Apr 06, 2010 06:00 PM Die Welt is nicht genug
During March 2010 there was a travellers meeting in Alfa Business Club, Munich, and I was invited to join together with Wolfgang Stoephasius (from Germany, on the right) and californian Charles Veley (in the centre, and I am on the left) among several other notable German travelers.
The meeting was covered by a local newspaper in the REISE (travels) sector, under the title "The World is not enough".
Apr 09, 2009 06:00 PM The Camino de Santiago
No job, no money, no travels abroad, so I am making again the Camino, on foot. I have 1170 kilometres ahead, from my hometown Hospitalet to Santiago de Compostela.
Dec 01, 2008 09:00 PM Timbuktu, 52 days hitch hiking...!
on the road again. i earnt some money and since it is cheaper travelling than staying home, i went to morocco, and now will try to get as far as possible in the way to timbuktu.
happy new year!
Sep 28, 2008 06:00 PM I crossed the Darien gap !!! and I am still alive!!!
It was not so difficult after all to cross the Darien gap. The indians Kuna helped me a lot and advised me to walk the minimum, but to take canoes instead, what I did.
Finally, a good colombian captain, with an exciting life, gave me the final lift in a boat, from the border of Panama untill Turbo, the entry/exit gate of the Darien jungle, in Colombia.
I paid him 50.000 colombian pesos plus a bottle of rhum called El Llanero. Both were happy when we reached Turbo, in Colombia.
I am even legal! no troubles with emigration, DAS gave me 90 days stay, no questions, they did not ask me why I chose that way, how much money I carry with me, where is my ticket out of Colombia, nothing. Just said to me: Bienvenido a Colombia.
Now I will reach Montevideo, Rio de Janeiro or any Caribbean island to get a cargo boat or a sailing boat back to the old Europe, to my home in Barcelona, in my sweet Spain.
What follows of the journey is not interesting, just visiting touristic places, Salar de Uyuni, el Chaco, Perito Moreno, etc, places where any ordinary tourist can go, but not so exciting such as crossing Bering strait from Chukotka, sailing along the Inside Passage or the Darien via San Blas islands, so I will close my travel log here.
(see in the picture the capitan Cartagena and me, agreeing the price, including the bottle of rhum!).
Sep 24, 2008 06:00 PM San Blas islands. Fishing with the Kuna Indians
Having good time with the Kuna. I sleep in their houses, fish with them, eat with them, travel with them.... they have accepted me as a local, something very rare. Even if you marry a Kuna woman, you can not live in San Blas islands, only for a few days.
Instead of walking I will try crossing the Darien gap by local boats, untill the border with Colombia, and then Turbo, the entry/exit gate to the Darien. Via Puerto Obaldia is legal, no problems with deportation, guerrilleros, FARC, paramilitares, etc. It takes five days or so, but you meet Kuna people. They have a territory in Panama tierra firme, and 365 islands, of which 49 are inhabited. I have visited at least 15 of them, so far. Everywhere I make new friends.
I made friendship with Andres Rodriguez, a Kuna well known and appreciated in San Blas archipielago. Travelling with him is safe and pleasant.
Two years ago four kuna were killed by the guerrilleros FARC because they gave food to some paramilitares from Colombia in the Darien jungle. Now, the Panama have installed controls in the jungle. Crossing it on foot is iollegal, even if you cross to Colombia, you will be arrested and expelled from Colombia without a legal entrance stamp of DAS (Departamento Administrativo de Seguridad). So, better to travel with peaceful Kuna. I do not pay anything, only transport, everywhere I am invited, food and rfooms and smiles are free in San Blas islands.
Indeed, Kuna people are exceptional.
Sep 05, 2008 06:00 PM Point Roberts, then Carmel fray Junipero Serra mission, then Panama
Very easy to reach Point Roberts, a pleasant place worth to spend half day. It reminded me Llivia, a spanish fragment in France.
I arrived by boat from Victoria, in Vancouver island, to the ferry terminal, near Tsawwassen, then spent the night sleeping in the ferry terminal, for free, warm, even had a shower, washed my hair with shampoo and drank a coffee in the morning. Then, at 5, when the Punjabi taxi drivers, with their turbans, came to wait for the customers of the first ferry, walked untill and along the street 56 in Tsawwassen, because when you are near a border nobody wants to give you a ride, they are afraid that you are a contrabandista. I walked about 3 hours untill the border, no problems with my USA visa. I asked the US official:
- how many people live in Point Roberts
and he said:
- fifteen hundred.
So, I multiplied mentally 15 per 100 and found out that 1500 souls live in that tiny place.
I asked him again how long was to the downtonw, and the official replied:
- about three quarters of a mile.
Then I calculated mentally and multiplied 0.75 per 1.6, and found out that the downtown was at 1.2 kilometres of distance from the border.
Americans love to complicate things.
then I was hungry and found Cafe Capanna, with free internet if you order a coffe, what I did, I ate a quesadilla, my daily meal, it was delicious.
I said to the waitress: please, give me a quesadilla, but she could not understand. I showed then the dish in the menu, and she said:
Ah! a kueseidila!
that is the way the americans pronounce quesadilla. But I refuse to deform that beautiful spanish name, which derives from queso, or cheese, in spanish.
When travelling I only eat once a day, I felt fed by the impressions, the impressions are my nectar and my ambrosia. People greeted me in the streets and offered me rides, but I gently declined, prefering to discover the enclave by myself. I made many zig zag tours around the enclave, I saw the marina, the national park, talked with some people (it was first of september, a national holiday in USA and Canada, Labour Day), and enjoyed the good weather. I even crossed to Canada twice without realizing it, but returned to USA, through the paralel 49.
I was happy in peaceful Point Roberts.
No way out in Point Roberts direct to USA mainland, you need to go back to Canada.
The place was founded by Francisco Eliza, who named it Punta Cepeda, but much later, Vancouver, named the place Point Roberts. But before the Spaniards and the british, the indians knew that place as Cheltenum.
In my way back to Canada, hitchiking was great. The first cars did not stop, but I was not angry with the drivers, saying to myself: OK, no problem, you lose more than me. To me, sooner or later, somebody will pick me up, but you are missing the opportunity to meet a spanish traveler and help him, who is just doing an incredible around the world journey, crossing the Bering strait, something very rare, and back at home you could tell your family.
Then a man , who could even speak spanish, as most intelligent people in the world can, took me to downtown Vancouver.
I keep a good remembering of Point Robert.
After Point Roberts I went down to California, stopping for a day in Astoria to visit the end of Lewis and Clark expedition, in the Columbian river. Then, in Santa Cruz, California, it was hard to continue hitchiking, so I took a Greyhound bus to Salinas, then another one to Monterey and now I am in Carmel, Iwill sleep in the Mission, under the tumb of Fray Junipero Serra, a really GREAT man.
A friend is waiting for me in San Bernardino day after tomorrow, to drive me to Mexicali, and then down, down, down, Mexico, stopping only in lovely Puebla to wash my dirty clothes, and then Islas de la Bahia in Honduras and all the way down to San Blas Islands to buy a machete to cross the Darien jungle.
Adios amigos, buenos viajes, que os vaya todo muy lindo y chevere!
Aug 29, 2008 06:00 PM Kotzebue, Alaska, heading to Mexico lindo...
Just visited Kotzebue, up to the Arctic Circle. Took the train to Fairbanks visiting MacKinley peak, then the Inside Passage from Juneau to Vancouver island, a wonder (I will write a nice report about that memorable boat journey). Now I will stop in some Spanish Missions in California, see the monument devoted to Fray Junipero Serra in Monterrey, perhaps a visit to Mesa Verde too, and via El Paso will get to Mexico lindo.... I adore the burritos, enchiladas, cervezas Corona, aguacates... food is gorgeous in Mexico.
Soon will reach Darien gap, San Blas islands.
Hasta la vista
Aug 19, 2008 06:00 PM Crossing the Bering strait
I am writing this from Provideniya, on 20th august 2008. I am waiting a plane to Nome, in Alaska, bur nobody knows when it will come, it will be a charter, and since I can't pay for the whole plane, I keep waiting for american tourists to come here and use their chartyer plane to go back to Alaska. My Russian visa is expiring and so my propusk or specail permit to Chukotka, one of the hardest places to visit in the whole world.
Just spent 2 incredible weeks in Chukotka, 3 days in the capital Anadyr (to get there is amazing, crossing the river in a boat observing whales and seals along your way) and the rest I took a plane to Provideniya and then boats and trucks and also walking to arrive to a Chukchi settlement with thousands of reindeers.
I saw how they hunt whales and walrus for surviving, tested whale and walrus meat, lived in kind of yurtas, called yaranga, and shared their traditions.
I have hundred of fantastic pictures.
I am now waiting my plane to Nome, in Alaska. Transport here is hard, it all depends on the wheather. There is only a plane out of Provideniya, every Monday, to Anadyr, and the flights to Alaska is charter, so you never know.
I hope USA authorities will let me go in, even without a ticket out of the country.
Chukotka is a especail region of Russia and apart from the Russian visa you need a especail permit.
Soon will post lovely pictures, once I will be back in Barcelona, in my dear Spain. But first, from Alaska I will hitchhike all the way down to San Blas Islands, in Panama, via USA, Canada, Mexico, etc., and once in San Blas I will buy a machete to cross the Darien jungle, untill Turbo, in Colombia, and then, once I reach Buenos Aires will try to find a cargo boat heading to Spain.
So, I am making an around the world journey, very original, my forth around the world journey. In fact it was not my intention, from Chukotka I wanted to continue overland to Vladivostok or Khabarovsk, then a boat to Sakhalin and another one to Hokkaido, then Parece Vela, flight to Borneo, visit of Spratley islands, and then back to Spain via India, etxc. But the adventure is the adventure, and in Chukotka the unexpected can happens. No roads in Chukotka, boats nobody knows when they will come, no planes in 3 weeks to Magadan...
If I say the truth, the Russians, very politely, invited me to leave Russia through USA in view of the proximity of my expiring Russian visa, in which case they were instructed to fine me and deport me. So, flying to Alaska is the best way (diplomatic way) to leave Russia for everybody.
Here I come Alaska!
Jul 15, 2008 06:00 PM I got my propusk to Chukotka !!!
Just was informed by the Russian authorities that my visit to Chukotka has been approved by the Admiralty. I will travel there 5th August. Russian visa is not enough for Chukotka, being a military place, bordering Alaska, but also an authorization (propusk) by the Army.
First I will go to Moscow to meet my daughter Mashienka (she will be 1 year old during those days) and her mother, and then will fly to Anadyr.
Here is my mapamundi with my itinerary. I hope I will not get short of money (as usual) and will not have to cut some destination in my schedule. Even living like Diogenes of Synop (eating little, sleeping anywhere in the streets or parks and leading a very frugal and austere life, like a hermit), I can’t avoid spending about 10 US Dollars daily when travelling.
After Chukotka and Diomedes islands, I will stop in Magadan, then, in Japan, I will visit a Zen Monastery, north of Kyoto, where I lived 30 years ago as a monk, to greet the Master, Roshisama (he is almost 80 years old now, and I have to visit him before he abandons this world), then Parece Vela (Japanese atoll discovered by a Spaniard), and Spratley islands before flying back home, to work again and save money to prepare my forth around the world journey during the year 2009.
Jul 11, 2008 06:00 PM Back home after 80 days on the road
The journey was not too bad. I did not cross the Darien gap, I did not reach the Magnetic North Pole, but I saw lots of interesting things.
See the annexed mapamundi with my itinerary.
I added 5 more small Antilles islands where I had never been: St Croix, St Eustatius, Saba, St Barths and Bonaire. I visited the remaining 6 Mexican states that I did not know yet (Veracruz, Colima, Nayarit, Sonora, Baja California Sur and Baja California) so now I can say that I have been in all the 31 Mexican States. I also travelled to my remaining 15 USA states, so now I know (no deeply but at least I have a good idea) all the 50 USA states. The same I can say about Canada, where in the past I spent two months travelling from Vancouver to Halifax, hitch hiking, my dearest way to travel. But I was missing the second “floor” of that huge country, the Arctic, I mean, from Yukon to Newfoundland Island via Nunavut, what I just have done.
Saint Augustine wrote: “The world is a book and those who do not travel read only one page”. So I am in the way to read the whole book. I am now in the epilogue of that book, the Book of Life.
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