Australia is one of the most beautiful countries in the world and is also hailed a major travel destination. In the shadow of the Torres del Paine massif, this retreat seemingly disappears into the landscape, a curved wooden structure that echoes the surrounding nature. Inside, you’ll find more wood and a minimalist yet warm atmosphere that doesn’t detract from the incredible views outside. Guests spend their days hiking, horseback riding, or biking in the nearby national park; an on-site spa helps soothe the burn. People choose these companies because they are sensitive to their budget requirements – you can even pay for your trip before you go in installments. Many of their wonderful holidays have excursions and add-ons that you can opt in and out of, and if they don’t include food it’s because they are giving you the choice to eat more economically than in restaurants every day. Intrepid Travel, for instance, have Basix style holidays, for people who are on a tight budget, they can do very special things and take you to exotic places much more cheaply than if you went on your own.

We stayed for 4 days and began our first day by visiting Narikala Fortress, Holy Trinity Cathedral, Mother of Georgia and The Bridge of Peace Svetitskhoveli Cathedral. The feeling of visiting any holy place always gives me a sense of peace and calm. We felt as though we were meditating. All the churches and cathedrals here, had a story to tell and we were fascinated by the art and culture of the place which was so different and unique from what we experienced so far. LiveWorksPlayBLVR: Thanks for visiting, viewing, and commenting. Another nice thing about Disneyland is the close proximity to other theme parks – Universal Studios is just another, which I did not include, and of course it is well located in SoCal, near both LA and SD – Disneyland that is. It looks like they are expanding with more rides too, as the last time I was there, fairly recently, there was more construction in the California Adventure park.

I split my time between the Hotel Tropical’s Zoo and the larger Bosque da Ciencia, both ranked among the top local attractions. The latter is a rescue and research center set in a park configured as a natural wildlife reserve. The admission was under $3.00. Although I was told the #120 bus went there, having never made the connection after several conflicting directions, I opted for the more costly taxi for the 30 minute ride to the suburbs. When I had just arrived, a fast moving local inhabitant (a small rodent?) dashed across my path before I could whip travel insurance out my camera. The key attraction near the entrance was a large underwater manatee pool with an observation window below ground. Harder to see were monkeys in the treetops overhead. At ground level, a number of curious rodents crossed my path, including one with bright red ears. For my return, there was a taxi stand outside, a welcome sight after hovering under a covered picnic table while a quick but heavy tropical rain fell. Although the center is technically closed to incoming visitors during lunch, those of us already inside were allowed to stay.