|| A journey of epic proportions: four guys (Koenraad, Yvan, Wim and
myself) decided to tackle the highest peak in Africa, Mt. Kilimanjaro. At
5895m it is sometimes referred to as "the highest place on earth you can
walk to". But the reduced oxygen and the bitter cold at the top do make
for some very challenging walking! A photographic account of our
successful ascent by the
Machame route can be found here . It
also includes memories of our (sometimes exhilirating) pre- and post-climb
experiences "on level ground" in Kenya and Tanzania.
| Porter near Kili's summit
| Albania is probably one of the countries least associated with
tourism, but this is very undeservedly so! In backpacker style, along with
my American friend Robby I
bussed and hitch-hiked my way through the south and center of this
amazingly varied country: we saw charming cities (Berat,
Gjirokastër, Krujë), idyllicly set Greek ruins (Butrint),
astonishing mountains and seascape, bunkers and mercedes (symbols of the
old and the new?) as well as proud, friendly and helpful locals. Most of
all, we saw how Albania is in the process of being built up, with house
and road construction (desperately needed!) everywhere.
|| Berat: city of a thousand windows
During our trip to Australia, Krista and I had plenty of time to get
up close with the Aussie nature and wildlife.
| Beleaguered by a bunch of cuddly roos on Pebbly
| I overcame my fears of abductions and the like, and joined a trip to
the Tassili du Hoggar in southern Algeria organized by Belgian tour operator
Anders Reizen. The sense of space,
solitude and timelessness one encounters in this vast and untamed desert decidedly
feels like being in another universe. And for those who wonder, it's not
just sand you'll find - nature has sculpted some of the finest rock art here.
|| Overlooking the desert
|| They say India overwhelmes all of your senses, and it sure did to me! All in the
span of a week, I got violently ill, ecstatic with views, disgusted by tons of waste
on the streets, enchanted by delicious food, dizzy with chaos, cheated by con artists
and shown around by friendly locals. Oh yes, and I managed to celebrate Christmas there,
too. All on a budget.
Sadhus on the bank of the Ganges in Varanasi