Eating in New Zealand

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One of my all time favorite things about travelling is the food!  I am always excited to try exciting new flavors, cuisine, and fresh local produce. New Zealand is not only known for their unbelievable natural scenery, Lord of the Ring movies, and a massive population of sheep, but also their amazing food.  Their cuisine is an interesting mix of Polynesian, Asian, and European flavors.

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New Zealand: Milford Sound

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I’ve often heard that no trip to New Zealand is really complete without a visit to Milford Sound, one of New Zealand’s natural wonders and a designated World Heritage Area.  The funny thing is that the name can be misleading because Milford Sound is not a ‘sound’ at all, but actually a fiord.  What’s the difference you ask?  A sound is a valley created by rivers while a fiord is carved by glaciers.  During the last Ice Age, glaciers carved out Milford Sound, a huge U-shaped valley with towering mountains, waterfalls, and rainforests. Continue reading

New Zealand: Rob Roy Glacier

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What I absolutely love about hiking in New Zealand is that it seems like no two trails are alike.  Each one is challenging and great in its own unique way.  So even though we ended up hiking almost every day, the experience felt different each time.  There are tons of great day trails around the Wanaka area, and one of which is the Rob Roy Glacier track – the jewel of Mt Aspiring National Park.  It’s hard to believe, but after after almost 2 weeks in New Zealand, I still couldn’t get enough of the picturesque mountains, sheer rock cliffs, hanging glaciers, and alpine valleys. Continue reading

New Zealand: Haast Pass

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Driving across New Zealand, there is no shortage of beautiful scenery and spectacular landscapes, so when I read that the famous Haast Pass is THE most scenic highway in the country I had my doubts – but it didn’t take long for me to completely change my mind. This 140 km section of State Highway 6 starts at the Tasman Sea and winds its way along rugged coastline, skirting lush rainforests, passing through steep mountain ranges, crossing tumbling rivers and finally ending at Lakes Wanaka and Hawea, two of New Zealand’s biggest mountain lakes.  The road follows an ancient trail used by the Maori people. Continue reading

New Zealand: Rotorua

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After a short visit to the home of the hobbits, we continued on to Rotorua, a city best known for its dynamic thermal activity and Maori culture.  Its location in the middle of an active Taupo Volcanic Zone, makes Rotorua a geothermal hot spot. The intense subterranean heat feeds into the numerous natural vents, hot pools, and mud pits found in and around the area.  The concentration of hydrogen sulphide emission gives it it’s nickname as the “Sulphur City”. Even with the unpleasant “rotten eggs” smell that lingers in the air, Rotorua is still one of the most popular and most frequented cities in the North Island.   Continue reading

New Zealand: Hobbiton

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For the second leg of our trip, we packed up all of our belongings and headed for Hobbiton.  Before I start the article, let me caveat:  I am a big fan of the Lord of the Rings; I’ve watched all the movies and read all the books.  In fact, before coming to New Zealand Fausto and I re-watched all the movies in anticipation of our visit to the Hobbiton movie set.  This place is the number one tourist attraction in New Zealand, and for good reason.  Even for people who have not immersed themselves in the world of Middle Earth, this absolutely beautiful imagining of The Shire made it a must visit. For the LOTR fans, a visit to the home of the hobbits is a fantasy come true. Continue reading

Trip Report: Singapore and Kuala Lumpur

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Our travel story usually begins with a cheap flight, and this one is no different.  A year ago, we saw a huge sale for flights from NYC to Singapore over the Labor Day weekend for only $550 USD.  Since we hadn’t been to Singapore before, and the timing worked out, we jumped at this opportunity. Once we started planning the trip, and realized that Kuala Lumpur was only a hop and a skip away, it made sense to combine the trips. Continue reading

5 Things to do in Singapore

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Singapore, the most developed and urbanized country in Asia where “Where East meets West”.  This relatively new city-country is where a confluence of diverse cultures meet to create a truly unique place.

Singapore is very safe and easy to get around with its ultra modern subway system. Coupled with the fact that most Singaporeans speak English, its not hard to see why this country is often the top choice for people who have not been to Asia before. Here you can enjoy the same food and culture, minus the chaos and language barriers that exist with other Asian countries.  The only drawback is that the costs are significantly higher than the rest of Southeast Asia. Continue reading

Day 6: On the Road in Cabo da Roca

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On the sixth day of our travel, we made it out to Cabo da Roca, the westernmost point of Europe.  The startling jagged cliffs dropped sharply down to the turbulent Atlantic ocean.  The powerful bracing wind whipped across my face, mixing the briny ocean air with the sweet smelling grass.  The setting sun covered by the thin layer of cloud and fog, cast a grey shadow over the rock face giving the place a wild rugged feel.