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Adventure Travel

Photoblog: Egypt – Part 1

We are currently exploring Egypt. These our just some of our favourite photos from our first 2 days. Hope you enjoy them as much as us.

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The River Nile Panorama in Aswan Egypt

Over the last four days we have been exploring Egypt with Expat Explore. We have been absolutely mind-blown by the history and sights that we have already seen in such a short period of time. Check out our photos below  from just 2 days of our trip.

Cobras protecting the Step Pyramid in Cairo

Starting in Cairo we visited the very first Pyramid – the Pyramid of Djoser.

Great Pyramid in Cairo Egypt

We moved onto the Giza Pyramids on the outskirts of Cairo – this is the largest and aptly named “Great Pyramid”

Pyramid of Khafre in Cairo Egypt

The Pyramid of Khafre (or Chephren) – the second largest of the three

Sphinx and the Giza Pyramids in Cairo EgyptThe Sphinx standing guard over the three Pyramids of Giza and the local markets

Nile Panorama in Aswan EgyptWe caught an overnight train to Aswan and this was our view of The Nile in front of our Hotel

Philae Temple in Aswan on the River NilePart of the Philae Temple which was relocated after being flooded by The Nile and Aswan Dam

Sunset at Philae Temple Docks on Nile in Aswan EgyptJust one of the many sunsets we have enjoyed so far – Philae Temple Docks

Which is your favourite – and why?

 

Cole is one half of New Zealand's leading adventure travel blogging couple who have been wearing out their jandals around the world since 2009. He loves any adventure activities and anything to do with the water whether it is Surfing, Diving, Swimming, Snorkeling or just lounging nearby on the beach. You can follow Cole on Google+. Or consider following us via RSS Feed, Twitter, Facebook and subscribe to our Newsletter.

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24 Comments

24 Comments

  1. Las Vegas Attractions for Kids

    December 31, 2011 at 4:11 AM

    Those pyramids are beautiful; the sky behind them really lends the photo an almost mythical aspect.

  2. Tracey - Life Changing Year

    January 2, 2012 at 10:47 AM

    Wow. That sphinx is tiny compared to the pyramids! I always thought it was the tallest thing there!!! Amazing photos!

    • Cole and Adela (fourjandals)

      January 2, 2012 at 4:14 PM

      Haha you got us all excited with all your comments 🙂 The Sphinx was tiny compared to the Pyramids but I had heard that before we left so not too shocked. Still a fairly large structure to carve out of a single piece of granite!

  3. Rob

    January 2, 2012 at 12:49 PM

    I love Egypt but I always end up at the Red Sea resorts. I’m sure I’ll get to the Nile and Upper Egypt one day.

    Great photos !!

    • Cole and Adela (fourjandals)

      January 2, 2012 at 4:13 PM

      We found that a lot of tourists just head to the Red Sea resorts but I think the areas of Luxor and Aswan with all their history were more spectacular. Although we loved diving and snorkeling in Hurghada!

  4. Dayna

    January 2, 2012 at 7:01 PM

    That view of the Nile is incredible! I hadn’t heard of the Pyramid of Djoser before either, so thanks!

    • Cole

      January 3, 2012 at 5:13 AM

      No problem Dayna. I think they also call it the Step Pyramid!

  5. dtravelsround

    January 2, 2012 at 8:07 PM

    What a cool experience!

    • Cole

      January 3, 2012 at 5:14 AM

      Have you ever been yourself? You need to get over there while there are hardly any tourists 🙂

  6. Bobbi Lee Hitchon

    January 3, 2012 at 7:57 AM

    It looks amazing. I’m so eager to visit.

    • Cole

      January 3, 2012 at 8:05 PM

      Don’t wait Bobbi make sure you get there as soon as possible! Let us know if you need any tips 🙂

  7. cheryl

    January 3, 2012 at 11:11 AM

    Visiting Egypt would be a dream come true for me! I’ve always wanted to go. Beautiful photos. Can’t wait to see more.

    • Cole

      January 3, 2012 at 8:04 PM

      Thanks for the kind words Cheryl. We loved it and HIGHLY recommend you get over there quickly it is absolutely stunning in person.

    • SharmTouring.com

      March 12, 2013 at 11:03 PM

      Cheryl, Thanks so much for your heartening words
      Egypt welcomes everyone, We are as Egyptians so happy with these words and are willing to do anything to achieve the dreams of everyone want to visit Egypt and Enjoy with everything with us we aim for sure to make them happy 🙂

      • Cole Burmester

        March 18, 2013 at 9:14 AM

        Visiting Egypt is one of our favourite countries to date 😉

  8. Abby

    January 4, 2012 at 3:07 AM

    So majestic and beautiful!! I’ve wanted my whole life to visit Egypt. What a trip! Your pictures are fantastic.

    • Cole

      January 4, 2012 at 9:40 AM

      Thanks Abby much appreciated 🙂 Make sure you visit soon!

  9. Angela

    January 4, 2012 at 9:12 AM

    Great shots, staring at such huge remains of human history I think it would feel intimidating!

    • Cole

      January 4, 2012 at 9:40 AM

      Coming from little New Zealand where we have about 150 years of history to somewhere that has several thousand years is pretty amazing!

  10. Laura

    January 7, 2012 at 1:09 AM

    These are great photos! I especially like the last one with the sunset and street lamps.

    • Cole

      January 7, 2012 at 11:50 AM

      Cheers Laura. We saw some beautiful sunsets/sunrises in Egypt.

  11. Mary @ Green Global Travel

    March 27, 2012 at 8:18 PM

    Great photos of the pyramids. I love the different camera angles and look forward to seeing your other posts.

    • Cole

      March 28, 2012 at 3:19 PM

      Thanks Mary 🙂 We need to get around to putting up all our other photoblogs!

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Adventure Travel

Walking the Camino de Santiago Photos

These are my favourite Camino de Santiago Photos from my pilgrimage along the French Way in March. A truly beautiful way to spend a few weeks.

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Puenta La Reina Bridge Camino Arrow

El Camino de Santiago kicked my ass. Well technically it kicked my feet. Turns out my minimal preparation for the Camino de Santiago was terrible. After a miserable effort of only 4 days, the doctor in Legrono told me that I wasn’t allowed to go on until me feet healed. I had walked just over 100 km’s and my feet were bloodied and blistered.

To be honest, I was relieved.

The thought of putting back on my shoes made my shudder. For the last 9 km’s I had stumbled along in jandals and socks. One of the travelling fashion sins I vowed I would never break.

Jandals on the Camino de Santiago

Jandals on the Camino de Santiago

So while I have unfinished business with the Way of St James (an upcoming post), I did want to share with you some of my favourite photos from the Camino de Santiago. Because I had yet to reach some of the more “unsavoury” parts of the Camino that Sherry Ott had discovered, every step of my pilgrimage had been beautiful.

Puenta La Reina Bridge Camino Arrow

Puenta La Reina Bridge – Camino de Santiago Arrows

There is no way you can get lost on the Camino de Santiago. Arrows, scallop shells and signs point you in the right direction at every bridge, road crossing and intersection.

Camino de Santiago Scallop Shell

Camino de Santiago Scallop Shell

Reaching the top of Alto Pedron gave views back the way I had come from Pamplona, as well as views to where I was going. The rocky path on the way down proved to be my ultimate downfall, as my too small shoes caused my toes to smash into the front.

Alto del Pedron Camino de Santiago

Alto del Pedron Camino de Santiago

Metal Pilgrims on Alto del Pedron

Metal Pilgrims on Alto del Pedron

There were so many beautiful old churches along the Camino de Santiago. But since I was walking in early March, it seemed that most were yet to open for the busier summer season.

Church of Obanos

The Church of Obanos

And between every small village the well-maintained pathways of the French Way wound across the spectacular Spanish countryside.

The French Way - Camino de Santiago

The French Way – Camino de Santiago Photos

Puenta La Reina

Puenta La Reina in the evening

Puenta La Reina has one of the most amazing bridges I have ever seen. It was also the 1st village I had the pleasure of sleeping in after busy Pamplona.

Puenta la Reina Bridge and Sunrise

Puenta la Reina Bridge at sunrise

Most mornings I was up and walking before the sun began to sprinkle across the horizon.

Spring flowers on the Camino de Santiago

Spring flowers on the Camino de Santiago

Pilgrims approaching Cirauqui, Spain

Pilgrims approaching Cirauqui, Spain

Every village and town was built on a small hill. Sure it looks beautiful until you realise you have to go back up again to go through them all!

Church of Santa Maria - Los Arcos

Church of Santa Maria in Los Arcos

While there were only about 20 pilgrims walking each section every day, it wasn’t uncommon for you to encounter them all. The people I met along the Camino de Santiago were some of the most inspiring and remarkable people I have ever spoken to. They are the ones that make the pilrgimage so special.

The endless French Way

The endless French Way

Irache Wine Fountain - Fuente del Vino

The free flowing Irache Wine Fountain or “Fuente del Vino”

Hay bales along the French Way

Hay bales along the French Way

Every village had at least one ancient church and it wasn’t uncommon to find them dotting the landscape in remote locations either.

Ermita de San Miguel

Ermita de San Miguel

Iglesia de San Andrés de Zariquiegui Church

Iglesia de San Andrés de Zariquiegui Church

I have travelled through Spain in the past, including cycling in Costa Brava and surfing in San Sebastian with both independent planning and a vacation planner. But having the opportunity to walk at my own pace through some of the most beautiful scenery in Spain on the Camino de Santiago has so far topped them all.

Natural arches - Camino de Santiago

Natural arches on the Camino de Santiago

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Adventure Travel

Hammock vs Tent Camping

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Camping with a hammock is slowly but surely becoming more popular in recent years with new and improved hammock designs being preferred by some campers, compared to the traditional tent.

In this article we will discuss some of the key benefits and drawbacks of sleeping without a tent, and analyze key criteria so that you can choose your preferred shelter choice!

Weatherproof

Most tents work well in the rain; however, you’ll need to bring a tarp if you’re using a hammock. Traditional hammocks are not waterproof, and are generally open at the top, allowing water to find itself inside if you don’t have an adequate tarp. Moreover, a decent under quilt is also a good idea so that you can stay warm and cozy during cold and stormy nights.

Packing up your hammock after a long night of rain isn’t too bad, whereas packing up a soaking wet tent is always annoying. You almost always get wet in the process.

Setup

For first time campers, pop-up tents are the simplest to setup. All you need to do is find flat ground, and bam, your setup is complete! The beauty of pop-up tents is that you don’t need to worry about figuring out where to insert the poles and erect the tent. Although, traditional tents are usually more robust, and have a longer life span.

Essentially, a tent is simple, but a hammock can become a little more complicated for first timers. You’ll need to find 2 trees facing a good direction and tie each end of the hammock to them. If your hammock setup is too tight, you will generally wake up with sore ancles, but if it’s too loose, you run the risk of the hammock touching the floor, and insects crawling in with you.

If your campground doesn’t have many trees, or if the trees are dead (they could break and injure you), hammock stands come to the rescue! Basically, hammock stands allow you to pitch a hammock if there are no trees nearby. They are portable, adjustable, and are easy to setup. The only drawback is that the ground should be relatively flat, whereas if you were to hang a hammock between 2 trees, there won’t be any stands touching the ground, so a rocky floor wouldn’t be a problem.

Comfort

One of the main reasons for choosing a hammock is the comfort that it provides you! It has a basically has in-built seat which is arguably more comfortable than a standard blow up mattress. You need to pick your tree’s wisely though! You don’t want a pinecone falling on your face mid-sleep.

If you have constant back pain and find it hard to sleep inside tents, you should give hammocks a try as they cause you to sleep sideways, similar to a banana shape, which a lot people find much more comfortable.

Price

Hammocks are usually lighter and don’t include a wealth of poles and gear that tents do. Depending on the type of hammock that you purchase, they are usually quite similar to tents. You can however, find very cheap tents <$60, but they most likely won’t last long.

A good tent or hammock can cost between $200-500 without accessories. If you need a hammock stand, that will add to your cost, just like a mattress and other tent necessities will to its cost.

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Adventure Travel

Top of Cappadocia day trek – with Middle Earth Travel

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Trekking through the valleys of Cappadocia’s fairy chimneys with Middle Earth Travel feels more like the set of a Star Wars movie than a historical region once carved out and lived in by humans. Churches, homes and pigeon houses are scattered throughout the valleys, all waiting to be explored. The best part is, Middle Earth Travel know all the hidden secrets.

Standing at the top of Cappadocia

Top of Cappadocia day trek – with Middle Earth Travel

On the 26th of July (which just so happens to be my birthday!) Middle Earth Travel took us on their private and guided Top of Cappadocia day trek. From Pasabag, along the top of Cappadocia and down through the Gulludere Rose Valley to Goreme, we trekked 15kms in one day! (We recommend getting your bearings with this map)

Upon arrival to the Middle Earth Offices, we were warmly greeted by our new friend Atil whom we had met a few days earlier while mountain biking through the Kizilcukur Red Valley. We were then introduced to our guide and given a briefing regarding the day. Normally, the Top of Cappadocia tour would start from Çavuşin, however, since we had already explored Çavuşin Castle, they adapted our tour to compensate ensuring we would explore new terrain!

With charged cameras, plenty of water and our running shoes on, we were driven to our starting point of Pasabag. We wandered through the fairy chimneys, coming across camels and markets – then the true hike began.

Pasabag in Cappadocia

The police station in Pasabag, Cappadocia

Camel in Pasabag, Cappadocia

Camel in Pasabag, Cappadocia

It was a slow and gentle incline. With no trees to provide shade, I quickly realised why our tour guide had chosen to wear fully covered clothing! As the sweat quickly set in (a waterfall in Moss’s case) we snapped away with our cameras and enjoyed the entertaining shapes of Imagine Valley and the amazing view. We also passed a lot of rock piles, which according to our guide mean ‘father’ and are built to help lead the way.

Animal shaped formations in Imagine Valley

Animal shaped formations in Imagine Valley

Middle Earth Travel, Cappadocia

Making our way to the top of Cappadocia

Father leading the way (rock pile)

Father leading the way (rock pile)

The higher we trekked, the more breath taking the views became! As we walked along the summit of Bozdag mountain (the Top of Cappadocia) we could see EVERTHING – Pasabag, Çavuşin Castle, Kizilcukur Red Valley, Gulludere Rose Valley and Goreme. We were on the Father of Valleys! After a quick nod of agreement to the guide, we pushed ourselves the extra distance and made our way to the flag, as this HAD to be the highest point and was definitely worth a photo and a selfie or two!

View from the top of Cappadocia

View from the top of Cappadocia

Flag at top of Cappadocia

From the flag we looked down upon Aktepe Hill which is known as a popular destination for watching the sun set and could spot Kizilvadi Restaurant, our destination for lunch! Kizilvadi Restaurant is an attraction of its own. With its own historic winery and Grape church, plus some Middle Earth Travel treks even stay there for the night! After having a massive feed of soup, salad and pasta plus a surprise birthday cake, we made our way down into Gulludere Rose Valley.

Kizilvadi Restaurant

Kizilvadi Restaurant

The scenery is amazing, with strong colours visible in perfect layers on the chimneys, you would wonder what an artist was thinking, had it been a painting. Also, hidden to the side of the track we walked across a little bridge and not expecting anything to be there we were wowed by the massive church carved. It was absolutely huge and hard to believe that its most recent use has been as a pigeon house!

Coloured chimneys in Cappadocia

Coloured chimneys in Cappadocia

Pigeon houses in Cappadocia

Pigeon houses in Cappadocia

Church in Gulludere Rose Valley

Hard to believe this Church is carved inside a fairy chimney!

Middle Earth Travel Review

  • The team at Middle Earth Travel were extremely knowledgeable and certainly know Cappadocia’s hidden secrets. They have friendships with local tea garden owners which is also of benefit as it gained us entry to locked churches and hidden rooms that we would not have otherwise seen.
  • We covered a lot of ground, however we did not feel rushed. The whole day focused on showing us the region, therefore we had as much time as we needed to explore each church and to take ‘just one more photo’.
  • It wasn’t all about trekking. With a whole day and 15kms to cover, there were a few silly poses (especially in Imagine Valley), and we learnt a lot about the myths, legends and way of life in Cappadocia.
  • In conclusion I highly recommend Middle Earth Travel if you wish to go trekking or mountain biking in Cappadocia.
  • Cost: Day treks with Middle Earth Travel range from 50-90 euro, depending on the number of people taking part. This includes lunch, guide, vehicle transfers and entrance fees to historical sites, but excludes alcoholic and soft drinks.
  • Middle Earth Travel are outdoor enthusiasts and offer multi-day over night treks, mountain biking, abseiling, or custom made itineraries, in multiple regions throughout Turkey.
  • www.middleearthtravel.com

Disclaimer: We were provided with a discount for the trek with Middle Earth Travel, however, as always our thoughts on our adventure travel blog our own.

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Meet Cole and Adela

Cole and AdelaWe have been wearing out our jandals (Kiwi for flip-flops) on our travel adventures around the world since 2009. We think our blog is thought provoking and a little witty. But we have been proven wrong before. Find out more about us here...

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