Thursday, 22 November 2012

LOBITOS, LA CASONA AND THE GOOD VIBES


Not my photo but I hope the owner doesnt mind 
Chronologically, next post has to be about Chile but Im skipping a few countries in South America in order to post this one cos I wanna  record it while all the memories and images are still fresh in my head.
After 5 days on a boat coming from Iquitos and a 24 hour bus marathon, I finally made it to Talara, a small town in the north of Peru. Checked my email quickly cos I knew that my mum was probably going crazy (didn’t use internet for 11 days while in the jungle, the longest so far) and got a minivan to Lobitos where I was supposed to volunteer in a surf hostel. That’s all I knew apart from the few photos they had posted on the website. (Volunteering in Lobitos). 
La Casona
It turned out to be the best decision I’ve made. More than 15 months of travelling and not spending more than 4, 5 days at one place I was getting a bit tired. And La Casona just happened to be my little paradise. And not only mine J.
No wonder no one wanted to leave, everyone (guests and volunteers) stayed much longer than they planned. The views, the waves, the people...everything counts and makes you wanna stay forever. I don´t wanna bore you here, the photos speak enough. 



Friday, 19 October 2012

AUSSIELAND - Perth to Adelaide or London to Moscow?

Bunda cliffs in Nullabor plain
Eucla sand dunes
One of Foo´s photographic masterpieces 
So cute and lazy
London to Moscow or Perth to Adelaide? 
Not m we didn’t stop at Adelaide, the last stop was Melbourne.uch difference, distance wise, 2700km. And
The driving distances are mind-boggling, the terrain can be challenging but it is so big and offers such a big variety of things to do and see that you easily forget that your bum hurts after a 800 km drive...One of the countries on my "I would always want to go back" list. So many things you can see or do only here and nowhere else around the world. If i have to describe Australia shortly it would be: drive, drive, drive and WOW, amazing. Drive, drive, drive and again: amazing!

Western Australia (WA). On the 16th we flew to Perth to meet Foo at 10 am on the bridge in Northbridge – Foo’s great planning as always…Of course it didn’t happen - our flight was delayed, we got there too late to make on time, couldn’t let him know cos he didn’t have a mobile…Well, there was a backup plan thanks God, so we met up at a hostel nearby. All set..after filling us in on the hostel situation in Perth (everything was full because of the miner’s invasion due to the tsunami in the north) we started looking for a dorm with 3 available beds which was impossible to find. Fortunately, a guy from CS responded positively and we all headed to Lookbelup, a small town near Fremantle.

Tuesday, 18 September 2012

New Zealand - no predators land


Classic in NZ
There are three ways to travel in NZ – doing the Kiwi Experience which means lots of bus rides (also called the “fuck bus”, won´t explain why), renting a car or hitchhiking. We pitched on the second option – just providing much more flexibility, you see more and turns out to be cheaper too.
Low population density = empty spaces, good personal security, brilliant roads, fantastic I-SITE visitor information centers, DOC ((Department of conservation) camp sites everywhere make it easy to get off the beaten track. Only the weather could fuck things up cos in NZ you never know, it changes rapidly, you might experience the four seasons in just one day.
Milford Sound
We were told that pure Maori people don’t exist anymore but a few times we saw some that looked pretty Maori to me (all the face was tattooed) but of course Im not able to tell. There are lots of places to get familiar with Maori culture if someone is interested or the Maori traditional dance “haka” (the well-known dance performed by All Blacks before rugby matches). The kiwi´s knowledge of Mauri language is usually limited to “Ke Ora” (Hello).
The kiwis are quite shy and distant at the beginning but once you get to know them they are the nicest and friendliest people. Pretty often after meeting someone shortly on a bushwalk or just a short break in the mountain, you end up staying in their house like old friends. They would go out their way to help you, open up their home, introduce you to their family and friends and make sure you taste every bit of this kiwi hospitality. The first 2 weeks we found difficult understanding the accent, especially when “e” was involved, like ten, tent, Ben, bed, bread, egss (they pronounce it as if it was iggs)…

Friday, 3 August 2012

INDONESIA – Komodo dragons and Manta rays


My first ever manta ray
Temple in Bali
Bromo

Komodo dragons
Indonesia is one of the largest island nations on earth, spreading from Irian Jaya in the east, Sumatra in the west, Timor and Roti in the South, and Kalimantan (former Borneo) in the north; these 13 000 islands stretch almost 5 000km. The history, culture and beliefs of these islands are so different and multiform that one has to visit all of them to fully understand it.
This post is just a brief introduction to the whole island nation and may not necessarily be true to each individual island (since I didnt go to Sumatra, Sulawesi or Kalimantan).
There are incredible volcanoes to climb, Komodo dragons, Orangutans, phenomenal scuba diving, huge mosques and temples, etc etc etc… Indonesia is home to numerous of the world’s best waves.
Food is pretty good - Nasi goring (fried rice) is the most popular dish and its pretty good, I ate it all the time, with chicken, seafood or only vegetables..but it was always good. The soups were not bad either.
I skipped Sumatra and flew directly to Jakarta. Got my 30 day visa on arrival (20 $ - try to have the exact amount and in US$)
JAKARTA 10.12.2011

Wednesday, 4 July 2012

SRI LANKA - so much in so little

Beaches and....
....mountains
You might say Sri Lanka has been hiding in plain sight. Countless scores of travellers have passed overhead on their way to someplace else, but years of war and challenges such as tsunamis have kept Sri Lanka off many itineraries.

But now the war is over and Sri Lanka’s looking up. If you’ve ‘done’ India, spent months in Southeast Asia or simply want to explore a place whose appeal and pleasures are myriad, then it’s time you dropped in.Few places have as many Unesco World Heritage Sites (eight) packed into such a small area. Its 2000-plus years of culture can be discovered at ancient sites filled with mystery. Legendary temples boast beautiful details crafted by artisans through the centuries.

Colombo
With around 6 million inhabitants, Colombo is not even close to being one of the larger cities in Asia – yet there’s no denying that the city is full of vibrant energy and always action packed!

Wednesday, 13 June 2012

The Philippines: Beyond beaches

The Philippines is still one of Asia’s relatively undiscovered countries and only now are people beginning to discover its paradisiacal islands, golden beaches and aqua marine seas. However, although its beaches are one of its major draws, the Philippines has many other stunning and interesting sights waiting to be explored. Clearly 21 days are not enough but lots of foreigners extend the visa and get another month (but it was pricy I think). There are more than 7000 islands within the country and the flights between them are relatively cheap. It is heaven for scuba diving and…sex tourism.

Got my 21 day visa on arrival (free). Arrived in Manila on the 7th of November (2011).

Friday, 25 May 2012

Malaysia. The best food in Asia




Landing in Kuala Lumpur – the first one of many future stops. At this point I didn’t know that next 3 months the city (or better said the airport) would turn into my base in South East Asia. The reason - Air Asia of course.

Saturday, 5 May 2012

Smog or fog in Hong Kong??

I took a train from Shenzhen where my 28 hours train trip from Beijing ended and went to Fung’s flat. It was early in the morning and he had taken a day off for me so we had the whole day to play with. I met Fung in Barcelona  in June 2011, he contacted me on CS, I couldn’t host him, don´t remember the reason now but we met up for a drink (I made him try “clara”) and I showed him a bit of the Old town. At that stage I didn’t know whether or not I would go to Hong Kong on my trip but I´m really happy I met him. He lives in a small flat with too other guys called “Fung” as well. All three of them, at least it was easy for me to remember, whoever I wanted to turn to, I always got it right. And the weird thing was that he just moved there a couple of months ago, and the guy who was living there before him and recommended him to the others, was also called Fung.
It is like China but not exactly. Much more advanced, more modern, more expensive. I liked it! Maybe because I was there just short enough not to get bored with it or because I had a local guide all the time of my stay, I don’t know… but it had everything, including nice beaches and surfing.

Tuesday, 3 April 2012

ONE MONTH IN CHINA

One of the world´s oldest civilizations! Very vivid and full of colour and smell…but.. Im not planning to go back there any time soon. Im happy I was there, happy I saw it but still would prefer to go back to other counties. One of the biggest put offs for me was the smog. Especially in big cities you cannot see the sun and the sky at all, its grey all day long. In the Lonely planet I read that 20 of the 30 most polluted cities in the world are in China. And I kind of trust the authors this time.
Another one, we all know about the notorious hygienic condition – one of most disgusting toilets ever (and Im not a delicate one :)), actually you are lucky if you find one. You will find dirty squat toilets, which are the worst aspect in the country. In remote, rural areas you might be forced to relieve yourself above a long trough – privacy, if any, made by low, fragile walls – maintained with regular flushes of water from a source at one end. Riding on buses for hours, they would just stop in the middle of nowhere; women would just go to the right, men to the left, and the rest of the details you probably would not want to know. 
And what´s with all the spitting?

Tuesday, 31 January 2012

KYRGYZSTAN - a quick passage through mountains, valleys and desert

Issyk-Kol
What do you know about Kyrgyzstan or Kыргызстан? That´s right...nothing. Same here...before I went there.  Monster mountains and their associated valleys, glaciers, gorges and ice-blue lakes dominate 90% of the country. The average altitude is about 3000m. I know now that I wanna go back for sure, it´s one of the countries that after you leave you have the feeling that you´ve missed so much. At least I have to go skiing in Karakol, I heard so much about it.
Not a famous destination for Europeans, I guess lots of people got scared after the riots in 2009 but it looks that its all under control now. Even in Uzbekistan I was warned a few times when mentioning going to Kyrgyzstan.

The cheapest flights in Europe