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

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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Visiting Bayir on the Carian Trail – No Food but Good Company

Visiting Bayir

Simplicity and slowness are core components of virtually all the best adventures. Walking is king of both of these. ~Alastair Humphreys

“What do you mean, nobody sells food? We need a meal! We’re hungry,” I gasp.

“Sorry, sorry, only in summer. But I think they have toste (toasted sandwich),” the man hastens to say, pointing at the open-air teahouse, where a waiter is serving Coen Turkish tea as we speak.

What hiker can survive on toasted sandwiches? Not me. Continue reading

Our Hiking Gear List for the 850-km Carian Trail (Turkey)

Hiking Gear List for the Carian Trail laid out on a bedIt’s Day 3 of waiting out the storm, which hopefully will be our last before we can finally start our 850-km-long hike along the beautiful coast of Southwestern Turkey, called the Carian Trail.

(Here is how we spent day 1 and day 2 in Marmaris).

And so, with not much else to do, I figured it would be a good moment to make a hiking gear list of what we will be carrying on the trail.

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Exploring the Old Town of Marmaris (Turkey)

Or:

The Weather Obsession Continues

When we wake up, it’s dry. Windy, but dry! That may sound like good news, however, it is terribly frustrating when spending the night in a hotel instead of on the trail based on a weather forecast that predicts continuous rain showers.

Why aren’t we on the 850-km-long Carian Trail?! Continue reading

Visiting the Indigenous People of Paresi in Brazil

On our way to a village of the Paresi indigenous people, my guide Claudiomiro tells me about the brand-new asphalt road that is being constructed straight through this reservation. The government has calculated that about 1000 trucks will use it every day.

El Progresso,” Claudiomiro says. “It will cost these people their culture. They have already lost a big part of it, but it’s just a matter of time and all will be gone. Nevertheless, the Paresi want this road. The government pays and maintains it, they can levy toll and keep the money. Capitalism has the reservation in its grasp and won’t let go anymore,” he continues and is visibly hurt by how Brazil’s ancient cultures are overrun by western norms and values. Continue reading

In Search of Franciscan Churches in Paraguay

It all started with a photo: a beautiful photograph of an old wooden altar featuring an angel killing a devil, painted in blue tinges. Some of the paint had chipped off and the wood was damaged, and it was clearly a piece from colonial times. The accompanying text told me the photo was taken in the Church of San José in Valenzuela. I asked the caretaker of the museum for directions and my partner Coen and I were on our way. Continue reading