Breakaway Backpacker – Hiking The W in Torres del Paine National Park.

Author: , April 27th, 2015

Jaime DavilaI have been avoiding this post since I finished doing “The W” way back in early February because since then I honestly had no clue how I was going to write about it. You know sometimes you experience things and you just don’t know how to share them with others? It’s an experience so profound that it changes you in a way you never thought something could. This was one of those experiences for me.

The funny thing is that I had the tittle of the post, but no clue what I was going to write. From the start I knew I wanted to share what it was really like to hike “The W”, because after a lot of searching online I didn’t find much. After thinking long and hard about it I figured the best thing way to share what it’s really like on the trail was for me to share my journal entries directly as they are. I spent each night in my tent or in the kitchen or somewhere writing my thoughts and feelings of each day in my journal. After reading my journal entries, something I never do after I am done writing them I felt that this is what really captures what it’s really like to hike “The W” and am sharing them here.

This is a piece of me… my thoughts, my feelings… the good, the bad and all in between that come with disconnecting from the online world and doing a 75km+ (47 miles) hike on a trail that makes the shape of a W through the span of 5 day through Torres del Paine National Park, one of the most beautiful parks in the world.

By Jaime Davila – Full Story at Breakway Backpacker | Chile Gay Travel Resources

Globetrotter Girls – My Short Love Affair With Tel Aviv

Author: , April 27th, 2015

Tel Aviv - Dany, Globetrotter Girls

My love affair with Tel Aviv was short, yet passionate. It was like the perfect summer fling; an intense few days – intense because you know it will come to an end soon and you want to savor every precious moment to the max.

However, when I arrived in Tel Aviv, I didn’t think I would end up leaving this city with a heavy heart. I like pretty cities – when a city is obviously beautiful like Antigua, Paris or Buenos Aires, I tend to fall in love quickly. With cities that aren’t as pretty at first sight, like Berlin or Bangkok, it usually takes me a while.

Tel Aviv belonged to the second category, visually not especially appealing at first, even feeling a little gritty in some parts.jaffa doorsIt took me a few days of wandering the streets, but then, completely unexpected, the city put a spell on me and grabbed me hard, pulled me into its fascinating mix of old-fashioned markets and trendy coffee shops, coexisting cultures of trendy hipsters, Jewish families and Arab Muslims; a city with a delicious food scene, buzzing nightlife and gorgeous beaches right at your doorstep.

By Dany – Full Story at Globetrotter Girls | Israel Gay Travel Resources

Globetrotter Girls – Bangkok’s Concrete Jungle

Author: , April 26th, 2015

Bangkok - Globetrotter Girls

I noticed that despite having spent several weeks in Bangkok over the past few months (when I add up the days of my various stays, including the involuntarily longer one), it has never been featured as a Polaroid Of The Week!

I’ve also noticed the city’s slogan City Of Life for the first time on my last visit, and thought that while it wasn’t very creative, it’s definitely true… Bangkok just feels incredibly alive and buzzing with life at any time of day.

And since it’s my last stop in Thailand before my return to Hong Kong, I figured I should give Bangkok a shout-out – I’ve been having a great time every time I visited this year (excluded are visits to the German Embassy) and have grown to like the city much more than I used to.

By Dany – Full Story at Globetrotter Girls | Thailand Gay Travel Resources

Dolly Travels – Using a Museum Pass in Paris

Author: , April 26th, 2015

Paris - Dolly GolsbyHi, Everyone,

If you have missed me, I apologize. You see, last Wednesday we purchased Paris Museum passes, that are good for 6 consecutive days, beginning with the day we bought them, at the Rodin Museum.

We had been taking leisurely walks in the city, visiting old favorite neighborhoods, but once we bought the museum passes we felt obligated to go to at least one museum a day, to get out money’s worth.

As I said, we started with the Rodin museum. I believe I told you about that, earlier.

The next day was busy. We had some mundane household chores that needed to be done, and we had to find a dentist for Frank. We got an appointment with an English-speaking dentist for 7:00 p.m. On Thursday. Therefore, after our household chores were done, we got on the Metro and went to visit the church, St. Chapelle.

Construction of the church, under the direction of King Louis IX, began somewhere around 1246. The dates are not certain. Of course, many restorations have occurred since then. The church has the largest collection of stained glass of any church in the world.

Pictures cannot do this church justice. Those windows are 50 feet tall, and there are a total of 15 of them in the upstairs chapel, plus a large stained glass Rose window.

Friday we tackled the Louvre. The museum is open until 9:45 p.m. on Friday, so we took our time. Frank and I have gotten separated at the Louvre before, so after entering under the pyramid, we set a meeting point and time, then went our separate ways for three hours.

That was a very long day. We left the museum and had dinner at a nearby restaurant, and by the time we got back to the apartment we were ready to call it a day. There are so many halls to walk, so many pictures to see, it is mind-boggling.

Yesterday we took it easy. We went to the Pantheon, hoping to see the giant pendulum that is supposed to be there, but of course, it is gone, for some reason, while the Pantheon gets much needed repairs. It is still beautiful and worth the trip out there.

We had lunch at an English pub across the street from the Pantheon, called “Bombardier”. We both had very good fish and chips, that were served with “mushy peas”. I didn’t care for the mushy peas, but the food was good and they had very good beer, also.

We then walked to the tiny Delacroix museum, then to the St. Germain-des-Pres, the oldest church in Paris, constructed in 1163. Right across the street from the church was a bar called,
“Les Deux Magots”, which was one of Hemingway’s hangouts in the 1920’s, so we sat at an outdoor table, had a glass of wine and pretended that we were Ernest and Hadley Hemingway.

Today we went to the D’Orsay Museum, which is my favorite. It is housed in an old train station, on the Left Bank of the Seine, across from the Louvre, which is on the Right Bank. We spent a couple hours looking at paintings and sculptures, then had lunch in one of the museum restaurants. That was an enjoyable day. I got to see the Rodin sculptures, the Impressionist paintings, plus more than I can remember. I have been there before, of course, several times, but it is the one museum I am always looking forward to seeing again.

Tomorrow is the last day for our Paris Museum pass, so we will have to find some museum that is open on Mondays. I am sure we will find something.

I do hope I haven’t put you to sleep with my tales of museums. I have other things to write about, too, but will write another blog post about those items.

Until then,

Au revoir,

Dolly

By Dolly Goolsby – Full Story at Dolly Travels | Paris Gay Travel Resources

The Apple Watch for Travelers

Author: , April 26th, 2015

Apple Watch

With Apple Watch shipping to consumers later this month (April 24th, to be exact), it’s fair to say that the smartwatch revolution is officially underway. Even in Apple’s promotional keynote, it leaned heavily on travel-related examples to prove the product’s value. Many have questioned whether or not you truly need wearable tech like this — particularly if you’re already a savvy smartphone user — but there are indeed useful amenities that make it worth considering for road warriors and leisure travelers alike.

Of course, the Apple Watch starts at $349, placing it well outside of impulse buy territory. And at launch, limitations do still exist. First and foremost, it’s not a standalone product — it’s meant to be paired with, not replace, your smartphone (at least for now.) Moreover, you’ll have to bring a charger along for anything more involved than a day trip, since the battery won’t get you beyond the 24-hour mark.

Still, the groundwork here is impressive. It might not be perfect right now, and apps are still limited, but developers everywhere are working overtime to publish Watch functionality. And we’re guessing it won’t be long before foreign language dictionaries will speak aloud for you in a restaurant and hotel room doors unlock as you approach — without you having to dig around in your pockets and take out your phone.

By Darren Murph – Full Story at Shermans Travel

Canterbury Shaker Village XC 5K

Author: , April 25th, 2015

Canterbury Shaker Village XC 5K http://glynnhouse.com/events/! Registration is $25. Children 10 and exterior springunder are free. Run or walk the course, which is totally unpaved and totally beautiful crossing through fields, woods, around ponds and pastures. Music is provided along the route to inspire you. Great prizes and hearty food at the finish. The Canterbury Shaker Village XC 5K Day-of registration opens at 8:30am at the Village. The race takes place at Canterbury Shaker Village on May 9th.

The romantic Glynn House Inn – situated in the heart of New Hampshire’s White Mountains and Lakes Region – offers guests and exceptional experience. A full gluten free breakfast menu is always available. Bring your four-footed canine pal on holiday too. Reserve one of five pet friendly rooms. Venture away from the Inn and enjoy antiquing, art galleries, boating, fine dining, fishing, golf, hiking, historic sites, skiing, snowmobiling, ‘tax free’ shopping and scenic drives along tranquil country roads. Visit the Glynn House website http://www.glynnhouse.com for additional information about the Inn and local activities.

Traveling in Mongolia

Author: , April 25th, 2015

Mongolian Money

Mongolia was the third country we visited on our travels, from 3 to 31 July 2014.

We stayed 29 days and each spent: £906 / $1,343

Per person daily average is therefore: £31 / $46

Exchange rate was: £1 = 3,093 tugriks ($1 = 2,000 tugriks)

This is our breakdown of our Mongolia travel costs:

Mongolian Travel Costs

Full Story at The Nomadic Boys

Lesbian Travel: Jabberwock Beach, Antigua

Author: , April 25th, 2015

Jabberwocky Beach Antigua

Forget about picnicking on this beach unless you like sand in your sandwiches or gusts of wind as you sunbathe. Jabberwock beach, although not a beach for everyone, is skilled when it comes to creating exemplary waves and wind cycles for the art of wind and kite surfing. This is a beach made for people who flock to the water to be active. If you’re hunting for a well-groomed beach where swimming and other water activities are the highlights, try beaches like Dickenson Bay, Jolly Beach or one of the other 362 beaches Antigua has to offer.

Jabberwock beach provides the most unsullied kite and wind surfing conditions on Antigua. Take your turn or watch from the shore but remember, this isn’t a go-to beach for swimming, sun bathing or picnicking. Some visitors have commented on the clearness of the water on calm days and say that the reef is intricate, scenic and covered in fish.

Learn the art of windsurfing with Patrick Scales, the island’s most respected windsurfing instructor, at Windsurf Antigua, or simply rent some water sports equipment for some fun of your own. If you’re craving a night of nature rather than loud music, Jabberwock beach is where you’ll want to be. If you’re a lover of french food, Le Bistro will be sure to excite your taste buds, while a tour to Prickly Pear Island with Miguel’s Holiday Adventure will be sure to impress with endless drinks and local food from reputable restaurants.

By Angela Braun – Full Story at Go Girlfriend

Puerto Vallarta Mexico an LGBT Arts and Culture Mecca

Author: , April 25th, 2015

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How important is arts and culture to the LGBT traveler? Very much so!  What arts and culture does Puerto Vallarta offer the LGBT traveler? We will concentrate on major offerings found in Puerto Vallarta: art galleries, music and theatre.

Puerto Vallarta has become a vibrant center of art gallery exhibition and promotion within Mexico.  A large group of gay friendly galleries are centered in the gay romantic zone and centro historico. In season take advantage of a self guided artwalk tour (www.vallartaartwalk.com) and Southside Shuffle.

Puerto Vallarta is very fortunate to have its own gay men’s chorus (www.pvmenschorus.org). Organized in 2012 as the first gay chorus in Mexico and Latin America, this chorus consists of 50 to 100 national and ex-pat singers. They perform both current and historical favorites in English and Spanish and is under the director of a new leader Alfonzo Lopez. Puerto Vallarta has also received men’s chorus from other cities, like the Arizona gay men’s chorus Reveille for 2014 Vallarta Gay Pride See bit.ly/gaypv056.

Puerto Vallarta has fantastic musical and comedy venues targeting the LGBT and friendly community: The Palm celebrating 15 years and Act 2 entertainment with its Main Stages and The Red Room. In season these venues feature famous international musical performers like Well Strung (The Today Show), Lorna Luft, Emmy award winner Leslie Jordan, Roslyn Kind and Jason Brock (the X Factor) seven nights a week.

Puerto Vallarta’s long running original drag shows began in the 1980’s at places like Paco’s Ranch and Blue Chair’s rooftop and continue today. A very successful production of Equus(a famous play) just completed at Act 2 entertainment. See bit.ly/gaypv057. This is quite a challenge even in cities with much larger populations to support theatre. There has been a recent alliance among venues, performers, and local community to increase support for performing arts in Puerto Vallarta (see performingartspv.com).

Puerto Vallarta is a diverse destination. We have different cultures here and a definite need to accept everyone if the destination is to grow and expand. Having a great arts and culture scene in Puerto Vallarta gives LGBT tourists another reason to visit Puerto Vallarta. Come and see for yourself!

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Exploring Gay Palestine

Author: , April 25th, 2015

Palestine dish - Allistair Chang

“Meet me at Arafat Square,” my gay Palestinian friend Najeeb texted me, “I’ll take you to one of the queer cafes in Ramallah.” Not knowing how to say “square” in Arabic, my taxi ended up taking me to Arafat’s Tomb–an iron gate, guarded by Palestinian Authority officers with big guns. It was 1 A.M. No Najeeb. No phone credit. No cabs passing by. Then, one of the guards started walking toward me, and I felt a nervous sweat trickle down my back. I saw him reach for me and I flinched, before realizing that he was just offering me a cigarette. He flashed a handsome smile and, in perfect English asked, “Do you want a private tour of the tomb?”

Admittedly, I arrived in the West Bank with certain expectations of homophobia, xenophobia, and even violence. Asking my friends back home in Maryland if they wanted to join me on this trip, one responded: “I don’t want to die,” and another told me he “doesn’t want to go to the desert.” The Palestine that I discovered over the next two weeks in the West Bank was far more multifaceted, welcoming, and fun than the frightening and unidimensional vision of Palestine that we read about in our news headlines (Hamas terrorism, Muslim extremists, etc.).

The Palestinians that I met were religiously, racially, politically, and socio-economically diverse, including Christian Palestinians who told me their ancestors were among the first followers of Christ, Bedouins who continue to guide their animals to graze, and French-Palestinians who spend half the year abroad (and from what I could tell, only wear Hermes). The landscapes I saw varied from terraces of olive trees on lush rolling hills and the dunes of the Judaean Desert to the healing waters of the Dead Sea.

By Allister Chang – Full Story at Passport