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Surfing with bulls on Sumatra

We are landing in Padang in western Sumatra. The kamikaze driver provides a quick transfer from the airport to Bukittinggi. Three hundred thousand rupees and less than two hours later we’re (safely!) in place. We stop in the slightly forgotten Rajawali Homestay. There is no bedding or running water, but there is ‘still water’ in…

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Romania by Yellow Bus

The first hours in Romania are not easy. We are trying to pass through endless kilometers of road works. It’s not just swinging traffic and unexpectedly deep holes. It’s also about speeding kamikaze trucks and poorly marked dangerous sections of the road. Provided we can survive it, everything is gonna be fine. I’m glad that…

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Alsace and the Upper Rhine trail

Rhine River originates on the hilly slopes of the Swiss Alps and it gradually grows in strength with every kilometer it passes. Its headwaters set boundaries for the three European countries: France, Switzerland and Germany. Being in the area it is worth to visit all of these. I’m enchanted not by the Swiss scenery, but…

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Once upon a time in Paris

If you are crossing France you do not need a map. The capital by some strange sort of coincidence will always be on your way. I still have about two days before my friend’s wedding. The venue is in Beauvais near Paris, so I decide explore that area for the next couple of days. By…

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Morning train to Hsipaw

I have accidentally arrived to Mandalay at 3 am. What can you do at this hour? Probably just try to get away. I grab my backpack and hop on a motorcycle taxi. We rush through the big city’s darkness towards railway station. To my surprise, even at this early hour there is a lot of…

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Where the garlic grows (Kalaw to Inle Lake)

We are going to take a double-decker pickup towards Kalaw. In fact, it is an ordinary pickup, with the difference being that people sit on a roof. Interestingly, local women are not allowed to sit on vehicle’s roof, because it is “not appropriate”. The car keeps overheating, but the situation is under control as long…

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Land crossing into Myanmar

The overland travel to Myanmar, former Burma, had crossed my mind long time ago when visited Southeast Asia for the first time. Even though some of the Burmese land borders began to open already few years ago, the south of the country remained largely isolated from the world until August 2013. Today one can “easily”…

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Kenyan coast of the Indian Ocean

Finally Indian Ocean We made two thousand kilometers linking Lake Victoria and the Indian Ocean on our bicycles a few days before planned arrival. Now we can use some time to cycle around Diani Beach area, bathe, snorkel and watch sunrises over the ocean. Diani Beach coastline One day we visit Raptile Center, a private…

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Goat in the Masai village

Kenyan side of Mt. Kilimanjaro We are heading towards Kilimanjaro along the road C102. Police officers at the roadside station ensure us that we are unlikely to come across dangerous animals at this time of a year. On the way we pass scattered tiny villages with inhabitants taking care of their cattle. It’s nearly the…

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Cycling through land of the Masai

Short break in a village Every day we learn more about African animals, their behavior and nature. We cycle through land of the Masai, yet most of the time it is a no man’s land. Observing the landscape I see only fleeing antelopes, warthogs lurking from the distance, zebras resting in the shade of a…

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Kenyan Plantations

Lone tree between tea Among Sugar Cane Our dirty and dusty road crosses through giant sugar cane plantations. Car traffic is minimal until late in the afternoon when tractors loaded with sugar cane pop up. Workers are bringing the hard day’s work harvest to one of a few sugar cane factories in the area. We…

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Western Kenya and Teso tribe

House in Chamasiri village The border crossing between Lwakhakha, even though it doesn’t exist on many maps, as for African conditions is very easy one to cross. Leaving the border turmoil it quickly turns out that Western Province is a land of friendly and smiling people of Teso tribe. We cycle several extra kilometers and…

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Biking at the source of the Nile in Uganda

Biking at the source of the Nile in Uganda Cycling in Mabira Forest Reserve The outbound road from Kampala seems to be fairly enjoyable. The initial 65 km stretch takes to Mabira Forest Reserve. Sometime on the way I remember to buy antimalarial pills. In no particular village a pharmacist offers me 20 small green…

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The east side of Cuba

We arrive to Santiago de Cuba. The surroundings look as if destroyed by a hurricane. Actually (and sadly) this is the case. Uprooted trees and broken rooftops form the suburb landscape of this second largest city on the island. To prevent cholera outbreak, there is triple chlorine disinfection carried out in front of each premises.…

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Mechanic in the jungle and Cuban cowboys

We spend the night in a tent by rocky coast. Early in the morning I notice a few people with flippers and diving mask on. They are langouste hunters. The idea for special breakfast comes by itself. Arriving to a nearby town I talk to cook in one of the food stands. He turns out…

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Red wine, the best beef and yerba mate

Colorful Buenos Aires Every time I recall Argentina in my mind, I remember all warm and genuine people I met here. It brings back a lot of colorful and intense memories. It is a country where every single day begins with a few servings of yerba mate and in the morning it is impossible to…

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Work in hell

Sixteen-year-old miner in Potosí, Bolivia I have seen hell nearly five kilometers above the sea level. Working conditions and safety of Bolivian miners in Cerro de Potosí make it one of those places on our planet where loss of health is a direct consequence of commencing work. This is not an air-conditioned room, but 40…

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Emoliente street vendor

A stranger on a street energetically removes pulp of a plant resembling aloe. His swift and graceful hands adds some mysterious extracts from bottles arranged in a row. Then he scoops a cup of hot herbal brew out of a massive pot and starts blending all the ingredients with a spoon. Yet still the drink…

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Amazonas in Peru

A resident of Tingo village The crowds go wild, there are fireworks (but more modest than in other parts of the world) and the loud music is coming from several different sources. The countdown begins: diez, nueve, ocho, … tres, dos, uno! New Year has just reached a Peruvian town of Mancora. We take off…

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Pablo Escobar and his empire

Escobar had the biggest private zoo in the world The head of the world’s biggest cocaine cartel in Medellin, a local patriot and philanthropist, but also a ruthless criminal. This is Pablo Escobar, a drug baron, who publicly sentenced to death politicians having intentions to curb his power. He always kept his word and often…

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Snapshots from Colombia

A colorful group of street musicians There are some questions at the Venezuelan-Colombian border. “You speak Polish in your country, right?" – I nodded – “So where did you learn Spanish?” – “By traveling and reading books". Questions become less formal, “How do you say “Buenos Dias" in Polish?” – I answer that “Dzien Dobry”,…

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Tobago, the spirit of the Caribbean

Grocery store in Plymouth, Tobago Arrival to Tobago proved to be fairly simple. At first, I did not believe that my luggage would so easily find its way along an intricate route. I grab my backpack shortly after leaving the plane. The immigration officer asks, “Do you have a return ticket?”, my straightforward answer –…

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Oasis 101 on Israeli desert

A perfect full moon night on 101 desert It is a real scorcher at the southern tip of Israel. A bath in the Red Sea is the last chance for refreshment. We set off north towards the Sea Dead. The visibility in a full moon night allows us to ride after dusk. We continue until…

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Sinai on a bike

Secretive bay, Sinai Tamar, a girl we met in a desert oasis in Israel has influenced our plans. “Jordan is just like Israel twenty years ago, go to Sinai and see something entirely magical". I remember the gleam in her eyes and lips telling of the truth. A few days have passed until we managed…

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Hunting unexploded ordnance in Laos

UXO Lao team in field work Empty streets of Phonsavan resemble an abandoned arid town somewhere in the Middle East. Burning sun penetrates mysterious alleys. The vivid blue sky with occasional little clouds sets an interesting contrast with sandstone architecture. The silence is disturbed by 4×4 off-road cars, rickshaws and motorcyclists. I rent a motorbike…

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Two Laotian tribes

Hot springs to bathe and do the laundry, Muang Vieng Thong I still cherish a hope that an already delayed bus would take me to the east. Luckily it arrives. The journey starts in the early afternoon and lasts until darkness. I carefully observe changing scenery. Mountains, plateaus and valleys of this vast land are…

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A village in the north of Laos

A sticky rice basket is made of dried bamboo, or katip Two days in Luang Prabang is exactly two days more than enough. The main problem is the city is often perceived as the only point on a tourist map of Laos and honestly it is simply overrated. I appreciate the unique night market and…

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Landmines in Cambodia

In the morning we head towards O’smach, a rarely frequented Thai-Cambodian. Going by foot for an hour and a half we reach the main road. We flag down a tourist bus. There are no seats available, but the driver finds us a sitting area on the floor for a couple of bucks. After an hour…

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People of the Mekong

Cambodian temple complex in Kampong Cham Blacksmith works alone, his wife takes care of their child and a family’s friend sits comfortably in an unchanged position with a thoughtless, unconcerned expression as he rolls another strong cigarette and smokes it, occasionally sipping his tea. Leaving the city behind we get to know Mr. Peck, who…

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Southern Cambodia

A curious but still timid girl, southern Cambodia Cambodian four hours equals roughly seven regular hours and it is the amount of time to reach Kampot by bus. We discover another pleasant city, whose once slow life bustles on when you visit a marketplace. The local market is divided into sections making some sort of…

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