Category Archives: Without kids

Antelope canyon…for free!

Antelope canyon. On the top of the list to visit. A must before your die list. A must for photograph lovers. A must for natur lover. A must for the facebook profile. For whatever reason, Antelope canyon is simply a must, when visiting USA.

 

Antelope canyon is totally a must for so many travelers that this place is becoming so touristic and crowded. And expensiv!  That is comprehensiv because this canyon is breathtaking beautiful and people are willing to pay a lot of cash and wait in the long line just for a single photo.

What if I tell you that you can visit Antelope canyon cash free and tourist free? It might not be as beautiful as the lower or upper Antelope or it might…I don’t know as I have never been to either of them. But what I know is that the “free” Antelope I know is gorgeous! We had a hard time leaving this magical place. And now only just by looking at the photos brings tears to our eyes.

Ok, I am sorry, I lied! It’s not totally free as you will need to rent a kayak at the lake Powell point marina. We rented our double kayak for 45$ here. From 8am-4pm you will have the kayak so it is totally worth the money! All the information you need you can find on their website.

I have loop in the itinerary from Antelope Marina to Antelope Canyon. It took us about 1hour to paddle from the marina to the canyon. And David was basically the one who did it all by himself.

We meet a couple who snap the photo for us if you are wondering!

Now and then we saw tour boats passing us by at the larger passage. The further in we paddle the more narrow the passage become. And more beautiful and peaceful!

End of the road. Except only by foot.

We didn’t know what to expect when we parked our kayak and walked into the canyon.

The silence, the heat from the stonewalls and the shimmering 50 shades of red tooked us by suprise! The only we heard were our own heartbeats and our footsteps in the sand. I couldn't help myself walking with my fingers stroking the millions of years old walls.

I didn’t mind getting lost in there. For awhile we were imagining that we were the first human on earth exploring this place. We have heard that you can go as far as to the other “paying” Antelope canyons.

But ofcourse our imaginary adventure has to end because it was getting dark and we needed to return the kayak. But on the way back we stopped for a swim.

 

Next time when we have more time in USA we will without any hesitation rent a kayak for a week and explore other wonderful places around lake Powell. We are really looking forward for it!

 

Hampi, our favorite place in India

India. Just saying the word India makes me think of people, million of people. And million of cars, motorcycles and bikecycles. Loud honkings . Pollution. Street vendors. Cows. Dirt and garbage. Makes my head spin. That’s what India is making to you. She makes your head spin. But there are some places in India that make inside of your head calm. Places that are so peaceful. Making your heartbeats beating slow. One of those places is Hampi.

 

Hampi. Just by saying the word Hampi makes me think of beautiful boulders, millions of boulders. Stacked on top of each other. Looking like someone very strong and bored has stacked them artistically for us to wonder how they got up there. So many of them as far as the eye can reach. So much energy oozing out of them, if you belive in that kind of thing. If not, you will feel it! These boulders what make Hampi so special.

 

Hampi. The people. Not millions but only hundreds. Smiling and waving people. And very kind people. And people who loves to have a photo taken. Kids that run towards you when they see you and making you feel like home.

 

Hampi. The colors. The color of the sunrise and sunset hitting the boulders. The color from women’s sari. Makes me think of green. Green from the rice paddies and palmtrees that blend in so well with the blue sky and the reddish boulders. Making a perfect match for the eyes to see.

 

What to do in Hampi 

If you are getting bored of laying on the hammack on your hostel and do nothing then Hampi has a lot of things to offer.

1. Sanapur Lakes

There are two clean and peaceful reservoir where you can swim with beautiful surrounding. You can rent a scooter or a bikecycle to get there. You will see a sign where it’s written ” No swimming, crocodile!” just ignore it. There’s no crocodile.

 

2. Bouldering

The best way to really take benefit of the boulders are doing some bouldering. There are several places where you can rent the shoes and the mattres. If you are a beginner you can hire someone to show you where and how to climb and get around the boulders. Most of the time you won’t get higher up more than 4-5 meters but it can be more tricky than it looks like. David wears 47-48 size in shoes and the biggest they had was 42. He was in very much pain!

3. Visiting the temples and the ruins

You can ride a bike or scooter and visit the sites or negociate with a tuk-tuk driver to drive you around. Best time to visit the beautiful ruins and the temples are the early morning or late afternoon. Our favorite is the Monkey temple.

4. Explore the area

We really loved our days on scooter exploring the nearby area. It was never ending boulders.

 

5. Sunset

Don’t ever miss the sunset in Hampi. There are many places in Hampi from where you can see a sunset; Matanga HillHematuka Hill and Malyavanta Hill. Or just climb on one of the many boulders and enjoy!


6. Movie nights

Just walk along the “hippie road” where there are most of the hostels and you will see some of the restaurants and hostels organise movie nights. We saw ” Life of Pi” in one of the restaurant.

 

7. Bathing Lakshmi the Elephant

Lakshmi the elephant of Virupaksha temple is quite famous and you can find the elephant taking bath in the Tungabhadra riverfront early morning around 7’o clock. Apart the Elephant you get to see the locals getting themself ready for the day. Some are bathing in the river and some are washing the clothes.

8. Meet the locals

What make Hampi so lovely are the locals. India has great people everywhere but we feel that people in Hampi are genuinely friendly. Really friendly. Talk with them. Expecially the kids. They love hanging out with you.

9. Dress like the locals

Sari is my favorite traditionel wear because of the colors. When the owner of the hostel where we were stayed at told us about his daughter coming over to visit I asked him if it was ok if she could help me to get dress in one of her sari so I could walk around and feel  beautiful. No problem he said!

 

10. Taking a boatride

The exact name of this bowl or a floating basket is Coracle. One of these can transfer between 15-20 person!

Where to stay in Hampi

We stayed at the  “hippie” side of Hampi, Anegundi. It’s other side of the river from the main village Hampi where all the ruins are. Along the main street of the “hippie road” you can find many hostel and restaurant. I can’t remember the name of our hostel but the restaurant itself gave me nausea with all the psychodelic images.

So where is your favorite place in India? 

8 places to visit in Death Valley NP, USA

For anyone who hasn’t been to USA or visited any national parks Death Valley sound..”dead” right? Some may wonder what you can do in a valley of death?! Read further and you will discover 8 stunning places to visit in this Valley.

 

Death Valley was the only national park in USA I have heard of before I eventually made some research about other national parks. I have heard about Death Valley in Hollywood movies where people got lost in the desert, where the maffia buried dead bodies and that it’s the hottest place on earth!

It was very hot but bearable as we where there in late october when it was autumn therefore cooler temperature. We only had two nights in the park but for being only two nighs we were able to discover amazing places.

Here are 8 places places we visited worth visiting:

 

1. The Mesquite flat sand dunes

This sand dunes tooked me by suprise by its beauty! At first glance by the car park I was not very impress but further as we went into the dunes the less footprints we saw and we were emerged by the beauty of the dunes and the landscape. Most of the people were staying very close to the car park so we were totatally alone and it was great not sharing this special moment with hundreds other visitor.

Three advises. Walk far far out and go for the sunset..and ENJOY!


2. Zabriskie Point

Another beautiful dunes! Very easy access to the parking lot and a very short walk to the point view. Our initial plan was to hike for the sunrise into the dunes but unfortunally David and I got into an argument ( ahh yes couples do argue!) and we went separate ways for a couple of hours so we didn’t enjoy this site as we could have. Now we just tap our head and wonder why we missed an opportunity to explore such an unique place!

Two advises. No matter what happen, take a walk into the dunes and go very early!


3. The racetrack – mysterious moving rocks

This place was hard to get to as normally you will need a 4WD to get there. But we tried our luck with Jucy, our rented car. We tooked our time and many times we thought we were going to get flat tires but we made it! It was an experience and the scenery was beautiful.

Still today nobody really knows why or how the small rock moves but I must say that the rocks are so much smaller than I expected! Most of them were as big as a handfist while I  thought at first they were boulders big as a car..haha! Neverless, it was cool to see these mysterious moving rocks!

4. Artist drive

This is a short scenic drive along colorful volcano deposit colored by various mineral pigments.

5. Dante’s view

A pointview of Death Valley where we had our homemade dinner watching the sunset. I don’t recommend a car with trailer as driving up is very steep! Easy acces because you have the view directly from your car at the car park but stepping out of the car is definetly recommended!


6. Ubehebe Crater

We drove pass by this on our way back from the Racetrack. Personally we were not impressed by this crater because we have done hikes on massive volcanos few month earlier in Indonesia. It’s still worth walking around the rim. It should take around 30min-1hour.

7. Badwater basin

Badwater basin is the lowest point of North America with an elevation of 86 m below sealevel! Easy acces, just a few meter from the car park. And very hot!

 

8. Devil’s golf course

There is no Death Valley without the devil right? And who says that the devil doesn’t like to play golf? Easy acces as it’s just infront of the car park.

 

Don’t miss Death Valley if you are nearby…it’s totally not dead here!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hiking at The Zion Narrows, one of our favorite hike!

To be honest the hike at the Narrows isn’t our favorite hike at the Zion national park, the Angels landing is but I can assure you that the Narrows is aswell very awesome!

The day before our hike we went to the visitor center to make sure that there was not a Flash Flood Warning. People have died in the narrows beacause of a flash flood caused by a storms kilometers far away! It might not be raining where you are but it might somewhere else.

Once we got the green light, this is optional, we rented each a pair of canyoneering shoes (18$/pair) to help preventing an ankle injury and Neoprene socks (7$/pair) to keep our feet warm. Inspite of the price I was very happy to be walking in the shoes as there was no way you could see what was on the bottom of the river. I remember a few times my feet got stuck between rocks and I was so grateful to have my funny looking shoes on.

Our “walking on the moon” shoes.

Map here: Zion Guru

We started our 16km (ten miles) round trip hike at the Temple of Sinawalast stop of the free Zion canyon shuttleand turned back when we reached the Big falls, the campsite. We were there in late september (2014) and it was crowded but the further you get into the narrows less people it will be because most of them will turn around by the Wall street

As you can see at the map above there are several hikes and you can even go further and for some of them you will need a permit.


It was harder than I expected walking upstream some parts knee to waist hight water, on loose rocks and slippery boulders. Sometime there are potholes but ofcourse you don’t see them until you plunge into one. At some stretch it was a challenge to choose the “right” way to pass. One tips is to look of the people who are walking infront of you…some will fall into a pothole or slip..well then you will know where not to walk.  Another tips is to use a stick! I am still laughing thinking of this guy who put his stuff on his head and walked straight forward and then suddently we saw only his head.


This hike was pure fun and not just an ordinary walk on the mountain that we are so familiar with. And ofcourse the big reason why this slot canyon walk is very popular is the beauty of this place! Everyone should try to hike as far as you can even if it’s not very far because behind every corner you will have a wow-moment!  Just remember that none of my photography makes the Narrows any justice! 

When to go:

The Narrows is normally closed between mid March-late May depending of the level of the water and runoff. The best season to go is between summer and autumn, june-november. If you dare you can do it during winter season, but if you doing it you problably already know about the freezing water.

More great information about hiking the Narrows click Here and Here
So what are you waiting for? Go do this hike!