When we arrived in Hong Kong by the sea in the middle of the night, we dropped the anchor off a semi-wild, semi-industrialized island called Lamma Island. From the boat, we watched fascinated the island’s busy fishermen on their small boats, wondering if we were actually in Hong Kong… When after a few months temperatures became bearable (unlike the city life, which had become unbearable), we remembered Lamma and decided to give it a go.
Going green while walking in Nature
Our journey in Western and Central China took us through Hunan; a province of an incredible beauty, inhabited by several ethnic minorities, endemic animal and plant species. It’s also in this subtropical climate province that we found the popular forest park of Zhangjiajie – whose natural elements are unmistakably reminiscent of the setting of the film Avatar. Curious, we let ourselves be tempted by a visit to the park. A visit under the sign of rain, mist, but also (and fortunately!) of wonders… and we can say it, of a real visual slap in the face!
After a restful stay in Almaty, we were sure that we would not be disappointed at the end of our stay in Kazakhstan: the southern mountains and the green meadows of this region were the best thing to come for nature lovers like us. On our notebook, Charyn canyon came first…
Planning a trip to Kyrgyzstan? You’ve probably heard about the famous Ala Kul trekking and Altyn Arashan hotsprings – and maybe you’re even planning to go there!… We understand you: having the opportunity to hike in the green Kyrgyz mountains, walking on a ridge, somewhere at 3900m above sea level; picnicking on the shores of a high altitude lake and meeting Kyrgyz nomads doesn’t happen every day!… On the other hand, you may not know that it’s possible to make this trek without a guide and in complete autonomy? The exact location of the free hotsprings in Altyn Arashan? Nor how to prepare this trek, in how many days, with what equipment? All the answers to your questions can be found in this trek guide!
When we traveled in southern Kazakhstan, one thing struck us: endless arid steppes have just given way to huge mountains with green slopes and snowy peaks. We were delighted to see this mountain range – hiking is our passion, and mountains are our favorite playground! We wasted no time in asking locals: “What to see in the surroundings?” “Do you know any good hiking trails?” They gave us several names, showed us pictures, pointed out places on a map. Among them was Kaindy – a spruce forest sunk in a high-altitude lake, whose specificity aroused our curiosity…
Hosted in Tehran by a couple passionate about nature and backpacking, we took advantage of their knowledge of their country to draw up a list of remarkable, natural places off the beaten track. Our request brought them into an intense thought; when suddenly, a name came up: Hayghar. “It’s the Grand Canyon of Iran, but we don’t know where to find it. Only locals know it”. Wait, an Iranian Grand Canyon, impossible to find? Challenge accepted!
While talking to Vincent, a French traveler in Iran, he advised us to visit absolutely Hormuz island. “What is so special about this island?” “You will see…”. Done! Our decision was taken: we will camp on Hormuz and discover the island by ourselves! Landed on Hormuz, we found ourselves in a very simple village, inhabited by men with sun-kissed skin and veiled from head to toe women… Surrounded by tuk-tuk, lost under an overwhelming heat, we quickly left the village to explore this island and its secrets!
At the end of our Armenian roadtrip we ended up in Goris, a peaceful town in South Armenia, at the crossroads of the roads towards Nagorno Karabagh, Yerevan and Iran, our next destination. But Goris is not an Armenian city like any other – it’s a city with a special charm, and an easy starting point for two remarkable places: Khndzoresk and the wings of Tatev!
Bansko, this name didn’t mean anything to us before we drop our bags off in this Bulgarian ski resort, as we were lucky enough to find a host to welcome us for 5 nights! As you know, when it comes to visiting a country or a region, we completely rely on the advice of the locals. And thanks to them, we were able to plan some activities to do around Bansko!
During our stay as babysitters volunteers within a Greek family living in Zitsa, a small village in the northwest of Greece, we took advantage of two days of rest to hit the roads of Zagori, this incredibly mountainous and still authentic region. Far away from the classic ultra-touristic trails, we tell you here about our 100% nature excursion, during a 100% unique weekend!
When going on a journey you come to create bonds. That’s why we were really happy to meet again Stefano, an Italian backpacker, when we were about to cross the Greek border in the south of Albania. Catching up, tips and long discussions: that’s how we added Kastoria to our list of things to see in Greece, on his advice. And he was right: nestled between lake and mountains, Kastoria is a really refreshing stopover to discover in northern Greece!
“What’s good to see in Albania?” we asked one of our former hosts in Turin (Italy), whose family is originally from Albania… “Lots of things! Beaches, mountains, castles, the World Heritage cities of Berat and Gjirokaster, and the Blue Eye…” Blue Eye? What could that be? We looked on Internet, in search for the answer and found some amazing pictures… It’s decided, we are going to visit the Blue Eye!