Asia, Australia and Oceania, South America · 333 Days · 48 Moments · August 2016

No filter: the bitter side of our world trip


9 July 2017

First day, New Delhi, India. Exactly 11 months later, MΓ‘ncora, Peru. 14 countries around the world, many issues, priceless experiences! We made it...

23 June 2017

Finally, leaving home, we broke a few hearts. I made the most important women of my life cry, and I know my family and friends miss me every single day. And God knows I miss them too, I miss them so much. During this year it became crystal clear which persons really count in our lifes, and actually they are not that many. To the few real ones, I would like to say thank you. Those persons stayed so close to us that we never felt lost, that in hard times it was enough to think of them to feel relief, that we never forgot that somewhere home was waiting for us.

14 June 2017

The conditions at more than 4000m were harsh. The air was either so dry that nose and throat ached or so humid that the cold would go right through our bones, especially at night, when our basic guesthouses had no heating.

7 June 2017

Imagine spending one year with your partner, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, walking or sitting side by side during the day and sleeping side by side in small rooms during the night. We were put at test, constantly, not being able to avoid each other, not being able to avoid discussions or fights. Well, I can say it was a hell of an occasion to resolve existing issues between us, then find new ones and resolve them, too. It was not easy but I am forever grateful that we were able to make this priceless experience together.

29 May 2017

Struggling with the altitude in South America. I was more affected than Dani and looked completely exhausted for more than a week. Even simply walking would make my heart beat like crazy.

27 May 2017

We spend Christmas without Christmas tree and without family. We spend my birthday in the campervan and on a ferry. We spend Daniela's birthday in a rather ugly city. I can't even remember where we spend Easter. And we missed all our friends' and families' birthdays and parties.

23 May 2017

Even if we hated our backpacks at some point, we were always happy to find them back after a bus ride or a flight. More than once we thought they were lost or stolen, with the only few things that we had...here they were almost on a flight to Argentina; luckily employees found them before they started their own trip without us.

11 May 2017

Living in a campervan for a few weeks was fun, but cheap vans come with a few issues. Apart from smelling awful, ours couldn't handle braking for long times. Once we luckily managed to stop it with red hot and smoking brakes. Another time we had to try drying the mattress because the heavy rain would find its way and enter the van.

7 May 2017

From the months of walking Daniela got a bursitis on one foot and more than once she had to finish her treks barefoot or with her worn out All Stars.

3 May 2017

Throwback to Daniela's first (and second) try to drive on the left side on New Zealand roads...she had 6 cars lining up after us and drove like she wanted to kill us πŸ˜…. From the third drive on she was quite alright πŸ˜‰

2 April 2017

After Bali, temperatures started to drop. We only needed light clothes in tropical Asia and had to buy trousers and a pullover, and later 2 light jackets (because we realized one was not enough). I didn't know at that time that I would be wearing the same jogging trousers and sweater almost everyday from that day on until two weeks ago...my grandmothers words "what do you need so many clothes for, you can only wear one thing at once" have never been more true...

5 March 2017

While biking through ricefields around Ubud, Daniela was afraid she would fall again (she still has a big scar on the knee from falling while biking in Bagan, Myanmar. Actually I was the one who fell down into the ricefields...twice! She had a good time laughing while my whole body was itching like hell.

27 February 2017

Balinese medecine Daniela took everyday for more than 2 weeks. Oily and bitter it tasted worse than it looks like...

24 February 2017

In Bali I slided twice with the motorbike in 5 minutes and almost fell before realizing that the back tire was getting flat...luckily balinese people are extremely friendly and a local mechanic was just around the corner.

19 February 2017

After eating rice for half a year we were really, but really missing every type of food we liked and left behind, like chese, spaghetti or good chocolate. Sure, we tried hundreds of delicious rice dishes but we were craving food from home! Having a taste of my favorite cookies that our friends brought me to Singapore was heaven.

6 February 2017

When you are sick or injured, you just want the confort of your bed, a warm soup, and rest. In Langkawi, Malaysia, Daniela had her back blocked due to sciatic pain...there were monkeys in the trees nearby and apparently 200 types of birds, but no doctors...so she cured it with hot showers and days of sleep...

15 January 2017

Everyday kept us at watch and we realized how far we could push our bodies and minds.

8 January 2017

Talking about bad weather. We were stuck in Ko Samui for more than 2 weeks; people lost their homes and some their lives in southern Thailand during the last winter.

9 December 2016

Often, we would miss our confort zone. Believe it or not, we were tired! Tired of waking up at 4am to catch a bus or arriving during the night in some place. Tired of having to eat cold food in freezing trains full of people, watching because they're way too curious. Or was it us that were simply annoyed of almost always being surrounded by people? Probably! And that's when one of us had to calm the other down to avoid fights (or most of them πŸ˜…). Even when we were packed in overloaded cars or buses...even when our bed for the night turned out to be on the floor, with ants and cockroaches. We even had 2 or 3 rats in our rooms in Nepal and Malaysia. More lucky, we only heard them running around on our roof here in Thailand.

7 December 2016

What awesome pictures we took of the mighty ruins of Angkor! But photos don't show everything. As a matter of fact, Daniela and I had a big fight that day...I cannot remember what it was about; sometimes we just couldn't stand eachother anymore πŸ˜…

23 November 2016

We could have adopted hundreds of stranded dogs and cats (and other animals) but we had to say no, heartbroken, a million times.

14 November 2016

Kep, Cambodia. After this picture we had a great meal of fresh seafood, or so we thought. Daniela became sick a few hours later and suffered from serious food poisoning that kept her in bed under the mosquito net (and throwing up and everything) for three whole days. She already didn't eat meat before and became completely vegetarian afterwards.

11 November 2016

Crossing borders is always an experience and our patience was constantly at test with people trying to jump the line (people in Asia are experts at jumping lines!) and officers taking their time...

5 November 2016

To keep track of the money we spent, we wrote down everything. The small agenda we kept was opened every single day since we started. We had to plan according to a budget but you only do a world trip once (probably? maybe? πŸ˜‰) and you end up spending more than planned, so most of the arguments we had were about money.

30 October 2016

Often, we would sleep bad...or not at all.
Did you know we bought an expensive chain system to protect our backpacks before leaving one year ago? Well, we used it once and we decided to send it home after 5 months. In the end we caught ourselves even hoping sometimes that someone would finally steal those f@#$ing backpacks we had to pack and unpack eeeeveryday and then carry them again and again on our aching shoulders. And what would we carry? Those few same old washed and clothes, soaps, a washing bag, dirty worn out shoes and a bag with olive oil, salt and pepper for the occasionally prepared simple meal...and chopsticks. I bet people could tell they wouldn't become rich by stealing the rucksacks because nobody even came near looking at them πŸ˜‚

25 October 2016

We were particularly unlucky with the weather the whole year round. Here's one example, where we headed to Sapa, one of northern Vietnam's most beautiful places to catch the only 2 days of rain of that month. What a view!

21 October 2016

Probably because of the pollution in Hanoi or maybe because of the heavy AC's in every building, my eye started swelling until I couldn't even open it anymore. I can honestly say that I have seen Hanoi only with one eye, hidden behind sunglasses for the whole week we stayed there.

18 October 2016

I already talked about shocking markets but what we saw in Vietnam was on a whole other level. Snakes in sacs, dozens of frogs or turtles on top of each other, fish with barely enough water to hold them in, rare cobras or scorpions and even baby goats in bottles of alcohol, sharks, eggs of any animal laying eggs, and so on can be seen in the more remote areas of the markets. And before they're eaten, they are treated badly. No need to be vegetarian to feel awful and heartbroken...once again.

16 October 2016

This bus ride from Hsipaw back to Yangon was one of the worst we experienced this year: a night bus of 12 hours lasted whole 26 hours. A huge traffic jam had us waiting for ages. We still don't know what really happened. Police control, landslide, strike or an accident, we have no idea, and in these cases nobody tells you anything and you can't do much about it but suck it in...and wait patiently. Luckily we had snacks and just enough water. We arrived tired and with broken backs but by this time we had learned that patience really is a virtue.

13 October 2016

While trekking near Hsipaw, we passed through villages controlled by rebels of the burmese regime. The night we slept in such a village (where soldiers closed the entrance at 6pm) we saw helicopters fly over us. We were told that fightings were happening not far and our guide thought it would be funny to tell us terrifying stories about recent clashes in the area. A restless night followed...this was the day after while trekking back to Hsipaw πŸ˜…

12 October 2016

As teachers, we made it a habit of visiting schools to be able to compare systems of teaching and conditions. It must be said that it broke our hearts everytime we thought of our well equipped classrooms full of pupils that are very difficult to impress, while we saw teachers giving lessons with almost nothing at their disposal, 3 to 4 mixed classes in one room, filled with kids eager to learn something with the hope to improve their hard conditions at home.

8 October 2016

We like local markets the most while exploring cities. We like the noise, the things sold, the people running around bargaining. And especially, there is always something to be shocked of!

25 September 2016

We started our trip during the monsoon season in India and the rain followed us through Nepal to Myanmar. During our trip we decided to walk as much as possible to save money and on this day we had to cross the whole city of Yangon through the most intense tropical rain we had ever experienced. Nothing on us was dry after that hour and half, socks and underwear were completely drenched. That's how we arrived at the restaurant for dinner.

11 September 2016

During our 10 day trek in the Annapurna region we had exceptionally bad weather for that time of the year. We kept on going through the rain for 7 days, not seing any mountains until we reached Machhapuchhre Base Camp at 3700m and being bitten by leeches. While we were rewarded at last, it was a really frustrating week.

3 September 2016

Usually we didn't post pictures of the places we slept because...well...they sometimes looked like this. This one was so humid that we had to put our towels between ourselves and the sheets to be able to stay quite dry. About the transportation, no luxury there either πŸ˜…

2 September 2016

Less frightening but still annoying: the day woke up at 4 to see the Himalayas for the first time, our driver ran a dog puppy over and drove us up to this view...

24 August 2016

Then, once arrived in Kathmandu, happened one of the highlights of our trip. Walking down the steps of the Monkey Temple, Daniela happened to be in the middle of 5 or 6 monkeys that wanted to steal her water bottle. They jumped on her and some of them scratched her arms and leg. Long story short, not knowing if one of the monkey had rabies, she had to take 5 injections. The tourist hospital asked 1000USD for it. So we decided to add an experience to our list. She was brave and we went 5 times to this local hospital to be vaccinated.

23 August 2016

Here I am, 8kg down, after 2 weeks of travel. But fortunately we bought some wonder medecine in India for almost nothing. Sold like seen in the picture, nothing more. I have no idea what I took but I was back on my feet after 3 days!
Crossing our first border. 22 hours of hell in a bus driven by 2 or 3 young men, chewing betel leaves and other stuff, no doubt, racing on one of the world's most dangerous roads. Exploded buses and cars on the left side in the river, more than 100 meters below, people shouting to the driver to slow down...he laughing back... The 3 men even stopped in the middle of the night before the border to hide something under the baggages...what a night...

22 August 2016

On this day we went to see the cremations. The Ganges river was extremely high and flooded into the streets. We had to walk through the water (with everything I talked about in the previous post, which is also the holy water in which the dead are washed and prepared for their last journey) to reach our guesthouse.

21 August 2016

The most difficul thing was trying to manage the constant interest local people had in us...and the things we saw in the streets. On the first picture you can see open toilets, but not everybody uses them...some people simply use the street. Cows drop what they have to drop in the same street, and poor people with diseases long vanished in Europe, like leprosy, beg for small change right next to cooks that prepare tea or curries on open fires.

19 August 2016

Arriving in Varanasi was exactly what the first picture looks like. We were fascinated but a bit intimidated. The girl we met was telling us how she had been so sick she had to see a local doctor (crazy story) and how she had met two guys that were totally shocked of India and couldn't get over it. We later saw many people with big eyes that looked really lost in the narrow streets of the ancient city.

18 August 2016

We have some beautiful pictures of this day and some of them will surely find a place on the wall in our living room. But actually we spend less than 2 hours around the Taj Mahal and went back to the guesthouse to rest for the rest of the day. Daniela was already very ill, throwing up and everything while I was naive, thinking I was strong enough...I would lose almost 10kg a few days later πŸ˜…

17 August 2016

Taking the train in India is a life experience. Of course, this is not 1st class (and not the 3rd either!). After one week, Dani started feeling sick. One guy in Nepal later explained to us that India's hygiene standarts were in fact very bad, but that the first time you go you fall sick because it is your mind that cannot handle it.

14 August 2016

A few days later, we got lost around Pushkar. We had seen beggars so far, but on this day we landed in an extremely poor neighbourhood where we first experienced kids running after us, pulling on our clothes, begging for soap, food and small change. Our hearts were already broken a hundred times before the first week passed.

11 August 2016

To start in Delhi was a craaaazy idea (my idea...sorry honey!) We could easily fill this Journi with pics from India...wow, what a shock landing in one of the most populated and polluted cities of the world! Nothing can prepare you for India, let alone arriving with a backpack and not sleeping in the nicest neighborhoods. We were hardened from the very start with serious life lessons.

10 August 2016

Dear all, During the last year, we shared many of our most impressive moments through this site. You have seen beautiful landscapes, interesting urban scenes, and so on. Now, as we come to the end of our world trip, we would like to resume here some of the other things. Now that we made it to last more than 11 months on the road, we would like to give you an insight to scenes and situations that we were confronted with most of the time. No fancy pictures anymore, no beautiful colors...you will see the ugly side of our trip, the side that made us grow, the things that actually give all the value to our adventure. Without these pictures, our year "off" could almost pass as a holiday...here's the real stuff...we waited until now, so we could be able to say that for one year, we really were travelers. Enjoy Ps. To our worried mothers: do not panic, we are all safe now. Thank you for enduring...we know it was not easy for you, without even knowing about these pictures. We love you!