Travelrific® Travel Journal

A blog for travel enthusiasts. Listen to our podcasts on the blogroll at Travelrific® Radio. Visit our Wanderful Places® Travel Shop for travel-inspired merchandise!

Archive for July, 2019

Bali’s Iconic Bird

By Linda Tancs

As if Bali weren’t fabled enough, West Bali National Park is a lush oasis of forests, mountains, clear blue water and long stretches of protected beach and offshore coral reefs. But the reason for the park’s creation in 1941 is to protect the island’s iconic and endemic bird, the snow-white and critically endangered Bali Starling. It’s one of about 160 species recorded in the park. In addition to flora and fauna watching, the park’s offshore island Menjangan is a popular diving spot for coral reef and other marine exploration. The journey there from Denpasar, Bali’s capital, is about four or five hours.

California’s Newest National Park

By Linda Tancs

Pinnacles National Park, California’s newest national park as of this writing (designated in 2013), is an old soul at heart. Its cliffs, crags and cave formations arise from volcanic eruptions that took place millions of years ago, sending volcanic matter 200 miles away to the park’s current location in the Salinas Valley. The towering, domed rock structures giving the park its name beckon rock climbers. Divided into an east and west side, climbing routes predominate on the west side of the park. Of course, there are plenty of other activities to enjoy, like bird watching for the park’s signature citizen, the California condor. Or maybe you’d like a hike that includes cave exploration. Camping is also available on the east side year round. You can’t drive through both sides of the park. The west side is accessible from Highway 101; the east entrance is off Highway 25.

Seaside Splendor in Spain

By Linda Tancs

Widely regarded as one of Spain’s most beautiful villages, Cudillero is a picturesque fishing port on the Atlantic Coast, far from the madding crowd. One of its most distinctive features is its brightly colored houses nestled in horseshoe fashion among the cliffs. Take in the views from the lighthouse or the lookout point at Mirador de la Garita.

The Island of Wine

By Linda Tancs

The ancient Greeks planted vines on the Croatian island Hvar in 384 B.C. So it’s fair to say that they’ve been in the winemaking business there a good while, the quality of their wine a testament to their proud heritage. It’s equally prized as a summer resort, touted as the sunniest spot in the country. That suits beachgoers just fine, who can enjoy pebble beaches like Dubovica, surrounded by pine trees and olive groves. To get there, hop on the high-speed ferry from Dubrovnik.

The Living Dune

By Linda Tancs

Jockey’s Ridge is the tallest natural sand dune system in the eastern United States. Located in Nags Head, North Carolina, the shifting winds that constantly reshape this remaining dune system on the Outer Banks have resulted in its moniker, “The Living Dune.” The sand (mostly quartz rock) comprising the 420 acres of Jockey’s Ridge is equal to about 6,000,000 dump truck loads! In addition to its distinctive dunes, the ecology of the park includes species like live oaks, persimmons, bayberry, sweet gum and pines and the Roanoke Sound Estuary, home to the blue crab as well as plant and bird life.

Caledonian Splendor

By Linda Tancs

Once upon a time, a vast woodland known as the Caledonian Forest covered much of Scotland. Formed at the end of the last ice age, its remnants are still visible in places like Glen Affric, considered one of the most beautiful places in Scotland. Thick with trees, its mix of Scots pine, birch, oak and Douglas fir is a big reason why the glen is protected as a National Nature Reserve. Several animals call these ancient woods home, like its iconic red deer (most visible in winter and autumn), pine martens and red squirrels. The protected environment is also invaluable for rare species like golden eagles and black grouse. A short distance from Loch Ness, the River Affric runs the length of the reserve, where trails offer stunning views of the mountains, towering trees and waterfalls.

The Underground Down Under

By Linda Tancs

About 500 miles north of Adelaide in the Australian Outback is the subterranean town of Coober Pedy, where most of the town’s 1,800 or so residents live in underground shelters carved from the sandstone walls, giving new meaning to the phrase “a hole in the wall.” The place is worth a visit to explore the unique lifestyle enjoyed there, which also happens to be the opal capital of the world. Together with the surrounding region, it supplies around 85% of the world’s opal supply.

%d bloggers like this: