Open your eyes and let the adventure begin!
“We live in a wonderful world that is full of beauty, charm and adventure. There is no end to the adventures we can have if only we seek them with our eyes open.” ~Jawaharial Nehru
Los Llanos are vast plains of grasslands and savanna in both Colombia and Venezuela. In Colombia we had traversed them for six days to reach the Venezuelan border. We felt a bit saturated with the landscape, but now had to cross the Venezuelan Llanos as well, this time to get to the Andes Mountains. Continue reading
Even after more than ten years on the road I can still be surprised how one meeting can lead to all sorts of events, adventures and other meetings. Maybe because I never take them for granted. It is not something you can plan, or find in a guidebook. You can plan a meeting, but you can’t plan all results of such a meeting. And that’s where the charm lies: the unexpected. Continue reading
In Ecuador, Colombia, and now in Venezuela we have been amazed and surprised by the amount as well as the quality of graffiti and murals we have come across when meandering through towns. Some are politically oriented, others are simply fabulous works of art. Continue reading
“You’re lucky. Normally I don’t answer the phone if I don’t recognize the phone number,” Luis Jaime said.
We were lucky indeed. Continue reading
Grandpa and grandkids found the treasure!
It is just one of these perfect days. The sky is blue, the sunrays are pleasantly warm. The heat is gone, the air is fresh and cool. Like one of those beautiful Indian Summer days. We go geocaching and walk to Quito’s Parque Metropolitano.
Most hills are covered with forest and soon I am following in Coen’s footsteps on a narrow trail winding among Eucalyptus trees. Around us people are hiking, mountain biking and even hugging trees. The energy is strong, people are happy, enjoying themselves. Continue reading
One moment we were driving through green, lush vegetation; the next we were on the moon. Kind of. We were entering a miniature version of the Bryce Canyon (US): a red-brown, eroded landscape sculptured into gullies. Continue reading
When we returned from the Galápagos Islands and I looked back on a trip full of magic and wonder, my eye was drawn to a sticker above my seat in the Land Cruiser.
“The Journey is the Destination“
And I realized, once more, how true that is. Continue reading
Waterfall at Ponto de Pedra, West Brazil.
What is the link between slow travel and waterfalls, you may ask? Does seeing the Niagara Waterfalls or Iguazu Waterfalls slow you down in any way? On the contrary, you may argue. These type of destinations we often visit for the destination itself rather than looking for anything interesting along the way. Continue reading
Miranda Alta Mine in Zaruma.
From the Peru-Ecuador border of Huaquillas to Guayaquil it is a couple of hours drive; I reckon some 250 kilometers. I had checked some guidebooks and other tourist info and it didn’t appear that there was much of interest along the way. Continue reading
It’s weird, it’s funny, it’s incredible. We’ve been camping here for close to four weeks and I’m still somewhat in awe of us being here: in a workshop. Continue reading
Expedition Portal assigned us their annual Overlanders of the Year Award 2013. For those who are unfamiliar with Expedition Portal:
Expedition Portal is a community of adventure travelers, where the primary means of exploration is by 4wd and Motorcycle. Founded in 2005 by Scott Brady, CEO of Overland International, expeditionportal.com is operated by a team of experienced adventurers, our staff having completed expeditions on all seven continents.
With the growing popularity of overland travel, expeditionportal.com has expanded in membership and content to represent the single-largest repository of online overland resources on the web. This includes 2,000+ feature editorials and over 1.2 million forum posts. Most know us as ExPo.
Overlanders of the Year Award
Here is what they wrote with regard to our Overlanders of the Year award:
If you have been following Expedition Portal’s front page in the last few months, you’ll be familiar with Coen and Karin-Marijke of Landcruising Adventure. On the road since 2003, they’ve driven their Toyota BJ45 Land Cruiser through Europe, Asia, and South America taking their time to fully experience the landscapes and cultures they visit.
A decade may seem like a long time to traverse just three of the world’s continents, but their journey is not a trip so much as it is a lifestyle.
When the Expedition Portal team sat down to reflect on the past twelve months and begin the process of selecting the recipients of our Overlander of the Year Award, we couldn’t think of anyone more deserving than the adventure duo of Coen and Karin-Marijke.
We not only admire their unusually slow pace of travel, we are captivated by the elaborate stories and images featured on their website. Their collection of windshield views is one of the best pictorials in all of overlanding.
Ever eager to share in their travels, Coen and Karin-Marijke took the time to answer a few questions so we could all get more insight into what it’s like to travel for a full decade.
Here’s the interview.
For weeks we had been traveling through the Amazon Forest in Brazil. Some areas consist of virgin forest, but large parts have made way for cattle ranching. The region is known as the Arc of Deforestation. From Mato Grosso we drove into Rondônia, the state where in the 1980s each minute an area the size of a football field was deforested – 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, for a period of 10 years. The speed of cutting down forest has diminished, but the deforestation is an ongoing process. Continue reading
White whiskered spider monkey (©Will Carter)
In 2013, the Cristalino Jungle Lodge was selected as one of National Geographic Traveler magazine’s 25 Best Ecolodges. Continue reading
When running, one of my pitfalls is focusing on how much farther I have to go. This can be killing because it often seems too far, which is so discouraging that I give up. The problem is that instead of staying in the present – and thus running right now and right here – the mental focus has shifted to the future. Continue reading
Why this tiny piece of land called French Guyana offers top travel destinations:
- May be a little-visitedt territory, but if you care for nature and/or wildlife spotting, it is a top travel destination and you shouldn’t miss it. You can easily spend a 3-week holiday here. Okay, we spent closer to 3 months (over various visits), but Coen and I have the tendency to not being able to leave once we fall in love with a place.
- Has been one of our big surprises on our South America journey. This overseas department of France lies north of Brazil and east of Suriname. It has few people, lots of Amazon rainforest, a bit of savanna and a long and easily accessible coast along the Atlantic Ocean.
- Offers a diversity of trails for hikers, fun outings for families with kids, and has numerous spots for birding, watching sea turtles or other wildlife. Having said that, it is not a country for those who seek large or imposing museums or suchlike cultural places of interest. Continue reading