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I recently made up my mind to quit my job and start traveling the world for about 2 years starting Monday, September 1st, 2014!
The following first Draft shows the route I'd like to take but it will change a lot while I start to actually plan it - not even sure if I will go East or West bound yet, but it will probably be west so the arrows might actually turn out wrong in the end.
I will document the planning process and of course the trip itself on myBlog!
Whoever wants to virtually follow me on that journey should do that via Facebook :-)
I was gonna say "Going to Africa and miss Kilimanjaro/Tanzania? That's a mistake" when I saw your signature. And then I realized I have read your blog already! On the Kilimanjaro forum, where you posted your amazing Barrhorn hike (which is on my bucket list for next year). I'm the one who's addicted to hiking, if you're wondering about my username there ;-)
That's an awesome world trip, mine would probably look similar - but I think I wouldn't have the guts to just quit everything and travel for two years. Kudos, sir! And don't plan too much. Seriously. Many things will change anyways "on the road". I know so many people who traveled around the world, and they all fell in love with at least one place and stayed for much longer there, some of them even eventually cancelling other parts of their plan.
13/12/2014 The 2nd part of my Greenland Videos delayed my live updates a bit, sorry about that! I am currently in Antigua Guatemala and just came back from an amazing climb to Volcan Acatenango, overlooking the very active Volcan Fuego. Check out my Instagram Picture for a little preview before I get my hands on a report! In the meanwhile, I hope you will enjoy some more pictures from Yucatan’s Maya temples and Cenotes in this post
The Ek Balam Maya ruins are very close to Valladolid and combined with the great Cenote X’Canche, it was just something I could not miss since I skipped the world famous Chichen Itza ruins. I just don’t like the fact that they restored it so much (even removed all the jungle around it!) and that it is just swarmed by tourists. Instead I would use my time to get to the very remote ruins of Calakmul in the south, but more on this on another live update soon to come!
Cenote X’Canche was just awesome, for a few reasons: Looks extremely cool, not crowded at all, perfect sink hole shape and last but not least: Very safe jump from about 14m into into the cenote! Overall, it has been my favorite Cenote in the Yucatan!
19/12/2014 Turns out the west of El Salvador features some pretty amazing little villages, especially the one that I am staying in now, Juayúa. People here are so friendly and I can barely see any tourists at all on the beautiful streets. I will leave today heading to the El Imposible National Park; but before I do so, check out the update about one of my highlights in the Yucatan: The remote ruins of Calakmul, once one of the biggest cities of the Maya!
I spent hours figuring out the best and most direct way from Mérida to the area of Calakmul since I tried to avoid driving along the west side of the Yucatan. Due to a local bus strike, I was eventually forced to stop by in Campeche and make my way further down south and then east to my destination. Campeche actually turned out to be very nice so I was not sad at all to drive some extra km. The only trouble I had was getting a taxi to the ADO bus terminal to make it in time because all taxis were full and did not stop for me. In the end, I just barely made it though and even met a German couple that would go to Calakmul as well, so we decided to join forces.
Calakmul had always been the one ruin that I was looking forward to the most. The main reason being the fact that it is so remote. First you have to get to Xpujil and based from there either have a private car or hire a taxi to drive into the jungle for another two hours of driving. The other reason being the fact that it used to be one of the biggest ancient Maya sites, fighting with Tikal in Guatemala at some point in history, better check Wikipedia for that since they know the details
We stayed the night in a nice place (including a swimming pool) and organised a taxi driver for 1200 pesos, so 400 pesos or about 22€ each. This deal was pretty sweat actually since the driver would wait for us at Calakmul for about 4 hours and then another 2 hours and the Becan ruins on the way back. Usually they charge a bit more for that. The driver picked us up the next morning and after 30 minutes or so, I asked him if I could maybe drive a bit. He did not hesitate to stop the car and from then on I was in charge of getting us to the ruins, driving about 80 minutes through the jungle
As imagined, we were completely alone in the huge complex. Only one other car arrived before us but we didn’t really see the people since it’s spread out so much. The ruins were amazing, including some of the biggest Maya temples you will ever see. There is also a lot of wildlife around and you can hear and spot monkeys while you walk around the jungle from one temple to the other. Being on top of the biggest pyramid, we could even spot the El Mirador ruins in Guatemala way in the distance!
Jochen was driving us back to Xpujil, but before we could enjoy a final amazing Torta they would serve there, we had one final stop and it turned out to be my absolute favorite of all the Maya ruins: Becan. But more on that in a separate update in a few days!