Published: September 2nd 2007July 28th 2007 Around the world in 716 days
Off to new shores
As far as my feet will carry me.
Not nearly as determined and swift as Phileas Fogg but still 366 days faster than Fernando Magellan's expedition we have completed our journey around the world. And as it happens to be if you follow a circle you end up at the point where you once started.
So we are back in a world of busy people, easy meals and useless tv-series. We have the feeling that - apart from private things (including some real tragedies) - not much has changed. People's routines and everyday life are still very much the same which makes it relatively easy to come back. It is also a world where we meet good friends and great opportunities. Which furthermore facilitates our re-entry into our new old life. We really can consider ourselves lucky.
What was the best? is the question we hear the most often. Then we always hesitate and shrug our shoulders because it seems impossible to boil it down to one place or one event.
Because people prefer clear and easy answers to long and sometimes admittedly enigmatic remarks on the meaning of the word 'best' we decided to pack some of our greatest memories into some easy to read lists.
There are two kinds of people: Those who love lists and those who hate lists but read them anyway. So here we go. The latter will forgive us.
Brigitte and I did separate lists and then we merged them. Obviously, these lists cannot do justice to all the great things we did on this fabulous trip but nevertheless they give a good idea of what we did and what we liked in a relatively condensed way.
Top 25 Photos
Spread throughout the blog are 25 of our pictures which for one or another reason we like very much. Again both of us had a word and of course you might have a third opinion again. You can find more pictures in our nascent gallery
and on our lovelyplanet-homepage
Top 10 Countries
Indonesia and Chile conjointly landed on first place - outstanding maybe for the amount of unforgettable experiences and the diversity of the highlights. Closely following is Mongolia where we both feel that we have spent too little time. But maybe that's the reason why it was so good. Not surprisingly Australia also scored a top position. The place where it all started on our first big trip, once and forever for the space and the freedom.
Top 10 Adventures
We braved the waves of the Indian Ocean and scaled unimagined hights in the Andes. It was a great trip! And how could we ever forget our time with the medicine man in the Sumatran jungle?
- Trekking to Cabo Froward, Chile
- Kayaking to Maya Bay, Thailand
- Living in the jungle of Pulau Siberut, Indonesia
- Climbing Huayna Potosi, Bolivia
Crossing Lake Baikal on skies, Russia
- Roaming East Timor by motorbike, East Timor
- Walking the wild wall in Huanghuacheng, China
- Ascend Mount Wilhelm, Papua New Guinea
- Rafting the Futaleufu river, Chile
- Biking down the Death Road, Bolivia
Top 10 Landscapes
The desire to see and feel nature was maybe the strongest impulse which kept us going. That's also why you won't find a 'Top 10 Cities'-list here. Instead we searched for beaches, forests, deserts, mountains, rivers and gorges, best on foot.
- Karijini NP, Australia
- Temperate rainforest, Australia / New Zealand
- Krabi, Thailand
- Wharariki Beach, New Zealand
- Pinnacles, Australia
Rio Yacuma, Bolivia
Torres del Paine, Chile
- Iguassu Falls, Argentina / Brazil
- Noel Kempff Mercado NP, Bolivia
- Karst hills, Yangshuo, China
Top 10 Cultural Highlights
Europe is particularly represented in this category because we focused mainly on great edifices. The big exception is Auschwitz which obviously is not a cultural highlight but a site not to miss on any tour de Europe.
- The Moais, Easter Island, Chile
- Cesky Krumlov, Czech Republic
- Macchu Picchu, Peru
- Hermitage in St. Petersburg, Russia
Temples of Luang Prabang, Laos
- Trakai Castle, Lithuania
- Cusco, Peru
- Buddha caves, Datong, China
Top 10 Wildlife Encounters
Standing eye to eye with an orang-utan was a truly emotional moment. For everything I knew about genetic analogy I did not expect them to be that human - unforgettable! We are particularly proud that we managed to spot a wild kiwi, something most New Zealanders don't succeed in during a lifetime.
- Mantas, Komodo Island NP, Indonesia
- Penguins, Punta Tombo, Argentina
- Orang-Utans, Bukit Lawang, Indonesia
- Fish, Samarai Island, Papua New Guinea
Gibbons, Khao Yai NP, Thailand
- Seals, Wharariki Beach, New Zealand
- Sealions, Surat Bay, New Zealand
- Tasmanian Devil, Overland Track, Australia
Kiwi, Trounson Forest, New Zealand
- Black spidermonkeys, Noel Kempff Mercado NP, Bolivia
Top 10 Special Moments
- Experiencing a Singsing, Papua New Guinea
- Driving home after a good day's work on the field, Australia
- Cave diving on the Poor Knights Islands, New Zealand
- Enjoying the sunset in Ruamahunga Bay, New Zealand
- Arriving in Dili, East Timor
- Listening to the morning song of the gibbons, Thailand
Moving into "our house" at Lake Toba, Indonesia
- Sleeping under the stars inmidst the Bungle Bungles, Australia
Making a phonecall in Russian, Omsk, Russia
- Playing soccer with kids on Kiriwina Island, Papua New Guinea
To all the people we met along the way and hence became a part of our great adventure. To all those who are still surfing our blogs, look at the pictures and even read the words. To Ali for creating this excellent site.