Colors in the Kantju Gorge in Uluru- Kata Tjuta National Park at sunset
Almost as soon as I arrived in the Australian Outback at Longitude 131, it was time to head to Uluru (also known as Ayers Rock) to take the Mala Walk around the base of the sacred rock. We hiked around the base and explored a few caves and wound up in Kantju Gorge just in time to watch the sunset, when the color of the rock was most vivid and changed every few minutes.
#shotoniPhone6 Time-Lapse Video from Kantu Gorge, Uluru (aka Ayers Rock)
The crew from Longitude 131 met us in the gorge with small bites and beverages so we could enjoy a sundowner while watching the colors shift during sunset at Uluru.
The view from one of the aboriginal caves along the Mala Walk
The colors shifted every few minutes
Looking straight up at Australia’s biggest Rock Star
What Not to Do at Uluru: don’t walk on the rock
Although many tourists come to Ayers Rock intent on bragging rights about climbing it, it’s really not cool to do so. Uluru is considered sacred by it’s aboriginal owners, the Anangu. There are signs everywhere making it very clear that they would prefer you NOT climb the 1.6 kilometer path up the rock.
The steep climb is also very dangerous and several climbers have died. The Anangu people have been known to attend the funerals of climbers who have died. The narrow path is often closed due to high winds. If you want to see the view from the top, take a scenic helicopter tour instead.
I asked my husband to be a makeshift tripod when filming a cloud hyperlapse.
Pro tip: if you’re going to use your husband as your photo assistant and ask him to hold still while you shoot a hyperlapse on his iPhone 6, it’s best to get him a cocktail first.
Some of the spectacular scenery along the coastal walk from Bondi to Bronte Beach
If you’re looking for one of the best things to do in Sydney, Australia, try walking along the coast from Bondi to Bronte Beach.
Bondi Beach waves video (shot on iPhone 6)
The easy 6 kilometer round trip walk runs along a well marked path and passes craggy cliffs, coves filled with surfers and sweeping crescents of sand where you can watch sunbathers and beach volleyball.
A tidal pool near Tamarama Beach
Left: the worn cliffs along the coastal walk Right: a seagull takes in views
Past Bondi is Tamarama Beach, also known as “Glamarama” due to the attractive locals who flock there to surf. It has strong riptides and isn’t ideal for swimmers. But it’s great if you want to watch the surfers chase some tasty waves.
A surfer starts his day at Tamarama Beach
Watching the surfers at Tamarama Beach
A surfer near Tamarama
There are also quite a few point along the rocky cliffs between Bondi Beach and Bronte beach to sit down and enjoy the scenery. Many a selfies has been taken here.
Some scenic points along the coast on the Bondi to Bronte walk
Several people seemed to enjoy finding a quiet spot on the cliffs to read, write, and take pictures.
I can think of worse places to journal
Brown rocks, waves and blue water make for an interesting layering of textures
The rocks and waves can be hypnotic to watch
The dramatic cliffs make this walk ideal to take photos
The scenery along the Bondi to Bronte Coastal walk is quite a stunning backdrop. There are a few staircases along the way, which make for good photos.
A touch of green along the coastal walk near Bronte Beach
The walk is easy, save for a few staircases. I’d suggest stopping by restaurant of the moment Bondi Hardware for a bite and a craft cocktail after taking this walk. They have far better food than Icebergs.
Cloudy morning view from the Park Hyatt Sydney, looking towards the Opera House
Traveling to Australia, where it’s currently the middle of winter, during what is one of the longest weeks of daylight in the USA is really strange. While Sydney’s weather is temperate year round, winter’s shorter days can be kind of cloudy and rainy. Much like Los Angeles (during a non-drought year), it’s pleasant, but not the stuff postcard views are made of.
The Park Hyatt Sydney has amazing views of both the Sydney Harbour Bridge and the iconic Sydney Opera House. My room, an Opera King, had two small balconies overlooking the Opera House. I shot one time lapse from each of the room’s balconies.
Sydney Harbour awakens at Sunrise (iPhoneonly video)
The moody winter clouds made for some dramatic, if not particularly colorful skies. I love watching the color temperature shift as the sun rose. I also like how this video has the jogging path in the foreground for some additional interest on the ground. Both time lapse videos in this post were shot using the native camera on my iPhone 6.
I travel with a portable clamp called an In Your Face Viewbase which I use as tripod. It’s small enough that it fits into my bag or purse and is easy to travel with. It works as a tripod if you can clamp it to something.
Winter Sydney Sunrise overlooking the Opera House
The second morning there was a little more action on Sydney Harbour, so while the colors still don’t massively pop, the boats are fun to watch. I can’t resist shooting time lapse videos wherever I’m staying here. It’s so much fun watching Sydney Harbour come to life in the morning, even if the weather isn’t the greatest.
Enjoying a flat white on a winter morning at the Park Hyatt Sydney
I plan to explore much of the Pacific Northwest this summer, and decided to start with a road trip to Olympic National Park. Located on Washington’s Olympic Peninsula, one of the park’s big draws is the proximity between the coastal beaches and rainforest. Ruby Beach was such a gorgeous discovery.
My lab, Zeppelin, exploring Ruby Beach
Rocky with a rugged stretch of coast, Ruby Beach reminded me a lot of the beaches along Big Sur, in California. It’s nice to know that same Pacific goodness stretches all the way up the coast.
Ruby Beach Hyperlapse
Ruby Beach is pet-friendly, and many dogs were there and loving it. My two labs enjoyed sniffing the surf and got their paws sandy.
The view from one of the caves on Ruby Beach
Every dog has it’s day on Ruby Beach.
Ruby Beach is a dog lover’s dream GIF
Driftwood along the beach was a popular spot for visitors to build piles of rocks. The rockitecture was impressive.
This driftwood was a popular spot for visitors to stack rocks, and children to knock them over
Another view of the rock formations along Ruby Beach
Waves, sand, and rocks along Ruby Beach
Stacks of rocks along the Washington coast
Water along Washington’s Ruby Beach
Driftwood, rocks and water along Ruby Beach
Ruby Beach is located within Olympic National Park.
The shrimp tacos became a daily must have at Las Alamandas
My recent trip to Mexico involved my first visit to Jalisco’s Costalegre, where my husband and I stayed at Las Alamandas. We’re both fans of good Mexican food and arrived hungry and ready to eat a late lunch at La Palapa Beach Club.
Shrimp tacos GIF
We were quickly served our first round of excellent (and inexpensive) margaritas and were very surprised when we saw the menu and found very little Mexican food on it. Instead selections included dishes like Asian shrimp and pasta. Who comes to Mexico to eat Asian shrimp? We asked our waiter to speak to the chef and Head Chef Alejandro Morales quickly arrived to chat with us.
Chef Alex (as he’s called) was very friendly and had no problem letting us order off the menu. He prepared chicken enchiladas, shrimp tacos, and guacamole for us. He even honored my request for no raw onions and the dishes were all muy delicioso. We continued to order off the menu for the rest of the trip, and Chef Alex had no problem serving whatever we asked for.
Huevos Rancheros with green tomato salsa GIF
The breakfast menu featured many more Mexican specialities– eggs a la Mexicana, Eggs Machacha with dried beef, onion and poblano chile. Chilaquiles were on the menu as well as what became our go-to favorite, the Huevos Rancheros, served with either red salsa or green. The green salsa was outstanding and Chef Alex remembered our preferences.
Tropical fruit platter with Mexican lime GIF
The breakfast menu also had a host of other non-Mexican options, including organic oatmeal, muesli with coconut milk, French toast, pancakes and waffles.
Coffee con leche with a hammock at La Palapa Beach club
The coffee was tasty and the views of the pacific from La Palapa were a great way to start the day. The space is beautiful and also includes a lovely hammock should you wish to hang out while you’re digesting.
Top notch margaritas for $6 US at Las Alamandas
I don’t think the menu at Las Alamandas would work for serious foodies who are looking to explore the vibrant and happening Mexican food scene. Chef Alex had no problem accommodating all our requests, which is great since the resort is so private and isolated that there are not a lot of other options for dining nearby.