Slow Living – a New Invention or an Age-old Tradition? – Live on a Cattle Drive in Brazil

Even we can’t beat this slow pace in our Land Cruiser: 1300 kilometers in 7 months; an average of 6 kms/day. Yet, even if they wanted to, these people couldn’t travel any faster, for you see, these 9 tropeiros and 1 woman have to lead 1376 cows from the breeder to their new owner.

Slow living isn’t a modern concept here; it’s an age-old way of life. Continue reading

How to Visit Manaus Differently – Skip the List and Enjoy

Vendor at Praia da Lua, a popular beach near Manaus.

We arrived in Manaus with a list of places I wanted to visit, but Providence ruled differently. In the past I might have had a fit. I had made a list, damn it, and we were going to stick to it. We had to visit Manaus properly. After all, wasn’t that why we were here?

The rubber boom, historic buildings, the Amazon Theater, parks with wildlife among which an endemic monkey, the Meeting of the Waters, the surrounding Amazon rainforest and indigenous villages? Sightseeing in Manaus takes time; there is a lot to see and experience. Continue reading

Bamboo Rafting in India (the Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary)

Tiger footprints. We stop in our tracks. Excitement rises. Our guide kneels and studies them, and concludes they are old ones. Disillusion comes with a hidden sense of relief. There is a gun-carrying guard with us, but still.

We set off once more along trails through a forest so hot and dry that the dehydrated leaves barely hang on to the trees. The sound of walking through the fallen leaves reminds me of Europe’s autumns, which is entirely at odds with the scorching temperatures. Continue reading

Admiring Traditional Baianas de Acarajé in Salvador da Bahia

Amidst a crowd of typical, T-shirts-and-jeans-wearing Brazilians, a black woman stood out. She wore an intricate, white, lace bodice covered with necklaces above a dark-blue, billowing skirt and a white piece of cloth artistically wrapped around her head. She was deep-frying some sort of snack. I had just arrived in Salvador da Bahia and was as yet unfamiliar with Salvador da Bahia’s famous Baianas de Acarajé. Continue reading

Swimming with Dolphins in the Amazon (Brazil)

It was Sunday, late afternoon. The weekend vacationers from Manaus had returned home and peace reigned once more over the small tourist town of Novo Airão. I was the only one to go swimming with dolphins – what a stroke of luck. Continue reading

A Boat Trip through the Flooded Forest of Anavilhanas (Brazil)

I feel as if I am looking at a scene in the cartoon of Jack and the Beanstalk. Amidst the flooded forest of Anavilhanas-Archipel, I am looking up at a meters wide trunk of a tree that divides into three immensely thick branches that reach high into the sky, as if they are on their way to heaven.

We can’t climb to heaven, but we can go around the trunk scrambling over the buttresses protruding from the water. It is a balancing act, and a combination of stretching my legs as far as I can to reach the next buttress and squatting to carefully descend to a lower part; I feel like a child again, playing in the woods. Continue reading

Watching a Soccer Game in Rio de Janeiro’s Maracaña Stadium, Brazil

One of the most unexpected sites I ever did in our 16-year journey was visiting a soccer stadium and actually watching a soccer game. Traveling is full of surprises, and here I stood in the what ‘everybody’ considered to be the most famous stadium in the world.

Football Game in Maracaña, Rio de Janeiro (©photocoen)“You can’t leave Rio de Janeiro without having seen the Maracaña Stadium!”

“The what?” I couldn’t even pronounce the word.

“The Maracaña Stadium! You don’t know what it is?”

“Sorry, never heard of it.” Continue reading

Hiking the Datça Peninsula 2 (Carian Trail, Turkey)

Hiking the Datça Peninsula; getting down the cliff using a rope.With only another 120 kilometers, the days suddenly pass very, very quickly. The western section of the Datça Peninsula is one of the remotest sections of the 850-kilometer-long Carian Trail. Few villages, mostly footpaths meandering through forests and traversing headlands that divide dozens of secluded bays. Continue reading

Hiking the Datça Peninsula 1 (Carian Trail, Turkey)

Never be so faithful to your plan that you are unwilling to consider the unexpected. Never be so faithful to your plan that you are unwilling to entertain the improbable opportunity that comes looking for you. -Elizabeth Warren

Thru-hiking and rolling up your sleeves to get your hands dirty in a greenhouse? How do those two activities match?

Notes on Slow Travel, the name of this website, speaks for itself and our way of slow travel has never been truer than on the Carian Trail. Having planned ample time for this 850-km-long hike through Southwestern Turkey, we always take up on invitations for tea or to stay at people’s homes.

This time, right after we start hiking the Datça Peninsula, we said ‘yes’ to volunteer in a greenhouse for three days.

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Hiking the Muğla Environs (Carian Trail, Turkey)

“Ruins are more beautiful than adorned castles, for ruins are the cathedrals of time.” ~Ben Caesar

When a trail exists of five sections, not all of them can finish at the top of your list. As such, the Muğla Environs Section won’t be our #1 of the Carian Trail. However, don’t scrap it from your list immediately; this trail did have some worthwhile surprises.
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Hiking the Carian Hinterland 2 (Carian Trail, Turkey)

“Dogs are not our whole life but they makes our lives whole.” ~Roger Caras

The Carian Hinterland is a 175-km-long hiking trail in Southwestern Turkey and part of the 850-km-long Carian Trail.

In the previous blog post, Carian Hinterland part 1, I described sections of the first half of that trail. Here is part 2, day 6-11. (If you just want the practical information, scroll down to the bottom of this page). Continue reading

Hiking the Carian Hinterland 1 (Carian Trail, Turkey)

Hiking the Carian Hinterland, Turkey

“The best thing one can do when it’s raining is to let it rain.” ~Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

The Carian Hinterland is one of the five sections of the 800-km-long Carian Trail that runs through Southwestern Turkey.

If you like the idea of combining hiking and Turkey and you have some two weeks of time, this is our tip: hike the Carian Hinterland. Depending on your level of fitness and speed it may take 8-13 days (we took 11). Simply fly to Bodrum, take a bus to Bozalan and hit the trail. Continue reading

Turkish Hospitality on the Carian Trail (Bodrum Peninsula, Turkey)

“Turkey’s true master is the peasant” ~Mustafa Kemal Atatürk

We have followed a path twisting up through the woods and following a watercourse. On our left side is a wall built of boulders and rocks collected from the adjacent fields. The wall invites us to sit on it, rest our feet for a bit while our sweated shirts dry in the sun. Continue reading

Hiking the Ceramic Gulf (Carian Trail, Turkey)

“Of all the paths you take in life, make sure a few of them are dirt.” ~John Muir

After our 10-day hike on the Bozburun Peninsula – our introductory section of the 800-kilometer-long Carian Trail – we returned to Marmaris. We were ready for a day of rest, which prolonged into a three-day stay because of heavy rainstorms.

This gave us plenty of time to sleep, eat proper food, and drink good coffee. We were more than ready for the next stage and swapped our planned Carian Hinterland section for the Bodrum Peninsula (Ceramic Gulf) after we learned that the interior was going to be plagued by an unusual attack of cold weather with freezing temps. Continue reading

Hiking the Bozburun Peninsula (Carian Trail, Turkey)

For the walker the remoteness is ripe for exploration and with a lack of roads the old trails and paths have been cleaned to access every viewpoint across the sea to the Greek islands of Symi and Rhodes. The Trail routes through a diversity of terrain with many changes of scenery and magical views round every corner. There are many traditional villages eking a living from the rugged landscape along with coastal villages catering for the demands of tourism. (From: Carian Trail Guidebook)

What’s there NOT to like about this? So, let’s go!

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