Tour Du Mont Blanc ~ DAY 2

Tour Du Mont Blanc ~ DAY 2

 

This is part 2 of my series on the Tour du Mont Blanc. Keep reading to find out how to plan for this amazing hike!

Myself and three girlfriends of mine from the USA were going on an organized trip with Adventures for Solo Travelers based out of Atlanta. I’ve been on several trips with them: I’ve been to Machu Picchu, hiking in Nepal, and now hiking the Tour du Mont Blanc (TMB). Check out my blog and video about Day 1! Day 2 started out rainy, but luckily it didn’t last long and it turned out to be a beautiful day. We started in Martigny and were headed to Lake Champex. The hike started with an hour and half of straight up!

We’re doing the three-day Tour du Mont Blanc with Alpine Treks a company based in Champex. We had three guides with us so the 24 of us were divided into three groups:

  1. A fast group that basically jogged the entire way!
  2.  The middle group which I would have been
  3. The slower group (the fun group!)

I wanted to take lots of photos and do my vlogging so I chose to hang back with the best people in the slow group. We always had the best guide and we took the most time for lunch.

I was very tired after a full day of hiking yesterday. My thighs, calves, and even my toes were sore because we spent most of the day yesterday going down. After about an hour of hiking, we stopped for a break at this beautiful meadow. It was a great opportunity for a snack, to reapply sunscreen, and rest our feet before we headed back up the mountain. After another 45 minutes of hiking, it was time for our next stop at a little hut where there were bathrooms, fresh alpine water, and a great spot for us to have lunch.

 

Lunch and after

Each day the food’s been a little bit different. Today, we have some chicken, delicious breads, five different cheeses, two different kinds of tomatoes, and the best part, avocados! The second half of our hike most of this way is down and it says that we have two hours and 40 minutes of walking Champex du Lac.

 

Something interesting about hiking in the Alps

They don’t measure distance by kilometres or by miles on the trail. They actually calculate the distance by the amount of hours it is that you’re going to be walking! For example, one section might say that it is two hours and 40 minutes away.

Our amazing guide, Nick, from Alpine Treks, taught us so much on the trail. He even showed us how to trail run! The secret to it is small quick steps. The second half of the hike had a lot more people on the trail. There were both day hikers and hikers with largepacks (probably camping or staying in some of the refuges along the way.)

One of the Highlights of the Trip

I was blown away by the variety of terrain. It seemed to change every 15 minutes or so! There were waterfalls and creeks, meadows, and or course mountains and trees.

When we finally made it to Champex du Lac, it was time to celebrate with a glass of wine and a gorgeous view. We stayed at Hotel Splendide right on the lake! We went out to watch some football, had dinner reservations and got a great night’s rest for our final day of hiking.

Thanks so much for watching day two of the Tour du Mont Blanc! Make sure to check out my blog and video about day one if you missed it. I’ll see you on the next adventure!

 

A weekend in London

Welcome to my London travel experience! lt’s been 20 years since I’ve been to London and it happens to be an old home town of mine. Keep reading to find out what I did on my short weekend there.

A little about my journey in London

After graduating college from the University of Texas, I decided not to take the investment banking job on Wall Street I’d hoped to get… Instead, I packed up my bags, had $300 in my pocket, a one-way plane ticket and I moved to London! No, I didn’t have a job. No, I didn’t have a place to live. I ended up couch-surfing on a friend’s couch who I had met a year before and in about three days I found a job typing as a “Kelly girl” in the city of London.

I had planned to stay in London for 6 months but it turned out to be a year and a half! After that, I spent an additional three and a half years living in Europe. To say that this geographical move to London changed my life would be an understatement. This is where my love for travel really took off, and here I am 20 years later back in the city that I love with you.

Tips for where to Eat in London

One of the most fun things to do while you’re in London is to eat. There are so many restaurants and so many areas of London, it can be overwhelming! My suggestion is

  1. Pick a food genre
  2. Pick an area town
  3. Find out what you think is the best restaurant in the area with that particular food genre.

An example from this recent trip: I wanted something a little French and I wanted to be in Covent Garden. I wound up at a restaurant calle Le Beaujolais and I had some amazing French cheese and wine.

TIP: Make sure to try some of the amazing ethnic restaurants that are available. Some people say the Indian food in London is just as good, if not better, than the Indian food in India!

I hope you enjoyed this little blog about my short trip back in London. Tally ho!

Top 10 Portland, Maine Things To Do & See!

Top 10 Portland, Maine Things To Do & See!

If you’re headed to Portland in the next few months, I have put together a best of Portland, Maine list based on my experience there recently.

 

#1 The Best City Tour in Portland, Maine

The Real Portland Tour is the only sightseeing tour in Portland, Maine that includes a full city tour and a trip to three of the lighthouses. We got to see the full city tour of Portland, from the bustling downtown area and eclectic shops to the art district and the world-class restaurants and bars. We headed out to Casco Bay to see its islands and forts on the way to the Portland Headlight.

Our tour guide, Derrick, was amazing! He knows so much about the city for two reasons:

  1. He’s a local, born and raised
  2. He’s a librarian! He was so knowledgeable and interesting and had the greatest stories about the town where he grew up.

Definitely put the Real Portland Tour on your list!

 

#2 The Best Lighthouses in Portland, Maine

Also while you’re visiting Portland, you have to check out the beautiful lighthouses along Casco Bay. You can take a tour like I did, you can drive yourself, and sometimes, in the summer, you can even bike! The rugged Maine coastline is known for its beautiful lighthouses and just outside of the city of Portland along Casco Bay is the infamous Portland Head Light. Did you know it’s the most photographed lighthouse in the entire US?

Another great lighthouse to visit is the Spring Point Ledge. On the weekends, you can actually walk out there you have to jump on the different rocks to make it all the way out. It’s very picturesque and definitely worth checking them all out.

#3 The Best Restaurants in Portland, Maine

Portland is a foodie town for foodies! Did you know that in 2018, Bon Appetit listed it as the restaurant city of the year? Some of the most well-known restaurants include

There was so much delicious seafood, lobster, oysters, and fresh fish while I was there that I actually had two lunches and two dinners on two different days!

#4 Best View in Portland, Maine

Fourth on my list is a little well kept secret: Come to the top of the parking lot at the Customs House for the best view of downtown! The parking garage is just across the street from the beautiful Customs House. If you go to the top level it’s open air and you can see the spectacular views of all the city routes throughout downtown Portland.

#5 Best Food Tour in Portland, Maine

5th on the list is to go on a food tour! I went with Maine Foodie Tours on the Bon Appetit. Most of the food in

Portland is all about the seafood but this is a very unique tour that gives you croissants clams a little bit of Tex-Mex and some other exciting things. You even get to go to a kombucharia.

 

 

#6 Best Oysters in Portland, Maine

Next on our list are the infamous East Coast oysters. I recommend two different places to get these incredible little morsels.

  1. The Shop which is about a 10 minute Uber ride from downtown Portland and all of their oysters are $1.50, all day long.
  2. The other place to try the oysters is at Scales which is right there on the harbor. While in town, I heard that they had the best oysters in the whole city. My opinion? They may be the best oysters I’ve ever had in my entire life! The oysters are only $1 during happy hour.

#7 Best Boat Tour in Portland, Maine

The next thing that you have to do when you’re in Portland is to go on the Lucky Catch Cruises. It’s so fun to goout in Casco Bay and learn how the lobster man catches your dinner. The Lucky Catch Cruise has been around for more than a decade and honestly, it’s one of the best things that I did during my visit to Portland. It’s also a great value! If you’d like to know more about Lucky Catch Cruises, check out last week’s video and blog here.

#8 Best Dessert in Portland, Maine

Then there’s more food! If you’re in the mood for something sweet, head over to the Holy Donut. They are famous for putting shredded potatoes into their Donuts. If you’re gluten-free like me, they have several options for us, too!

 

#9 Best Bar in Portland, Maine

Now let’s talk bars in Portland. Actually, let’s talk about speakeasies! Portland, Maine was one of the first cities in the entire country to have prohibition so they are known even to this day for the speakeasies. My top choice is Lincoln’s.

#10 Best Taco in Portland, Maine

Our last thing to do is another food item, but this time it has a Texas twist. Head over to the High Roller Lobster Company which started as a food trailer. Now it is it’s brick-and-mortar and I was told they serve the most delicious lobster taco. Instead of a taco shell, they use grilled cheese to hold the lobster meat and toppings. And if you love tacos like I do, check out my video and blog on the Top 5 Tacos in my hometown of Austin, Texas.

I hope you enjoyed my list of the best things to do, see, and of course TASTE in Portland. Share in the comments if you’ve been to any of these places!

HIKING BETWEEN VILLAGES IN CINQUE TERRE

In this weeks travel video, I’m sharing my tips and experiences with The Cinque Bellas in Cinque Terre, Italy.

Four wonderful women traveled with me last year to central Italy, and we spent 4 incredible days in Cinque Terre. These 5 towns of Riomaggiore, Manarolo, Corniglia, Vernazza and Monte Rosso became popular in the 1970’s after a travel writer raved about these quiet villages in his travel books. Today, Cinque Terre is a World UNESCO Heritage site and is visited by 2.4 million people each year. Yikes, that’s a lot!

When it comes to what to wear on these hikes, you can get away with Chaco’s or Keens instead of hiking boots. (Here are my favorite shoes for this type of trip.) I also recommend wearing a wicking sports bra for us ladies and to bring a compact cooling towel, like this one here, as it gets quite warm once the sun comes out.

If you’re not already, please subscribe to the Abundant Traveler YouTube channel; you’ll want to catch every episode 🙂

VISITING CINQUE TERRE BY BOAT

Are you visiting Cinque Terre, Italy for the first time? Why not see it by boat! This is my travel diary of Cinque Terre. Subscribe for more laid back luxury travel and inspiring travel vlogs!

Have you ever dreamed of having wine on a boat in Italy? You can! I’m so excited to share with you my experience with ‘Hello Cinque Terre’. If you want to see the Cinque Terre villages, this is the way to do it! We started in La Spezia and went on a tour to beat all other Cinque Terre tours. The cities we saw included Riomaggiore, Manarola, Portovenere, Vernazza, and Monterosso. We drank wine in the mediterranean, went swimming, and relaxed as our amazing guides took us around. This is our trip with Hello Cinque Terre. I hope you enjoy!

BOOK A TOUR WITH HELLO CINQUE TERRE

CHECK OUT MY OTHER VIDEO, A VESPA TOUR THROUGH ROME!

SUBSCRIBE TO MY NEWSLETTER!

RAMON’S VILLAGE RESORT REVIEW

Today, I’m taking you on a tour of the BEST place to stay in Belize: Ramon’s Divers Village! If you’re looking for a Belize vacation package, look no further. Subscribe for more laid back luxury travel and inspiring travel vlogs.

Belize resorts (all inclusive or not) are a dime a dozen, but they are NOT all created equally! Ambergris Caye is my go-to island. Why? Well, it is close to the famous Blue Hole dive spot where you can see nurse sharks and other exotic fish. It’s great to go for a Belize honeymoon or for a family Belize vacation package. Ramon’s Dive Resort is also one of the most popular hotels in San Pedro, Belize, but it never feels overcrowded. If you’re traveling to Belize, keep watching!

Book a stay at Ramon’s Village Resort

If you enjoyed this video about Ramon’s Divers Village, be sure to subscribe to the channel for more travel videos, like this video and visit my website below. If you’d like to share your own travel experiences or have a question, leave them down in the comments section, and I will do my best to answer you. Thanks for watching today’s video!

~ More Belize Videos ~

Top 7 Things to do in Ambergris Caye

10 Things to know Before you go to Ambergris Caye

Getting to Belize with Tropic Air

Stay at a Jungle Lodge

Lamanai Boat Ride

Lamanai Ruins

 

Note: This video is not sponsored and all my reviews and opinions are based on my own experience with the products which may not be the same for everyone. This contains affiliate links. If you choose to use them, thank you for your support

Join the Tribe!

Join to receive exclusive travel tips, ideas, inspiration, as well as my 20 Travel Must-Haves download.

You have Successfully Subscribed!