Monthly Archives

October 2016

Africa Blog Congo

Most Beautiful Shots of Congolese landscape

October 30, 2016

Largely known for its dark history and civil unrest, the Congo is also a place of great beauty. Its vast forests, rivers and savannahs give rise to landscapes of stunning natural beauty.

Here are 10 of my favourites.

Mount Nyiragongo

Located within Virguna National Park surrounded by forests and savannah, Mount Nyiragongo is an active volcano standing 3740 meters above sea level.

mount-nyiragongo

Garamba National Park

Garamba National Park and its seemingly endless grassland savannah covers 4,920 km² of north eastern DRC.

Kahuzi-biéga National Park

This vast area of tropical forests and its two extinct volcanoes provide a home for a diverse range of fauna, including one of the last surviving groups of eastern lowland Gorillas.

Boyoma Falls

The Boyoma Falls consist of 7 waterfalls distributed along 100 km of the Lualaba River, descending a total of 61 m finally reaching the Congo river.

Pool Malebo

Known as Lake Nkunda by local indigenous people in pre-colonial times, Pool Malebo is the name given to the lake-like wide region of the lower Congo river.

Maiko National Park

Situated on the equator, the swamps and rivers which meander through Maiko National Park form amazing patterns on the landscape.

Idjwi and Lake Kivu

On the eastern boarder of DRC lies Idjwi, an island located in Lake Kivu.

Okapi Wildlife Reserve

The Okapi Wildlife Reserve in the countries north-east is home to numerous threatened species including primates, birds and about 5,000 of the estimated 30,000 okapi surviving in the wild.

Salonga National Park

The meandering rivers and oxbow lakes create amazing landscapes through Africa’s largest national park.

The Congo River

Separating the Democratic Republic of the Congo and the Republic of Congo runs the Congo River. The river stretches for thousands of kilometres and is littered with rapids and waterfalls.

 

Australia Blog Travel

The MIGHTY South East Coast Australia: Travel Tips and Advice

October 21, 2016

(South East) Australia is beautiful in a thousand ways

It spans over 7 million square kilometers, so it can be difficult deciding where to begin. Whether you love the surf, dense forests, natural streams, or buzzing metropolises, the South East coast can satisfy all your desires.

It is possible to travel by train ( www.nswtrainlink.info ) or by coach, but in all honesty, the best way to see Australia’s South East coast is in your on vehicle. Be it a tiny two-seater, a 4WD , or a van, there is nothing like owning your own freedom when it comes to endless natural beauty, and when deciding where looks good to camp for the night.

Sydney acts as a perfect starting point for any trip down south.

The city itself is very big, with hundreds of suburbs offering diverse food, night life, beautiful beaches and  parks. The Northern Beaches is an amazing area to explore, with lakes, dams, park land and of course beaches, it’s a great way to experience life near the city, without really being in the city. The Sydney Harbour is of course a must see, the bridge really is impressive and excellent for long walks, across, under and near it… I really enjoy strolling through Luna Park and through The Rocks.

 If you’re interested in more alternative ways of living, Newtown is the place for you. At all hours of the day, there are buskers playing, street art to see, beautiful architecture, quirky locals, and cafes and pubs for miles.

About 3 hours south of Sydney lies Mimosa Rocks National Park,

It is HUGE, the park has beautiful roads that spiral down to immaculate beaches. You can set up camp right in the car park, with the overhanging native trees and friendly wallabies, it’s the perfect way to spend a star filled night. Be sure to check out Nelson Lagoon too. Malacoota is another worthy area, having rocky headlands, soft sand and a walking track that laces along a constant line of beaches, about 30 meters high, tracking in and out of bush land.

If you’re heading South, Ninety mile beach is the perfect spot if you want to camp free! About half an hour east of Princes highway, down Corringle road lies a massive untouched beach. Swimming in its fresh waves feels that much better after climbing up the impressive sand mountains that hides the beach away.


little green nomad shot

Continue south for another couple of hours and you’ll hit Melbourne:

The mecca of culture, art, music and food. Activities to tickle your taste buds include the St Kilda Festival (February), strolling the cafe and graffiti dense lanes in the city’s centre, perusing the fresh goods at the Fitzroy Markets, and, my favourite, taking a trip to Half Moon Bay (especially at sunset!)

Living + Nomads

The South East Coast of Australia has so much to offer

And with the right mindset it’s not hard to live cheap and sleep for free! Sometimes it takes a little drive by searching, but I’ve found that the best spots pop up when you least expect them to –  no map can direct you, only your instincts can win!

If you’re interested in a 2 – 4 week trip, driving from Sydney to Melbourne is perfect for this amount of time. You’ll have more sun tanning time than you could ever imagine, hundreds of bush walks to choose from, dozens of quaint little towns to service your coffee and pie needs, and endless choices of relaxing, fun or romantic spots to set up for the night 😉

Handy Tips For Travelling The South East Coast of Australia

All tap water is drinkable, weather in summer is about 26 – 40 degrees, you DEFINITELY need sunscreen and  I’d recommend a visit to Bunning’s Warehouse to buy things like eski coolers and mosquito coils.

Also worth checking out –

Bawley Point 

Murrumbidgee National Park (near Durras)

Wooloondool, Murrumbidgee Valley National Park

jervis bay green patch

 Have any questions?
Comment below

Vegan

5 Most Popular Vegan Take Outs in New York, NYC According to Yelp

October 17, 2016

No need to be a hungry vegan in New York. Take your pick from the top 5 vegan take out spots in New York according to Yelp based on ratings and reviews – perfect for  those lazy days.

Go Zen

Vegan-Asian-Fusion with many choices, attentive staff, and large portions.

144 W 4th St (at West Village, Manhattan) New York City, New York, USA, 10012 | Tel: (212) 260-7130  | Website

V Spot

Excellent Latin food with a nice ambiance.

12 Saint Marks Pl, New York City, New York, USA, 10003 | Tel: 212-254-3693 | Website

Peacefood Café

A casual cafe environment with smoothies, salads, and heartier vegan options.

460 Amsterdam Ave, New York City, New York, USA, 10003 |Tel: 212-979-2288  | Website


Terri

Sandwiches, subs, and smoothies here are a must try.

60 W 23rd St (at Chelsea, Manhattan) New York City, New York, USA, 10010 | Tel: 212-647-8810 | Website

 

Blossom Du Jour

Just because it’s vegan doesn’t mean it can’t be fast. Delicious food and exceptionally quick.

259 W 23rd St (at Chelsea, Manhattan) New York City, New York, USA, 10011 | Tel: 212-229-2595 | Website

Asia Blog Laos

Things To Discover In The Discreet Country of Laos

October 16, 2016

Laos is a beautiful untouched country in South East Asia. I’d pick Laos over busy Bali any day – why? Because it’s super chilled out and has a raw beauty and serenity which I hope, I really hope, doesn’t change.

Things to see in Laos

Luang Prabang 

Take a walk through the countries ancient capital that feels as if it has been frozen in time.

Vang Vieng

Popular among backpackers and Korean tourists; explore the many caves and bright blue lagoons that dot the landscape tucked among the mountains jetting up from the valley floor.

Si Phan Don (4000 Islands) 

On the border of Cambodia and Laos the Mekong River gives way to a large watery plain dotted with islands. Explore the area on bikes or kayaks, take a look at the large waterfalls that plunge down towards Cambodia, or take in the serenity in your bungalow swinging in a hammock. NOTE: no ATM on the islands. Bring plenty of kip.

Tham Kong Lo 

Hidden in the Phu Hin Bun wilderness area in the southern panhandle of Laos the Nam Hin Bun river flows through Tham Kong Lo cave. Float through the 7km tunnel only illuminated by flashlights and headlamps. Hire a boat from one of the nearby fishing villages. Not for the faint of heart.

Pha That Luang

The most famous and important site in all of Laos, which you’ll find on all of their currency, is a must see, especially if you arrive via Viantiane. Don’t stop here however. There are many temples, many of which are centuries old, to explore.

Kuang Si Waterfall 

Hike up and around this beautiful area exploring the various falls and bright turquoise pools. An hour by tuk-tuk, don’t book a tour. Instead, find enough people to fill the back of a tuk-tuk and haggle the price.

Slow Boat to Muang Ngoi Neua and Nong Khiaw

Relax along the Ou River and travel to the quiet river villages of Muang Ngoi Neau and Nong Khiaw. Relax or hike around the infrequently visited area.

Phonsavan

Occupied by the United States at some point decades ago during the war, some western characteristics remain like the Laos “cowboys” you may come across. Good place to visit the plain of jars from as well.

 

Blog Slovenia

My Slovenia Blues

October 10, 2016

Many months before I arrived in Slovenia my personal life took a sudden sharp turn for the worse but with time I recovered and I was back in my usual great place, but not for long. Then after, without warning an extremely painful unexpected event in Paris occurred which straight up broke me into pieces and I was – without question, disoriented for a very long time. The daily pangs, the constant blame, anger flushes, smiles of denial masking tears and circles of dead-end reasoning. I had the feeling I was standing all alone, and my state of mind wasn’t changing any time soon. I was bargaining with thin air and desperately needed to be somewhere new and distracting where nobody knew me so I went on skyscanner.com and booked the first flight out to anywhere.

I was the first on the plane and the first out the airport. Eager is an understatement – i just had to leave London and arrive in Ljubljana asap

I’m glad I am writing this years later because my memories of visiting Slovenia are now centered around the beauty of the little country, the hospitable people I met and the light-hearted adventures I had there. I chose Slovenia by chance, it was actually out of Slovenia and Slovakia which at the time were same difference to me – they are both small (random) countries in Europe which I could fly to cheaply from London.

Slovenia is a pretty little country. From above it looks like a fairytale, with castles, bridges and statues of dragons. I went during the icy white winter when it was freezing cold and snowing. You know me – I hate the cold, but these were desperate times so I didn’t care about below zero weather. I may have been one of the handful of black people that some of the locals had ever seen in real life but it was ok, they are polite and didn’t touch – unlike the Asians… What is great is that it is tiny, so you can easily visit it in 1 week – though I stayed for around 3 weeks to get a real feel for the place. Besides.. I had no pressing matters elsewhere.

I stayed with V, a great great guy – actually one of my besties today. He’s brilliant and so is his family. He showed me around Ljubljana, a few cool night spots, Lake Bled and a few off track places. We went for hikes and every day I dined with his family. It was so nice, it was exactly what I needed.

To V: You may not have realised it – but you helped me a lot. Our days together were more than amazing and filled joy into the empty hollow hole in my heart that was broken. The day trips and the conversations, the food, wine and the spliffs. Thank you, thank you all.

At that period Slovenia was the first destination out of many that followed and believe or not, my trip got a lot more interesting, tough and outrageous once I left. Perhaps I should have stayed there longer.

You may wonder what exactly happened in Paris that broke my heart and wrecked my mental state? Or, you may wonder what happened before Paris that caused the event in Paris… With time you will find out. I’ll write about it

Photos from a random time in freezing cold Slovenia

Lake Bled     

Random village near Lake Bled

Climbing (a bit scared) up to somewhere

Getting Around

Car Share Websites In Each Continent

October 9, 2016

Car sharing is a low cost and fast way to get around. While coaches and buses are slow – and train may be expensive car sharing allows you to pay less, and travel faster, and more accurately. Most countries accross the globe will have Blablacar and Uber opperating. If you feel like this list is missing something please comment below

Asia

Blablacar

Uber

Ryde

Yatrashare – India

Pikup – India

Noritomosan – (のりともさん) Japan

iCarsclub – Singapore

PPZuche – China

Yongche – China (Beijing)

Dublway – Russia

Letsride – India

Tripid – Philipines

Mobilizm – Turkey

YoYo – Turkey

Africa

Blablacar

Uber

Findalift – South Africa

ugomyway– South Africa

Europe

Blablacar

Uber

BlaBlaCar.com

Carpooling.com

GoMore.com

Mitfahrgelegenheit – Germany 

Mitfahrzentale – Germany

Covoiturage – France

Zegoapp – Italy

Dublway – Ukraine

Oceania

Blablacar

Uber

Jayride – New Zealand

Coseats – Australia

GoGet – Australia

North America

Blablacar

Uber

Kangaride

Lyft

Getaround

Moovel

Gocarma – Bay Area only

Carpooling

Rideshare

ZipCar

ZimRide

rdvouz

Rideboard

Hitchplanet

South America

Blablacar

Uber

Zazcar – Brazil

Nos Fuimos – Chile

rides.com.mx – Mexico

 

Blog

Stunning Black Sand Beaches. wow wow wow

October 9, 2016

During My World Travels I get lucky enough to enjoy the sight of black sand beaches…

One type of black sand is a heavy, glossy, partly magnetic mixture of usually fine sands, found as part of a placer deposit. Another type of black sand, found on beaches near a volcano, consists of tiny fragments of basalt. – wiki

There’s me thinking that there was only grey/blonde sand, then I discovered black sand in Iceland and I was fascinated! Black sand? How rare and beautiful! Here are my top 10 black sand beaches around the world

10. Punalu’u Beach – Big Island, Hawaii, U.S.A

Relax under the palm trees and maybe catch a green sea turtle soaking up the sun.

Black Sand beach at Road to Hana

9. Miho no Matsubara – Shizuoka, Japan

4 mile stretch of rocky black sand with Mt. Fuji towering above it.

8. Muriwai Beach– Muriwai Beach, New Zealand

Just 35km from downtown Auckland, you can explore this 40 mile stretch of rugged beach on horseback or do something a bit more adventurous like hang gliding or kiteboarding.

7. Papenoo Beach – Papenoo, Tahiti

Famous for its white sand beaches, Papenoo’s black sand beach is often overlooked and has a locally favored river mouth surf break.

6. Black Sand Beach – Maui, Hawaii, U.S.A

It’s black pebble beach may not be the best for relaxing you can find many freshwater caves, ancient temples, and lava formations.

5. Cahuita Beach – Cahuita, Costa Rica

Mostly rough waters featuring big waves for surfers, you can find a few areas of calm water for swimming at Costa Rica’s most famous stretch of black sand.

 

4. El Bollullo Beach – Tenerife, Canary IslandsLocated in a secluded bay, El Bullollo beach is home to soft, black sand beach surrounded by dramatic cliffs dropping into the ocean.

3. Vik Beach, Vik, Iceland

One of Iceland’s many natural gems.

2. Black Sand Beach – Prince William Sound, Alaska, U.S.A 

A favorite among the sea kayaking community for it’s beautiful scenery and favorable geography that protects against the strong Alaskan winds.

1. Stokksnes Beach  – Stokksnes, Iceland

Strikingly  beautiful and dramatic views of the Icelandic coast.

Warm and Cold
The sun is beginning to get low on the sky and one can see the clouds getting formed from nowhere against the hillside. It becomes an awesome effect where the newly formed clouds forming a wall that completely being illuminated by the golden light, while everything behind it retains its cold blue tones. The picture was taken on a tripod barely a foot above the ground. It is a composite image (panorama) consisting of three vertical images to get the full width of the mountain and the plants in the foreground. To get sharpness all the way from the black lava sand in the foreground to the mountain in the background, I have used “focusstacking”.

 

Asia Blog

My Peaceful Trip To Rosh Pinna

October 6, 2016

I ended up hitchhiking to Rosh Pinna from Nazareth which I didn’t plan to at all. I was waiting at the bus stop for the bus from Nazareth to Tiberius so I could change there to get to Rosh Pinna but it wasn’t coming. Either I’d got the schedule wrong or it just wasn’t coming at all but it was getting late and the dusk moonlight was starting to creep in and as the journey took an hour I needed to get moving before it was really dark. Luckily the first car that saw me stopped and I jumped in. He was heading to Tiberius so I figured I was lucky… until he started acting strange.
Perhaps I was his first ever hitchhiker, or he was a natural weirdo but his actions were over friendly which made me uneasy. He kept looking at me. Just staring, then all at once he randomly pulled over and stopped in an Arab town in the valley and jumped out and bought me TWO falafels and some water. I finally saw him in outside the car setting and he was huge, wide and scary. He could crush me with him toe… but though he was extremely questionable, I still accepted because I was hungry – what can I say.. a girls got to eat.
He kept stopped off a view points too which now I am pleased about because I saw some spectacular views of Tiberius and distant Jordan but I kept thinking that this was his way of sweetening me up for something horrible. I even memorized his number plate when he bought the food. It was just intuition, but finally we got down to Tiberius bus station and I jumped or should I say ran out. I arrived in a very still Rosh Pinna 40minutes later in pitch black darkness.

“Rosh Pinna was the unwanted rock, which found its place as the corner-stone of Israel”, a local told me.

Rosh Pinna is a wonderful picturesque little place in Northern Israel. Though be careful, because as much as Rosh Pinna is welcoming, locals tell me that she (Rosh Pinna) also spits people out after a while. I still don’t get it… It might be a personal experience.

The source of Rosh Pinna is the fountain at the end of the village. It is the chakra of the town, Eldad told me so – so it must be right. When you are there you feel a different vibration.The people welcome you like you’re an old friend or even a local. They don’t waste time with formalities either. Conversations I had in Rosh Pinna usually started from the middle, rather the beginning and worked their way backwards. Truthfully they are a little peculiar, but aren’t we all? They are the kind of people who put gnomes outside their house and leave their doors wide open while having arguments, sex, family gatherings and parties for the entire neighbourhood to hear – just because we are ‘all one’. I remember a local asking me ‘what do you do?’ and I gave my best response and when I returned the question ‘and what do you do?’ he responded ‘that’s a good question, I’m still trying to find that out’ in a wise buddha type way. I felt like such a tool for answering so thoroughly.

If you make your way to downtown Rosh Pinna from the fountain, you will walk past the picturesque old village which is home to art galleries, magnificent look out points and a synagogue. I took a walk though the Wadi Rosh Pinna and it was so silent that I could hear everything is icy clarity. Every bird, branch, leaf and rustle of the trees. The mountains were like barriers separating me from the world, I was completely alone say for a few lizards and other wildlife. I remembered what a big deal solitude meant for me, the last time I was totally alone in such a vast space was in the Mitzpe Ramon. I climbed to the top of the Wadi and looked down – everything was laid out clearly to me, the world was mine – even just for a day. If anybody was there, I must have looked like some random hiker lost in the valley.

 

Africa Benin Blog Travel

Best Portraits of Africa: Black and White Edition by Mario Gerth

October 6, 2016

In Benin, scars on the face –more specifically in the apples of the cheek – represent heritage, ethnicity, beauty or clan ties. Etched into the skin during infancy, these artificial dimples come in a variety of hash mark patterns depending on where you are from. If your mother is from one tribe and your father from another, they both have to create the pattern of their own origin on each one cheek. Your mum right and your father the left site. Its a kind of passport you carry day in and out. – Mario Gerth

UK Vegan

Most Popular Vegan Restaurants In London According To HappyCow

October 5, 2016

You know me.. I’m not a typical vegan. I don’t opt for salads and the raw options but I go for the stir fry, beans and Mexican dishes. For me, I’m happy with the awesome street food options that London has to offer but sometimes alone, with friends or on a date I go and try out new vegan restaurant’s around town.

This is a list of the top 5 vegan restaurants in London according to HappyCow based on reviews and ratings

Vantra Vitao

25-27 Oxford St, London, England
Mon-Sat 11:00am-11:00pm, Sun 11:00am-9:00pm

Personally… I don’t think this should be #1
There is alot of choice and I barely noticed the staff, they helped a little then disappeared which isn’t a bad thing I guess… My food cost around £7 which is expensive considering that most of the food wasn’t really tasty tasty. The real positives here is that they are 100% organic, the food isn’t oily (though I love oily food) so I guess it’s all very healthy. The deserts are great too but there is alot of choice which means that you might get full very quickly with trying new things. In my opinion it’s just ok..

Mildred’s

45 Lexington St (at Soho), London, England
Mon-Sat 12:00pm-11:00pm

Great food!
I love this place! The mexican starter is so delicious but big so be prepared to get filled up! Mains are always delicious and its a cool restaurant too.

Tibits

12-14 Heddon Street (off Regent Street), London, England
Mon-Wed 9:00am-10:30pm, Thu-Sat 9:00am-11:00pm, Sun 11:30am-10:30pm


Great location and atmosphere

Buffet style restaurant where you pay by weight. Almost too many dishes to choose from but I’m not complaining. It’s in a fantastic location just off Regent Street, tucked away in a cute lane bursting with plants. Its not the cheapest but one of the best restaurants in London

Vegan Hippo

  52 Rupert St (at Soho), London, England
  Mon-Fri 6:30am-9:30pm, Sat 12:00pm-9:30pm, Sun 12:00pm-6:00pm

Great place for a satisfying full vegan menu
Staff are really lovely, not a lot of seating so be prepared to have to wait. The food is quite good but quality could be improved, hopefully they will get there as time goes on as clearly a lot of passion has been put into it! All food good but not great. Nice to have the option there though

Itadaki-Zen

139 King’s Cross Rd, London, England
Mon-Fri 12:30pm-2:00pm, Mon-Sat 5:30pm-10:00pm

Tasty Japanese Food
If you like Japanese food then you’ll enjoy this place. The food is tasty and authentic. We all enjoyed our meals. Sushi is good. Everything vegan. The restaurant is busy though so make sure you book a table as it is not that big. Also, it isn’t cheap because you have to order a set whether you want a starter or not.

Links:

VEGAN

Happy Cow – Vegan Most Reviewed

Egyptian Vegan Food aka Vegan Heaven

My Top 10 Italian Vegan Food

Vegan Tunisian Food

VEGANS! Put The Wine Glass Down