Photos in Iceland, a Volcano Erupts
May20

Photos in Iceland, a Volcano Erupts

About twelve years ago I stood on top of a volcano while visiting Vestmannaeyjar (the Westman Islands) in Iceland and admired the view. The volcano last erupted in 1973 and eventually became the justification for one of the wildest festivals in Europe, which consists of Vodka, music, and general debauchery, but nothing to do with volcanoes anymore. It was a good time for me with an inactive volcano — and the debauchery of the...

Read More

The Maasai of Kenya

I was setting up my tent behind the park office in Amboseli NP and didn’t notice a local teenager approaching. His earlobes hung down to his shoulders weighed down by special little copper-colored weights, the rest of the earlobe wrapped in beaded tubes. On his right hip was a sheathed knife, and on his left was a cellphone. “Do you maybe want to visit a Maasai village?” he asked. Many Maasai are still living within...

Read More

Finding the Mandrills in Gabon, Africa

I ground my teeth but kept on going. Gently securing the camera on my back, and making sure more dirt doesn’t get in, I plowed through the swamp and cursed under my breath when sharp serrated grass blades cut me deep enough to draw blood. By now, I looked like I’ve been whipped. “Think about it as of an exfoliating treatment,” said my husband walking behind me. I could hear him smile. I turned around, a cynical...

Read More

People Watching in Axum, Ethiopia

Ethiopia’s people walk the dusty streets of Axum like characters from sun-bleached pages of a biblical picture book. I catch them in mid-stride, fetching water, going to church and carrying wood. The town is big, but almost everybody is traditionally dressed. Dignified elders sit on street benches and swat flies with horse-hair brushes, their respectable heads wrapped in white turbans. Most women have exactly the same hairstyle,...

Read More

Visiting the Simien Mountains with the King of Africa

His eyes are in the shade of massive brows. A ridged muzzle, small angular nostrils, and a round jaw with the top lip curling back suddenly to expose sharp fangs set in wide pink gums. If I didn’t know better I’d be convinced his get-up is skillfully sewn of lion skins, so splendid is his costume, from mane to tuft. A cocked fur hat, and on his chest — a bleeding heart, set right in the middle, like a triangular...

Read More

Gondor’s Tresure in Ethiopia

It there was one church that won my heart in Ethiopia, it was the Debre Birhan Sellassie of Gondor. Stepping into it was like stepping into a children’s biblical storybook. Angels adorn the roof and pillars of this truly divine dwelling, while every single other holy character is depicted on the walls in fading, though still very vivid colors. Its keeper is a frail but tough old monk with an exquisite ability to catch rare...

Read More

Birds, Poachers, and Twitchers in Ethiopia

Sometimes, it seems like Ethiopia is all lakes, birds, and monasteries. Dirty swimming water and organized religion I can do without, but after seeing a silvery-cheeked hornbill I doubt that I could keep living my life and not become a serious twitcher – a bird-watcher who tries to spot as many rare varieties as possible. My new found obsession with birds reached its peak when I spotted a man selling lovebirds in a wire cage on...

Read More

The “You” Calls of Ehtiopia

“You! YouyouYOUyouuuuuuuuuuuuuuuu!” There is a reason every travel report from Ethiopia comes back with the same general complaint. The call of the youcalls (a nickname coined by Russian hitchhikers late in the last century) will ring in your ears the entire stay in the country. Farangas are rare in most of Ethiopia and they seldom stop to socialize (which I am always happy to do), especially if they are in their own...

Read More

Sof Omar, Ethiopia

Never go caving with a whiner – he’ll scare off all the bats. I entered Sof Omar cave with a mandatory guide in tow – a teenager in a leather jacket. As soon as I turned the corner my respectable guide began whining. Was I going to give him a tip? How much? “A tip,” I said, “is determined by how well a job is done,” and he, my guide, is already not doing a very good job. At that he turned away. “You...

Read More

Bale Mountains

Just as the little bastard had probably planned it, only a few kilometers later I’ve discovered that the basket of berries he sold me was half full with banana leafs. Cursing aloud, but smiling inside, I had admit to myself that it was kind of clever and my own fault for not checking. I was on my way to the Bale Mountains. African scenery is often monotonous and rarely overwhelming with few exceptions like the red dunes of...

Read More

Pin It on Pinterest

Are you ready to Travel for Free?

Do you want to know how I have traveled to over 50 countries for Free?

 

Join our community and get my new ebook about how to travel for free just like the pros!

You have successfully subscribed! Check your email for your ebook.