15 Extraordinary Experiences to add to your Bucket List

There are some destinations and experiences in life that are etched into your memory and looking back at the photographs tends to rekindle the wanderlust that’s burning in your soul! It may have been the exotic aromas wafting through the air, the peaceful and serene feelings evoked, the indescribable beauty of the landscape, or the delightful people; most likely a fusion of these events served to secure their designation as extraordinary for you. These are a few of my amazing experiences.

Okavango Delta, Botswana, Africa

Ears tuned to the varied wildlife within the Okavango Delta, leaning against a pillow in a traditional dugout mokoro canoe, transported through the shallow waters with the lulling sound of poles dipping in and out of the water, I was living in the moment.

Bucket List 1

Petra, Jordan

Emerging from the mile long narrow “Siq” trail with rocks towering over 250 feet on each side, the stunning “Treasury”, carved into the sandstone cliff face dating back to the 5th century, leaves you breathless!

Bucket List 2

Sossusvlei Dunes, Namibia, Africa

Ready for some adventure? Try walking the spine of Dune 45 in the Namid Desert at sunrise. It’s only 557 feet tall and you’ll be tromping through sand that is 5 million years old. The views are otherworldly!

Bucket List 3

Deadvlei Salt Pan, Namibia, Africa

Believed to be about 900 years old, the dead skeleton trees are set off by the contrasting colors of burnt orange sand, biscuit cracked earth, and cobalt blue sky!

Bucket List 4

Gudvangen Fjord, Norway Continue reading

Travel Spirit Meetup Group

I’ve just began my own Meetup group called Travel Spirit Meetup Group.  If you’d like to take a look…here’s the link!  I’m very excited to begin organizing meetups to travel together and to share our tips and travel stories!  It doesn’t matter where you live…if you join, you could still meetup with us somewhere!

Here’s a photograph from Lake Malawi, Africa…

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I’m working on another Powerpoint presentation…from my 40 day trip through six countries in Africa.  It will have to be split into two presentations because I have over 200 photographs and an hour isn’t long enough to share 40 days of adventure!

 

 

Mobbed by School Children and Encounter with Witch Doctor

An optional activity through my G Adventures 35 day African Overland Truck trip was to have your fortune told by a Witch Doctor at Lake Malawi!  It was only $6, so off I went with the Tour Director, our translator/guide and one other fellow traveler.  It was only a 10 minute walk down a dirt road from our campsite and along the way, we came upon a school.  We stopped to say hello to the school children.  They were in class, so we briefly spoke to the Principal.  A few minutes later, the children were released for a recess and I started taking some photos.  They were so exuberant, I felt like I was being mobbed.  I was surrounded and I was trying to get them to back up so I could take the photos.

ARE YOU IN THERE???

It was time to go, so after I was positioned farther away, I was able to zoom in and get a photo of them….

The school didn’t have any desks for the children (they sat on the floor), and no light!  We talked with the translator about ways to help and he said the sad thing was that when organizations or people would donate money, it would go into the pockets of the bureaucrats, police, administration, etc.

The Witch Doctor’s hut was in a very small village.  This was one of the other village huts…

Here’s the Witch Doctor.  His belt and ankle bracelets made noise when he walked or danced.

The other traveler, Peter, and myself entered the Witch Doctor’s hut and had a seat on a mat on the floor.  Some of the village people also entered.  These children were darling…

The Witch Doctor began a heated verbal exchange with the drummer on the right and I asked the translator what they were saying.  He said the drummer was smoking pot (a joint) and the Witch Doctor told him to stop it.  The drummers began drumming and the Witch Doctor began dancing.  He had Peter dance with him and then it was my turn.  He had a whistle that he blew while he danced.

After all of the whistling, drumming, dancing and festivities, we all exited the hut, except for Peter, who stayed for his fortune.  After he came out, it was my turn.  The Witch Doctor told the translator that I was not married, had one child, my future looked bright (no problems), and that I would be blessed if I bought more items from the merchants selling wooden carvings that are located right outside of our campground.

He was right that I have one child!  I did buy about six wood carvings (most of them for gifts) so I should be quite blessed!

Moody Lake Malawi

Having arrived at Lake Malawi two days previously to a campsite called Kande Beach, my Overland Truck group itinerary required us to drive about five hours farther North up the shore of the lake to Chitimba Campground, where we arrived by 1pm.  They offered a small room for $6 a night and since we were staying two evenings, the thought of not putting my tent up won me over!

The remainder of my day was quite typical for my trip–internet time–lunch–nap–take photos.  As I was gazing at the beautiful lake water, I noticed what appeared to be a few clouds of smoke far out on the water, and asked an employee what they were.  He said they were swarms of flies (millions) that gather to reproduce, lay eggs and die shortly thereafter.  This happens approximately once a month.  The locals like to catch them and make them into a cake or deep fry them!  That’s one of the things I like about travel…there’s always something new and unexpected!

After dinner we had a bonfire on the beach.  I read in bed and was asleep by 9:45pm.  It poured down rain for the first time on the trip in the middle of the night.  My roof was made from tin and it was so loud!  Snug as a bug in my bed, I was glad I decided to splurge for the room, rather than worrying if my tent would leak!

Here are a few of my photos from the day.  I like this photo because of the distinct strips of color…

The owner of the facility saw me taking photos and asked if I’d like to see something really special.  I said of course, so he took me to meet his pet deer…

It was a windy day and I kept trying to get a decent photo of this amazing flower that was swaying violently in the wind!

One of the employees at the campground/resort…

I awoke before sunrise again the following morning and the lighting was divine…

The water looks like a sea (well…lake) of diamonds…large diamonds…

I’ll say it again…Lake Malawi is amazing!

Kande Beach, Lake Malawi

Having driven through Malawi, the day before, which you can read about here, my G Adventures Overland Truck group was excited to have arrived to our first campsite as night fell at Lake Malawi…Kande Beach.  We were staying here for two nights.  The next morning, I was up before sunrise, so I walked the short distance to the lake and was pleased to have “Sid”, the campground owners’ dog accompany me and be my protector!  Lake Malawi is nicknamed the calendar lake because it is approximately 365 miles long by 52 miles wide.  You feel as though you’re at the ocean!  It is the third largest lake in Africa and the eighth largest in the world.  You’ll find the most species of fish of any body of fresh water on Earth here at Lake Malawi!  It’s also the second deepest lake in Africa…almost 2300 feet (almost a half mile) deep!

The colors were spectacular!  As I was taking photos I was reminding myself to soak it all in and experience the moments!  It almost seemed surreal!  The sky was bursting with gold and seemed ready to explode!

The day was perfect…not too hot, a nice breeze!  I had read that the Lake may have Bilharzia (a parasite) and could be risky to swim in.  We were assured that the two places we were staying at had no risk because it was moving water.  I did take a dip later that day!

My day consisted of laying on the beach reading a book for a while, some internet time, and a nap after lunch.  That evening we had a party.  We drew names from a hat and had to buy or use something we already had to dress that person up.  I drew our driver’s name–James.  I had a sheet with me so I wrapped it around him like a Toga!

Michael drew my name and dressed me as a Fem bot from the Austin Powers movie.  They have pictures and I hope they don’t blackmail me with them!  We had a Pig Roast and Rum Punch!

Lake Malawi is amazing!