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Flashback Friday: My Top 5 Animal Encounters

FlashbackFri

For this week’s Flashback Friday I’d like to focus on another major interest that Kim and I have while traveling: animal encounters. Some of our favorite travel memories have included these experiences.

We’ve had many great animal encounters so it wasn’t easy to pick a list of our favorites but I had decided on selecting a top 5.

Here is the post:

  • My Top 5 Animal Encounters

This post was originally published on April 26, 2012.

I was asked by travel clothing company SCOTTEVEST/ SeV to write an article for their weekly Pocket Guide newsletter. I am happy to announce that this post will be featured there!
My wife and I are both animal lovers, so when traveling we always look for opportunities to see wildlife in their natural habitat.  I’ve had many amazing experiences and thought creating a Top 5 list would be a lot of fun!
Here are some of my favorite animal experiences from around the world.
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Hanging With the Burros- Custer, South Dakota

This post is being featured in travel clothing company SCOTTEVEST/ SeV’s weekly Pocket Guide newsletter.
 
While planning a visit to Custer State Park, I knew that it had a pretty large herd of bison along with many other animals. I was curious as to what other animals called the park home.
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I found out that a small donkey called burros also lived there.

(Check out my post about Custer State Park here.)

Initially you might think- Who cares? I didn’t fly from NYC to South Dakota to see some donkeys in a park. However, these burros are wild, living freely in the park and are also very friendly.
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The burros are friendly because they are always on the lookout for a free meal!

I read that you can feed and interact with them but to be careful as they still are wild animals.

An Unlikely Place For A Souvenir- Easter Island, Chile

I was asked by travel clothing company SCOTTEVEST/ SeV to write an article for their weekly Pocket Guide newsletter. I am happy to announce that this post will be featured there!

           

Over the years I’ve definitely slowed down on buying souvenirs on my trips. It seems like you  see the same trinkets and junk for sale all over the world. However, I still do like to try to bring a little something back (to Kim’s dismay!) with me to remember the countries I’ve visited. Things that I collect are masks, traditional hats, shot glasses (silly and pointless, but why stop now) or anything that seems really interesting and unique.

On our visit to Easter Island we hired a guide for two of our four days. Kim and I rarely hire guides but we figured for EI it would be a good idea to get a better understanding of what we were looking at. While visiting the sites I had mentioned that I would like to get a small statue of a Moai to bring home. (Moai are the carved rock figures found all over the island. You can see them in the title picture for my blog)
Soon after, he mentioned that we should visit the local jail where they might have better prices.

“Artisinal Shop” sign with guard standing by

I was extremely surprised that we could go visit the jail to pick up some souvenirs and had to make it a part of our plans!

When we arrived there was a sign outside with some rules listing items that you could not bring inside. The items on the list were alcohol, drugs, cell phones, cameras and weapons. Luckily they did not enforce the camera rule (I asked first).

An inmate at work
The inmates have it pretty easy in the jail and are given a lot of freedom. They have decent areas to sleep and a kitchen area to prepare food. The souvenir area was impressive. They get to use power tools and other seemingly dangerous items to create their crafts.
The quality seemed top-notch and they even made a sign for the entrance to the jail.
They actually did not sell what I was looking for but I had to buy a little something to remember my visit to jail. I decided to buy a carved fishing hook necklace (worn in the picture above). I do not recall what I paid but after a quick negotiation I bought it for around half of the initial asking price.
The Necklace
I haven’t worn my necklace since the day I bought it, but when I see it with some of my other travel related souvenirs, I always remember my odd visit to jail on Easter Island!

The Baksheesh Pays Off- Luxor, Egypt

I was asked by travel clothing company SCOTTEVEST/ SeV to write an article for their weekly Pocket Guide newsletter. I am happy to announce that this post will be featured there!

After a long day of visiting some amazing sites around Luxor, Kim and I decided to make one last stop before calling it a day.

We walked over to the Ramesseum, a memorial temple of Pharaoh Ramesses II.
Unlike most of the other sites we had visited, there weren’t many other visitors here. We may have passed a couple of others leaving as we entered the site, but that was about it.

Continue reading The Baksheesh Pays Off- Luxor, Egypt

Product Review: ScotteVest Fleece 5.0 Jacket

I was asked by travel clothing company SCOTTEVEST/ SeV to write a review of one of their products for their weekly Pocket Guide newsletter. I am happy to announce that this post will be featured there!

I’m always on the lookout for new gear to make traveling easier.

While wandering around, I like to take a lot of stuff with me. I usually have my cell phone, camera, gorilla pod, passport, wallet, keys, a half liter of water and various other items. If I don’t want to walk around with a backpack, my problem usually is -where do I store all of these things? There are only so many pockets in a pair of jeans or the average coat!

Making great use of my ScotteVest in Beacon, NY

I think I may have come across a great solution to my problem- ScotteVest.

Continue reading Product Review: ScotteVest Fleece 5.0 Jacket

My Top 5 Animal Encounters

I was asked by travel clothing company SCOTTEVEST/ SeV to write an article for their weekly Pocket Guide newsletter. I am happy to announce that this post will be featured there!
My wife and I are both animal lovers, so when traveling we always look for opportunities to see wildlife in their natural habitat.  I’ve had many amazing experiences and thought creating a Top 5 list would be a lot of fun!
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Here are some of my favorite animal experiences from around the world.
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#5 The Giraffe Center– Nairobi, Kenya

Our First Kiss
I’ve read about and seen Giraffe Manor on television a few times. When I booked my trip to Kenya, I was really hoping to visit. (The Giraffe Manor is a hotel with beautiful grounds. While eating meals, the Giraffes might pop their heads through the windows to join you.)
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Continue reading My Top 5 Animal Encounters