Cairns city center is a hip metropolis jam-packed with shops and cuisine of every kind. Walking around downtown Cairns affords opportunities to shop, dine, and even swim in the manmade lagoon (the surrounding ocean contains stinging jelly fish so heed warning signs). Pick up plump, red strawberries at Rusty’s Weekend Produce Market, then stop to…
Nature & Wildlife
Borneo is home to more species than anywhere else in the world. Armed with that piece of knowledge and little else, my husband and I traveled from Guam to Hong Kong to Bali then to Borneo to explore this biological hothouse for ourselves.
Exploring southwestern Guam in a dune buggy for Jungle Rules Adventure Tours has got to be one of the most fun photography jobs I’ve had. I took care not to spill out of the car as we raced over red dirt hills alternating between gorgeous sea views and otherworldly ‘lunar scapes.’ If the clay hadn’t been red I would have suspected we were on the moon, the earth looked so extraterrestrial — a sort of lunar desert, but with trees. The hubby drove with aplomb and we even threw our hands up (camera between legs) as we took hairpin turn after turn and caught air over blind dunes.
The trek to Shark’s Cove feels a lot like being a castaway. My wild imagination had me calculating survival techniques and glancing nervously at my diminishing cell battery. (Times like these I thank God I married a MacGyver type.)
Behind the scenes of my travel video shoot
Day two on the klotok allowed for two hikes to feeding sites. We ventured to the heart of Tanjung Puting, Camp Leakey, another half-mile walk through the singing rainforest. A large female orangutan named Siswi was tucked under a raised house in near slumber.
You don’t hear much about Borneo. Six months ago, what I knew about Borneo could fit on a postage stamp; better yet, in a Tweet.
Music by Cocteau Twins, The Beatles, Kishi Bashi, Suzanne Vega, and Fantastic Plastic Machine.
Sacred Monkey Forest Sanctuary is exactly what it sounds like — a nature reserve and temple complex with more than 340 long-tailed macaques roaming freely. These entertaining socialites do not hesitate to climb on, steal from, and perch from visitors brave enough to interact with them. We thought all our junk was bolted down, but alas a furry, klepto-maniacal macaque lifted some trash peeking from our bag.
It’s hard not to describe Bali in hyperbolic terms like “paradise” and for good reason. One of 17,000 islands in Indonesia, this home of four million people is only 90 miles (east to west) by 50 miles (north to south) but infused with ornate temples, picturesque rice fields, and fresh organic food. Eighty percent of visitors…