Crossing The Alps – New Journey Starts

It’s already late this year.

My feet got more and more itchy. But finally my #TinaTortuga is ready to take her out for another, bigger trip.

The decision for a destination was hard to find for this winter. There’s no lack on ideas and opportunities, tho. But where to put the priority?

Traveling by my Landrover #TinaTortuga.

Heading to warmer places.

Explorer new regions.

So, let’s start by crossing the snowy Alps, having a coffee in Italy first…

Autumn – mystic moods

The day hides behind clouds.

The landscape disappears in the mist.

The colors vanish slowly between shadows.

Autumn in its late days brings up mystic moods in nature.

I embrace the dark times with its smells, its sounds, its secrets.

Where the eyesight comes to its boundaries, there’s more space for fantasy and dreams.

Autumn – the colorful

There was this occasion of a family reunion in a small valley. As a boy i used to spend our family holidays in these mountains in Northern Italy.

Blue sky invites for a hike in nature. From the top of the mountains shines the first snow of the season, and the colors of autumn burst from the forest.

A good opportunity to grab my Nikon and take some shots of this colorful world in autumn…

OST-EUROPA-MOTORRADTOUR #51: Albanien

Albanien ist bekannt für seine unberührte Bergwelt mit kleinen Dörfer und grosser Gastfreundschaft. Diese abgelegenen Gegenden habe ich vor bald mal auf vier Rädern zu erkunden. Mit dem Motorrad wollte ich aber dennoch an die Küste nach Shkodar und dem gleichnamigen See. In der Hauptstadt Tirana musste doch ein Kaffeestop eingelegt werden. Auf der Suche nach einem netten Café reihte ich mich in den vollen, chaotischen Verkehr ein. Im ‚Marko Polo‘, nach dem berühmten italienischen Reisenden benannt, wurde ich fündig.

Shkodar ist kleiner als ich dachte. Eine kleine, schöne Altstadt ist umgeben von Betonbauten. Der See wird umrahmt von hohen Bergen und gibt der Gegend eine reizende Note. Sie lockten mich hinauf, aber das muss noch etwas warten. Erst genoss ich die wirklich tolle Gastfreundschaft in Shkodar und das Willkommens-Bier meines Hostels.

At The Banks Of River Nile

At the other side of the Nile a fishing lodge offers boat trips even into South Sudan, i heard. Fishing lodge sounds posh, but when i arrived it was a run-down lodge with basic facilities. Yet still the charm of better times stays in the air. A small group of locals arrived just after me. They came for a little party under friends, brought a living goat in the car trunk and let them to the butcher to slaughter it in the backyard. There were more animals waiting to get eaten up, but having a peacefully live till then. A pig with a bunch of small ones, chicken, more goats. Eagles circling over the river when i walked along the banks and gave the scenery a peaceful touch of freedom.

Hike Trough Border Villages

Early morning a young guy approached me. He offered tours. Despite my plans to travel further, i got convinced to spend a day longer in this area. Julius, the young tour guide, promised me, not only to guide me for an hike along the Congo border, but also showing me authentic village life, where he’s born. I didn’t regret my decision. Trough villages and over farmland, he brought me to a cave, climbed up an hill with craters, where every inch is used as agriculture land, introduced me with school and showed me the spring, where village people get their drinking water. On this hike, i got the whole lot impression of country life in Uganda.

Hike Around Lushoto

The Usambara mountains offers stunning views from their cliffs. Definitely a must for a hike or two. But also the small villages along the edges are worth a visit. Here some photo impressions…

Lushoto – Arriving At Irente Farm

Something different after those weeks at the coast. A nice, cool place with fresh air and green, lush forests. A quite, peaceful spot with great view over landscape. The Irente Farm just out of Lushoto has the perfect reputation for that. After a friendly welcome, i parked my Land Rover at the grassy campsite, took a fresh breath and got already a taste of the famous dishes with garden fresh vegetables. Back to my car, it was surrounded by big group of teenagers, playing and screaming. Oh Lord, why have these school class from Germany to be here on this week? They visited a partner school here for a project. However, it turned out pretty fun when they started with drum lessons and dance schooling. If i needed some breaks, i headed for a walk and chased bugs or chameleons with my Nikon.

visiting ticino – southern switzerland

It’s a day trip over the Swiss alps by motorbike to reach the region of Ticino, the southern part of Switzerland. With the early golden morning sun i picked up a good friend who gave me nice company for this trip. At a lake just before the ascend to the alps started we had a coffee. From there it’s a winding road up to the heights of the mountains. Small, narrow roads, old, stoney bridges -as the „devil’s bridge“- and even a Russian monuments from the war at 1799 shows how busy this route was the last 2000 years.

By motorbike it’s a pleasant journey to lakes surrounded with mountains and palm trees. After a refreshing swim and some original Italian ice cream just over the nearby border, there was a nice stroll trough ancient alleys of town and visiting the castle of Bellinzona. Just before the night fell in, we were already back on the way north, letting the palm trees behind us.

Malawi – Nyika Nationalpark

Four young men are busy to press tobacco leafs in bales, while the golden sun disappears between the trees. We are allowed to camp overnight at the gate to the national park, just next to a village. On the next day a rough track brings the Landrover higher and higher in altitude. The landscape changes from lush forest to barren land. Islands of trees and scrub stand out of the valleys between the hills. Perfect hideaways for wildlife. Different antelopes, zebras or rabbits graze on open fields, observed from lurking leopards. We’ve been very lucky to see and photograph one of these big, proud cat in the bush just next to the track. The next days we enjoy driving trough the unique landscape, keep looking for more wildlife and watching stars over the bonfire.

Junge Männer pressen Tabakblätter zu Ballen, während die goldene Abendsonne zwischen den Bäumen verschwindet. Wir dürfen im Dorf vor dem Eintrittstor zum Nationalpark campen. Am nächsten Tag klettert der Landrover auf Schotterstrassen höher und höher bis zum Hochplateau auf über 2200m.ü.M. Die Landschaft wechselt von üppigen Wald zu hügeliger, kargen Landschaft. Aus den Tälern stehen vereinzelt kleine Wäldchen wie Inseln hervor. Ein perfektes Versteck für Tiere. Verschiedene Antilopenarten, Zebras und Hasen grasen auf dem offenen Feld, beobachtet von lauernden Leoparden. Einer dieser prächtigen Katzen fanden wir im Busch neben der Strasse. Mit viel Glück konnten wir sie beobachten und fotografieren. Die Tage darauf kurvten wir weiter durch die einzigartige Landschaft, hielten Ausschau nach Tieren und genossen den Sternenhimmel überm Lagerfeuer.