Tag: travel

Three Perfect Days in…Kyrgyzstan!

Greetings, everyone! It’s summertime, and that means we are off on another hiking adventure. This year we are headed to Kyrgyzstan in Central Asia of all places where we will do some trekking in the Tian Shan and Alay Mountains. Kyrgyzstan is said to be the Switzerland of Central Asia, and we are excited to spend the next five weeks exploring a brand new destination that is totally off the beaten track.

But before we begin our trekking, we have three days to explore Kyrgyzstan. First, we spend a day bumbling around the capital city of Bishkek. On Day 2, we drive clear across the country to our basecamp of Jyrgalan while visiting some of Kyrgyzstan’s premier cultural destinations, and finally, we spend a day in this tiny village acclimatizing and decompressing far away from the hustle and bustle of Chicago. So, here, a la United Airlines Hemispheres Magazine, is three perfect days in Kyrgyzstan! (more…)

New Zealand or Bust!!!

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After more than a year of planning we finally set off for New Zealand on December 16, a Friday. This is actually a day earlier than planned, but, with a nasty winter storm forecasted for Saturday in Chicago, United has encouraged us to fly to San Francisco a day early to avoid it. We jump on the opportunity and pack up in a rush, but we don’t mind. There’s no way we are going to miss out on our dream trip to Middle Earth for anything. No way. New Zealand or bust!!! (more…)

New Zealand Dreamin’

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For as long as we can remember, New Zealand has been at the very, very top of our travel wishlist. This rugged island nation tucked far away in the southern Pacific has long captured our imagination, and, after seeing Peter Jackson’s Lord of the Rings films, we knew we would have to visit the land of Middle Earth at least once in our lifetimes. With its majestic snow-capped mountains, lush-green forests, ice-blue rivers and fiery volcanoes all on full display in the movies, our desire to photograph and hike in these stunning landscapes only grew more intense with the release of each subsequent film. Yet, for one reason or another, we never pulled the trigger. (more…)

We’re Back!

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Hello, friends.

We know, we know…long time, no write. Our bad. Is anyone still out there?

We don’t want to make excuses for our poor blogging etiquette, but we thought that the very least we could do is to let you know what we have been up to lately to help explain the long absence. So here goes... (more…)

Highs & Lows of Trekking Peru’s Cordillera Blanca: Days 4-6

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Days 4-6 on the Cedros-Alpamayo Circuit saw us saying farewell to the Santa Cruz Valley and crossing the Alto Pucaraju Pass into the Alpamayo side of the Cordillera.  The remoteness of the Cordillera Blanca gradually sinks in as we head deep into the heart of this magnificent range. Although this section of the trail takes us through the occasional small mountain hamlet, civilization is far from our minds as dazzling turquoise lakes, soaring jagged peaks and high mountain passes become our constant companions.  (more…)

Highs and Lows of Trekking Peru’s Cordillera Blanca: Days 1-3

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Most people who travel to the Cordillera Blanca come to enjoy the Santa Cruz Trek, a popular 4-day hike which passes over Punta Union (4750 meters/15,584 feet) at its highest point. We wanted to stay longer in the Cordillera and see it from all sides, so we opted instead for the Cedros-Alpamayo Circuit, which combines the Santa Cruz Trek with the Alpamayo trek in the adjacent valley. Beginning in Cashapampa and proceeding counter-clockwise to the end point in Hualcayan, this route allows you to immerse yourself in the mountain culture of Peru and experience this spectacular range of peaks from nearly every side. Our itinerary had us complete the circuit over the course of 11 days, allowing us to hike and photograph at a leisurely pace. (more…)

Getting Our Hiking Legs in Huaraz: Laguna 69 Overnight

Overnight Hike to Laguna 69

Laguna 69 is the most popular day hike in Peru’s Cordillera Blanca and is a consistent crowd pleaser for good reason. The hike itself passes through a valley in Huascarán National Park that sports gorgeous alpine scenery before heading up to an unbelievably blue lake nestled below a sheer wall of stone and ice that rises hundreds of meters above. The view of Laguna 69 is so grand, it’s impossible to fit it into your camera without using a wide-angle lens! (more…)

Hitting the Trails in Iceland

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If you are traveling independently in Iceland and have the time to spare, there is no better way to appreciate the beauty and tranquility of the country’s varied landscapes than by foot. When you take the time to get out of the car (or bus) and see the world without the filter of auto glass shielding you, nature assaults you with its sounds, sights and smells all working together. Besides, as a favorite Chicago band of ours, Poi Dog Pondering, sings: “You get to know things better when they go by slow.” At Take a Hike Photography, you could pretty much guess this is our theme song and motto!

Iceland has so many different topographical features to explore that you cannot possibly exhaust the list of trails in a single trip. Even so, we did our best to put some kilometers on our hiking boots. Here are a few of our favorite treks. (more…)