As I write my 2016 travel year in review I can’t help reflecting upon a year that has been a mixed bag. On the one hand political events have plunged the world into great uncertainty. On the other hand, the Wandering Kiwi family has had a consistently excellent year pursuing our passion – travel.
Remembering the amazing positives and thinking soberly of the negatives, without further ado, here is the Wandering Kiwi travel year in review:
January in Sri Lanka
We spent 12 days exploring the island of Sri Lanka, where scenic train rides, cultural sites, bustling cities, and national parks formed a whole string of highlights. I’m not a beach vacation person but even I loved our experience chilling out on Sri Lanka’s best beach – the delightfully unspoilt Talalla.
February skiing in Austria
In February we made our annual ski pilgrimage. It was the first time skiing in Austria for Mr Wandering Kiwi and our daughter and we chose Austria based on my wonderful trip to the Hochkonig ski region. Skiing in the gorgeously scenic Zell am See in Austria was a brilliant family ski experience and the Austrian ski school for kids was everything I hoped and more.
April eating in Sicily
We didn’t just eat during our week in eastern Sicily but the food was certainly memorable. We also travelled to the top of Mt Etna, saw inspiring ancient Greek and Roman sites, swam at secluded beaches, and more. I’m hooked and can’t wait to return and explore more of beautiful Sicily.
May rock climbing in the Peak District
Spring and summer in the United Kingdom see the Wandering Kiwi family strap on our rock climbing gear and head for some of Britain’s wonderful crags. In particular the Peak District, where the incredible number and variety of trad climbing routes at Stanage Edge, as well as the beautiful scenery, keep us coming back for more.
June: rock climbing in Spain
We had our first experience rock climbing in Spain this year – on the lovely Costa Blanca. Impressive cliffs and crags dot this coastline and the sport climbing is outstanding. The weather and the food aren’t bad either and our trip was a great success.
July: completing the Tour du Mt Blanc
Back in 2015 I embarked on my biggest outdoors goal ever – hiking the famous Tour du Mt Blanc circuit. This route takes 10-11 days and circumnavigates the Mt Blanc massif, passing through France, Italy and Switzerland en route. As I only had 7 days to hike last year, in 2016 I was back to finish the job. Back to experience physically challenging hiking, great food in the mountain refuges, and of course absolutely gobsmackingly beautiful scenery every day. Now I’m busy researching my next big challenge!
August in Lyons and Beaujolais
The end of August saw us exploring city and countryside in the Auvergne-Rhone-Alpes region of France. We enjoyed a fascinating walking tour of Old Lyons and then drove around the enchanting Beaujolais wine region, tasting the various produce as we enjoyed the rolling hills covered with vines.
September at the Brussels Beer Weekend
The great Belgian Beer Weekend, held every September, is the optimum time to establish that Belgium makes the best beer in the world. Mr Wandering Kiwi is half Belgian and we often travel there. This year we returned to this wonderful festival to enjoy some of its many delights.
October wandering in Morocco
Morocco has long been a dream destination for us and this year we made our travel dream come true with a trip to this magical north African country. We explored colourful Marrakesh, where a highlight was a lively street food tour. We also embarked up on an expedition to the Sahara desert, travelling across the Atlas, through the Draa valley and camping on the sands.
December incredible Myanmar
I have just started downloading photos and writing about our incredible experience travelling in Myanmar. Just in time to include it in our travel year in review. It is such an exciting time of change for this special country. We loved the cultural sights and relaxed atmosphere. More to follow on Myanmar!
As you can see 2016 has been an amazing year of travel and I have savoured every moment of it. I hope you enjoyed our travel year in review, that your year has been great and that, like us, you are looking forward to fresh adventures in 2017.
Happy new year and happy trails from the Wandering Kiwi family xx