Pamir Highway - Part 1 - Itinerary

In the Land of Solitude Here I am again, Telchac reporting :). This post and a couple more coming will be about a trip I did with a friend of mine. My love, Hojancha, supported me daily throughout the whole trip via satellite phone, even when sometimes only for a minute or two (as it is f$&#ing expensive). At such a place, it meant the world to me. 

Our goal was to conquer the highway. We were considering taking our bikes, but my friend was not as fit as I was, so we ditched the idea and rented a car instead. As the only option was to do it in Kyrgyzstan (I'll talk about that in two weeks) and we also needed to return it there, a loop was inevitable. Thus from Osh, we headed south to Sary-Tash, the last inhabited place before the border with Tajikistan. We continued through Kyzylart Pass to Murghab and then when the M-41 splits we took a left turn towards the Afghan border, crossed the Khargush Pass and descended to the lush valley along the Panj river (Hojancha commenting: &qu…

Notes from Yucatan - Part 5

Maya people & the(ir) cenotesHere's our last but not least (at least for the moment) post about Mexico. We have talked about our itinerary, our journey to Merida, our trips and Mayan sights in the area. And what else could we save for this special moment? Of course, Mayan portals to the underworld or in other words - cenotes. 
During our trip we have only been to two and a half cenote, skipping one that we could go to. But one step at a time. 

Our first cenotes experience was Ik Kil which we combined with Chichen Itza as it's only some 6 km by car. Not only did we do so, but lots of people had the same plan. This is not the almost private cenote experience that you might hope for. However, if you don't mind and just want to cross a cenote, any cenote, off your bucket list or you're on a tight schedule this will do. 

This cenote was really ready for the crowds. You have a big parking lot, lockers for your things and even a lifeguard on duty. Not your typical cenote exp…

Notes from Yucatan - Part 4

Maya people & the tripsToday we will continue with our Yucatan holiday. I will tell you about some of the amazing Mayan ruins - Chichén Itza, Coba, Kabah, Uxmal and Tulum.
Chichén Itza is probably the most visited of the ruins. However, it's huge. What I want to tell you is that despite lots of people visiting once you're in and see the pyramid you completely forget about them. 
On the day of our trip, we left Merida, let's say early - at least early for us - in the morning and came to Chichén Itza at around 10am. There had already been quite a long queue - I think we waited there for a good hour. 
Useful tip: get there early! I know we always stress that and if you go to such popular sights I think you can only agree. As early as possible, take my word! There are tour buses arriving from all the locations imaginable, I don't think you can find a place in Quintana Roo/Yucatan where they do not sell a tour to Chichén Itza. 

Nevertheless, people disappear once you reach …

Notes from Yucatan - Part 3

Merida & the tripsHi there, thanks for coming (or coming back). Today we'll continue our Yucatan adventure. If you haven't read Part 1 or Part 2, you will probably need (and want ;)) to do so. 

Our starting point for this post is our hotel in Merida. We came, left our luggage and hurried to the coast. I wanted to see Laguna Rosada - it was all over Pinterest when searching for ideas in this region - and we wanted to check out the beach there (never enough of it, right?). So Laguna Rosada - I do not know where the problem had been, possibly it was because I didn't google exact location or I googled the wrong one. Either way, we did not make it there. Instead, we found a place where we took our 'feet photo' with the so-called sponge ground. There Telchac dared me to try the water out and because the ground was really muddy and soft, the water did not look so good. But of course, I had to do it, once he asked :D. So shoes off and I was stepping into the unknown. It…

Notes from Yucatan - Part 2

On the way to Merida So you know what's coming, nothing to surprise you here anymore (Telchac is really a bigmouth, you'd agree if you knew him :D). Today I will tell you something about our first impressions and the ride to Merida. 
We landed in Cancun in the late afternoon - me still hoping we could get to the beach that day. However, by the time we got our car and got to the hotel, it was too dark to go anywhere. The process of getting a rental (with a confirmed booking, I might add) was a bit of a pain. Yep, there were a lot of people, so we had to queue. Yep, they did (and do) not really worry when waiting and generally they tend to be content all day, every day so 'ningun problema' (how so very Italian of them :D). So when we finally got our Jetta (pronounced 'yetta' in Mexico) the sun was slowly setting down. 

At the check-in we got a voucher for a free drink at the rooftop bar - sounds amazing, right? Really, an Instagram-worthy moment. Well, the reality …

Notes from Yucatan - Part 1 - Itinerary

Quintana Roo & Yucatan Hi guys, after some time we have a map and another (hopefully) interesting itinerary of our trip to Mexico, specifically the Yucatan Peninsula, for you. Our main idea, besides escaping the harsh European winter for at least two weeks, was to explore the Mexican jungle and Mayan ruins before spending a couple of relaxing days at the endless white beaches between Cancun and Tulum. 

It all began with a long flight from Europe and the first jet-lagged night waking up at 4:30 am. With a rented car, we drove directly to Merida, the capital of Yucatan, which we had chosen to be the basis for our trips during the first couple of days. In hindsight, it turned out to be a very clever decision as in ca. 1,5 - 2 hours we were able to visit Chichen Itza and Ik-Kil cenote in the east, Laguna Rosada and the pristine beaches in the north or Celestun with its colonies of flamingos in the west. 
Useful tip: Have Mexican pesos with you at all times. The US dollars don't work…

Venice is delicious! - Part 3

Venezia Happy New Year! We wish you all the best, mainly great destinations, perfect food and nice wine!Should I call this blog "Back on track"? Maybe, because when it comes to junk food and overeating, the end of the year gave us plenty of opportunities to do so. We really did eat all the stuff you don't want to eat all December. It started with our trip to Venice. But going to Italy and not eating lots of bread and pasta is like going to Italy and not eating pizza (which we did not eat :D). Keep going to find out everything about what we ate and especially where we ate it. Useful tip: if you want to eat pizza, the real pizza, try in other parts of Italy. They do not use any real ovens in the city because they are afraid the city will burn down. :D (this is also the reason why all the vetrerias are on the islands). The pizza there did look delicious but I simply didn't trust it. 

We started in Cannaregio, completely starved and ready to eat. Firstly, I want to say tha…

Venice is crowded! - Part 2

Venezia & Murano Despite the fact that we did not have any itinerary for this trip, neither did we plan to see all of the sights, we've seen quite a lot, I think. 

1) Campanile di San Giorgio Maggiore 
We chose this one (instead of San Marco) because you are only able to buy skip-the-line tickets for the San Marco's bell tower till the end of October. And there were supposed to be crazy queues (as there usually are). 
San Giorgio Maggiore is on the island called San Giorgio. To get there, you need to board the vaporetto at San Marco. Easy, breezy, cover girl :D One stop (5 minutes) and you're there. It costs 7,5 EUR per person for a 75-minute ticket which is fine, you don't have to worry you won't have enough time at San Giorgio. On your way back, make sure to get on the right boat as both directions are stopping there and you wouldn't want to take the whole round trip (it's one stop to San Marco, there are another maybe 15 stops if you take the other dire…

Venice is amazing! - Part 1

Venezia & Murano
"Your ultimate bucket list destination" - please read using the voice from every 50s' commercial that ever existed. This trip was (this is unexpected!) MY idea. To be honest it was an attempt to mock Telchac's deeply rooted hatred for touristy cities filled with masses. My inner urge to be mean did not quite translate as he liked it :D (as well as I did). 

Useful tip (that we had no clue about): check Acqua Alta forecast before going (and buying a plane ticket). If you're not keen on fishing and spending some time waist deep in (...shit is the obvious ending isn't it? :D) water, just google it. Here are some photos to support my claims. Btw this happened at the beginning of October and we just anxiously waited for the water to go away. Basic trip info: - duration: from Friday morning till Sunday evening - staying in: Cannaregio (part of Venice) - eating in: typical Italian bars - drinking in: basically everywhere, if you read this regularly you …