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

The Carian Trail – Stormy Weather in Southwest Turkey

Hiking and the Obsession with Weather; When hiking the Carian Trail doesn’t start the way we’d like to.

There is no denying: any outdoor event or activity can be made or broken by the weather. Ambivalent as I am about technological gadgets, I’m not sure that weather apps are a good development. Do they prevent you from setting out and getting soaked (or into a potentially life-threatening situation), or do they keep you put unnecessarily? Continue reading

Joining a Jain Pilgrimage to Gujarat’s Palitana Temples, India

“Don’t wear leather items like shoes or a belt.”

“Wear clean and ironed clothes. Adinath will see this and you will receive more energy for walking.”

“Chant ‘Adinath-Adinath’ at every step, which will give more energy too.”

“Don’t bring food – take just a bottle of water if you really have to. The only food you are allowed to carry to the top is rice and coconut, to offer in the temples.”

“Oh, and don’t forget to greet the other pilgrims with Jai Jinendrah!” Continue reading

The Andacollo Festival in Chile

According to its inhabitants, Andacollo is the most religious town of Chile. It features a basilica plus a second church, both of which are National Monuments. La Virgen de Andacollo is highly regarded and each first Sunday of the month she is paraded around the plaza in a procession. The first Sunday of October she is honored with a religious festival called La Fiesta Chico, but the spectacle of the year is in December: La Fiesta Grande, which lasts from the 23rd to the 27th.

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Bathing in Luxury at the Hotel Casa Gangotena in Quito

Hotel Casa Gangotena in Quito, Ecuador I was looking out over the Mediterranean dotted with a couple of sailing boats. Low rolling hills line the horizon. The image was framed by Corinthian columns covered in flowering vines. I felt as if I was on vacation in Greece, Italy, or Spain. Did that make sense, with my being 9,350 feet above sea level, in Quito, Ecuador’s capital? Not really. Continue reading

Touring the Itaipu Dam in Paraguay

I read some facts and figures about the Itaipu Dam that simply boggled my mind:

  • The construction of the Itaipu Dam, for which 50 million tons of rock were moved, took 16 years [1975-1991].
  • The dam is 643 feet high and almost 5 miles long.
  • The plant has 20 generators, which altogether have a capacity of 14,000 megawatts.
  • The construction of the dam cost 25 billion US dollars.
  • The dam supplies 90% of Paraguay’s energy and 25% of Brazil’s electric power.

Truth be told, I couldn’t wrap my head around such numbers. Continue reading

Absorbing the Story of Slavery in Redenção, Brazil

In 1873 Colonel Simião Jurumenha bought a sugarcane farm and built the cachaça factory of Douradinho in Redenção, some 80 kilometers south of Fortaleza in northeast Brazil. Ten years later slavery was abolished here, 5 years before the rest of Brazil. 130 years later, I visit the still functioning factory-cum-museum and am impressed by how well the images of those first ten years have been kept alive. Continue reading

Watching Wild and Captive Condors in Ecuador, at Hacienda Zuleta

It was almost like a dance: seven rambunctious Andean Condors hopping around chunks of mule and calf. On other days the carrion might be alpaca, sheep, or rabbit. Males generally have the first go but Awu is a female that is able to stand up for herself and makes sure she gets the piece she wants to have. When two condors wanted the same piece they each tore on a side of it as if it were a game of tug-of-war. Continue reading

Watch the Highest Polo Tournament in the World (Pakistan)

Starting from behind the goal line, holding the ball and mallet in one hand and perfectly restraining his horse with the other, the horseman slowly moves forward. When he approaches the center of the field, he spurs his horse to maximum speed, tosses the ball into the air, hits just before it reaches the ground and launches it deep into defensive territory, where scrimmage and chaos reign. Continue reading

Taking a Kitesurfing Course in Brazil, at Tatajuba Beach

From our apartment I looked out over the beach, the mouth of the lagoon and the ocean. During the morning hours it was quiet. A fisherman might be returning with his catch or somebody was going for a stroll along the shore. Somewhere after 11 am tranquility transformed into hustle and bustle, as if a silent alarm had gone off. Continue reading