Browsing the Devon Wildlife Trust website and following their instagram has long been a way for me to find out new nature reserves, trails and places to explore. Recently while being determined to spend more time in the beautiful and on my doorstep Tamar Valley AONB, I discovered that one such nature reserve and trail was just outside of Tamerton Foliot. Warleigh Point Nature Reserve. Armed with the promise of stunning views over the rivers Tamar and Tavy, it gave Emily and I a chance to go out with my parents and blow the working week away without having to do much forward planning. Perfect as we have been house viewing nonstop recently!
Now that I am back on that Monday to Friday working life grind the weekends have become a thing of beauty again. Two days of complete freedom for us to spend how we like, and Liam and I the thing we love to do most is to get outside and explore the beautiful areas we are so lucky to be surrounded by. After two weekends of dreary wet weather we finally had a clear day where we could get back out there. We decided to spend the day completing the next stretch of the South West Coastal Path, 9.8 miles from Erme Estuary to Noss Mayo.
In these uncertain times, it is going to be the little details that make 2020 bearable for a lot of us. To avoid cabin fever, having spent the past 2 months working hard on acquiring government jobs only to have our start dates pulled out from under our feet, we felt the need to stretch our legs. Isolating for physical health is obviously going to have a long-term impact on mental health for a lot of people, and Emily and I decided to regain some sense of normality by heading out to Wembury (one of our favourite places) and picking out a new hike there. Who says you need to social distance inside anyway?
Day 2 of the road trip! Check out Day 1 here. Leaving our farm homestay in the morning, Emily and I headed out to our final new state of the trip – Rhode Island. Smallest state by area, this East Coast state is THE state by the sea. No East Coast road trip would be complete without an early morning stop at Dunkin Donuts. So, once we were fuelled with coffee and sugary goodness we headed straight for our destination of the day: Newport.
Hawaii 🌸 Truly one of those places you don’t realise how special it is until you visit. A Pacific island paradise, with every convenience you come to expect in America. The problem is it is so remote. A tiny dot in the Pacific and a daunting prospect for travel if you’re from England. Which is why we chose to visit on this trip; flying Taiwan to Colorado you couldn’t ask for a better layover. Since we only had 5 full days we decided from the outset to spend them all on Oahu as there is so much to see and do there.
Kaohsiung has a lot of parks. Which is fantastic. Living in a city, both Emily and I love them and the convenient outdoors green spaces they bring. Lucky for us, Anja and Kevin were able to point us in the direction of many of the best during our stay in the south of Taiwan. Whether wandering around the Lotus Pond or ambling our way around Weiwuying park, we were never too far from nature despite the high rise environment we were based in. With plenty of amazing local delicacies just waiting for us to walk enough to gain an appetite (from savoury beef noodle to peanut butter mochi stuffed waffles) we made sure we got out and about as often as we could!
If you go in through the dragon and out through the tiger you get good luck 🤷
BBQ, dim sum, noodles, drinks, board games and catching up. A ferry to Cijin Island, mooching around local markets trying different street food, walking stretches of black sand beaches and climbing to a lighthouse viewpoint. Our first 24 hours in Taiwan was everything me and Emily wanted. Seeing Anja and meeting her boyfriend Kevin was of course top of the agenda for Emily on this trip through Asia and luckily for us it meant we got the inside scoop on all the best places to eat and things to do in Kaohsiung and beyond.
Jeju is a beautiful, but surprisingly big island. As with all islands, the coastal beauty is scattered in every direction, meaning that wherever you stay you are likely to end up doing a fair amount of transit if you want to see everything! With the price of renting a car vs the low cost of public transit, Emily and I decided to use the many bus routes to visit everything we wanted to. We did learn on our first morning however, that when trying to work out transfers on country buses (which often run late) you need to be prepared to be flexible with your itinerary!
No trip to Vietnam is complete without a trip to the iconic Ha Long Bay, the descending dragon. But the more we researched boat trips the more it became clear to us that as a destination it can be very hit and miss. Depending on the cruise you end up on, your tour, and even your safety, can be compromised. And for a premium price, particularly in South East Asia, it is not something we wanted to gamble on. Throw in the fact that Ha Long City has become one of the most crowded tourist spots in the country, we decided to look into alternatives.
Successs! When we went there was not a single other boat in sight
After a long and bumpy bus ride Emily and I arrived at Dalat, leaving the coast for mountains. Mountains in Vietnam nearly always mean coffee. So, while getting to grips with the city, our first afternoon was spent in a coffee shop enjoying the local brews and planning the days ahead.
Emily’s former life as a barista hasn’t gone to waste in Vietnam!