I just wanted to go for a walk in the Park, emphasising: not barefoot :). If you are a big movie fan like me from the title you know which park I am talking about: Yes, the Central Park (and Robert Redford…).
Lanzarote is a volcanic Island, it is sometimes referred to as the “Island of the 1,000 volcanoes”. The most famous area is the Timanfaya Natural Park but it is not the only place here to find such amazing landscape I took photos of.
During my last visit in 2010 I hadn’t even heard anything about Kbal Spean, but preparing for my second trip to Cambodia I was looking for some such excitement like what the Beng Mealea temple – the Indiana-Jones-jungle-temple – had given me last time.
Kbal Spean is set deep in the jungle 50 kilometers northeast of Angkor. It took for us for about 50 minutes to go there by tuk-tuk. There is no separate ticket, you can use your Angkor Park ticket to enter.
It wouldn’t be so difficult to hike it, it is just 1500 meters, but it goes uphill and there are a lot of obstacles like stones and roots on the ground and the humidity is really high, that is why it was tiring. It was a big challenge for my mother (who is over 70) and for me too but it is not a Mount Everest, so I guess everyone, who doesn’t have serious medical problems can do it.
The Cactus Garden (in Spanish Jardin de Cactus) is located at the town of Guatiza. It was designed by César Manrique, the island’s most influential artist.
There are more than 7,200 cactus plants with more than 1,100 different species even from countries like Mexico, Kenya, Tanzania, Morocco or Peru. You can find here many different shapes, sizes, colours, in my opinion it is a photographers’ paradise to come here and spend some time taking pictures of huge 2-meter-tall ones to more unusual species.
When in Crete do as the hiking-nature-loving tourists do and go to the Samaria Gorge.
It is one of the longest gorges in Europe. It is an epic hike, in the Crete’s only national park and provides stunning views.
There are 2 ways to do it, the short one and the long one. Yes same same but different, it requires different physical condition, it gives different memories and it makes you feel different after doing it.
The short one – an easy walk
I did the Samaria short way in 2008, during my first season. I never was a big hiking fan and I don’t do hiking that is why I thought it would be enough for me to do the ‘lazy way’. It was. The short way means you do the Samaria gorge backwards. You go by the excursion bus to the harbour Chora Sfakion, then by ship to the exit of the gorge, Agia Roumeli. Then there you have 5-6 hours free time and you can do whatever you want to do. You can go up the gorge as long as you want and as far as you want, you decide, you know you have to go back to the exit to take the ship back to the harbour. Or you can only stay at the harbour and swim a bit in the Libyan Sea. It is totally up to you, in my opinion to come here and ONLY swim in the sea is a waste of time.
Here you don’t need much physical strength, you don’t need hiking shoes (some did it even in flip flops ). You can go up to the narrowest part of the Gorge, to the ‘Iron Gates’ (max 1 hour there if you walk slowly). It is a rock wall, on one side it rises 300 meters and it is 3 meters wide, you can almost touch both sides. And there you can see magnificent landscape, you can take nice pictures.
You can say you saw the most beautiful part of the gorge, you will have nice memories.
What do you feel afterwards? You will have a pleasant feeling: ‘Good, I saw what everyone talks about in Crete’