Last weekend we went for a short roadtrip to Rotaroua. You can really tell when you are getting close to the town because of the smell of rotten eggs. The smell is not that pleasant but just a 25 minute drive from the city you will find Wai-O-Tapu that is considered to be New Zealand’s most colorful and diverse geothermal sightseeing attraction. Also listed by Trip Advisor as one of the 20 Most Surreal Places in the World. And yes it feels a bit surreal when you are walking around the park, seeing all the different pools, all in the same area, so much variety in just an one hour walk. Some of the geothermal springs are orange, others yellow or toxic green! There are boiling mud pools and a geyser there as well. So you’ll see gas pouring up from underground all over the area, just like people has been lighting fires in the forest… but it’s all from the springs around the area. If you are around the area you should pay this place a visit. It is well worth it, but make sure to be there just when they open, at 8:30 in the morning to get the place for yourself and avoiding all the tourist buses that will get there just in time when you’re finishing up.
Vulcan Mazaya is one of the easiest accessed of Nicaragua’s 40 volcanos. Basically the whole western coast is covered in Volcanos. On our way trough the country we saw 4-5 of them. Lava flows have not occurred in over 200 years from the Mazaya but when we visited, there where a restriction for geting to close to the crater because it was to active. In 2007 it had an eruption that cascaded vulcano rocks over 3 km around the crater.
We took a cab to get to the top passing the landscape that the vulcano once created, and when ge got to the top you could see that there was no civilization close to the volcano, just a dried up landscape of lava stone. It’s a national park now a days. The big cross that you can see on the hill watching over the volcano crater is there to protect from the evil spirits that rises deep from underground.
Since we got our scuba diving certification in Fiji we’ve had an extra layer of adventure on our trip. Even though we can’t bring our cameras with us, the world underneath the surface keeps facinating us. Honduras is a diver’s paradise here in Central America, so after Guatemala that was our next destination.
On our way there we did a two day stop at an Eco lodge located on the river between Rio Dulce and Livingston in south east Guatemala. A real jungle paradise, the only thing missing was a internet connection and we could have stayed there much longer. The only means of transportation here is by boat and it reminded us much of Kerala, India where people lived the same way on the shores of the river. Mostly we went here because of the river, that is suppose to be one of the most beautiful places in Guatemala and we wanted some photos of that before we left.
We left Flores one early morning to get the bus to Semuc Champey a nature reserve surrounding a natural limestone bridge hovering over muddy river below. The natural bridge is filled with crystal clear pools that are perfect for swimming and connects to each other via a set of small waterfalls. To get there you need to endure a 8 hour drive on bumpy non-paved roads but you are rewarded with truely magical landscapes.
In Lanquin, the main traveller hub for Semuc Champey we had to catch a 4×4 to the lodge where we were suppose to stay. We jumped onto the back of the truck along with our luggage without knowing the condition of the road that we are taking… we just had to hold on tight and enjoy the ride on the bumpy road through the valley. The Utopia Eco Lodge is located about 40 minutes outside of town but only 2 km from the park entrance to Semuc Champey.
The next day we made a visit to the park, hiked up to the view point and then went for some swimming and snorkeling in the pools, we bought some watermelon from the locals and just had a perfect day. Semuc Champey is a really beautiful place, truly one of natures great creations.
When we sat down on the plane at Heathrow with destination Colombo, Sri Lanka, little did we know what fate had in store for us. We had booked the flight with Sri Lankan Airlines and the flight attendants were wearing colorful saris much like those on Thai airways flights. One of the first impressions that we got from Sri Lanka was the in-flight magazine Serendib. On the cover was a photo of a bird from Sri Lanka and inside it had some interesting tips of what to do and a really good map of the island, so we decided to take it with us.
Sixteen days later we where back in Colombo again for our onward flight to India and we had arranged for an airbnb stay in the city… and the stay just exceeded every expectation we ever could have imagined. First of it’s a really beautiful house with lots of light, an inside garden, antique furniture and lots of framed paintings and photographs. You get your own big, clean room and bathroom and the family living there are so friendly and helpful.
Nelun that we had contacted on airbnb.com is a designer for Barefoot (the store we wrote about earlier) and a part from designing sari clothes she also paints and does graphic design. As if this wasn’t enough it just happens to be that her husband is wildlife photographer Luxshmanan Nadaraja, the photographer who has taken the cover photo on Serendib magazine which we’ve had in our backpack for the last two weeks!
Luxshmanan has been a wildlife photographer in Sri Lanka for 29 years and in his coffee table book “the nature of sri lanka” you get a unique insight to Sri Lanka’s beautiful nature with stunning photos of wild animals and plants. To buy his book send an e-mail to him on firstname.lastname@example.org or contact us.
We are so lucky to find all these inspiring people, this happened to us in a city with over 3 million people and in a country with a population of over 20 million. Sometimes the world can seem so small!
Thank you so much Nelun and Luxshmanan for the stay. Thanks Nelun for helping us shipping gifts back to Sweden and thank you Luxshmanan for the tips on nature photography! If it had been possible we would have really like to stay longer with you guys!
We have had some heavy rain last days. Nothing compared to hurricane Isaac in the United States but anyway. It has been raining all day and night. The leaves have become yellow. The apples in the trees have begun to mature. And the best part of autumn, the air is so clean and fresh. This morning when I woke up it had stopped raining and the sun began to show. The fog was still dense, but the first thing I saw was this masterpiece that had survive the heavy rain.. lucky spider that were not washed away..