Mariachi Band in MC
During my studies I had to do six months internship and I had the opportunity to do that in Los Cabos in Mexico. As I knew after my internship I wouldn’t have much time before heading for my semester abroad in Australia, the only possibility was to travel around Mexico before I started my work placement. I usually don’t like traveling in an organized tour group (which I have never done before), but having only 16 days available and I wanted to see as much as possible and this was the only option for me.
So in a 14 day tour from Mexico City to Cancun, I was able to see the highlights of Mexican culture with its cities, cathedrals, Maya ruins, and all sorts of different ranging from landscapes of mountains, jungles, beaches and more.
Our Mozambique trips have been the best holidays of my life and I totally fell in love with this country: probably because it is a mixture of African and Portuguese culture. Their mentality has something in common with the Spanish and Italians, and I immediately I felt connected to the people there.
We have been 3 times in Mozambique, each time for 1 week during New Year’s Eve period in the following years: 1999/2000, 2000/01 & 2002/03.
My story here is about the adventures and highlights I have experienced during these 3 trips, and what made them so memorable.
I am now sitting in my garden in Germany, enjoying the sun and going through my African memories. Since I got ill I keep looking back on the things I have done, going through my amazing travels memories, and South Africa is the one that keeps coming up in my mind the most. Probably because I haven’t been there in 7 years and I am starting to have withdrawal symptoms. But I guess it is also because I have been in touch lately with all my South Africans friends who keep praying for my health and keep asking me when I will be returning for a visit. As mentioned in my previous blog “Africa – Love at first sight”, I would like to share a few of those childhood memories and I begin with during our Transkei holiday in 1998.
Most of you know about my love (actually my family’s love) for Africa, and for many of you isn’t a surprise looking at my blog website having an African touch. It is said that once you are “infected” with the “African fever” you will remain infected and return to that continent constantly.
Besides all my day hospital stays, the treatments I am undergoing and fighting for my life, I have learnt to enjoy life to the fullest and make the most out of it. To get a change of scenery and start ticking off some points on my bucket list, my mum arranged tickets to watch the last Italian league soccer match of Juventus in Torino.
The next morning we headed up further north-east to visit Garphu to admire the red monastery and it’s caves.
Monastery in Garphu
The monastery is built into a cave and painted from the outside in a terracotta type of red. You are able to enter the caved monastery and a Buddhist monk will welcome you. We used the beautiful and spiritual scenery for a photoshoot of some handmade pullovers, ponchos and scarves made of wool / cashmere which were given to us by Pravin, the shop owner of “Yala” in Patan / Kathmandu who asked us to take images for his product brochure.
A bit further up the “dry river” you will find the Garphu caves, one of the over 10,000 man made caves dug into the side valleys in Mustang. They are also called the Sky Caves of Nepal, since they are mainly located in upper half of the hillside.
This area was the most North we got to and the closest to the border of Tibet, and then we started our drive back to the South.
The majority of Mustang is part of the Annapurna Conservation Area and also borders in the North with Tibet.
We flew in to Eklebhatti, where a 4×4 Land Cruiser was waiting for us to continue the journey. The car ride was bumpy and was continuously interrupted due to several goat herds that were blocking the roads that were heading down South from the mountains into towns and cities. End of September and early October, the Nepalese celebrate the biggest festival of the year: Dashain Festival.
My second journey to Nepal was in September 2014, only 4 months after my first diagnosis and surgery. My leg was not healing as fast as I hoped it would. I noticed a swelling and towards the end of each day it started to be painful again, but what the hell…. I was in Nepal and I was totally excited to be a part of this trip. Trekking on crutches can be quite adventurous too, right? Anyway, I didn’t let the trip be affected by a swollen knee and a little pain.
Before I start writing this blog, I have to mention that this may not be a typical detailed travel blog like the ones you can find on the web but rather my experiences, my impressions and reliving my memories. I will mention places that are historically important, the most amazing sites to visit and my recommendations, but I will not get into details because I have experienced them in a limited timeframe.
One of the reasons why I love my job… I travel and I do travel to the most incredible places in the world. The very first time I set my foot on Nepalese ground, I felt an immediate connection to the country and its people.