Near-Perfect Travel Experiences: Travel Linkup

Mirror Lake

Mirror Lake

Well, nothing in life is ever perfect… right?

At least my travels are never perfect. I think that’s what makes them some of the best stories I have to share!

So this month I’m taking the angle of near-perfect experiences, let’s see if these can send you out into a dream world of imagination and delight!

Gorilla

Gorilla in Rwanda

The near-perfect wildlife encounter

In the depths of the green leafy hills of Rwanda I hike up and up. Lagging behind, hardly getting any rest, wishing I’d had a bigger breakfast… and then the time comes, we reach a clearing.

The sun is shining and creeping through a few bushes I see for the first time: a mountain gorilla. Her coat is silky smooth, shining in the sun. Possibly the healthiest hair I’ve ever seen in a stunning shade of black. She’s being groomed by another large mountain gorilla, face to face, hairs being separated by the fingers of another gorilla.

Oblivious to the small group of people around them.

Gorillas grooming

Gorillas grooming in Rwanda

Then looking around I see it’s a group, there’s a little baby gorilla tumbling around on the ground, a massive silver back sitting back enjoying the sun and more teenagers playing in the bushes.

Baby Gorilla tumbling around

Baby Gorilla tumbling around

The near-perfect sunset

Sunset from Ia, Santorini

Sunset from Ia, Santorini

Cocktails, friends and a good meal. Location, high above the ocean edge, stoney buildings all around. The odd donkey bell ringing in the distance. Heat beaming down, even as the evening closes in. Then the sunset: oranges, yellows, pinks and blue… where could I be? Oia, in Santorini.

Oia, Greece

Oia, Greece

 

The near-perfect natural wonder

The rain drizzles down off and on, but the crowds are gone. Crackle, crackle, then smash. Ice crashes into the freezing water below. I’m at Perito Moreno Glacier near El Calafate in Argentina.

Perito Moreno Glacier, Santa Cruz, Argentina

Perito Moreno Glacier, Santa Cruz, Argentina

Ice falling from Perito Moreno Glacier, Santa Cruz, Argentina

Ice falling from Perito Moreno Glacier, Santa Cruz, Argentina

Perito Moreno Glacier, Santa Cruz, Argentina

Perito Moreno Glacier, Santa Cruz, Argentina

The near-perfect waterfall

This has to go to the waterfalls that spread across three Latin American countries, two of which I visited and got up close and personal two in Argentina and enjoyed the wide sweeping pan across the entire array of waterfalls. This is Iguazu Falls.

Iguaçu Falls, Brazil

Iguaçu Falls, Brazil

Iguaçu Falls, Brazil

Iguaçu Falls, Brazil

Iguazu Falls, Argentina

Iguazu Falls, Argentina

The near-perfect hikes

This one couldn’t just be one. It comes down to three:

Climbing Machu Picchu Mountain, Peru

The hard 3 hour slog and scary edges that dropped to death lead up to a little oasis that overlooked the incredible Inca city of Machu Picchu. While difficult, Machu Picchu Mountain was incredible to say the least.

More stairs

More stairs

View near the top of Machu Picchu Mountain

View near the top of Machu Picchu Mountain

At the top of Machu Picchu Mountain

At the top of Machu Picchu Mountain

El Chalten, Argentina

The day hikes around El Chalten’s snow-capped mountains, glaciers and forest is so unique and incredible for any nature lover.

Cerro Torre close

Cerro Torre, EL Chalten

Laguna Cerro Torre

Laguna Cerro Torre, El Chalten

Mt. Maunganui, New Zealand

This is my happy place. Walking around the base of Mt. Maunganui doesn’t take too long, but there are plenty of photo stops and picnic spots to enjoy. You can spot the odd seal around the base and enjoy views over the calm harbour of Pilot Bay, then as you make your way around you see the beauty of Mt. Maunganui’s surf beach. If you want a bit more exercise, then you can climb up to the top as well!

Mt. Maunganui and Pilot Bay, New Zealand

Mt. Maunganui and Pilot Bay, New Zealand

Mt. Maunganui, New Zealand - one of my favourite spots

Mt. Maunganui, New Zealand – one of my favourite spots

Trees and rocks along Mt. Maunganui

Trees and rocks along Mt. Maunganui

The near-perfect road trip

This award goes to the Southern Lakes region around Queenstown in New Zealand. Driving from Queenstown to Glenorchy along Lake Wakatipu, or over the Crown Range to Wanaka, or over to the gold mining town of Arrowtown. Not to mention Milford Sound.

This region is home to some of the best road trips you could ever imagine.

Roadtrip to Glenorchy from Queenstown

Roadtrip to Glenorchy from Queenstown

Lone Tree, Wanaka

Lone Tree, Wanaka

Arrowtown, Gold Rush town of New Zealand

Arrowtown, Gold Rush town of New Zealand

Milford Sound

Milford Sound

Those are my ‘near-perfect’ travel experiences around the world… for more of my Top Experiences, check out my growing list of my Top 30 Travel Experiences before I’m 30 here »

 

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