On my Facebook and Instagram pages, I asked readers to choose from 3 options for the next post. Winning by 2 more votes, most persons asked for a recap of places crossed off of my [original] local list. This travel list was created in 2016 and is consistently growing, as week after week I can’t seem to stop finding new places I would like to visit; may publish a whole new list soon. After completing roughly 40% of it last year, here is the progress midway through 2017:

★ = Full star   ☆= Half star

Holywell National Park ★★★★

First off my travel list was Holywell National Park in the Blue Mountains, initially visited on January 2nd. After making a stop at EITS Cafe for lunch with a view, the narrow bends around the mountainside were carefully traversed until the park was reached. I would’ve visited much sooner had numerous persons not planted the doubt of my vehicle being able to endure the journey.

Relaxing afternoons were spent enjoying the aerial view of the city and strolling along lush trails of the UNESCO World Heritage Site. The walking was enjoyed so much so that one afternoon we walked beyond the marked trail into another district. The flora, fauna, hypnotizing fog, and even the rain made the visits more memorable.

Strawberry Fields Together ★★★☆

The following week, 2 destinations were crossed off the list in a day from an overnight stay at Strawberry Fields Together and their guided hike to Kwaamen / Kwame Falls.

With crashing waves outside the door and sea breeze cooling the room, it was a recipe for a great night’s sleep for me. Calling a cottage right by a picturesque beach in Robin’s Bay, St. Mary home for the weekend was cosy to say the least.

Kwame Falls ★★★★

I underestimated this hike, but don’t regret doing it. After 1.5 hours each way with numerous ascents and descents between brightly sunlit and completely shaded regions, the towering cascade made me temporarily forget the [un]happy trail.

Water rushing down a rock formation smoothed by years of pressure before flowing into streams calmed and refreshed me. Enjoying one of the best seafood meals of my life thus far was also a nice touch to this excursion.

Dolphin Cove ★★★

Wanting to visit for years, the dream came to life after purchasing a coupon sheet from a sales representative I randomly met. The expiry date approached as my multiple attempts to plan a trip with friends proved futile; I visited on the last valid weekend.

Crossing ‘swimming with a dolphin’ off my imaginary bucket list, I was surprised at the other animals and activities present at the venue. A full day of fun was had interacting with a host of critters.

Blue Ridge Restaurant ★★★★★

They do say difficult roads often lead to beautiful destinations,  I guess this could be a decent example of that quote. Sitting by a large window for an uninterrupted view of the green mountainside while enjoying a tasty meal and a signature blue drink made for a lovely afternoon. The cool air and the eatery’s rustic-chic atmosphere added that much extra charm; you can stay overnight in the mountains here too!

Pelican Bar ★★★★

Sixth place to cross off the travel list was this unique bar in the middle of the sea. The first word that comes to mind when I think about this place? WARM! Though that word may also be applicable to the day’s heat, I’m moreso referring to the people there.

You would think enjoying a cold beer while standing in the middle of the Caribbean Sea would be satisfying enough, but I was impressed at the genuine smiles and hospitality shown from the laid-back owner as well as the cooks, bartenders, and gift shop vendors. A chat and interview with the owner were nice complements to a very chill day at sea with friends.
* Video interview available at button below.

Wish me luck (+relevant fees as I continue to cross of the list)!

What’s on your local travel list, and have you visited any of the above?

 Enlighten me in the comments 🙂