A South American Adventure
By Cassandra Cotton
The anticipation was rising as we waited to board the Boeing 747 enroute to Lima, Peru. Heading out on a three month backpacking adventure after returning from teaching in South Korea for two years – it was the next destination on the wish list. Pack your bags and explore this vast continent…you wont be sorry you did.
Cassandra Cotton in Peru.
A Fortress city of the ancient Incas, Machu Picchu stands at 2,340 metres above sea-level, in the middle of a tropical mountain forest in an extraordinary setting. This 500 year-old hideaway is one of the most beautiful ancient sites in the world. After taking in the awe inspiring view from a high vantage point, venture through the ruins to find palaces, baths, temples, storage rooms and about 150 houses, all in a remarkable state of preservation.
To reach Machu Picchu, tourists have the option of riding a train or venturing out on a five day hike totalling 65km while camping in the mountains. Machu Picchu is translated as “big mountain” or “old peak” in the native Quechuea language and was discovered by American, Hiram Bingham in 1911 who paid a local 3 soles to be his guide.
Puno, Peru – A small port village to Lake Titticaca, “Islas Flotanas” or the “floating Islands” houses approximately 3,000 people who live on 40 islands. The islands are not actually grounded in the water, but rather made from a type of reed that floats on the surface.
The Floating Islands
If you’re a real thrill seeker – make a stop in Cordoba, Argentina and go skydiving. Hop in a plane and fly through the air for only 400 pesos (Approximately $100).
Puerto Iguazu, Argentina shares a border with Brazil and boasts the beautiful and powerful Iguazu Falls. Spread over nearly two miles of the Iguazu River, Iguazu Falls are the result of a volcanic eruption, however, legend has it that Iguazu falls were created by an angry forest god who was trying to stop a warrior and his lover from escaping downstream, so he collapsed the riverbed separating the two forever. Four times the size of Niagara Falls, Iguazu consist of 55,000 hectares of subtropical rainforest and approximately 275 waterfalls. There are three walking trails throughout the park and taking a boat into the `Garganta Del Diablo`(The Devil’s Throat) is a must if you want to experience its beauty and power up close and personal.
One of Brazil’s top surfing destinations, Itacare, Brazil is a real gem. A laidback haven six hours south of Salvador, the town itself is lined with dirt roads and is surrounded with beautiful beaches and good vibes. Surf culture is present everywhere and at night there is always a place to grab a beer and enjoy one of the many amazing eateries serving local delights. Up until today, this town has been able to avoid hoards of tourists and maintain its generous nature.
Just what every backpacker craves after three months on the road – besides coming home of course!
Originally from Georgetown, PE, Cassandra Cotton has been traveling extensively since graduating from St. Francis Xavier University, and to date has experienced 18 countries. She currently calls Ottawa, ON home, but hopes to return to her roots in PEI in the near future.
A South American Adventure By Cassandra Cotton The anticipation was rising as we waited to board the Boeing 747 enroute to Lima, Peru. Heading out on a three month backpacking adventure after returning from teaching in South Korea for two years – it was the next destination on the wish list. Pack your bags and [...]
Read more »
Add spice to your wardrobe with vintage clothing and accessories.
By Ellen Egan
One person’s trash can quite literally be another person’s treasure – especially when it comes to fashion. The key is opening your mind to what an item’s potential might be instead of focusing on what simply lays before you.
Incorporating vintage pieces with newer ones in your wardrobe will not only extend its life, but it will also ensure no one else has quite the same style as you.
But what exactly is the difference between vintage and second-hand clothing?
Model: Allison Kelly; Panache Models PEI. Photo by Stephen Harris.
Quite simply, vintage is anything from the 1980s or earlier, whereas second-hand is all clothing that has been pre-owned at any time. We’re not talking about digging up your old MC Hammer pants or neon scrunchies here. In fact, the oldest of pieces often add the most character.
The recipe for a successful vintage shopping trip is two-fold: one part luck, one part dedication. And then it’s a matter of where to shop. Vintage boutique or used clothing store? There are plenty of shops around town (and beyond) that offer the chance to add one-of-a-kind pieces to your wardrobe.
Froggies, Value Village, and Repeats tend to fall under the used clothing store category. Here, you will find the most affordable prices (depending on the quality of the item in question) and also the most selection. They do, however, require the most dedication as they take the most amount of “weeding” to find the goods.
Vintage boutiques, on the other hand, offer clothing that has been handpicked by either the owner or a savvy staffer. Shops such as The Green Man Vintage & Vinyl and Lou Lou Boutique offer this style of shopping. This pre-picking comes with a higher price tag, though – the cost of selection and display are factored in, and sometimes even hand-sewn pieces with up-to-date tailoring can be found. The most wonderful conversation starters abound in the unlikeliest of places, so keep your eyes peeled.
Model: Allison Kelly;Panache Models PEI. Photo by Stephen Harris.
Here are a few tips to keep in mind as you shop for vintage pieces:
Prepare. Wear clothes you can try items on over top in case dressing rooms are scarce.
Investigate. Look out for underarm stains (especially with silk). Beyond the unappealing colour, it can also disintegrate over time.
Explore. Sizing changes through the decades and varies from brand to brand, so suck up your pride and try on something on even if it isn’t your size.
Create. Have fun and take some risks. You just never know until you try it on!
The key to vintage styling is to mix and match with modern basics and accessories to update your look. That way, you’ll avoid looking like the cast member of a dated black and white movie.
As always, keep it classy!
Keeping one eye on the ever-changing world of fashion, Ellen Egan stays on trend without sacrificing her budget. Ellen hopes to one day run her own boutique or design her own fashion line.
Add spice to your wardrobe with vintage clothing and accessories. By Ellen Egan One person’s trash can quite literally be another person’s treasure – especially when it comes to fashion. The key is opening your mind to what an item’s potential might be instead of focusing on what simply lays before you. Incorporating vintage pieces [...]
Read more »
Escape to Paradise
The Dunes Studio Gallery and Café offers a sensory explosion.
By Ellen Egan
The Dunes studio Gallery and Cafe. Photo courtesy of The Dunes.
Every once in a while an experience comes along that actually renders you speechless.
Care to get in on the secret?
Nestled just before the North Shore beaches on Brackley Point Road, The Dunes Studio Gallery and Café exceeds expectations in every way imaginable. From the moment you step in the door, you’re surrounded by an eclectic mix of beauty: flowers, art, pottery, clothing, jewellery – and the list goes on. Oh, and did I mention food so delicious you can die tomorrow and be perfectly happy? Yeah, it’s that good.
First, a word to the wise: be prepared to splurge a bit. Temptations creep up from every angle. But, it’s worth every penny. If you’re going to go anywhere for a special occasion or date night, this is your place. So throw on those heels and iron that dress shirt, because you’re in for a treat, my friends.
No matter where you decide to dine, inside or out on the patio, the views are amazing and the attention to detail is impeccable.
Next up: what to eat? With a little something for every taste and desire, the menu features local produce and seafood, Island beef and homemade desserts. The only problem becomes choosing what to finally order.
Your selection comes served on the Dunes’ handmade pottery, each dish crafted in a presentation worthy of applause. You almost don’t want to ruin it. But then you realize you’re drooling and can’t help but dive in. Fun fact: edible flowers do exist.
Post-meal affords the perfect chance to explore the gardens so diverse that every gardener out there ought to be envious. Photo op, anyone? The galleries, featuring tons of local art and furniture, are almost torturous to enter without the urge to spend your life savings – albeit, a pleasure for the senses. And don’t even get me started on the jewellery and clothing.
So, have you called and made your reservation yet?
Make your reservation soon because there are only a few short weeks left before they close up for the season.
What’s that growling noise? That would be your stomach. You can thank Ellen Egan for that. When she’s not noshing and writing, Ellen splits her creative juices as a Communications Officer between Versatile Management Group and the QEH Foundation.
Escape to Paradise The Dunes Studio Gallery and Café offers a sensory explosion. By Ellen Egan Every once in a while an experience comes along that actually renders you speechless. Care to get in on the secret? Nestled just before the North Shore beaches on Brackley Point Road, The Dunes Studio Gallery and Café exceeds [...]
Read more »