Congratulations!, i know how wonderful it is to actually travel the world i did this myself years ago.
But looking from your blog you went beyond just simply around the world, i feel jealousy reading all that.
Its a unique experience of freedom something many people won't understand.
I envy you right now, Be safe on your travels and enjoy it.
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4/11/2016 Necromancer purchasable new hero! Yay for micro transactions!
Thank you Activisi... uhmm Blizzard!
A lot of stuff happened back in March 2015 during my two weeks of hiking in the El Chaltén region in the Argentinean portion of Patagonia. In this first part, you will see El Calafate, the hikes to Laguna de los Tres, Laguna Torres, Loma de las Pizarras and finally, the first half of the hike to Paso del Cuadrado until we got stuck in a snowstorm and had to put up an emergency shelter at Laguna Piedras Blanca.
30/03/2015 Day 6 on Antarctica started early again at 06:30 with a delicious breakfast. We would have our coldest day so far and be surrounded by at least 20 whales while attempting to strike another landing at Cuverville Island.
After a lot of blue sky and sunshine in the last days, we were now surrounded by a thick layer of low hanging clouds, covering the icy peaks around us in mysteriously looking fog. I really loved the atmosphere and it was a great contrast to the previous days. We could also spot some humpback whales in the distance, occasionally pressing out water through their blow hole, but sadly never really appearing over the surface. It was freezing cold this morning and thoughts of staying in the warm bed rather than waiting for the Zodiac to venture out into the cold Antarctic Ice were present, but obviously, never really pursued. On the beach, the Expedition Team briefed us on the main attractions to be taken that morning: One to walk north to overlook the entrance to the Errera and see the busy Gentoo rookeries there and then another at the opposite end of the beach to overlook icebergs and more penguins.
Cuverville island contains the largest Gentoo rookery in the area and at an earlier stage of the season, we would now face a horrible smell from all the penguin poo. Luckily for us, it was freezing cold and most of it covered in ice or snow. We had to be pretty careful walking around on the icy patches and observed the Gentoo penguins minding their own business. This usually involved just standing around and watching at us, sleeping, swimming, lying down, eating or even disco dancing their muscles. Some of them grouped up in a small pool at the shore, having a little pool party while others joined us to stare at the ocean when groups of humpback whales came by to show a glimpse of their body. Again, they would not emerge further unfortunately, but it was certainly nice to have them around!
Some chicks were present among the penguins as well, looking pretty funny with their Iroquois hair style. And of course, we also had some seals around again. This time though, we had to be a bit more careful though because they seemed pretty aggressive according to our crew. So we watched them fight it out between each other from a safe distance while the penguins came to check us out. My feet got really cold after a while and I decided to head back to our Ship. Basically, we had the freedom to stay a bit longer or shorter in each place if we wished, because enough zodiacs (six in total I believe it was) were always around and waiting for passengers to pick up – pretty good organisation and the luxury of using a small Ship as well! Watching the amazing icebergs around us in the zodiac as we were brought back, I couldn’t wait to get inside and warm up my body.
Back on board for 11:30, there was not much time to warm up. I spent around 15 minutes inside before people starting to yell that we were having whales around, so of course, I was heading out again as well! All around the ship were humpback whales performing: sleeping, tail lobbing, rolling around lazily and slapping their fins in the water. I could count around (20!) whales around us, all of them humpbacks, some bigger, some smaller but most of them pretty tired as it seemed. Everyone was out watching around for over an hour in the still cold day, I was switching between the outside deck and the inside to stare out of the window while warming up my hands. At some point, the action increased and some humpbacks were actually jumping out of the water, right at the bow of our ship! It was so amazing to see it in this landscape, and I really would have loved to capture it on pictures as well. Sadly, my Sony A3000 was really much slower than my broken A6000 and messed up with the auto focus, denying me the shots.
The crew called for Lunch and no one went in to eat. The whale show was exceptionally exciting and I was pretty sure that they would keep the food warm for us. We would navigate into a snow storm soon after, abruptly ending it though. While the passengers enjoyed the great lunch, we were approaching our next stop: Foyn Harbour. Instead of a landing, we were supposed to have a Zodiac tour to get super close to the whales. To my big disappointment, it was cancelled though due to lack of time and poor visibility. So we sat at anchor, in silky seas, with pale grey light all round with occasional patches of low visibility in snow flurries. Most people now finally retreated to their cabins until another whale was sighted. After hours of watching them in the cold, nearly everyone stayed inside now though. I didn’t, in the hope to get some more good shots done.
Later on, I joined the presentation about whales and played a round of chess with one of the guys on the ship while the snow storm around us made sure that we could not see a thing. Around 18:00 though, it cleared up and put the scenery in an amazing light. One side of the Ship was highlighted by the last pieces of blue sky, while the other turned into a pinkish orange light, producing a breath taking evening panorama. At 20:00, we started our night-long sail through the Gerlache Strait and parts of the Bransfield Strait towards the South Shetland Islands. As every day, the crew would let us know what we would do the next day and for tomorrow, it really sounded great: We would pass through Neptune´s Bellows into Whalers Bay for a morning landing at Deception Island, the caldera of an active volcano.
Okay Im getting the "Non Latin Unicode characters are temporarily not allowed." message again and am not sure where its coming from, so im just pasting a part of the report for now. Click on the link below to read the rest then!
I'll be "in between jobs" soon and I'm considering doing something similar. This thread literally brought me one step closer to leaving everything behind...
I've got a few (quite practical) question, if you don't mind:
1) I've seen this graphic of your total/avg spending on your blog. That caught my attention because the spending is so incredibly low - how did you manage that? I've got three big topics... first: accommodation. I guess couchsurfing (i.e., staying somewhere for free) is a big part of it, but what about the 12 bucks a day in the US? When I was there I felt that even AirBnB is not very popular, and cheap hostels are hard to find (as opposed to, for example, Brazil or many other countries). And if you find them they're easily 20-40 bucks depending on the region. Incidentally, 18 avg in Brazil is relatively high, so I guess there you went with hostels/backpackers, but it was the highest overall on your trip! So... what's your secret for other places? I know that in other South American countries couchsurfing works well, but what about Canada?
Second, food also caught my eye. Did you consciously make an effort to minimize food spending, or is it just the result of always getting the first best choice - street food, simple restaurants? It's not difficult at all to get by with 9 bucks per day if you just eat arroz com feijão every day, but one trip to a churrascaria (which is a must if you stay in Brazil in my opinion) is 20-30 already. Or did you get some free meals due to couchsurfing?
Third, what's not included is travel - the flights in between locations, but also the bus/train tickets within a certain country. Can you estimate how much one needs to keep in mind for that and if there are any tips and tricks to consider? Blue ticket was something I always had in mind, but just realized it's not an option anymore due to the age thing ;-)
2) Many people prepare such trips way ahead of time. Can you - off the top of your head - name a few things one absolutely *has* to prepare well in advance? Like - what has to be done 3 months before, 6 months before and so on.
Seriously, your blog is such an inspiration (and has been for many years before, just naming Kilimanjaro here ;-)). Absolutely amazing stuff!
Hey, thx for your feedback! It will take a bit of time to answer all the questions and right now im a bit in a hurry, do you mind putting them as a comment in my blog? Then it will pop up as a mail when im home and i can answer it when I have time again Thanks!!!
This is the second part, again I cant really post the complete thing here because of the Unicode stuff :/
I was happy to leave the rat-infested camp of the first night behind and fixed the holes in my new tent. Happy for the sun to provide warmth after a cold morning, I soon got to see the first splendid views on Glaciar Grey in the distance. My plan was to hike up to Paso John Gardner, but I knew that the circuit was officially closed and when two french hikers passed me on the way down after being sent back from a ranger, I had to come up with a damn good first impression in order to convince him to let me pass
I was not particularity pleased with the first night. Rats were attracted to my new tent, trying desperately to give me some company inside and they would even climb up the trees and then jump on top of my little home!! I did not get a lot of sleep since I was either annoyed by the noise they made or busy hitting their little noses poking through the tent. After fixing it with duct tape in the morning, I started to hike at 09:30 while everyone else was still having their breakfast. The sun showcased the grass in a beautiful golden color on the ground while the horizon was filled by blue sky and the majestic mountains – such a delight for the eye!
The third day of my trek in Torres del Paine National Park would finally lead me to one of the highlights: Paso John Gardner. I was happy to wake up full of energy after a very comfortable night without any rats around this time and had to cross a second hanging bridge, spanned high above the valley at an awesome viewpoint of the glacier. Taking pictures in that situation turned out to be pretty difficult because of the bridge’s movement
A very unstable ladder helped me to climb down a cliff face and reach the second hanging bridge. Compared to the first one from yesterday, it was even longer and higher, resulting in even more vibrations as soon as you start walking on it. Throw in a tiny handrail and you got your self into a pretty shacky situation! Nevertheless, the view on the glacier from the middle of the bridge was just too amazing to not take any pictures, so I reached for my camera and carefully took some pictures while the bridge was still swinging. I’m usually not that afraid of heights, but in this situation I was just worried about dropping my camera and really relieved to have made it to the other side! I just wonder how people suffering from fear of heights are supposed to cross this stage of the trek