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Entries about murktravels

Cusco and Machu Picchu 2021 - Peru

sunny 75 °F
View Peru 2021-2022 on MurkTravels's travel map.

overview / intro

After spending over a week in the Sacred Valley, went took a night train to the town at the base of Machu Picchu, named Aguas Clientes. The next morning was a very early alarm to take a bus to the gate at the grounds. We first hiked up Wayne Picchu, which is a mountain peak that overlooks the city of Machu Picchu. It was mostly foggy on the way up, but cleared for amazing views as we were leaving and hiking back down.

Then we met up with a guide and spent several more hours learning about the history and the specific buildings that make up the old Inca settlement. The name isn't actually known, but it goes by the name of the mountain it's on, Machu Picchu. It was definitely an amazing experience, one of the true wonders of the modern world.
Just a note though, they expect the crowd limitations to continue to be reduced every year, and maybe in 15-20 years have to shut it down completely due to the damage being done by tourists and the foot traffic.

Next we trained back to Cusco and spent several days in the city. There are 5 or so Inca sites around the edges of the town, a local artisan market, several Spanish churches, shops, and a cool plaza.

Recommend:

  • hike Waynu Picchu to get the best view of Machu Picchu
  • hire a guide and spend most of the day at Machu Picchu
  • visit San Pedro market in Cusco
  • eat at local places around the Cusco main plaza

Trip Map

Pictures

see more on Facebook Murk Travels Peru album

Cusco:
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Links

MurkTravels Vimeo - videos of my trips & entertainment
MurkTravels Youtube - videos of my trips & entertainment
MurkTravels Facebook page - pictures, posts, and regular updates
MurkTravels Facebook photo albums
MurkTravels Instagram - my attempt at artistic travel images
MurkTravels Travel Map - all the places that I've been and the things that I've seen

Posted by MurkTravels 21:19 Archived in Peru Tagged history peru lima wonder cusco murktravels 2021 Comments (0)

Reethi Faru resort 2021 - the Maldives

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overcast 85 °F
View Peru 2021-2022 & Maldives 2021 on MurkTravels's travel map.

overview / intro

We found a good deal for a week long stay at a fancy resort in the middle of one of the atoll of islands in the Maldives. It took 2 days of travel to get there and 2 days on the way back since it's pretty much on the other side of the world, but totally worth it.

It is a super unique location and experience to see all these tiny islands in the middle of a huge ocean. They are somewhat close to each other (a couple miles in any direction) but far enough that you feel isolated on a private island and can barely see the next one in the chain on the horizon.

Most of the islands are private resorts. Ours had a gym, sport courts, several pools, many beaches, bars, restaurants, and about 100 bungalows/rooms. We opted to go all in and enjoy one of the villas that sits above the water in a shallow coral reef pool area. We could dive off the back deck into the water and snorkel or swim around and see the fish, coral, jellyfish, etc..

Each day was a different experience. We did snorkel trips to swim with turtles one day, we saw manta rays another day, and ocean dolphins, went on a sunset boat cruise, visited a tiny sand reef island that you could walk around in about a minute. Other days we worked out, went to the beaches, relaxed in the villa porch, visited all the bars.

Recommend:

  • splurge on an above water villa for the unique experience and to swim whenever you want
  • go on some guided trips to see fish, sharks, manta rays, turtles, reefs
  • you can skip the capital of Male, there's not much to do there and it's just a point of transfer for international flights to the other islands / resorts

Trip Map

Pictures

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Video

videos: https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=murktravels+maldives&sp=QgIIAQ%253D%253D

Links

MurkTravels Youtube - videos of my trips & entertainment
MurkTravels Facebook page - pictures, posts, and regular updates
MurkTravels Facebook photo albums
MurkTravels Instagram - my attempt at artistic travel images
MurkTravels Travel Map - all the places that I've been and the things that I've seen

Posted by MurkTravels 15:21 Archived in Maldives Republic Tagged beaches islands sunsets maldives asia murktravels 2021 Comments (0)

2020

what just happened?

sunny 80 °F
View Colorado and Utah 2020 & Montana & Wyoming 2020 & Turkey 2020 & 14ers 2017+ & Israel 2020 on MurkTravels's travel map.

Looking Back

2020:
Well, that was an interesting year.
There was some things that were new and crazy like the pandemic and my truck getting stolen and totaled. Meanwhile other things stayed the same just like any other year with camping, hiking, biking, running, volleyball, moving, and road trips.

Most activities this year was somehow affected by COVID related news, including working remotely for 41 weeks of the year. I had several concerts, events, and international travel cancelled. The trips would have been to Italy, Croatia, Austria, Canada, and the Cayman Islands.

However that allowed me to take more US based trips. I was able to check out a lot of National Parks included Rocky Mountain, Colorado Monument, Dinosaur Monument, Arches, Yellowstone, and Grand Tetons. Plus had the time to see a lot of family, friends, and enjoy hobbies (all at a distance of course).

Well, here's the review:

Activities

Things that happened in 2020:

Big Travels

Quick Trips

Challenges

Events & other activities

  • moved to downtown Denver - February
  • had 4Runner stolen, along with all my camping and outdoor gear, to be found a week later totaled and trashed by drug addicts - August
  • concerts: none
  • races: none
  • volleyball, biking, running, walking, hiking
  • Denver Travel Show
  • Prudence turned 3 - August

Pictures

see more on Facebook Murk Travels albums

Links

MurkTravels Vimeo - videos of my trips & entertainment
MurkTravels Youtube - videos of my trips & entertainment
MurkTravels Facebook page - pictures, posts, and regular updates
MurkTravels Facebook photo albums
MurkTravels Instagram - my attempt at artistic travel images
MurkTravels Travel Map - all the places that I've been and the things that I've seen

Posted by MurkTravels 03:21 Archived in USA Tagged me sunsets_and_sunrises mountains lakes trees museums nature travel california colorado mountain egypt turkey utah camp africa usa rockies festival hike bike israel europe asia denver qatar roadtrip montana wyoming macedonia ultra challenge sup nationalparks 14er 2020 murktravels in_review fkkt Comments (0)

Istanbul 2020 - Turkey

Turkey for Thanksgiving - the country not the bird

sunny 40 °F
View Turkey 2020 on MurkTravels's travel map.

overview / intro

After being mostly contained all year (minus some road trips, camping, hiking, and seeing family) we decided it was time to break out of the country. It wasn't an easy decision. To travel during a pandemic, knowing that if everyone wouldn't have traveled anywhere for a month at the start of this thing, it would be over long ago.
We considered the safety of travel; however we, the airlines, the hotels, and almost everyone we interacted with took great precautions.
We considered the impacts to family and friends and even strangers; but we quarantined before and after and got tested several times.
We considered the financial impacts; it wasn't that much for us, but it was a huge difference to the groups we talked to that rely on tourism to live.

Our trip included a flight from Denver to DC, then a long ride to Doha Qatar. Once there, we couldn't leave the airport, so managed overnight there before heading onto Istanbul Turkey. We were in Turkey for Turkey Day ... although we ended up eating lamb instead. During the day was some sight seeing, and during night for a week or so was working, back on Denver time.

But then there was a full week of vacation. It included seeing more of Istanbul. It is such an interesting city where Europe, Asia, and the Middle East all meet and have cultural influence. I also spent a few days in the Cappadocia region. It's pretty much right in the middle of the country and is known for the fairy chimney rock formations and the underground cities and churches carved into that same rock.

We took a hot air balloon ride, visited countless mosques, had great local food, witnessed talented artists making Turkish rugs and pottery by hand, tasted local wine, toured underground cisterns, museums, castles, churches, did some shopping and bartering at the bazaars, slept in a cave (hotel), experienced a Turkish full service bath (hammam), and again ate some really good food.

We also add a few days of the vacation in North Macedonia.

Recommend - Istanbul:

  • Topkapi Palace
  • Grand Bazaar
  • Galata Tower - to watch the sunset
  • Dolmabache Palace
  • Suleymaniye Mosque
  • Kadikoy & Moda
  • full Hammam experience

Recommend - Cappadocia:

  • watching a sunrise with a hot air balloon ride over the region
  • Goreme Open Air Museum
  • views from Uchisar castle
  • underground city tour

Trip Map

Pictures

see more on Facebook Murk Travels albums
and for this trip : Turkey album

Cappadocia
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Dolmabahce Palace
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views around Istanbul
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Beyazit and Ortakoy Mosques
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Istanbul at sunset from Galata Tower
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Links

MurkTravels Youtube - videos of my trips & entertainment
MurkTravels Vimeo - videos of my trips & entertainment
MurkTravels Facebook page - pictures, posts, and regular updates
MurkTravels Facebook photo albums
MurkTravels Instagram - my attempt at artistic travel images
MurkTravels Travel Map - all the places that I've been and the things that I've seen

Posted by MurkTravels 20:43 Archived in Turkey Tagged sunsets_and_sunrises churches boats museums travel turkey wine europe asia 2020 murktravels Comments (0)

Crested Butte - Colorado USA

Fall Foliage Festival

sunny 75 °F

overview / intro

When it's the start of autumn, then it's time to vacation a bit to see the fall foliage. The northeast New England area may have claim to a lot of pretty colors, but Colorado is pretty picturesque too, if you know where to go. So we took a weekend to rent a condo and check out the changing colors of the leaves.

Crested Butte has one of the largest aspen grove regions in the world. They all go from lime green to greenish-yellow to bright yellow within a few weeks. There are usually some birch trees that include some red and orange colors as well. Then they are all back dropped by the dark green of all the evergreen trees and the gray of the Rocky Mountains.

Recommend:

  • Kebler Pass - Horse Ranch trailhead area.
  • downtown Crested Butte

Pictures

see more on Facebook Murk Travels albums

The trees and mountains from a distance:

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Driving on the side roads provide pretty good views.

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And getting into the hiking trails if a must do. By the way, you are going to see a lot of yellow.

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Links

MurkTravels Vimeo - videos of my trips & entertainment
MurkTravels Youtube - videos of my trips & entertainment
MurkTravels Facebook page - pictures, posts, and regular updates
MurkTravels Facebook photo albums
MurkTravels Instagram - my attempt at artistic travel images
MurkTravels Travel Map - all the places that I've been and the things that I've seen

Posted by MurkTravels 02:29 Archived in USA Tagged me trees nature colorado usa hike 2020 murktravels Comments (0)

Grand Tetons National Park - Wyoming USA

mountains and water

overcast 85 °F
View Montana & Wyoming 2020 on MurkTravels's travel map.

overview / intro

It was photogenic !
Yeah, I have about 1000 pictures of the lake and Teton mountains. Pretty much every stop or corner you take, it's a cool photo.

One day we spent on the water, doing both on a paddle board and a kayak.
Another day we spent chasing wildlife and doing a tour of photography spots.
And yet another day we spent hiking into a canyon between mountains within the range.

All of those were unique experiences and I highly recommend checking out the Tetons national park.

Recommend:

  • Snake River - SUP, kayak, or raft
  • Jackson Lake & Jenny Lake
  • Cascade Canyon hike
  • Photography and wildlife tour

Trip Map

Pictures

see more on Facebook Murk Travels albums
USA Utah album

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Links

MurkTravels Vimeo - videos of my trips & entertainment
MurkTravels Youtube - videos of my trips & entertainment
MurkTravels Facebook page - pictures, posts, and regular updates
MurkTravels Facebook photo albums
MurkTravels Instagram - my attempt at artistic travel images
MurkTravels Travel Map - all the places that I've been and the things that I've seen

Posted by MurkTravels 10:34 Archived in USA Tagged me trees nature camp usa hike wyoming nationalparks 2020 murktravels Comments (0)

Yellowstone National Park - Wyoming USA

the original

overcast 70 °F
View Montana & Wyoming 2020 on MurkTravels's travel map.

overview / intro

It was diverse !

This park has so many crazy sights to behold. There's the typical nature views of valleys, hills, forests, rivers, and lakes. But then there is the wildlife spotting with chances to see wolves, elk, bison, bears, birds, fish, and more. You can also see crazy rock formations, canyons with massive waterfalls (twice the height of Niagara), and huge open meadows. And of course, the highlights are the hot spring, geysers, mud pots, and all the colorful metals and organisms in the water around the vents.

We got lucky and we able to get one of the last campsites with only a few weeks before our trip. Normally, you need to plan and reserve them 5-6 months in advance. We pretty much only were there to cook meals and sleep, but though the campgrounds were very well run. We saw an elk grazing a few feet away one night.

Our first day including checking out West Yellowstone in Montana. After entering the park, we did part of the southwestern loop. This includes the Upper, Mid, and Lower geyser basin areas. All of them are must see experiences, and include the typical stop to see Old Faithful. I was surprised at how much activity there is in that small part of the park; we must have seen 100+ bubbling hot springs and geysers. We couldn't go any farther since a wildfire closed part of the road. So after that we had an hour drive across the middle of the park to our campsite at Bridge Bay.

The second day included sites along the south east loop. We started with the grand canyon of the Yellowstone river with multiple waterfall viewings. Then on to Mud Volcano area, Yellowstone Lake, and the west thumb Geyser area. That was a full day, so back to camp for an early night. And the next day we woke up at 4am to drive south out of the park and onto Grand Teton national park, where you have to arrive early to get first come first serve camping sites.

Recommend:
Pretty much everything in the park amazed me and would recommend it all.

  • Upper Geyser Basin, including Old Faithful and all the trails around it
  • Mid Geyser Basin, including the Grand Prismatic spring
  • Lower Geyser Basin, including the separate driving loop with Firehole Lake
  • Grand Canyon of Yellowstone River
  • Upper Falls & Lower Falls viewpoints
  • Yellowstone Lake
  • West Thumb Geyser area
  • Mud Volcano

Trip Map

Pictures

see more on Facebook Murk Travels albums
USA Wyoming album

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Links

MurkTravels Vimeo - videos of my trips & entertainment
MurkTravels Youtube - videos of my trips & entertainment
MurkTravels Facebook page - pictures, posts, and regular updates
MurkTravels Facebook photo albums
MurkTravels Instagram - my attempt at artistic travel images
MurkTravels Travel Map - all the places that I've been and the things that I've seen

Posted by MurkTravels 10:19 Archived in USA Tagged me trees nature lake sunsets camp usa hike wyoming nationalparks 2020 murktravels Comments (0)

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