road trip to grand canyon

A Quirky Road Trip from Las Vegas to the Grand Canyon

As much as I hated leaving the fabulous city of Las Vegas behind, it was onto our next adventure.  The 4 and a half hour drive to the Grand Canyon was pretty smooth sailing – aside from Mr Ayla having a slight panic at having to drive out of the busy city, in an automatic, on the other side of the road, amidst 4 lanes of crazy Vegas traffic.  After Googling which pedal was which (don’t judge – we drive manuals at home and neither of us know much about cars!) we were on our way with our ultimate road trip album blaring out of the CD player.

Despite being quite a long drive there were plenty of places to stop off along the way and the Hoover Dam was the first place on our itinerary.  We’d left Vegas a little later than we’d intended (possibly due to too many cocktails the night before) so by the time we made the short 45 minute drive there, it was already packed full of tourists.  We decided not to do a tour but instead just drove across the dam itself and ogled at the size of it before taking a few snaps and carrying on with the journey.

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Gadventures Inca Trail

The Challenge of a Lifetime: Hiking the Inca Trail

Exactly a year ago today I was sitting in our hotel in Cusco, exhausted and aching all over, never wanting to move another muscle again, except to lie down for the massage I had booked later that day. I had just completed the toughest challenge of my life – an incredible journey along the Inca Trail, one of the world’s most renowned and most awe-inspiring treks. The 4 day hike through Peru’s Andes Mountains took us past ancient Inca ruins, over steep peaks and breathtaking vistas, and finally lead us to the world wonder of Machu Picchu.

I cannot believe that a year has already gone by since the trek; I remember it like it was just a few days ago.  I originally wrote this post shortly after returning from South America but I think the trek, along with getting ill in Brazil afterwards, exhausted me out too much to actually finish it. So even though it’s taken me a whole year to actually tell you of our adventures on the Inca Trail, these are not just vague memories.  This my honest, fresh and slightly gruelling experience at the time!

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Rainbow at Victoria Falls Zambia

Weekly Photo Challenge: Refraction

I could hear the roar of the water before I saw it; all 500 million litres that pour over the edge of Victoria Falls every minute. The wet mist that sprays off the falls can be seen more than 20km away and we were all soaked through before we had even caught a glimpse of ‘The Smoke that Thunders’.

It might not be the tallest or widest waterfall in the world, but with it’s thundering noise, wild setting in the middle of Africa, its awesome power and magnitude, and when a refraction of the light causes a colourful rainbow to arch across the gorge, Victoria Falls is without doubt one of the most jaw-dropping.

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Dead Woman's Pass Inca Trail

Weekly Photo Challenge: Endurance

Hiking Peru’s famous Inca Trail is without a doubt the toughest adventure I’ve ever been on.  Four tiring days of waking up before sunrise, climbing mountain peaks in the blaring sunshine and at high altitude, all the while having my lovely new “friend” Altitude Sickness along for the ride, made for an exhausting but incredible journey.

For me, someone who very rarely (okay pretty much never) exercises and has never done more than a day’s hiking in her life, the trail was a huge accomplishment.  The only way I got through it was with sheer determination and endurance, and the encouragement of my husband.

And I’m so glad I did, as what an adventure it was!

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Panoramic Peru

I’m not really a fan of using my iPhone to take photos and my camera comes pretty much everywhere with me. But we ended up using our phones a lot more than usual on this trip as silly old Alex broke our camera by dropping it the evening before we started the Inca Trail – one of the greatest hikes in the world. Yes, I was angry (slight understatement!), and no, he didn’t hear the end of it!

After hunting around the small city of Cusco for hours looking for a repair shop, it somehow magically fixed itself, only for silly old me to go and break it again by getting it wet during a storm in the Amazon Rainforest.  And yes, I was just as angry with myself as I had been with Alex!

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Weekly Photo Challenge: Reflections

This is probably one of the most well-known images when it comes to reflections and, even though I didn’t want to follow the pack by taking a picture that pretty much everyone will have from a trip to India, it was honestly too stunning a shot to not capture.

We arrived at the Taj Mahal early when the sun wasn’t fully out and a cold morning mist filled the air. After wandering around the grounds for a good couple of hours, the sun eventually decided to say hello.

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