A Travellerspoint blog

By this Author: dutchnomad

Botswana.. the country with cafe's and combis

So I arrived to Gaborone on Valentine's Day ( which I spent on the bus from Pretoria) and the border crossing was a little long and strict. Chris, my couchsurfing host, came to pick me up from the bus, and we ended up cooking with another friend Sheila. The next few days were filled with coping with the dry heat of Gaborone, cafe hopping, seeing the monument, going to eat and seeing Die Hard 5, a Hash run, and yoga (3 times!) I have been trying to figure out which way to head up North, and Chris' amazing hospitality has definitely made it easy to stay a few days longer in Gabs, even though there really isn't much to see or do. So i'm off tomorrow to Nata, from where I will head over to the Salt Pans. the plan is to then head over to Gweta to see another part of the Pans, then Maun and see the Okavango Delta (perhaps try to hire a plane and fly over), Sepupo and see the Tsodillo Hills, then back East to see Chobe National Park and head into Zambia! I have only a few pictures of Botswana so far..and they are mostly from a grocery store!DSC_4948.jpgDSC_4947.jpgDSC_4946.jpgDSC_4945.jpgDSC_4944.jpgDSC_4942.jpgDSC_4941.jpgDSC_4939.jpgDSC_4938.jpgDSC_4937.jpgDSC_4936.jpgDSC_4935.jpgDSC_4934.jpgDSC_4933.jpgDSC_4932.jpgDSC_4931.jpgDSC_4930.jpg

Posted by dutchnomad 07:30 Comments (0)

Day 135 : Last day on Reunion Island

Bon Jou!

So i've been here for almost a month (I ended up extended my plane ticket another week, which ended up being perfect because on my original departure date there was a cyclone so I would not have been able to leave anyways!) Since the hiking and volcano, Philippe took me on a tour 'round the island (220km) so easily done in a day. We passed by many beaches, waterfalls, cascades, lava runnings, and creole villages. We passed by the sugar cane fields in the northeast, then where they grow the 'best vanilla in the world' on the east coast. There is a church 'Notre Dame des laves' which was spared from the lava runnings which took out the whole town of Sainte-Rose in 2007. Literally the lava entered 2/3 meters into the church and just stopped, then the rest of the lava split around the church and ran down to the ocean.

Another day, Virginie and I went up to go on a hike in the Foret de Belouve (which is a primary forest, a cold rainforest) and had a nice 7km hike through la Plaine des Palmistes, with some interesting palm trees. On our way back home, we stopped to find some Indian temples. The cultures are very mixed here, french, creole, indian, indigeneous, chinese, etc. and most everyone gets along. The Tamoule religion is very exciting, they walk on fire and pierce needles through their bodies during festivals. They are very welcoming to people joining celebrations. We found the temple by accident, I saw a boulangerie on the side of the road and we quickly stopped and when we got out of the car, there was the temple! We would have just drove past it. There was a guardian who showed us around and told us about the religion (they cook 500kg rice during celebrations!)

Since then we also went to go visit Salazie, one of the three cirques (Mafate, Cilaos, Salazie) from which the views are just incredible into the cliffs and mountains. with cascades coming out of the side of the mountains themselves. We had a panini in town with a view on the Voile de la Mariee, which is a series of cascades.

Otherwise I've seen some great markets full of fruits and vegetables (fresh passion fruit, mmmm!), seen many sunsets and spent some time at the beaches (black sand, coral reef, rock beaches), enjoyed some local live music.

It's my last day and i'm sad to leave, but excited to head off to Botswana!


Posted by dutchnomad 12:20 Archived in Reunion Comments (0)

Bien, Bien, Bien, Bien...Habituez-vous a etre satisfait

L'ile de la Reunion :)

Amsterdam-Munich-Johannesberg-Mauritius-Reunion...but I finally made it!

I left wednesday and arrived friday morning after a number of hours of travel. I got picked up by Youri and Virginie (whom I met at Mada) and i'm here to stay for 3 amazing weeks. I also met up with Arnaud, the frenchman who I met in Mada too. Arnaud and I set off saturday morning to climb the highest peak here on the island 'Le piton des neiges', though there is rarely now (maybe once it happened). We left from sea level and hiked about 4/5 hours up to the refuge at 2500 meters where we slept. it was tiring and i must've done about a thousands squats and lunges on the way up! We met some nice people and most people got up at 3am to hike the last bit for sunrise. My legs were feeling tired, but it was so worth it in the end! We could literally see the ocean on both sides of the island (seeing as its about 90kmx50kms) and the clouds were over by the volcano and falling over the cliffs..just incredible. We hiked back all the way down a different way, which was even steeper but amazing all the same.

The following day we decided to go see the volcano (Piton de Fournaise) but we got there at about 3pm so we couldn't hike all the way up. The clouds were nice enough to let us see everything. I will definitely be going back up there for a nice loonngg 20km hike around the craters and volcano self. We hiked down onto the lava fields and sat in a crater for a while then decided to head home. I suppose not everyone can say they've done that :) I decided the next day to spend it with Virginie on the beach..mostly to let my body recover!

I have yet to go into a lava tunnel and explore some waterfalls and towns, but so far the island has been incredible! It's definitely not everywhere where you can go from 30+ degrees to 15 degrees in a hour and have drastically different landscapes..forests, cows in fields, tropical jungle, the beach...wow! there's so much french influence (duh!) but the food is delicious, I can sort of (not really) understand Creole, and you can't beat french boulangeries :)


Posted by dutchnomad 08:02 Archived in Reunion Comments (0)

Nederland en Morokko

i got so used to speaking French for a month, it was nice to return to a (slightly) warmer french speaking country, Morocco! I have spent the Christmas and New Years holidays with family in the Netherlands and Morocco. Morocco was awesome! We landed in Marrakech and stayed in a Riad, then off inland to Ait Ben Haddou, close to Ourazazate for New Years, then back to Marrakesh for a night. the scenery is really something else, sometimes you have to really have to look closely because the towns are the same color as the mountains and blend right in! Youssef, the guy who worked in the Riad, took me on his motorcycle to a local market for me to buy some cheaper items, he said i was his girlfriend and not a tourist and got good prices (haha). The roads were definitely chaotic, so riding around on his motorcycle was definitely exciting. The night market was also fun, Daniel and I played a game where you have a fishing pole with a ring attached at the end, and you must put the ring over the top of a soda bottle, if you manage, you get to keep the bottle...it definitely tested our patience. In Ait ben Haddou, we took a dromadaire ride to some caves and back, which was as they say 'the boat of the desert' because you definitely get josseled around a bit! For new Years, Tessa, Daniel and I kept up with the 'Nieuw Jaar's Duik' tradition and jumped into the cold pool at about 2am with a room full of people looking at us funny :) The ride back to Marrakech was just as beautiful...the road winds around and through the mountains. There are men who sell beautiful quartz rocks along the side of the road, as well as tajines and plates and argan oil. We also went to a Hammam and got scrubbed down with salts and essential oils, with a nice massage afterwards! Dromadaire ride with the family to some caves was also done, and it was fun to climb around the caves and through a little town..My dromadaire Maryline was so sweet, if you said 'bisous' she would lean over and kiss you!
I even got to touch some snow! I thought I would skip winter, but it was quite chilly in Morocco. We drove to an Oasis, visited the Jardin Marjorelle in Marrakesh, which is a beautiful garden filled with all kinds of species of Cacti. DSC_2655.jpgDSC_2661.jpgDSC_2667.jpgDSC_2669.jpgDSC_2671.jpgDSC_2673.jpgDSC_2676.jpgDSC_2680.jpgDSC_2684.jpgDSC_2704.jpgDSC_2706.jpgDSC_2711.jpgDSC_2718.jpgDSC_2729.jpgDSC_2735.jpgDSC_2737.jpgDSC_2740.jpgDSC_2746.jpgDSC_2751.jpgDSC_2752.jpgDSC_2760.jpgDSC_2763.jpgDSC_2766.jpgDSC_2771.jpgDSC_2773.jpgDSC_2777.jpgDSC_2781.jpgDSC_2785.jpgDSC_2799.jpgDSC_2801.jpgDSC_2807.jpgDSC_2813.jpgDSC_2818.jpgDSC_2821.jpgDSC_2823.jpgDSC_2838.jpgDSC_2846.jpgDSC_2848.jpgDSC_2849.jpgDSC_2856.jpgDSC_2863.jpgDSC_2865.jpgDSC_2882.jpgDSC_2871.jpgDSC_2904.jpgDSC_2936.jpgDSC_2937.jpgDSC_2942.jpgDSC_2958.jpgDSC_2960.jpgDSC_2965.jpgDSC_2968.jpgDSC_2973.jpgDSC_2978.jpgDSC_2983.jpgDSC_2988.jpgDSC_2991.jpgDSC_3000.jpgDSC_3003.jpgDSC_3005.jpgDSC_3038.jpgDSC_3039.jpgDSC_3071.jpgDSC_3073.jpgDSC_3092.jpgDSC_3095.jpgDSC_3098.jpgDSC_3102.jpgDSC_3114.jpgDSC_3151.jpgDSC_3155.jpgDSC_3168.jpgDSC_3171.jpgDSC_3174.jpgDSC_3182.jpgDSC_3187.jpgDSC_3208.jpgDSC_3218.jpgDSC_3221.jpgDSC_3232.jpgDSC_3239.jpgDSC_3265.jpgDSC_3274.jpgDSC_3290.jpgDSC_3296.jpgDSC_3302.jpgDSC_3304.jpgDSC_3319.jpgDSC_3321.jpgDSC_3333.jpgDSC_3334.jpglarge_DSC_3349.jpgDSC_3368.jpgDSC_3382.jpgDSC_3392.jpgDSC_3406.jpgDSC_3410.jpgDSC_3413.jpgDSC_3417.jpgDSC_3431.jpgDSC_3436.jpgDSC_3438.jpgDSC_3444.jpgDSC_3446.jpgDSC_3448.jpgDSC_3453.jpgDSC_3454.jpgDSC_3464.jpgDSC_3465.jpgDSC_3472.jpgDSC_3473.jpgDSC_3492.jpgDSC_3509.jpgDSC_3513.jpgDSC_3514.jpgDSC_3532.jpgDSC_3533.jpgDSC_3543.jpgDSC_3558.jpgDSC_3563.jpgDSC_3572.jpgDSC_3581.jpgDSC_3582.jpgDSC_3598.jpgDSC_3601.jpgDSC_3602.jpgDSC_3615.jpgDSC_3620.jpgDSC_3631.jpgDSC_3639.jpgDSC_3661.jpgDSC_3681.jpgDSC_3767.jpgDSC_3770.jpgDSC_3797.jpgDSC_3799.jpgDSC_3800.jpgDSC_3813.jpgDSC_3817.jpgDSC_3830.jpgDSC_3842.jpgDSC_3845.jpgDSC_3846.jpgDSC_3848.jpgDSC_3854.jpgDSC_3856.jpgDSC_3863.jpgDSC_3877.jpgDSC_3884.jpgDSC_3902.jpgDSC_3911.jpgDSC_3913.jpgDSC_3917.jpgDSC_2540.jpgDSC_2541.jpgDSC_2542.jpgDSC_2544.jpgDSC_2566.jpgDSC_2577.jpgDSC_2579.jpgDSC_2586.jpgDSC_2588.jpgDSC_2593.jpgDSC_2599.jpgDSC_2602.jpgDSC_2604.jpgDSC_2608.jpgDSC_2615.jpgDSC_2639.jpgDSC_2652.jpgDSC_3920.jpgDSC_3922.jpgDSC_3929.jpgDSC_3933.jpgDSC_3934.jpglarge_DSC_3945.jpgIMG_3638.jpgIMG_3655.jpgIMG_3658.jpgIMG_3660.jpgIMG_3661.jpgIMG_3684.jpgDSC_3718.jpgDSC_3742.jpg

I have a sweet tooth but man do Moroccans like their sugar, mint tea with sugar, the deserts and meals can be very sweet... it was amazing to see the family again and now i'm off to Reunion Island :)

Posted by dutchnomad 06:54 Archived in Morocco Comments (0)

More Mada pictures :)

So i'm in the Netherlands now for the holidays and i figured it should show another side of Mada...the beautiful beaches and awesome stone forests :)
I Tananarive, Arnaud and I played Petanque with some locals (and beat them!) I ate Baobab fruit (marshmallow textured but not much flavour), Swam with a sea turtle and beautiful rainbow coloured fish while snorkeling on Nosy Tanekely island..wandered around the fake christmas tree filled streets of Tananarive and ate fresh fish by the Emerald Sea which we went along to catch (though we didn't actually get to catch any, as if i could shoot at a beautiful fish anyways...)

Posted by dutchnomad 05:58 Archived in Madagascar Comments (0)

(Entries 1 - 5 of 19) Page [1] 2 3 4 »