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Salar de Uyuni, Bolivia

The Salar de Uyuni is the worlds largest salt flat at 10,582 square kilometres (4,086 sq miles). It is located in the Potosi and Oruro departments in southwest Bolivia, at an elevation of 3,565m above sea level.

The
Salt Flats are generally included on a 3 or 4 day 4WD tour. We chose to
start our tour in San Pedro de Atacama, Chile and finished up in Uyuni,
Bolivia. It is possible to do this tour in reverse, i.e. departing from
Uyuni and ending in San Pedro de Atacama. If a 4WD tour through some of
the worlds most barren, harsh but incredible landscapes isn’t for you –
you can choose to take a day tour from Uyuni to visit the Salar. We
also were lucky enough to stay in a hotel that whilst basic, was made
almost entirely from salt! (I’ll post an article soon about our tour!)
 
Be sure to check out my photos below, and perhaps get some inspiration for own Salar photos!

In
the dry season, the salt flat is a completely flat, dry expanse of
salt, but in the wet season it is covered with a thin sheet of water
which provides you a perfect reflection of the sky above you! During the
rainy season when the Salar becomes covered with a layer of water it
also becomes a breeding ground for pink flamingoes.

Make
sure you charge your camera; this unique landscape is truly like no
other! Also don’t forget your sunscreen, the combination of the
reflection from the salt and the altitude will leave you the colour of
one of the Salar’s famous flamingos if you don’t slip, slop, slap as we
say in Australia!

 

 

 

 

Have you been to the Salar de Uyuni?

We’d love to see your creative photos on the salt flats!


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A Brazilian Football Game at Maracana Stadium in Rio de Janeiro

It’s a well known fact that South Americans, in particular Brazilians are crazy about their Football (or as we call it in Australia, Soccer). The Estadio do Maracana, or Maracana Stadium is Rio de Janeiro’s main football stadium and despite no longer being the largest in the world, is still the largest stadium in South America.

Maracana was built for the 1950 FIFA World Cup in Brazil and has recently undergone massive renovations in order to get it ready for the 2014 FIFA World Cup and 2016 Summer Olympics. If you love football or just want to experience South American culture then don’t miss the chance to see a football match in Brazil. The experience is like no other, I can guarantee you that you will never forget it!

Our hostel, The Mango Tree arranged a tour for us to Maracana Stadium from Ipanema Beach that included roundtrip hotel transfers and our tickets. It is definently possible to do it on the cheap and purchase your own tickets and use public transport, but as Rio was our first stop in South America and we were just getting our bearings we felt safer on an organised tour. 

Maracana is completely alcohol free, so before and after the game you will see locals and tourists alike drinking and spilling out onto the streets from nearby bars. 

Your visit to Rio would not be complete without attending a Brazilian football match at this magnificent open-air stadium. The stadium was not even close to being a quarter full when we experienced Flamengo and Botafogo playing a mid-season match. The atmosphere was absolutely electric and it was impossible not to be fully immersed in the Brazilian’s passionate and die-hard love of football with the drums, chanting, singing and enormous flags. I’m not going to lie – I spent half the time just watching the crowd rather than the actual game! It was insane! No one sat down the whole game and there was constant cheering, hugging even shirts coming off and being waved around by young, old, big and small alike!

Have you experienced a South American Football game? 

Let us know about your experience in the comments! x


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Hang gliding over Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Rio de Janeiro is quickly becoming one of the worlds hottest destinations and with the 2014 Football World Cup and 2016 Olympics approaching fast its popularity is about to explode!

What better way to take in all of the beauty of Rio than from the air? Hang-gliding in Rio was one of the highlights of my South American adventure and I would recommend it to anyone visiting Rio!

Rio has so many amazing natural and man-made attractions and sights which include (but aren’t limited to); Sugar Loaf Mountain, Christ the Redeemer statue, the Rodrigo de Freitas lagoon, Ipanema and Copacabana beaches, Barra de Tijuca, skyscrapers, Favela de Rocinha (considered to be perhaps the largest favela or shanty in Latin America), Pedra de Gavea (a 842 metre mountain that dips into the Atlantic Ocean), and many other beautiful beaches, mountain peaks and rainforests. Here’s our Top 10 Things to do in Rio de Janeiro


We simply turned up to Sau Conrado Beach and negotiated a price with our instructors and were promptly taken through the Tijuca National Park to the Pedra Bonita ramp where your flight begins. You are given a safety induction here and might even be lucky enough like us to see some cute monkeys playing nearby! Take the time to experience the beauty of the Tijuca National park, one of the biggest urban rainforests in the world!

The flight took just over 10 minutes and you landed back on Sau Conrado Beach. I chose to purchase the video and photos from the trip, but honestly to anyone else I would recommend only buying the photos I haven’t even watched my video once! I am incredibly scared of heights but took the plunge and with the calm assistance and encouragement from my instructor I was able to face my fears and experience the thrill and views of a lifetime! The whole experience was safe and professional from the beginning right through to the end. 

I could not recommend this more highly to anyone visiting Rio, it was awe-inspiring and breathtaking and I personally think the best way to experience all this amazing city has to offer! Plus, who hasn’t ever wanted to see what its like to fly like a bird?!

What adventure sports have you experienced in your travels?

Tell us all about them in the comments! 


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Mandalay Bay Hotel & Casino Las Vegas

Mandalay Bay is the perfect place to escape the craziness of the strip whilst still staying on the strip and within a close proximity to all the excitement Las Vegas offers. A visit to Mandalay Bay feels like a vacation to an island resort.

the stunning Mandalay Bay Hotel in Las Vegas

Mandalay Bay truly has everything you need with their slots and tables for the gamblers out there, fine dining, amazing entertainment, delightful service, luxury from floor to ceiling and amazing grounds with a tropical water paradise that leaves you feeling as if you’re in the Caribbean, not in fact in the middle of the desert. 

I stayed in the X3 Suite for my week at Mandalay Bay and could not be more impressed. The room was well equipped, beautifully designed and styled and cleaned to perfection everyday. It comfortably accommodated 8 people and the floor to ceiling windows throughout the entire suite allow you impressive sweeping 180-degree views of the strip. A view that is impressive during the day but is incomparable once the sun goes down and the famous Las Vegas strip lights come on. 


A major selling point of Mandalay Bay is their amazing world class beach and wave pool. Their 11 acre tropical sand and surf beach has been voted by TripAdvisor as one of the best pools in the U.S. There is also a lazy river to drift along and cabanas and bungalows available for hire. Pay a visit to the beachside casino and bikini bar too!

I loved my stay at Mandalay Bay, nothing was too much for the staff and I would recommend them for a luxury resort stay whilst you are visiting Vegas. The only potential perceivable negative would be the location at the end of the strip, however there is a monorail that links Mandalay Bay to Luxor and Excalibur which are located further towards the centre of the strip, which is also definitely within walking distance.

Visit www.mandalaybay.com for more info and to book your next stay!

rock waterfall at Mandalay bay hotel

our bed at the hotel

view of the hotel through some palm trees big swimming pool at he Mandalay bay hotel in vegas

picture of us girls in the hotel panoramic picture of the pool

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The Library Hotel – New York City, USA

The Library Hotel is located at 299 Madison Avenue in New York City. It
is a member of the Library Hotel Collection and should be your go to
hotel in NYC for a luxury, elegant boutique stay in one of the worlds
most exciting cities. 

the entrance to the library hotel


The Library Hotel concept has been uniquely inspired by the Dewey
Decimal System. Each of the 10 floors of the hotel are themed with one
of the ten categories of the Dewey Decimal System. We stayed on the
Science floor with our room adorned in an astronomy theme. The rooms
have rich wood furniture in a beautiful, contemporary and appropriate
design. Each room has a collection of art and books that explore the
topic in which the floor is themed. 

There is no doubt The Library Hotel deserves it’s ranking on TripAdvisor
as New York City’s 3rd ranked hotel. The staff are attentive, helpful
and lovely. They are willing to assist you with any needs and provide
any information you may require during your stay. The Library Hotel has
every service you could possibly want no matter what your reason for you
stay is, whether business or pleasure. During our stay we utilised the
complementary high speed WiFi, access to a 24 hour reading room with
coffee, fruit and snacks available, attended the delicious complementary
breakfast and free wine and cheese reception held every evening. 



The Library Hotel also has a fantastic, convenient location in Central
Manhattan, within walking distance to a wide range of New York City’s
top attractions and close to all public transport to meet all your
needs. They also provide a concierge service. 

Their website features a number of scrolling quotes including a quote
from Jorge Luis, “I have always imagined that paradise will be a kind of
library.” This quote could not be more true of this hotel, where
intimate boutique meets luxury hotel opulence to provide you with a
hotel experience you won’t soon forget. 



 To find out more information or book your next stay visit www.libraryhotel.com

double bed in hotel room

 a plate of cheese, fruit and bread and a glass of wine

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New York Yankees vs Chicago White Sox at Yankee Stadium

A trip to the states wouldn’t seem right if you didn’t take the time to experience the American culture and their love of sports. I was lucky enough to score some last minute tickets to a New York Yankees vs. Chicago White Sox baseball game. Yankee Stadium is the home ball field of the New York Yankees and is located in the Bronx, not far out of the city.

There are a number of ways to purchase your tickets, we opted to buy ours online at ticketmaster.com which was a simple, straightforward transaction. Yankee stadium is absolutely enormous and seats over 50,000 spectators. We caught public transport to the game which was the best option as the subway is quick, cheap and allows for the smooth transportation of the masses to and from the stadium.












Even though baseball isn’t my favourite sport, we all really enjoyed the game, the atmosphere and the US baseball experience! If you are visiting the New York I’d highly recommend experiencing the American sporting culture by catching a baseball game at Yankee stadium.

Have you seen a baseball game whilst travelling in the US? x

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A Visit to the National September 11 Memorial in New York City

The National September 11 Memorial is a tribute of remembrance and honor to the nearly 3,000 people killed in the terror attacks of September 11, 2001 at the World Trade Center site, near Shanksville, Pa., and at the Pentagon, as well as the six people killed in the World Trade Center bombing in February 1993. This poignant and emotional tribute to the men, women and children killed in the terrorist attacks is a must-do when in New York. I truly found it one of the most beautiful and emotional memorials I have ever visited.

The Memorial’s twin reflecting pools are each nearly an acre in size and feature the largest manmade waterfalls in North America. The pools sit within the footprints where the Twin Towers once stood and the Memorial design was selected from a global design competition that included more than 5,200 entries from 63 nations.

The names of every person who died in the 2001 and 1993 attacks are inscribed into bronze panels edging the Memorial pools, a powerful reminder of the largest loss of life resulting from a foreign attack on American soil and the greatest single loss of rescue personnel in American history.

The two reflection pools allow you to truly reflect, honour, pay tribute and understand the true scale of the horrific events that took place here. 

At the time of our visit to NYC you could either purchase your tickets in advance at the memorial shop or reserve them online for a donation of your choice. There are obviously a number of security checks to pass through before you get to the memorial however the process is quite fast and staff are professional and efficient.

Have you visited the World Trade Centre Memorial in NYC? x


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Theatre Development Fund TKTS Broadway Ticket Booths – New York, USA

Visiting New York City? Love Musicals and interested in experiencing all Broadway has to offer?


If this is you, I would highly recommend taking a visit to the Theatre Development Fund TKTS Discount Booths in New York which sell tickets for both Broadway and off Broadway musicals and plays at up to 50% off the original sale price for same day shows! There are dozens of shows on sale every single day, so there is surely something to suit everyone. 


TKTS ticket booth in New York city



On my recent trip to NYC we visited the Times Square Booth and decided to purchase tickets for Mamma Mia which were 50% off the original sales price, and we were lucky enough to receive amazing seats at the production! I would also recommend arriving early. We joined the line over an hour before the booths opened with the lines multiplying in length behind us by the minute.


There are three TDF TKTS Discount Booths in NYC and the location of these are given on their website, www.tdf.org/ 
They are:

“1. The Times Square Booth sells
day-of-performance discount tickets. At Window #1 you may purchase
full-price tickets to future performances for all shows and same-day
full-price tickets to shows that aren’t being discounted.
2. The Downtown Brooklyn Booth
sells tickets to evening performances on the day of the performance and
matinee tickets the day before as well as tickets to Brooklyn
performing arts events.
3. The South Street Seaport Booth sells tickets to evening performances on the day of the performance and matinee tickets the day before.”



 If you are visiting NYC for an extended period of time you could consider purchasing a TKTS 7-Day Fast Pass which allows you to skip the queue and walk straight up to the window with your initial ticket stub to purchase your next tickets.


If the Arts are for you make sure you take advantage of this opportunity on your next trip to the Big Apple. 


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A Girls Color Run Weekend in Sydney

They don’t lie. The Colour Run really is the happiest 5k on earth!  The Color Run is only a fairly new concept, originating in the USA in 2012 and is based on the ancient Hindu Festival, Holi. The Color Run has been adapted and turned into a 5k fun run (or walk/jog/crawl/dance/roll etc) that promotes healthiness, happiness, community spirit and participation whilst also supporting a local charity. Now who doesn’t love that? My uni pals and I take part in the Sydney Color Run each year because it is fun and mostly because it gives us a chance to have a girls weekend away!

crowd in front of the stage all throwing paint into the air

What I particularly love about the Color Run is welcomes people from all backgrounds, abilities and ages with open arms. Anyone can do it, and should! You start the race in white and by the end you are coated in every colour of the rainbow and get to take part in the exciting Finish Festival, described as the “best post-5k party on the planet!”

and the paint coming down onto the crowd

7 girls at the start of the race in tutus

on the train before the race

4 of us on the train in our bright tutus

lying on our bellies in so much blue paint

rolling around in the blue paint

all of us completely covered in blue

sign pointing towards smurf village

the orange section at colour run

sign saying free spray tan ahead

sign saying pretty in pink pointing towards pink section

the girls in the pink area

Sarah with a completely pink face

rolling around in the pink paint

group picture all multi coloured

all colourful at the finish line

2 of the girls covered in paint

close up picture of liz covered in paint

bec covered in orange

colourful selfie with crowd in the background

simone giving a thumbs up

cloud of red paint above a crowd of people

full team picture after the race

all the colours flying into the air above everyone

paint throw by crowd in front of the stage

all of us in post race ponchos

simone and bec in ponchos

all colourful on the train in ponchos

The time taken in the shower getting clean after the race is definently worth every second. Don’t waste a minute and sign up for the funnest 5km and best day of your life! For my fellow Aussies visit here for more info on events, dates and sign ups: http://www2.thecolorrun.com/australia/

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Spider-Man on Broadway in New York City

Spider-Man on Broadway is a 2011 musical based on the Spider-Man comics, published by Marvel Comics. It also features references to the 2002 film and the Greek mythological character, Arachne. U2’s Bono and The Edge provide the engaging and fantastically entertaining music for the production.

poster for the show Spiderman on Broadway

Spider-Man is an entertaining, awe-inspiring production that ranges from the traditional musical songs, amazing acrobatics that see Spider-Man flying through the air above you and amazing set designs that are constantly changing and enhance the production.  The highly technical stunts that see the actors flying and swinging through the air from “webs” will leave your jaw open and guarantee every person in the crowd is thoroughly captivated.

spider man flying over the crowd
lady in spider costume suspended in the air by spider web

Due to the show’s technicality it has quite the reputation of technical difficulties, however we were lucky enough to enjoy our time at Spider-Man with no difficulties or issues with the show going off without a hitch. This Broadway show has something for everyone, and even if you are not a fan of comics or of musicals, I guarantee you that you will not leave here disappointed.

loads of spider men in different mid air poses

Spider-Man holds the record for the most expensive Broadway production in history and this is not surprising when you take the time to experience the highly technical and entertaining show for yourself.  The effects, stunts, music, acting and sets keep you engrossed throughout the entire show and leave you wanting more when the final curtain falls.

the bad guy in spiderman
person in green lizard suit
classic spiderman pose on stage

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