After recovering for a day after our hike, Johnny and I pushed east and headed away from the Grand Canyon and towards Lake Powell. Being raised around saltwater, it was quite an experience to be introduced to true lake life. One hundred foot house boats and depths up to 400 feet right off the shore were just a couple of the cool things we saw on this 186 mile man-made lake.
We decided on our first day to go kayaking and cliff jumping. Fun right? Well we managed to have even more fun the second day when we rented two jet-skis and rode through the slot canyons. Truly a one of a kind experience. The water was about 75 degrees and had 20-30 foot plus visibility. It is a definitely a place I plan on coming back to one day.
We did spend one quick night at the Grand Canyon Lodge on the North Rim. Views overlooking the whole canyon and an awesome dinner made it a perfect stopping point between Lake Powell and Vegas. On a funny note, we were by far the youngest people there on our own accord so we were getting some odd looks.
Our last night was spent in Vegas, where after watching two quick YouTube videos on how to play craps, we ended up getting solidly ahead by the end of the night. More like morning, we left the final table around 6am, and I am now sitting in the airport writing this a few hours later. Overall it was a heck of a trip and I would recommend everything we did to anyone seeking a cool place to come without leaving the country.
Enjoy the photos…. I plan on growing the blog and starting to include tips, tricks, etc to help anyone else who wants to see the world.
The scale here was unbelievable. That is a jet ski far back in the shot!
Well I am back on the road! It has been awhile since my Asia adventures and I kept up this blog. However, I plan to start documenting more of my travels on here so check back periodically.
My college roommate and I decided to take a trip out west and spent a few weeks deciding where to go. With only a week to travel and time winding down, we chose the Grand Canyon. As imagined, photos will do more justice than a story, but I will tell at least one.
On our first full day, we hiked 20.1 miles. Let me repeat….we hiked 20.1 miles! There are two main trails which descend the canyon and also a trail down to the Colorado river. There are signs everywhere saying to not go to the river and back in one day. To Johnny and I….that sounded like a solid challenge. We hiked the Bright Angel trail down to Plateua point, then back and down to the river. Then a cross trail on the river and up and out via the South Kaibab trail.
By the end of the trail, we could barely stand, our water had ran out, and we were both running on empty. Luckily we made it out of the Canyon right as darkness set in. Today, our legs are toast….but it makes a good story.
- Distance covered: 20.1 miles
- Elevation change: ~12000 feet
- Time taken: 11 hours
Tomorrow we head up north to Lake Powell to go kayaking through Antelope Canyon so stay tuned for more photos.
I sit here on a cliff side bungalow on my last night before the long two day journey home begins. Monkeys can be heard in the trees, little spurts of Thai float up from the trees, limestone cliffs are lit in the distance. It would be impossible not to say I will miss all these little things I've grown accustom to.
However, I am happy to be heading back home.
Looking back on my blog, it is cool to see how I have grown as a person as well as my transition into the backpacking lifestyle. Arriving in some of the world's most renowned Asian cities with no idea of the language or where to stay that evening…the idea sounded overwhelming a few months ago…now it is where I find adventure.
The stories from this trip will certainly populate my conversations for the rest of my life. To “actually go” and find out what the other side of the world could offer is a fact I am proud of as well. I also know that I will be back and am already in talks about where my girlfriend and I will be backpacking to next year…so the journey will continue.
I will have one more post when I get home with the statistics of the trip as well as a list of cities I have visited. If you have any questions about where I have been, what I have done, or traveling on this side of the world in general…feel free to shoot me and email or comment.
For now, enjoy the last few photos from the other side of the world and I will write one last time from home!
Up, Up, Up
Happy to get to any resting spot
Leaving these guys behind.
View point over Railay beach
Welcome to Railay Beach, the last stop on my Southeast Asia tour. Also, probably one of the first stops next time I come to Thailand with my girlfriend. Known usually as a tourist area, I happen to catch it at the very low point of the season…the beaches are practically empty. It is the perfect spot to end my trip.
Climbing is the name of the game here at Railay, tomorrow morning I am going on a climbing tour to test out my vertical ascension skill set. Today I was able to try out some “small stuff” as I made my way down small cliffs to a lagoon surrounded by the island. By the end, I was covered in red clay, but was able to swim in a secluded lagoon surrounded by limestone with a killer echo effect.
Monkeys…I had no idea how many monkeys inhabit this area of Thailand. Not shy at all, the most common “macaque” monkeys walk around and “hang” out everywhere you look. I have included just a couple of the dozens of photo opportunities presented. Though not aggressive, many of the mothers have young clinging on for dear life, and I learned to appreciate my camera's 22X optical zoom instead of risk losing a finger.
As the journey home grows closer, it is hard not to reflect on where this trip has taken me. I will most likely have at least one or two more posts to sum up EyeonKyle. Thanks again for those who have followed me for the entire trip. It is always cool to know someone is reading.
Enjoy the photos for possibly the last time of this journey. Thanks again!
Not a bad little beach...
Extreme tides here at Railay
One of my favorite selfies
Your typical warning
Photo doesn't quite sum up how awesome this place was...or how hard it was to get there.
I've woken up in a different city for the past 5 mornings. From Sapa, Vietnam…I made my way back to Hanoi, then flew to Bangkok, then to Krabi, and I currently reside on the island of Ko Phi Phi. While the majority of people my age descend upon the island of Ko Pha Ngan, home of the full moon party, I took an alternate root and am enjoying my last week of the trip on an island paradise.
Welcome to Ko Phi Phi, many may have heard of it when the 2004 tsunami caused extensive damage. I'm here to say it has a made a full recovery and is now a diver's paradise. Tomorrow morning I head out for two dives in the blue waters and even have chance of seeing a whale shark. Though I'm not betting on it, it would still make for an awesome experience.
I've officially booked out the last few days of my trip. After my dives, I catch a boat to Railay beach and plan on rock climbing the day away. I originally planned on doing the two beaches in reverse order, but diving too close to a flight is not recommended. Rock climbing also doesn't sound like a bad end to an amazing trip.
I've included a few batch photos from Ko Phi Phi as well as a picture from Hanoi. Enjoy!
Not a bad spot to wrap up the trip
Blue as far as you can see
Flying is still fun on this side of the world
Back to my buddy Evan's top floor Bangkok view
They were on a English person scavenger hunt...
Stopped on my hike to hang out with this guy 🙂
I sat in the Hanoi bus station after a 5 hour bus ride…thinking. The bus to Sapa had to be booked across town and it would then be a 10-12 hour ride through the night. I'm sure every backpacker has had the same feeling at some point in their journey. Worn out, frustrated, tired of fighting language and cultural barriers every day…these were all hitting me at one time. However, after a mental duel involving statements such as ” dude, you are in freaking Vietnam! Go!”, I rode across town and booked my ticket.
I woke up in Sapa. Needless to say, the answer to “Is it worth going?” was a yes. The last 11 days of my trip are going to be quite hectic but fun. Five flights, three countries, and more experiences are ahead. This post is brief in words, but heavy on the photos. Enjoy the beauty from Sapa I was able to capture…I will be in Thailand next time I post!
Sapa showing off
A glass of local apple wine and a book by my favorite author. View's not bad either...
A friend and I decided to go hiking.
Cat Ba National Park
Even the rain here is beautiful
This was taken from a very long way away. The work involved is insane
I dropped something!
Cat Ba...but proof I'm still alive!
I have recently left Hoi An which is a beautiful area based on the Thu Bon RIver. Though activities were limited, the architecture and peaceful nature of the city made for a relaxing halfway point between north and south Vietnam. I enjoyed “fresh beer” on the river for 3000 dong a glass…about 15 cents. Not bad.
After a 17 hour night bus ride to Hanoi, I immediately booked a ticket for Cat Ba. Two buses and one boat ride later, and I finally arrived. Currently, I am sitting at a small restaurant overlooking the bay and am enjoying fresh fried squid with grilled mystery fish…I'm getting used to it. 😉
When you think of the classic photographs in asian restaraunts of cliffs jutting out of the sea, the area surrouding Cat Ba is about as close as you can get. A single line of hotels surround the bay and “mountains” literally rise out of the ocean. Feel free to scroll down and peek at the photo's first…I don't know how else to describe the beauty of the surrounding landscape.
Today I went on a boat tour through the “islands” which included kayaking, exploring a cave, and snorkeling in a small cove. The boat ride alone was worth the price of the admission. Small floating villages and fish farms line the bays. Locals in small wooden boats, who face forward and fight physics for whatever reason, paddle around the sheer cliffs. One area we explored was once an underwater cave which has long since dried out. It now serves as a passage leading to a small protected lake surrounded by cliffs. About as close to “The Beach” by Alex Garland as you can get…
I plan to spend another night or two exploring the areas surrouding Cat Ba…but I need to move on towards Sapa and then fly to the Thai islands. More freediving and a few days in the sun will be the closer to an incredible journey.
Enjoy the photos and expect a new post from the rice terraces of Sapa!
The beautiful Hoi An City
Paddling among the canals
Welcome to Cat Ba
Boat for scale
View from the top
Seconds before I jumped off the side.