Lake Tekapo, Lake Pukaki, and Raincliffe

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Church of the Good Shepherd

Tekapo is a popular tourist town in Canterbury. It’s known for its turquoise lake, observatory, wildflowers, and stone church. I only spent an afternoon there on my way back from Macauley (blog post and photos pending!) but it was a lovely place to walk around and take some photos. I also went to Lake Pukaki to take a look at Mt. Cook and took a detour through Raincliffe where I saw a cool abandoned car with flowers growing out of it.

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Photo Essay of Sydney

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The iconic Sydney Opera House at night

I spent nearly a week in Sydney, my final week in Australia. Although I tend not to enjoy large cities when traveling, as I prefer the charm and peacefulness of smaller towns, Sydney had an undeniable energy and rich history that made my stay there more than worthwhile.

Highlights of the city included the gorgeous Botanic Gardens, walking from Coogee Beach to Bondi, and of course Sydney Harbour with the bridge and opera house as a backdrop.

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Cappadocia Day 2: Hiking in the Red and Rose Valleys

The Yank without a Chain standing at the entrance to a cave monastery in Cappadocia's Red Valley

The Yank without a Chain standing at the entrance to a cave monastery in Cappadocia’s Red Valley

On my second day in the Cappadocia region I wanted to hike around some of the valleys, observe the rock formations close up and get some good exercise. After only an hour of walking around, my day was kind of hijacked by Faruk, the owner of a cafe in the park who passed by me on a motorbike. He stopped and asked where I was going and asked if I wanted a ride. I thought, “sure, why not!” thinking I’d give him a little tip for taking me to the Red Valley and then be on my way. That little ride turned into five hours of Faruk showing me different places, giving me more and more of his homemade wine, and basically refusing to let me go off on my own. It was a bit frustrating, although not quite as creepy as it might sound written out here. I finally split from Faruk when his car ran out of gas on the way to the Love Valley, although at this point it was nearly sunset so I didn’t get to do the hiking I’d wanted to do.

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