July 31. Seven Trips.

I go out when my couch surfer goes to work and get back home when she is back too. I write in my favorite coffee place, caffeine doesn’t make up for flawed inspiration, then I buy myself a cellphone and call my friend Ann. We meet in front of a shopping mall and I am sorry I am too late. I must have lost a lot of weight because she immediately notices my straw appearance. It’s no big deal: on our next meeting I will have lost a lot of hair. We hang out in a park and talk about the past year. I learn we’ve not changed much, from the outset. Change still in the phase of enzymes. Ann surprises me by taking me to a genuine German beer place for dinner. I’ve seen a “Bierhalle” in Irkutsk, the Russians seem to like it. We share a plate of Bratwurst and three glasses of good draft beer.
My fantasy wandered off at night, before I crash in the hallway out of empathy with her flatmate who might have to get up early.
Seven Enticing Trips You Should Not Take Because Of Their Large Carbon Footprint
You are short of ideas about where to travel? Here are seven options that require only the smile – the grin – of Mammon. I want to go.

  1. Manaus, the Amazon, Ecuador and Galapagos. Fly to Rio and continue to Manaus, take the boat ride over the Amazon and then go to Ecuador. Explore Quito and the coast. Book a one week Galapagos tour.
  2. Hiking Patagonia and experiencing Antarctica. Tango in Buenos Aires before you bus down to the famous glaciers where you hike for a week. Then take the ship to Antarctica and swim with the penguins.
  3. Through the Stan’s to China and Nepal. Fly to some city in the Stan-Republics and find your way overland to China, following essentially the old silk road. Make your way up to Nepal and enjoy Kathmandu. Return from India.
  4. Hiking Kamchatka, Alaska and Canada. On this trip, see the vast pristine nature on both sides of the Pacific. Fly to Kamchatka and hike there for a week. Then make your way to Canada via Japan. Travel up to Anchorage and beyond.
  5. The Middle East to the Sahara or Gobi. Fly to Tbilisi and make your way down through Turkey, Syria, Jordan, Lebanon, Israel, Egypt. Ride a camel. Either continue towards Morocco or down to Ethiopia.
  6. Awesome Africa. Kilimanjaro, Heart of Africa. Start in Ethiopia, then go to Sudan, Kenya, Tanzania, Mozambique, South Africa and Namibia and up towards to Congo in a 4 by 4.
  7. Polynesian Pleasure. Fly to Australia and explore the east coast from Brisbane to Melbourne. Then hop over to Tasmania. Spend some time New Zealand before you fly to Fiji and Hawai. Connecting flight home via New York.

July 31. Seven Trips.

I go out when my couch surfer goes to work and get back home when she is back too. I write in my favorite coffee place, caffeine doesn’t make up for flawed inspiration, then I buy myself a cellphone and call my friend Ann. We meet in front of a shopping mall and I am sorry I am too late. I must have lost a lot of weight because she immediately notices my straw appearance. It’s no big deal: on our next meeting I will have lost a lot of hair. We hang out in a park and talk about the past year. I learn we’ve not changed much, from the outset. Change still in the phase of enzymes. Ann surprises me by taking me to a genuine German beer place for dinner. I’ve seen a “Bierhalle” in Irkutsk, the Russians seem to like it. We share a plate of Bratwurst and three glasses of good draft beer.
My fantasy wandered off at night, before I crash in the hallway out of empathy with her flatmate who might have to get up early.
Seven Enticing Trips You Should Not Take Because Of Their Large Carbon Footprint
You are short of ideas about where to travel? Here are seven options that require only the smile – the grin – of Mammon. I want to go.
  1. Manaus, the Amazon, Ecuador and Galapagos. Fly to Rio and continue to Manaus, take the boat ride over the Amazon and then go to Ecuador. Explore Quito and the coast. Book a one week Galapagos tour.
  2. Hiking Patagonia and experiencing Antarctica. Tango in Buenos Aires before you bus down to the famous glaciers where you hike for a week. Then take the ship to Antarctica and swim with the penguins.
  3. Through the Stan’s to China and Nepal. Fly to some city in the Stan-Republics and find your way overland to China, following essentially the old silk road. Make your way up to Nepal and enjoy Kathmandu. Return from India.
  4. Hiking Kamchatka, Alaska and Canada. On this trip, see the vast pristine nature on both sides of the Pacific. Fly to Kamchatka and hike there for a week. Then make your way to Canada via Japan. Travel up to Anchorage and beyond.
  5. The Middle East to the Sahara or Gobi. Fly to Tbilisi and make your way down through Turkey, Syria, Jordan, Lebanon, Israel, Egypt. Ride a camel. Either continue towards Morocco or down to Ethiopia.
  6. Awesome Africa. Kilimanjaro, Heart of Africa. Start in Ethiopia, then go to Sudan, Kenya, Tanzania, Mozambique, South Africa and Namibia and up towards to Congo in a 4 by 4.
  7. Polynesian Pleasure. Fly to Australia and explore the east coast from Brisbane to Melbourne. Then hop over to Tasmania. Spend some time New Zealand before you fly to Fiji and Hawai. Connecting flight home via New York.

July 31. Seven Trips. was originally published on Meandering home

February 22.

I’m falling / Safely to the Ground. So what use is it to go all the way up to visit the Christo Redemptor? Since it is a tourist magnet and I swallowed some tourist iron, I walked to the entrance gate of the tramway that comforably takes you up the 700 m hill that is crowned with the stretched-out giant, “gazing placidly” over the city, as the Lonely Planet has it. I don’t like the guidebook language, it’s sterile, impotent, without rigour, it makes me forget that I’m alive. Guidebooks offer “one thousand places to visit before you die” as a substitute so you can feel alive a little. I have better recipes. The line for the Christo would last two hours. I decided not to go. On my way to the Christo I had to pass the Ben Gurion square anyway. I’m not much of a Catholic.
So I walked back and took a bus to Ipanema. Ipanema! Te, tuh duh, tuh de, tuh tuh duh. It felt great! The beach was nice, I could take good pictures there. Didn’t swim. Ate a hotdog and drank a can of mango juice. But I’ve been in Ipanema, they can’t take that away from me. The birds were fascinating. They roam the airspace above the thriving city, and remind me of how it must have been before civilization: a beautiful green valley between the high hills. I decided to walk the boulevard all the way to Copacabana to see that too. It was nice.
After that, I took a bus to Urca in order to get up the Sugar Loaf mountain. If I have any followers: this excursion is great and worth the 44 R$. A cable car takes you up the first hill where you can walk around as long as you please. You’ll see the helicopter platform (note for Gerrit: cheapest offer 150 R$ for 3-4 minutes to the Christo and back, most expensive offer 850 R$ for 60 minutes all over Rio) There are cute little monkeys that you are not allowed to feed but you’ll see tourists feeding them bananas in order to lure them into the range of their protruding camera lenses. Another cable car takes you up to the actual Sugar Loaf mountain, from where you have the greatest view of Rio, as the guidebooks say. I was glad I skipped the Christo. This view was just amazing. I took a lot of pictures which you are of course free to browse on Picasa.

I got back and cooked some Dutch dinner (Andijviestamppot. Do not try to pronounce if you’re not Dutch). Another good night in the hammock.