Notes from Ecuador

Notes from Ecuador
The panorama of colorful Las Peńas and central Guayaquil Traveling through Ecuador I visit some interesting places. Guayaquil is a vibrant and modern city, which despite its size (its bus terminal could easily compete with many international airports in Europe) has a few nice spots captivating with ambience. One of which is Parque Seminario, a ...

Popayan, a white city in Colombia

Popayan, a white city in Colombia
A girl dancing on a street, Popayan Popayan is a small town perfectly capturing the atmosphere of Colombian province. The mild climate has attracted merchants and sugar cane plantation owners, who settled here looking for a quiet place away from overpopulated and sweltering Cali. The city started to develop in sixteenth century and has maintained ...

Snapshots from Colombia

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”, ...

Absolute freedom in Vang Vieng

Absolute freedom in Vang Vieng
In the Tubing, Vang Vieng, Laos The New Zealand Herald wrote, "If teenagers ruled the world, it might resemble Vang Vieng". I cannot think of a more accurate phrase to put it short. Vang Vieng used to be a calm, picturesque Lao village situated on the Nam Song river. Some distant limestone peaks fade away ...

Landmines in Cambodia

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 ...

Guesthouse #10

Guesthouse #10
Hectic Cambodian streets calm down before the sunset I arrange a BMX and anticipating the following morning visit to the Halo Trust headquarters I decide to check up on another place of interest. Nearby a friend of mine runs a hostel called ‘Guesthouse no. 10’. Upon arrival I find myself in the middle of Cambodian ...

The last fisherman in Phnom Penh

The last fisherman in Phnom Penh
A break at work Phnom Penh is probably the only capital in the world with no official public transport. It has some further consequences. Nearly every second guy chooses to be a tuk-tuk rickshaw driver. Indeed walking down the street, it is hard to ignore enthusiastic shouts coming from all over “tuk-tuk cheap cheap for ...

Ankor Wat and the Khmer Empire

Ankor Wat and the Khmer Empire
Prah Khan temple, Angkor Wat The history of Cambodia dates back to 2000 years ago. The former Kingdom of Funan grew in power over the years to become the Khmer Empire in the ninth century. Many problems plagued the empire, but still it had been consistently gaining the importance in the region. It is also ...

Bangkok and the escape from Bangkok

Bangkok and the escape from Bangkok
Busy avenue in central Bangkok It has been a hide-and-seek game, but eventually I won, a giant cockroach in my hotel room is killed. Now I can go out on the street. It is sultry, stuffy and hot. The humid air sticks to my lungs. In the course of my travels this is the most ...

A glimpse from Ethiopia

A glimpse from Ethiopia
An Ethiopian beauty In the center of Addis Ababa, just off the main street we find a friendly Ethiopian, a happy owner of a timless Renault 4. He give us a ride to the bus station. This old car has a unique charm. Clutch is a manual handle, the gears transmission works vertically and on ...

A marketplace in Bujumbura

A marketplace in Bujumbura
Meat stall at the market in the capital of Burundi A group of butchers is using machetes to chop bony cuts of beef. An incomprehensible kirundi language chatter is set to background by mixed sounds of bones being crushed and hullabaloo of hyperactive flies. A slightly tense atmosphere rises, then it suddenly intensifies. No one ...

Port in Porto

Port in Porto
Night panorama of Douro riverbank We park nearby Paços do Concelho, the city council of Porto. Shortly after I befriend a Portuguese woman who appears to be the parking ticket warden, so for that reason parking becomes complimentary. We crawl along Avenida dos Aliados, the main alley leading from the center to the Douro riverside. ...

Portuguese Odyssey

Portuguese Odyssey
Sanctuary on the dark Cabo Espichel The winding mountain path is surrounded by the lush green vegetation of Serra da Arrabida nature park. At dusk we arrive at the terrifying Cabo Espichel. The heavy, wet fog reveals only the outlines of abandoned buildings at the very end of the cape. This is a cultic pilgrimage ...

Lisbon

Lisbon
The great explorers set off their romantic travels I admire the dramatic view of sun subtly setting behind the clouds . Sailboats released in the wind, an ocean cruising ship and a few fishing boats cast long shadows on the wrinkled surface of the river. In the foreground there is the monument Padrão dos Descobrimentos ...

The land of Alentejo

The land of Alentejo
Windmill in Odeceixe The road north leads through a small fishing town Vale dos Homens. At the fish market we buy several doradas for dinner. This is a peaceful place, people rarely appear on the streets. We meet an old man sitting on a wooden bench in the shade of acacia lazily reading a newspaper. ...

Laid-back Andalusia

Laid-back Andalusia
Sometimes a road turns into the river Andalusia is considered the poorest and the least developed part of Spain. Take a look from another point of view. It is by far the most sunny part of Spain and time is running much slower compared to the other parts of Iberian peninsula. Our adventure begins as ...

A loop around Poland

A loop around Poland
A loop around Poland Enchanting trails of Bieszczady mountains First, we pick the most interesting places of Poland and then decide to spend around one month to follow the loop inside our country. We do our best to keep a safe distance of a hundred kilometers from the capital, as in order to stay a ...

Bialowieza National Park

Bialowieza National Park
Białowieża National Park King of the Białowieża Forest Poland’s journey from west to east takes thirteen hours and is getting longer every year. More cars imply increased traffic, while road surface of inferior quality needs constant repairs. The repairs are carried out in an absurd manner. This involves simultaneously digging up a dozen sections of ...

Segovia (Spain)

Segovia (Spain)
Segovia Roman aqueduct in Segovia Segovia is a small town located north of Madrid. Like Toledo, fits perfectly for a one day excursion off the capital. The first impression is formed shortly upon the arrival. It is a deserted city. No, that is not. It’s just a siesta time, giving an opportunity to see the ...

Gibraltar, a sunny rock filled with monkeys

Gibraltar, a sunny rock filled with monkeys
A sunny rock filled with monkeys Intrusive monkeys have no limits Gibraltar is a place of numerous disputes over the centuries. The territory once conquered and ruled by the Berbers in 711 A.D. had been waiting more than seven centuries to get back into the hands of the Spaniards. Not for long because in 1704 ...

Cadiz, the Europe’s oldest city

Cadiz, the Europe's oldest city
Cadiz, the Europe’s oldest city Low tide at the fortress in Cádiz A bit after six, still cold, however we decide to rest on a beach. Every fifteen minutes more sunlight timidly emerge from behind coastal high-rises. The next comes breakfast. We order churros in a nearby bar. These are disgustingly fat and excessively sweetened ...

Toledo (Spain)

Toledo (Spain)
Toledo Alcázar de Toledo Toledo is a small town located about an hour south of Madrid. While in the capital, it is also worth to spend some time out on a fresh provincial air around. Toledo is definitely one of the most interesting one-day excursions. Getting off at the bus station I see a rising ...

The heart of Spain

The heart of Spain
In the middle of Spain Rabbit pate topped with walnuts and garlic butter with shrimp Spain is a voluptuous country. Not only because of the local Iberian cuisine. It is also a lack of haste and a slow pace of life. Its culture and casual people with their easy-going outlook on life which does not ...

Barcelona, the European theme park

Barcelona, the European theme park
Barcelona, the European theme park A view of Barcelona from Park Guell “A European theme park“, a guy from bike rental shop told me in Madrid. I asked him to describe Barcelona in one sentence. Some say that the capital of Catalonia has nothing to do with the real Spain. One thing is certain. Barcelona ...

Inside New Delhi

Inside New Delhi
Inside New Delhi Paharganj, a globetrotter district in New Delhi Delhi is a big behemoth. The poverty and the wealth is visible every step you take. Actually, there is more of that poverty. Sites such as Howri Bazaar can be regarded as the ultimate representation of disorder. Merchants engage in sale of everything I can ...

Through India to Diu island

Through India to Diu island
Through India to Diu island A boy playing cricket, an Indian national sport It’s Wednesday and the deadline is tight as we have an appointment in a few days on Diu island in southern Gujarat. To get there we have to cross nearly half of India! There are no highways. We transfer in Jaipur, known ...

Upstream Ganges river

Upstream Ganges river
Upstream Ganges river Loading the boat on the Ganges, Rishikesh An early morning wake-up to check-out the Star Palace Hotel. We leave our luggage to take advantage of an entire day in New Delhi. As for now we have no concept how to handle lack of connections to Varanassi. Problems should not be solved before ...

Kashmir

Kashmir
Kashmir Valley Shikara on Dal Lake, Srinagar Kashmir and the Pakistani-Indian border is a region of long lasting dispute. All the time the area remains restricted for visitors. Once in New Delhi we have to take obtain permission to enter Kashmir. We hire a jeep and our driver is supposed to take care of any ...

Vancouver, probably the best city in the world

Vancouver, probably the best city in the world
Vancouver Canada Place, Vancouver Vancouver, a city said to be the best place to live in the world. To which extend it may be true? I made a decision to find it out on my own. The first steps in Canada are not the easiest. The very first welcoming gesture is a detailed security check ...

Nicaragua and chicken buses

Nicaragua and chicken buses
Reliable chicken bus Our bus stops roughly a kilometer before the border. From this point onward we have to walk. It is raining and it is already dark. Barely visible deep holes on the road are filled with water. Border area after dark is dangerous, but we have to leave Honduras in some way. Perhaps ...