Eine andere Welt

26. Dezember 2016 at 0:34

Frohe Weihnachten meine Lieben!

Heute kommt mich Sarah hier in Peru besuchen und wir reisen gemeinsam für eine Weile. Deshalb bin ich wahnsinnig aufgeregt, wir haben uns fast 4 Monate nicht gesehen. Vorher ist es jedoch noch Zeit etwas ganz besonderes mit euch zu teilen.

Puh… ich glaube ich mache es mir selbst ziemlich schwer, grandiose Geschichten zu erzählen. Allein dadurch weil es schwierig ist, das zu übertreffen, was bisher schon passiert ist. Das alles soll eine Zusammenfassung sein, kein Vergleich. Ich möchte zurück blicken und wissen, ich habe unglaubliches an wahnsinnigen Orten erlebt, nicht überlegen müssen wo es mir am meisten, wo wohl am wenigsten gefallen hat.

Aber wisst ihr wo es wirklich berauschend schön ist?

Ecuador

Ein recht kleines Land, gerade gemessen an seinen riesigen Nachbarn, hält sich an Diversität oder Naturwundern keineswegs zurück. Von tiefem Amazonasjungel im Osten, über seine gigantische vulkanbespickte Andenregion, bis hin zur weißbesandeten Pazifikküste im Westen bietet es famos viel Abenteuer und Großartigkeit auf kleinem Raum.
Von der Kolumbianischen Grenze aus, wo wir 2 Tage verbrachten, düsten wir schnurstracks zur Hauptstadt Quito, um mal wieder ein wenig Ruhe in die Reise zu bringen. Der Plan: 1 Woche Quito, Spanisch lernen, Stadt erkunden und für mich: die Parkour Community kennen lernen!

Gesagt getan, allein untergekommen in einer famos spaßigen WG im Zentrum ‚Latin Brothers House‘, kaum 20 Minuten weg vom Parkour Park, geiles Stangengerüst mit unendlichen Stridemöglichkeiten.

4 Tage privater Spanischkurs mit tollen neuen Übungen und Erlebnissen, unter anderem dem ‚Mittelpunkt der Erde‘, wo ich mal wieder den Äquator erleben durfte.
Dazu brutaler Muskelkater in den Beinen, etwas zu viel Gas gegeben gleich wieder beim Training. Aber Spaß hats gemacht!

War super das gelernte Spanisch aus dem Kurs gleich in der WG und mit den Leuten vom Parkour einsetzen zu können. So macht Sprachen lernen einfach am meisten Sinn.
Kurz noch einen Vulkan bestiegen und mit 4696 Metern meinen bisherigen Höhenrekord geknackt, Eiseskälte erlebt und Schneebälle aus Hagelkörnern gemacht.

So ging die Woche recht schnell vorüber, während wir uns spontan entschieden, noch einen Abstecher hinaus auf den pazifischen Ozean zu machen. An einen Ort, der meine Vorstellung von Natur, Abenteuer und Erlebnissen im Leben völlig aus den Angeln gehoben hat. Was folgt ist dermaßen schwer in Worte zu fassen, ich versuche euch einfach rüber zu bringen wie es für mich war.

Galapagos

Stellt euch einen Flecken Erde vor, an dem es keine Menschen gibt. An dem sich Tier- und Pflanzenarten entwickeln können, weit, weit entfernt von jeglicher Zivilisation, selbst 1000 Kilometer entfernt vom kontinentalen Festland. Dieser Ort hat eine völlig andere Natur als man sie sonst erleben kann. Klar, seit einigen hundert Jahren besiedeln auch Menschen die Inseln, doch ist ein enorm großer und guter Aufwand betrieben worden, um die Natur und ihre Bewohne zu schützen und menschlichen Kontakt zu beschränken.
Und wenn man es sich einfach ohne Menschen vorstellt, könnte man glatt glauben man sei auf einem anderen Planeten. Kein Witz, diese Vulkanlandschaft mit endemischen Bäumen und Büschen bestückt, wimmelt nur so vor Leben, das es wo anders einfach nicht zu finden gibt.
Ich habe versucht mir einige Sachen vorzunehmen. Tiere zu sehen, die es nur dort gibt oder die an anderen Orten enorm schwer zu finden sind. Diese Liste sah zu Anfang folgendermaßen aus:

– Galapagos Pinguine (am Äquator auf die Racker zu treffen ist wirklich unglaublich)
– Marine Iguanas, am liebsten im Wasser (stellt euch Godzilla vor, nur in echt und kleiner, ca. 1 Meter lang mit Schwanz)
– Blue footed Boobies (auf Galapagos endemische Vögel mit blauen Watscheln)

Mit mehr hatte ich nicht gerechnet.

Noch bevor ich die zweite Insel erreichen konnte hatte ich doppelt so viele naturelle Unglaublichkeiten erlebt wie meine Liste hergab.

Auf Galapagos bin ich mit Schildkröten, Seelöwen, Pinuinen, Iguanas, Haien und Manta Rochen geschnorchelt, war mit Hammerhaien und Mola Molas (Mondfischen) tauchen, habe Vulkane bestiegen und Riesenschildkröten bestaunt, Vulkanlandschaften unter Wasser erkundet und farbenfrohste Seltenheiten der Vogelwelt entdeckt.

Vielleicht habt Ihr Lust auf Fotos?

All das (und um ehrlich sein noch sehr viel mehr) ist innerhalb einer Woche passiert, während der ich zudem noch grandiose Gastfreundschaft genießen und tiefe Freundschaften schließen durfte.

Galapagos war definitiv einer der schönsten Orte an dem ich jeweils war (siehe ältere Berichte für anmaßende Vergleiche #Borneo #Bunyunyi #Sumatra) und wird mir für immer unvergesslich in Erinnerung bleiben. Es gibt eine riesen Bandbreite an Möglichkeit diese Inseln zu erleben. Sollte jemand von euch einmal die Chance bekommen dort hin zu gehen, gebt mir Bescheid, vielleicht komme ich nochmal mit…

Nach den Inseln habe ich mich noch kurz wild in den Jungel verschlagen um Amazonas zu erleben, war mit Kate und Alex raften und in heißen Quellen baden, um die letzten Highlights auf dem Wege gen Süden noch mitzunehmen.
Nun sind wir in Peru und lassen uns mal wieder auf ein neues Land mit ganz anderen Späktakularitäten ein.

Feiert schön, bis bald.

Memories and experiences combined

15. Dezember 2016 at 21:12

4 weeks in a completely new country, the start into the last big part of the trip on this unknown continent.
And while we get so many new impressions, I can’t help but think that all this looks amazingly familiar. Hey, this looks like… Kenya! And… Laos! Unbelievable! Savanna, mountains and coast. Partly even desert-like while it’s blooming green in the highlands. Dark green hills in the morning with 10 degrees Celsius over 2000 meters, in the afternoon driving through dry corn fields at over 30 degrees in the valleys. A country full of surprises and contrasts:

Colombia.

A great start with diving and hiking through jungles to beaches, the northern coast is a magical place.

Afterwards through proper savanna south, towards the booming cities. First up: beautiful Medellín. We stayed with the parents of Kate’s friend, who helped us learn sooo much more Spanish and showed us around the city. Here, we could just take our time. As much as we wanted. Simply doing nothing for once. Or go train. Or cruise through the mountains. Or stuff myself in vegan restaurants for my birthday.

Medellín was sincerely fantastic. With its cool climate up in the mountains, it gave us a feel for the high region of central Colombia ahead of us. And that’s where I really started to love it. I went on my own for a couple of days, while Kate and Alex flew to the coast. I was up to hike some mountains!
Parque Nacional Natural de los Nevados, south of Manizales, where I couchsurfed again and got to enjoy great hospitality. Nevados means glacier. How awesome is that? Let’s go! Stuck in the mud with the bike on the way, hiking for eeeever through gorgeous landscapes over 4000m and camping at -2 degrees Celcius. Take a look:

After that, we met again on the way to Bogotá, the capital. Again we made fantastic Couchsurfing connections and met newly won friends from the mountains. A couple of nice museums, great street art and amazing vegan burgers! On top of that I found super cheap fruit again. What more do I need to be happy? 🙂 2 mangos, 5 mandarines, 4 bananas, 4 passion fruits. All together for less than 3 US$. What a dream.

Further south we started to really learn about the different faces of the landscape. Cold mountains, hot valleys, deserts, forests and so much to discover!

Seriously another great highlight of the tour. Colombia also has fantastic coffee and delicious food. The people seem to try beating each other in friendliness while we’re repeatedly surprised by natural wonders. Simply amazing.

By now we’re in Ecuador, therefore you can expect a very special episode next.

Erinnerungen und Erlebnisse gekreuzt

13. Dezember 2016 at 13:04

4 Wochen in einem völlig neuen Land, der Start des letzten großen Reiseabschnitts auf einem unbekannten Kontinent.
Und während erstaunlich viele neue Eindrücke und Bilder auf uns einwirken, kann ich kaum aufhören daran zu denken, wie viel davon mir unheimlich bekannt vor kommt. Das sieht doch alles aus wie in… Kenia! Und… Laos! Wahnsinn! Savanne, Berge und Küste. Zum Teil sogar wüstenähnlich, während es in den Hochregionen gerade zu blüht! Tief grüne Hügel am Morgen bei 10 Grad noch auf über 2000 Metern und am Nachmittag fahren wir schon durch trockene Maisfelder bei über 30 Grad in den Tälern. Ein Land voller grandioser Überraschungen und Unterschiede:

Kolumbien.

Ein starker Start mit Tauchen und Wandern durch Dschungel zu Stränden, die Nordküste ist ein wahrer Traum.

Danach durch echte Savannen gen Süden, den Großstädten entgegen. Als erstes auf dem Programm das wunderschöne Medellín. Untergekommen bei den Eltern einer Freundin von Kate hieß es viiieeel mehr Spanisch lernen und gemeinsam die Stadt erkunden. Hier konnten wir völlig entspannt ankommen und uns Zeit lassen. Einfach mal nichts tun. Oder trainieren gehen. Oder durch die Berge cruisen. Oder sich zum Geburtstag den Bauch in veganen Restaurants voll schlagen.

Medellín war wirklich fantastisch schön, mit kühlem Klima in der Höhe gab es uns einen kleinen Vorgeschmack auf die vor uns liegende Bergregion Zentralkolumbiens. Und die hat mir mal so richtig gefallen!! Hier bin ich allein los für ein paar Tage, während Kate und Alex an die Küste flogen und ruhige Zweisamkeit genossen. Für mich hieß es Berge bezwingen!
Parque Nacional Natural de los Nevados, südlich von Manizales, wo ich mal wieder couchsurfen durfte und freundlichste Gastfreundschaft genießen. Nevado heißt Gletscher. Wie stark ist das denn? Auf geht’s! Unterwegs mit dem Bike im Schlamm stecken bleiben, eeeeewig durch genialste Landschaft über 4000m wandern und bei -2 Grad Zelten. Seht selbst:

Danach trafen wir uns wieder auf dem Weg nach Bogotá, der Hauptstadt. Wieder tollste Couchsurfing Bekanntschaften und neu gewonnene Freunde aus den Bergen wieder getroffen. Einige tolle Museen, tolle Straßenkunst und grandioseste vegane Burger :0) zudem hier mal wieder extrem günstige Früchte gefunden. Was brauche ich denn schon viel mehr zum glücklich sein? 2 Mangos, 5 Mandarinen, 4 Bananen, 4 Maracujas für insgesamt umgerechnet 2,50€. Ein Traum!

Weiter gen Süden hieß es die Facetten der Landschaft so richtig kennen zu lernen. Kalte Berge, heiße Täler, Wüste, Wälder und so viel zu entdecken!

Wirklich ein weiteres großartiges Highlight dieser Tour. Kolumbien überzeugt auch mit fantastischem Kaffee und deliziösem Essen. Die Menschen scheinen sich in Freundlichkeit zu überbieten während wir wiederholt von Naturwundern überrascht werden. Einfach toll.

Inzwischen sind wir in Ecuador, damit erwartet euch als nächstes ein ganz besonderer Abschnitt.

Between borders, dialects and dishes #2

3. Dezember 2016 at 0:24

The second part of my trip through Central America

Small countries and not a lot of time. Every couple of days we reach a border. And every time we are hoping that everything goes well. You never know what exactly is needed, which stamp and form you need for the bikes and so on… sometimes it takes 2 hours until it’s all done, sometimes it takes 5, like at the border from Honduras to:

Nicaragua

There’s always an exit and entry part at every border. To leave a country here is incredibly easy. 2 stamps, one copy and done. The entry at this border however, did cost us time and nerves. 5 copies of different forms, hour long filling of some weird lists by the border officials, only to get sent over to wait for ever in line for an insurance. But hey, we made it! At least we are through and everything is alright.

From the coast off to the beach! Fall asleep to flooding rain in straw huts, good morning ring and slackline session on the beach, just the way I like it. Great people, a lot of fun.

Nicaragua lets us enjoy the ocean and mountains. Great rides to paradise places, hidden and hardly visited. Absolutely fantastic possibilities to relax. And to surf.
Dude… surfing is the BOMB! At first taken down by waves, dunked, tossed around, twisted. But then slowly the first successful attempts. And hell how much fun it is! Catching the waves properly is such an incredible feeling. It took me back the beach laughing the first couple of times. A couple more times it worked in Nicaragua and I’m enormously happy and glad that Alex is so into it. But he’s been surfing since he’s been 7! So I’ve got my teacher with me 🙂

The ride towards Lake Nicaragua got me super excited because Diane told me to hike the volcanoes on the island of Ometebe, when we met in India last year. I couldn’t wait to get there!

Ometebe simply consists of 2 giant volcanoes, reaching out of the lake and looking ridiculously mystical. Yeah, I had to get up there.

With the last ferry and together with Cactus to the island, find a hostel, start the hike directly the next morning.
A wonderfully exhausting tour up the smaller one of the two volcanoes, off of which the view was simply breathtaking. Check for yourselves:

After this it meant off to:

Costa Rica

where I should meet Diane again, after we first met last November in India (together with Dimi and Selina) on our friend Hareesh’s wedding.

A long ride with yet another exhausting border crossing brought us close to the capital of the country, into a hilly outskirt.

If only it was easier to describe how much real friendship means. You know what I’m talking about. But here, we went to visit someone I had only met a single time before, on a different continent, in her home, where we also got to know the immensely great neighbors, welcoming us into their homes as if we had always been a part of the family. It felt like we had known each other for ages and this was only another part of a beautiful and deep friendship.

From there on started a very different part of the trip for me. I wanted to see the mountains while Kate and Alex went down to the coast. 4 hours later we had planned to meet again in the evening.
The volcano tour in Nicaragua was already a solo trip but this time I had to navigate myself, what usually Alex’s phone had taken care of.

It all worked out incredibly well. In over 3200m height with the motorbike through volcano tops.
Then I rode above the clouds, turned off the engine and rolled to the coast. What I saw on the way down still makes me smile in thought today.

An honestly fantastic ride with constant memories of Felix’s first riding attempts and successes back in Thailand.

Down the coast, we continued into the last country of this segment:

Panama

Straight up into the mountains, accommodated by a super nice couple from Texas, who we had met a couple of days earlier at the border.
Great talks, calmly being together. Once more we experienced unbelievably warm hospitality. This is just what makes traveling so awesome.

Directly down to the beach, to surf one more time and onwards into Panama City.
On the morning of the 24th of October, it meant riding to Cartí and meet the group of over 10 other riders at the ferry.

2 hours on steepest jungle roads, crossing Panama width wise.

And there we encountered the Stahlratte. A Netherlandish boat under German lead, crossing the world’s oceans since 1904. Practically the only possibility for us and a strong dozen other bikers to reach Columbia alive.

Visiting tiny islands on the way, eating immense amounts of food, flying drone, snorkel and forming incredibly deep friendships. 4 days on high sea full of fun and excitement, flips and workouts. And finally motivation and time to write these posts!

But wait, did he say drone?
That’s right, hold on tight:

This means the end of our time on the North American continent and the start of the next gigantic part. Packed with even more adventures and unforgettable experiences. We can’t wait to explore it all! On top of it, Sarah will come over and join us in Peru! Until then, 2 more countries to explore and learning much more Spanish.

Take care and don’t hesitate to send me questions! I’m always happy to share even more. Thanks for being here with me, I’m excited to see every single one of you again in the future.

Between borders, dialects and dishes #1

2. Dezember 2016 at 23:25

A summary of my trip through Central America.

So many countries at once. What makes the difference?
The people.

Different… posture, gesticulations, choice of words, accent, openness, friendliness, modesty, patience, calmness, relaxation, expectations,… and choice of spices and ingredients make – beneath many other things – the main variety of the region for me.

For me? It’s all fantastic!! Even greater when constantly changing and new, different and challenging. After Mexico it started to get so unbelievably multi-faceted, that I decided to take more time to write down the experiences from 6 more countries and to connect the pictures with more thoughts and feelings.

Super small, touristic and expensive, a big surprise right after Mexico:

Belize.

The biggest city, Belize city, was uncomfortably stressful for us, loud, dirty and hot. So we had to get out of there, onto an island!
Over there the same. Only even hotter. And way more touristic. But at least we could snorkel and do yoga during sunset.

Of course, we only have little time for the places here, while we have to get down to catch our ferry in Panama. Therefore we often don’t have enough time to give a place the chance to make a good impression. But usually the first impression is always fantastic. With the coastal region of Belize, that was not the case.
Drunk, loud Australians, greedy tour operators and the missing independent character of this place was simply a little weird to us, especially after all this Mexican awesomeness. Still, there were fantastic things to discover, especially under water:

Completely in contrast then the inner parts of the country. Filled with vast highlands and jungles, this part of the tiny country invites much more to arrive and really let yourself fall for its beauty. Calmly breathing the fresh air of pine forests, listen to the sounds of mighty waterfalls… yeah, right exactly my kinda thing:

This place suddenly lacks the otherwise so clear tourist infrastructure. The region asks you to leave your comfort zone (or better the asphalted roads), to listen to the recommendations of locals and prepare for thrilling adventures. Only a few kilometers from the border to Guatemala, your thirst of adventure is stilled: Gigantic ruins in the jungle.

Off to:

Guatemala!

Minute by minute changing from blazing sun to heaviest rain, though always heat and even more heat. Cute little towns, wild forests, volcanoes and long rides. Only a few days in the country but a fantastic feeling with all the encounters. Warmly welcomed by whom we stayed with, beautiful views from the road.

I’ll definitely have to come back here, climb the active volcanoes in the south and experience intense jungle. But so far gained a nice and sweet taste for the country.

Next up on the road down towards Panama: Honduras.

Safely stored the motorbikes and off we went straight away to Utila. This little island promises great diving and relaxation.
Super cheaply accommodated, we rushed into the ocean to be amazed by the diversity in color and species. Fantastic diving experience!

Otherwise pretty full of party people, I had a lot of time to work on my handstands, study Spanish and start every day calmly and relaxed. Completely calmed down from the usually hectic times of swirling through traffic.

Back off the island we gunned through the country, to visit its capital city Tegucigalpa, gaze at volcanoes from the distance and quickly make tons of miles. Roads of perfect quality, scenically winding through the mountains. Absolut fun riding here!

3 exciting countries, deeply different and amazing. Still, fantastic moments with people remained possible everywhere, through bad communication, always warm and honest hospitality.

When time stands still… and rushes away equally

2. Dezember 2016 at 22:35

A summary of my trip through Mexico

After so many thrilling adventures in the last years, it’s getting more and more clear to me how much it means to be in the moment, to perceive nothing else than what is happening directly around me. This huge trip is giving me that almost every day. At the same time I feel time rushing past. I’ve been on the road for 2 months, visited 8 different countries and it feels like I only left the plane yesterday. The different perception is part of the experience when I’m traveling as actively as this. And the more often I realize how fast the time passes, the more I learn to appreciate each moment for itself.

You know… I like to dream and I dream a lot. Dream of adventures in distant regions and inspiring interactions in beautiful places. All this happens daily in my life. Thanks to my friends and family, incredible possibilities open up to fully live, experience unbelievable things and lead a life in happiness.
With insane adventures on already 3 continents, many of these dreams have come true. But this is something else….

Right now I’m on a sailboat in the Caribbean and am thinking about what happened during the last 2 months.
This part of the trip is a turning point on a voyage that completely takes me away, sucks me in and often keeps me reflecting, unable to believe…

Together with Alex and Kate, I’m on my way from Texas to Antarctica. Together we cross all of Mexico, Central- and South America. We are (mostly) traveling by motorbike, trying to take every chance for an adventure that crosses our path.

So here I am, with two unbelievably great friends on a dream tour through unknown continents and am writing, to share all of this with you and to save it for later.

Beginning of September 2016, after quite a bit of preparation from Germany and then Texas, we started off south to reach the first country on the way:

Mexico – up to now the absolute highlight of this tour for all of us, blew us away completely. The start into a beautiful language, open, selfless and super friendly people, incredible food and chances for adventures in jaw dropping nature, that surpassed my expectations by far!

Long, annoyingly straight roads behind the border made us realize how huge and vast Mexico actually is. From coasts over deserts and savannas into green highlands, mountain regions, jungle and pine forests.

Every person we met, every restaurant where we ate, every road, every waterfall, every beach and every cenote made us laugh in joy and magically forced broad smiles onto our faces.
Mexico makes exactly my kind of travel possible. Everything here reminded me of Asia and Africa at the same time and still remained totally different.

To give you a feeling for how amazing it was – here are a couple of photos to sum it up.

I hope you understand why only now I am starting to write… it simply was impossible to get away from experiences and to really manage it all in my head. Sarah has helped me a lot, through talks and motivation, to get a clearer view on all that happened and all the connected thoughts, to be able to write it down here.

The other countries will follow soon!

Please send me questions, I’d gladly share much more. Personally or in the comments, as you like.