Scenery Sunday : Life in Ayder, Turkey

A small town in the area of the Kaçkar Mountains in Turkey reminded me of the beauty of the Swiss Alps – without the exorbitant prices. It is within the Kaçkar Dağları Milli Parkı so park fees are charged to each vehicle entering the area.

The Kaçkar Mountains are unlike anything I have seen so far in other parts of Turkey. It is in the north east part of Turkey close to the Black Sea. Due to the higher elevation, the temperature is much cooler. I actually had to put on a jacket!

Ayder is quaint, friendly, mountainous, affordable thermal bath, lush forests, hiking trails and plenty of waterfalls.
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My first time… Hitch Hiking!

Karen Sze - Single Woman hitch hiking in Chile

Karen Sze – Single Woman hitch hiking in Chile

On my second last day in Puerto Varas, Chile (Feb 2 2013) – I woke up with my mind and heart set on discovering a little known natural hot spring called Termas de Ralún and visiting the Saltos del Petrohue (Petrohue waterfalls). There was a brief mention of the hot spring in my copy of The Rough Guide to Chile. The hot spring is on the northeastern shore of the Petrohue river and borders the Vicente Perez Rosales National Park. Any time I hear or read about hot springs and spas – I want to go!! Let alone, this one is completely set within a forest and without any infrastructure.

How cool is that!? A real natural hot spring. Free of charge. No big crowds. A hidden gem!! I was super excited that morning. Continue reading