Wednesday, March 25, 2009


After enjoying some snorkeling/beach time on the Kenyan coast we headed to Dar es Salaam in Tanzania to catch a pricey ferry to Zanzibar. Despite the higher prices, particularly for accommodation, we are having a great time. The island is surrounded by beautiful beaches and we continue to get lost in the winding, narrow streets of Stone Town. We spent a couple nights in Jambiani (right on the beach) where we made a boat trip to snorkel with Dolphins and other sea life. We have also eaten some interesting sea life.....octopus, barracuda, shark, etc. Over the next couple days we plan to head to Malawi (hopefully by train) to do some hiking and hanging out on Lake Malawi.


Thursday, March 19, 2009

Kenya Coast

After a lot of time in a Safari vehicle we have now made our way to the coast to kick back and relax a bit. In the morning we hope to make it out to the Malindi National Marine Park to go snorkeling on the coral reef. In hopes to see some whale/nurse sharks in addition to other marine life. If only we had an underwater camera/case we could show how great the marine life here is.

Monday, March 16, 2009


The first three days of safari in Masai Mara were incredible. The wildlife... unbelievable and in concentrations that were never expected. Once we get some good internet we will try to upload a few photos. Lions (10), Zebras (uncountable), Elephants (uncountable), Giraffes (uncountable), Buffalo (uncountable), hippos (~50), Leopard (1), Cheetah (1), Warthogs (~50), Mini Dik-Diks (2), Impalas (uncountable), Gazelles (uncountable), Wildebeest (~100), Hartbeest (~50), Topi (uncountable), Alligator (1) and so on and so on... (Photos will be better to explain...) Tomorrow we spend time in another park (Lake Nakuru NP) where we expect to see rhinos, flamingos and who knows what else.

Friday, March 13, 2009


After a few days kicking it back on the Sinai, Holly and I have now moved on to Nairobi, Kenya. Tomorrow morning we head off on a four day Safari to Masai Mara game reserve and Nakuru National Park. This one safari may have to be the extent of our organized safari adventures as they are dreadfully expensive. Reportedly they are even more expensive in Tanzania so we are going for it now while we can. On a sad note for myself I broke my camera back in Dahab so we are relying exclusively on Holly's camera for the moment (I do have extended warranty, but that does not do me much good here). So hopefully we will have some great wildlife shots to upload when we arrive back on Tuesday (although the Internet is slow...)


Monday, March 09, 2009

Mount Sinai

Holly and I decided to do a hike to Mount Sinai in order to experience the sunrise on the mountain. This required us to start out at 11:00 pm last night in order to drive to the base of the mountain about 2 hours away. We then hiked up the camel trail to the top, which took us about three hours taking it easy with lots of stops to catch our breath and warm up. It was a beautiful, clear, bright (close to full moon) and cold night. We reached just short of the top by about 4:00 am where we were able to warm up in a hut and rent a blanket. By 5:30 we made it to the summit and found a great spot to watch the sunrise. It was cold... very cold... waiting for the sun to come over the horizon. The sun did finally come just after 6:00 to the relief and light cheer of the people on the mountain as most people where freezing and wanted to descend. By 9:00 we were back at the base to check out St. Catherine's Monastery (supposed location of the burning bush) before heading back to catch up on a missed night of sleep.

Sunday, March 08, 2009

Red Sea

Holly and I have been getting some snorkeling in here on the Red Sea off the Sinai Peninsula. The coral and fish are incredible. The Blue hole here in Dahab is especially well known and rightfully so. It is a natural hole that is about 160 meters deep (at least I was told) that is right off the shore. Swimming out to it is really fun as it is fairly shallow then the coral just drops straight down with huge swarms of fish just hanging out. Today we were able to check out another half dozen other dive spots which were also great. Tonight we are heading up to Mt. Sinai to catch the sunrise on the top of the mountain. (A few new videos have been uploaded click Video above)
(Photos: Blue hole, Sinai coastline)

Saturday, March 07, 2009

Dead Sea/ Masada

Floating in the Dead Sea was an interesting experience. The water felt very thick, I would even say oily. After an early morning float we made our way to Masada (after I ran up and down the road for an hour trying to find a bank machine as we had only .40 NIS -about 10 cents CDN- local currency remaining). Once in Masada we made our way up the Snake Path to the top of the plateau to check out what was left of the once mighty fortress. We then made our way down via the Roman ramp (a ramp the Romans made in order to gain access to the city) followed by a fun hike around the perimeter of the plateau fortress that offered some great views. Some of the stories in history of these places are incredible.
(Photos: Masada - Roman ramp on the right leading up to it, Jon floating in the Dead Sea)

Sea of Galilee

From Jerusalem we made our way to Tiberius to visit the Sea of Galilee. This area of Israel was much more lush than the vast desert land in the south. I tried my faith on the sea, unfortunately I sunk even quicker than Peter (although I did not go in as deep as it did not seem very sanitary these days- a lot of algae, garbage and "no swimming" signs). From Galilee we passed through Nazareth on our way to the Mediterranean where we stayed in the crusader city Akko for the night (we arrived just after dark and the city is a maze of alleyways so got turned around a few times just to find the place we wanted to stay out of business). In the Morning we made our way south along the Mediterranean to the Roman city of Ceasearea before cutting back inland to the Dead Sea. (Photos: Jon in the Sea of Galilee, Ceasearea ruins)

West Bank

Holly and I made our way into the West Bank (not too difficult with foreign passports - tougher for some locals as the guy going before us got rejected) in order to see Bethlehem. Unfortunately it seems like every famous site has been turned into a church/synagogue/mosque so our visiting is basically comprised of going from one building to another. Although just walking (as we have done a lot of) gives us great views of the hilly countryside around. I was surprised at how basic the churches around nativity square were. In the afternoon we made our way back to Jerusalem in order to visit Hezekiah's tunnel. This was a really fun experience... (The tunnel was built to supply the city with water). I am not sure how long the tunnel was, but it took close to a half hour to make our way through (and the water was cold).
(Photos: The wall separating Israel and Palistine, Holly in Hezekiah's tunnel)

Monday, March 02, 2009


After a lengthy security check at the border yesterday we were finally given the go ahead to travel Israel. From the Taba border on the Gulf of Aqaba we took a bus via the dead sea to Jerusalem. Today we go in a lot of hiking around the city as there are an incredible amount of sites to visit. It makes it especially difficult as it feels like the operating hours right now are about 10:00 to noon then 2:30 till 4:00 for most tourist spots (churches, museums, historic sites, etc...). Sites: Walked around the Old City, through the Damascus gate, into Zedekiah's Cave (Solomon quarry for the temple), the garden tomb, an underground Roman plaza, the ramparts (city wall), up the Mount of Olives (after I had us temporarily lost), a lot of Churches..., Via Dolorosa (Jesus' last steps), Tower of David and the Western Wall (only remaining portion of the second temple)... (Photos: waiting at the border and the Western Wall)