Our travel summary of 2016

Tis the season for looking back at 2016 and recounting the best (and worst) of our travel experiences across the year. As we’re in our 1st year of blogging & haven’t written a similar post before, we are going to report categories and numbers that are generally interesting. We’ve picked experiences that have broadened our horizons (blog name plug).

Our year in numbers

Countries visited: Scotland, England, Gibraltar (all technically part of the UK but very different experiences), India, Philippines

Distance covered (air + train + road): 32,000 miles / 51,500 km (4x Earth’s diameter)

Distance covered in mainland UK: 3000 miles (a bit more than London to Inverness round trip 3 times).

Number of blogposts: 77 (about half our 2016 trips are still unblogged but some of our USA / Europe backlog has been covered)

Our experiences

As Dalek did a 5 week solo camping trip in Scotland, all the categories will also have a Scotland specific component.

Best overall city (village for Scotland)

Gibraltar, British Overseas Territory (Blogpost): Our first caving experience at Lower St. Michaels cave deep inside the Rock of Gibraltar was extra special. Add to that great food (a Malak baguette lunch is a must), a beautiful & walkable town and dolphins to get a city near-perfect for a long weekend trip. 💯

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Our 2016 favourite city from the air

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Deep inside the Rock of Gibraltar, we walked through this

Honourable mention: Puerto Princesa, Philippines for good food, sunrises & activities.

Luss, Argyll & Bute, Scotland (Blogpost): Maybe the prettiest village in Scotland with its beautiful houses, Loch Lomond on one side and hills on the other. Plus it’s a quick boat ride away from two scenic hikes, the quick Conic Hill or the lofty Ben Lomond.

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A sample Luss house #nofilter

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Loch Lomond with Ben Lomond looming

Honourable mention: Torridon, NW Highlands for its super-scenic location & amazing hiking nearby. Would be top dog had it not been so difficult to get to using public transport.

Best nature-related experience

Mangroves in Puerto Princesa, Philippines -Yodas pick (Blogpost): As we live in the UK, we don’t get to see mangroves & we got to see a large growth literally next to our first lunch restaurant in Palawan.

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The unique restaurant entrance through the mangroves

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Mangroves as seen from our table

Kayaking in the Small Lagoon, El Nido, Philippines – Dalek pick (Blogpost): Definitely a once in a lifetime kayaking experience where we entered a limestone lagoon through a small opening & saw fantastic formations while being on turquoise waters in bright sunshine.

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Many snap-happy travellers kayaking the same time as us

Hiking a hill ridge in Sligachan, Skye, Scotland (Blogpost): This was on Daleks bucketlist for a while. Though the start of the hike was very boggy, the views of the Cuilins were amazing & a herd of wild deer in the brief sunshine at the top was a bonus.

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The climb..

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..and the reward

Best non nature-related experience

Visiting the Bodleian libraries, Oxford, England (Blogpost): Which Harry Potter reader has not imagined being part of Hogwarts? Visiting this famous University of Oxford library fulfilled that dream partially as the library & Yule ball scenes in the HP movies were shot there.

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The Radcliffe Camera (left) is a reading room of the library

Drinking the world’s most peated whisky (Blogpost): Daleks whisky enthusiasm overflew on getting to taste the world’s most peated whisky, the Octomore 7.1 and 7.2 by Bruichladdich Distillery in Islay. It tastes much different than what he’d ever imagined.

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4 versions of the Octomore inside the distillery (£120 onwards)

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Such a nice colour scheme 🙂

Top 3 plates of food (no particular order)

Razor clams at Blue Anchor, Gibraltar: We’ve never had razor clams before this. They were super fresh (you could taste the freshness) and served in a great garlic sauce. The other seafood served was really good but this dish stood out. TripAdvisor

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So much deliciousness in one picture

Lechon at Rico’s Lechon, Cebu City, Philippines: We had our minds blown by the Spicy Lechon (roast pig) served at Rico’s. ( ͡° ͜ʖ ͡°) Lechon is Cebu’s speciality dish but we weren’t quite prepared for how melt-in-the-mouth tender and perfectly spicy the meat is. It’s worth flying to Cebu just to eat this, don’t order less than 250 gm per person. TripAdvisor

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Single best meal of 2016 – Spicy lechon @ Rico’s Lechon, Cebu city

Gold Flake Cigarette & Darjeeling Tea Panna Cotta, Bohemian, Kolkata, India: Bohemian was our first experience of Indian ingredients cooked with western techniques and all the dishes were executed great. But this dessert in particular is art. And we’re don’t even smoke! TripAdvisor

Note: we ate the dish before photographing it so here’s a picture of a really good Cigar mousse eaten during the same meal

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Imagine the aftertaste of a cigar captured in a creamy mousse

Worst day of travel

Day trip in Bohol, Philippines: We had pre-booked a private package tour to see Bohol’s sights in a day and it started great with the chocolate hills. But seeing the state of all the animals & their appalling living conditions throughout the day soured the experience greatly. We vented out in this blogpost but it affected us deeply.

We highly recommend hiring scooters and seeing Bohol for yourself making sure that the python enclosures are skipped. The negative TripAdvisor reviews say it all.

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Many snakes kept in plastic boxes

Most disappointing food experience

Seafood at KaLui, Puerto Princesa, Philippines: We use TripAdvisor regularly to find places to eat and KaLui (a seafood restaurant) is rated #1 in Puerto Princesa. The food was sub-par in general with flat flavours and even overcooked fish in a dish. The only good thing about our lunch were the fruit juices. 😦

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A disappointing lunch at a supposedly #1 restaurant

Thank You!!!

We started writing this blog regularly in Jan 2016 with the goal of helping atleast 5 travellers by providing relevant travel related & public transport information. As the year went on, we found ourselves sharing more about our personal experiences alongside practical info / facts and it has gradually transformed into a therapeutic outlet for us.

2016 has been a great year of travel for us…we’ve explored caves, climbed mountains, lost passports, visited stunning beaches, pooped in a floating bathroom, learned proper camping, eaten delicious food from all over the world. Personally, we have moved in together again after a 1 year gap.

All our readers have been so supportive and appreciative of our blog and pictures, and showered us with compliments and good wishes. Thank you so , so much for the love and support; we cannot tell you how much we appreciate it.

Here’s looking forward to another great year of travel! Hope you enjoyed reading this post / our blog and we’ll see you again in 2017!

© 2016 Beyond Our Horizons

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20 thoughts on “Our travel summary of 2016

    • yodandalek says:

      Many thanks for your warm wishes! We hope you have a fantastic 2017 as well. We too are now Scotland biased on having lived here for 2 years, what a beautiful country!!

      On a sidenote, it’s disappointing how little of Scotland many Edinburghers we know have seen 😛 Unbelievable really.

      Liked by 2 people

      • mistynites says:

        Not just them. The more I travel and speak to people the more I see that many travellers only visit Edinburgh (or maybe Loch Ness) and that’s it! The best parts of the country are all too often missed by many a visitor. Shame really.

        Liked by 3 people

    • yodandalek says:

      Hello thegreynomadblog, thanks for taking the time to read our 2016 travel summary ❤ We’ve noted your PH recommendation, it was our 1st trip across the world to visit the beautiful country so we stuck to the mainstream touristy things. Reading other PH local travel blogs has made us realize how many more unheard of destinations exist there. 🙂

      Like

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