Something I really like about India is the cheap and fantastically good food, apart from those who do not stay in the stomach but it actually makes them most courses. Therefore I jumped with my English friend Mathew on a cooking course. This course is no officiel course one would find in a brochure, but an ordinary Indian family with a love of cooking that keeps this course as a little side project. This we thought was very nice when it gets much more personal, plus you get a glimpse of the Indian family life. We were taught to do Chpati which is an Indian bread, dry curry, vegetarian masala and dal which is a kind of lens movement. Very good dishes that are all vegetarian, This family rarely eats meat. Kansk on weekends if rind lyxas into small. The recipes we have with us, and they shall be immediately put to the test when I get back to Sweden. The only challenge will swell to find all the spices needed but it will probably be fine in them a little bit more well-stocked stores. Been thinking about buying me a small kryddförråd here since it is so cheap by then will swell the closet smelling curry. We'll see.
Kochi, Now motherfuckers let's go fishing gangnam style. Kochi is from time immemorial a fishing town that makes use of ancient Chinese fishing nets, which is a pretty nifty little invention. It is a massive structure of wood and steel in which the counterweight lifts a gigantic network up and down through the water with human power. Heavy work but there are plenty of fish in the water, you can get a real catch. We were in and hoisted a few times but unfortunately did not have much to fish. It was still fun to see how it worked.
Finally some respite from the heat. Ooty is situated in the mountains and you get to sit and bubbly on a bus a good long time before arriving but worth it. The village is in the mountains about 2000 meters above sea level and here the temperature is much lower than the rest of India at this time of year. We lay empty and froze a bit during the night which I have not done since in Sweden. The best way to see Ooty is to rent a motorcycle and whiz around at the mountain passes. Here's the giant tea plantations and beautiful views. A pleasant experience is to go into the first top bar and socialize with the locals, we met a teacher who struggled to raise money for children's education. He earned about 350 000 rupees per year, equivalent to type 40 000 kr not much money but on the other hand, India is very cheap. A year in school for one of his children would cost him about 5000 kr so it does not get much more than if you're going to have food and shelter also. It provides a perspective on life when you have to take some of these people's lives. This teacher is probably very good compared to many other Indians. We exchanged information and I told him that his whole family to stay with me if they ever come to Sweden, but it will probably be difficult with such an expensive country like Sweden. Imagine only ticket would probably cost him half his salary. I feel truly fortunate to have the opportunity to travel around the world in this way.
Hampi was probably my best time in India so far. Hampi is a small village which is separated by a river. You have to choose which side of the river you want to stay at. One side has a real small town with shops but is a little more hectic, the other side of the river is calmer, here there are not many shops and blackouts are very common but there are some really good hostel here. There is a boat across the river until at 18.00 then you are stuck on what side you are, on. However, I appreciated the quieter side. One of the evenings we spent in the mountains along with some locals we met. We slept under the stars and cooked Indian food together and bathed in the fresh water lake that was only a few feet away. This is not something you find in catalogs apollos. Super good!
My first two days in Mumbai went smoothly, India is a bit like getting a slap in the face. Man lands in complete chaos and annoyed at how people can live like this. You get used to pretty quickly anyway (besides all honking on the streets) and Mumbai to offer an experience you'll never forget. There is plenty to do in Mumbai, you can go out to Elephant Island or wander into town and look at the amazing architecture. After two days, I thought that now that's enough and were heading south, this came to me during the night and take the set when I woke up at midnight to the chicken dish I've eaten a few hours earlier wanted out. I spent 6 hours in the relay between bed and toilet. The next day I woke up and felt 50 years older. Without the energy or the ability to get into something to give me energy, I lay two days in quarantine and my distaste for Mumbai was slightly larger. But I will not judge this city by my dining experiences but please refrain from chicken sushi if you can. Driving vegetarian throughout your stay in India is probably a good idea.
I spent a week in Dubai and 3 days had been enough. It is a cool city to walk around in because everything is overly grandiose. But eventually you get tired of skyscrapers and fountains. I was still pretty fun in Dubai when I couch surfed and met fun people who I was out partying with. As a tourist, I can say that there is not much to do besides shopping, partying and even that is not so damn overly fun just because it is Dubai. It's like any major city. Dubai flooded with pretentious people who love to show wallet at the pub. Everything is about money and how you look, Dubai is one big Östermalm and it can not get enough of at home. With this cutting of Dubai, I can still say I had quite fun on the slopes, they are indoors in one of the major shopping centers. But do you really have to go halfway around the world for a little half shitty skiing when you live in Sweden, no I do not think so.
Was not so many fun photos, it is most buildings but still.
This was one of my coolest experiences so far! I've heard stories about how to float in the Dead Sea, but I had not imagined quite how it would feel. When the swell jumped in the water, you can not stop smiling because it's such a strange feeling. It flows so well that it's hard to take a normal stroke because the legs are in principle over the water. One must swim dog paddle instead. The water consists of almost 30% salt which makes you float like a cork. However, one should be careful not to get it in her mouth and especially in the eyes, it is not recommended. You will also quickly discover various abrasions, or other skin irritations as soon as you go into the water. However, the water is said to be very beneficial for the skin, you can also pick some mud from the bottom and re-application. This clay is sold worldwide for expensive money in various spa services. Here, however, it is free and it is only to draw! Unfortunately, the Dead Sea is disappearing. Climate change and the exploitation of the sea helps the water level has dropped by nearly 15% in recent years and the ocean's future is not guaranteed so if you want to see this place, it's time to get here now.
Where do you start when it comes to Jerusalem. It's an incredibly beautiful city with a fascinating history and entrusted that I am not particularly religious so I am drawn into it just by being there. If you come to Jerusalem, so make sure you take a good guided tour inside the old part (Old City) which is a small part of Jerusalem encircled with a great wall. The tour is 4 hours long but it still feels a bit short. This place was originally Jerusalem but then the city has grown outside the walls. Within the walls, the surface is divided into 4 parts belonging 4 different peoples, Christian, Muslims, Armenians and Jews. One can move freely between these four elements and there is lots to see. In here, there is also the Holy Sepulchre where Jesus is buried (the evidence Pekar IAF in this). It was a rather strange feeling to stand at the grave where and think, it is then that's all that bothered about. For me, it does not mean as much because I am not believers but as I stood there and thought it started flocking people around this alleged grave and there was so much emotion that poured out. People cried and screamed in some kind compassion for their master's son who lost their lives for the sins of mankind. For me it is strange how an old story can mean so much to people but I respect it fully. So whether you are a believer or not, I think you should see this site because it has meant so very much to our history and how we live today.
After spending almost a week in Tel Aviv, I can say that it is a city I would certainly go back to. Was very pleasantly surprised. Had swelling may no specific expectations and it was swelling because it was such a good experience. When I traveled around Australia 2006 I met a nice guy from Tel Aviv. Isaac is his name and he was kind enough to invite me to his apartment during those last few days which gave me a fairly detailed look at a Israelares living. We eat dinner with his family and went out to various restaurants and clubs. Incidentally, it is absolutely nothing strange to have a semi-stranger living in his apartment a few days in this country. This leads me in on one of the två matters sticker out most of Israel generally seen. It is the incredible friendliness and willingness to help, IAF mot turister. The second is that the food is fantastic good. I have not had a mediocre meal since I arrived here. Everything is good pig! My understanding is that it has not so much with the actual cooking to do, but more with ease and truly fine ingredients. Moreover, they obviously their specialty hummus, I can not remember if I've tried the hummus in Sweden at some point but right now I eat it almost every day. Gotta scrounge up some hummus at home in Sweden but I'm not sure it will be just as good, it's like anything else there are good and bad hummus and exported far away are usually not great according to local data.
Ok, if you're going to be a little tourist time! There are a lot of culture and history in Tel Aviv to experience. There is no vet…Jews! They've been through a lot. The more you read about Israel and its history, the more there is to dig in and you can hold on indefinitely. If you want a good intro so you can go to the small town of Jaffa in Tel Aviv. This neighborhood is one of the world's oldest. There are artifacts and other signs that hurls us back about 5000 year. And its history is to say the least violent but extremely interesting. This was then beginning a port where you could connect to make it to Jerusalem, and it's been a hell of a fuss about that city. We will return to it in later posts where I'm headed there now!
Now is the time to come up with some updates on what has happened in the past month so it will be a long post to make up for the long silence.
The 12 February I arrived in Cape Town is South Africa's second largest city after Johannesburg. I have thence taken me up along the coast to Durban, which is my last stop in South Africa. With this whole journey already made have learned a lot about this country even if it is only scratching the surface.
Cape then. What happened there. Well it was of course a trip to robben island that served as prison, and is best known to many black and colored apartheid opponents, mix them Nelson Mandela, sat as political prisoners here. It was very educational and one is impressed by how to burn as much of anything. Liberty and Justice tex. For Mandela took the 27 years before justice prevailed.
If you come to cape town, you will not miss a trip up to Table Mountain. This was recently named one of the 7 new wonders of our planet.
The mountain's highest point is Maclear's Beacon 1086 meters above sea level. The top of the rock images a 3 km long plateau and the mountain's west side is a cable car up to the plateau. You can also hike up to approximately 2 hours.
THE CAPE OF GOOD HOPE
There was also a trip to the Cape of Good Hope is a headland near the very tip, Kapudden, the Cape Peninsula south of Cape Town. Godhoppsudden often mistaken for being the southernmost point in South Africa, but it is not. It is Agulhas is 15 mil south-east of Cape Point and Cape of Good Hope which is the southernmost point where the oceans are said to meet.
North of Cape Town, Paarl is a town filled with winemaker. Lite Champagne in France. Here I checked in on the vineyard / B&B't Tempel Wines that turned out to be an extremely pleasant surprise. This small farm owned since 5 years of two wonderful swedes, Alf and Marie who truly passionate vinmakeriet. After spending a few nights here and read the Alfs burning enthusiasm, I helped with the pressing in one day. We got to about 3000 liter druvsaft that shell be “champagne”, wine and spirits. As a thank you, I got a bottle of vodka Primitive then consumed on various hostel along the coast. However, with the mix of soft drinks that would probably be seen as an insult by the manufacturer.
After visiting such a personal and intimate vineyard in a small way, it was to trap to examine the other side of the spectrum. I.e. KWV which is wine makers IKEA. It produces the amounts of wine. When Alf and Marie's small vineyard is booming to get out maybe 10 000 liters of wine in one season. On KWV they have kegs of 200 000 liters of wine in each barrel in a room with perhaps 5 identical barrels. It was really strong contrasts.
Some nights were spent in the town of Oudtshoorn which was a foretaste of the great steppe where one can see “The big 5″ In Oudtshoorn it became no big 5, it was later. However, it became struttsfarm and Caving. It was the first time I put my foot in a really big cave system and it was amazing. Strong recommendation for the adventurous.
On the way up the coast pass Bloukrans Bridge which has the world's highest commercial bungee jump and how often you pass on the opportunity? Maybe once in a lifetime and then it has to be done only. The feelings before and after the jump was probably just as contrasty as the vineyards of Paarl. During the walk out onto the bridge to do the actual jump was one somewhat hesitant but when swelling hoisted back from death hope you can suddenly imagine doing it again.
Here you can see my horror mixed delight!
When you go to South Africa is a trip to the steppe a must. Here you can see all the great 5 pluss more. After having spent 3 days at Kariega Game Reserve north of Port Elizabeth, we have seen all the 5 but the leopard, but it is apparently very difficult to get. Our guide who drove the car had been working there for 8 years but only seen leopard 2 times and then in the course of perhaps 1 seconds.
Finally, it was a trip to Coffee Bay which is a small cave between Port Elizabeth and Durban. The entire first section of coastline in South Africa called the Garden Route and this is very suitable for Western tourists but in Coffee Bay you can experience the real Africa. Where people live in huts and grow their own crops. If you come to Coffee Bay at some point you need to check in at the Coffee Shack is an extremely nice hostel. The atmosphere here is very nice. If you do not want to lie in the hammock, you can learn to surf or take a day hike to the “The hole in the wall” is, yes a hole in a wall. Latter may not be as exciting but it's a very beautiful hike at the rocky coast. Here are some picture from the walk.
It became a massive post but now I have anyway got into synch with my trip. As I leave Africa, I hope a little better speed so I can keep this page somewhat more updated.
Talk to you soon!