Peaks of the Balkans, Day 5: Pejë Play Day

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Matt, 28 June 2017
We wake up “late” at 7:30 and take care of some internet business in the comfort of Villa Tygany before Marigona, our guide for the day, meets us to take us on a day tour of Pejë, a city of 125,000 inhabitants. We began by transferring our bags to a fancy hotel in the center of town where we have a big breakfast guaranteed to keep our growing hiker hunger at bay, at least for the next few hours while we explore the adventure capitol of Kosovo. 
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Peaks of the Balkans, Day 4: Dobërdol to Bjeshka e Belegut

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Alison, June 2017
We wake up at 6 am in our little tree fort, and I go down the ladder to go to the bathroom and check on the laundry. Most of our clothes are still damp, so I leave them to dry for a little while longer and head on to the bathroom. The farm is surprisingly quiet, and the early morning light makes everything look extra serene. Can you imagine waking up to this view everyday?
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Peaks of the Balkans, Day 2: Valbona to Çerem

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Matt, June 2017
Life could not be more peaceful in the quiet hamlet of Valbona. The sun is shining as we make our way out to the pinewood gazebo for breakfast. Kola, the owner of Guesthouse Kol Gjoni, is up and moving about tending to the guests. He has an imposing presence but smiles through his thick mustache. I sense an intense pride in the life he has built for himself here in the mountains.

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Peaks of the Balkans, Day 1: Theth to Valbona

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Alison, June 2017
The quaint village church is only about 100 meters from our guesthouse in Theth, and we want to wake up early to photograph it in soft, early light before meeting for breakfast in the dining room at 7. But, when the alarm goes off at 5:45, we are too tired to even look out the window to see if we are missing a great shot. Two snooze tags later, we finally realize that we are going to be late if we do not get out of bed and get moving. (more…)

Albania, Here We Come!

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Matt, June 2017
Slam, bang! It’s one trip to the next, and another classic Take a Hike Photography summer adventure is underway. I’ve been touring ancient sites in Greece and Rome for the last two weeks with 25 high school students. Alison just finished school two days ago, when she jumped on a plane and landed in Rome yesterday. I spent today hoofing it through the Vatican Museum and St. Peter’s Basilica, while Alison made her way to the hotel from the airport to drop off her bags and get sorted.

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It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year!

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Summer is upon us, and we are all set for another season full of fun adventures. As I write this, Matt is driving a group of high school students to an organic farm in the mountains of West Virginia for a service trip, and I am finishing tidying up our house for our summer renters who will be here in just a few hours. I still have one more week until school is out, so I am staying with one of our dear college friends for the next week. And then we are free!

So, where are we headed this year? (more…)

Road Trippin’ New Zealand’s Southern Scenic Coast

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With our final few days in New Zealand, we decide to explore the nooks and crannies of two of the South Island’s lesser visited areas, the Catlins Coast and the Otago Peninsula. Located in the southeast corner of the South Island, these two areas are known for dramatic coastlines, gorgeous waterfalls, and amazing wildlife encounters. Here are some of the highlights of the places we visited on our 3.5-day roadtrip up the Southern scenic coast from Bluff to Christchurch. (more…)

Rakiura Track, Day 3: North Arm Hut to Oban

Screen Shot 2018-05-22 at 10.49.16 PMWe are among the last to leave the hut this morning. We bid farewell to the six ladies we met on Day One and the family of nine we hung out with yesterday as they take off from the hut. Before leaving for good, we grab the camera and visit the bay again to see if anything exciting has arrived over night. We spot two kingfishers (mating!) and the heron again, but all are too far for photos, so our visit is fairly short. We head back up to the hut to grab our things and hit the trail. (more…)