Category Archives: Around the world

Antelope canyon…for free!

Antelope canyon. On the top of the list to visit. A must before your die list. A must for photograph lovers. A must for natur lover. A must for the facebook profile. For whatever reason, Antelope canyon is simply a must, when visiting USA.

 

Antelope canyon is totally a must for so many travelers that this place is becoming so touristic and crowded. And expensiv!  That is comprehensiv because this canyon is breathtaking beautiful and people are willing to pay a lot of cash and wait in the long line just for a single photo.

What if I tell you that you can visit Antelope canyon cash free and tourist free? It might not be as beautiful as the lower or upper Antelope or it might…I don’t know as I have never been to either of them. But what I know is that the “free” Antelope I know is gorgeous! We had a hard time leaving this magical place. And now only just by looking at the photos brings tears to our eyes.

Ok, I am sorry, I lied! It’s not totally free as you will need to rent a kayak at the lake Powell point marina. We rented our double kayak for 45$ here. From 8am-4pm you will have the kayak so it is totally worth the money! All the information you need you can find on their website.

I have loop in the itinerary from Antelope Marina to Antelope Canyon. It took us about 1hour to paddle from the marina to the canyon. And David was basically the one who did it all by himself.

We meet a couple who snap the photo for us if you are wondering!

Now and then we saw tour boats passing us by at the larger passage. The further in we paddle the more narrow the passage become. And more beautiful and peaceful!

End of the road. Except only by foot.

We didn’t know what to expect when we parked our kayak and walked into the canyon.

The silence, the heat from the stonewalls and the shimmering 50 shades of red tooked us by suprise! The only we heard were our own heartbeats and our footsteps in the sand. I couldn't help myself walking with my fingers stroking the millions of years old walls.

I didn’t mind getting lost in there. For awhile we were imagining that we were the first human on earth exploring this place. We have heard that you can go as far as to the other “paying” Antelope canyons.

But ofcourse our imaginary adventure has to end because it was getting dark and we needed to return the kayak. But on the way back we stopped for a swim.

 

Next time when we have more time in USA we will without any hesitation rent a kayak for a week and explore other wonderful places around lake Powell. We are really looking forward for it!

 

Hampi, our favorite place in India

India. Just saying the word India makes me think of people, million of people. And million of cars, motorcycles and bikecycles. Loud honkings . Pollution. Street vendors. Cows. Dirt and garbage. Makes my head spin. That’s what India is making to you. She makes your head spin. But there are some places in India that make inside of your head calm. Places that are so peaceful. Making your heartbeats beating slow. One of those places is Hampi.

 

Hampi. Just by saying the word Hampi makes me think of beautiful boulders, millions of boulders. Stacked on top of each other. Looking like someone very strong and bored has stacked them artistically for us to wonder how they got up there. So many of them as far as the eye can reach. So much energy oozing out of them, if you belive in that kind of thing. If not, you will feel it! These boulders what make Hampi so special.

 

Hampi. The people. Not millions but only hundreds. Smiling and waving people. And very kind people. And people who loves to have a photo taken. Kids that run towards you when they see you and making you feel like home.

 

Hampi. The colors. The color of the sunrise and sunset hitting the boulders. The color from women’s sari. Makes me think of green. Green from the rice paddies and palmtrees that blend in so well with the blue sky and the reddish boulders. Making a perfect match for the eyes to see.

 

What to do in Hampi 

If you are getting bored of laying on the hammack on your hostel and do nothing then Hampi has a lot of things to offer.

1. Sanapur Lakes

There are two clean and peaceful reservoir where you can swim with beautiful surrounding. You can rent a scooter or a bikecycle to get there. You will see a sign where it’s written ” No swimming, crocodile!” just ignore it. There’s no crocodile.

 

2. Bouldering

The best way to really take benefit of the boulders are doing some bouldering. There are several places where you can rent the shoes and the mattres. If you are a beginner you can hire someone to show you where and how to climb and get around the boulders. Most of the time you won’t get higher up more than 4-5 meters but it can be more tricky than it looks like. David wears 47-48 size in shoes and the biggest they had was 42. He was in very much pain!

3. Visiting the temples and the ruins

You can ride a bike or scooter and visit the sites or negociate with a tuk-tuk driver to drive you around. Best time to visit the beautiful ruins and the temples are the early morning or late afternoon. Our favorite is the Monkey temple.

4. Explore the area

We really loved our days on scooter exploring the nearby area. It was never ending boulders.

 

5. Sunset

Don’t ever miss the sunset in Hampi. There are many places in Hampi from where you can see a sunset; Matanga HillHematuka Hill and Malyavanta Hill. Or just climb on one of the many boulders and enjoy!


6. Movie nights

Just walk along the “hippie road” where there are most of the hostels and you will see some of the restaurants and hostels organise movie nights. We saw ” Life of Pi” in one of the restaurant.

 

7. Bathing Lakshmi the Elephant

Lakshmi the elephant of Virupaksha temple is quite famous and you can find the elephant taking bath in the Tungabhadra riverfront early morning around 7’o clock. Apart the Elephant you get to see the locals getting themself ready for the day. Some are bathing in the river and some are washing the clothes.

8. Meet the locals

What make Hampi so lovely are the locals. India has great people everywhere but we feel that people in Hampi are genuinely friendly. Really friendly. Talk with them. Expecially the kids. They love hanging out with you.

9. Dress like the locals

Sari is my favorite traditionel wear because of the colors. When the owner of the hostel where we were stayed at told us about his daughter coming over to visit I asked him if it was ok if she could help me to get dress in one of her sari so I could walk around and feel  beautiful. No problem he said!

 

10. Taking a boatride

The exact name of this bowl or a floating basket is Coracle. One of these can transfer between 15-20 person!

Where to stay in Hampi

We stayed at the  “hippie” side of Hampi, Anegundi. It’s other side of the river from the main village Hampi where all the ruins are. Along the main street of the “hippie road” you can find many hostel and restaurant. I can’t remember the name of our hostel but the restaurant itself gave me nausea with all the psychodelic images.

So where is your favorite place in India? 

Engstligen falls, the coolest waterfalls in Switzerland?

People who lives in Switzerland or has been to Switzerland knows that this country has atleast thousand of waterfalls. It’s hard to tell which of them is the most special as each waterfalls has it’s own charm.

 

But today, we hiked to the coolest waterfall in Switzerland! Engstligen falls in Adelboden, the second highest waterfalls in Switzerland. 600 meter high with two gorgeous drops.

We found this waterfalls so cool because of the easy access to the waterfalls. From the car park and the cable car station, there is an easy ten minutes walk to the base of the waterfalls. From there you either hike or take the cable car up to Engstligenalp and walk down. Or you could just stay down here…but you would miss the best parts.

As the cable car station was still close for the season we hike up and down. It took around 90min up and 1hour down with about 600 meter elevation each way.

There were still snow on some part of the path. Don’t panic, there is always a way!

We were already very impressed when we saw the lower falls and didn’t expected anything more. But as we walked up to Engstligenalp we came to what seems to be the upper falls, that we didn’t know existed. All three of us were like:

WOW, WOW, woow!

We could have stay there all day…but with a toddler with ants in the pants it’s impossible even with this view!

To get to this point you will need to walk. Walking down about 20 min from Engstligenalp or walking up from the base of  waterfalls about 90 min. Dont miss it as I belive this is the best part!! 


Another cool thing about Engstligen falls is the amount of water pourring down! Please remember that the water flow depends of the season your visit. We were there late spring, at the end of mai when the snow melts.

Another VERY cool thing about this particular waterfalls is that you can get very close to the falls. I hate seeing a waterfalls faraway where you can’t feel the waterdrops, the wind and hear the thunder of the falls.

And again more cool thing about this place are the different levels of the falls you get to see. The streams from Engstligenalp to the upper falls and then splash down to the lower falls and last into the Engstligen river.

An extra cool thing is that beside the awesome watefalls itself you have a beautiful view of the valley.

AND Engstligenalp is very extraordinary aswell! This is where all the water comes from.

Momstotzurich has great information of this place in her post. Please click Here.

Just a few weeks ago I wrote a post about My ten favorite waterfalls. I should add Engstligen falls on that list!

What do you guys say, is this the coolest waterfalls in Switzerland?

8 places to visit in Death Valley NP, USA

For anyone who hasn’t been to USA or visited any national parks Death Valley sound..”dead” right? Some may wonder what you can do in a valley of death?! Read further and you will discover 8 stunning places to visit in this Valley.

 

Death Valley was the only national park in USA I have heard of before I eventually made some research about other national parks. I have heard about Death Valley in Hollywood movies where people got lost in the desert, where the maffia buried dead bodies and that it’s the hottest place on earth!

It was very hot but bearable as we where there in late october when it was autumn therefore cooler temperature. We only had two nights in the park but for being only two nighs we were able to discover amazing places.

Here are 8 places places we visited worth visiting:

 

1. The Mesquite flat sand dunes

This sand dunes tooked me by suprise by its beauty! At first glance by the car park I was not very impress but further as we went into the dunes the less footprints we saw and we were emerged by the beauty of the dunes and the landscape. Most of the people were staying very close to the car park so we were totatally alone and it was great not sharing this special moment with hundreds other visitor.

Three advises. Walk far far out and go for the sunset..and ENJOY!


2. Zabriskie Point

Another beautiful dunes! Very easy access to the parking lot and a very short walk to the point view. Our initial plan was to hike for the sunrise into the dunes but unfortunally David and I got into an argument ( ahh yes couples do argue!) and we went separate ways for a couple of hours so we didn’t enjoy this site as we could have. Now we just tap our head and wonder why we missed an opportunity to explore such an unique place!

Two advises. No matter what happen, take a walk into the dunes and go very early!


3. The racetrack – mysterious moving rocks

This place was hard to get to as normally you will need a 4WD to get there. But we tried our luck with Jucy, our rented car. We tooked our time and many times we thought we were going to get flat tires but we made it! It was an experience and the scenery was beautiful.

Still today nobody really knows why or how the small rock moves but I must say that the rocks are so much smaller than I expected! Most of them were as big as a handfist while I  thought at first they were boulders big as a car..haha! Neverless, it was cool to see these mysterious moving rocks!

4. Artist drive

This is a short scenic drive along colorful volcano deposit colored by various mineral pigments.

5. Dante’s view

A pointview of Death Valley where we had our homemade dinner watching the sunset. I don’t recommend a car with trailer as driving up is very steep! Easy acces because you have the view directly from your car at the car park but stepping out of the car is definetly recommended!


6. Ubehebe Crater

We drove pass by this on our way back from the Racetrack. Personally we were not impressed by this crater because we have done hikes on massive volcanos few month earlier in Indonesia. It’s still worth walking around the rim. It should take around 30min-1hour.

7. Badwater basin

Badwater basin is the lowest point of North America with an elevation of 86 m below sealevel! Easy acces, just a few meter from the car park. And very hot!

 

8. Devil’s golf course

There is no Death Valley without the devil right? And who says that the devil doesn’t like to play golf? Easy acces as it’s just infront of the car park.

 

Don’t miss Death Valley if you are nearby…it’s totally not dead here!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Our misfortunes on our travels

We all have heard stories about peoples problem they have during their travels. Most of the stories are about getting sick, rain on the vacation, car accident or lost item. I wish I could say that none of these things never has ever happen to us but unfortunally we have our own misfortune stories to share.


Getting sick

Yes, getting sick is not uncommun and I don’t know anyone who hasn’t got sick during a long travel.

Apart that David is vomitting almost in every country we have visited the worse time for him was in Nepal and India! David caught the famous the tourista that lasted for over two month, from Nepal all the way to India!

The story that has to be told is the story when David got badly sick on the ghat in Varanasi. The same day we ought to catch our train from Varanasi to Mumbai David suddently felt nausy while walking with our backpack by the river Ganges, hurrying to take the train. David said that he has to lay down and so he did. He was complaining of stomach cramps and he was in agony of pain. “Here it comes again” I thought. And it did, right in a plastic bag. I managed to ask a tourist helping us carrying Davids bag to the nearest hotel. We were spending another week in Varanasi. Lucky we had time to lose.

I was not really puking. I was making fun of David. Luckly we were staying at a friends house in Katmandu.

And I myself who rarely get sick neither at home or on a trip got a very high fever and very sore throat for over a week in Vietnam in 2011 and in Nepal in 2014. I thought I was going to die!

Accident

Being in an accident is something we all try to avoid no matter where we, at home or out travelling.

Scooter accident in India

We were crusing around feeling the wind on the hair when a dog came out of nowhere chasing after us. David lost the control and I was thrown off and glide about 10 meters away. Luckly I wore jeans that day which I normally do when we are on scooter.

A car crash

We were on a tourist bus going to Huatulco in Mexico when we suddently heard a crash and the window opposite side of me shattered into pieces. Apparently a truck crash onto the bus and drove away. The lady who sat beside that window got injured of the glas splitters. Lucky that I have chosen to sit the otherside!

Overcrowded boat

TWe were on a small remoted island in Indonesia and the resort offerd all the guest a free boat transfer to another island to catch tbe ferry going to the mainland. Ofcourse in Asia a transportation is never full enough. We were about 30 people plus heavy bags for a boat for maximum 10 people. Luckly we were not far out when the boat started to swing high up from side to side without any control. Luckly that the boat got so heavy we got stuck on the corals so the boat stopped swinging. We sat there till they send us a second boat.


Lost items

Camera

David was responsable for our Canon. For ten days David had it hanging on his neck when we trekked to Annapurna basecamp. The day after we got back to the civilisation still very exhaustes we realise that the Canon is gone. Where can it be? Luckly we used two camera so all the photos are not lost.

Our photos!

Our backpacks

We were once again on a remoted island in Indonesia. The same morning we were leaving there were two boat coming. One was going to the mainland and the second one going to another island. We put our bags down among the others while eating our breakfast and the first boat left. But then when it was our turn to leave an hour later our bags were gone! I knew straight away that the other boat took ours by misstake. So we had to charter a longtail boat to catch the other boat going direction mainland. 2 hours later we even arrived almost as the same time. Our bags where back in our possesion but now with the same longtail boat we have to go all the way back plus another 2 hours to the island we had in mind. And lucky we made it just in time before it started to rain!

5hours on a longtail boat one better find something to do.

Moneybelt

David was wearing a moneybelt when we flew from Indonesia to Australia. In that belt we had a lot of cash and our passport. When we got of the plane and out to the terminal hall someone was poking our back. Is this yours that person ask us. Yes, it is our moneybelt!!! Thank you! THANK YOU! David didn’t even notice that he had dropped it! Lucky that there are honest people!

 

Getting lost

David got lost in Bangkok once when my family and I were praying in a small temple near the china town. David wanted to take a walk. Don’t go far and don’t be to long, I told him. He came back almost 2 hours later in a taxi. I got lost, he said. Luckly that the taxi driver understod Davids explaination about the temple. And we were all sooo worried as he didn’t have any money or phone on him.

 

Car problem

Once…or rather twice our hired campervan let us down. Lucky that there is Couchsurfing so we were happy to be sleeping on a real bed.


Anoter rented car in Australia and this time a 4WD. We thought yeay atlast a 4WD so we could drive out of “the beaten track”. But ofcourse we got stuck in the sand. We were quite nervous not knowing if anyone would pass by because after all we were middle of nowhere. Lucky that an hour after THE RANGERS passed by...oh how I love them.

Thinking about these incidents we were quite lucky at the end. It could have been worse, a lot worse! There were many many time we thought we are not going to get back home safe and sound. But we did!

 

And you guys, do you have any stories to share?

 

I have fear of travelling

Travelling for long term is something many people would love to do and those who don’t manage to get out there seems to have the same fears. They have fear of stepping out of their comfort zone and they have fear for the unknown. But the biggest fear has to be the fear of having economy problems, not finding somewhere to live and not finding a job when getting back home.

Althought I can understand why some are having these fear, I myself never had any! I could exchange my soul for unlimited time to travel anywhere in the world!

In early 2015 when we got home from our RTW trip I was already few months pregnant. Even though we were expecting a baby I knew in my heart that in a few years we will be packing our backpack and leave again.

And now almost three years later we are actually leaving soon! Without revealing to much we have set a departure date! It’s very exciting and both David and I are very happy. The decision to leave came naturally without any questions asked. But slowly, for the first time, I am starting to have fears and doubts of leaving.

The reason why I want to do this trip so bad is the same reason why I am afraid of doing it. The reason is my daughter Mirabelle! 

This time this trip is dedicated to her. It’s for her we are leaving. We are offering ourself and our time to be with her everyday, showing her nature, wildlife and amazing places. Teach her and just love her endlessly! But I am starting to have doubts! I am asking and telling myself: 

 

Are we being selfish? Perhaps this is more what we want and not what she needs??”

” Is it really fair to take her away from her home because children need stability!”

 “We are putting her in danger by always travelling around!”

She will be so bored sitting long hours on planes, car and buses!”

“What if she will have problems adapting when she starts school when we get home?”

“She need to socialise with other kids than her parents!!”

The doubt always comes at the bedtime. But each time the sun comes up I am always having answers for my doubts.

“All she need are her parents! She will be with us all the time and that is what makes her happy!”

“An accident can happen everywhere even in Switzerland. Just by crossing the street! And we will not take any risk by jumping on a half fonctional bus riding for 8 hours!”

 

Waiting for the “chicken bus” to leave.

” During our trip we will find other travel families for a playdate, going to the local playgrounds and arranging our days suitable for her. And the world is her playground! What is better than that?”

“She might have difficulties adapting in a class later but perhaps she will be like a fish in the water! We are willing to take the risk!”

As parents we don’t always know what is best for our children but we always do what we think is the best! Time can only tell if we are making the best choise but deep in my heart I know we are….

….are we really?

My 10 favorite waterfalls

I am inlove with anything that has to do with water! So it comes naturally that I love waterfalls ! 

I have seen many many waterfalls in my life. Especially when I live in a country as Switzerland where a valley is called Valley of the 72 waterfalls! 

I will ofcourse not going to bring out all my favorit falls but only 10 of them. The list is not only based on the beauty of the falls but aswell of the great memories I have from that place!


1. Semuc Champey, Guatemala


2014

Semuc Champey is not an easy place to get to but worth every minute of the bumpy ride in a crowded bus.

This cascade is first on my list because I love waterfalls that create many levels of swimming holes or pools. The turquoise pools are surrounded by lush green vegetation and make a beautiful contrast. It’s peaceful and most of the time you are having this place all for yourself.
 

2. Jim jim falls, Australia

 

2014

In spite of lack of the water from the waterfall I still think Jim Jim falls earns a second place on my list. Just imagine this place when there is water pourring down! As long as there is not a crocodile swimming down the falls! Don’t forget we are talking about Australia! 

3.  Wallamans falls, Australia

2014

Australians tallest waterfall with a plunge of almost 300 meters. Do I need to say more?

 

4. Sendang tui, Indonesia

2014

A beautiful waterfall on the Lombok island. What you can’t see from the picture is there are garbages floating everywhere! We paid an entrance for the park but all around the park was plastic bottles and bags. It was sad to see.

5. Agua azul, Mexico

2014

Agua azul means blue water in spanish. Instead of shimmering blue we got grey and murky water because of the heavy rain the days before. However, the many levels of falls were still beautiful!

6. Kuangsi, Laos

2011

Unfortunally when we were backpacking in 2011 I was not into photography so I don’t have much (any) photo from this fall. It was truly beautiful with the blue milky water descending down in many levels. It was just to crowded that time we were there.
 

7. Gumlom waterfalls creek, Australia

2014

You guys know I heart an infinity pool but what is even better is a natural infinity pool with an amazing view. A bit dry by the time we got there but we were enjoying the little water it was left. 

8. Saluopa, Indonesia

2014

I remember people and plastic…everywhere! But this falls is special because the fall was almost white like it was whipped cream smeared on the rocks. 

9. Shiraito no taki, Japan

Small small stream of water falling down. Since it is in Japan just imagine if they have plant cherry trees around and during the spring..wow!

10. Mürrenbach falls, Switzerland

2016

What is so special with this one in Lauterbrunnen is how excited we were when we could walk all the way up to the fall! And aswell how beautiful and tall it actually is! I appreciate Mürrenbach more than the famous Staubbach fall on the same valley not far away.

And do you guys have any favorite waterfalls?