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  • Mount Rinjani trekking: night hike and sunrise on a volcano in Indonesia

    Davide and Oti on top of Mount RinjaniDavide and Oti on top of Mount Rinjani

    Our Rinjani Trekking mini series:

    Day 1: Hiking through a Savannah like landscape

    Day 1: Camping on the ridge of the crater

    Day 2: Night hike and sunrise on the summit of Mount Rinjani

    Day 2: Reaching Lake Segara Anak and the hot springs

    Day 3-4: A beautiful forest and the second best viewpoint

    Extra: How to choose a reliable trekking
    ...
  • Cheow Lan Lake: Kayaking surrounded by the jungle

    Our experience kayaking in Cheow Lan Lake inside Khao Sok National Park, is one of the best travel memories I have of my peregrinations not only in Thailand but around the whole world. I've been travelling almost non-stop for the last 6 years, and after having seen so many different places I rarely remain impressed of something. But Cheow Lan Lake seriously stole my soul and is now permanently added to my mental shortlist of natural wonders.

    Davide kayaking in Cheow Lan LakeDavide kayaking in Cheow Lan Lake

    It was like a natural Dolby Surround System hitting my sensory organs with omnidirectional waves, recreating symbiotically a feeling of peace and primordial stillness into my being.

    It's not only about the amazing setting, made of immense limestone cliffs abruptly raising toward the sky and totally covered in a thick layer of jungle. It's not about the still water reflecting the surroundings while Gibbons are calling in the background. It's about the vicinity to nature and the feeling of being part of the purest essence of it. It's a constant amazement and a feeling of being alive.

    We had the freedom to go kayaking wherever we wanted since we had free unlimited usage of the kayaks in our tour. With this silent floating vehicle we were able to get closer to the jungle and its inhabitants, in total respect of their environment.

    ...

  • Gunung Rinjani trekking: camping on the ridge of the crater

    Sunset view from our tent on the ridge of Mount RinjaniSunset view from our tent on the ridge of Mount Rinjani

    Our Rinjani Trekking mini series:

    Day 1: Hiking through a Savannah like landscape

    Day 1: Camping on the ridge of the crater

    Day 2: Night hike and sunrise on the summit of Mount Rinjani

    Day 2: Reaching Lake Segara Anak and the hot springs

    Day 3-4: A beautiful forest and the second best viewpoint

    Extra: How to choose a
    ...
  • Rinjani Trekking: forest and viewpoint of the Indonesian volcano

    Rolling hills at the feet of Mount RinjaniRolling hills at the feet of Mount Rinjani

     

    Our Rinjani Trekking mini series:

    Day 1: Hiking through a Savannah like landscape

    Day 1: Camping on the ridge of the crater

    Day 2: Night hike and sunrise on the summit of Mount Rinjani

    Day 2: Reaching Lake Segara Anak and the hot springs

    Day 3-4: A beautiful forest and the second best viewpoint

    Extra: How to choose a reliable trekking
    ...
  • Visiting Boh tea plantation and hiking in Cameron Highlands

    Vibrant tea hills rest in perfect silenceVibrant tea hills rest in perfect silenceOn our day 2 of Cameron Highlands we went hiking through the jungle reaching the top of the scenic Gunung Brinchang, we penetrated inside the fairyland of the enchanted mossy forest, and got lost and hungry in the endless labyrinth of the BOH tea plantations. An adventure day full of good vibes and magnificent landscapes as far as our eyes could see.

    Charlie and the trail no.1

     

    A blue hazy day on Brinchang MountainA blue hazy day on Brinchang MountainWe met Charlie from USA in the morning of our day two in Cameroon Highlands, in our hitchhiked car outside Tanah Rata on the road to Brinchang. He was picked up by the same car few hundred meters earlier. He was going to do the same hike on the popular trail number 1, just like us, so he cheerfully decided we should go together.

  • Mount Rinjani trekking: hiking through a Savannah like landscape

    A porter hiking towards the summit of Mount RinjaniA porter hiking towards the summit of Mount Rinjani

     

    Our Rinjani Trekking mini series:

    Day 1: Hiking through a Savannah like landscape

    Day 1: Camping on the ridge of the crater

    Day 2: Night hike and sunrise on the summit of Mount Rinjani

    Day 2: Reaching Lake Segara Anak and the hot springs

    Day 3-4: A beautiful forest and the second best viewpoint

    Extra: How to choose a reliable trekking
    ...
  • Trekking Mount Rinjani: hot springs and crater Lake Segara Anak

    View of the hotspring next to Segara Anak lake in Mount RinjaniView of the hotspring next to Segara Anak lake in Mount Rinjani

    Our Rinjani Trekking mini series:

    Day 1: Hiking through a Savannah like landscape

    Day 1: Camping on the ridge of the crater

    Day 2: Night hike and sunrise on the summit of Mount Rinjani

    Day 2: Reaching Lake Segara Anak and the hot springs

    Day 3-4: A beautiful forest and the second best viewpoint

    Extra: How to choose a
    ...
  • Cheow Lan Lake: Wildlife spotting and guided kayak tour

    After 2 days passed in Kao Shok National Park, with the second one spent mostly kayaking in Cheow Lan Lake, in a continuous amazement, before exploring a local caveand some of the jungle, it was time to welcome our last day in this unforgettable settings.

    Davide and Oti enjoying the longtail boat ride on Cheow Lan LakeDavide and Oti enjoying the longtail boat ride on Cheow Lan Lake

    Sunrise call for Wildlife spotting in Cheow Lan Lake

    The still but animated jungle offering shelter to many animal species was awakening to another day of life.

    We woke up deeply rested and relaxed while listening to the not too far away call of the Gibbons, functioning as a natural alarm in the jungle.
    We got ready and before breakfast we went for our first activity, wildlife spotting. It was planned as early as possible with departure at 7 am to maximize our chances of having a glimpse of local fauna.

    Cheow Lan Lake: Jungle trekking and cave exploration

    On the bamboo raft next to the ranger campOn the bamboo raft next to the ranger camp

    After our free time kayaking on the lake was finished, it was time for a planned activity of our visit to Cheow Lan Lake, jungle trekking and cave exploration. Transported by our longtail boat, permanently anchored in its sleepy mood next to the platform waiting to be awaken to bring us around, we reached the starting point of the hike in around 10 minutes, totally soaked by a the second storm of the day. We luckily had our own rain gear with us, and the other guests of the tour were lucky enough to be provided by our organized guide.

    Longtail boat ride under a Monsonic stormLongtail boat ride under a Monsonic storm

  • Cheow Lan Lake: our stay in floating rafts

    Our stay in the floating rafthouse on Cheow Lan Lake was the first experience of this kind for us, and we were so happy to have the possibility to live on the water for one day and go kayaking whenever we wanted.

    Plen prai raft house floating on Cheow Lan LakePlen prai raft house floating on Cheow Lan Lake

    After our first day passed at Art's Riverview Jungle Lodge, next to Khao Sok National Park visitor center, we checked out from our accommodation and jumped in the unexpectedly luxurious van that “Limestone Lake Rainforest Tours” sent for us perfectly in time.

    The fancy van that picked us up in Khao Sok National ParkThe fancy van that picked us up in Khao Sok National Park

    We were amazed, but the amazement grew higher and higher while we were going further, it looked like there was no limit to the level of beauty it could reach.

    We drove just a short way over the other side of the river,to pick up the

    ...
  • Cheow Lan Lake: flora, fauna, facts and legends amid the cliffs

    Cheow Lan Lake is a place of impressive beauty, where karst cliffs as high as 960 meters (3150 feet) and totally covered in luxurious vegetation, are protruding out of the water creating a dreamland environment. That's about 3 times as high as the world famous rock formations in Phang Nga!
    It is located not far from Surat Thani in the south of Peninsular Thailand, and it is a quite popular destination since it's easily accessible from Pukhet, Railey beach, Phang Nga itself and several islands.
    Cheow Lan Lake is an artificial reservoir created in 1982 by halting the flow of Paseang River (also known as Khlong Saeng) to provide Electric power to Surat Thani and south of Thailand.

    One of the peaks in Cheow Lan Lake submerged by the reservoirOne of the peaks in Cheow Lan Lake submerged by the reservoir

    Environmental impact of Ratchaprabha Dam

    It's always a big question mark if the creation of a new dam is beneficial for the environment or not, and it cannot be answered with a generic reply. Hydroelectric power is one of the cleanest energy source we have, and can cater energy for several hundred thousands people, so indirectly protecting the environment from further exploitation, and thus reducing emission and pollution.
    At the same time the previous ecosystem, as it was the case of Cheow Lan Valley, is changed for ever and so it is the life of its human and non human inhabitant. We don't know if to consider good or not the environmental change provoked, since we have no knowledge of any ...

  • Cheow Lan Lake: prices and info to visit independently

    Davide enjoing his free kayak in Cheow Lan LakeDavide enjoing his free kayak in Cheow Lan Lake

    To experience Cheow Lan Lake, you don't have to join a prepackaged company tour if you can't afford it, it is possible to organize the trip independently.
    We were lucky to be invited by “Limestone Lake Rainforest Tours” to join their organized trip and their two other guests, so that we didn't have to worry about anything, but if you are really on a budget and you prefer to arrange the trip by yourself, there are some options available also for you.
    But before going, make sure to give some calls asking for the most recent prices, eternally changing, and to do some calculations to understand if it's worth the saving.

    One of the floating raft houses in the lakeOne of the floating raft

    ...
  • Cameron Highlands: exploring Tanah Rata and its tea plantations

    The beautiful panorama of the BOH tea plantationsThe beautiful panorama of the BOH tea plantations

     “Cameron Highlands” is the most recommended destination on the lips of the busy people of Kuala Lumpur as well as the favorite weekend getaway for the more chilled citizens of artsy Penang. Here, the local tourists come to experience spring, at an average temperature of 20 degrees, but also to balance their dusty buzzing city life with the country side of the ever green rolling hills, the birth land of strawberries, flower farms, and famous tea estates.

    Famous Malaysian Tea PlantationFamous Malaysian Tea Plantation

    The place was discovered during British occupation in 1885 and inspired the Brits to develop the area into orchards, tea plantations, nurseries, as well as resorts, golf courses and other touristic attractions. Here the visitor gets the chance to see

    ...
  • Sunset between the clouds in Gunung Lawu, Indonesia

    Sunset seen form the peak of Gunung LawuSunset seen form the peak of Gunung Lawu

    This year we decided to spend an alternative Easter. Far away from our families in the biggest Muslim country of the world that is Indonesia, we didn't really feel the need to celebrate Easter.  It was actually "My" catholic Easter (Oti is Orthodox) and since I'm not a believer I opted to spend it in between the clouds of Gunung Lawu, one of the many volcanoes in Java island, sacred to hindu people.

    We were actually looking through the clouds to see is we could see Jesus resurrecting, but we probably calculated in the wrong way the timezone and missed the show. Or maybe it was just this guy in the photo acting like the Christ of Rio de Janeiro!

    It took us almost 5 hours hiking to reach the top of Gunung Lawu, and after sleeping on the floor of a basic shelter, we descended the following day after enjoying the sunset. It was the highest mountain that Oti ever climbed, reaching over 3200m, but still 2300m lower than my top. A nice hike though, but not as impressive as our climb to the top of Merapi Volcano.

  • River rafting in Kasongan raising awareness about garbage pollution

    The magic of Kasongan river, away from the garbageThe magic of Kasongan river, away from the garbage

    Indonesia is not only a country of amazing scenes and a thousands cultures, it also shares a huge problem with other South Asian Countries: garbage.

    In Western world we are used to throw our bag full of sins in the dumpster, and forget about it. In the best case we separate the rubbish for recycling, and that's it, not too much effort.

    Here in Indonesia it doesn't work like that, there is no collective system for collecting the garbage, let alone a recycling system.

    Rafting Kasongan River

    One evening we were offered to participate to a Sunday event by our neighbor Josh, a local environmental activist from Rumah Inspirasi Guide, consisting in covering some miles of lenght of our river in the village of Kasongan, with specialized rafts built to collect the garbage. Our role was only to be present to help raise awareness among the people, not to clean the river (this was done in other occasions involving more locals), so not too much effort from our side.

    It's always seen as important here in Indonesia for the organizers to have some "Bule faces" (Bule is how White foreigners are called in Indonesia) to give more credibility to their events: and we were happy to put our faces for an higher environmental purpose.

    ...
  • See the Bornean Orangutan in Tanjung Puting National Park, Kalimantan

    The baby orangutan we saw in Tanjung Puting National Park (Kalimantan) while enjoying a ride on the back of his mum The baby orangutan we saw in Tanjung Puting National Park (Kalimantan) while enjoying a ride on the back of his mum

    Tanjung Puting National Park is probably the easiest and most accessible place in the world where to see the Orangutans in the wild. Tanjung Puting Taman Nasional is located in the Indonesian region of Central Kalimantan (actually in the Southern part of Borneo Island) and it's easily reached from Kumai and Pangkalan Bun, accessible by Ferry, Bus and Airplane.

    Camp Leakey and the Bornean Orangutanmen

    The Orangutans are living in the wild only in Borneo nowadays (Indonesian and Malaysian part, but not the Bruneian portion) and Sumatra. The subspecies present in Tanjung Puting National Park is called Bornean Orangutan ans is classified as endangered, slightly different than the Sumatran Orangutan, which is just a step from extinction and classified as critically endangered. The population of wild orangutans living in Tanjung Puting is estimated to be around 6.000, that make this National Park the place with the biggest population of Bornean Orangutans in the World.

    ...
  • Hiring a Klotok to explore Tanjung Puting National Park: price and info

    One of the klotok boats used to navigate Sekonyer RiverOne of the klotok boats used to navigate Sekonyer River

    The best way to enjoy the company of Bornean Orangutan and visit Tanjung Puting National Park, is no doubts hiring a Klotok, a wooden traditional boat retrofitted to satisfy tourist's needs.

    The accommodation is not luxurious, but really practical and at direct contact with the nature around. There is a bottom deck where the crew is working and sleeping, and a top deck where the tourists are spending their time. Here meals and snacks are served on the dining area, where there is free tea and coffee available all day long, and at night the top deck is transforming on the sleeping quarter with a king size mattress and a mosquito net.

    Interior view of our klotokInterior view of our klotok

    There are no cabins and

    ...
  • Pantai Baron, Pantai Kukup and Gunung Kidul beaches in Yogyakarta

    Tropical fishes for sale in Pantai KukupTropical fishes for sale in Pantai Kukup

    After coming from Kalimantan, we truly needed a „break” to recover our strength and start with a fresh mind the second semester of our Darmasiswa scholarship program. We figured that the best choice would be the untamed southern coast of Java, Gunung Kidul Regency on Indian Ocean's shore, just 60 km away from Yogyakarta, the city where we live and study. If you ever visited Yogyakarta (Jogja, as known by the locals) one of Java's most densely populated cities, you know that finding space, privacy, silence, nature and tranquility are no easy task. We set our bar high and started our quest on the internet to spot the perfect place to stay.

    Interior of Villa Tentrem toward the living space. The best accommodation we could ask for, better than a hotelInterior of Villa Tentrem toward the living space. The best accommodation we could ask for, better than a

    ...
  • Beware of Mosquitoes On Your Trip To India!

    Rohit, a native blogger from India, tells us his secrets to fight mosquitoes!

    While planning your trip to India, there are a couple of things you should note. Among a lot many of those things on your checklist, add this one too: “prepare to fight the little flying monsters!” And indeed, you should be prepared. Due to lack of sanitation and proper drainage systems, Indian grounds are a perfect breeding ground for mosquitoes. While most mosquitoes are harmless, some are very deadly. These lead to epidemic outbreaks of diseases such as Malaria, Dengue and Chikunguniya. Elephantiasis and Japanese encephalitis are some other diseases caused by mosquito bites.

    As scary as it may sound, do remember “Prevention Is Better Than Cure.”Once you are fully informed and equipped to handle any such situation, you can experience the bliss this country has to offer. Here’s what you can do.

    Close up of an Aedes Mosquito. "Yellow Fever mosquito?" - Photo by [url=https://www.flickr.com/photos/31031835@N08/4220922584]John Tann[/url] - CC [url=https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/legalcode]BY[/url]Close up of an Aedes Mosquito. "Yellow Fever mosquito?" - Photo by John Tann - CC BY


    First step to avoid mosquitoes: Stay informed

     

    The first and foremost preventive measure you can take is to stay informed about the place you are going to visit. Although mosquitoes are omnipresent, knowing about the types of diseases prevalent in the particular state (especially due to mosquitoes) will help you. Websites of Centre for disease control (CDC) and World Health Organisation (WHO) provide some

    ...
  • Road Manali to Leh: my story blocked by floods

    This is an experience that is still clearly impressed in my mind despite not recent. It was August 2010 and I was almost at the end of my 9 months Asian trip, planning to visit the legendary Buddhist hamlet of Leh in Ladakh, India. Unfortunately I wasn't able to reach my final destination, because we got stuck on the famous road from Manali to Leh, hit by unexpected floods.

    August generally means monsoon in India, but not in the Himalayan region where there is a totally different climate, thanks to the altitude and the protection that the mountains give against the rainy clouds. That's why I decided to go in Ladakh in that period, sure to find the dry climate I couldn't get anywhere else in India. Getting to Leh from Manali is a 20 hours trip at high altitude, across amazing landscapes and primitive roads, strangely called "highway", split into two days.

    Despite it was supposed to be a good season to go toward Ladakh, unexpectedly torrential rains and floods caught us on the way, and while we were blocked on the road, at the same time on the city of Leh over two hundreds lives were lost. Below my point of view of the event, seen from a much further and safer, though still dangerous, condition.

    We started the trip with a minibus from Manali, the most common starting point to venture in direction of Leh. We made friend very soon with the other passengers, a necessary and welcome step since we were going to share a long trip and an important experience. 

    Since the beginning the weather was quite bad, rainy and foggy; the road was really tiny and muddy, hardly two car could cross the road at the same time, and despite this there were even trucks coming both ways, pushing us to find dangerous trajectories to overcome the obstacles.

    ...

 Oti e Davide Long Avatar We travel as cheap as possible, hitchhiking, and hosted by people. Our only expense is food: if you want you can help us with a free donation. Thank you, Davide & Oti  ♥ Contribute 

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 Where are we now: England

 Going to:  Wales, Scotland

View of Land's End arch and cliffs in Cornwall

  Today we were lucky to manage to hitchhike to Land's End, one of the extremities of U ...

Transfagarasan road in Romania seen at night

I took this photo on my second night spent camping next to Balea Lake, after hitchhiking on t ...

Fireworks in front of Castel San'Angelo in Rome

Since some years on June 29th in Rome, there is a historical representation called "La girand ...

Portrait of a local woman in a traditional Indoensian village

This is a portrait I took of a local woman in the village of Nage, in Flores, Indonesia. Nage ...

Sunrise in Jatiluwih rice fields in Bali

While we have seen many rice fields in Java and in the rest of Indonesia, the rice terraces o ...

Sunset between the clouds in Gunung Lawu, Indonesia

This year we decided to spend an alternative Easter. Far away from our families in the bigges ...

A magic place in Kefalonia island: Melissani cave

We still have so many amazing places to write about, but time is not always our friend. Last ...

Sunset in Kasongan, Indonesia: red explosion

After the previous photo of the day, picturing the sunset in Paragritis beach, this is the sh ...

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About Us

Davide Vadal? and Otilia Lefter

We are Davide and Otilia, an international couple with itchy feet, living a non conventional life traveling around the world and learning everyday something new....
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