As we say time flies when we are having fun. Indeed the 4 month passed quick as a flash. Of course there were days when i was absolutely devastated: Beijing West Railway station or on the other hand when i was feeling awesome: standing on top of the world on Mt. Sairecabur. All these moments offered a large scale of feelings and experiences which helped me to master the next adventures. I enjoyed meeting a lot of interesting fellow travellers who made me feel home and comfortable even in the farthest corners of this planet. Another wonderful fact was that i managed to line up my trip in the right order through the different climate zones and therefore survived 4 months with no more than 10 days of rain! A stunning fact was also that on all the 20 flights or were there more…. my luggage always arrived safely and in time, nothing got lost. I also praise the fact that i didn’t get robbed, nothing got stolen.. of course i tried to be cautious but sometimes one just happens to be in the wrong place at the wrong time….
However there were the geographic challenges by travelling through different climates and levels of altitude. The highest place i reached (excluding trekkings) was El Alto, Bolivia at 4200m with a population of approx. 1 Mio which is nice to compare with the small village Cabo Polonio, Uruguay situated on sea level counting 95 people as permanent habitants.
Having said that i suppose the most thrilling list would be the UNESCO world heritage sites visited.. but i save you this one as basically almost all the major monuments i saw are listed – so if you want to discover them simply browse through my blog… sorry not tagged.
Rather worth to remember or reflect are the exceptional moments which i would like to classify in categories:
most awkward places or things:
- cat cafe in tokyo: a cafe where you can drink coffe, eat cakes and cuddle with cats
- water boiling machine in japan: nothing in comparison to the kettles we are used to. too many buttons, too many functions and all in Japanese only. keep pressing buttons until it works!
- a toilet where the lavatory is integrated in the flushing mechanism
- toilet slippers – make sure to change them before leaving – guess which country? Yes Japan !
- green pea ice cream: doesn’t really taste like ice cream like we know it but it is cold and acutally quite nice once you got used to the taste
- papas deshydratadas: in Bolivia they dry the potatoes for preservation, prior cooking they are then again put in water to remoisturize
- stinky tofu: no idea how this is being prepared, as the name says it, it stinks but actually tastes pretty good
- bento boxes: the sky is open – it could be anything from a nice sushi assortiment through to weirdest things you could imagine / from edible to absolute no-go
- Going down the zip line in superman-style (in fact less scary than when you do it yourself)
- Camina de la muerta near La Paz: definitely something for adrenaline junkies as the drop is up to 600m down – luckily you don’t have time to look down as you have to focus on the road while rattling down on your bike
- Cycling around Mt Fuji: navigating with a Japanese GPS around Mt. Fuji which was unfortunately in the clouds all the time
- Mt. Sairecabur, Atacama desert, Chile: after a jeep ride up to 5500m, hiking the last 500m in 2 breathtaking hours up to the peak
- hiking on Volcano on the same day that Mt. Ontake erupted 30km away from us!
extra ordinary hotels:
- Palacio de sal, Bolivia: a beautiful hotel situated on the edge of the Salar de Uyuni entirely built from salt.
- Mummy shape 1 person tent: tucked in a tiny tiny tent in de middle of the sierras de Rocha
- Ecolodge Isla del Sol, Bolivia: nested in the upper hills of this little island was this charming Ecohotel offering stunning views over Lago de Titicaca. As there are no water pipes all the water is being carried up the hills by a ‘donkey-fleet’. Due to a power failure we were without electricity on the first night, hence the only light source were candles that turned the place in an even more magical one.
mode of transport:
- Shinkansen: the japanese high speed train that is more punctual than SBB
- Chevy non-spark: actually it didn’t let me down despite my permanent insults
- Star ferry in Hongkong: probably the coolest ferry in the world!
- Beijing sideways: my escapades in the sidecar of an old motorbike through the narrow Hutongs)
- Horse: first ever riding experience enjoyed in a 2day trekking through the Uruguayan sierras.
most spectacular places:
- vast spaces of Salar de Uyuni, Bolivia
- unique landscapes and animals on Galapagos Islands, Ecuador
- the great wall: 20,000km testimony of china’s ancient civilisation
- Naoshima & Teshima, Japan: contemporary art islands
- the powerfully splashing waterfalls of Iguazu
- swimming in Cenotes in Yucatan
- Farmer’s marked in Yangshuo, China where you could buy really everything dead or alive
What did i like best? This is probably the most difficult one to answer but this is surely the question I hear most. Now to answer this one in full, I would have to say: ‘let’s open a good bottle of wine, lean back in the sofa and a few hours later i may have covered the first stories… However here in uncategorized order as there is no unconditional answer: Japanese breakfast, Salar de Uyuni, Naoshima, Cat Cafe, Great Wall, Sairecabur, Uruguayan Steaks, Argentinian Wine, the colors of the Bolivian altiplano, Sea lions on Galapagos, Kyoto, Teppanyaki, Ice cream in Montevideo, Rösti in Atacama desert, Korean Airlines, Dim Sum, sunset in Colonia del Sacramento, non-sparky…..
hmmmm when will i be going again…. definitly not running out of ideas where i could go next !
Pursue your dreams and always try to touch the sky…