Sydamerika

Machu Picchu and the land of the Incas

So this will be the final post from our journey around South America..! Our last stop was Peru for hiking at the Inca trail, a 45km walk over 3 nights and 4 days, walking 8-11 hours walking a day! And of course it’s located on high altitude, from which you recieve altitude sickness which is not really what you need when the air is so thin already. However, the experience was far beyond my expectations! The stories about the Inca kingdom are truly amazing. This is something I really want to recommend you to do if you ever make it over to this side of the world, not forget to mention those of you who live there, you should really go!
Wherever you go along the Andean mountain range, who stretches all across the continent from North to South, you know it’s gonna be beautiful! Walking along this stunning trail is true joy. And as you walk, you try to imagine what life could have been like back at he 12th century, based on the stories the guides were telling about ”The four regions of the sun”. Amazing stories! We completed the 45 km trail as we reached Machu Picchu at dawn on the fourth day. Stunning view that is hard to recreate in a picture, but maybe some of the mystical feeling can go through the screen.
This Last picture shows another Inca site along the trail.
Finally I would like to thank all you lovely people we’ve had the pleasure to meet along our journey. I just wanna thank you all for being you, helping me grow as a person in so many ways. It really teaches you a lot when you go outside your ”comfort zone” as you do when you go travelling places you’ve never been meeting only new people wherever you go!
Before we arrived to the start of the Inca trail, we stopped by a tiny old fashioned village by bus and got a closer look of the colourful dresses these people were wearing and how they are made. What caught my camera-eye were the mothers carrying the little babies, so adorable I just had to get some shots of them.

For me I feel it was necessary to closely encounter poverty in different ways. This has made me realize how well of we are in the west, economically and how fortunate I am to be among the few people that happens to be born in the rich parts of the world, with the ability to travel all over the rest of the world if you just work hard. Few people in the world has luxorious opportunities like that!
When the plane took off from Cusco, I thought to myself; many of these people probably live their whole life up here, but are still unable to enjoy the view of their country from high above in an airplane because they can’t afford to fly. I bet they would be just as amazed as I was though, looking down on the beautiful mountain range. And there was I, just someone who happened to be born in another corner of our world with so many more choices of how to live my life. But are we happier because of that? Are we more generous and true because of that? One year ago I maybe would have said yes to that. At the moment I have no doubts, we are not! This journey has taught me so much about me, about people, about sharing, about life!

Once again, a big thank you to all You beautiful souls out there in the world, making this a better place!
Peace & Love from Sweden ❤

Annonser

Pura Vida – Life is good!

When we arrived to San José it didn’t take more than a couple of minutes until the taxi driver told us to leave the capital city as soon as possible. Good start! But he was right, the town does not show any of the beauty Costa Rica has to offer. We weren’t planning to stay in the city anyway, as our goal here was to become better surfers and that is not gonna happen inlands. So where to go? Costa Rica offers a lot of good surf spots, but I think we found the best there is, Santa Teresa. Why? Well first of all it’s so consistent. There are surfable waves almost every day of the year. Sometimes too big for us (and for many others) when big swells are coming in and you are not even able to paddle out, but that’s rare. Second thing is you got plenty of space as the beach stretches for several kilometers and you don’t have to fight other surfers for the waves. With these great conditions I managed to catch a lot more waves than I did in Australia two years ago and now I can proudly say that I actually can surf! 😀
Playa Santa TeresaSanta Teresa is a tiny place and there is not a lot to do besides surfing. On top of that the sun sets before 6pm, so you better be up early to make the most of the day! At least I’ve had a lot of time to think, plan and just reflect on various stuff. That’s been really appriciated. One thing I won’t miss though are all the bugs and other animals that you just don’t want too close, like around and inside your house…

Let’s make a list of all the animals I encountered at the house:
– crabs
– spiders
– frogs
– cockroaches
– ants & flying ants
– MOSQUITOS!!!
– big flying bugs
– even bigger flying bug
– opossums
– bats
– humming birds
– squirrel
– mantis
– crickets
..there are probably more that I forgot about. And not to forget of course, the howling monkeys that woke you up in the mornings. Thanks guys 🙂
Some pictures of our house, aka the playground for all these cratures…
                                                                                   …my epic surfboard! 8’7″ Canadian quality 🙂

We also made a trip to the cloud forests of Monteverde for a couple of days, but then my camera collapsed so I ain’t got any pictures from there :/ A beautiful forest to go trekking, and then we went on a Canopy tour, a set of about 15 ziplines, some going just above the trees and some 180 over the forest. The longest one is about 1km and you go Superman style, head first. Awsome!

The next and final update from this amazing journey will be from Perú and Machu Picchu.
Until then, pura vida!


Cúba – You’ll never walk alone, amigo!

I got good news and bad news. First..? The bad news. Ok!

Phrases that put your patience to a real test when you hear them over and over and over again:
– Hola amigo, where you from? Qué pays?
– Taxi? Taxi? TAXI??? …Tazzi?
– You like cigars? My friend, come here!
– You like to go (insert random activity)? I have a friend that…. bla bla bla
– Good price! Look!
I think I’ve used the words ”No gracias” more times the last two weeks than for all the previous three months of this trip!

Now the good news!
Our stay on Cuba also had bright days of course! Relaxing on beautiful Playa Ancón, snorkelling the reef outside of Playa la Boca, going on a boat tour trolling for BIG fish and more… that’s memorable, even if your ”friends” aka mental enemies are lurking just around the corner… 😉
Moments like those and people like Rosa, the woman hosting our homestay the first days in Havana, are memories to keep! Also, Cuba is a really greatful place to bring your camera. I’ve had a thing for a while that I wanted to get some portraits of black people, and Cuba was the place to find interesting characters for this purpose!

When you’re walking the streets of Havana, you sometimes feel like you want to glance at some newspaper to verify what date it is, cause it truly feels like you’ve made a time travel with all the old American cars from the 1950’s. It’s really cool, and makes nice pictures so thank you Cubans for keeping them running! First picture with the famous building Capitolo in the background, a gift from the U.S.
After a couple of days in Havana we headed for the sout coast for some lazy days at a place called Playa Girón. A tip to all of you concidering visiting Cuba, simply don’t include Playa Girón in your plans 😉 Here I’ve tried to make three pictures from the same place at the same time to look different from eachother.
Continuing further east took us to Trinidad, a really charming old fashioned little town.
We spent a morning on a 36 foot boat trolling for big fish, and in my opinion we managed to get a BIG fish hooked! Fred got pretty tired in his arms after pulling up this 5,5 kg barracuda (:

This morning we arrived in Costa Rica and the plan is to find a house someplace nice near the beach to stay for a longer time to work on the surfing skills. I imagine the pictures from here to be dominated by palm trees, beaches, surfers and stuff like that. Time will tell if my vision will come true or if other objects appear more interesting…

Peace & Love to all of you from the Carribbean paradise!
Today starts a new chapter of this amazing journey (:


Buenos Aires

Today is kind of a sad day because we have to leave Buenos Aires and all the lovely people we’ve been fortunate to meet :/ Rocío, Agustine and Alejo, you will always be remembered! I’m really going to miss all of your warmth, your caring, loving and all the laughs we’ve had..! You are the reason we extended our stay here in the first place but yet we wish for nothing than more time with you! (:
One thing that makes me happy is to see these peoples spirit when they talk about visiting Europe! It awakens something inside of myself and fills me with energy just by listening to others and their dreams of exploring the world, just as we are doing at the moment on their home ground. I really hope, and I do believe that you are determined enough not to let go of these plans and make it reality soon, because it would be a true pleasure to get together again and go for new adventures… (:

As you can see, my summary of the city of Buenos Aires is not what you usually tell when leaving a big city like this, but this time really is different. I could tell you about the usual ”touristy” stuff, but for me that is not what I’m going to remember from this stay anyway, so I’ll just let you view my pictures from around the city and make up your own stories about them (: I don’t know how inspiring most of them are for others this time, but for me they contain a lot of soul and that is what I would like to remember!

A panorama picture of the famous Obelisco downtown. Clickable for full size view.
The typical taxidriver pose with the arm hanging out (:
Old guy with the coolest stick ever invented!
Ran into some really cool graffiti, also in the Palermo area.
Pepeyn! If you are reading, this piece of art reminded me of you in some way (:
We also visited the famous La Boca area with the characteristic colourful houses. The area surrounding the few streets that are for tourists are concidered less safe, so to get here you either have to go by bus or taxi. Walking is said to be like asking to get robbed…
Few things are more Argentinian than tango…
…ok, Maradona, son of La Boca, maybe is worth mentioning…
…and also typical, the LOVELY grilled meat called asado! Parrillas are the places you go to eat it. The last thing to fit in this ensemble would be a Maté cup, but I forgot to take a picture of mine. Right now it’s going through the 24 hr opening ceremony. Maybe it deserves it’s own blog post 😉
The no.1 beer!

Last weekend I went to visit one of our new friends who lives in La Plata, a smaller city just outside of Buenos Aires. As a contrast to the hectic environment in the city core, it’s so relaxing to spend a whole day in a quiet, peaceful park without all the noises from cars, sirens and other stuff. For me, the quietness have become something I appreciate more and more every day, maybe I’m getting old haha (:
As the sun was about to set, I wanted to capture the feeling of this day within some pictures of this girl while she was mastering the slackline! All from the same spot but yet a little different.
…So who is she then, this balancing girl, who so far is only showing her feet? Her name is Rocío, a girl with the unique combination of being just as beautiful on the inside as on the outside! Bringing a smile to her face for this picture wasn’t too hard, even though at first she tried to have the ”Que piola”-look 😀

This is the last update from Argentina. Tonight we’re flying to Cuba and Havana, wich I believe will be quite different from where we’ve been so far. And finally, to all new friends we’ve made here I just wanna say: no te amo, pero…

Peace!


Cataratas del Iguazú

Since I’ve been requested to write my blogposts in English a couple of times, I’ve decided to give it a chance this time. So to you guys who perhaps are enjoying this, be sure to show some appreciation or this might be the only time you can read my story! 😉

In my last post I told you about the insane amount of time we’ve been spending on buses for the last couple of months. Therefore I’m happy to be able to say the trip to Puerto Iguazú, close to the Brazilian border, was probably the last overnight bustrip for a long time! Not that the buses aren’t comfortable, but you probably understand when I say you get tired of it sooner or later…
However, the Iguazú Falls was a great experience! It is probably one of the greatest natural beauties of Argentina! We decided, after some recommendations, not to go to the Brazil side of the falls, since the majority is still on the Argentinian side we thought that would be well enough. We started the day by going to maybe the most famous part of the falls; Garganta del Diablo, or the Devils Throat, a U-shaped fall which is the highest in the park, about 80 meters.
This picture is clickable to get a larger view.

On the way back from the visit to Devil’s Throat we ran into a whole bunch of these cute little fellas, called South American Coati (Näsbjörn på svenska), who were really curious about us and our backpacks, especially Mike’s who had to really hold on to his (: Unfortunately I was not quick enough with my camera to catch it, but try to imagine a bunch of impatient kids trying to litteraly grab the presents out of Santa’s sack 😉
We carried on to see other parts of the falls, who really is massive! I heard some people talking about the famous Niagara, and according to them that was nothing in comparison to Iguazú! We also went on a boat tour that took us more or less into the falls! If we got wet? Oh yeah! ^^
Here are some views from the lower balconies.
It’s a shame that we missed the time when the park was closing. We thought it was at 8pm, but a Ranger told us already at 6 that it was time for us to leave :/ We had just made it to the upper balconies when he ”caught us” and we had to head back, but I really wanted to get least some shots of the amazing view from up there, so I was stalling him and acted like a kid who want’s so stay out and play when the parents are calling!
Although we were carrying our backpacks with the camera equipment, I still wanted to get really close to the falls at least once, so we put the raincover on and walked out on this bridge, which would later turn out to be unhealthy for my trekking shoes, that got soaked and smells really bad until today, more than a week later 😦

Finally some more animals I spotted along the walk through the National Park. A really large bumblebee kind of thing and a posing dragonfly.

Now we’re back  in Buenos Aires, a town that has so far brought us a lot of fun, and more is to come for sure! 😀 This weekend we were throwing a housewarming party at the apartment we are renting for three weeks, and next weekend it’s time for our Danish girlfriends to do the same! And yesterday we got to play football with Agustine and his friends. Sweaty as hell but loads of fun! (:
We’ve also been invited for another traditional Argentinian barbeque. For all of you who loves grilled meat, Argentina is heavenly! BIG UP for Asado, as they call it!

Peace & Love to all you lovely people we’ve had the pleasure to meet during our trip! ..and to all of you back home as well 😉


Roadtrip to The End of The World!

När jag och Mikael kom ner till El Calafate hittade vi ett grymt bra erbjudande på en hyrbil eftersom uthyrningsfirman behövde få ner bilen till Ushuaia så snart som möjligt. Vi trodde dock inte att vi skulle lyckas få den då vi tänkte åka över till Torres del Paine i Chile för några dagars vandring och camping, men när detta visade sig bli alldeles för dyrt för att se mer berg och glaciärer såsom vi gjort den senaste tiden så hörde vi oss för om bilen och slog till direkt när den var kvar! 700 Argentinska pesos (ca 1200 kr)  fick vi betala för en Toyota Hilux 4×4 i drygt två dagar, eftersom vi även skulle ut till Perito Moreno-glaciären som jag visade i senaste inlägget. En tant på en annan bilfirma där vi bokat en annan bil som vi nu inte behövde, höll på att tappa hakan när hon hörde priset. Har för mig hon sa att det annars brukar kosta runt 3000 pesos (dryga 5000 kr) att köra de ca 100 milen ner till Ushuaia, världens sydligast belägna stad.
Här fick jag för andra gången på resan användning för min externa blixt som jag orkat släpat med mig. Utomhus vid landskapsfoto, som vi mest ägnat oss åt, har man ju ingen nytta av den men passade på att experimentera lite i bilen (:
Ushuaia, även kallat Världens ände, åkte vi nog mest ner till ”bara för att”. Finns egentligen inte så mycket att vare sig se och göra där om man inte tänkt åka över till Antarktis, (en tur som med sista-minuten-pris går loss påmellan 20-25000 kr) även om staden ändå var större än jag föreställt mig. En båttur blev det iaf för att se lite sjölejon, pingviner och sjöfåglar, och den kända fyren i Beagle-kanalen. Det händer sällan att man är helt nöjd med en bild utan det är alltid något som får fixas till i Photoshop innan den är redo att visas. Men bilden nedan tyckte jag var såpass bra ”rakt ur kameran” att den inte behövdes varken fixas till eller beskäras, så jag bestämde mig att för första gången publicera en helt orörd bild. Ta en ordentlig titt, för man vet aldrig när det händer igen! Förresten, ser ni någon skillnad mot de andra? 😉
Räkna fåglar? (: Ganska många var de som invaderat den lilla ön. Kanske undrar någon om dessa fåglar skiter en del och isf om de står ut med att trampa runt i det eller om de ibland byter ställe för att det till slut blir för jävligt? Ta en titt på nästa bild… ^^ Den vidriga lukten som slog emot en som en vägg när vi rundade ön med sjölejon och andra fåglar är nog nåt av det jävligaste jag känt :/Från Ushuaia hade vi egentligen en flygbiljett bokad till Buenos Aires, men eftersom vi låg ca tre veckor före i resplanen tog vi istället en 12+17 timmars buss och gjorde ett extra stopp i Puerto Madryn vid Valdeshalvön för att se ännu lite mer sjölejon, pingviner och späckhuggare! Några späckhuggare såg vi dock inte, den chansen sades vara minimal och vi var tyvärr inte mer lyckosamma än de flesta andra, trots att vår holländska vän Anna-Marie som följde med oss på dagstur lovade att hennes utdragna morgonbestyr med dusch och sminkning minsann var värt att vänta på då det skulle resultera i att hon lockade till sig dessa sällsynta djur…. Flikker op!
Pingviner fanns det däremot gott om här, mitt i ökenklimatet, vilket kändes väldigt underligt! Ca 500 000 Magellan-pingviner skulle det finnas här när de befolkar Valdeshalvön som mest, och visst gick det att hitta en del roliga individer att fånga på bild! (:
Denna lilla närsynta krabat trodde jag var av ett skyggt djursläkte, men den kom ända fram till en och åt äpple ur handen.. dock hade den som sagt vissa problem att se maten för den gick och luktade sig fram tills den bokstavligen snubblade över äppelbitar utan att hitta rätt ^^

Nu har vi så tagit oss upp till huvudstaden Buenos Aires, en stad som har fler invånare än hela Sverige, ca 10 miljoner. Då vi under resans gång träffat ett gäng trevliga människor härifrån har vi omstrukturerat resplanen och tänkt utöka vistelsen här till en månad och försöka hyra en lägenhet!
Till helgen åker vi upp till det gigantiska vattenfallet Iguazú som ligger på gränsen till Brasilien. Bussen dit tar 19 timmar enkel väg och jag kom att tänka på hur långt vi egentligen åkt buss och bil den här resan? 1300 mil är svaret! Hur långt är det då tänkte jag och googlade, exemplet som kom upp var från Italien till Kina…! Om bussen kört i snitt 80 km/h vilket kan vara i överkant med tanke på vägstandarden på vissa sträckor, blir tiden vi suttit i buss (och hyrbil) ca. 162 timmar, eller nästan 1 vecka i sträck! Man har haft en del tid för sig själv att fundera på saker och ting…. 😉

Hasta luego!


El Calafate – Glaciar Perito Moreno

Så begav vi oss ytterligare en liten bit söderut mot Sydamerikas mest kända glaciär, Perito Moreno, som tillsammans med de andra glaciärerna i nationalparken Los Glaciares utgör den största ismassan utanför Grönland och Antarktis, och dessutom en av de få i hela världen som inte minskar i storlek utan till och med växer! Just denna glaciär är dock inte en av de största, även om väggen man ser där den går ner i sjön är över 50 m hög.

Vi tog först en båttur för att komma nära glaciären, men i sanningens namn tyckte jag att man såg bättre från utsiktsplatserna på land. Man fick iaf se glaciären från ett annat håll så först lite bilder från båten…
Kände mig lite extra kreativ och gjorde en bild i vintage-stil, nån som var här på 50-talet som känner igen sig? (:

Man hörde tydligt långt innan man kom fram och såg glaciärväggen hur det knakade och när större bitar trillade loss lät det som ett mäktigt åskmuller! Jag hoppades själv få se detta men det var mest mindre bitar som trillade ner när vi stod och kikade. Dessa ”mindre” bitar hade helt säkert räckt för att krossa en bil att döma av ljudet när de slog i vattnet, men såg förhållandevis små ut på håll.
Vi förflyttade oss till en bättre plats och höll tummarna för att inget skulle hända under tiden vi gick, och vi kunde nästan inte haft bättre timing för precis när vi kom fram hände det: ett GIGANTISK isblock släppte från väggen och störtade ner i sjön med ett dån!!! Tyvärr tog det nån sekund innan jag faktiskt kom på att jag hade en kamera i handen som kunde föreviga ögonblicket, men jag lyckades få några bilder från och med nedslaget… tyvärr inga ljudeffekter till, det hade nästan behövts för att få grepp om händelsen 😉
Gjorde även ett panorama för att få med hela framsidan på glaciären. Denna bild är lite större och kan klickas upp om man vill se bättre.
Överblicksbild gick inte att göra på så många olika sätt så det jag fick trä på telezoom-objektivet för att komma ännu närmare för lite detaljbilder. Här följer så lite iskonst skapad av Moder Natur! En hemlig dörr, en valfena eller frusna eldflammor kan man få det till med lite fantasi. Ser ni vad jag ser eller hittar ni andra saker? (: