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  • Chris1984
    Erfahren
    • 27.01.2011
    • 441

    • Meine Reisen

    Live Weltreise (3-5 Jahre)

    Tourentyp
    Lat
    Lon
    Mitreisende
    Hey!

    Seit Oktober 2014 bin ich auf Weltreise, es geht auf alle Kontinente und auch in etwas exotischere Gebiete wie Antarktika oder Mongolia. Den Auftakt macht Kanada und danach fliege ich weiter nach Zentral und Südamerika, eine Weltkarte mit meiner groben Route findet ihr hier.

    Über meine Facebook Seite gibt es alle Updates, ansonsten hier schon einmal die ersten Berichte mit Bildern. Werde den Thread hier regelmäßig updaten und hoffe es gefällt!

    Live #01, East Coast Trail in Newfoundland (Canada)




    Live #02, East Coast Trail in Newfoundland (Canada)




    Live #03, Gros Morne & Corner Brook in Newfoundland (Canada)




    Live #04, Cape Breton National Park, Nova Scotia (Canada)




    Live #05, Halifax – Lunenburg – Peggys Cove, Nova Scotia (Canada)




    Live #06, Bay of Fundy, New Brunswick (Canada)



    Live #07, Fredericton – Grand Falls – Hitch hike to Quebec City, Canada




    LG
    Chris
    Ich hoste eine interaktive Travel Show jeden Montag ab 20 Uhr - schaut doch mal rein :)

  • Chris1984
    Erfahren
    • 27.01.2011
    • 441

    • Meine Reisen

    #2
    AW: Live Weltreise (3-5 Jahre)

    Und ganz frisch gleich das heutige Update noch:


    Live #08, At the farm..



    31/10/2014 I just arrived in Toronto and it will my last big city before heading down to Mexico on Monday. Before I get an report out regarding the urban areas of East Canada, I now just wanted to give you a quick update about my day at a farm near Quebec City and my first contact with guns. Also, do you have any ideas for a Halloween outfit for me?

    My stay in Quebec City was just another reminder on how awesome Couchsurfing is. When else would you have the chance to go to a local farm and even shoot some guns there before having a delicious dinner with the family? I have to thank Anne Sophie again so much for taking me and being such a wonderful host in general, the days in Quebec with her, her boyfriend, brothers and friends were really great and I hope to hear everyone saying SCHULZ when I come back haha (sorry, insider…). Prior to the farm, we also had a great dinner together, German fried potatoes with bacon and squash filled with meat and chicken, just awesome combination with a great jam session that night!

    I will write another update about the city itself but thought that this special day deserved a special post Now I am waiting for the rain to stop in Toronto to start exploring the city a bit before heading to the first out of two halloween parties this weekend. I never actually celebrated it but will give it a try here since it’s really big – any ideas for a cheap costume? I was thinking of the Joker… Write your suggestion in the comments!
    Ich hoste eine interaktive Travel Show jeden Montag ab 20 Uhr - schaut doch mal rein :)

    Kommentar


    • Chris1984
      Erfahren
      • 27.01.2011
      • 441

      • Meine Reisen

      #3
      AW: Live Weltreise (3-5 Jahre)

      Next live update!

      Live #14, Ek Balam Maya Ruins and X’Canche Cenote, Mexico



      13/12/2014 The 2nd part of my Greenland Videos delayed my live updates a bit, sorry about that! I am currently in Antigua Guatemala and just came back from an amazing climb to Volcan Acatenango, overlooking the very active Volcan Fuego. Check out my Instagram Picture for a little preview before I get my hands on a report! In the meanwhile, I hope you will enjoy some more pictures from Yucatan’s Maya temples and Cenotes in this post

      The Ek Balam Maya ruins are very close to Valladolid and combined with the great Cenote X’Canche, it was just something I could not miss since I skipped the world famous Chichen Itza ruins. I just don’t like the fact that they restored it so much (even removed all the jungle around it!) and that it is just swarmed by tourists. Instead I would use my time to get to the very remote ruins of Calakmul in the south, but more on this on another live update soon to come!

      Cenote X’Canche was just awesome, for a few reasons: Looks extremely cool, not crowded at all, perfect sink hole shape and last but not least: Very safe jump from about 14m into into the cenote! Overall, it has been my favorite Cenote in the Yucatan!
      Ich hoste eine interaktive Travel Show jeden Montag ab 20 Uhr - schaut doch mal rein :)

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      • qwertzui
        Fuchs
        • 17.07.2013
        • 1978

        • Meine Reisen

        #4
        AW: Live Weltreise (3-5 Jahre)

        Danke fürs teilhaben lassen! Viel Spaß weiterhin.

        Kommentar


        • mitreisender
          Alter Hase
          • 10.05.2014
          • 4314

          • Meine Reisen

          #5
          AW: Live Weltreise (3-5 Jahre)

          Da bist Du schon mal weiter als der Landschaftsgärtner bekannt durch Fernsehen und Print.

          Kommentar


          • Chris1984
            Erfahren
            • 27.01.2011
            • 441

            • Meine Reisen

            #6
            AW: Live Weltreise (3-5 Jahre)

            Live #16, Campeche & Calakmul, Mexico

            Click the Link for the pictures!



            19/12/2014 Turns out the west of El Salvador features some pretty amazing little villages, especially the one that I am staying in now, Juayúa. People here are so friendly and I can barely see any tourists at all on the beautiful streets. I will leave today heading to the El Imposible National Park; but before I do so, check out the update about one of my highlights in the Yucatan: The remote ruins of Calakmul, once one of the biggest cities of the Maya!

            I spent hours figuring out the best and most direct way from Mérida to the area of Calakmul since I tried to avoid driving along the west side of the Yucatan. Due to a local bus strike, I was eventually forced to stop by in Campeche and make my way further down south and then east to my destination. Campeche actually turned out to be very nice so I was not sad at all to drive some extra km. The only trouble I had was getting a taxi to the ADO bus terminal to make it in time because all taxis were full and did not stop for me. In the end, I just barely made it though and even met a German couple that would go to Calakmul as well, so we decided to join forces.

            Calakmul had always been the one ruin that I was looking forward to the most. The main reason being the fact that it is so remote. First you have to get to Xpujil and based from there either have a private car or hire a taxi to drive into the jungle for another two hours of driving. The other reason being the fact that it used to be one of the biggest ancient Maya sites, fighting with Tikal in Guatemala at some point in history, better check Wikipedia for that since they know the details ;)

            We stayed the night in a nice place (including a swimming pool) and organised a taxi driver for 1200 pesos, so 400 pesos or about 22€ each. This deal was pretty sweat actually since the driver would wait for us at Calakmul for about 4 hours and then another 2 hours and the Becan ruins on the way back. Usually they charge a bit more for that. The driver picked us up the next morning and after 30 minutes or so, I asked him if I could maybe drive a bit. He did not hesitate to stop the car and from then on I was in charge of getting us to the ruins, driving about 80 minutes through the jungle

            As imagined, we were completely alone in the huge complex. Only one other car arrived before us but we didn’t really see the people since it’s spread out so much. The ruins were amazing, including some of the biggest Maya temples you will ever see. There is also a lot of wildlife around and you can hear and spot monkeys while you walk around the jungle from one temple to the other. Being on top of the biggest pyramid, we could even spot the El Mirador ruins in Guatemala way in the distance!

            Jochen was driving us back to Xpujil, but before we could enjoy a final amazing Torta they would serve there, we had one final stop and it turned out to be my absolute favorite of all the Maya ruins: Becan. But more on that in a separate update in a few days!
            Ich hoste eine interaktive Travel Show jeden Montag ab 20 Uhr - schaut doch mal rein :)

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            • Chris1984
              Erfahren
              • 27.01.2011
              • 441

              • Meine Reisen

              #7
              AW: Live Weltreise (3-5 Jahre)

              Next update

              Live #17, Becan Maya Ruins, Mexico Click for the Pictures!



              21/12/2014 And finally… the last update about Maya ruins in Mexico! It ended with my favorite of them all, the city of Becan. Located very close to Xpujil, it is not as remote as Calakmul, but nevertheless only a few people go there. Check out this post to find out why it turned out to be my favorite in the end.

              Part of our deal with the Taxi driver was to spend about 2 1/2 hours in Becan on our way back from Calakmul. It is very close to Xpujil and you could even bike there if you wanted to, but well we already had the Taxi for us The first thing that I noticed about that site was that everything just feels much more like it used to be during the times of the Maya. You can even walk around some small corridors and rooms and everything is in a very good shape without over-restaurating it like Chichen Itza for instance.

              I especially enjoyed the main temples. One of them (as seen on the cover picture on this post) just looks awesome thanks to it’s shape and the fact that it is still surrounded by trees. And the other one (from where I took the cover picture) is half collapsed and allowed me to do some climbing while offering the great view. Becan just felt right, it is hard to describe but for some reason it was my favorite even though it is not as big as Calakmul or as famous as Chichen Itza. You should check it out if you make it down to Xpujil!
              Ich hoste eine interaktive Travel Show jeden Montag ab 20 Uhr - schaut doch mal rein :)

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              • Wanderkobold
                Anfänger im Forum
                • 24.10.2014
                • 21

                • Meine Reisen

                #8
                AW: Live Weltreise (3-5 Jahre)

                Hi, interessanter Bericht und ganz tolle Bilder! Danke!

                Kommentar


                • Chris1984
                  Erfahren
                  • 27.01.2011
                  • 441

                  • Meine Reisen

                  #9
                  AW: Live Weltreise (3-5 Jahre)

                  Hoffe ihr hattet ein schönes Fest!

                  First update from Belize!

                  Live #19, Caye Caulker, Belize



                  26/12/2014 Christmas in Guatemala turns out to be quiet the opposite of Europe and is celebrated like New Years Eve here with a late dinner, fireworks and lots of parties all night long. After 5 weeks in this great country, it is time to move on now and a long distance bus will take me to the Copan Ruins in Honduras tomorrow. Hope you will enjoy this first update from Belize now, visiting Caye Caulker in the Caribbean Sea.

                  Caye Caulker in Belize was another location that I added to my itinerary last second, hearing about it from other travelers. The only thing I wanted to do was the Hol Chan Marine Reserve, based from San Pedro. Turns out that this place is packed with hotels though, whereas Caye Caulker has more of a backpacking vibe for it, making my decision to go there instead very easy. I stayed in the Bella’s Hostal just next to the Dirty McNasty’s, which seems to be the place-to-go for all those party hungry backpackers. I was glad I did not stay there.

                  The motto of the Island is “Go Slow” and it even changed my walking habits from a fast paced London style to the very relaxed and slow one of the island. The streets on Caye Caulker are also just made out of sand and the only vehicles here are gold caddys, making the place quiet special and cool! And did I mention they have great looking waters around there too?

                  We booked a sail tour for a complete day, visiting the local coral reef, the shark alley and the Hol Chan Marine Reserve. A pack of ten dolphins followed us on the way to the shark alley. Feeding the sharks there was great since you could swim right in the middle of them. They are all harmless obviously and very used to humans in that area. The Hol Chan features some more marine life such as turtles but overall I expected a bit more from that, guess it is better for diving than just snorkeling here so I missed out on a bit.

                  I can just highly recommend doing the tour and especially liked the fresh food provided or the all-you-can-drink rum punch happy hour on the way back. I think I had seven big cups in the end, a perfect way to start the evening! If you have more time, you can even do the three day tour including night stays on deserted islands going down to the south of Belize. Sadly we could not opt in tour due to a bad weather forecast, otherwise I would have ended up extended my stay in Caye Caulker.

                  On the last full day, we relaxed at the so called “Split”, the part of the island that was cut off my hurricanes. At least that is what the internet tells you, our captain on the boat however said that it was originally started by the americans, digging out just a tiny passage for small ships which was eventually broadened by the hurricans to create the split that you can see today. It is a great place to hang out though and good fun to swim to the other side of the split since there is a small current that will drag you out a bit.

                  We also hired some Kayaks (ree at the Bella’s Hostel) and used them to check out the other Island for a while. If you have a lot of time, you could even make a complete circuit but bring a lot of water for that. We just had an hour and were forced to turn back just shortly after we reached the other island. Still a lot of fun! In the end I can just say that I was very happy to come to Caye Caulker and I would only have one more major destination in Belize, the Actun Tunichil Muknal (ATM) caves, coming up in the next Live Report
                  Ich hoste eine interaktive Travel Show jeden Montag ab 20 Uhr - schaut doch mal rein :)

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                  • Chris1984
                    Erfahren
                    • 27.01.2011
                    • 441

                    • Meine Reisen

                    #10
                    AW: Live Weltreise (3-5 Jahre)

                    Live #21, Tikal, Guatemala



                    30/12/2014 Yesterday I arrived to the currently famed “most dangerous place on earth” and my second stop in Honduras: San Pedro Sula. I was supposed to leave to the Cusuco National Park today, but due to my slight delay and a booked flight to Utila tomorrow, I decided to do it after my return from the Island in order to spend two nights in the remote jungle. I will use the extra day to check out the city today and of course update my blog, reporting “live” from Guatemala for the first time. Coming from Belize, it was obvious that I would have to stop in Tikal, one of the most famous Maya sites in Central America!

                    Joined by Philip, a German guy I met before in San Ignacio to explore the ATM Caves, we made our way to the Border in a taxi and successfully dodged the extra fee that they are trying to squeeze out of tourists while entering Guatemala (just ask for a receipt and you won’t have to pay it). We missed the last bus due to the public holiday and were forced to take a more expensive private shuttle directly to Tikal, ending up paying a bit more than 200 Quetzales each. We arrived at 3pm and were just in time to get the 150Q entrance ticket that would be valid for the next day as well, so we wasted no time to drop our staff at the Jaguar Inn Hotel and made our way into the rainy jungle that surrounds the mighty ruins of Tikal!

                    Having not purchased either the Sunset or the Sunrise tour for an extra 150Q each, we were making the most out of our time anyway. The rain provided a great atmosphere and a good alternative to boring blue sky It got dark very fast and the ground was very slippery, nearly dropping us a few times. We headed straight to Temple IV, which was supposed to offer the best view. They built some staircases to reach the 64m high top plateau and the view is somehow limited as you can just see other temples peaking out. Before coming to Tikal, I was hoping to see some bigger structures from there but it was great in any case.

                    We only met two other people during the late hour of that day and joined up together on the way back, walking through complete pitch black darkness as the sun was gone around 6pm. Joined by the rangers that clean out the park so nobody sneaks in without having paid for the Sunset ticket – which would not have been great in that weather anyway – we made it back to the Jaguar Inn to have a suprsingly good and well portioned dinner there. Sleeping in tents they provide for “just” 15$ seemed like a good deal considering the fact that we were staying in the middle of the Park and right next to the Entrance gate. I could hear all kinds of monkeys and other animals (and also the snoring tour guide Caesar in a tent next to us) while trying to fall asleep.

                    The next morning, we woke up at 5:30 to make it to the entrance as early as possible to get in without the special sunrise ticket, meaning 6AM. The weather did not change since last night, so we were happy that we did not spend all the extra money. The sounds of the awaking jungle were still clearly present at 6AM, even though it should probably be even better getting in at 4AM. We walked a slightly different route this time and headed to the main plaza including the famous Jaguar Temple. Certainly a pretty cool structure to look at and a shame one is not allowed to climb it up! Some people have died doing so in the past after slipping down.

                    We returned to Temple IV again and had slightly better weather this time, still clouds dominated the sky though but I think it makes for a great atmosphere. Overall we spent nine hours in Tikal on both days and the rest of the second day was spent walking around through all different corners. Arriving at the Lost World Pyramid aka Gran Pyramid, we were waiting until everyone around us disappeared (it was not busy in that part of Tikal luckily) in order to climb it up. Climbing it is not allowed, but it is a very easy and safe climb, so we could not resist the temptation. The view from up there was amazing, actually it was my favorite view of them all because you could see all other major temples from a much nicer perspective compared to Temple IV. Just when we arrived to the top, some guy was waiving at Philip and we could hear a starting car engine, so we got down pretty soon after again. Turns out the waiving guy was just a Japanese tourist and not one of the guards when we saw him five minutes later to say hello :-)

                    It was already pretty late and we wanted to head back to the Hotel in time to catch the bus to Flores. However, Tikal made it really hard to leave as we spotted even more great places on the way out, for example Temple V, the second tallest structure at 57m and just very impressive to look at. All of the sudden, the sun came out again and we took some more pictures from the Jaguar Temple again. Even after nine hours, I could have stayed some longer and have to say that visiting Tikal is an absolute must for anyone interested in the Maya culture! One more Club Sandwhich and a nice shower later, I was headed to Flores to stay with a new Couchsurfer and relax a bit after all the walking at Tikal…

                    >> Link zu den Bildern
                    Ich hoste eine interaktive Travel Show jeden Montag ab 20 Uhr - schaut doch mal rein :)

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                    • Chris1984
                      Erfahren
                      • 27.01.2011
                      • 441

                      • Meine Reisen

                      #11
                      AW: Live Weltreise (3-5 Jahre)

                      Live #23, Semuc Champey, Guatemala



                      03/01/2015 It’s pretty damn early here in Honduras now and I only have twenty minutes to get this update out, so gotta keep it short again. Semuc Champey in Guatemala was one of those things that I only heard about while being on the road already. It’s a serious of pools in an awesome jungle setting between Flores and Guatemala City. Takes a while to get there, but it’s totally worth it!
                      Ich hoste eine interaktive Travel Show jeden Montag ab 20 Uhr - schaut doch mal rein :)

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                      • Chris1984
                        Erfahren
                        • 27.01.2011
                        • 441

                        • Meine Reisen

                        #12
                        AW: Live Weltreise (3-5 Jahre)

                        Next video is ready!

                        >> Video (29mins) from Yucatán, Mexico

                        Ich hoste eine interaktive Travel Show jeden Montag ab 20 Uhr - schaut doch mal rein :)

                        Kommentar


                        • Chris1984
                          Erfahren
                          • 27.01.2011
                          • 441

                          • Meine Reisen

                          #13
                          AW: Live Weltreise (3-5 Jahre)

                          Next

                          Live #25, Lake Atitlan, Guatemala (click for pictures)



                          10/01/2015 I’m still in San Pedro Sula and tried everything to get into the Cusuco National Park and to replace my broken lens. Unfortunately, both did not work out in the end and I will now move on to Lake Yojoa without a working camera But let’s talk about the past, Lake Atitlan. When I first did my research about Guatemala, I quickly came across Lake Atitlan and ever since had the strong desire to go there. A lake surrounded by three volcanoes sounded and looked great and it was so worth going there in the end!

                          The chicken bus got me into Panajachel, the main tourist hub around the lake. The complete town is based on tourism and I was glad that I would not stay over there and instead go to the less touristic spots around the lake, hopefully getting in touch with the locals during my two scheduled couchsurfing occasions as well. Taking a lancha over to Santiago Atitlan, I immediately liked the atmosphere there much better.

                          Instead of all the backpackers walking around, I could now spot a lot of friendly locals on the way to my Couchsurfing place, which was pretty interesting and hard to find by the way! After making my way through a bunch of bushes and back alleys, I eventually made it to the Hotel which was supposed to be just next to the place and got picked up from there Their house looked great and my lovely host even let me use her room since they had another guest at the same time, already occupying the couch.

                          On the next day, I walked around the city to find the Maximón. Not being able to do so, I had to use my superb Spanish skills to ask the local people and eventually made it there. They wanted to charge me to take pictures inside, so I only got one from the outside instead. It was lunch time afterwards and I got four empanadas and a bag full of fruit for just 21Q (~2,20€) – streed food is just awesome!

                          Another great source for food was located just five minutes walking distance away from the Couchsurfer place: Las Lagartijas. Located in a small booth outside of town, it provides delicious food and you should check it out if you are in the area! After a cold swim in the lake here, tucked in between the three volcanoes, I eventually had to move on again, this time to another smaller village on the other side of the lake: Santa Cruz.

                          The prices for the lanchas were recently raised apparently and the information I got on the internet was not valid anymore. Now you have to pay 25Q (or 20Q if you negotiate like I did) to cross the lake. I had to change boats in Pana again and used the opportunity to buy a new mouse there since I had just broken mine a day before. Getting to Pana was a wild ride actually, the boat took on a bit too many people, leaving me without a seat in the front on the by far bumpiest ride ever! I had to hold on with both hands and was still jumping half a meter in the air while sitting on the ground and everyone was screaming as if they would be in a rollercoster. Just thinking about it makes my ass hurt again!

                          When I finally arrived in the small and relaxed Santa Cruz, I was picked up by my next Couchsurfer and his guest. A japanese couple decided to use this village as their base in Guatemala and I can totally understand why! It was just great there and thanks to my hosts, I could make the most out of my time. We walked around the town and had a great dinner together in the evening. Ironically enough, their guest used to be a korean WarCraft 3 programer as well and it was funny talking to him about the good old times with players like SlayerS_BoxeR, which we both knew from our time as a gamer. At that moment we wished to have two computers to play a round haha

                          On the next day, we had lunch in Posada Jaibalito, run for over nine years by a German guy called Hans. If you go there, say Chris said hi, you will easily recognize him thanks to his immense white beard He offers traditional German food and even bread for a very low price, definitely a highlight and hidden gem! The village of Jaibalito is great as well, no road is leading there and you either have to walk or take a lancha. The locals here are even more friendlier it seemed and you will see lot’s of kids playing around on the street. This afternoon was one of my highlights along the lake!

                          The next and final stop was the backpacker village of Lake Atitlan: San Pedro. I liked it much more than Pana, because despite having the same amount of backpackers, the village itself was just more pleasant. After staying in a pretty cheap place somewhere in the back of the village, I moved over to Hotel Mikaso for the other two nights. This place was perfect, located outside of the busy area but still close enough to walk everywhere. You will have some great views from there and even be able to enjoy the hot pool for free! They also had good Internet there and I could follow my team Frankfurt win against Dortmund with 2-0 in the German Bundesliga What a good day it was…

                          >> All Pictures
                          Ich hoste eine interaktive Travel Show jeden Montag ab 20 Uhr - schaut doch mal rein :)

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                          • Chris1984
                            Erfahren
                            • 27.01.2011
                            • 441

                            • Meine Reisen

                            #14
                            AW: Live Weltreise (3-5 Jahre)

                            Video from Caye Caulker, Belize



                            This Video is actually pretty short – just under ten minutes! Check out how I was swimming with Sharks along with some Snorkeling in the Hol Chan Marine Reserve. And don’t forget to Go Slow… since we are talking about Caye Caulker in Belize

                            https://vimeo.com/116928793


                            Have fun!
                            Ich hoste eine interaktive Travel Show jeden Montag ab 20 Uhr - schaut doch mal rein :)

                            Kommentar


                            • Chris1984
                              Erfahren
                              • 27.01.2011
                              • 441

                              • Meine Reisen

                              #15
                              AW: Live Weltreise (3-5 Jahre)

                              One of the highlights of my trip so far! Hope you like it

                              Live #28, Volcán Acatenango, Guatemala
                              (click link for pictures)



                              19/01/2015 Time for a new Live Update after finishing some videos. Sadly Vimeo causes problems with Copyright violations, so I might have to look out for another platform. If you have some suggestions, put it in the comments please! Currently I am in Granada, Nicaragua and will head to Isla de Ometepe tomorrow morning. This update will be the last from Guatemala and it is safe to say that climbing the 3,976m Volcán Acatenango was one of the highlights of my trip so far. Getting to the top requires some effort, but the reward is incredible: Witnessing the super active Volcán de Fuego right in front of you during night, erupting car-sized rocks every 5-10 minutes.

                              I arranged the overnight tour to climb Volcán Acatenango from Antigua and got a decent last minute deal. The good news was that the other two people in the group cancelled, so it was just me and the guide! I got picked up in town and was transferred to the guide’s private house close to the Volcanoes entrance trail. Having a local guide actually helps against the occasional robberies, which only target tour companies that are not supporting the local guides and thereby the community’s job industry. At least that is what the owner of the company I used told me. Another group just got back from the mountain and was waiting for my car for a ride back into town. They told me I’d better have a sleeping bag and good jacket because it was so cold on the top.

                              My guide Eddie and I started walking up the street for a few minutes to reach the path leading to the Volcano. His dog Tarzan joined us all the way and was a fast and pleasant third member of the team, not slowing us down or being annoying like other people could have been It just takes five minutes walking on a gravel path until we reach the first group gasping for air. It was pretty hot that day and the gravel makes it hard to walk, but I was still very surprised to see the first girl crying out of exhaustion after a distance that took us just five minutes to walk! Anyway, I was looking forward to the rest as the climb was supposed to be one of the hardest you can do in the country.

                              Passing one resting point after the other and actually only using one of them for ten minutes, we make it to the summit of Volcán Acatenango in just 3 1/2 hours. It was great to have a good and fast guide with me and being in a good shape as well as the mountain really will challenge you, especially if you do not rest a lot in between. I could feel my heart pumping really hard on the last steep gravel part up the top, each step sliding down half of the previous step again. It’s been a while that a mountain required this kind of effort and I really liked it! Once on the top, we waited for all the clouds to disappear until I could finally see (and not just hear) the first eruption of Fuego just meters away.

                              Luckily the clouds vanished even more and I could get some great shots of the crater and the landscape around us before we were running / skiing down the gravel on the other side to reach the camp spot, which was already prepared by Eddie’s dad. Just before we got there, Eddie climbed a high tree to cut off branches with his Machete for our bonfire. Having it set up, I felt in great company and even part of the family by now, even though my Spanish is not good and all of them spoke no English at all, we still found a way to communicate, sometimes using a stick to sketch drawings in the ground

                              As it got dark, the real show started. Volcán de Fuego showed off his angry face and instead of grey smoke in front of blue sky and white clouds, we would now witness a red and yellow light show in the pitch black darkness every 5-10 minutes. Surprised by how active that Volcano actually was, it produced really big explosion every 20 minutes or so. The view on Volcán de Agua to our left side of the camp spot was great too, being surrounded by all the yellow lights of the cities such as Antigua and even Guatemala City in the back. But back to the main attraction! I switched my location to get rid of some trees in front of me and spent ten minutes looking for a good spot to sit down and lay my camera on something to do long exposure shots. I eventually found a cut-off tree that would suit me as a natural tripod and even though it was very tiny and I had troubles to keep my camera on it, I still managed to get a few decent shots.

                              Spending three hours just sitting and watching Fuego errupt, I finally made it into my tent. I could still hear all the eruptions from there and in a reflex, would constantly open my tent to check if it might be an even bigger one than before. Eventually, I had to force myself to get some sleep around 1AM though, having had one great new experience that I will never forget in my life. I woke up just in time for a nice sunset and after breakfast, headed down together with Eddie and Tarzan while his dad stayed at the camp spot to clear the fire. It only took us 1 1/2 hours to return to his house, resulting in a pretty long two hour wait to get me picked up since we were just way too early. Eddie’s place and lovely family made my wait very pleasant though and I enjoyed the view on Lake Atitlan’s Volcanoes in the distant while having a nice hot tea…

                              Pictures >> Link
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                              • Chris1984
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                                #16
                                AW: Live Weltreise (3-5 Jahre)

                                The Stone Man Alberto Gutierrez in Estelí, Nicaragua



                                28/01/2015 The 15th of January has been a very special day for me. I met 75 year old Alberto Gutierrez, also known as the Stone Man, in his beautiful home deep in the Tisey Estanzuela Natural Reserve. He has been carving stones there for almost half of his life and will proudly present his work, should you make the effort of paying him a visit. It is not the easiest place to find and certainly off the beaten path, but if you ever get near Estelí on your Nicaragua trip, I would highly recommend to make this experience on your own. If not, just check out my report, pictures and the video here

                                About three months ago, I started to research Nicaragua and stumbled upon Nomadic Matt’s post about Alberto. What I have read was so fascinating that I had no other choice than putting it on my list. Now I can proudly say that I am yet another person privileged enough to meet this character. To be more precise, I am number 61 in his most recent visitor book. Only about 1000 people have met him ever since he received his first guest in 2006. Fellow bloggers have documented their time with Alberto, providing great information on how to reach him (such as yet another Matt right here) and thereby making it easier for all of us to get there. In my case, it was really easy thanks to my Couchsurfing host Jhon. This is my story of meeting Alberto…

                                I arrived in Estelí in the pouring rain and while I had no intentions of doing any sightseeing here, I couldn’t wait to get out to Tisey, hunting down the Stone Man Alberto Gutierrez. Getting deeper into the Tisey Estanzuela Natural Reserve, my Couchsurfing Host and I got both more excited the closer we got. One of his friends knew Alberto, so we had a good idea how to get there. You first drive into La Garnacha and follow a dirt road until you see a sign saying “Bienvenidos. Finca: El J Lacate, Dist 1Km”. You then cross the gate and keep on walking down the hill for about twenty minutes until you reach his home with a sign saying “Bienvenidos A Galeria Esculturas en Piedras”. Just go in and call out for him!

                                Alberto is growing all kinds of fruits on his property and will probably give you some of it too, we got some lemons. If you are lucky you might also get a pineapple For the next hour, he showed us around all his stone carvings. It starts off with bits and pieces until you eventually get to the top of a hill with a nice viewpoint, featuring the highlights such as an huge Elephant! He started his work 38 years ago on October 17th, 1977 and since then is carving different landscapes, animals and historical moments into all kinds of stones. I was surprised by seeing the World Trade Center as one of his sculptures!

                                All of his work has been done with the same tools: two metal chisels and a hammer. He also has a fixed schedule, only working between 6AM – 9AM, enabling him to greet visitors coming during the day. He was also featured in a documentary, which resulted in his bigger popularity, but visiting him still feels like a very unique and special thing to do! I have read that he would be too proud to accept money from his guests, this apparently has changed now since he gladly accepted ours I also gave him some sunglasses from Ray Ban, which he really seemed to like and they suited him much better than me

                                >> Pictures and Video (If vimeo is not causing troubles again!)
                                Ich hoste eine interaktive Travel Show jeden Montag ab 20 Uhr - schaut doch mal rein :)

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                                • Chris1984
                                  Erfahren
                                  • 27.01.2011
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                                  #17
                                  AW: Live Weltreise (3-5 Jahre)

                                  Live #32, Macaw Mountain, Copan Ruinas, Honduras



                                  02/02/2015 I am just about to head into Corcovado National Park to our Lodge in the jungle. Since their website states that they don’t even electricity over there, I figured to give you guys another update while I am waiting for the bus in Puerto Jimenez. Actually it’s the very first one from Honduras! Coming in from Guatemala, the first town on my route was beautiful Copan Ruinas, named after the very close by Maya ruins. On my first day there, I started off with a really cool activity: visiting the Macaw Mountain with their amazing display of Parrots, Tucans, Macaws and other birds

                                  Copan Ruinas is covered in cobblestone streets and ranks in the top 3 of my favorite villages visited on this trip so far. Juayua is still no.1 on that list, partly also because Copan Ruinas draws in many more tourists. I came without any reservations and the only hostel I had gathered some information before was fully booked. I ended up staying in Don Moises for the first night, located very close to the center. It has a really cheap restaurant for food just in front, providing excellent value for the money spent.

                                  After checking in, I stopped a Tuc Tuc in front of the Hostel and told him to bring me to Macaw Mountain. I would walk the way down again because getting there is all up hill! Not long after, I find myself in my bathing shorts talking to the receptionist, only to be told that the swimming hole there is closed! Well, it’s down to “only” watch the birds then. As time passed by, I was more and more amazed by those birds actually. They put up a circuit for everyone to follow and you see all kinds of Parrots and Macaws before heading into the Tucan cage. Having them so close was really nice as I only saw them inside a cage so far. One of them even landed on my hand, apparently being very interested in my plastic bag – or maybe the marsmallows inside? Other people got jealous and wanted a picture of them and the Tucan though, so my plastic bag was passed on to everyone but he would never sit on anyone elses arm

                                  I walked the Sendero National Trail afterwards but other than walking through a lot of spider webs, nothing else really happened there. I would say you could skip that trail and head straight to the end point of the standard route instead. If you come to the right time, somebody will be there to place a Macaw on your head. I was there at the right time just before they would go to sleep and my Macaw friend was really active, screaming at me so we ended up in a little battle haha. Back in town, I naturally had to check out a German bar called “Sol de Copan”. The German owner imported everything he needs to brew his own beer there according to the German purity law. He served me a Christmas beer, which tasted like a normal lager though. Nothing special but it was nice to talk to an authentic German “Gastwirt” again

                                  >> Pictures
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                                  • Chris1984
                                    Erfahren
                                    • 27.01.2011
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                                    #18
                                    AW: Live Weltreise (3-5 Jahre)

                                    Video from Guatemala (Part 1): Tikal, Flores, Semuc Champey & Guatemala City



                                    The first out of two Videos from Guatemala features Tikal, Flores, Semuc Champey & Guatemala City. All the volcano action from Antigua and Xela will be featured in the next one Hope you like this one for now though, I will soon start working on the second part!

                                    https://vimeo.com/118997745
                                    Ich hoste eine interaktive Travel Show jeden Montag ab 20 Uhr - schaut doch mal rein :)

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                                    • Chris1984
                                      Erfahren
                                      • 27.01.2011
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                                      #19
                                      AW: Live Weltreise (3-5 Jahre)

                                      Live #35, Utila, Honduras



                                      09/02/2015 I just came back from the Cangilones de Gualaca, close to David in Panama, and am so happy to finally use my climbing shoes again! You should check out that place, it’s a mini canyon just perfect for deep water bouldering. This update has a relation to water as well, featuring Utila and my PADI Open Water Course there. I even saw a little shipwreck on the second fun dive, pretty cool

                                      Heading to the airport in San Pedro Sula, I wanted to get out of the car and explore the nature, which gets nicer the further you get out of town. Unfortunately, the area also seems to be pretty unsafe according to my Taxi driver, so staying in the car to catch my flight seemed the better idea I missed to buy food in the morning, forcing me to look out for some at the airport. The only thing I could find was a bad looking sandwich which tasted even worse, but I was so hungry and nothing else was available, so I decided to eat it anyway. A big mistake as I would learn a few days later.

                                      While the first flight was in a medium sized propeller machine, the second one was certainly the tightest aircraft I have ever been. Just getting into my seat required to climb over the it from the back since there was no aisle or space on the sides. The ride was short and upon arriving on Utila, I had to wait half an hour until my dive center (Parrots) sent someone to pick me up. I arrived at the main part of town and Utila seemed to be like a bigger, uglier version of Caye Caulker. It is still kind of nice, but if you are looking for a more relaxed vacation, Caye Caulker should be your choice.

                                      The Parrot Dive center is located close to a nice bar at the beach and has two options to dine just meters away. A cheap fast food like bistro and a more expensive Chinese restaurant. I decided to treat myself with the second option on my first night and had a nice 12$ dinner. I actually could not finish the portion and was a bit confused first, but the reason for that was not the size of the portion but rather the fact that I got myself in a nice diarrhea situation thanks to the delicious sandwich at the airport. The following four days were really unpleasant for me, having to use the toilet all the time and not eating anything at all for four full days. (This is the reason why I am now looking like a skeleton!) The timing could not have been any better as well, on my first sick day it was New Years Eve and I was not really able to enjoy it. The parties on Utila seemed to be a bit less wild than I thought they would be as well, so I think I didn’t miss out on too much.

                                      The room I was staying in the first nights did not have a fan for my bed, but thankfully I could be transferred to a different room on the third day. The heat and humidity on Utila really made me struggle with my sleep, ending up not just not eating for four days, but also barely getting any sleep at all. All that aside, I had one task to finish here: my PADI Open Water Course! Utila is one of the cheapest places on earth to get the certification and i paid 269$ for my course with the Parrots. This also included four nights for free in their dorm room. We were a group of six people and had a great teacher called Daniel.

                                      There were five chapters of theory, all pretty easy with a final exam in the end, two confined water sessions followed by two open water sessions. After those, you would complete the course and then receive two free fun dives as well. By the time we hit the water for the confined sessions, I slowly started to feel a bit better and was really happy about it. Getting under water for about one and a half meters, it was a strange feeling breathing air under water for the first time. We practiced skills like removing water from a filled mask and other tasks that Daniel explained to us before hand. Since you can’t hear, you need to observe and follow the hand signs of your guide. This worked out very well since Daniel was really good and we always got what he wanted us to do.

                                      On the evening before the open water dives, I was getting out to the dock to take some shots of the sunset. Just when I wanted to return to the bar, I dropped my camera and barely got hold of it before dropping down further into the ocean. Still, the lens and battery caps were broken and it really pissed me off, begin unable to take any more photos or videos!! I found a guy on the island who was good repairing notebooks but we failed to repair the lens after breaking it down to its pieces. Anyway, my GoPro fake would be the camera from now on and I have to use it anyway for the dives, but I would need to find a replacement lens very soon after leaving Utila again since the Picture Quality of the GoPro is really bad.

                                      Back to the dives! The two open water dives on 12 and 18 meters were really nice, we could get down to our depth limit but still would have to practice all of the skills like removing water from the mask and others. One of them was navigating with a compass. My dive buddy received one at the surface and under water we had to switch them, something Daniel did not tell us before sadly. I could not check the compass and it turned out that the metal clip was defective, eventually leading to the fact that I lost the compass at some point without realizing it because I was focused on the tasks we had. In the end, I had to pay 50% of the price for a new compass, combined with the fact that I would need to get a new lens as well it kind of dropped my mood a little bit.

                                      Last but not least, we all passed our final exam and were ready to get down for our 18 meter fun dives! Those were certainly the highlight on Utila. We saw much more fish and had nicer landscapes compared to the dives before and for the first time ever, we could actually concentrate on the stuff around us rather than doing all the exercises! On the second fun dive, we even came across a little ship wreck, which was really cool because in the beginning it just looked like a black dot in the back but the closer we got, the more you could see until finally realizing that it is actually a sunken ship!

                                      Walking back to the airport was interesting as well, having two roads to choose from, I apparently picked the wrong. It was pitch black since my flight left at 5AM and the road I picked was more like a muddy cow field. I slipped a lot and had to make sure that I wont fall down with my stuff. Eventually, I made it to the airport, my shoes being completely dirty. I washed them quickly and enjoyed the sun rise at the airport before heading back to San Pedro Sula again, this time sitting right next to the pilot in the tiny propeller machine

                                      >> Pictures
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                                      • Chris1984
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                                        #20
                                        AW: Live Weltreise (3-5 Jahre)

                                        Live #36, Lake Yojoa, Honduras



                                        13/02/2015 Panama City has been a pleasant surprise so far after checking out Casco Viejo, the Miraflores locks and Amador Causeway, all of which I can only recommend! Today marks the beginning of the carnival season here in Panama and I will head town to the Las Tablas area to celebrate it. This update features Lake Yojoa in Honduras. I still can’t pronounce the name correctly, but can certainly summarize that I had a great time exploring the area without a guide.

                                        Lake Yojoa was a must see for me since I really like nature and the lake provides some great spots to see both wild life and amazing landscapes. My first stop coming from San Pedro Sula was the Pulhapanzak Waterfall. Using the direct shuttle for 35 Lempiras, I arrived around 3:30 PM and had enough time to see the falls before heading onward to the D&D Brewery, located closer to the lake. The waterfalls were really nice and it was the first time to use the “new” used lens that I bought the day before. Not the best, but certainly better than my phone or GoPro camera!

                                        The D&D Brewery offers all sorts of beers from around the globe, as well as a few self brewed. The Raspberry beer was nice but nothing spectacular. The normal lager tasted like other lagers as well, but I think I just don’t have a good enough taste to tell big differences between all the lagers, they just taste pretty much the same to me anyway The D&D also has a pool, which was pretty dirty sadly and no one really used it. During dinner I was consulting the local guide for some advice on getting to the lake on my own. He told me that it is not possible without a guide in this part of the lake, giving me even more motivation to head out on my own the next morning.

                                        Getting up around 7AM, I decided that it would be time for another run, the last one being in Cancun, Mexico months ago! The run was pretty nice actually, crossing the village to reach the river and then from there making my way towards the lake. Eventually though, the ground became pretty muddy and it was not possible to reach the shore from that end, so I decided to cross the river and make my way up the mountain to get a good view from the top and then make my way down to the shore. Some locals pointed me in the right direction.

                                        Even though the direction was right, it was pretty hard to get to the top of the mountain though. Obviously, I was not on any sort of path but still tried to make my way through the thick forest. This must have been the third time I’ve done that on my trip so far actually! In the end, I made it to the top but could not find a good spot for a view, so I decided to head down again. Getting out of the jungle after roughly twenty minutes, I found myself in a beautiful spot that must be used by locals, judged by the boats that I could spot along the shore.

                                        The scenery there was just amazing and I was completely alone, giving me a nice happy end for the tough hike before. I made my way along the shore to reach yet another great spot that was even good for swimming in the cold, refreshing water. At some point I had to force myself to stop taking pictures though, trying to catch the next bus to the east part of the lake. My hostel there was called El Cortijo del Lago and I liked it much more than the D&D Brewery. There were only three other guests around, I had the dorm room completely for myself and could even watch some birds before the sunset. The food there was much better as well and having a parrot around always adds some value I made friends with a couple from Argentina and we decided to explore the PANCAM parque together in the next morning. More on that in the next update!

                                        >> Pictures
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