Venezuela to China
Getting to Angel Falls was an adventure in itself, as Venezuela is a bit of a no-go zone for tourists. After dealing with the US-dollar black-market, several shoddy transport options, and breaking our Spanish back into gear, we started on a three-day trip into the jungle. To get there, we traveled by ferry, taxi, bus, taxi, bus, 5-seater Cessna, boat, foot, and rejoined our boat for a final four-hour trip upriver to camp. After we crossed the river from camp, we trekked uphill through the jungle to the foot of the falls. This was some real-world Lost. We walked ahead of our group and powered through the “90-minute walk” in about an hour, busting our asses to outpace anyone else on the trail. This meant that by the time we reached our destination, not only did we have it to ourselves, we lucked out and had blue sky! So worth it! At 3212-feet, the highest waterfall in the world is often in the clouds. I had the whole primal view in front of me, with only my camera and three very sweaty friends to savour it.
I've probably seen more pictures of Machu Picchu than any other travel destination, but this was one of those places that really did transcend all expectations. There is magic to this place – an ancient wonder about it. It's also freaking beautiful. I was sick the morning of ascent and trekking uphill at high-altitude for six-hours on the most picturesque StairMaster imaginable was tough.
Machu Picchu is more than just a view and I'm sure I'll be back again.
Fake mistake #1: After we made our way out to the Great Wall of China at Mutianyu, we were duly impressed and set out to walk the wall. After a bunch of photo stops we got to the sign that said end of tourist area... and kept walking. Strangely no one else seemed to really be doing this. It was unreal, overgrown and wild. We were trekking through the bush and up stupidly steep sections when occasionally we'd look to the side and be reminded: "we are 10 feet off the ground on the Great Wall of frigging China!"
Fake mistake #2: Enjoying the more intrepid part of the wall, we walked for hours. Little did we know that the last cable car back down to the visitor centre left at 5pm. Oops! Because of this we were left on the picturesque section of the most popular tourist attraction in the world's most populated country - ALONE! We enjoyed the moment and then eventually ran like dragons down the hill to catch the final 7pm bus back to Beijing with just a minute to spare. I highly recommend making mistakes to anyone traveling to places like this; those are the stories you remember.
The Mount Huashan teahouse trek has had some pretty exciting buzzfeed stories that name it one of the most dangerous treks in the world. Clearly, while we were in China, we had to check it out. Huashan is definitely a place that you don’t want to misplace your foot or slip! The paths are tight, the climbs steep, the safety measures minimal,
and the fall is a long, long, long way down.
The Banks is a casual low-top that combines rugged outdoor performance with quick-drying materials for protection and breathability year-round.