features that make one outdoor portable fire pit more portable than others.

    Consider the dimensions, the weight, and even how it folds up and stores. A basic overnight camper might need something more lightweight and conservative than someone traveling in a 4WD with a complete camping setup. 

    Materials

    When looking for the best camping fire pit, you’ll generally discover that they tend to feature robust, long-lasting materials. After all, no one wants a camping firepit that succumbs to the heat within months.

    Among the most popular material types are cast iron, copper, aluminium, and stainless steel. These material types all have their pros and cons. For example, stainless steel is lightweight and easy to fold, whereas cast iron is heavy but a great heat conductor. Copper and aluminium don’t tend to rust or corrode, but these materials can also be expensive. 

    Safety

    Safety is always a crucial consideration when you’re on the hunt for a new portable fire pit for camping. You want heat, but you likely don’t want it to be at the expense of the environment. Always opt for portable fire pits with safety features like high sides and elevation options to keep the fire off the ground.

    Features

    With so many different fire pit options on the market, you might need to narrow down your potential options by comparing the various standout features and points of difference. Look at how easy it is to cook on your firepit and whether it has an ashtray for easy clean-ups. These can be the deciding factors.

    Best Portable Fire Pits for Camping in Australia

    You’ve thought long and hard about what you want in a camping firepit, and considered all the points above.

    The next step is to move on to seeing what’s available from leading camping firepit brands in Australia. Hopefully we’ve made this part easier for you with our brief reviews below.

    We’ve included some of the top-rated options. The rest is up to you.

    Who knew that a fire pit could be so much more than a fire pit? The BioLite FirePit+ is a wood and charcoal-burning fire pit packed with convenient features to take your next camping trip to a new level.

    It’s described as a portable campfire without the smoke and has a removable grill plate, hyper-efficient flames courtesy of unique airflow technology, and folding legs for complete portability. Campers are also bound to appreciate the unique feature of a Bluetooth app, which allows you to control the fire from a remote.

    But that’s not even the best part. It comes equipped with a 12,800mAh battery, which provides device charging and 28 hours of power. This smokeless fire is a genius solution to many camping problems. 

    Dimensions: 70 x 30 x 41cm
    Weight: 8.98kg
    Materials: Steel, enamel
    Fuel Type: Wood, charcoal, heat beads
    Warranty: 1 year

    Darche Stainless Steel BBQ Firepit

    Available Sizes: 310mm² and 450mm²

    Whether you’re searching for a camping fire pit for warmth or something to cook on, you’ll likely discover that this Darche stainless steel BBQ firepit in two models – 310 and 450 – ticks both of those boxes. 

    These stainless-steel BBQs are designed for use in the wilderness on a camping adventure or even when you’re just outside relaxing at home. Both models are easy to set up and dismantle, and they are also compact for ease of storage.

    You can use them as a firepit or BBQ with wood or heat beads, and they feature solid base plates with straightforward grill connectivity for a fast and easy cooking process. Darche is all about creating a quick and easy heat source, and it’s hard not to see this camping firepit as anything other than that. 

    Dimensions: 31 x 31 x 27.5cm (310 model), 45 x 45 x 44cm (450 model)
    Weight: 4.238kg (310 model), 11.5kg (450 model)
    Materials: Stainless steel
    Fuel Type: Wood, heat beads
    Warranty: 1 year

    Portable fire pits are not always as mobile as you need them to be, particularly if they don’t fold down. However, Supa Peg takes portable to a whole new level with their Frontier Fire Pit. This stylish, sturdy camping firepit has been designed with eight laser-cut heavy-duty steel panels to create an octagon enclosure. 

    Not only is it aesthetically pleasing, but it’s an entirely functional portable fire pit for camping or use at home. All pieces lock into a base plate, providing 31 litres of usable space for your firewood and heat beads, and they fold down flat into a carry bag when you no longer need them. 

    With an easy assembly and disassembly process, all you need to worry about with this camping firepit is having enough firewood and food to enjoy it to its full potential.

    Dimensions: 38 x 38 x 35cm
    Weight: 6.8kg
    Materials: Heavy-duty steel
    Fuel Type: Wood, heat beads
    Warranty: 1 year

    Purchasing Australian-made portable fire pits can be pretty important for many campers, especially when it comes to ensuring that what you buy will last the distance. This Slot Me In The Wedge fire pit and cooker is 100% Australian-made with Australian materials by an Australian-owned company. It’s as Australian as they come. 

    It’s a convenient flatpack fire pit that wedges or slots together quickly, with a tool-less assembly and disassembly process for no hassle or fuss. You can use it at home or out in the wilderness, and it comes with a range of accessories like a fire pit, adapters, support bars, a multi-tool, safety gloves, and a storage bag for a successful camping experience.

    Dimensions: 58 x 40.5 x 35cm
    Weight: 14.2kg
    Materials: Steel
    Fuel Type: Wood

    Winnerwell Flatpack Firepit

    Available Sizes: Small, Medium, and Large

    No one wants to spend more time setting up their camping equipment than actually enjoying it, which is why many campers love Winnerwell portable fire pits. These flatpack fire pits are available in small, medium, and large sizes to suit all manner of campers and are designed to provide a fast and easy heating and cooking experience.

    They feature high-quality stainless steel and suit a range of cooking and grilling accessories that you can use on the Winnerwell triangular grates. Once you’ve finished cooking with firewood and heat beads, you can fold the entire fireplace flat and store it away with no hassles. 

    Dimensions: 21.8 x 21.8 x 12cm (small), 32.8 x 32.8 x 19.5cm (medium), 41.8 x 41.8 x 22.6cm (large)
    Weight: 1.2kg (small), 2.5kg (medium), 4.1kg (large)
    Materials: Stainless steel
    Fuel Type: Wood, heat beads

    Whether you’re camping, going for a day trip to the beach, or wanting to warm yourself or cook dinner outside at home, you might find that the stainless-steel cube fire pit from Supa Peg is more than up to the task.

    This outdoor portable fire pit is a high-quality cooking and heating unit that consists of two locking plates and four laser-cut panels that all fit together. You can then add a Supa Cube grill and plate sold separately. This rust-resistant unit holds together well and is ideal for cooking, heating, and providing ambience. It also comes with a ground plate to catch ash and prevent ground damage.

    Once you’re finished, you can fold it up and pack it away in a Supa Peg Deluxe Firepit Carry Bag made with Dynaproof canvas with Tonneau lining. It doesn’t get much better than that. 

    Dimensions: 50 x 50 x 48cm
    Weight: 22kg
    Materials: Stainless steel
    Fuel Type: Wood, heat beads

    The sad reality is that it can be much easier to find flimsy, poor-quality portable fire pits than it is to find well-made ones. Fortunately, this Kings premium stainless steep folding firepit fits the latter category.

    It sets up in seconds, features superior stainless steel materials for strength and longevity, and it even comes with a carry bag for easy storage. Campers will also appreciate the heavy-duty steel base plate for ground protection, not to mention how easy it is to add more wood when the fire’s getting low. You can also purchase additional accessories for this folding fire pit, such as the stainless steel grill.

    Dimensions: 42 x 42 x 32cm
    Weight: 7.1kg
    Materials: Stainless steel
    Fuel Type: Wood, charcoal, heat beads

  • Best Hikes in Victoria – 6 of the state’s most stunning trails
    25 May 2022
    Photo credit: Daniel Walker, on flickr
    The great state of Victoria is home to some of the most diverse landscapes in all of Australia. Everything from the high country Alpine region of the north-east through to the coastline of the great ocean road, you’re truly spoilt for choice when it comes to the best hikes in Victoria.

    Whether you’re planning a single day hike or a multi-day overnighter, we’ve compiled this list of the best hikes in Victoria to showcase the diversity of hikes you can do on a visit down south. 

    The official highest peak in Victoria lies in the alpine region in the state’s north-east called Mount Bogong and stands at 1,986 metres (6,516 feet) above sea level. It also happens to be one of the hardest hikes in the state.

    The Great Ocean Walk sits at the lowest altitude just above sea level as it hugs the shoreline of the Southern Ocean. 

    Depending on your preference on terrain and the time of year – there’s an appeal to both topographically contrasting regions, yet both possess a charm hard to find anywhere else.

    Grampians Peaks Trail
    Photo credit: Parks Victoria

    Having recently opened the peaks trail to the public last month, the Grampians Peaks Trail is a world-class 160 km long, 13-day hike that begins in the north of the national park at Mount Zero and passes by townships in Halls Gap.

    Some of the best highlights along the way include Mount William, Redman’s Bluff, Major Mitchell Plateau and finally terminating in the far southern township of Dunkeld. 

    The most important aspect of this trail to note is that it’s a grade 4 or 5 hike for most of the way, meaning this hike is not or unfit. You will also gain 8000 metres of elevation over the course of the hike!

    The trailhead begins at the Mount Zero trail head in the north where you traverse the ridgelines and peaks, scrambling over rock faces and under boulders around Mount Stapylton for 12.1km until you reach the Barigar hike-in campground and stay the night.

    The following 12 mornings will consist of a wide range of track lengths and rugged, exposed terrain, that range anywhere from 16.3 km to a minimum of 8.1 km, with every night providing hike-in campgrounds and various water stations along the way. 

    The theoretical halfway point of your 13-day hike (82km) is just after the Mount Rosea hike into Barri Yalug campground, 7.35km north of Redman Bluff. 

    The total cost for one of the best hikes in Victoria is $524 (including tent hire and a night’s accommodation in Halls Gap), which equates to roughly $47/night.

    Need to know

    Length: 164 km
    Time: 13 days
    Grade: Moderate – Difficult / Grade 4 – 5 (according to the Australian Walking Track Grading System).
    Style: One Way
    Park: Grampians (Gariwerd) National Park
    Region: Western Victoria (Wimmera Region)
    Access:
    The trail begins from the Mount Zero picnic area, which is accessed via Mount Zero road in the Northern Grampians.

    Great Ocean Walk
    Spanning much of the far south western coastline of the southern ocean is the 110km Great Ocean walk beginning in Apollo Bay and following the Shipwreck Coast through the stunning forests of Great Otway National Park.

    Cape Otway Lighthouse, Johanna beach and Castle Cove will slip quietly out of reach as you traverse this Grade 4 trail all the way to the famous Twelve Apostles in Port Campbell national park.

    The hike will take 8 days to complete and you have the option of booking the hike-in campgrounds or choosing to walk off the path and stay in the towns where a soft pillow and warm shower await you. 

    Apollo bay is approximately 3 hours west of Melbourne along the Great Ocean road. If you plan on hiking alone, our advice is to park your car at the Princetown Recreation Reserve and catch a shuttle bus back to Apollo Bay.

    Otherwise, if you allow time in pairs you can drive both cars to Princetown Reserve, leave one there and drive back to Apollo Bay and begin your hike. 

    The cost of the full 8 days varies depending on the season and availability, so it’s best to book your hike-in campgrounds ahead of time through the Parks Victoria website. As a reference, they start at $32.90 AUD/night. 

    Alternatively, if 8 days of non-stop hiking doesn’t interest you, there’s the option to break the trail up into shorter day walks.

    The most comfortable way to hike the Great Ocean Walk is during the summer months between December to March. There’ll be warmer weather (maybe even swim-worthy weather) and less rain and wind. 

    If you do choose to hike during winter (June-August) you might get lucky and see migrating Humpbacks and southern right whales making their way along the coast to breed and raise their calves.

    Need to know

    Length: 110 km
    Time: 8 days
    Grade: Moderate / Grade 4 (according to the Australian Walking Track Grading System).
    Style: One Way
    Region: South Western Victoria
    Access:
    The trail begins from the Apollo Bay Visitor Centre on the Great Ocean Road (Apollo Bay)

    Mount Feathertop via The Razorback
    Photo credit: Guo Chai Lim, on flickr

    Some of the best hikes in Victoria have to be walked to be believed. The Razorback hike is one of those and sits on Mount Feathertop, one of the highest peaks in the state’s high country region.

    A 22km Grade 4 hike that takes 7 hours return, The Razorback Trail starts and ends at the Diamantina Hut, near Mount Hotham Apline Resort. The closest regional town of Harrietville is a 38-minute drive north of the trailhead and lies due west of the Mount Feathertop summit peak.

    The Razorback is a super enjoyable hike for enthusiast hikers and consists of mainly steep ridgelines that traverse all the way to the top, making for somewhat challenging hiking for most of the journey.

    The ridgeline sits above the treeline so you will have amazing, unobstructed views for most of your hike however this does mean you’re exposed for much of the hike so hiking in inclement weather is not advised. 

    The Razorback ridgeline links Mount Feathertop with Mount Hotham, the popular nearby ski resort. The track intersects with the Bon Accord Spur Track roughly 1 km from the beginning of the hike and intersects again with the Bungalow Spur Track about 1.5 km from the Mount Feathertop summit.

    Need to know

    Length: 22 km
    Time: 7 hrs
    Grade: Moderate / Grade 4 (according to the Australian Walking Track Grading System).
    Style: Return
    Park: Alpine National Park
    Region: North East Victoria
    Access:
    The trail begins from Diamantina Hut at Mount Hotham, which is accessed via the Great Alpine Road

    Australian Alpine Walking Track
    Photo credit: Visit Victoria

    Get ready for the ultimate hiking trail across south-east Australia and undoubtedly the most challenging and gruelling hike of them all, the Australian Alpine Walking Track is a 680 km trail that spans three states from Victoria, through New South Wales and ending in the ACT officially. 

    Through the rugged and remote high country of Victoria passing famous Australian national parks and our highest mountain – Mount Kosciusko – along the way, the Australian Alpine Walking Track is an extension of the smaller Victorian Alpine Walking Track.

    This gruelling hike traverses mostly extremely remote high country plains and mountain peaks across an astonishing 10 weeks.

    For most hikers, the 10-week trip isn’t on the cards, but you have plenty of options to break the hike into smaller sections. Most notably along Mount Baw Baw plateau, Bogong High Plains and the Jagungal Wilderness Area. 

    Admittedly we’ve not done this hike previously, nor attempted the shorter versions as it’s reserved for the more experienced of hikers – but that’s not to say it’s not on the list!

    Weeks of preparation are required to attempt one of the best hikes in Victoria and we strongly suggest doing this one in a small group or at least in pairs. 

    Need to know

    Length: 680 km
    Time: 8 – 10 weeks
    Grade: Difficult / Grade 5 (according to the Australian Walking Track Grading System).
    Style: One Way
    Access: The trail begins from the Pearson Memorial, opposite the Walhalla General Store on Main Road, Walhalla.

    Cape Woolamai Circuit

    The best day hikes in Victoria aren’t always long – which is why we’ve included this short 8.9km, 2 hour and 15-minute loop walk of Cape Woolamai, on Victoria’s Phillip Island.

    The local wildlife and assortment of native flora mean that pets aren’t allowed on this particular hike. A unique combination of wildlife including wallabies, kangaroos and birdlife all share this backyard with you.

    The Cape Woolamai Circuit sits alongside the popular surf beach of the same name – and you’re never too far away from the town of Cowes to stop by and grab yourself a warm coffee after your hike. The circuit is open year round but does tend to get busier during the summer months, particularly during the motoGP season.

    Need to know

    Length: 8.9 km
    Time: 2 hrs 15 min
    Grade: Easy – Moderate / Grade 3 (according to the Australian Walking Track Grading System).
    Style: Circuit
    Region: South Eastern Victoria (Phillip Island)
    Access: The trail begins from the Cape Woolamai information shelter in the car park on Woolamai Beach Road.

    Two Bays Walking Track

    This old favourite of ours is located on the Mornington Peninsula, roughly an hour’s drive from Melbourne’s CBD, and spans 26 km of mostly gravel and shrubbed walking track from Dromana to Cape Schanck. 

    The track can be completed in an entire day or broken up into 4 smaller sections to complete at your own leisure.

    We recommend doing this as a full day hike beginning in Dromana near the coast and making your way south through the Seawinds Gardens of Arthur’s Seat State Park, and then on through the Mornington Peninsula national park. Eventually, you’ll cross over Boneo road in the south before making your final leg of the 26km journey through to Bushrangers Bay and Cape Schanck lighthouse.

    Most hikers who accomplish this hike will find that the two hardest points will be the first elevation climb in Arthur’s Seat State Park, before it dips dramatically back down to sea level, before peaking again just before you enter the Mornington Peninsula National Park at around the 12.5 km mark. One of the best hikes in Victoria and indeed the pinnacle of hikes in the Mornington Peninsula, the biggest elevation gain happens in the first 3 kms of your hike to around 300 metres above sea level. 

    The track is divided into six sections from Point A (Dromana) to Point F (Cape Schanck). The most spectacular vistas will come after you cross Boneo road in Boneo / Cape Schanck, looking down south to Bass Strait. 

    We’d recommend parking at the Cape Schanck Lighthouse car park in the Mornington Peninsula National Park, or in one of the car parks on the foreshore in Dromana. Car parks are normally free at the piers and if you can organise a friend to pick you up afterwards you will have no problems at all. Alternatively, you can drop one car off at the Cape Schanck lighthouse and leave the other in Dromana along the foreshore.

    Need to know

    Length: 26 km
    Time: 7 hrs to 2 days
    Grade: Moderate / Grade 3 (according to the Australian Walking Track Grading System).
    Style: One Way
    Region: Mornington Peninsula
    Access: The trail begins from the Cape Schanck Lighthouse car park, which is accessed by following the Mornington Peninsula Freeway to Boneo Road and turning right into Cape Schanck Road.

    What’s your favourite hike in Victoria? Got any questions, comments, updates or corrections? Let us know by commenting below.

    Exploring the Great Ocean Road?

    You won’t see the best sights from your car. Get the definitive guidebook, featuring the 25 best walks in the area with detailed instructions and maps.

    The post Best Hikes in Victoria – 6 of the state’s most stunning trails appeared first on The Bushwalking Blog.

  • Macpac Halo Down Jacket Giveaway
    25 May 2022
    The go-to down jacket for everyone

    Thanks to the lovely folk at Macpac, I have a men’s or women’s new season, Halo Down Jacket to giveaway – squeee! The winner will be chosen at random and entries close at midnight Wednesday 15 June, so scroll on down to jump in.

    The Halo is that classic puffer jacket that’s been part of the Macpac range for a long time. It’s just undergone a design overhaul for winter 2022, making it even more appealing. It’s still a great jacket for a good price, but they’ve upped the ante on sizing, colour AND sustainability.

    Ooo, men’s Halo in molten lava… hot!

    Macpac have heeded the call (and cry!) from outdoor lovers everywhere and responded with a solid, all-rounder down jacket (which has always been the Halo way), by switching to Bluesign certified, 100% recycled fabrics, 110g fill of 600 loft Responsible Down Standard AND inclusive sizing. Finally!

    Women’s vibrant earth… like a nice Merlot!

    The women’s comes in sizes 6-24 and men’s from XS to 4XL. Not only that, along with the standard “I live in Melbourne and black is the new black“, there’s a fabulously bold earth red for women and hot molten lava (my favourite) for the blokes, providing good safety visibility in the bush. Oh, and it now stuffs into its own internal pocket, cutting out the need for an extra stuff sack. Good thinking!

    Seriously Macpac, thank you.

    Disclaimer: I am a Macpac Ambassador. You can buy my time, you can’t buy my opinion. For more details see my disclaimer.

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    The post Macpac Halo Down Jacket Giveaway appeared first on Lotsafreshair.

  • The 5 Best Hikes in Poland
    24 May 2022

    When I ask travelers what they know about Poland, they usually tell me about Cracow, Auschwitz, and Warsaw. Some of them heard that there are mountains but hardly any international tourist explores them. Such a pity! Poland has amazing hiking trails almost all along its southern border. Let me describe my five favorite hikes in Poland.

    A tip for you before we start. Use Mapa Turystyczna for planning hikes in Poland. The website contains all hiking trails in the country, it shows you distance, estimated time, and elevation gain. There is also a mobile app. It’s in Polish but fairly intuitive, you can also use a translation plug-in in your browser.

    Kuźnice – Hala Gąsienicowa – Czarny Staw Gąsienicowy – Karb – Kościelec, Tatras

    This hike is my personal favourite in Poland. The best part about it? It can be adjusted to the level of each hiker. You can choose how far you go and what level of difficulty you are ready to face. Stage number one is five kilometres from Kuźnice to Murowaniec mountain shelter on Gąsienicowa Coomb which is a big meadow surrounded by rocky, spectacular peaks. It’s one of the most picturesque places in the Tatras accessible by a moderate trail. Many hikers end their trip there, admire the views and go back down. The second stage requires walking two more kilometres to a stunning pond. The trail is still not technically difficult and even an inexperienced hiker can do it. You can also return from there.

    Still feeling strong? Take a steep trail up to Karb Pass. It’s only one kilometre in distance but it will make you sweat, trust me! Also, you will get exposure once you are on the pass. This part is only suitable for hikers with good physical condition and no fear of exposure. The views? Incredibly amazing. You can get down from there or continue to…

    Last but not least – the peak of Kościelec. I recommend it only to experienced hikers. It’s pure rock and you need to use your hands to go up, it is NOT for beginners. From the top, you will see one of the best panoramas in the Tatras.

    Need to know

    Map
    Length: 16 km
    Time: 8 hrs
    Grade: This hike can be divided into difficulty stages. Initially, from Kuźnice to Murowaniec mountain shelter and further to Czarny Staw Gąsienicowy (Black Pond Gąsienicowy) there are no technical difficulties and the trail is moderate. The ascent to Karb Pass is steep and for hikers with a good physical condition. The final ascent to the peak of Kościelec is for experienced hikers only, it requires some elements of climbing skills.
    Style: Return
    Access: The trailhead is in Kuźnice. You will get there by mini-bus from the bus station in Zakopane. You can’t get to the trailhead by car as it’s a restricted area. The closest paid parking is located around 1.5 km from the trailhead.

    Barania Góra, Silesian Beskid

    If you wish to track the source of the longest river in Poland, the Vistula river, go to Barania Góra in the Silesian Beskid mountain range. Vistula river does not have one source but three source streams. Two of them start on Barania Góra. You will be able to follow them and see lovely small waterfalls and rock formations on the way. On top of the mountain, you can climb a viewing tower and see a 360 panorama of the surrounding mountain ranges.

    Need to know

    Map
    Length:
    18 km
    Time: 6 hrs
    Grade: Difficult
    Style: Return
    Access: The trailhead is in Wisła Czarne. You can get there by car and park at the trailhead called “Dolina Białej Wisełki”
    Further reading: Barania Góra

    Polonina Carynska, Bieszczady

    Bieszczady is one of the wildest mountain ranges in Poland shared with Ukraine and Slovakia. Its characteristics are “polonynas” – vast mountain meadows which were used for pasture. Now numerous trails cross “polonynas” and offer spectacular views. My favorite one on the Polish side is Połonina Caryńska. While hiking you can see a wide panorama of other peaks in Bieszczady, as well as the other famous “polonyna” – Połonina Wetlińska. Be careful – it gets super windy up there.

    Need to know

    Map
    Length: 9 km
    Time: 3 hrs 30 min
    Grade: Moderate
    Style: One Way
    Access: The trailhead is in Ustrzyki Górne. You can get there by car or by mini-bus from the nearby village called Wetlina. It ends in Brzegi Górne and you can return to Wetlina (or to the trailhead) by local buses. You can also continue your hike up to Połonina Wetlińska with red and yellow trails and get to Wetlina on foot.
    Further reading: Bieszczady mountains

    Sokolica, Pieniny Mountains

    Sokolica is a popular destination in the Pieniny mountains for sunrise. It’s famous for temperature inversion – which means you can often see clouds down in the valley and enjoy a spectacular show of light above them. Sokolica is also famous for an over 500-year-old pine tree growing on top. Unfortunately, in 2018 a helicopter damaged a part of the tree during a rescue operation and one of its main branches had to be chopped. Dendrologists took care of the tree and for now, it is still standing strong. Hurry though, they have no idea how the accident might affect it in the future.

    Need to know

    Map
    Length: 7.5 km
    Time: 3 hrs
    Grade: Easy
    Style: Return
    Access: The trail starts in the center of Krościenko nad Dunajcem.

    Mały Szlak Beskidzki (Little Beskid Trail)

    Feeling adventurous? Poland has long-distance trails, too! The longest is Główny Szlak Beskidzki (Main Beskid Trail) which runs for 500 kilometres along the southern border and takes around 3 weeks to hike.

    But let’s start easy – with Little Beskid Trail which is “only” 137 kilometres long. Easy, right? It took me 6 days (5 days of walking + 1 day of rest in the middle). The trail may not offer spectacular views, it’s mostly a path in the forest… but crossing it is one of the best experiences in my life. I’ve never broken so many physical barriers, I’ve never challenged my body so much… and at the same time, I’ve never rested so well mentally.

    If you need to practice mindfulness and being in the moment, go for a long-distance trail. All problems of everyday life disappear – there is only you, your backpack (always too heavy), the forest, and the next step you need to take.

    Need to know

    Map
    Length: 137 km
    Time: 4 – 6 days
    Grade: Difficult
    Style: One Way
    Access: The trail starts (or ends) on top of Luboń Wielki mountain and ends (or starts) in the city of Bielsko-Biała, Straconka district. You can get to Bielsko-Biała by train from many cities in Poland and then take a local bus to the trailhead. From Luboń Wielki you need to hike to Rabka-Zdrój and take a bus to a bigger city from there.

    Have you been hiking in Poland? Got it on your bucket list? Got any questions, comments, updates or corrections? Let us know by commenting below.

    The post The 5 Best Hikes in Poland appeared first on The Bushwalking Blog.

  • The Best Hikes in the Coromandel Peninsula that Lead to Stunning Beaches
    24 May 2022

    The Coromandel Peninsula, New Zealand is home to some of the country’s most beautiful beaches. The golden sand and clear blue waters are so picturesque, it really is the stuff from postcards.

    Some of the best beaches in the Coromandel you can only access by foot, is it worth the journey? Oh you bet!

    In my mind, my summer is not complete if I haven’t ticked off at least one of these hikes, although I try to do as many as possible because I always love travelling to this stunning part of the North Island.

    The best part about doing these hikes in summer is you get to cool off with a swim and of course, the views are pretty spectacular too.

    So what are the best hikes in the Coromandel Peninsula that lead to stunning beaches?

    New Chums Beach

    It’s extremely hard for me to pick a favourite hike in the Coromandel Peninsula, but if I HAD to choose, it would probably be the walk to New Chums Beach.

    The view is incredible if you manage to make it all the way to the top of the lookout. Take it easy if you’re afraid of heights, this one isn’t for the faint-hearted.

    Once you’ve taken in the views, head down to the beach to enjoy a swim on probably one of the most beautiful beaches you’ve ever seen. Let me tell you, I’m not overexaggerating here. I’ll let the photos speak for themselves.

    For the walk be sure to wear good shoes as the surface can be uneven in parts and right at the beginning of the track you walk over some rocks. Before you reach the rocks, there will be a stream to cross so bear that in mind when deciding what shoes to wear, you can always take them off until to wade through the stream and then pop them back on after. Crossing the stream is best-done two hours on either side of low tide.

    Need to know

    Length: 5 km
    Time: 1 hr 20 min
    Grade: Easy
    Style: Return
    Access: Start from Whangapoua Beach and walk across the rocks at the far north end of the beach until you come to a short bush path. Once you get towards the end of the track there’ll be a turnoff that will take you up to the lookout. The hike up to the lookout takes an extra 10 – 15 minutes.

    Cathedral Cove

    Another not to be missed hike in the Coromandel Peninsula is the walk to Cathedral Cove.

    While making your way along the track to the famous Cathedral Cove, be sure to stop every now and then to take in the gorgeous views. There are some great vantage points along the way and places to rest.

    I’d highly recommend swinging by Stringray Bay on your way, it’s just a little detour and well worth it. The water is incredibly clear and blue. A lot of people tend to just focus on getting to Cathedral Cove and miss Stingray bay altogether so don’t be surprised if you find you have the place to yourself for a bit.

    Overall the track is relatively easy and a lot of work has been done in recent years to make it more accessible, there are just a set of steep steps at the end, down to the beach and a few inclines that’ll get your heart rate up on the return journey.

    The best time to visit Cathedral Cove is in the morning because in the summer months it will get very busy and also very hot. At least there’s another gorgeous beach in Hahei if you need to cool off again.

    Need to know

    Length: 2.5 km
    Time: 1 hr 30 min
    Grade: Easy
    Style: Return
    Access: Take the shuttle from Hahei to the top of the road and start the track from here. It is possible to not get the shuttle and walk up but it’s a rather steep hill and you’ll feel pretty tired before you even start the walk. Once you get dropped off, the track is clearly marked and easy to find, just follow the signs.

    Opito Point Pa Walk and Crayfish Bay
    Now this walk isn’t as well known so it tends to get left off the list of best hikes in the Coromandel Peninsula but that doesn’t mean it’s any less beautiful. I like to think of it as the Coromandel’s best-kept secret.

    To begin this hike, you’ll start off by arriving at the jaw-droppingly gorgeous Opito Bay. It’s surprisingly remote and you won’t find any shops or cafes out this way. The last cafe you’ll come across is in Kuaotunu which you’ll drive through to reach Opito. The drive from Kuaotunu to Opito Bay takes just under 20 minutes via Black Jack Road.

    Once at the far eastern end of Opito Bay, start your adventure off by ascending 196 steps up to the historical pā site where you’ll drool over beautiful views of the Mercury Islands.

    When you’re ready to come back down and you’ve reached the bottom of the stairs, be sure to continue along to Crayfish Bay. It’s certainly not to be missed and is a pretty unique bay.

    The spectacular rockface reminds me of something you’d find in the Greek Islands, not in New Zealand.

    Spend some time exploring and if you’re feeling game, give the cliff jump a go. There are metal bars that have been mounted to the rockface if you want to climb up the rock for a second jump rather than swim back to shore.

    Again you’ll find Crayfish Bay to be quite a secluded spot but that’s part of what makes it so special.

    Need to know

    Length: 1.4 km
    Time: 1 hr 10 min (including Crayfish Bay section)
    Grade: Easy
    Style: Return
    Access: From Opito Bay, walk along to the far eastern end of the beach. You’ll find a set of 196 steps that will take you up to the pā at Opito Point. Upon descending the stairs, continue across the farmland to access Crayfish Bay.

    And there you have it, the best hikes in the Coromandel Peninsula that all lead to stunning beaches. Photos don’t even do these places justice, which means you’ll just have to go and see them for yourselves.

    Whether you’re a tourist or a local, work these three hikes into your summer plans and you certainly won’t be disappointed. Once the Coromandel has found a place in your heart, trust me, it stays there.

    Have you been to the Coromandel? Got it on your bucket list? Got any questions, comments, updates or corrections? Let us know by commenting below.

    The post The Best Hikes in the Coromandel Peninsula that Lead to Stunning Beaches appeared first on The Bushwalking Blog.

  • A nice view from the Morelia Walking Track on Mount Nebo
    23 May 2022

    After a somewhat challenging bushwalk along the West Canungra Creek Circuit yesterday, today I’m doing a few easier bushwalks in the D’Aguilar National Park. The Morelia Walking Track promises some nice views from a lookout on Mount Nebo, and is only 45min from Brisbane. The well-signposted trail starts from a large carpark on Mount Nebo Road, with the trail ascending gradually through open forest.

    The track traverses open eucalypt forest and cool rainforest, with groves of cabbage tree palms spreading their fan-shaped leaves above like umbrellas in the sky.

    Among the cabbage tree palms are some enormous strangler figs.

    The ascent is very gradual and track very well made, so it’s easy walking – it doesn’t really feel as if you’re walking uphill.

    Just after a marker indicating that there’s 1/4 mile to go before the lookout, the trail converges with a wide service trail. (Roughly parallel to the Morelia Walking Track is a service trail which provides an alternative route to the lookout – but it’s not as nice to walk on.)

    I’m at the Mount Nebo lookout in about 45min – although I’ve seen a few people on the trail, I’ve got the view to myself. From a large rock platform, you can see out through a gap in the trees over Samford Valley, Mount Tempest and Moreton Bay, with Moreton Island in the distance.

  • DIY Fire Blower
    21 May 2022

    I had been looking at some of erstwhile DIY genius Tim Tinker’s posts, eg Solar Fire Blower, Blower Stoves and USB Fire Blower so I decided to order some 5 volt laptop PC cooling fans from Aliexpress. They cost me US$1.40 each! The 3/4″ (19mm) plumbing fittings were also only 50c or so from Bunnings. …

    DIY Fire Blower Read More »

    The post DIY Fire Blower first appeared on The Ultralight Hiker.

Hiking Podcasts

Hiking Podcasts

26 May 2022

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