I hesitate to write about this trail, as this particular segment of Trail 600 also known as South Park Trail, is not on the All Trails App. As a result, this seven-mile out-and-back hike close to Denver alludes crowds. While the entire length of South Park Trail is around 12 miles, there are three places where it may be accessed.GO HIKING!
After four weeks of island hopping in the South Pacific, I met my friends, Julie and Dustin, in the Solomon Islands. Because I had planned so much of my first four weeks in American Samoa, Samoa, Tonga, and Vanuatu, I relied heavily on Julie and Dustin for planning in the Solomons. As a result, I knew very little about the country which gained its independence from the United Kingdom in 1978.
The sovereign state includes six major islands and over 900 smaller ones. During our visit to the Solomon Islands, we began in its capital, Honiara, and traveled west through the Central Province to the Western Province with the Taka dive boat. Ultimately, we ended our journey in Munda.EXPLORE
Continuing my island hop through the South Pacific, which has included Hawaii, American Samoa, Samoa, Tonga, and now Vanuatu, I flew from Espiritu Santo to Efate. Efate is the most populous island in the archipelago and is home to the capital of Vanuatu, Port Vila. The island, which was used as the locale for the Tales of the South Pacific as well as for three seasons of Survivor, many times is simply referred to as Vila.LET’S GO
Getting to Santo
Continuing my journey around the South Pacific, I visited another island in Vanuatu, Epiritu Santo (better known as Santo to islanders). I arrived in Santo after taking a connecting flight from Tanna through Port Vila. Once again, the flight left 30 minutes early after the headcount was taken and all expected passengers were on board.
I was now aware of Air Vanuatu’s strict guidelines for electronic devices and didn’t turn on my phone during take off or landing. Additionally, I made sure and every item was substantially under the forward seat for the drill sergeant flight attendants.LET’S GO
After two weeks of no cell service and one week of no WiFi while in the Solomon Islands, I’m back online to post about my previous adventures in Vanuatu. What a wonderful place! The archipelago, which gained independence from France in 1980, comprises 82 islands, of which 65 are inhabited.
Vanuatu is a very poor South Pacific Nation whose mainstays are agriculture, tourism, offshore financial services, and cattle raising. Citizenship may be purchased for $150,000, and many Chinese have been moving onto the islands.
The National language is Bislama, similar to Pidgin English, and the official languages are French, English and Bislama. It’s amazing these islanders that have so little are at least tri-lingual and maybe more as many have a tribal dialect too. I’d just like to be bilingual which I’m working on with my next trip to Panama in a Spanish submersion school.LET’S GO
My island hop adventure has taken me from Hawaii, to American Samoa, to Samoa, and now Tonga. I knew nothing of Tonga prior to making my reservations. After browsing my Pacific Island travel guide, I learned the people are devout Christians and island doesn’t cater much to tourists. Not knowing what to expect, I was a little nervous about visiting, especially via Talofa Airways.LET’S GO
Mount Galbraith Park is part of Jeffco Open space and is a convenient place to hike near Denver, Colorado. The park includes 5 miles of trails and provides views of Golden and the Rocky Mountains.
The most common route taken at the park is Mount Galbraith Loop via Cedar Gulch Trail. We changed it up a bit and hiked Mount Galbraith Loop via Nightbird Gulch Trail.
The trailhead to Nightbird Gulch Trail is located in a residential area. As such, we arrived early since parking was along the street. We thought our start might be a little cold, but the immediate incline in beneath sunny skies with no shade, made for a perfect temperature.GO HIKING!
Of all the activities we completed in the Pantanal, river floating, games drives, hiking, and horseback riding, Piranha fishing might have been the most fun. I really wanted to fish for Piranha simply to be able to say I’ve done it. Ruth and Alice, the other girl on our tour were not sold on participating, especially when we saw locals standing chest deep in water fishing for these sharp toothed critters. Continue reading “Piranha Fishing in the Pantanal”
Along with the game drives in the Pantanal, we participated in other activities like hiking and horseback riding. Our first morning in the Patanal, we took a game drive to the docks, a boat ride to an island, and then a hike in the woods, across a boardwalk and to a tower for a view of the sweeping swamp. Continue reading “Hiking and Horseback Riding in the Pantanal”
We spent three days in the Pantanal at Pousada Piuval. Our guides liked this 7,000 hectare ranch as it is home to the most jaguars at this time of year (which isn’t many) compared to the jaguar preserve that is not accessible at the end of the rainy season. Anyway, that didn’t stop us from looking for them. We took sunrise and sunset drives every day. Most of the time we drove the few roads on the ranch, occasionally we tried a few fields that were still to wet, and we also went to the park. Continue reading “Game Drives in the Pantanal”