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  • Chris1984
    Erfahren
    • 27.01.2011
    • 441

    • Meine Reisen

    #21
    AW: Live Weltreise (3-5 Jahre)

    Live #39, Somoto, Nicaragua



    22/02/2015 Sitting in an air conditioned dorm full of snoring guys in Cartagena, I can now finally use some fast internet again to update my blog! This is actually the very fist update from Nicaragua and my first stop was the town of Somoto, close to the border. The Somoto Canyon is one of the least explored tourist attractions of Nicaragua, so check this post out to see how my non guided tour turned out

    I actually had no idea about Somoto until the day I arrived there. Luckily some fellow traveler adviced me to go there and after checking out the reviews on the internet, it sounded really cool to explore the canyon there. I met a guy from Costa Rica at the bus stop in Tegucigalpa before and he spontaneously joined me as well. We arrived just after sun set and could not make it up the view point close to the city unfortunately. Consequently, we decided to check out the sun rise from there instead in the next morning.

    Somoto as a village was really pleasant as well. Not too many tourists (yet) and people are very friendly. The trip to the canyon is usually done with a guide, however we both did not have the time to do the long six hour 20$ tour that was already scheduled with a few other people, so we decided to do it on our own. First though, we walked up to the viewpoint at 4:30 AM in the morning to be there for sun rise at 5 AM. At least that was the time the owner of the hostel told us, making us wait until 6:30 AM until the sun finally crawled up behind the mountains.

    Being delayed quiet a bit, the guy from Costa Rica decided not to go to the canyon anymore and so I joined the big group to take the public bus together. We left at 8:30 AM and the bus was really cheap, so getting to the canyon on your own is certainly not a problem. After around 15 minutes, the group started to ascend deeper into the canyon and I had to stop since I was not equipped with waterproof bags and you have to swim a lot. Instead I used the time to climb around a bit and enjoyed the pretty nice view that you get from the beginning.

    Afterwards I walked back to the street to reach the Viewpoint. I received some directions from a local and was pretty sure that I followed them as I know that right means derecho in Spanish. However, after taking the right turn and walking up the path for about 90 minutes, I eventually realized that it could not be the right one. A lot of fences crossed my way and I had to cross a few farms until I decided to turn back. At least I was able to find a cool spot to see the canyon in the end, even though it was not the official viewpoint.

    Coming back to the point which led me to the wrong direction, I turned left this time and quickly noted that this would have been the right way. Unfortunately, It became pretty late already and I did not want to miss the last bus, so I just walked down for about 20 minutes and then headed back towards the street. Luck was on my side this time and the last bus just arrived two minutes after arriving at the street! We passed a burning car on the way back to Somoto and my next destination Esteli to find the Stone Man Alberto. Read more about this adventure right here!

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

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    • Chris1984
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      • 27.01.2011
      • 441

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      #22
      AW: Live Weltreise (3-5 Jahre)

      Video from Guatemala (Part 2): Atitlan, Xela, Antigua, Acatenango



      And here is the second video of Guatemala, one of my favorite countries in Central America! You will see a lot of volcanoes in this one Lake Atitlan, Xela, Antigua Guatemala and, as the highlight, Volcan Acatenango with a top notch view on Volcan Fuego are all featured in this video. Hope you like it!

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

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      • Chris1984
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        • 27.01.2011
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        #23
        AW: Live Weltreise (3-5 Jahre)

        Rumble in the jungle



        05/03/2015 I just got back from the Lost City trek in Colombia and it has been pretty eventful! I won’t have the time to get another Nicaragua Live Update out now, but hope you will be entertained with this small video in the meanwhile. Fingers crossed that the guy made it to the hospital in time. We actually killed a poisonous snake on our way back as well, this place seems to be fully of them!

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

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        • Chris1984
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          • 27.01.2011
          • 441

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          #24
          AW: Live Weltreise (3-5 Jahre)

          Round-the-World Trip Statistics



          It’s been 162 days since I started my trip in Canada back in September 2014 and so far I have spent 10.000€. Check out this insight to see where I left my money

          A lot of people have asked me how much money I would spend on this trip. It was always hard to answer before I actually started, but now that I am on the road for nearly half a year and thanks to my neat little Excel sheet, I can now provide you with some information!

          My total spendings so far add up to 10.130,13 €

          This figure includes everything: food, accommodations, booked trips and all the rest like buying new shower gel or paying to get into a climbing gym. Whenever I spend money, I convert the local currency to Euros and add it to my Excel sheet. The biggest part of the above sum is my upcoming cruise to Antarctica in two weeks from now, so if you would remove that, it would come down to around 6.000 € for nearly half a year so far.

          More interesting for you guys as fellow travelers yourself might be how much I actually spend on the food (including all sorts of drinks too) and accommodations in each country. The following stats will give you an insight on my spendings. Luckily, I was able to Couchsurf every single day in Canada, making the average spendings in North America look a bit low because it just reflects Mexico.

          Hope you liked that information, I will continue to gather the data in my lovely Excel sheet, haha. (I’m soooo German, I know…)

          >> Stats
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          • Chris1984
            Erfahren
            • 27.01.2011
            • 441

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            #25
            AW: Live Weltreise (3-5 Jahre)

            Live #43, Laguna de Apoyo, Nicaragua



            14/03/2015 I had a great day hiking to Laguna Torres yesterday and then up one of the higher mountains in the area today after sleeping at the camp ground. The wind nearly blew me off my feet this time and it was a shame I could only take pictures with my phone and GoPro fake, the views were just amazing even though I could not see Cerro Torre. The internet here is very bad, so I’m keeping the update very small as well. But at least I can get an update out

            There is not so much to say about Laguna de Apoyo in Nicaragua anyway. I think going down to swim in it for at least 6$ or more is not really worth it, but I really enjoyed the viewpoint up the road, so if you are passing through you can at least check that out and go swimming somewhere else for free

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

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            • Chris1984
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              • 27.01.2011
              • 441

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              #26
              AW: Live Weltreise (3-5 Jahre)

              Video from El Salvador



              The lack of internet and partly bad weather in El Chaltén allowed me to finish the next two videos! This is the first one and since I didn’t spend a lot of time in El Salvador, it is pretty short as well I will start my cruise to Antarctica today and you will hear back from me in about 10 days!

              Check out the Live Updates and Pictures from El Salvador here.

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

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              • Chris1984
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                • 27.01.2011
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                #27
                AW: Live Weltreise (3-5 Jahre)

                Live #45, Isla de Ometepe, Nicaragua



                03/04/2015 I’m back from Antarctica and it has been a truly breathtaking experience! Can’t wait to write about it once I managed to sort out all the pictures and videos. Right now I am in a hotel in Ushuaia, trying to find a Couchsurfing place for tonight. A good opportunity to provide you my last live update from Nicaragua: Isla de Ometepe.

                There are no direct buses to Mérida, so I had to change in Altagracia after the pleasant ferry ride to the Island’s capital Moyogalpa. I tried to find a guide to climb up Volcan Conception there as well, but could not find anyone going up strangely. On my first day, I planned to visit the Waterfalls of San Ramon on the East part of the Island, so that was where I was headed first. The bus to Mérida did not come though, so I ended up in a small shuttle taking me to Santa Cruz. The next bus from there would come in three hours, I was told, making me start walking the 6km to Mérida. A local guy was heading the same way to his house and we joined forces while it started to rain a lot (during the dry season). I actually like the refreshment and we had a fun time communicating in my broken Spanish :-)

                Just after leaving Mérida, I got picked up by a huge truck full of local farmers. Hopping on the back with my big backpack, the local kids on the street cheered up after my big jump on the (real big) truck. It was too late to visit the waterfall now, so I decided to continue walking the last 9km to the place of my Couchsurfing host. Luckily though, I was picked up by another guy in his jeep after walking just 20 minutes or so. He actually knew the french guy living at the beach and pointed me to the path leading to his house.

                The CS’ name was Thomas and he built his own house close to Tacana in pretty much the most remote corner of the Island. It was impressive to see how self sufficient he was there, growing all kinds of plants and basically not being depending on anything outside his house. His toilet walls were recently blown away by a storm and sitting on it on a little hill top was quiet funny. Luckily, some palm trees blocked the view to the rest of the area :-) He also had two guys volunteering for him as well and we shared a dinner before going to bed, or to be more precise, the hammocks right at the beach!

                I was not feeling very well the next morning and had to get up really early to catch the daily bus at 5AM. If you don’t get up to the street at 4:30AM, you might miss it and have to walk all the way back. Luckily, I did not miss it though and made it to the San Ramon Waterfalls. Leaving my backpack behind, I began the 3km hike which turned out to be at least 4 1/2 km though. The waterfall itself was pretty dry and must be impressive during rainy season with it’s 180m drop. On the way back, I got a ride on a buggy from two tourists I met on the way to the waterfalls. Extremely helpful as it was very hot now and I felt even worse, just wanting to get to my hostel called Monkey Island.

                The hostel close to the Island with the same name charged 7$ for the night and was pretty nice actually. They had decent WiFi too and access to the beach. Catching the 5AM bus to Altagracia on the next morning, I stayed at Hospejade Ortiz for 5$. They also had a guide there who would take me up Volcan Conception on 5AM in the next morning! He was 5$ cheaper than the usual rate, charging 20$ in the end. We started the hike and he walked very fast, which I liked because I walk fast too. He was REALLY fast though and I had to pace him a bit because I was hoping to hit a good weather window at the top to get a nice view.

                The weather in the morning was horrible, it basically rained throughout the complete hike, offering a really spooky atmosphere though. Howler monkeys were all around in the first hour and we would soon arrive at the top after crossing an old lava river. The weather did not get any better and I couldn’t see a thing throughout the complete hike. Waiting on the extremely windy top was not an option too after my guide told me that the weather will be like that for 95% of the days in the year and won’t change at all this day.

                We basically ran down the volcano again, reaching the entry point exactly five hours after starting the hike. It was actually good for me because I wanted to get to Tamarindo in Costa Rica before the evening of the same day, a journey which was eventually delayed by a broken ferry and other problems along the way. I arrived at the border pretty late (even though I took an expensive taxi to get there as fast as I can) and had a lot of problems entering Costa Rica. The Immigration officer wouldn’t let me enter unless I showed him a proof of onward travel. I had my booked San Blas Island tour from Panama to Colombia, but he wanted something from Nicaragua to Panama. The only option would have been to buy an expensive 60$ bus ticket from Capital to Capital, rendering completely useless for my travel plans, but thanks to my annoyance and coming back to the same officer three times, he eventually gave me the stamp for free just when I was ready to give up and buy the bus ticket! I caught the last bus leaving the border but was too late for the connection bus to Tamarindo, leaving me stranded in a town between the border and my destination…

                >> Pictures
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                • Chris1984
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                  • 27.01.2011
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                  #28
                  AW: Live Weltreise (3-5 Jahre)

                  Live #46, Tamarindo, Costa Rica



                  24/01/2015 Starting with my first live update from Costa Rica, I will now use the date of the actual time I have been to the places in my live updates here instead of the current day. It just makes much more sense and I don’t know why I haven’t done it from the beginning So Costa Rica… the first country in which everything gets a bit more expensive. The start was really cool, watching turtles laying their eggs at the beaches near Tamarindo!

                  Tamarindo itself did not please me a lot, it’s full of tourists and the only thing you can do is haning out at the beach I suppose. Not my cup of tea. However, during night, there is a really great thing to do: Watching huge pacific green turtles laying their eggs! We went out with our guide Sergio (20$ each, most others charge 35$ but he just wants to cover his costs) and he turned out to be an awesome one, according to the people working in Tamarindo it is actually the best, so try to get him if you are around!

                  It was already 22:00 when we started our night tour in the beaches north of Tamarindo, about a 45 minute drive away. We were only allowed to use the red light of our head lamps and had to wait patiently in one spot while Sergio went out in the pitch black darkness to find the turtles. Eventually he found 6 of them for us, some of them on the way back to the beach and some of them drying to dig a hole to lay their eggs. Some of them had problems digging the hole deep enough because of rocks, but the 6th one we encountered was actually able to lay their eggs. We were all lying down around her and witnessed the complete process of laying around 80 or so eggs. The whole experience was great, walking around in the dark at the beach along had it’s atmosphere for it and actually seeing the turtle lay the eggs was certainly the highlight. Nobody was sad that we could not see the bigger leatherbag turtles after all. Great start to the new country!

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

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                  • Chris1984
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                    • 27.01.2011
                    • 441

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                    #29
                    AW: Live Weltreise (3-5 Jahre)

                    Video from Honduras



                    I arrived in Puerto Natales and will start a five day hike in Torres del Paine tomorrow! The weather looks good and I can’t wait to have a walk without pouring rain all day long like the last one to Cabo Froward near Punta Arenas. As mentioned earlier, I finished two videos while crossing the Drake Passage to Antarctica and this is the second one. Honduras had a lot to offer and I especially liked the Tucan that tried to steal my Marshmellows in Macaw Mountain and of course, my very first diving sessions in Utila! Hope you like the video

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

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                    • Chris1984
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                      • 27.01.2011
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                      #30
                      AW: Live Weltreise (3-5 Jahre)

                      Live #49, Chirripó National Park, Costa Rica



                      29/01/2015 Volcan Calbuco erupted again but luckily the wind did not blow the ash to Bariloche, so my flight last night to Buenos Aires was not cancelled! I am here now and will try to get a nice Argentinean BBQ organized This update reports from my failed attempt to climb Cerro Chirripó in Costa Rica!

                      I had planned for a 40km overnight hike to Cerro Chirripó in a single day due to limited time, so wearing in the hiking boots first by doing a short 6km hike in the Cloudbridge reserve just next to the Chirripó National Park seemed like a good idea. The weather was pleasant while we hiked through the jungle, crossed a few waterfalls and had a little dip in the freezing cold water of the river. I also found two solid wooden sticks that I would use for the hike to Cerro Chirripó for midnight.

                      We stayed in a very nice hostel called Casa Mariposa, I can only recommend checking it out! It is also conveniently located just next to the entrance of the National Park. Staying at the same hosteI was an American guy called Nathan, who had the same plan for the Cerro Chirripó. So obviously we joined forces and met up at midnight while everyone was sleeping, trying to sneak up the mountain. We both had no permits, hoping that no one would check up on us now! To our big disappointment, just 50m after leaving the hostel, a group of six people waited for us at the entry point and while I first thought it was just another group to go up with a guide, they were actually there to check for the permits in a pretty unfriendly way

                      Since the hike did not work out, I decided to get down into town to buy a pizza instead in the evening! Someone in the hostel told a story about huge pizzas for just 3500, giving me enough motivation to start the long hike through the jungle, into town and then onwards to the other end of the town. I actually found the place but they would only sell pizzas for 7000! I told them I only have 5000 and they gave me a special deal, making me leave with an actual big (not huge for my appetite though) pizza It took me about 40 minutes to walk uphill all the way to the hostel again while eating half of the pizza already and watching fireflies around me in the dark jungle

                      >> 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

                        #31
                        AW: Live Weltreise (3-5 Jahre)

                        Video from Nicaragua



                        Time for the next video! The Stone Man Alberto Gutierrez already received a special video a few months back; now I can present the rest of Nicaragua – one of my favorite countries in central america actually! Check it out for the awesome Volcano Telica & Isla de Ometepe, and of course it also features some GoPro footage of the infamous volcano boarding at Cerro Negro Hope you like it!

                        >> Direct Vimeo Link
                        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

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                          #32
                          AW: Live Weltreise (3-5 Jahre)

                          Live #53, Panama City, Panama



                          09/02/2015 Waiting for the border to re-open after the weekend and about 23 hours in the bus coming from Paraguay left me with only two days here in Bonito, Brazil. It’s safe to say I made the most out of the first day by visiting the amazing Rio da Prata. If you ever wondered how it feels to swim in an aquarium, check this place out! Panama City has been a big surprise on my trip through Central America. I had no idea how nice it is there, especially the skyline really impressed me. Check it out in this post for some pictures, along with the famous Panama Canal

                          There is something really special about Panama City – at least in my eyes ;) Parts of it feel like the usual Central American towns I have seen and visited so often in the past months; but other parts, such as the great skyline at the waterfront, reminded me a lot to more modern cities. It was the last big city before heading to Colombia via the San Blas Islands and also the time of Carnival, adding just a little bit of spice to my visit as well.

                          I was only able to spend a few days in Panama City because of a spontaneous trip down south towards Las Tablas for what was supposed to be the craziest carnival party in Central America (more on that in the next post..). While in Panama City, I checked out the Cementerio del Rosario, a cemetery with a great ambiance close to some of the poorer areas in town – make sure you don’t wander around in the wrong streets here as some locals warned about possible dangers there. I liked it there, having a huge run-down building just behind it. There was also some nice street art in the city and of course the old town, which contains pretty buildings along with some nice views on the skyline.

                          Checking out the Panama Canal was obviously a must-do as well. The Miraflores lock provide the easiest access if you are short on time (like me) and I got there at 09:30 AM to see the last ship of the morning passing through the locks. It is quiet impressive to see how it works, but really in the end it was not much more than a huge version of the canals close to my old neighbor hood in London Paying 15$ for it was just within the boundaries to not make me feel bad about spending it.

                          My personal highlight, however, was a walk up the hill of the last island at the end of the Amador Causeway. It was actually forbidden to go up there, but sometimes it is good to ignore little signs like that if you are rewarded with an amazing panoramic view across the City, along with some cool remains of World War 2 bunkers and some wildlife. One huge Iguana crossed the plateau just when I got there and I barely could catch him on video, sadly I don’t have a good photo. There were also hundreds of birds gliding above and enjoying the amazing sunset as well as a huge spider with really nice colors – I got that one on a photo at least!

                          The carnival in town was pretty big, but not really impressive if you would look for a big party. Probably it was too early and unfortunately, I had to get up really early to start my trip to the San Blas Islands in the next morning. But at least I could see the skyline at night one more time; add a firework and I get myself a great ending to the chapter Panama City.

                          >> 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
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                            #33
                            AW: Live Weltreise (3-5 Jahre)

                            Live #55, San Blas Islands, Panama



                            16/02/2015 I’m back from the Brazilian Pantanal, feeding Caimans and Eagles on a Boattrip and spotting countless animals along the road. The area around the capital of Brasilia is next for me, but first it is time to release the last update from Panama and thereby wrapping up all of Central America! Cruising the San Blas Islands towards Capurganá in Colombia is probably the best way of crossing countries, just after going on foot through the Gap of Darien of course; this true adventure seemed to be a bit too risky at the time though and I promised my mom to stay safe. If you are in the mood for some photos of picture perfect isolated beaches, check out this update!

                            Getting to the port village north of Panama City took a little while. First, the 4×4 Jeep came half an hour late at 05:30 in the morning and then struggled to find the last missing person, which turned out to be someone I actually met months ago in Nicaragua climbing Volcan Telica! Everyone else in the vehicle booked the 5 days sail cruise and I was the only one with the 4 days speed boat cruise, which focuses more on staying on the islands. Luckily it was all sorted out and I later changed into another jeep, getting me to the right departure spot of the speed boats

                            The ride in the boats was very bumpy, resulting in a lot of splash water in my eyes and a painful butt after a while. Our first ride luckily didn’t take too long, after around 45 minutes we reached a tiny island to relax, play volleyball and go snorkeling. Lot’s of clouds were hiding the sun sadly but everyone still had a great time getting to know each other – we were actually a group of about 28 people or so, split down in two speed boats. We continued the ride to a bigger island, on which we would spend the night as well. It featured a few huts on the sand with a bunch of hammocks for us gringos, as well as some more the people living there.

                            Did you know that every coconut on the San Blas Islands belongs to a person and you can only get one if you pay a dollar? Well, now you do. I was not really interested in coconuts anyway. The actual food provided for us from our tour company was created in a joint effort of our guides and the local family and I have to say: It was pretty damn impressive! We would get a huge all-you-can-eat buffet for breakfast, lunch and dinner and not only was it much more than we could possibly consume, it was also amazingly fresh and delicious! We also got rum punch every night, followed by more drinking of stuff that everyone bought on the mainland. Add a guitar, really nice people and you don’t want to leave that place anytime soon again!

                            The second day welcomed us with a lot of sunshine – the last thing that was missing to make this trip perfect! Everyone was in a great mood, sunbathing, chilling, playing games and socializing. It felt a little bit like being on the island from LOST – just without all the drama and mystery We were not alone on the island either, more and more sail boats anchored around us and paid us a visit. One group was actually a Kite Surfing tour, doing some kind of documentary. Although the weather was really nice, the forecast regarding the wind actually made us stay for another day on the island.

                            The evening was perfectly commencing with the rum punch after dinner and I got to know three new drinking games (I liked “21” a lot), which resulted in hilarious situations once everyone was pretty much drunk. I will spare you with the details and am sure the people involved will agree We had a lot of fun, some actually a bit more than others and causing a little bit of a problem. I didn’t think it was a big deal, but the tour operator felt differently and actually removed one Australian dude (joined by his girlfriend) from the island for bad behavior while he had a bit too much to drink. It was a shame because I was actually getting along with them very well and would meet them afterwards in Colombia again.

                            On the next day we had to catch up on some ground after being stuck on the first island for 2 nights. The resulting two hour boat ride was not really comfortable but despite all the splash water in our faces, everyone was still in a great mood because we spent two amazing day on a beautiful isolated island. We had a nice lunch break on the island that was supposed to be our home for the second night and spent about three hours there. Enough time to take the snorkel and swim over to one of the nearby islands. There are actually about 365 islands in the San blas and only 49 are inhabited. It was great to be able to swim to another tiny island and go exploring.

                            One problem we were all facing I suppose was the fact that there were no fresh water showers around. Even my short hair started to be sticky after constantly being in the salt water without having a way to get the salt off afterwards. Well, certainly a problem everyone would like to have I guess – at least if it’s not for weeks or even months Eventually, it was time to move on to our last destination: A Kula village with roughly 800 inhabitants. Houses are built on stilts along the waterfront and married women wear traditional clothes and jewelry, which actually looked really nice I have to admit! Especially the kids were really excited to see us, being very happy and playful.

                            Experiencing how the local indigenous people on the islands live was a great way to end the trip! The last dinner at a local restaurant, though, was not nearly as good as they stuff our guides prepared and also the portion was pretty small. At least for my appetite After partying a lot in the last nights, everyone was a bit tired now and took it easy in the last night. We were sleeping in the village and had rooms full of (uncomfortable) hammocks as well as a really cool outdoor bathroom, in which you can see how fish take care of your business as you just poop into the water. Sounded strange at first but I have to admit I was never entertained more sitting on a toilet!

                            We ended the (amazing) trip by arriving in Colombia’s northern border town Sapzurro, which can only be reached by boat. We got our passports stamped, luggage checked and eventually arrived in Capurganá. I did not know much about this place first but luckily found out that it was supposed to be one of Colombia’s most remote and best diving location, making me decide to actually spend two nights there before heading onwards to Cartagena. The next live update will show you if it was really that good as I took down my first fun dives after the PADI Open Water Certification in Utila, Honduras

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

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                            • Chris1984
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                              #34
                              AW: Live Weltreise (3-5 Jahre)

                              Live #58, Santa Marta & Minca, Colombia



                              23/02/2015 My time in Brazil is slowly coming to an end after almost two months and exploring Santuário do Caraça as well as colonial towns such as Ouro Preto was another great experience. I barely had internet in the last days, but now I can finally get a quick update out. Santa Marta has been an amazing base for a lot of different things in the northern coast of Colombia; one short side trip in a Jeep took us up the mountains to a small village called Minca.

                              I had to bear through another long bus ride with Colombian music videos featuring local music and ridiculous half naked girls to arrive in Santa Marta at 7pm. The drop bear hostel was just 3km away from the Bus station, so I decided to walk over there in a creepy atmosphere, a thin layer of mist covering the ground in the dark. The hostel turned out to be pretty amazing, featuring a huge swing, really nice game room and very comfortable, clean and big dorms. Since it was pretty hot in Santa Marta, I jumped into the swimming pool to cool off before heading off with my new four buddies from Australia to explore the mountain village of Minca in the next morning.

                              We made a deal with a Jeep driver to get us up there and picked up another guy on the way: Tristan from England. Seemed like a cool guy and just jumped off another bus when we were about to leave town to head into the mountains. Once there, we started the 45 minute walk to the local waterfall. I paid 3000 to get in and 2000 for a beer (instead of 3000, pero no tengo mas!! – haha) and we enjoyed the nice water for a while before heading back down.

                              The town itself is not so spectacular, what makes it really enjoyable though is the surrounding landscape. And because of that reason, I decided to quickly run to a viewpoint while the rest waited for the Jeep to bring us back again. After running into the wrong direction first, I finally found it but was not too impressed by the view. Still a nice workout running around in that altitude hehe When I made it back to the center of the village, everyone was already waiting in the Jeep for me to squeeze in on the last tiny spot in the back.

                              We made it back to Santa Marta at nightfall and dropped off at the supermarket to store up for the trip that everyone was looking forward to already: Tayrona National Park. This next update will certainly be a much bigger one – I could even do some really nice Bouldering there!

                              >> Pictures
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                              • Chris1984
                                Erfahren
                                • 27.01.2011
                                • 441

                                • Meine Reisen

                                #35
                                AW: Live Weltreise (3-5 Jahre)

                                Round-the-World Trip Statistics #02



                                It’s been 270 days or 9 months since I started my trip in Canada and so far I have spent nearly 13.000 €. I will actually take a break from traveling now for a couple of reasons, but have a lot of material left to keep you guys busy for a while – no worries

                                A lot of people have asked me how much money I would spend on this trip. It was always hard to answer before I actually started, but now that I was on the road for nine months and thanks to my neat little Excel sheet, I can now provide you with some information!

                                My total spendings so far add up to 12.758,22 €

                                This figure includes everything: food, accommodations, booked trips and all the rest like buying new shower gel or paying to get into a climbing gym. Whenever I spend money, I convert the local currency to Euros and add it to my Excel sheet. The biggest part of the above sum was the cruise to Antarctica in March.

                                More interesting for yourself might be how much I actually spend on the food (including all sorts of drinks too) and accommodations in each country. The following stats will give you an insight on that. Luckily, I was able to Couchsurf every single day in Canada, making the average spendings in North America look a bit low because it just reflects Mexico. It is also interesting that South America matches Central America in terms of average food spendings!

                                Hope you liked that information, I will continue to gather the data in my lovely Excel sheet, haha. (I’m soooo German, I know…)

                                >> Link
                                Zuletzt geändert von Chris1984; 26.06.2015, 14:20.
                                Ich hoste eine interaktive Travel Show jeden Montag ab 20 Uhr - schaut doch mal rein :)

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                                • aloha77
                                  Neu im Forum
                                  • 25.06.2015
                                  • 9

                                  • Meine Reisen

                                  #36
                                  AW: Live Weltreise (3-5 Jahre)

                                  Warst Du schon im Parque Tayrona?
                                  Kleiner Tipp:Was Du nicht mit reinnehmen darfst sind Glasflaschen und Alkohol.

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                                  • aloha77
                                    Neu im Forum
                                    • 25.06.2015
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                                    • Meine Reisen

                                    #37
                                    AW: Live Weltreise (3-5 Jahre)

                                    Übrigens gibt es dort eine sehr feine kleine Bäckerrei zwischen Playa Arrecifes und la Picina!

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                                    • Chris1984
                                      Erfahren
                                      • 27.01.2011
                                      • 441

                                      • Meine Reisen

                                      #38
                                      AW: Live Weltreise (3-5 Jahre)

                                      Ja war ich! Und genau darüber ist jetzt auch das nächste Update hehe

                                      Plastiktüten hatte man auch angeblich nicht mitnehmen dürfen, war dann aber kein Problme letztendlich...


                                      Live #59, Tayrona National Park, Colombia



                                      25/02/2015 Tayrona National Park should ring a bell for a lot of people, forming one of the most spectacular coastlines in Colombia. About four months ago, I spent a few nights there and can finally present you my story wandering through the beaches, doing some great bouldering and exploring the “mini” lost city Pueblito

                                      I arrived at the entrance of Tayrona National Park around 11:00 after being stuck in traffic with the public bus. First off, you need to watch a video and actually receive a ticket as proof that you saw the video – without it you won’t be able to buy your entrance ticket. I met a few people in line that had to go back to get the ticket as it is not very obvious. The line was not really huge, but thanks to the fact that only two people sold tickets, I ended up waiting over an hour to get my ticket, leaving me enough time to make new friends which would explore the park with me together We finally were able to pay the 40.000 Pesos entry fee and started to walk along the paved road and hiking path for an good hour before arriving at Arrecifes beach. You can also take a shuttle for more than half of that trip if you are short on time.

                                      The landscape at the first beach was nothing short of impressive, combining an awesome beach with huge boulders and a thick jungle in one spot! It was also very hot in February and walking in the sand did not make it any easier. None of us had any spot to sleep yet and the little group split up a little bit, me ending up with a German couple at a place called Finca don Pedro, offering Hammocks for 12.000 per night after some negotiating – a pretty decent price! We relaxed for the rest of the day before heading down to the beach for sunset. It actually took about 15 minutes of walking to get there, but we preferred to be up in the jungle a little bit and would then stay right at the beach for the second night.

                                      Having all those boulders around, I decided to grab my climbing shoes and make my way to the beach for sunrise in the next morning. I arrived at 6AM, just a few minutes before the sun came out of the cloudy sky. Barely any people could be seen along the huge beach line and I came back to one huge boulder I spotted the day before. Some nice cracks and the sand offered me two great easy routes (V1 and V2 I’d say) which I could do without using a crash pad. It was so much fun to finally climb again and I ended up staying for 2 1/2 hours in that one spot before heading on to find some more boulders further down the beach.

                                      I was able to find some, but actually ran out of time, because I really wanted to see Cabo San Juan as well, being the most famous beach in the Tayrona National Park. Arriving at the check-in, my plan was to get myself a nice spot in one of the hammocks for the night already. However, rumors turned out to be true and they did not sell any spots until 2PM, which was 5 hours away by the time I got there! I had no intentions to wait that long and decided to find another spot while checking out the really amazing coast line over here. Walking up to a little hill towards the more expensive hammocks offered a great view, perfect beaches dotted with palm trees everywhere. Oh and guess what- I met my friends from Australia once again over here, they were actually sleeping at the beach last night

                                      Since there was no other good place to stay the night at the beach, I grabbed all of my stuff and decided to walk towards the “mini” lost city “Pueblito” La Ciudad Perdida to then sleep in Santa Marta afterwards. It was really hot by the time I started the hike through the jungle and boulder fields and the journey turned into a sweat-fest. After doing some more bouldering within the forest area, the path constantly went uphill through more and more huge boulders. I had to squeeze under some of those as well and actually used some climbing techniques to get on top of some others with my backpack. All of that made the hike very physical challenging in the speed I progressed, but man how much fun it was hoping and crawling on top and under the boulders!

                                      Once I arrived at Pueblito, I finally had time to rest and enjoy the pineapple I was bringing along. Drinking the rest of my 5L water canister, I realized that I was completely alone at the site and spent a few minutes exploring. It was really enough time as it was pretty small. Nonetheless, it was nice to see the terraces and it made me look forward to my hike to the actual lost city in the next days. My water ran out and I hurried up towards the main road and alternative access point of the Park. I quickly bought 3 bags of water there for just 200 each and entered the public bus, which was presently inspected by some police. That same procedure actually happened again two more times within just ten minutes of driving! It took a very long time to return to Santa Marta and to round this nice trip up, they would just drop me at the roundabout outside the city, forcing me to take another shuttle towards the hostel, where I could finally relax a bit and reflect on the amazing trip I just had!

                                      >> Pictures
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                                      • Chris1984
                                        Erfahren
                                        • 27.01.2011
                                        • 441

                                        • Meine Reisen

                                        #39
                                        AW: Live Weltreise (3-5 Jahre)

                                        Live #61, Ciduad Perdida & Taganga, Colombia



                                        01/03/2015 Relaxing at the gorgeous beach of Palomino was great, but if you followed my blog for a while, you will know that I actually prefer to put on my hiking boots and be a bit more active. The 5-day trek to the “The Lost City” of Ciduad Perdida deep in the jungle of northern Colombia seemed to be a must-do for me. We certainly had a lot of action thanks to the poisonous snakes in the area. One of them bit a soldier, putting him in a desperate need to be rescued by a helicopter, and one other was found and killed by our guides on the way back!


                                        The first time I heard about Ciduad Perdida was during my trek to Machu Picchu in July 2013 and a bit less than two years later, I made it there myself! There are several options to do the hike: 4, 5 or 6 days. All of them use the same route and even the price is the same for all of them. Fast people tend to use the 4 day option while slower ones, obviously, take 6 days. I picked the middle option, mostly because I wanted to relax a bit and did not mind to get free food and accommodation for one extra day A lot of stuff happened and I will try to get it all into this live update, which will propably end up more like being a complete travel report. For this reason I actually included the live updates for each country into my travel report overview now!

                                        Day 1


                                        I picked Turcol as a company to guide me to Ciduad Perdida, but all companies charge the same and they actually shuffle around guides as well, so I think it doesn’t really matter which one you pick! We left their office at 09:00 to pick up some more people and more importantly, buy tons of food. There were about 70 people to start the hike on that day and each jeep picked up something for the group. My group consisted of our guide, two people from Italy and a British girl. All jeeps met up at the last village before the starting point of the hike, which would also serve us for some sandwiches for lunch around 12:30.

                                        About two hours of easy hiking later, we arrived at a natural swimming pool which enabled me to do some deep water bouldering again. Sadly I didn’t bring my climbing shoes, so I was pretty limited being bare feet. A huge spider was sitting at the rock as well, having no problem with me being super close to her for some pictures. You should zoom in the picture to see her hairy legs, haha! We had a quick break for Water Melons at 15:00 and continued the hike in a pretty slow speed. Our Italian friend seemed to be a little bit uncomfortable walking around in the jungle and took his time. I was relieved to spot our camp site in the distance, asking for permission if I could go ahead and wait for them there, which my guide accepted as long as I would be careful. Of course I would! I made it to the camp in my own speed soon after at 16:45 and could pick a nice hammock for the night. There were about 30 hammocks overall and some of them were already used from a group coming back again on their last day. We also shared dinner with them, each group being served by their own guide and cook. They prepared Rice, Chicken and Potatoes for us and even though it tasted okay, I was missing the awesome food we received at the San Blas Islands in Panama; they set the standards pretty high!

                                        Day 2

                                        The second day started early at 06:45 in the morning and we were joined by a second group full of dutch guys and their own guide. After some time downhill through the jungle, we eventually made it to a village of the indigenous people. Some curious girls in their white ropes came over while the guide explained about their culture. We were served a huge fish lunch at the next camp and could go out for a swim in the nearby river. The water there was crystal clear and cold, which was very welcome after walking in the heat for quiet some time. It was pretty interesting to see our Italian’s friend tanning pose, hard to describe in words but he really looked funny and certainly enjoyed the hiking break! No one could finish the lunch this time and we continued the hike at 12:00, back into the jungle.

                                        Several hours later, I realized why the guides won’t let me go alone this time: We had to cross two rivers and while the first was no problem for everyone except the Italian guy, the second one was actually a bit trickier and I slipped at the end, landing in the knee deep water with one foot. Just then it also started to rain for the firs time – a very welcome change, because it got pretty hot in the jungle. Not long after we would find ourselves in our camp for the second night, arriving at 15:45, about two hours before nightfall. It was dark, still raining and I was just about to head to dinner when I suddenly slipped into a dark corner and suffering two open small wounds that bled a bit. We disinfected them with alcohol, lime and salt, allowing me to finally eat up before heading to bed and watch some Mad Men since it was still pretty early. This time we had actual beds and no hammocks and even though they were not super clean, it was still better and thanks to the relaxing sound of the rain pouring down, I could fall asleep pretty fast.

                                        Day 3

                                        You could consider the third day as the highlight of the trek as we would reach the famous terraces of the Lost City today. Starting early at 06:00, we walked about 45 minutes through the rain and crossed one more river before suddenly standing at the beginning of a 1000 steps stair case, built by the tayrona indians somewhen between the 8th and 12th century. Those guys used to be very short (1,50m – 1,60m) and once you walked on their stairs, you will see why. Some of the super steep steps required some attention, but overall the hike was not too hard. The sun finally came out as well while we were walking up to the first terrace, where our guide started to explain about the lost city and their former inhabitants. For instance, they built everything with the use of fire, water, wood and stones. Not much of a breaking news. More interesting was the moment we reached the most famous of all terraces, fully occupied by a complete squad of about 50 soldiers! I’m not really sure why they need so many there, but it might also have been because of the fact that one of them was just bitten by a highly venomous snake…

                                        The military split up in groups, some of them taking care of the bitten comrade, others occupied keeping the signal fire up to produce enough smoke for the upcoming helicopter, and some just documenting everything on their smart phones. It was a pretty intense situation, the soldier only had about 30 minutes to get treatment before the bite would kill him. I asked our guide and they told us that snake bites here are not too uncommon and it was also not the first time for him to see a helicopter coming in for rescue. About 20 minutes later, the helicopter finally got in and the whole scene with all the soldiers felt a little bit like being in a movie! Hoping that the soldier received his medication in time, we eventually started our hike back with just one more stop for some more explanations about the area. Turns out that Ciduad Perdida is 200 years younger than El Publito, the “mini lost city” I visited in Tayrona National Park!

                                        The guides spotted something in the bush on the way back to catch up with the rest and it was actually the same kind of snake that bit the soldier earlier! I could really tell that the guides have been in those situation before, quickly cutting a branch of a tree and shaping it to a Y shape to capture and then kill the snake with their machete. I spent the last 1% of my camera battery to take some cool close up pictures with the snake and her blood on the eye and was really happy to be here to witness this while the others of our group already went down – hopefully they would not find another snake! The terraces have been really enjoyable despite all the action we had. We were the only tourists at the time and despite the warnings, barely had to fight with any mosquitoes! The weather was great as well and the jungle surroundings made for a really cool Indiana Jones kind of atmosphere – it was totally worth coming here. I received permission to walk back in my own pace since the wound on my foot from last night was hurting a bit and I wanted to get out of the hiking boots to rest as soon as possible, arriving at the camp again at 15:30, taking just 90 minutes for the hike that took us four hours this morning.

                                        Day 4

                                        The Italians and myself woke up at 07:30 while the others in our two groups already left the camp at 05:00. They are on the 4 day trek and have to get back all the way to the end while we will have another night in the first camp. I waited a bit to dry my wet clothes, which were a bit wet every morning due to the humidity in the jungle, and soon after would catch up with the Italians who left an hour before me. Arriving at the camp at 11:00, we would have a full day to relax now. The Italian girl, our guide and myself decided to take a little excursion to a nearby waterfall at 15:00 and only a 20 minute walk away. We arrived at the top of the pretty big falls and had to climb down to the bottom. The girl decided to stay on top because the climb was an actual climb and I was happy to be able to use some Bouldering moves to get down Enjoying the view from the bottom and the waterfall it self, we returned to camp at 16:30 for a nice dinner. I was glad to take the 5 day hike, as I would not have been able to see the pretty nice waterfall otherwise.

                                        Day 5

                                        The last day started at 07:00 and we walked back to the starting point after breakfast. Our Italian friend turned out to be a great entertainer as he started to scream as loud as he can from a tiny slip. He was so careful all of the time and I think his scream was rather out of disappointment that he fell down rather than actual pain resulting from it. It was pretty amusing to see though and both the guide and myself were looking at each other in disbelief while he was crying out loud for about two minutes straight. Eventually, we made it back to the extraction point and I had enough time to take a shower before the car would drive us back to Santa Marta at 09:00. The Italians stayed in a hostel in Taganga and we dropped them off there with a quick stop at the viewpoint overlooking the bay. I returned to Turcol’s office to get my stuff, had some food and then headed back to Taganga myself, since I planned to stay there for my last night in the area. I made it just in time for the sunset at 17:30 and met up with a CS for some nice dinner at the bar Babaganoush, highly recommended if you are in the area. A dutch chef is serving really nice food over there for a decent price of 30.000 Colombian pesos. That’s it! I had no time to do any diving in Taganga but was very satisfied with my visit of the north coast. Up next for me was a flight to the capital Bogotá and a short visit to Villa de Leyva before flying down all the way to the southern point of Argentina, getting ready for my long awaited cruise to Antarctica…

                                        >> 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

                                          #40
                                          AW: Live Weltreise (3-5 Jahre)

                                          Video from Panama



                                          This video from Panama will finish up my journey through Central America and you can now find all the videos on my video page. I’m already working on the video for Colombia and will probably have it ready after my upcoming live updates from Patagonia. The places featured in this video are Boquete, Cangilones de Gualaca, Panama City, Pedasí & finally, the San Blas Islands cruise to Colombia. Hope you like it

                                          Check out the Live Updates and Pictures from Panama here.

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

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