Vancouver cycling: Stanley Park-UBC-Fraser River-Arbutus Greenway route

Last weekend, we cobbled together an awesome cycling route around Vancouver’s West Side. The ride provides exceptional diversity: beautiful beaches, rivers and parks, lovely neighbourhoods, giant cedar forests, equestrian centres, First Nations communities and the University of British Columbia (UBC). It’s mind-boggling that we saw all this, and more, in only a 46 km (29 mi) loop (technically, a lollipop). Most of the route is on dedicated bike paths, and the majority of on-road sections have bike lanes. The unseasonably warm weather and spring blooms added to make this a perfect day on our bikes.

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Categories: Biking, British Columbia | Tags: , , , | 38 Comments

Memories of Namibia

When asked about my favourite travel experiences, Namibia always comes to mind. I’ve never done justice to Namibia on my blog because the trip was in 2008, long before my blogging days, and many of my photos are stored cumbersomely on CD-ROM. Well, I finally dug out our shoe boxes of discs, waded through countless images, and transferred them to my photo library. Too much time has elapsed for me to provide a detailed travel report, but I hope you enjoy my photo memories of this stunning country.

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Categories: Namibia, Places | Tags: , , , , | 60 Comments

My 10 most memorable wild animal encounters

On my morning walk I passed a sign that read Warning: Bear in Area. My first thought was that it’s awfully early in the season. I didn’t end up meeting any big furry creatures, but it got me thinking about the wild animals I’ve seen during my travels abroad and on local adventures in western Canada. Just like memorable monuments, landscapes, or people, wild animals encounters have left indelible impressions on me—most of them positive, and a few not. So, in no particular order, here are my most memorable critter experiences.

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Categories: Wildlife Viewing | Tags: , , , | 55 Comments

Why did I never turn right? Hiking in Horseshoe Bay, British Columbia

For year now, when I need an easy, no-fuss hike, I just walk out my door to a trailhead about 10-minutes away. The path immediately gets me into the deep forest above Horseshoe Bay. After 500 m of uphill grunting, there’s an intersection. I’ve always turned left. It’s like I’m on autopilot. Left is to Whyte Lake, a pretty, little lake that makes the perfect one hour, door-to-door outing—a reliable and predictable bit of fresh air and exercise. A few months ago, I bucked the routine and turned right.

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Categories: British Columbia, Canada, Hiking | Tags: , , | 67 Comments

Winter hike to Garibaldi Lake, British Columbia

Garibaldi Lake, located in Garibaldi Provincial Park near Whistler, British Columbia, is a popular summertime hiking destination. A few weeks ago, on a crisp sunny day, I finally got to hike there in winter. Verdict: It’s a gorgeous cold weather outing. The blanket of white adds a simplicity to the landscape making it appear even grander than in summer. And, there’s a peacefulness that comes with the largely monochromatic scene. Strangely, I can thank the pandemic for allowing me to hike to Garibaldi Lake this winter.

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Categories: British Columbia, Canada, Hiking | Tags: , , , | 50 Comments

Remembering Egypt: 10 years after the revolution

Remember the Arab Spring? I certainly do. We had booked a trip to Egypt mere weeks before massive pro-democracy demonstrations erupted on January 25, 2011 in Cairo’s Tahrir Square, the epicentre of Egypt’s 2011 revolution. After 18 days of intense unrest, former president Hosni Mubarak was forced out of office. Most visitors cancelled travel plans to Egypt. We decided to go ahead with our March 2011 visit. This post features my photo memories from an extraordinary trip during an extraordinary time.

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Categories: Egypt | Tags: , , , , , , | 49 Comments

This is winter on Vancouver’s North Shore

There’s an old saying that if you can see the North Shore from Vancouver, it’s about to rain, and if you can’t, it’s raining. Grey skies and incessant precipitation are typical of winter on the North Shore, part of Greater Vancouver separated by the Burrard Inlet. I grumble about the winter weather, but I’ve also learned to embrace it. With its unique geography and micro-climates, Vancouver’s North Shore offers a huge variety of outdoor activities. It’s one of the few places in the world where you can ski, hike, cycle, golf, and play in the ocean in winter—possibly all on the same day. And, when the sun does peek out, it’s glorious!

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Categories: British Columbia, Canada | Tags: , , , , , , | 48 Comments

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