Tuesday, 31 March 2015

The main part of my adventures in the north were covered by a four day trip across the altiplanico national parks and the salt flats in Bolivia, driving across gravel tracks in rickety 4x4s. We climed higher and higher into the thin, cold mountain air, passing colourful lagoons full of bright pink flamingos, bare mountain vistas, and vast swathes of redish sand. The air smelled dusty and salty, mixed with the bitter, nauseating tang of sulfur whenever we passed a hot spring or some geysers.  During the day, the sun burned down blindigly bright, while the cold willed chilled us to the bones. At night, temperautes dropped well below freezing, rewarding us with clear, star-studded skies and a gentle pink sunrise.

Wednesday, 25 March 2015

On my two week journey in Chile, I travelled from north to south, from sea level to 5000 m, from boiling hot to freezing cold, from lush and green to arid and dry, from spectacular to comfortable. It truly was a journey of contrasts. These pictures here were taken on my first day in San Pedro de Atacama, far north in Chile, in the Atacama desert. A short trip took me higher into the Andes, to see the El Taito Geysers and the very special Altiplanico landscape. 

Sunday, 22 March 2015

Monday, 16 March 2015

Between places

The tours are over, the bags a packed and the memory card is full. I am ready to go home but my flight does not leave until tomorrow morning. There is a whole afternoon and evening to spend. This is time between places, time in transit without going anywhere. It is truly free time,  the kind seldomly found. I cannot work on my todo list. There is nothing I "should". I just am.

The time turns into a string of moments: hearing the waves break on the rocks. Watching two puppies chase each other with abandon on the black sand. Seeing people smile.  Feeling the wind blow me up the stairs. And then,  just like that,  the time is gone.  I pick up my backpack and move on.

Thursday, 12 March 2015

An ode to familiar food

I miss the comfort of my own food. After two weeks on the road, I have eaten it all. Overcooked pasta in bland sauce, and five-star hotel meaks with several courses and artistically scattered herbs. Fresh fruit juices with extra sugar, and dinners consisting of cookies and a bottle of water. Countless sandwiches on the go and more little boxes of airplane food than I care to admit. So much sugar,  so much fat, so many carbs. My body is riding a roller coaster of highs and lows and slumps.

I miss my simple food from home. Porridge in the morning,  just milk and oats and warmth. Stir-fries in the evening, with big piles of fresh vegetables,  aldente rice and some soy sauce on top. Crunchy salads with fesh lemon juice. I miss the process of chopping and stirring and waiting. I miss the structure food gives to my life.

Wednesday, 11 March 2015

Too much

There are 50 books on my goodreads "to-read" list. My to-do list is several pages long and the basket with crafting projects is overflowing.  My nightstand has all but disappeared below books waiting for my time. Every time I look at there is this moment of guilt, the twinge of "I should". Even plans and dreams create their own urgency, take up their space and clutter up the mind.

When I get home it is time for a spring clean, to pare down what is not needed and not loved. It is time to take room from guilt and give it to joy.

Saturday, 28 February 2015

That spot of sunshine

The first warm sun I have seen this year shines down on my bare arms as I sit down on the short dry grass. Smells of jasmine and dry grass blow over me asthe sound of rustling winds in the leaves mix with the construction noise and the splashing from the pool. Here is my unexpected moment of calm, my five minutes out, where it suddenly doesn't matter that I spent 22 hours travelling yesterday, got into a discussion with someone who tried to rip me off, and barely slept tonight. Because now is now, and here is here, and all I currently need is the feel of the warm sun on my arms. Everything else comes later.

Thursday, 26 February 2015

The night before

The bags are packed, I am freshly showered and the taxi is ordered. Everything is ready, and adventure lies just a few hours away. Usually I would feel panicky now. Or emotional.  Or ill. When I was little my mother complained of an upset stomach before every trip. I hated it. Today I understand. It's the anticipating, the pack list, the fear, and ultimately the responsibility for safety,  for comfort but also for adventure.

Today, I feel serenely calm. Just another day, just another step. Let's take it!

Powered by Blogger.