Travels in 2005

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 Beach
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

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