Asia

Places to go IV. Sundarban

Sundarban map

Sundarban map. Click to enlarge

Right between the tourist hub of South East Asia and the crowded India, Bangladesh hides a joy of natural wonders and wild life. It’s the biggest mangrove forest in the world and one of the largest reserves for the Royal Bengal Tiger. Of course tigers are the main attraction of the place, but there’s plenty of other wildlife, botanic beauties and stunning landscapes of warm color waters under sunset lights.

Lying in the vast delta of the Bay of Bengal, in the confluence of the rivers Padma, Brahmaputra and Meghna, it consists in a flat wide net of meandering streams, creeks and estuaries. There are two ecoregions: the “Sundarbans freshwater swamp forests”, seasonally flooded, and the “Sundarbans mangroves”, flooded everyday at high tide. The mangrove system serves also as a natural barrier against the floods inland in the cyclone season…

This post have been moved to the following page:

210 Countries

Keep reading there! More photos awaiting for you!

Tiger

Royal Bengal Tiger in Sundarbans

 

 

Advertisements
Categories: Asia, Bangla Desh, Places to go, Sundarban, travel | Tags: , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Places to go III. The Kolyma Highway

Kolyma Highway - The Road of Bones

Kolyma Highway - The Road of Bones. Distance in miles

If the world would have an end, the Kolyma region would be surely a firm candidate. The end of the Russian almost uninhabited Far East offers a mix of adventure, unknown, picturesque people, incredible nature and cold. A lot of cold.

Made by forced labour in Stalin’s times, the road M-56 is also known as the Kolyma Highway or the “Road of Bones”, because of many people who died building it were directly buried under or along the road. It begins in the big city of Yakutsk, in the region of Sakha, and finishes in the Pacific coast, in the city of Magadan. The original route via Tomtor was 1900 km long, and distance increased with the new road. On the road you can find  the coldest inhabited place on Earth, ghost towns, several old gulags  and a stunning nature all over the landscape.

Traveling the Kolyma highway is a challenge itself and should not be done by people not ready for extreme conditions of isolation, cold, inexistence of public services (such as health, transport, security, etc), wild nature (wolves, bears and those dangerous ticks), and bad road maintenance that can lead to an accident. Alcoholism and nature of locals can be tricky, as well as their lack of foreign languages knowledge, but I suppose this should be considered as part of the fun.

Oymyakon is considered the Pole of Cold

We are moving the blog. Please, keep reading this post at:

210 Countries – The Kolyma Highway

You have more “Places to go” pages there. Sorry for the inconvenience.

Thanks for reading!

Oymyakon

 

Categories: Asia, Places to go, Russia, Siberia, travel | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Places to go II. The second largest aquarium tank in the world!

Before continue with the a places been and the things seen abroad, I want to share with you a new place to go. I always liked aquariums, but if you like to travel is difficult to maintain any of them. Instead, you can go to public ones. Some of them are really impressive, like this. It’s located in Japan, exactly in Motubu (Okinawa Islands), and it has the second largest aquarium tank in the world, called Kuroshio Sea.

It holds 7500 cubic meters of water and features the second largest acrylic glass panel. Whale sharks and manta rays are kept amongst many other fish species in the main tank.

So now it’s time for you to turn on full screen mode, relax and enjoy the smooth movements of the fishes. Can you imagine to be the diver?

Kuroshio Sea – 2nd largest aquarium tank in the world – (song is Please don’t go by Barcelona) from Jon Rawlinson on Vimeo.

Categories: Aquarium, Asia, Japan, kuroshio sea, Places to go | Tags: , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Sun in my Forehead: the route

I always had the sensation that going to the east was something special. Probably this is caused for my location: Spain is in the very West of the Eurasian continent. My first idea – cross the land from Spain to Magadan – is one of the longest straight ways that can be made without crossing any sea, and this had something that made me dream. The same piece of land should be all the same, but it is not. Everything, the landscape, the people, the nature, the food… everything changes little by little, and in the end you look backward and nothing is like it began. Being an observer of this film was my fantasy for a long time and finally I decided to do it.

Whatever it was, I decided to go straight to the East, always stepping forward with the Sun lighting upon my forehead.

Crossing the Eurasian continent

The Sun in my Forehead and other recent route

As I look back, the route is quite different as I planned before. But this is something that easily happens in long travels like this. Europe is easy to hitchhike, and arriving to Ukraine was an easy task. Then I had to cross the Black Sea by boat for made it to the crazy Caucasus lands. From there, I passed through Central Asia – probably the most interesting part of the trip – until the Chinese border, and by several means of transport I arrived to Southeast Asia. There I stayed for six months, a one-moth scape to India included. And still smarting from that Russian disappointment, I flew to the north of the country and crossed down until Ukraine.

After all, I came back home, with my backpack full of stories, tips and photographs to share with all of you.

Categories: Asia, Europe, hitchhiking, The Sun in my Forehead, travel | Tags: , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

The beginning of all and the Mighty Samarkand

It didn’t begin looking at the white sea-foam on a sunny afternoon, nor looking the horizon on a high peak dominating the plains. It was just a matter of time. Time by time, little by little, I realized that the crazy long travels I read on the books were not unachievable targets, they were not heroic deeds done by amazing people with lots of funds, it was only the decision of simple people who wanted to change a little bit their life. And they found somewhere the bravery to do it.

Despite all this, I was never sure to begin the adventure. It was just not easy to give up it all, leave everything and everyone and take a round over the world. Not everyone understands it, mostly the family or the father who always talks about work. Until one day I began to plan everything. Everything became clear, everything looked as easy targets, the impossible connections I thought before were little by little turning to reasonable objectives, the unknown countries didn’t seem that strange after getting some information. The forgotten paths, the visa issues, there’s nothing impossible for a person who really wants to do this.

But, anyway, I was still afraid. Maybe not afraid, but unsure of it. I had planned many things, but didn’t fixed a departure date. It was difficult for me to set a departure date. One thing is to dream, and another is to say “ok, I’m REALLY gonna do this”. Until one book came to my hands. It was Jack Kerouac’s On the Road and it really changed my mind. Yes! There’s no need to be scared, that’s not the spirit you may take. Just go there, rise the thumb and hit the road. That’s all, there’s nothing more to think about. It’s not just a dream, it’s my dream and I can do it. And after some time it becomes a way of life.

UlughBeg Madrassa in Samarkand, Uzbekistan

Ulugh Beg Madrassa in Samarkand

Choosing the route was an easy thing. For years the ancient city of Samarkand was the point were all the wishes started and the thoughts were coming from. Samarkand the Great, Samarkand the Mighty, Samarkand the land of the Monster, Old and Elder Marakand. Once destroyed by Alexander the Great, then governed by Tamerlan, forsaken into the desert sands when the Silk Route fell down, now was an unknown place in the forgotten country of Uzbekistan. The beauty of its buildings, the legendary name of the place, the far it is from everywhere… everything made Samarkand a magic place, a place were I didn’t know what to find, a place of legend, the rule of communism, the turkish muslims and the Mongol facial features.

Well, it’s true, I had some point to shot my mind. And that’s a lot. My plans would go straight to Samarkand, crossing Europe, the Caucasus, the Kizilkum desert from the new sands of Aral since arrive to the old powerful town. After that, all the plans seemed so far, so long, like talk about fantasy or sci-fi. I did plan to go up to the north through the Kazakh steppe, cross to Russia and find the Kolyma Highway after Yakutsk. The plans then included Japan and America until the south… but it’s talking in vain. I changed all my plans after the Central Asia shake.

And what’s the point of all the speech? Well, probably there’s no point at all. Just to share what I took and what I owned. You can plan a big trip if you dream of that, you just need some stimulation, an objective, and a spear to make it all explode. And to find this things is quite an easy thing!

Go there and find it out!

Categories: Asia, Europe, hitchhiking, The Sun in my Forehead, travel | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment