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Adventure Travel

Around the World Travel (2 Years and counting)

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Eiffel Tower at Night, Paris

Two years ago we hugged and kissed our families goodbye at Auckland Airport and boarded the plane to Canada. This would be our first step on our journey Around the World in Four Jandals. Right from the beginning we had it in the back of our minds that we wanted to be away for a minimum of 3 years.

We had a rough idea that we would spend 6 months in Jasper high in the Rocky Mountains of Canada working at the local Ski Resort before making our way across to the United Kingdom for a 2 year working holiday stint before heading over to Asia for a year to teach English.

White Water Rafting Guide - Jasper, Canada

However, the greatest thing I love about travel is that plans constantly evolve. We immediately fell in love with Jasper and stuck around for the summertime as well. I secured a job as a White Water Rafting Guide while Adela worked in the hospitality industry. This allowed us to explore our favourite adventure activities including Hiking, Mountain Biking, Fishing and Camping in one of the most stunning areas in the world.

Ready to Road Trip

Sadly our year quickly came to an end so we embarked on an 18,000 km road trip from Jasper across the width of Canada before driving back through America. What a fantastic way to see both countries and we only wish that we had more time to spend on that once in a lifetime journey. I say it was a once in a lifetime journey but it is fair to say we plan to come back to North America and spend some quality time driving through all 50 States of America and to explore more of Canada’s wonderland.

Edinburgh Castle

With one year down and Adela’s British Passport it was a no-brainer to follow the Kiwi tradition to work abroad in the UK and securing the working visa for myself was relatively easy. Fortunately, we made the decision to move to Scotland and settle in Edinburgh rather than London. We love the fact that we can walk everywhere and just 20 minutes drive from our house we can be Mountain Biking on some world class single tracks. And they have a freaking Castle in the middle of the City!

Marrakech Markets

Oktoberfest Celebrations

The major reason we chose to move to the UK was that the benefits are that we can travel throughout Europe very easily. So far we have knocked off ParisMarrakesh, Ireland and Munich for Oktoberfest. We also have a number of trips planned to Brussels, Bruge, Egypt and Amsterdam as well as a future Cycle Tour along the River Danube and the Euro Velo 6 route.

One of the important things to note is that there is no way we would have been able to enjoy the amount of travel, or the length of travel we have so far if we were not working in some form or another. We plan to break down all our jobs, savings, travel tips and experiences in posts to come so keep an eye out for those shortly. Although the best way for you to be kept up to date is to subscribe to our email list and to follow us on twitter and facebook.

So to wrap up, we are only two years in and with only a few items on our Bucket List ticked off we are already predicting we won’t be back to New Zealand for at least another two to three years (sorry Mum and Dad) but we can’t wait to see what is next!

Let us know below in the comments if you have travel plans, are already travelling (and for how long) or have just finished up that trip of a lifetime. We want to hear from YOU!

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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18 Comments

18 Comments

  1. LAbackpackerChick

    October 25, 2011 at 3:45 PM

    Nice summary! I love that you guys have been working while traveling. Such a good plan and a great way to keep going.

    I think we’re doing the opposite. We’re traveling Latin America first and when our money runs low, then we’re going to try to find a place to work.

    A US passport is the worst thing to have when seeking work abroad, though

    How did you two secure work in Canada?

    🙂

    • Cole and Adela (fourjandals)

      October 25, 2011 at 6:40 PM

      Thanks. The working and travelling is the only way we can manage to see so much I think. We save then travel then save and repeat haha. Not sure which is the best method as we generally then only get to do short trips rather than an extended one.
      We got work in Canada through a company in NZ that hooked us up with interviews with a number of different ski fields. Allowed us to pick which role and ski field we wanted to work on. Was awesome.
      Good luck with your travels!

  2. Stephanie - The Travel Chica

    October 25, 2011 at 5:54 PM

    Congratulations! I’m hitting my one-year anniversary in a few days. Enjoying South America and hoping to make it last another 6 months… or more 🙂

    • Cole and Adela (fourjandals)

      October 25, 2011 at 6:37 PM

      Thanks Stephanie – congrats on reaching your one year anniversary! We have not done South America yet but would love to spend some time there. Just have to figure out when haha.

  3. Christy @ Ordinary Traveler

    October 25, 2011 at 7:46 PM

    Wow. That’s a long time on the road! Good for you guys. I’m not sure if that is the life for me, but it looks like you guys are having a blast.

    • Cole and Adela (fourjandals)

      October 25, 2011 at 8:52 PM

      Thanks Christy. I sometimes wonder whether it is the best technique or not. It works both ways as working while travelling allows you to travel for longer but you just don’t get the opportunity to slow down and really take in each place which is a shame.

  4. Kieu ~ GQ trippin

    October 28, 2011 at 9:49 PM

    Love that you guys are living abroad and do not know when you’ll return home. Edinburgh is high on my list of must visits. I’m jealous you get to call it home. 🙂 G and I are about to embark on our first RTW late December and we’re heading to YOUR backyard – New Zealand. Super excited! We have one month to make it from North to South so any advice/ tips and more importantly, where to eat, we’d love to hear it. Any recommendations for NYE in Auckland? Look forward to following your journey.

    • Cole and Adela (fourjandals)

      October 28, 2011 at 9:59 PM

      Hey Kieu nice to meet you! We love it hear in Edinburgh, although the weather can be the pits sometimes when we are wanting to get out and do some proper outdoor things. Lucky you are headed into some of the nicest weather back home in NZ as well. How long are you in NZ for in total? Would be best to email me with a bit of a rough plan. Are you headed to the Bay of Plenty, more importantly Mount Maunganui / Tauranga? Its my home town. Also recommend going along the Coromandel Peninsula. My parents live in Whangamata and they would cook you up a good feed as well if you want to head there haha. NYE just head down to the waterfront, will be awesome fireworks and big crowds. Keep in touch and let us know how you get on!

  5. jade

    November 2, 2011 at 3:35 PM

    Our longest long term travel was for 6.5 weeks- so jealous of your two years! We can’t wait to get out there for longer, hopefully soon!

    • Cole and Adela (fourjandals)

      November 3, 2011 at 9:12 AM

      Thanks Jade. The only way we can make it possible is by working everywhere we go with lots of little side trips. We are debating at the moment whether we should continue working in Edinburgh for another 6 months then backpack for a few months or just keep doing small weekends away to lots of places. So hard to decide because we do want to do a bigger trip!

  6. Nomadic Samuel

    November 5, 2011 at 7:41 AM

    Happy anniversary!

    • Cole and Adela (fourjandals)

      November 5, 2011 at 9:40 PM

      Thanks Samuel. Wish we had started this blog when we started travelling but now we have loads of stories to share. If only I had the time to write them all.

  7. ayngelina

    November 13, 2011 at 6:47 PM

    I didn’t realize you started in Canada, when you say you crossed the width, did you make it to my home province of Nova Scotia?

    • Cole and Adela (fourjandals)

      November 14, 2011 at 9:34 AM

      Hey Ayngelina,
      Yea we started in Jasper for 10 months working and then drove across Canada AND the States. It was 18,000 km over 8 weeks. We absolutely LOVED Nova Scotia. Went right up to the tip of Cape Breton. Saw our first ever Moose up there! Would love to head back to that area as we only had about 5 days there which definitely was not enough. Where are you from?

  8. saurabh

    January 26, 2012 at 12:21 PM

    lot know about traveling world

  9. Barbara Thomas

    February 20, 2012 at 9:28 PM

    I like your blogs Cole – I don't think you should go back to NZ as you will be bored – Shhhh don't tell Stef that!

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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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