Rosie Shaw

Joined April 2019
  • Day69

    Down on the West Coast.

    July 24 in the United States ⋅ ☀️ 28 °C

    Our last week or so has consisted of a whooole lotta relaxing! We ventured from Yosemite to the coast. Starting just south of San Francisco we mosied down to LA over about 7 days. We met interesting people, ate gross American food and visited a whole lotta beaches.
    No surf to be found sadly but the people were friendly enough and the hikes and weather was nice!
    LA was interesting and I’m still so confused as to why people choose to come here if they don’t have too.
    Australia trumps America (haha) anyday of the week! See you soon Australia, you’re still the best.
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  • Day60

    Yosemite National Park.

    July 15 in the United States ⋅ ☀️ 25 °C

    After landing in LA we jumped in our hire car and begun the trip North to Yosemite National Park. We stopped for some clothes shopping and of course a must-do Walmart shop.
    The drive took roughly 6 hours and we checked into a hostel just outside the National Park for the evening.
    The next day we arose early to beat the heat and crowds and made our way into the park.
    We spent the morning wandering about the Yosemite Valley. Visiting the Falls, and the swinging bridge. After a quick lunch of fruit and bread we decided to head off on a hike.
    We did the 11km hike up the Mist Trail to Nevada Falls, visiting Vernal Falls on the way. The first leg of the hike was busy with people but luckily for us Americans don’t do much walking. So, after the first waterfall the trail was practically empty. The weather was beautiful and sunny, chipmunks darted around and the rush of the waterfall and birds singing filled our ears. Hardly any words were shared between Tallara and I as we walked up and over Nevada Falls, and took in the amazing view before heading back down the other side. We were immersed in the sounds and sights of the forest.
    Sadly, no bears to be seen! Next time.
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  • Day54

    Archipiéla go de los Canarreos.

    July 9 in Cuba ⋅ ⛅ 23 °C

    Oh boy what a week!
    We meet up with our group of 9 in Havana and jumped aboard a bus to Cienfuegos, a port town in the middle of Cuba at the bottom.
    We jumped aboard our 85ft catamaran that holds 16; grateful that we only had 9!!
    The group consisted of 4 oldies from New Zealand, 2 oldies from Hungary and 1 youngy from Wales. What a treat. We were very keen.
    The boat left the port and sailed all night while we slept soundly. We awoke to the sun and fresh air of the first island.
    The next week pretty much goes as follows; wake up, swim, brekky, snorkel, fish, lunch, kayak, swim, laze around, dinner, cards, bed time.
    A particularly special day was spent visiting a sea turtle conservation and then being able to release several turtles back into the wild!
    We feasted on freshly caught fish and lobster. Oftentimes eating what we had caught in the day. Deliciousssss.
    Sooo relaxed and sun drunk we’re ready for some more in California.
    So nice to meet you Brenda, Dave, Kaylene, Clive/ Vince, Amy, Akos, Katie, Lerdo, El Capitan and El Chef.
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  • Day51

    Havana ooh na na.

    July 6 in Cuba ⋅ ⛅ 31 °C

    We hopped over to Cuba from Cancun, taking with us a toy truck for a random mans son in later dwelled upon suspicious circumstances... in hindsight maybe not so wise (Schapelle Corby). Anyhow, we got through thank goodness and had two nights in Havana before our sailing shenanigans.
    We spent the mornings walking the streets, always a friendly person to meet. The people are warm and the weather even warmer.
    One of the oldest cities in the Americas with a rich history, there was plenty to explore.
    Cubans are fiercely proud of their country and after the efforts of the Revolution who can blame them. It is slowly becoming a tourist hotspot which has been good for the Cuban economy. However, the Cuban Government still takes much more from the people then necessary and doesn’t allow the ultimate amount of freedom they so desire. However, the people are still awfully friendly (sometimes too much).
    We were tired of all the wolf whistles and being hit on every two steps so off onto a boat for a week to explore the Cuban Islands and swim in the Caribbean yeeha.
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  • Day47

    A few fine days in Mexico

    July 2 in Mexico ⋅ ⛅ 31 °C

    After bidding farewell to our fine friends; Kappa, Tabby and Lucy; Tallara and I were off to Mexico. Boy what a treat.
    After an interesting first night in Cancun we jumped aboard a boat bound for the small Isla Mujeres (Island of Women). We were glad to be rid of the craziness and tourists in Cancun (even though there’s still a few on the island).
    We checked into our hostel and hit the most popular beach 3 blocks away called Playa Norte. The water is incredibly blue here, as are the skies. The sand silky and white!
    We hit the hay early that night and arose early too for a swim. We got to the beach before anyone else and got to watch the sunrise! Sooo good!! Serene and tranquil without the monotonous American accents interrupting our peace.
    Afterwards we hired some scooters and explored the rest of the island. Resorts filled most of the beaches but we managed to find a few secret little pozzies and sneak into a few private areas! An awesome day indeed!!
    An early night tonight to get our rest before flying to Cuba tomorrow. Yeehaaa.
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  • Day42

    Beach, becha, bchea, cheab.

    June 27 in Colombia ⋅ ⛅ 28 °C

    Well about TIME! We finally made it to the sunshiney shores of the Colombian Caribbean! And boy are we glad. Sun soaked and totally relaxed.
    The hostal was perfecto. Right on Costeño Beach with the sound of waves breaking, we kicked back and relaxed for the past few days. Good food and weather along with comfy as heck beds made this place our favourite hostal!
    A day trip into the Tayrona National Park was a treat. Trekking through the dense jungle and eating a coconut before arriving to the sandy beach for a swim and a read. What a spot.
    What an epic way to end the South American part of the trip and to part ways with our group. One more night left in Bogota before Tallara and I fly out to Mexico for a few days. Yeeha! Thanks so much South America. What a treat.
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  • Day39

    Cartagena.

    June 24 in Colombia ⋅ ⛅ 30 °C

    We flew up from Medellín to Cartagena, a quick flight! We checked into our hostal and headed out for a delish Greek dinner. The people running the hostal were lovely and welcoming and the hostal had a homey vibe.
    We spent the next day exploring the old city of Cartagena. The old city sits within a fortress built by the Spanish when they came to keep the pirates out. A huge stone wall surrounds the city, lined with canons. Inside the ‘compound’ lies old stone buildings and narrow streets. Beautiful and bright with great art work and hanging plants randomly around.
    The weather is warm and very humid. A great change from the below zeros we’ve experienced not too long ago.
    Although this is a ‘beachside’ city the water looks like it would do more harm then good. Icky and grey with rubbish floatin around yicky. Off to Tayrona National Park we go. Hoping to find some clearer waters and even some WAVES. Boy I miss the beach!
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  • Day37

    Medellín; more than Pablo.

    June 22 in Colombia ⋅ ⛅ 27 °C

    So far this has been the town with the most intense history. We arrived by plane into Medellín, Colombia and checked into a funky little hostel and hit the hay.
    We awoke early the next day for our walking tour of the city where we learnt in-depth history of the iconic Colombian town. Wowee what a story.
    The tour guide was an amazing story teller and hats off to him for telling the truth, even the hard, dirty parts.
    Essentially Medellín holds the immense stigma of being the cocaine capital of Colombia. It’s forefather Pablo Escobar made sure of that in the 1960s and 70s. However, somehow through highs and lows and hurdles, Medellín has managed to rise from the ashes and clean up its streets to become one of the biggest tourist towns in Colombia now days.
    During the late 80s and early 90s Medellín was dubbed the ‘most dangerous city in the world.’ With the highest murder and violence rates due to cartel and drug wars, along with guerilla and terror groups opposing the corrupt government.
    After many years, the death of Pablo and many governments that did good (but painfully some bad as well) Medellín cleaned up the scariest parts of the streets and replaced it with good. Education centres, art galleries and monuments were erected to liven areas that were once feared and avoided. The city soon began to flourish and transform.
    Tourism brought cashflow, various cultures, safer streets and new ways of making money. The metro was installed during a hard time and made travel around the city much easier. It is the most respected tool in all of Medellín. No graffiti or trash to be seen anywhere on the trains.
    Although still oftentimes a scary place and still very much healing from the pain and hurt, Medellín is on the mend. Hoolio our guide explained how Colombians find happiness and pride in the small things (like when they scored an unthinkable goal against Germany in the World Cup some years ago). They try to forget the pain of the past and look to a much brighter future. He explained how foreigners should find inspiration from this. How we too should hold our heads high when things are tough because we are still alive!!!
    After the tour we traipsed around town with Will from Spain. His helpful Spanish got us around town with ease. Tabby tried her best but with minimal luck to snag the newcomer. She was very fond, and maybe a bit too keen (scared the poor fella off). Many laughs were had indeed!

    The next morning we ducked out of Medellín and jumped aboard a bus bound for Guatape. The most colourful town. After a long detour because of traffic blocks we arrived and got some lunch.
    We spent the afternoon roaming the beautiful, old, colourful streets here and tasted a lot of the local foods. The people were warm and friendly and it wasn’t as touristy as I thought it would be. All in all a great day!

    Our last day in Medellin had a lazy start. Then we ventured into Comuna 13. This area of Medellín makes you fully understand how far a lot of Colombia has come from its dark past. Still shady in areas, with drug trafficking, extortion and violence but nothing like it’s former years. The government installed elevators to get up the steep hill. That along with street art makes it another tourist hotspot. This in turn has increased police presence and has made it a much safer area to visit!
    We also tramped down the street to watch the football game against Paraguay with the locals at the stadium! Luckily they won and everyone went home happy.
    A place with a very very dark history but nonetheless beautiful now (never do drugs because it’s the people like this that suffer). Well worth the visit indeed!
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  • Day31

    Rainbow Mountain & Laguna 69.

    June 16 in Peru ⋅ ☁️ 0 °C

    After our trek we were all exhausted but we only had one more day in Cusco! Tallara, Tabby and I opted for a 3:30am start to get to Rainbow Mountain. After a 2.5 hour drive we arrived and clambered out of the bus. At 4,600m the wind was chilly but we were the first ones there! The 3km walk up took us 1.5hrs as we trudged up the mountain. The altitude at the top was 5,065m high and boy did the lungs feel it!
    With all our warmer clothes in the wash from the trek we laughed at how ill prepared we were as snow fell from the sky.
    The view from the top was amazing!!! Now quite the full rainbow because of the snow, but incredible nonetheless.
    After a little while enjoying the view, and a memorial meeting at the top we walked briskly back to the bus as we passed hoards of people making their way up to the summit. As we walked the wind picked up and the snow came in a little harder! Glad to have finished it before the crowds and chill came we made our way back.
    We slept well and the next day caught an early flight to Lima. Glad to only be staying in this bustling city a few hours we made our way to the bus station and jumped on board a bus bound for Huaraz. The hiking capital of Peru.
    We arrived to Huaraz later in the evening and tramped to our hostel.
    We arose early again the next day. A 4:30am start and made our way by bus to the National Park that houses the famous Laguna 69.
    We arrived after a hearty brekky on the way at 9am and jumped out the bus. Here we began our 8km trek mostly up steep hills to the lagoon. The altitude (3,900- 4,600m) made the trek a challenge but the beauty around us made it well worth it. Up and along the bubbling brook we wove our way between snowy peaks to the incredibly blue lagoon. What a sight to see!
    Tallara’s 27th birthday today so a picnic once we got to the top was well called for. We spent an hour or two taking in the beauty of the lagoon before making our way back down and onto the bus.
    Beer and pizza are well deserved! A mighty nice way to spend a 27th!
    A nice down day tomorrow before we jet off to Colombia 🇨🇴
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  • Day24

    Cusco & Machu Picchu.

    June 9 in Peru ⋅ ⛅ 8 °C

    We hopped back aboard the Bolivia Hop bus from Copacabana and chuffed off onto Peru. A very eventful bus trip that incorporated a crash, some Dr Kappa emergency care and some food poisoning dilemmas we reached Cusco. Here we met our new group for the next few days where we would embark on our hike in the Peruvian mountains. The first few days before the hike were spent with most of our team down with food poisoning but still somehow soldiering on. Luckily enough we were all feeling marginally better the first day of the hike. We began by trekking a small way up hill to our first camp site for the night. It was chilly but we were thankful for some very good sleeping bags.
    Day two we were aroused early (5am) and we marched directly upwards for about 6 hours. High altitude, post food poisoning and high inclines made the hike upwards difficult but with the anticipation of the top we carried on. We reached the summit of our hike at about 12:30pm. At 4,800m above sea level the view was amazing. The snow capped mountains and lagoons made it well worth the effort! After this we all knew it was all downhill from there! The views on the way down were amazing as well. We strolled along a clear stream surrounded by lush flora. The Brits of our group complained a lot and were fed up with our ‘Australian positivity.’ After many laughs and hoots we made it to our campsite and collapsed in a tired heap in our tents. 19km, 28,000 steps, 155 floors climbed combined with altitude made this the hardest day of the trek but what an effort.
    Our last day of the trek was a breeze. We woke up at a dreamy 7am and continued our descent through some Inca ruins and back along the stream.
    We hopped on the bus at about 12 and continued on to our lunch spot where we ate like kings for our final meal as a big group of 15.
    On we bussed to Ollyantambo and onto a train to take us to Aguas Calientes. The gateway to the mighty Machu Picchu (old mountain).
    Machu Picchu today (Saturday). I learnt two things: the Incans were incredibly intelligent and strong, and humans are not that great now days.
    An awesome sight to see and amazing views all around! Sadly, so many tourists!! After a great last day with our group exploring these ruins it’s time to head back to Cusco for the night.
    It was great to meet everyone on our tour, a good bunch of people! George & Emily from the UK were an especially fun time!
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