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Portrait of a local woman in the Traditional Village of

Portrait of a local woman in Nage village, FloresPortrait of a local woman in Nage village, Flores

This is a portrait I took of a local woman in the village of Nage, in Flores, Indonesia. Nage is one of many traditional villages (Bena, Bela, etc.) in the surroundings of Bajawa, built at the feet of Gunung Inerie.

After camping the previous night next to a hot spring water, we were invited in the morning by the guardian to visit his traditional village a few hundred meters away, where all the villagers were working together to build the roof of an house. We were warmly welcomed by everybody and happy to assist to this special event.

It's customary tradition that everybody in the village is participating to such an event for free, working under the sun in happiness, smiling and laughing, males and females alike. This way a roof several meters high, built with local natural materials, can be finished in just one day.

The reward for the effort was a big communal meal where a pig and an horse were sacrificed to be offered to the villagers of Nage.

Sunrise in Jatiluwih rice fields in Bali

Sunrise in Jatiluwih rice terraces in BaliSunrise in Jatiluwih rice terraces in Bali

While we have seen many rice fields in Java and in the rest of Indonesia, the rice terraces of Jatiluwih in Bali were definitely worth a visit. Not only it was a beautiful place with an organized and simple trek leading to nice Hindu temples in the forest, but we also had a great experience with local people that hosted us for free in their house and helped us in every possible way. There is a small fee to enter the village, and another one to access the trail. But if you go before or after opening time, you can just explore Jatiluwih rice fields for free and legally. On the photo the sunrise seen from the viewpoint on the main road of Jatiluwih.

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.

A magic place in Kefalonia island: Melissani cave

View of  Melissani cave in KefaloniaView of Melissani cave in Kefalonia

We still have so many amazing places to write about, but time is not always our friend. Last spring we were in Greece travelling for some months and we still have managed to write just one article about Meteora, but we are still missing all the amazing beaches and landscapes we have sen in those months.

Melissani Cave is found in the island of Kefalonia, Ionian sea, and it's easily reachable even hitchhiking as we did. After paying for an entrance fee (a little bit overpriced) a small tour on a rowing boat is included. Melissani cave is really beautiful, with a transparent deep blue water, and sunlight entering from the collapsed ceiling, but all in all the experience is lasting just 10 minutes and left us a little bit disappointed.

Sunset in Kasongan, Indonesia: red explosion

Sunset in KasonganSunset in Kasongan

After the previous photo of the day, picturing the sunset in Paragritis beach, this is the show that the Indonesian sky reserved us today from the terrace of our house in Kasongan. It looks like the Indonesian sky is specialized in sunsets: we were just amazed at how red the sky was. The image is not artificially altered, the sky was seriously looking so red. I've seen many beautiful sunsets in my life but this was so immersive and colorful that it was unbelievable. Kasongan village is known for being the artistic center of Java with its ceramics workshops everywhere, but this time it was the sky to showcase the best piece of art possible.

Sunset in Parangritis beach

Sunset in Parangritis beach, taken from the garden of the "Queen of the South" HotelSunset in Parangritis beach, taken from the garden of the "Queen of the South" Hotel
Parangritis Beach is just 30 km south of Yogyakarta, a favourite escape for people from the city and Indonesian visitors alike. That's why during the weekends it gets really crowded with people covering every strip of sand. Getting to Parangritis beach is an experience itslef, even if you can't swim because of the tremendous currents, and you can't relax because of so many people and noise. It's like going to the farmer's market to have an overview of the local society and their habits, and enjoy watching at people and their interactions. In the photo the sunset taken from the garden of the "Queen of the South" Hotel.

Danube Delta in Romania

Danube Delta, RomaniaDanube Delta, Romania

This shot was taken in the Danube Delta in Romania three years ago. The Danube Delta is world famous for its ecosystem and it's a not to be missed place when visiting Romania. The villages of Sulina and Sfantu Gheorghe (Saint George), are the main destinations, reachable only by boat.

Peanut processing in Indonesia

Peanut processing in IndonesiaPeanut processing in Indonesia

Local workers in Yogyakarta (Indonesia) separating the peanuts from the plants, and directly selling to the public. Most of the people in the western world don't even know how a raw peanut is looking and tasting like, used to buy from the scaffodils of the supermarket. While it is a normal job here at this latitude, the scene looked unusual and interesting to our western eyes.

Progress vs Tradition in Indonesia

Traditional way of carrying things in IndonesiaTraditional way of carrying things in Indonesia

Indonesia is literally invaded by scooters and motorbikes, moving around in a dangeorus vortex of chaos and following no rule whatsoever. But it is still common to see on the side of the roads, farmers and local people trying to escape this dubious "progress" and using to carry goods, old bicycle loaded with big bamboo baskets filled to capacity.

Roof of the Golden Hall, Kraton, Yogyakarta

Roof of the Golden Hall inside the Sultan Palace (Kraton)Roof of the Golden Hall inside the Sultan Palace (Kraton)

As in many other countries in the world, Indonesia is no difference, and extremes of poverty and richness can be found one next to the other. The Travel photo of yesterday, picturing becak drivers resting, is contrasting with the luxurious details visible inside the Sultan Palace (Kraton) in Yogyakarta. The Golden hall, a traditional javanese wooden pavillon, reachly decorated, is standing out from the rest of the structures inside the Kraton.

Siesta time in Indonesia, becak drivers sleeping

Becak drivers sleeping next to Kraton palaceBecak drivers sleeping next to Kraton palace

In Yogyakarta, the cultural capital of Java, it's still really common to spot bicycle rickshaws, locally known ad Becak. The drivers are usually very poor, some of them don't even have shoes, and they pass most of their day on the Becak itself. Clients are scarce and competition is high, so it's not unusual to see them resting under the hot indonesian sun, while waiting for the next client. Photo taken next to the Sultan Palace (Kraton) in Yogyakarta.

View of the ghost town of Mystras after a rainy day

View of the ghost town of MystrasView of the ghost town of MystrasView of the ghost town of MystrasView of the ghost town of Mystras

The ghost town of Mystras, abandoned almost 2 centuries ago, was an unexpected surprise during our trip in Greece. It's the main attraction of the city of Sparti, situated a few kilometers away. Mystras brings the scars of the Ottoman invasion it suffered in the past, and of time taking back this abandoned jewel.

Browsing photos in internet we were not sure if we wanted to visit it it or not, but after doing so, we can say that in reality it's much nicer and more interesting than it can be described by any image. It's much bigger than it looks, so it deserves several hours for a full visit!

Camping in a cave in Mani region, Greece

Davide in front of the fire in a caveDavide in front of the fire in a caveDavide in front of the fire in a caveDavide in front of the fire in a cave

We have been in Peloponnesos in Greece for the last for weeks, mostly camping since there aren't many residents in the area to look for hospitality. Many houses in the villages were actually abandoned. This picture of me taken by Oti, is well representing our last weeks on the road, with no electricity and internet to update our website. We were brought to this cave in Mani Region by a driver that picked us up while hitchhiking and was taking his dog to walk in the area in the morning. A very peaceful place directly on the beach and with sea view from the tent.

Parthenon at night, Athens

The Parthenon at night seen from Lycabettus HillThe Parthenon at night seen from Lycabettus Hill

One of the characteristics that stroke me the most in Athens, was its structure, being built over a valley that looks like an amphitheater looking at the Parthenon on top of the Acropolis hill, simulating a stage. So basically the possible point of views of the Parthenon are endless. But one of the best viewpoint to appreciate the panorama is definitely Lycabettus Hill. We went there right before sunset, so that we could enjoy the view with daylight, at sunset and at night. After the darkness covered Athens, and the Parthenon dressed his best dress of light, the view was quite dramatic. The Parthenon was standing colorful over the Acropolis, the only note of color, contrasting with the gray-blue tint of the city. To finish this metaphysics painting, the ships in front of Piraeus port, were standing still in the water, like fireflies in a summer night, but without movement.

Digital Nomads in the Greek island of Evia

The view from our Cottage in Evia IslandThe view from our Cottage in Evia Island

It has been almost 2 weeks now that we are housesitting in the Greek Island of Evia experimenting with our Digital Nomads lifestyle. While it is very close to Athens (45 km by bus and 45 min by ferry) it is a very remote location: we are on the south east of Evia Island (Also called Euboea) 30 min driving from the closest village. We are having a nice time here, even if we had some secondary problems, in particular with satellite internet that didn't work for 10 days, and only yesterday I was able to fix it after a long effort. During the day there is an amazing view of the surroundings, and at night the clear sky is welcoming us full of stars. At the same time it's sometimes a little bit spooky. Yesterday night the sky was eventually clear after a storm, but you could still see the frequent flashes lighting up the clear sky, probably lightnings far away; at the same time in the direction of the sea it was visible a strange light, what for me was a fisherman boat but for Oti an Ufo. Then at three at night some strange noise, something scratching our door and pushing trying to enter inside: it was just "Public" one of the dog we are taking care of here, but Oti got so scared, that my sleep was ruined for all the night. Now we are enjoying satellite internet that is eventually working and some rays of light passing through the sky, despite the air is still cold (We were expecting to swim on the sea being in the south of Greece in April, but we actually need to light the fire to warm up!). In a few hours we will go to play a little bit tennis in our "private" court. After all not a bad retreat for a digital nomad, isn't it?

Beautiful view of Kardzhali Reservoir, Bulgaria

 View over an oxbow in Kardzhali Reservoir - DamView over an oxbow in Kardzhali Reservoir - Dam

Four days ago we went hiking in the area of Kardzhali, in the south of Bulgaria, and we were really impressed with the views. We were looking in particular for a specific viewpoint of the Kardzhali Reservoir, an artificial lake constricted by two dams. About three years ago when I was in Sofia, I visited an open air photo exhibition of places to visit in Bulgaria. The captions were in Cyrillic, so I couldn't understand anything, but I took a photo of a picture showing an amazing oxbow, not knowing where was it. Three years later I found out it was in the area of Kardhzali, and then analyzing the satellite images I was able to find the exact spot. Despite the weather wasn't the best, it was a beautiful hike to reach the viewpoint, not only the oxbow was impressive, but we enjoyed many other views over the Kardzhali reservoir, strange rock formations, local villages and a suspended bridge over the water. In the end we succeeded with our treasure hunting and we sat on a rock for a couple of hours having lunch and enjoying the view.

Rainy day in Barcelona

Rainy day in BarcelonaRainy day in Barcelona

After visiting the Museum "La Virreina - Centre de la Imatge" in Barcelona, just a few steps from La Rambla, we had to wait under the portico for the rain to stop. The contrast between the darkness of the interior and the light outside diffused by the rain, while the people were waiting still, was quite sugestive and intense.

Night view from Piazzale Michelangelo of Florence Cathedral

Night view of Florence CathedralNight view of Florence Cathedral

Florence Cathedral (Basilica di Santa Maria del Fiore) is one of the main attraction of the Tuscan Capital. One of the best places to admire it is Piazzale Michelangelo, an open square sligthly elevated compared to the city center, from where to have an amazing view over Florence Cathedral and Brunelleschi dome. It's also the perfect place to enjoy the best sunset with the view of "Ponte Vecchio" and the water of Arno river turning red.

View of the Danube Delta in Romania

A view of the Danube Delta in RomaniaA view of the Danube Delta in Romania

This "idyllic" view was shot in the Danube Delta in Romania, exactly at the confluence between the second biggest european river and the Black Sea, in the surrounding of the village "Sfantu Gheorghe", one of the most popular destination in Danube Delta togheter with "Sulina".
The village was previously a fisherman hamlet, today reconverted to touristic destination. It gets very busy in particular in August, because of an indipendent movie festival called "Anonimul". Danube Delta is considered to be the third place in the world with the biggest biodiversity.

Magic house in Saintes-Maries-de-la-Mer

House in Saintes-Maries-de-la-MerHouse in Saintes-Maries-de-la-Mer

This is one of the private houses, probably an old fisherman house that we saw while hiking in Saintes-Maries-de-la-Mer. It was just in front of the beach at the outskirt of the town, on a row of similar buildings. It looks like it's coming out of a magical movie or a fairy tale, a place where I would expect to meet Ernest Hemingway.

 Oti e Davide Long Avatar We need your help for keeping this project alive. Consider making a small donation. Thank you, Davide & Oti  ♥ Contribute 

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 Where are we now: Singapore 

 Going to: Malaysia, Thailand 

Portrait of a local woman in the Traditional Village of

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 ...

Sunset in Parangritis beach

Parangritis Beach is just 30 km south of Yogyakarta, a favourite escape for people from the cit ...

Danube Delta in Romania

This shot was taken in the Danube Delta in Romania three years ago. The Danube Delta is world ...

Peanut processing in Indonesia

Local workers in Yogyakarta (Indonesia) separating the peanuts from the plants, and directly ...

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About Us

Davide Vadalà 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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