Nepal
Galapagos
Bhutan
Kenya
Bali
Salkantay
Chang Mai
Cuba
MP
Serengeti
Tibet
Fiji
Borneo
Zanzibar
Transfagarasan

The most beautiful mountains

My little mountain expedition had not been difficult to organize. I had opted for a route considered easy compared to the usual ones in the Himalayas: it would have lasted five days, and it would not have taken me higher than ten thousand feet. Most importantly, it would have offered me unforgettable views of the Annapurna massif. The receptionist at the hotel…

Bali: things I didn’t expect (2)

(read Part 1 here) When we were visiting a temple, Agung drew my attention to one of the pavilions near the entrance. “This is where the cockfights take place,” he explained. “Cockfighting, here?” I asked, surprised. “What for?” The basic reason was not entertainment, my guide hurried to clarify. On the contrary. The cockfights had a sacred purpose, and they…

Bali: things I didn’t expect (1)

Bali is known to many as a beach destination, but this is not how I would remember it. I wasn’t attracted by the party vibe that the resorts on the west coast were famous for, so I had chosen to go to Sanur, a relatively quiet town on the opposite side of the island. In reality, because the high season…

Galapagos – the last sanctuary

On few travels have I not witnessed the consequences of mass tourism, where not even uninhabited or protected areas were spared of overcrowding, noise, or garbage pollution. My impression was that the most pristine and beautiful places on the planet only survived because distance or access restrictions kept them away from human invasion. Tossed in the middle of the Pacific…

A late start on Kilimanjaro

Since I first saw Mount Kilimanjaro, at the Kenyan border near Amboseli, I could not stop thinking: “How the hell am I going to climb up there?” Back home, when I was preparing my trip to Tanzania, I would not have even dared to dream about ascending Africa’s highest peak, almost twenty thousand feet above sea level. But as I was…

Stories with lions

The arrival of the dry season meant that it was time for the animals of the savannah to migrate north from the Serengeti plains, across the Tanzanian border, to the cooler and greener Maasai Mara Plateau in Kenya. When the rains started up again, they would go back the same way. The wildebeest migration is one of the most spectacular…

The filthiest place in the world

I was in the Sabah province, in the far north of Borneo, heading from the Kinabatangan river valley to my next destination, the Danum Reservation. After unforgettable encounters with elephants and orangutans, the time had come for a completely different experience: a descent into the bowels of the earth, into the famous Gomantong Cave. In the darkness of that cave,…

Orang Asli: a visit to the jungle people

Upon entering the Taman Negara reservation, I was assigned a local guide – a small, thin, and very polite young man named Danny. He was a great admirer of the traditions and way of life of the indigenous people. He sometimes went hunting with them in the jungle, with nothing but a spear and a bow, and slept in the trees at…

The house in Havana

Someone was waiting for me at the airport to drive me to my guesthouse in Havana. As it was late in the evening, the first thing that struck me was the almost complete darkness of the streets. Old images of the life behind the Iron Curtain in Eastern Europe instantly came to mind, and have continued to return on countless…

Trekking in Annapurna

This is a video about my trip to the beautiful town of Pokhara and the scenic Poon Hill trek in the Annapurna massif, Nepal. Compared to the 7-8000 m high peaks of the Himalayas, the one that I climbed (3210 m) was called by the locals a “hill”…

The Mustang from Pokhara

My adventure in the Himalayas was meant to start in Pokhara, a picturesque Nepalese town on the shores of a vast, clear lake at the foot of the Annapurna massif. The surface of the lake, framed by purple water lilies, reflected the surrounding mountains, which were dominated by Machapuchare, a razor-sharp, 22,793 feet high peak. Permanently covered in snow, Machapuchare is revered…

A lonely beginning on the Camino

My first vacation alone took place a year before, though I had not planned it. I had gone to Greece with some friends; however, it turned out that our plans would soon diverge. I had first considered going back home, but I changed my mind at the last minute and decided to continue the journey by myself. The rather positive…