Monday, 16 December 2013

KARAKA. 54 DAYS AT SEA, 4798 NAUTICAL MILES. WE ARE A LEGEND!

The big crossing of the Pacific

On one of the islands in Las Perlas, Panama

Karaka and the new main sail
15th of May. After a whole month of waiting for the new main sail in the disgusting waters of the Panama city, we raised the anchor and finally left. Course: French Polynesia.
French Polynesia is divided into 5 different island groups: The Marquesas, the Tuamotus, the Society Islands, the Gambier, and the Australs. Most people heading from Central or South America go directly to the Marquesas Islands, which are steep, lush volcanic islands. That´s what we did too.
It makes 7 of us: Tom (the captain, France), Zack (Canada), Steve (USA), Pam (Canada), Michaela (NZ), Luois (Quebec) and myself (Bulgaria). And the cat of course (The Philippines) :). 

Tuesday, 15 October 2013

КАТО ЩЕ Е ГАРГА, ДА Е РОШАВА – 54 ДЕНА В ОКЕАНА КАТО ЗА СЕФТЕ!

This post will be in Bulgarian so my parents can finally read it! 

КАРАКА

Бях вече почти 2 години на път по света, когато срещнах Зак в Санта Каталина, малко сърфистко градче в Панама. Планът беше да продължа на север през Коста Рика, Никарагуа, Хондурас, Ел Салвадор, Гватемала, Белиз и най-вероятно да си хвана самолет към Испания от Мексико, че от там винаги има оферти. Но точно за една нощ всичко това се обърна на 180 градуса  (или по-скоро на 120, посока югозапад). От профила на Зак в Couchsurfing знаех, че той плава на яхта (sailboat) и исках да разбера повече, но и през ум не ми минаваше да се кача на такава, само това не бях правила през тези 2 години. Той ми каза, че те търсят момиче за 7ми човек от екипажа и че заминават след 3 седмици за Френска Полинезия, на повече от 4000 морски мили растояние (4798 станаха при нас с всичкото зигзачене и tacking). И само след 2, 3 часа приказки беше убеден, че аз съм подходящия човек за плаването, дори и без никакъв опит. Аз категорично отказах, все пак имах план да покоря Централна Америка, само тя ми остана. 

Monday, 9 September 2013

PANAMA & COSTA RICA. THE BEGINNING … AND THE END OF CENTRAL AMERICA…FOR NOW


My flight from Barcelona, Venezuela was delayed, then the bus from the airport to the centre took almost 2 hours, then my host who came to pick me up from Albrook mall took forever, without me knowing whether we understood each other well about the place and the time…but at the end everything worked out well.
Alex (my host)  gave me a night tour around Panama city – the old town,…I was exhausted cos slept only 5 hours the night before and just wanted to go to bed but he was coming up with these ideas and changing his mind all the time so I ended up staying at his friend´s house for the night cos he had to go and work as a private taxi driver!!! (I thought he was a graphic designer). And before that, we stopped at the bay to ask in a posh restaurant if they need extra staff for the weekend, for both of us!! I never thought of working here but some extra dollars are always welcome and would be fun to do some waitressing after 10 years of engineeringJ. So that was my first night in Panama.

Saturday, 10 August 2013

VENEZUELA (Part 2). Fifty liters of fuel or a small bottle of water

No age limit while paying last respect to Chavez
Yes, he is dead. And for real this time.
Chavez is dead. long live Chavez!
A month later I was about to enter my favourite country in South America again, the country that impressed me so much, country of absurdity and paradoxes but also of beauty and uniqueness. There is no other one like Venezuela. It´s not touristy at all probably because tourist and backpackers are scared to go since it´s being recognized as one the most dangerous places to visit but also due to the lack of information. Most of the backpackers I´ve been meeting along the way in South America didn’t plan to go there, simply because they had no idea what the country offers. Neither did I. 
One thing was definitely different this time, just a month later after my first visit and I knew it would mark my trip drastically – Chavez´s death. When I was there in January, no one knew if he was dead or alive and there was lots of speculation about it but this time it was official. He died right when we were at the border, coming from Maicao,Colombia, 5th of March 2013.  After two year battle against the cancer, the commander of Bolivarian Revolution met an early death. Here is a link to my post about the first time I came in Vz:  Venezuela with Chavez alive.

Wednesday, 15 May 2013

CHANGE OF THE PLAN: I´M GOING SAILING


Karaka

I found this boat randomly http://karaka.voila.net/ and joined the crew so now I will be sailing to South Pacific and French Polynesia until mid September. Leaving today from Panama city...Wish me good winds!

Will post about Venezuela, Panama and Costa Rica ....I guess some time this year :).
The crew

COLOMBIA PART 1. Volunteering in Colombia

Cocora valley
December, 10th. The official at the border was nice enough to place the stamp above the Ecuadorian one (of course I had to use my charming smile). Im running out of pages in my passport so if I wanna make it all the way to Mexico, have to be extra careful, plus Colombia already used a whole page for the visa). I reckon that if I manage to fit 6 stamps on every page, I will be alright.

Ipiales is the town at the border with Ecuador where no one stays more than a night. They have one thing though that is worth the stay - El Santuario Las Lojas, a church, build in the rocks. An image of Jesus or the virgin appeared there one day and for that reason it was built at such an unusual place. Met a guy from Holland and together we went looking for a place to stay. Found an ok hotel room for 30 000 Pesos for both (18 US$) and next day headed together to the bus station to take buses to Popayan and Ecuador respectively. 


Tried my first arepa (corn cakes) here, the most typical Colombian food.
Cheese arepas

Saturday, 11 May 2013

VENEZUELA (Part 1). Dead or alive?

Playa Grande. Choroní
Is he still alive? That was what everyone was asking in Venezuela when I arrived and still when I left. No one knew, some people were convinced that he was already dead and lots were hoping that was true. Officially Hugo Chavez was still in Cuba trying to fight the cancer.

On 11.01.13 I crossed the land border at Cucuta - San Antonio de Tachira.

Friday, 19 April 2013

ECUADOR. Coast, mountains & jungle, all in the same day

On the Inca trail in Ecuador
The second smallest country in South America but the most diverse one. The locals say that you can be in la Costa, la Sierra, y el Oriente (Coast, Mountains and Jungle) in the same day. Distances are small, transport is cheap (1$ for every hour on the bus) and hitch hiking also pretty easy. And it has absolutely everything, just takes much shorter to get to it (compared to Peru for example). In just two hour distance from the jungle to the mountains or from the mountains to the coast, you really can feel the climate changes and you see completely different landscapes.

Wednesday, 10 April 2013

PERU. MUCH MORE THAN JUST INCA RUINS AND MACHU PICCHU

A little friend on the bus in Iquitos
And of course Machu Picchu
Puno
Got to Puno on the last bus leaving from Copacabana, Bolivia. It was freezing cold in the town and the hostel. The guys I met in Isla del Sol in Bolivia - Vicky and Cristian from Chile and Roger from Peru, came to pick me up from my hostel and we went for some pisco sour which gave me pretty good headache the whole next day.

Sunday, 24 February 2013

BOLIVIA. THE RICHEST AND THE POOREST


Salar de Uyuni
Isla del Sol
Isla del Sol, Lago Titicaca
A country of statistical extremes, landlocked Bolivia is the highest and most isolated country in South America. Also considered as the poorest one in South America but one of the richest in natural resources.
It has the largest proportion of indigenous people, who make up around two-thirds of the population and most of them speak Quechua. 
Bolivia has it all, apart from beaches (the Chileans left them without a sea outlet after La Guerra del Pasifico). 

Tuesday, 12 February 2013

CHILE - THE NORTH. Highlands, deserts and waves.


Back to CHILE, from Santiago to Arica
La Portada in Antofagasta - reminded me so much of The Great Ocean Road in Australia
Atacama desert
I came back to Santiago after a month in Patagonia, wandering between Chile and Argentina. The smog was quite startling again, especially after the immensity of Patagonia.

Tuesday, 8 January 2013

PATAGONIA. Meandering between Chile and Argentina


Perito Moreno Glacier
Stretching from the southern end of the Andes Mountains in Argentina and Chile to Cape Horn, the Americas’ southernmost tip, lies the storied land.
To say the landscape is dramatic would be an understatement. A visit to Patagonia could include a hike around the legendary granite mountains of Torres del Paine camping on the shore of a glacial lake, or strapping on crampons to trek across a glacier. You could travel the plains where cowboys still roam by horseback, and hit the road all the way down to the land of fire, Tierra de fuego, at the southern end of the inhabited world.
Magellan dubbed the local Indians Patagones, meaning “big feet.” The name stuck and gave Patagonia its moniker.
Torres del Paine. Chile
Fitz Roy. Argentina
We left New Zealand at 4pm on the 16th (April 2012) and after an 11 hour flight we landed in Santiago at 12 o´clock midday the same day. Long day, isn't it? Actually the longest in my life!

The cheapest flights in Europe