Hello and welcome to my blog.
I feel so happy for having a chance to explore a bit of this amazing planet where we spend our brief existence.
After years of dedication to teaching at a primary school in central London I was ready for a change. Setting off on a motorbike trip through western Europe and Morocco was like a jug of fresh water to my thirsty mouth. Then after some preparation I flew to N.York, bought a van and spent a few months crossing the United States, visiting the most spectacular landscapes in the national parks - and crying of gratitude for the privilege. I'm 42, single, I love to be on the move, to be close to nature and to jump at new experiences. I am willing to travel a lot more.
I'm currently back to London after spending 7 months in Andalucia. I shall soon take the time to update my entries here.
This blog helps me remember places, emotions, experiences and some great friends I met on my way. Some of my dearest memories are stored here. I hope you enjoy it too.
July 10th 2008
I made it to Canada! After spending a week in the big city of Calgary and a day in the small friendly Canmore, I entered a stunning wilderness area: Pine trees, meadows, pristine mountains, peaks and immaculate blue glacial lakes: that's Banff National Park. It was pure joy to get to the lakes and hike to a couple of terrific locations: Plan of Six Glaciers and Sentinel Pass. Here is my poem-like list of treasured keywords and selected photos. The cold wind on my face The rain on the path The exuberance of nature The alpine flowers The challenging hike through a patch of snow on the steep side of a mountain To carry on despite feeling worn out The ecstasy of making it all the way to the top The views all around The exciting ... read more
June 30th 2008
Arriving at the south shore of Lake McDonald in the early evening, I stood up on the rocks and felt the air getting moister and colder. The mountains were reflected in the water, boats were coming back to a tiny marina and fishermen were keeping hope as they swished their rods in a few more attempts to catch that big fish before retiring to the lodge. I took my boots off and shivered as I lowered my feet into the refreshing cold water, touching round pebbles at the lake's bottom. That made me hungry. I grabbed something to eat, returned to the shore and watched the landscape until the evening grew darker and I had to force my eyes to find the dividing line between lake and mountains; only the peak silhouettes were clear against the ... read more
June 27th 2008
I can only imagine how this intriguing landscape of geysers, hot pools, waterfalls and the canyon's naked yellow rock struck the first human beings who arrived at this place many thousands of years ago. For the native North American tribes this was holly land, an utmost sacred place; a gift of Mother Nature they worshiped and which resources they used respectfully. To European explorers and settlers it also must have been a striking surprise to see such an array of extraordinary natural features concentrated in one place. Unfortunately the explorers looked at this scenery in a completely different way from the native's perspective. One of the explorers is known for having reported they had reached a land where boiling water, steam and bubbling mud came up straight from the centre of the earth, as if ... read more
June 17th 2008
Back to fresh alpine scenery! The Grand Teton Range is a magnificent collection of snow-covered peaks, pine forests, sagebrush flats, wet meadows and beautiful lakes. The peaks rise abruptly from the broad, flat valley of Jackson Hole. The park is surrounded by two national forests, the Caribou-Targhee and the Bridger-Teton, in Wyoming State. Jackson Hole is a really pleasant modern town amid breathtaking mountain scenery, complete with a ski resort and a western, fun-filled cowboy atmosphere. I felt I was in Butch Cassidy and Sundance Kids country alright! It was great fun to spend a few days there, drive on the beautiful road to Teton Village, cycle around Aspen and go up the Aerial Tramway a couple of times to enjoy the views and a short walk on the snow-covered grounds. My first hike in the ... read more
June 7th 2008
Unexpected rain held Stefan and I in Moab for longer than planned, leaving us little time to explore this national park. Nevertheless, Canyonlands provided me with the most challenging and rewarding hiking day so far, a great chance to test my endurance on rough terrain. Island in the Sky, the north part of the park, is a broad mesa at the heart of the Colorado Plateau, split from the Maze and the Needles by two canyons carved by the Green and Colorado rivers. The view from here stretches across canyon after canyon to the horizon 100 miles distant. This is an area of arid soil where water and gravity have been the prime architects cutting flat layers of sedimentary rock into hundreds of canyons, mesas, buttes, fins, arches and spires. I had an action-packed day starting ... read more
June 4th 2008
Sand. Golden sand and long wall-like fins of rock stretching everywhere your eyes can reach. Sparsely, small bushes and Juniper trees grow in the fine sand, calmly waiting for the rain which is rarely felt on their resistant leaves. A dry, harsh environment where only strong creatures were able to adapt their systems and habits in order to survive: lizards, ravens, kangaroo rats, small reptiles and to my surprise jack-rabbits and cottontails. The latter animals look so fragile with their light-coloured fur and long ears, large dark eyes and their pink nostrils sniffing in the air, but they can certainly dodge foxes, owls and eagles by doing quick turns as they rush through the bushes and into their dens. Rabbits welcomed me to this awesome desert. As you drive through Park Avenue you are greeted by ... read more
May 31st 2008
Calf Creek was a very nice surprise. A friend of Stefan recommended it, so we took the road to check it up. The campground was full up but we asked a cyclist to share his site with us. He was happy to do so, and we got great company to chat over dinner: Wayne, a college professor who was on his way from Washington State to Kansas to visit his mother - doing the trip on a bicycle! We had some really nice conversation by the fire and I promised to Wayne I would consider his invitation to travel through Thailand on a bicycle. How awesome would that be! The next morning we set off on the trail to the waterfall. A very pleasant trail through a young forest along the river and across the canyon ... read more
May 29th 2008
Bryce Canyon's orange cliffs are the first step in a fantastic geological staircase that spills down the Colorado Plateau; Zion stands at the middle part of the staircase and Grand Canyon makes the lowest part of it. What a trio! The intricate, ornate stone pillars known as hoodoos were left standing in this canyon after ancient rivers continuously removed layers of rock from the Table Cliffs. The famous towers, pinnacles and eerie statues also result from rain and frost erosion acting from the top of the rock. They are just amazing! Red Rocks Standing Like Men in a Bowl-Shaped Canyon. This is what the Paiute Indians called this place. Wow! What a spectacular site to rest your eyes on! Somebody remarked back in 1876 that this is "...the wildest and most wonderful scene that the eye ... read more
May 26th 2008
The Very name Zion, a Hebrew word for refuge, evokes this land's significance. It doesn't come as a surprise that Mormon pioneers called this place "The Heavenly City of God". Several natural features of this breathtaking landscape have been named in a biblical fashion: The Great White Throne, The Altar of Sacrifice, Tabernacle Dome, The Court of the Patriarchs, and so on. No wonder why the Virgin River Canyon evokes the divine: melodies of soothing waters over stones, sculptured cliffs, warm and contrasting colours and an array of plants and animals never seen in such grandeur and harmony. It hasn't always been like this, though. Accumulating sediments from oceans, deserts and volcanoes were, over a period of several million years turned into stone just to be eroded by the elements into today's mighty canyons; a process ... read more
May 22nd 2008
The wind will not stop. Gusts of sand swirl before me, stinging my face. But there is still too much to see and marvel at, the world very much alive in the bright light and wind, exultant with the fever of spring, the delight of morning. Strolling on, it seems to me that the strangeness and wonder of existence are emphasized here, in the desert, by the comparative sparsity of the flora and fauna: life not crowded upon life as in other places but scattered abroad in spareness and simplicity, with a generous gift of space for each herb and bush and tree, each stem of grass, so that the living organism stands out bold and brave and vivid against the lifeless sand and barren rock. The extreme clarity of the desert light is equaled by ... read more