Hello!  My name is Giuseppe Emanuele Giampino and I am a 37 years old guy who is  a strongly passionate traveler and photographer and wants to discover the greatest of the amazing nature offered by the globe.

Since I am fashioned with the sporty philosophy of the journey, I have made decision to give my contribution by sharing with you my sporty travelling life experiences based on my travel background.

I have traveled mostly in Europe and Asia where I have discovered such amazing attractions like the one shown in the picture below! Now you may be asking: where the hell is that?? Grand-Canyon perhaps? 🙂 No way, just kidding!

My mission is to gather and organize all of my past and present travel experiences in order to convey you inspiration and enthusiasm in your travels!

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Following my previous post for the first day of trekking, for completion I dedicate this post for the second day of SaPa adventure 🙂

First of all, the home-stay where we slept was nicely arranged for us foreigners and I was surprised since they even had a western toilet with shower (my guess is that they would not have the same toilet in other houses/shelters in the village), the reason behind that is that they cooperate with Sapa O’ Chau tour which is one of the most reliable and best rated tour agent in SaPa and besides that, Sapa has become a popular destination nowadays. However, be sure that if you ever end up sleeping at a casual house in such villages you could never expect a western toilet! The experience in Indonesia (Flores) taught me something.

Secondly, like in every village the morning starts very soon, at 5am you can already observe ‘women at work’ taking care of the chickens, goats and cows already awoken, and myself I caught the chance to get up to record the scenery during the sun-raising , after that I just returned to the bed to sleep a bit more. Finally we all got up around 7:30am to enjoy the offered breakfast and get ready to set off.

Not until we started off, we had to trek further up to a steep hill on a muddy trail, despite the conditions of the trails local people ventures to get through by scooter, I could imagine how often they break the suspensions 😀

When we arrived at the top-point of Soi Thau village there were two kids playing with each other and smiling to us like to say ‘Welcome aliens!’

Once we reached the top point, the trail upfront looked at our eyes long and well-distributed throughout the immense landscape, compared to what we had to trek the day before this was a way easier, after one hour of trekking we got to pass through a weak water-stream originated by a small waterfall see the picture below:

Water pool in-between the trail

it was nothing impressive, we stop by to record some scenery around, then when we continued, we finally got to trek gradually upper and upper, the trail itself had been carved along the perimeter of the hills and it was wide enough so that we were fully-safe 🙂

at one point we end up passing one more farm house, as aliens we said ‘xin chao‘ to the local guy outside the house, however he did not react: our tour guide Su explained us that most of them are rather shy with the aliens and therefore they will barely react, in addition there is the title of the tour itself ‘OFF the beaten track’ 🙂 During the first day of the tour I made an estimation that we met max. three more foreigners who probably were with another tour guide, other than that no one more was around. See below the surrounding scenery 🙂

At one point we arrived at the top point of the last hill, and after that we only experienced downhill, the more we were getting down and more we started observing more and more houses which was the sign we were slowly approaching the semi-rural life, at one house in the outdoor space there were five kids who were fighting to drink from a bottle of water, it was just funny to observe them how cute as well as ‘naughty’, see below:

Here at this point our trekking turned into a walking down to the village of Ta Giang Phing, because we end up being on concrete narrow road which meant the beginning of the conventional civilization had taken over 😦 all the second day trekking lasted about four and half hours.

We stop at a typical open-air Vietnamese tavern to enjoy a pork noodle soup spice with lime, chili and mint!

All in all, this is an experience I would highly recommend to anyone who wants to get away from the agitation of the conventional civilization, it is worthy for the money, moreover if personally I were to travel back to SaPa, I would surely go for a motorbike tour off the beaten track.

As for the tour agent trips, check out their website here below:
http://sapaochau.org/sapa-trekking-and-homestay/

Any remark is welcomed!

Giuseppe

Dear explorers, I have finally completed out my 6th journey mission in South-East Asia, this time I dedicated my attention to Vietnam.

Unlike my previous deep experience with Indonesia, here I had less time to spend and so I had to draw a narrowed draft plan out of a total of fifteen days, perhaps here some might argue by saying that it is enough time, however unfortunately it is not enough for all Vietnam 😦

Because the time frame of my exploratory holiday was just fifteen days, I decided to divide it in two parts: the challenging part and the soft part.

Why that?

The reason behind is simple: if you first challenge yourself with a hard task then you will be able to appreciate the chilling part, on the contrary it would not work out much.

After making some research, I decided it was worthy to visit the SaPa area with its breathtaking nature characterized by rice fields terraces, because I always like to get off the beaten tracks (suitable for the lazy ones), I booked the following two-days tour by Sapa O’Chau tour:

http://sapaochau.org/sapa-trekking-and-homestay/sapa-trek-and-tour/trekking-tours/off-the-beaten-track-2-day/

Overview map of SaPa

Despite the attendance for the tour was only myself with the tour guide ‘Laju Su’, as soon as I arrived at the Sapa O’Chau office I found out that one more attendee signed up at last minute which was a pleasant news for my pockets since the actual price was decreased of almost 50%, in addition to that, as a nice coincidence the other participant was an Italian compatriot woman called ‘Elena’, I never imagined to be trekking with a woman solo traveler as a companion however we all know that at this world there are also brave women up for such an amazing trekking 🙂

As first, we were brought by car to the starting point of our trekking which was the Ta Phin village, while starting the hike in the village some local ladies approached us by asking to buy their hand-made hats, however since we were keen to enjoy the nature we did not buy any, perhaps on a next time!

As we approached the first uphill we enjoyed the first amazing landscape view with rice field terraces and a village nearby as shown above, and soon we had to deal with a broken path, probably caused by a natural disaster, fortunately there were two bulldozers in action which tried to pave and clear the broken path in front of us, however we had to carefully watch our steps, see image below:

Blocked trail

the more we trekked uphill the more we got into the a secluded valley, on the way we met few women as farmers who were carrying vegetables and few locals riding a motorbike through the path.

After three and half hour of trekking we reached the first remote village named Phin Ho, we stopped at a farm house where our clever tour guide managed to prepare for us two maxi-sandwiches (just look at it below), in addition to that, we noticed that the owner of the house was chilling out by smoking some herbs by using a big bamboo pipe which was really funny for me as a non-smoker guy 😀

After our lunch break, we resumed our trekking by getting a bit to the bottom of the deep valley, the scenery on the way down was more and more breathtaking and at one peak viewpoint we decided to take one more break with a short nap. Here, I caught the chance to record such a video of such amazing surrounding scenery, just watch it below!

Deep valley on the way to Suoi Thau village

After our chilling break we continued on the trail to Ta Giang Phing village (final destination on the second day) and here we approached the deepest point of the green valley:

We got to cross two bridges, the first one was a bit challenging because rope-less, only one person at once could traverse it to avoid the risk of collapsing, moreover the frame was made by bamboo pipes not fixed but shaking instead! Having had similar challenges in the past in the first moment I believed I could make it with hassle-free, however my first approach was not such good one: I approached it by putting down my feet almost straight in-line on the pipes, as a result my body balance was getting compromised, the tour guide realized it and invited me to reverse myself and step back, the spring of nervousness tripped out :-O although the guide wanted to convince me to get down by the small channel and then up, I stayed focused on the bridge challenge by letting the Italian girl to go first, I just observed her relaxed approach and as she crossed it, I acted accordingly by counterbalancing the second half of my body and angling my feed to keep safe my balance on the shaking bamboo pipes, even slow, the challenge was accomplished with no need to get down by the channel 🙂 Safety is never enough when dealing with the wild nature ;-D

After that, we got to hike farther until we end up crossing a proper safe pedestrian bridge.

After one more hours, we approached our target destination of the first day
Soi Thau village. Here we observed such an amazing rural life of the local people taking care of their goats and buffaloes as well as people who were building up a brand-new house.

That was the beginning of the destination village of Suoi Thau, we had to trek up farther over a hill to reach our home stay, the trail was aggressively steep up to the hill with some spread-ed mud around, I started feeling a bit powerless, nevertheless we achieved our day target by arriving there around 4:30pm, where we chilled-out at the home stay and we were provided with such a proper delicious Vietnamese BIO-food 🙂

Our first trekking day was nicely over, all we needed was just a good dinner and a sound sleep what we got.

A new post will follow soon by covering the 2nd day of trekking.

As soon as I have time, I will upload quality images by camera Sony a6000 to my Flickr photo-stream 🙂

Any remark is warmly welcomed 😉

Giuseppe

Calvary in the town of Skalica

Dear explorers,

a new spring season is just started and soon I had a chance to set off by car with my girlfriend to the north-west area of Slovakia known as Záhorie, the name itself means “by-the-mountains” because it is a extended wooded flat area enclosed by the Little Carpathians (Malé Karpaty) on the east and the Morava river on the west, in addition to that, Záhorie itself is segmented by the two regions Bratislavský kraj (capital region) and Trnavský kraj (region of Trnava).

We focused on the upper-east part which is in the region of Trnava and it boundaries with Czech Republic, we had chance to visit three key towns:

  1. Skalica
  2. Holíč
  3. Šaštín-Stráže
Map of Záhorie

Living in the capital city Bratislava and travelling to our first destination Skalica was simply impressive to observe how big is the potential of Slovakia with plenty of woods and forests all around, although nowadays most of Slovakia attractions have become very attractive and therefore very popular and overcrowded, in here it seems there is no such hordes of visitors around 🙂 We could even afford to park the car for free at the edge of the main square (imagine yourselves to do such a thing in any other bigger town).

Skalica was worth the trip for three reasons:

  1. the suggestive Calvary at the top of a very small hill
  2. Rotunda SV Juraja (Round terrace of Saint George)
  3. the city walls which surround the centre of the town

The third one recalls the age of the Great Moravian Empire conflicting with the Austrian-Hungarian empire and since Skalica was founded in the middle-age therefore it was a big concern to be protected by the external attacks.

After we spent two hours by enjoying a chilly walk around as well as photo-shooting to catch up all the most relevant spots (soon a new selected photo set will be uploaded on my Flickr page), we had a lunch break and then we moved to our second destination Holíč.

Holíč is famous for its baroque-style chateau which was originally built during the middle age as a water castle and later on 1736 it was re-built during the aforesaid baroque century by František Lotrinský, the interior of such a great chateau was unfortunately closed however according to the details it counts of almost hundred of rooms. (Look at the pictures below)

Such a cultural visit from the exterior took us one hour, so then since the day light was generously going on, we further drove to our third destination
Šaštín-Stráže.

This is one of the youngest village in Slovakia because was settled as town municipality on year 2001. According to the history background it was the result of merging two separate villages: Šaštín and Stráže nad Myjavou.

It is renowned for its imposing basilica in which comes in for several pilgrimages once per year on Pentecost, however (fortunately) that was not our case and we enjoyed all the surrounding areas with a peaceful environment 🙂 Moreover, we have found out that there is even a railway station as well as quite some refurbished houses with huge gardens which are a great inspiring idea of a relaxing living town.

To sum it up, if you wish to spend an inspiring chilling Saturday away from the capital city, this tour could be a great choice to discover some new great and alternative aspects of the country-side in Slovakia. Moreover, I feel like to recommend it for a cycling tour, we have noticed that cycle tracks are pretty much everywhere, then especially around Skalica.

Giuseppe

Dear explorers,
Christmas is round the corner and I have finally gotten some time to dedicate a post about Kapas island which is situated on the east coast of Malaysia.

East coast map

This island is easily reachable by taxi cab from Kuala Terengganu via Marang jetty as shown in the screenshot of the map, all you need is to get either a TAXI driver from the airport or bus station of KT or alternatively randomly stop a non-official driver to be brought to Marang, it takes approximately twenty-minutes and it costs max. 30RM. When it comes to the boats, there are few operators running the service, one of those is SuriaLink: http://www.kapassurialink.com/contact/ just get to their small office by the jetty, buy the ticket on the spot and they will take you to Kapas on the condition you arrive at the jetty earlier than 5pm.

The transportation time is just ten minutes since the island is pretty close to the coast, therefore do not expect to be on comfy huge boat 🙂 such an island is for whom desires to enjoy a peaceful atmosphere and/or try to learn diving; altogether there are about ten resorts on only the west side of the island, most of those accommodations are in a minimalist/rusty style but acceptable unless you have very-high expectations 🙂 Besides that, most of them are hardly bookable through the well-known booking engines and they do not even have a web-page on the net, all you can do is contact them via phone/whatsapp by dialing the number mentioned on Google map: https://www.google.com.my/maps/place/Kapas+Beach+Chalets+(KBC)/@5.2203715,103.2616012,17.81z/data=!4m13!1m7!3m6!1s0x31b7eb62ae4ed317:0xeae0e00cf3526864!2sKapas+Island!3b1!8m2!3d5.2190041!4d103.2649049!3m4!1s0x0:0x6ab65d73f44613b3!8m2!3d5.2195881!4d103.2614375

I personally visited Kapas twice and experienced a pleasant stay at KBC wooded-resort, it is owned by a dutch guy and a german woman who decided to settle themselves on the island and live there all over the year, they indeed nicely take care of it by performing regular maintenance jobs. My first time on Kapas was on March 2016, this is the very beginning of the dry season since the monsoons stop in the middle of February, I did not experience any single rainfall, just hot and dry 😀

KBC wooded-built resort
Sea view from KBC

Because Kapas with KBC resort resulted into a winning combination, I decided to keep their contact details and later on June 2017 I was back there for three days. Both times I visited it, I had the chance of enjoying Jungle trekking, snorkeling and just relax at the beach. Because the number of the resorts is limited, not-so many visitors will be able to get to such a gorgeous island, moreover most of visitors are locals, the only exception is at KBC which attracts quite some European backpackers because of their very-good facilities, the kitchen, the chilling area and finally the convenient price list per night 🙂

My second stay on Kapas was characterized by two sunny days and one rainy and cloudy day; I took the advantage of the rainy/cloudy day to go for the jungle trail which perfectly fit as half-day trip, here below there is a picture taken in the jungle trail:

Jungle trail

Just two useful tips for you:

1. Avoid enjoying the jungle trekking when the suns is shining: you will be pouring of sweats more and more since you will get to climb down and up on some elevations, as a result you would be feeling far too thirsty and consequently you would get a sun stroke later.

2. Be provided with one big bottle of water as well as with the mosquito repellent to sprinkle on your arms and legs before starting to trek into the jungle.

(all the way takes you approximately 90 minutes)

During the sunshiny days I went for swimming and snorkeling instead, the seabed on the coral reef is simply amazing, full of sea urchins and colorful fishes, just watch the recorded GoPro video to be impressed:

Snorkeling at Kapas island

Last but not the least, here the sunrises and sunsets are very scenic and gorgeous, all you need is to walk along the west side of the island to catch your favorite beach and spot, you will not surely be disappointed as long as the sun shines.

To sum it up, this island is 100% worthy to spend one or more weeks to feel freedom and far away from the ordinary civilization. You can just relax and do nothing as well as deal with the sea activities which I described. On the other hand, if you are concerned about night hard-parties this is definitely not the island for you, however you can still enjoy soft parties over here but just over a delicious dinner with BBQ and perhaps watching some improvised fire torch play exhibition after the sunset. If you wish to see more pictures, just check out my Flickr album here below:

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Kapas island powered by Sony a6000

Any queries and comments are welcomed, Merry Christmas, Giuseppe

Dear explorers,

I finally have the chance to post something new about a brand-new destination focused on the archipelago of Andaman islands.

Andamans islands belong to India although are much closer to Thailand, it might sound a joke but it is so 🙂 When I planned it out, my general criteria was to try a more off-beaten area than any other island or group of island situated in the SE of Asia, by this I am not saying that all the islands I visited earlier were all beaten. However, after performing an accurate research, appeared that on Andaman’s the tourism is mostly made by Indians and very few foreigners are willing to travel there.

In addition to that, it has to be taken into account that Andaman&Nicobar archipelago is considered to be a RESTRICTED AREA, therefore only some of the Andaman side islands are open for tourism, these are: 

  1. Main land of Andaman (in which Port-Blair is situated)
  2. Havelock island
  3. Neil island    

Apart from those three, all the other islands are either private, tribal communities live there or are military bases.

Overview map of Andman’s

Having said that, you are good to plan your exploration within the restricted circuit which offers more than enough for exploring then especially on the main land.

Being biased with SE Asia, my first impact with India&Andaman’s was by no means the best one,

the reason of that?

Unlike in the SE Asia, in India is normal to find spread-ed garbage and rubbish aside the roads, wasted plastic material by the seaside  and so on. Sadly and disappointing as it may sound, that is a real fact of Indian environment, moreover, get used to the fact that will always encounter wild-free loitering goats, cows and dogs! They are really everywhere.

Apart from that, in here, more specifically on Havelock and Neil island there lots of mangroves beaches which on a way look nice but on the other hand it is annoying then especially when you want to enjoy a swim and to cap it all at certain time of the day the mangroves are completely dried, in other words they get emptied of water!

I personally tried to enjoy a walk around the mangroves when they were filled by water, however be aware that wear the water shoes is a MUST and last but not least carefully watch your steps since you might suddenly either end up approaching a not-so-visible sharp rocks or walking through some broken corals, either way they can trigger you to fall down! Moreover, I personally saw a yellow-black striped coral snakes which was sliding away, as a first impact it was not such a great feeling overall, however at least now I am aware of a real danger in walking through shallow mangroves sea surface, this is just to give a warning alert that nothing in here is really safe by the sea!

However, on Andaman’s you can find the hugest amount of colorful shells
by the sandy beaches , you can actually end up collecting hundreds by yourself without buying them at the markets, just give a try for believing.

When it comes to the sunset, fortunately both the two islands offer a gorgeous spot to enjoy a great sunset shooting/recording, the achieved scenery with the rocks watered by the sea is breathtaking, for your reference you can refer to this screenshot from Google maps:

Link to Google maps: https://www.google.co.in/maps/place/Sunset+Point,+Lakshmanpur+Beach/@11.8334078,93.0211909,14z/data=!4m12!1m6!3m5!1s0x3088d911c345f42f:0x7c35865380f4221f!2sSunset+Beach!8m2!3d11.8151731!4d93.0441074!3m4!1s0x3088da221d4f089f:0xefb8840f4c25e5c8!8m2!3d11.8496796!4d93.0125177

Just to impress you with an idea here below I have uploaded two scenic picture over the sunset at Neil island:

In conclusion, if it were not for the tons of spread-ed garbage everywhere, wasted plastic and glass, it could really be defined as a ‘Paradise’ like Indians proudly advertise it. Unfortunately the so-called ‘Paradise’ is shadowed by quite some environmental issues and this is something which Indian state should really take every effort to cut off any ecologic issues, someone might dispute on this point by affirming that it is easy to say than actual implementing a serious ecologic plan for the environment.

What could the main issue be in making it happen? Lack of funds perhaps?

Well, if that is the case, I could advance a hint: India as a state could introduce the payment of a tax at the arrival on each island, like they do in some islands in Thailand, Malaysia and in Indonesia; in addition to that, the state could instruct the owners of the resorts on how-to gather the wasted plastic and glass materials, perhaps this all might help in creating an awareness campaign among the entrepreneur on the island(s) as well as the visitors in order to be respectful with the surrounding environment. Naturally, that is not the only one issue there are many others, but at least I hope that one day this could be one of the solution to improve the quality of the environment on such an unofficial paradise 🙂

Last but not the least, it is about the time zone GMT+5:30 which is equals like anywhere in India as land, just Andman’s are far in the east, as a result this time zone is a huge imbalance for the sunrise and sunset time, do you imagine that it is already dark at 5:30pm? I personally think that Indian government should grant a different time-zone for Andaman’s.

Any comments and remarks is warmly welcomed!

Giuseppe

Dear explorers,
the autumn is now started, so I am here to dedicate this (first) post about my home-country.                                                                                                                                          When it comes to Italy, someone might be thinking ton of things such as nature, food, drinks, fashion, arts and so on. However, I will just focus your attention on a specific tiny area of Italy which is probably not-so known by everybody but still it would be 100% worthy to spend free-time by forgetting the routine of the urban life.

The low Piedmont, more in specific the province of Asti as shown above is known to have the largest number of red-wine producers as well as a number of BIO-food farmers, besides that, it is also challenging for enjoying outdoor sports such as mountain-biking  and running, and because I firmly believe that the real life is a balance between sports and healthy food, this area of Italy would likely 90% fulfill such a goal 😉

Below there are three pictures showing the scenery as well as the trail:

As a first thing, while in my living Country Slovakia the cold autumn got started since few days before leaving, here in Italy I was nicely greeted with such a pleasant warm weather which has been almost like summer with +25 during the day.

Secondly, from the Mt-biking perspective, the trail was like dry soil beaten by tractor which is a way more challenging on the up-going parts then especially if your MTB is not provided with tick wheels like a the ones of a fat bike, as a result for the first time I ended up pushing my bicycle half-way up to the top wine hill. Both pictures above and video below represents the surrounding landscape of San Paolo Solbrito, and right on that that the Real-feel temperature was of +28C, indeed it was like in the summer.

Coming to the culinary aspects, here there is lot of variety to mentions and I am not pretty sure whether I could cover off such a tough topic 😀

One sunshiny day, I enjoyed a BIO-farm food shopping and I ended up being at the BIO-farm store named ‘Pijte ‘L Piasì‘ better knows as ‘Anzienda agricola Gilli’, they just have the Facebook page which I have mentioned below:

https://it-it.facebook.com/PIJTE-L-PIASI-Az-Agricola-Gilli-177356392404491/

As you enter this place, you will realize straightaway that here you have the embarrassment of choice which goes from the fresh cured meats, gastronomy until the organic green vegetables.

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Every single thing bought in here comes from their own family BIO-farm GILLI and I can ensure you that it worths for every single €uro you spend out of your pockets, IE the reversed nine test was with fresh full-fat milk that I have been enjoying it over the breakfast time, normally I do not put up easily with the full-fat milk but this one I always digest it with no issue. On the other hand you are supposed to consume it preferably within three days as you freshly bought it.

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In conclusion, having my parents living in this countryside are since quite some years I have become knowledgeable and I noticed that more and more of this BIO-farm producers have also arranged budget B&B accommodation which could give to some curious foreign visitors a great experience by stepping into such this countryside which is just 35km away from Turin.

Should you need for any recommendation, do not hesitate to contact me or just leave a comment.

Few more posts will shortly follows this one 😉

Dear explorers, after such a long time spent finally I am here to talk about something new and different!

One week me and my girlfriend, despite being very warm, we made the decision of driving from Bratislava to the central region of Slovakia denominated Banskobystrický kraj  for a cultural summer weekend, we stayed over Friday and Saturday nights since our research came to tell us that it was 100% worthy to do so!

For such a purpose we chose to stay at a holiday apartment  with garden on a small hill, the panorama view was simply nice because we could see by distance the scenery of the hilly landscape as shown below:

We drew two separated plans, one for Saturday and one for Sunday because having the considered the type of attractions and the locations they involved us a different mind-set, therefore on Saturday we went for visiting the outdoor attractions as followed:

  1. Kalvaria chapel
  2. Banská Štiavnica downtown
  3. Banská Štiavnica in miniature exposition
  4. Banská Štiavnica castle with city walls

The first attraction is a recently restored baroque-style chapel which before ten years ago was abandoned,  it is situated on the top of a small hill and the restoration works took place from 2008 and were completed on 2016, it was supported by some private funds issued by the VUB Bank institution, it looks like a small architectural jewel which must really be visited to realize how nicely they made it, moreover, if you are with a girlfriend here you have a great chance to enjoy a romantic morning hiking 🙂 you just need max. 90 minutes, therefore you can’t miss it out!

Some pictures below could be impressive to figure out how the spot it is:

The second one is the historical town of Banská Štiavnica which nowadays has become very popular and crowded, you can even find two Italian fashion boutiques!

Having visited it earlier on 2008 I can compare the difference and I can say that at that time was a peaceful town, however long time is spent since then and everything, like everywhere in Europe, is to be properly arranged for the ‘visitors’. If you like to have  some small shopping then the market will not disappoint you.

Here below, few pictures are shown:

The third one is purely an indoor exposition of Banská Štiavnica and the nearby villages in miniature, it is something quite recent, it is worthy to be visited for 1.50€ of entrance fee, here below you there are two pictures:

The fourth one is the city castle with high walls, this castle even not that impressive has an outdoor courtyard and some sub-levels indoor rooms arranged for punishing some war prisoners, perhaps it might look scary at your eyes, however that was how it worked in our ancient world. Overall, it is worthy to visit if you are in Banská Štiavnica for the 1st time and it takes maximum one hour for visiting it.

Finally, the only Sunday plan was to visit a manor house situated in Svätý Antonin Slovak is commonly defined as Kaštieľ  that’s to say a huge noble palace which was built under the Austro-Hungaric empire and numerous rich family members lived in there over the past centuries. My personal feeling was to visit a Schönbrunn Palace in miniature,  and I am not much in for visiting such palaces in which the luxuriousness is emphasized, however it is a part of the European history and we can not ignore it. Just I am not going to mention details on it but instead I will show you some pictures of it:

In conclusion, the summer trip itself had a good achievement as a combination of cultural enrichment with some soft hiking activity, it was useful to re-visit what the history was and what fabulous left over the past centuries, therefore if over the summer you are a bit bored of dealing always with just swimming or just hiking through the nature you may find a great compromise with such a trip, just go for it!

If any advice do not hesitate to contact me or just leave a comment!

Special thanks to my girlfriend who supported me on such a weekend trip.

Giuseppe

Dear explorers,                                                                                                                               after quite some time spent I am back again to write the first article of my new registered blog!

Malang is the name of the town as well as the region which is situated in the hearth of east Java land, this region like Banyuwangi  offers a variety of nature from volcanoes to plenty of waterfalls as well as some hot-springs, most of them are not known by any foreign traveler (perhaps I was the first brave guy getting there :-D).

Briefly, I summarize below what I have experienced over three and half days spent there:

  1. Night-Morning hiking trip to Bromo National park
  2. Waterfalls: Coban Putri , Coban Rais , Coban Talun and Coban Rondo
  3. Cangar (Hot-springs).

As first I made decision to start my challenge with the touristy night-morning hiking to Bromo volcano, here you have two choices to get there:

  1. Rent a proper off-road motor-cycle
  2. Book a basic package tour through your accommodation provider

I went for the second option since I just arrived in Malang exhausted after a no-sleep night spent on the train I had no time to look straightaway for a motorbike. What I could recommend is that if you want ride a motorbike to Bromo, get a motorbike with off-road tires and be with a travel companion; secondly, ride very carefully especially at night-time since you will get to ride through a steep hilly narrow road and then you will be passing through a Savana,  the scenery will look like a desert at your eyes, once you arrive at the top viewpoint it will be very tricky to park your motorbike because of thousands of visitor will be getting there!

Even Bromo is very popular, it is worthy to go for it and practice your photo-shooting skills!  Look at the pictures and a video below:

After the night-morning challenge at Bromo national park, I was back in Malang and I just hang around some noodles restaurant and cafeterias to chill-out and get ready for the next adventures.

The following day as a first thing I decided to rent a motorbike from a rental point which was recommended by a local CS guy Makki, here below you have the google-link:            https://g.co/kgs/iCHqQV

The name of the lady owner is Ibu Larasati  and her whatsapp contact is +62 822-4040-1929 , she was kind as well as funny, since I ran a bit late with the time she came to my accommodation to deliver the motorbike, she greeted me with a warm hand-shake and then asked me for a picture with her (as usual in Indonesia) to cunningly promote her local business whose the link is mentioned below:

(for more details just check out https://wuzz-rental-motor-malang.business.site/ )

The motorbike itself was a brand-new Yamaha Aerox 150cc which was comfortable and powerful powerful to deal with the hills.

When I was all set, I started off the waterfalls mission which I listed before, in my opinion the most challenging one was Coban Rais because the path was really wild with rocks and flowing water streams in-between, so because all of that, a good practice would be to hike through the path with bare feet as most of Indonesian people do otherwise if you are picky with the waterproof shoes then you will get water inside and the result for your feet will be a way worse! So next time just bare feet 🙂

The second thing was that here I was just the only European alien, all the others were either locals or few guys from Singapore, when I reached the bottom of the waterfalls to record the scenery, some members of a numerous family approached me for few group-photos, YES, still here the alien is a news for them!

Finally, the last half-day I visited Coban Talun and the Cangar hot-springs, none of those places were touristically touched, apparently only Bromo attracts the burden of foreigners and locals from Jakarta who come there for the weekend only for that purpose. I am not going to drill down into much details on those attractions, just you need to experience it personally, however here below you can check out few pictures taken by my Sony alpha 6000 camera:

In conclusion, I spent in Malang three and half days, however I ensure you it would be worthy to spend there even five days because I hadn’t much time to check for some spots in the town of Malang suggested by Ibu Larasati such as Kampung Warna which is a kind of street artist.

A special thank to Ibu, Makki and Iik who assisted me as local advisers and I wish  I will travel there back soon in the future!

Every comment and remark is welcomed!

Thank you in advance for your contributions 🙂

Eggiamp

 

 

 

Dear travelers,
after being back from quite some time spent in Indonesia, now it is time to provide you with an overview of my motorbike tour on East Nusa Tenggara commonly known as Flores. So far, Having explored in Indonesia Java, Bali and Flores, I venture to say that Flores compared to the others two is still conservative:

There is not yet a properly-developed tourist infrastructure, apart from Labuan Bajo, over the entire land, out of twelve spots checked out I found only two touristy-appealing sites: Bajawa and Moni (which is the town close to the Kelimutu crater). All the rest are mostly old-fashion villages or just not-westernized small town.

As an organized European traveler, before my journey came I drew a daft itinerary plan of the places I would have explored by riding a motorbike:

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Yamaha N-max scooter by FloresMotorbike

When in Flores, the rental of a (proper) motorbike is a MUST because of the following reasons:

  1. There is no public transportation network (only some mini-van by tour agents)
  2. If you like to challenge yourself with the sense-of-discovering then you have no other way then just getting a motorbike.

As you noticed above my drawn plan consisted of eleven days and I nicely fit it by including even an extra stop at Mbay, naturally depending on your time you can plan it longer and juicier, however generally speaking I would say that eleven days is a proper time to discover what great Flores offers to the motor bikers.

I am not going to drill down into many details because those are countless then especially when considering every single happening day after day, however every day was a discover of something new, as first when in the early morning (around 7:30am) I started riding the motorbike I felt very keen to say a warm ‘Hello!’ by raising the hand to almost everybody as I crossed on the road either on the feet or just riding on the opposite way, their common spontaneous reaction was a loud ‘Hello Misteeer!!!’, yes ‘Mister’ as a sign of a respectful welcome to the alien in Flores 🙂 I would say roughly the 90% of locals, even the kids, had such an energetic reaction (imagine yourselves doing the same warm salutation in Europe…) and in some cases they were even intimating me to stop for chatting with them and perhaps be offered with a baked green banana and a Kopi (coffee) as shown below:

One day being curious of a uphill concrete surface road I decided to ride up there to see what I would have discovered and well guess what?

It was a primary school building, moreover the pupils at that moment were doing some outdoor activities, they all came close to me as I was on the motorbike and naturally asked me for pictures “Photo photooo“, then also the teachers and the headmaster realized me and also they want photos with me, look at below picture to get impressed with an idea:

Naturally as usual in here I was offered with a coffee and then one lady wanted to get my Facebook contact, even the purpose was not clear to me I had nothing against that, once I left the school I thought that I could even be hosted by her so I didn’t think twice to talk to her and ask for hospitality, then she agreed with her husband to host me for one night as I was on my long way back to Labuan Bajo.

It was a great chance, even better than staying at a known traditional village, to get deeply involved on their rural village life out the ‘comfort zone’. Both wife and husband work as teachers part-time, so the 2nd half of the day they just enjoy their simple life characterized by social meetings with their neighbours which most of them don’t even have a conventional job, instead their profession is to take care of their cultivation of coffee, green vegetables and their chickens, one of their neighbors they also produce a strong alcoholic drink which I personally tried and it was even stronger than a shot of whisky!!!

Just a social consideration, the couple who hosted me told that everyone in the village was staring me because of my height above the (Indonesian) average, my long-pointing nose and the colour of my skin which sounded funny to me since most of us Europeans consider the South-east Asian people to be exotic 😀

Here below I have attached few pictures of my stay at a ordinary Flores village:

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In conclusion, If I had not been enough curious I would have never get into such a situation, however life itself means a lot, we can’t always just be focused on itineraries advertised by Google maps and similars. I can proudly affirm that I got a very meaningful life lesson from the motorbike tour in Flores, especially when I consider that they don’t care at all about how many belongings they live with, the consumerism is still a way far from their habits, moreover they are truly tolerant and humble regardless the skin and the religion.

Having said that, I would encourage anybody of you to try such a life experience, if you believe that a simple lifestyle is possible at this world!

Any remarks and concerns are warmly welcomed!

PS: special thank to Enu and Chen for the generous Coffee bag roasted on your village!

Eggiamp

Hello to everybody!

After so long time spent I am back to write more about JAVA of Indonesia.

I state that I have totally spent fourteen days by travelling through Java and the Banyuwangi regency was the one in which I mostly focus my attention. The reason behind that was because in there I spent four full days in exploring without hopping into any next other location.

Banyuwangi is basically the east JAVA and there are at least four reasons why you should be dedicated at least four days in visiting it:

  1. Trekking to Ijen volcano crater with blue fire (if lucky to see it).
  2. Exploration of Baluran national park
  3. Exploration of Pulau Merah (Red Island)
  4. Exploration of Alas Purwo national park

The list above is based on what I managed to visit out of four days, however it could be longer since I heard about few more spots that could be checked out 🙂

Why Ijen?

Even it is touristically advertised, if you like to enjoy a night trekking experience then it is worthy 100% , just before booking it with any tour agent be aware that the price of the package should be max. 400.000IDR (about 24€), if more then they are trying to rape the pockets of the foreign western tourist. Me and a two German guys managed to get a negotiation for 250k IDR (about 15€). If you want to hear more about the tour agent details feel free to contact me and I will share the details.

The trekking itself is very intensive since the uphill path is aggressively steep, you will be hiking from about 1600mt of altitude up to about 2400mt, and the highest peak is 2799mt, so ensure yourself that before starting with that at night you will have taken a nap before 😉

Once you reached the top point you will enjoy a gorgeous scenery over the sunrise, so be provided with a camera and proper trekking shoes since you will get to walk quite a long way along the perimeter of the crater! Last thing but not the least keep in mind that you are supposed to wear the gas mask since the smell of sulfide is heavy to be breathed by your naked nose. Just take a look at the below pictures:

Why Baluran national park ?

If you like exploring a savanna which is full of buffaloes, colorful birds and snorkeling on the coral reef which is 100mt from the beach at the edge of the park then do not miss it! Of course you need to rent a motorbike to get there unless you want to go by a tour agent.

Why Red Island?

This spot is really chilling and ideal for enjoying one of the best sunset when in Java, all you need is patience to get there, it is two hours and half of riding from Banyuwangi.

Why Alas Purwo national park?

If you are curious to see monkey taking a bath on the water streams just get there and record some funny movies (I will soon upload one), this park compared to the Baluran one is much bigger, I personally did not manage to get to the very end point because it was getting late and the off-road was muddier and muddier so ride carefully!

Of course there is more and more to talk about East Java, just it is too long to just fit it in a single article, however if you are curious about any detail, I will be glad to provide you with the needed information(s) as long as my knowledges support me 😀

Every comment is welcomed!

Giuseppe