North America, South America · 95 Days · 38 Moments · July 2017

Erin & Pete's Honeymoon Adventure!

31 October 2017

After the crazy heat of the jungle we were quite happy for a change of scenery and were lucky that by the river "pampas" it was much cooler! We arrived after a boat ride from the jungle then a 2 hr car trip with Aurelio, our guide, in tow. Our 2 nights and 2 days were spent taking leisurely animal watching cruises up and down the river in a little low boat. We saw literally hundreds of caymans, a few of their larger more aggressive cousins the black caymans, lots of turtles, birds, monkeys, pink dolphins and piranhas! Passed on swimming in the river which was so murky you couldn't see past a few cm's and was also full of things that can eat you.... had fun fishing for piranhas though and managed to catch quite a few! Last morning we donned wellington boots and v anxiously trudged around a swampy lagoon looking for an anaconda. Have to say not that upset we didn't find one! Was a very relaxing and unplugged trip with gorgeous scenery particularly the sunrise boat ride!

29 October 2017

From La Paz we flew into Rurrenbaque which is the main town of the Bolivian Amazon and got organised with our tour operator Bala Tours. After another early start and a very scenic boat ride up river we arrived at our lodge for the next two nights. It was just the two of us and our guide Aurelio! We set out for an afternoon walk through the jungle which was really nice. Very humid and we didn't have the best luck animal spotting until towards the end where we saw an enormous snake. We were told it was of the grass snake family I still squealed. The food was excellent throughout, but the only power we had in our rooms was lights from 7-9 and no fans. That made the cold showers an absolute necessity! Next day was another early rise to go and seek out some macaws which was fruitful then back to the lodge for lunch. In the afternoon we went in search of some wild boars which we found through the super offensive smell they give off. Final hot and humid night before heading to Pampas!

26 October 2017

We flew into La Paz airport which is the highest international airport in the world at 4,061m. The runway has to be longer because the air is so thin! Luckily we were acclimatized from cusco but it was a bit of a jump. After a bumper to bumper taxi ride we stayed for our 2 nights at Adventure Brew Hostel. After getting ourselves familiar with the city and doing a bit of gift shopping on the first day we had an early one. Must mention an amazing vego lunch we had that a local recommended at Al Pacha. Second day we joined the Red Cap Walking Tour which started outside the famous San Pedro prison from the book Marching Powder. Apparently no longer any gringo prison tours! Tour was great and got an overview of the crazy attire that the local cholita women wear. The bowler hats position on their head indicate their marital status and the big skirts not only cover their most coveted calves but with numerous linings make their hips looks bigger which is v beautiful!

24 October 2017

Machu Picchu! 3am wake to beat the hordes and get a good spot in line for the 5:30am opening of the final 2km leg to the famous Sun Gate! Waited in line somewhat patiently and when the check point opened we were off! Somehow we made it to the Gate first for the morning - steep final climb but a massive rush to get the first glimpses of the sun hitting the valley/city with no one else around. Had a fantastic overview of the ancient city (not ruins as the Spanish never found/destroyed it) by guides Silvio and Dan. After our tour we headed to the v steep Wayna Picchu which was a final challenge of the trip but made it up and back down to Aguas Caliente without a hitch. Copious celebratory group drinks were had in Aguas, then on the train, the bus, and back in Cusco when we arrived! Lucked in with our group for the trip! M&D were wonderful to shout us a couple of nights at the fancy Palais de Inca which was an amazing treat after roughing it for the past 4 days. MP defs a highlight!

23 October 2017

Inca Trail!! This is the thing that we built our trip around timing-wise and it most certainly delivered! Quick induction the night before then ready to go. Day One was a 4am kick-off with a bus ride to Kilometre 87 via a new barracks that our tour company Llama Path has built for the porters. There were 20 porters, 2 guides, a chef + assistant for our group of 16! Hiked 5-6 hours and there was nothing too strenuous. We floated along getting to know people in the group. Food through the entire trek was amazing! Day Two was the summit to Dead Woman's pass at 4250m. Then a smaller peak at 4000m. We stopped at various Inca ruins and had some pretty crazy weather where it even hailed! It was a pretty big day and everyone was wiped. Day Three was a lovely stroll compared to the first two days. Very easy pace and nothing to strenuous. We were in and out of a cloud forest and we really got to enjoy the views. Braved a freezing cold shower before dinner and readied for 3AM kick-off!

14 October 2017

Cartagena! It's a very old colonial walled city which is constantly buzzing at any time of day or night! Our base was well located in Hotel Monterrey. First morning we explored the city a little in the extreme humidity. For the afternoon we had a street food tour organised which was excellent. It took us through some neighbourhoods we never would have explored otherwise. That night we went to a famous seafood restaurant called Juan del Sur and smashed an awesome seafood noodle paella! Met up with some others from our tour and did a little bar hop finishing off with some salsa! Definitely more watching than partaking! Sunday we signed ourselves up for a 'party' boat which went out to the Rosario Islands and just spent the day cruising around there. It was much more lively than we'd imagined, but we had a really good group and we had good time partying the day away! Got back in time for a fancy dinner at Alma then called it. Remaining time was spent relaxing, eating and more exploring

11 October 2017

First stop in Sth America Colombia! Medellin was amazing we had 3N but really 2 days here and it wasn't enough! We arrived really late after the longest travel day yet - 6am shuttle, to taxi, to 5pm flight Guatemala to El Salvador to Medellin to taxi for 1am arrival! In House the Hotel was great though in a lovely neighbourhood we could totally live in El Poblado. 3.5m ppl in Medellin with 1.5m in the hills - the higher up the hill you live the cheaper the housing which is different. Day 1 we did a downtown tour of Medellin which was great and got a really good feel for the city, history and culture and the other He Who Must Not Be Named "Pablo Esocobar"! Had a drink and something to eat at Park 37 in Poblado which was beautiful. Next day did another walking tour but this time to the further out districts which have gone through massive gentrification over the past 10 years. Comuna 13 street art was fantastic and had the best Mango ice block! Could definitely come back!

8 October 2017

A little out of order sorry team! Endured a nightmare transfer from Antigua to Lanquin which saw us arrive at 3am. But after we smashed out a good sleep we woke up to a really nice hostel perched right on the river called El Retiro. The big thing to do in Lanquin is Semuc Champey, but is an all day thing so instead we went tubing down the river with a few others from our hostel which was a fun afternoon activity. We decided we'd duck over to Zephyr Lodge which is the most popular spot around Lanquin and we had a few drinks and dinner and chatted to some of the other travellers there. Next day was Semuc. 45 minute ride standing in the back of a truck was hilarious. First stop is hitting the caves where your only light is a candle. A 4 metre jump inside the cave is a highlight! Rope swing into the river. 1/2 hour hike to the lookout and finally to the turquoise cascades of Semuc Champey! Magic day topped off by another 45 minutes back to Lanquin in the back of the truck!!!

6 October 2017

After some searching we found a hostel that was doing the overnight volcano hike of Acatenango on the day we needed, so we signed up with Tropicana along with what felt like 15 other Aussies! Started off at the 2300m mark with our day packs and 4L of water and we were off! Straightaway felt the altitude, was tough to breath and a super steep incline but after 5 hours climbing through the cloud forests we arrived at base camp at 3700m and it was freezing!! Hope the pictures do it justice! I had 2 pairs of leggings, 2 pairs of socks, singlet shirt, 2 jumpers and rain jacket and I was still freezing! We got a peek at the Fuego erupting before it clouded over which was fantastic and the noise was incredible! It started raining so we were lucky our guides brought us dinner into our tents, unforch due to cloud cover we couldn't see the lava at night and the weather was so bad in the morning only a few ppl incl Pete did the ascent to the peak of 4,000m. Tough but super rewarding hike!

4 October 2017

The one where Erin turns 30!!!🎉 First flight cancellation saw us arrive into Antigua a day later than expected, but still made it count Organised a really nice hotel, El Camino Real, and once checked in we headed for some lunch to Rainbow Cafe. The weather wasn't the greatest but we ventured out for dinner to Toco Baru and then went out for a drink and ended up hanging out with a really good guy from Antigua. Next morning staff at the hotel helped me get some breakfast in bed delivered for Erin's birthday. We had to wait for the weather to clear up so grabbed a bite at Samsara then did some exploring round the city. It is littered with ruins of old colonial churches - really fun to walk around the cobble stone streets. That evening I had organised a cooking class for us to cook up some local cuisine. La Tortilla was excellent and they even organised decorations and a toast for Erin. We cooked up a feast including Pepian, Atol Blanco, Rellenitos, and hand made Tortillas. Moy Bueno!

29 September 2017

San Juan Del Sur "SJDS" the holiday surfing village in the south of Nica was our next stop for 5 nights. We stayed at Nuestra Casa then moved when they were booked to Casa Andalucia in the hills where we had an amazing view of the whole town/bay. We had great weather the first few days and did a half day sailing to a local beach on a catamaran which was really fun and met some new people. Then after much persuasion Pete joined me for a trail ride by Rancho Chilamate which was a definite highlight - for me anyway! They kitted everyone out in cowboy gear (couldn't pass up the helmet for a hat) then we met our horses (mine Cruiser and Pete was riding Pancho) and took off. We rode through local villages and the rainforest, through rivers and down eventually to the beach for sunset. There we lined up and took off on my first ever flat out gallop along the beach at low tide, was the most exhilarating feeling ever! Finished the ride in the dark through the villages past glow worms 👌👏

23 September 2017

We will forever have fond memories of our time at El Coco Loco. It's a surf and yoga retreat in very northern Nicaragua. The closest proper town is Chinendega, about a 45 min drive. The whole place was completely empty apart from Erin and I, the yoga instructor Rohan and one of the owners Ben. Both absolute legends and we had a great time getting to them. The staff, food and our bungalow were amazing too! After getting out for a good surf on our first morning I started to feel pretty sick. Laid me out for the next three days! Luckily we were rained out for most of that time, but Erin was a machine and out there every morning with yoga in the afternoon. One morning Erin got a witness a turtle release as part of the resort's volunteering. After a trip to the local hospital I was on the mend and back out in the water with much better weather too. We spent the next few days surfing The Bay which is just around the point from the resort. Topped off by some amazing sunsets and outlook!

18 September 2017

Early morning start to watch the sunrise at Frenchies wharf then 2hrs out to The Blue Hole to check out a famous natural wonder. We got down to about 28m where some stalagmites have formed. Was very impressive and much deeper than we'd been so good to tick-off. We squeezed in 2 more dives and some lunch before the rain came through, but it cleared up for the ride back to Caulker and to finish off the crew handed round some rum punch for the celebration. We had some drinks and dinner with Simon and Catherine then said goodbye. Next day we checked out and jumped the ferry to San Pedro which is much bigger and busier than Caulker. We stayed at Ocean Tide Beach Resort. Still a lovely outlook, and we spent the rest of our time chilling out reading by the pool and then out for dinner a couple of times. Our last dinner was at a famous local restaurant called Elvi's Kitchen where we had some delicious fish curry and capped it off with some coconut pie made by the owner. Next stop Nicaragua

16 September 2017

We had 2 days of dives with Frenchie's before doing our test and thankfully both passing! We are now both PADI certified open water divers! Unlike most dive schools where you do your confined dives in a pool we were out in Shark Alley which was full of friendly reef sharks and stingrays! First time I got in the water I had a shark following an inch behind my heel! The coral and marine life were amazing at a number of spots around the Caye Caulker Marine Reserve which we visited over our 5 dives. Joey our instructor was fantastic and we had two other Aussies, Catherine and Simon, on our course with us who were great to share the experience with. Changed hotels to Isla Resprt which after some frigging around was a much quieter option with a great ocean outlook. Had an amazing celebratory dinner at Roses' Restaurant complete with the best ever lobster and Piña Coladas but early night as we signed up for a day trip out to the Blue Hole and 2 other dives the following morning!

14 September 2017

Long travel day to Belize and a trip on the smallest plane Erin has ever been on - we arrived it was amazing! After being given the rundown of the place by some local Caye Caulker expats at 'The Sports Bar' we went for a wander for some dinner and some delicious Jerk Chicken at Enjoy Cafe and then booked in for the night Our original plan had been a two night sailing trip, but lack of numbers meant they cancelled. It ended up being a blessing in disguise as we signed up to do our diving course with Frenchie's Diving. First day was all video training and we had another Aussie guy and girl in our group so had a good team. Afterwards we wandered up to The Split (a hurricane came through and split the island) and had some sunset beverages at Lazy Lizard. Great little hangout spot and would be ridiculous in high season. We met some fellow travellers and hung out with them for a while which was great fun, but made it an early one as we had our confined water training next morning. Scuba!

7 September 2017

Arrived into our hotel Amor de Mar and was v pleasantly surprised that they had upgraded us to the best room in the house with a beautiful balcony in the trees over looking the ocean! Spent 4 nights in town and loved the small v laid back little beach town of Montezuma. Did a day trip out to Tortuga Island and saw humpback whales dolphins lots of fish and a baby shark while snorkelling. Had some crazy storms and the river flooded. On our last night we had the most amazing dinner at a little place called Clandestine which is also a micro brewery. Decided to head to the next beach town over Santa Terera for a couple of nights before we had to start the long journey back to Belize to catch up with our prearranged flights. Cute spot but the rainy weather persisted so we had a few days lounging around reading our books and did some yoga which was v relaxing. 🤞though for some better weather on our next leg in Belize!

5 September 2017

🚨Irma!!!!!!🚨 Flew into Ft. Lauderdale under a warning for the largest sustained Category 5 storm the Atlantic had ever seen. Great! We had still planned to stick to our journey but after an abrupt reality check from the QIC office in Ft. Lauderdale it was clear that we had to change plans. We were not at all ready for this and the QIC office took us in for the day and were absolutely amazing! We spent the rest of the day in the office re-planning, trying to organise refunds and storm watching. Original plan was The Keys then on to Cuba! No love! We finally landed on Costa Rica, and were out the next day. People had already started leaving and The Keys had started mandatory evacuations. It was the talk of the town and no one could recall anything this big making its way to Florida! Definitely made the right call. Flew into San Jose, cab to the bus terminal, then a six hour journey by bus, ferry, bus, then another bus to get into a small beach town, Montezuma on the Nicoya Peninsu

31 August 2017

So the time came for the final leg with Silly Putti from Greenwich to the Farvis/Perkins residence in NY! Dropped our purple swirly friend off in Jersey then headed into the east village to meet our welcoming party Madi ! Then went to Sleep No More in the evening and had a quick bite on the gorgeous rooftop bar beforehand. Have to admit while I missed the bulk of the major stories in the performance I still really enjoyed the scene creation and how different it is from anything else I've seen. Next day met up with Sare and got the train out to Montauk where we met Tim, Moya, Trudes and Chris for a weekend at the beach for Labor Day. First evening we arrived the weather was gorge and got a quick swim in but unforch that was the last of the sun! Cath and Nat arrived the next day and had an amazing time chillin with the crew by the lake and eating our way around Montauk. All got the train back to NYC together on Monday and said farewells until the massive Chrissy reunion in Brissy!

30 August 2017

From Newport did the absolutely gorgeous drive along the local highway 1 vs taking the fast lane on the highway given that's how we roll! Could easily have spent 2-3 weeks hopping from one bnb to another. Area is just spotted with beautiful bays and old period homes.. We drove halfway out to the end of the Cape (as the locals call Cape Cod, bit of LK for you) and stoped at Wellfleet Harbor for the most amazing (and exy...) seafood lunch. Mac's Shack served us up a dozen of the freshest oysters I think I've ever had, lobster mac n cheese and a lobster roll - yep we're fattys and ate everything - photos of my oyster technique for comedic relief. Then arrived into Boston late arvo into a little apartment Back Bay near Prudential which was a perfect spot for the next2 nights. Did a little Freedom Trail tour in the morning followed by the Tea Party Museum which was fun. Love Boston, another place I could defs live. Gorgeous architecture and very accessible, so much history too
Felt fairly scholarly the next morning so decided perhaps a trip to Harvard was in order on our way out of Boston. We picked up a tour lead by a student after some of the most impressive reverse parking you've ever seen in your life. Think Austin Powers. Ridiculous! Really interesting history and worth a look for sure. They only merged the women's school of Harvard together with the men's in the 70s and it wasn't until 1999 that the first Harvard diplomas for women were given out as a wholly Harvard degree. Then hit the road towards NYC to catch up with the gang there. Stopped for the night in Greenwich which is about an hour commute from New York and bursting with CEOs and it shows. Looked very affluent. Hence our easy decision that another night by a lovely neighboured roadside in the van was a good call. Before that we kept it pretty quiet and had a cheeky sunset beer on a 'private' beach then had dinner at a pub in town and then caught a movie. On to the big 🍎

27 August 2017

Hit the road again and headed towards Newport, Rhode Island. There are some really old spectacular mansions so thought we would break up the drive to Boston. First and most famous mansion is The Breakers which belongs to the Vanderbilt family. Old Money made by basically opening up the USA by railroad. The house still looks amazing and the grounds were excellent to wander around in. Then we went for a really nice 3 mile walk hugging the coastline of the Atlantic Ocean and trying to figure out how much the numerous other mansions cost and how we could get a piece of the pie! Afterwards we drove around looking for a nice spot to park the camper for the night, but ended up back in town on a side street. First real night 'on the streets' and it was fine! Got up early and had a great breakfast/coffee from a little spot in downtown Newport called Empire Tea & Coffee.

25 August 2017

So the big DC! Been looking forward to visiting the whole time we've been in the states. Weather was fantastic and loved the city. Stayed in an Airbnb and were super lucky with the weather. First day joined a perfect bike tour around some of the major monuments - Jefferson, MLK, Korean, Vietnam, Lincoln, WWII and last but not least Washington. Tell you what DC can do an amazing memorial/monument - Aus we need to step up our game! Second day we hit the Capitol, Library of Congress, East Market, then picnic on the national mall, the White House, rooftop sunset drinks at the W then lastly dinner around U st and 14th before epic ice cream at Jubilee -yummmm!!!

24 August 2017

Apologies for the delay!! Had to get photos from the GoPro to the phone. Worth the wait I promise... This was the first major deviation from the general plan. We had heard that there was some excellent white water rafting in West Virginia so instead of hitting the cost from Charleston we drove inland. We got in really late and the camp ground we were meant to be staying was deserted and a little creepy. So we bailed and got a hotel😬 Early rise to hit the river and it didn't disappoint. It is the New River just outside of Fayetteville and the company we used were great. New & Gauly River Adventures. We were on the water about 4 hours and we got a couple of Class 4 rapids and even did a little cliff jumping so was a really good time. Then we had another pretty long drive to DC so got on the road pretty quickly afterwards, but a great option to change our plans and we're happy that we did.

23 August 2017

Headed out of Charleston, but not before getting out to some of the old famous plantation homes. Started with Middleton Place and the on to Magnolia Gardens. Both really great but I think we preferred Middleton. Got to see some alligators which had me on edge... of course and some oak trees that were nudging the 1000 year mark. Then hit the road towards West Virginia trough the Appalachian Mountains for some whitewater rafting. The murder mystery podcasts got the best of us as we bailed on a super creepy campsite for a motel because it was almost 1AM by the time we arrived.

22 August 2017

First full day in Charleston was amazing! Love this city! Walked around King st and the shops in the morning, then tried our luck with no reservation at Husk which is a new style low country restaurant. Food was amazing, definitely worth the hype! Afterwards went for a 3hr walking tour of downtown which was really well done. Love the architecture! Headed to a rooftop bar for the arvo beverage then drove out to Mt Pleasant to a waterside seafood spot called Wreck of Richard and Charlene. You couldn't have topped off one of my favourite days of the trip any better, the setting was jut magic. Sun setting over the waterway with old fishing boats in front and really rustic shack for the restaurant. Ordered the she crab soup (unbelievable!) then shared the seafood platter and finished with the very last piece of key lime pie in the shop - best one so far!

21 August 2017

Ok, ok!! Finally getting to the eclipse edition. Sorry to keep you all waiting. Had a quick bite across the road from our hostel in Savannah at a nice little cafe Maté Factor. Eclipsemania was everywhere in the south as the path of the full solar eclipse was passing straight over Charleston, SC. We decided to head up to a coastline stretch named Hilton Head for a swim and to see if you could get a glimpse. It was pretty overcast so didn't think we'd see anything. We went for a swim and a chill out on the beach and then as we were leaving businesses shut down and everyone was on the street looking through the clouds... except us two amateurs. Someone very kindly lent us their glasses and we got a quick look which was worth it. Pretty impressive after all. Hit the road for Charleston and got to Grand Charleston Hotel. We were pretty wrecked so just got a feed from a really cool local restaurant called Dell'z.

19 August 2017

We arrived into Savannah pretty late on Friday 18 and decided to check into a hostel for the 3 nights 'cos it was saaaa hot, our little fan in the van at night wasn't quite cutting it! Hostel was in a beautiful old home called Savannah Pensione on the edge of downtown. Sat morn wandered into Collins Quarter for brunch which turns out is owned by an Aussie - fun restaurant bar with great coffee! Headed to The Grey for dins great cocktails and cheesecake, then River St for a roof bevy at The Bohemian. Sunday an ok walking tour highlight being the she-crab soup, shrimp and grits and background of River St being built by weight rocks from English ships making the trip. Afterwards Wormsloe Plantation where they planted 400 Live Oak trees over 1.5 miles as the entrance in the 1700s which was so beautiful to drive down and are now covered in Spanish Moss aka hipster air-plant. Next out to Tybee Island the local beach town which was pretty cute and had dinner on the beach at The Deck.

17 August 2017

Got to Nashville early evening Thursday 17/8 so popped in to a hole in the wall place called Princes Hot Chicken for dinner which was an excellent spot for legit Nashville hot chicken! Next morning got downtown Nashville to get our Country on at the Country Music Hall of Fame. Very interesting and bulk info there. They love their country music in Music City. We strolled around downtown and Broadway before kicking off our food tour of Nashville--a definite highlight. Even better chicken at Pepperfire, gourmet hotdogs at I Dream of Weenie, a couple of Bushwhackers (multiple rums, heavy cream, coffee/chocolate liqueur, and blended ice - delicious!) some more BBQ, and finally some Mexican inspired popsicles. The tour was done by Dabble Studios. Well worth it. Kicked off a little pub crawl through The Gulch just outside downtown at Yazoo and the rooftop at The Thompson. Finished off with a few beers through Broadway at Tootsies and then to Skulls for some cocktails and a Burlesque show.

14 August 2017

Arrived into Memphis late and found out at our BBQ stop Marlowe's near Graceland that it was Elvis Week's 40th anniversary - ppl line up for 8 hours to lay a wreath at his grave! First day (15 Aug) famous Gus's fried chicken for lunch (yum!) hit Beale St (seen better days), then went to Sun Studio where Elvis first recorded and enjoyed hearing the history around the beginnings of rock n roll. Afterwards headed to Midtown and did a little bar hop ending at Lafyette's Music Hall which had great live music. Last day in Memphis we did a tour of Elvis' amazing home Graceland which he bought for $55k back in the day and spent a further $35k on interior decorating. Other note Elvis was a massive cradle snatcher, he and Priscilla started dating when he was 25 and she 14! That afternoon went to the Civil Rights Museum at Lorraine Motel which was really moving and is the location of MLK's assassination in front of Room 306. Next off to Nashville!

10 August 2017

Officially on the road! Punched out the drive to Flagstaff which was close to eight hours so a solid drive to get going. Ran into a massive storm in the run to the campsite which Silly Putty (naming of van open to suggestions) handled with aplomb... First night in the van went off without a hitch and the next day was spent exploring Flagstaff, Sedona and surrounding areas. The drive between Flagstaff and Sedona goes through Oak Canyon which is the little bro of the Grand Canyon. Pretty spectacular drive and jumped out at Midgley Bridge for a look around. We decided to switch it up just for a night so stayed in Sedona at a B&B, A Sunset Chateau, and just sat by the pool and relaxed for the full day which was much needed! Now we're off to Memphis, but it's a massive stretch of two 10 hour drives so stopping in Amarillo in Texas for a night. Very much looking forward to Memphis!

8 August 2017

So the day has come to say cheerio to LaLa. Movers came and packed everything up (never moving myself again!) and handed back the keys at The Shores and our Golf lease. So we are now officially nomads - residence and car free! Just managed to fit our stuff into our 50L packs, 15kgs a piece for the next 4 months, pretty good feeling actually. Picked up the van from Escape which I think will be perfect, queen bed which converts into a seat and table, little fridge, sink and 2 burner stove. Mileage at take off was already at 239,000 so fingers crossed she makes it across the country! Official name is 'SillyPuti' - might need to work on that one, will report back. Last 3 nights in LA farewelled a few of the greats - Fordey and Ali, neighbours and Elyse and Dan, miss you guys and everyone else too! First stop 7hrs east is Flagstaff! xx

4 August 2017

Had the best last few days at the ranch. We headed off into the national forest/Shoshone National Park that borders Yellowstone for a 2 night 3 day pack trip. Was incredible to be out in the middle of nowhere and places you couldn't reach without a horse. First day we made camp at a beautiful meadow with a stream and the horses grazed for their dinner. Second day we rode up to Castle Hill to 10,700 feet elevation for a beautiful vista. Third day we headed back down by the East Fork and Wind Rivers which was fun crossing on the horses. On Friday we made it back just in time to head into Dubois for the local rodeo which was a first for me. Barrel racing, calf roping, bull riding were some of the events which were great to watch the skill of the riders and their horses. Headed into town for a drink afterward at the Rustic Pine. Last riding day Mel Fox took a few of us for a faster ride. Lots of fun cantering and I had my first fall! Bit sore but glad got it out of the way!

3 August 2017

In an uber channeling Rihanna on my way to the last day of werk, werk, werk, werk, werk... Erin is still out in Wyoming for another couple of days so have been holding down the fort while she's been literally living a childhood dream. I got to head back down to Manhattan Beach and get one last run in with the LA Rugby family and it was a really special afternoon. They've been such and amazing part of Erin and my time in LA and we're both so grateful for them all. Thought I'd slip a little snap of what I've been working on since joining Lendlease too. Been an amazing company so far to work for and what we've achieved has been great to be a part of. Looking forward to continuing that when we get back to Sydney! Couple more days in LA so will be trying to make the most of them.

1 August 2017

Second full day riding at Bitterroot and it couldn't have been better. Neresa, Heather, Mum and I got up early and helped the wranglers move the 200 horses from the top paddock down the hill into the corral - so great seeing them all stream past. Then we had a morning lesson where Hadley Fox one of the owners gave us a lesson and we all got the hang of cantering in a 2 point position. I rode Fiji again and she was a dream, beautiful trot to post to. Second ride of the day was the best one yet, we went up into the high country. We fast cantered up the hill dodging around ground scrub - was so much fun, v exhilarating as you watch the ground disappear! Saw a very cheeky antelope who didn't seem afraid of us at all. Richard, Hadley's husband and the son of the family who started the ranch, gave us a packing overview for the 3 day trip we are taking tomorrow, then a quick dinner and into town for the Tuesday square dance in Dubois. We were all hopeless, but was great.
First full day on the ranch, sorting out skills in the morning followed by a ride through the lower valley and then another ride in the afternoon by the Wind River. Such varied and gorgeous scenery! First rode a chestnut pony called Fiji, then in the afternoon a really sweet mustang Three Dots - both super responsive and great movers!

30 July 2017

Got up first thing in Jackson and headed out to the Jackson Hole Tram that takes you up to 10,450ft ft from where you can see the Grand Teton Peak in the distance. Then shopping in town and played the massive tourist and picked up some sweet cowboy boots and hat!!! Photo to follow, need a suitably western moment to debut! Then drove 2.5 hours out of Jackson Hole outside of Dubois to the middle of nowhere/the edge of Shoshone National Forest where Bitterroot Ranch is and we'll be staying for the next week. Beautiful rustic ranch with a herd of 138 horses all trained for guest riding - yes I'm in heaven!!

29 July 2017

First day of the trip minus Pete, plus Mum. Headed out to Jackson Hole for a week horseback riding in Wyoming at Bitterroot Ranch. Beautiful terminal, with an airstrip full of private jets!

28 July 2017

Getting ready to say goodbye to this amazing place that's been home for the last 3.5 years - we are going to miss you LA!! Trial pack before we hit the road, fit 4 months worth into a 50L bag/pack at 14kg, that's a personal achievement for those that know I take half my shoes for a weekend away! Last day at work today - woo! - and Mum and Dad landed from Aus, girls trip out to a horse ranch near Yellowstone National Park/Dubois tomorrow for a week riding in the Wyoming country side, just a little excited!! This next +3 months is going to be unforgettable...