TRAVEL TREASURE #5 – Hitch-Hiking, Happiness & Hair Braiding

This week’s delightful little travel treasure is about happiness found in a moment of spontaneity.

So prepare to be inspired and why not share your treasure too?

 Hitch-Hiking, Happiness & Hair Braiding

by Dariece of Goats On The Road

Hitch-Hiking, Happiness & Hair Braiding

It was a long journey travelling (and hitch-hiking) all the way from the south of Mozambique to the very northern reaches. We were desperate to reach the untouched Quirimbas Archipelago, a string of 27 or so stunning islands. Once we boarded our boat to take us to Ibo Island, every minute spent in dusty towns, on cramped transportation and stuck on the side of the road with our thumbs out was totally worthwhile.

We wandered through mangroves at low tide from Ibo Island over to Quirimba Island, with nothing more than a small village. The local people who inhabited that village were outstanding. Kids were greeting us with waves and hellos, the tiny market sold a few vegetables and coconuts and the men and women were looking curiously at us with huge smiles.

We spent the whole day just wandering around this village where they rarely (if ever) see foreign faces. We chased kids around and tried to communicate with the adults. Towards the end of the day was when I experienced one of my most treasured travel moments. I was just sitting there minding my own business, totally content, when a woman about my age came out of her house, grabbed my hair and started braiding it! Before I knew it, I had a group of people surrounding me watching my new hair-do come to life. If that wasn’t random and amazing enough, afterwards, her and I started dancing while everyone was making a drum beat!

It was just one of those moments where no words were spoken, but we understood each other perfectly.

For more on this amazing country, have a look at our Budget Guide To Backpacking Mozambique

and our Backpacking Mozambique – A Week In The Life video of a crazy week in Mozambique.

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TRAVEL TREASURE #3 – Dodging Death in Death Valley

It’s an entry by yours truly this week and the third in our wonderful collection travel treasures – so be inspired and share your treasure too.

 Dodging Death in Death Valley

by Mostly Victoria

Listening to the rattle snakes in the distances, I couldn't help wonder how safe these girls were... probably no less safe than me!

© Mostly Victoria

Drive out of Las Vegas in a north westerly direction for around four hours and you’ll probably find yourself pretty darn close, if not slap bang in the middle of Death Valley National Park. It’s the northernmost part of the Mojave Desert, it’s hot and it’s dry – no surprise there; it’s the lowest point in North America. It’s got salt flats & sand dunes, badlands, moving rocks and hot springs, all entrapped by the mountain ranges that surround the valley.

I often puzzle over what it was about Death Valley that got so far under my skin. Here’s what I have figured…

If you’ve never been, the name of the park is, in itself, enough to set you on edge, with a fairly equal balance of curiosity and caution. The questions of ‘What deathly dangers await?’ and ‘Will I come out alive?’ are melodramatic and you know it, but they persist, and try as you might, you can’t quite silence them.

So you’re alert and ready, you’re braced, you’re on guard and dammit you’re prepared!  You have your water, your first aid kit and you have every kind of emergency supply known to man – (not to mention a truck load of candy).

But you’re not prepared at all. And you don’t even know it.  Sure – it’s definitely peppered with genuine dangers, but Death Valley is also a place of gobsmacking beauty, it’s like a karate chop coming at you from your blind spot.

As prepared as I thought I was, the last thing I expected was to be enamoured by the incredible natural beauty of the painted rocks and their contrasting colours that change by the millisecond at sunset, or for my breath taken away as I watched the salt crystals of bad water basin twinkling like diamonds in the midday sun.

I may have dodged death, but there’s absolutely no doubt about it – Death Valley definitely got me!

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How to survive 24 Hours in Death Valley

Rattlesnakes, Scorpions, Black Widow Spiders and Coyote are just a few of the locals waiting to greet you in the aptly named Death Valley and the words “HEAT KILLS” are on roadside signs that *ahem* welcome you along your roadtrip … Continue reading