The Philippine Road Lords

Erika Mother
Jeepney overloaded with passengers and cargo makes a climb near El Nido in northern Palawan.
El Nido jeepney drivers and helpers are waiting for more passengers.
Young man from Manila pays for his and his girlfriend's ticket.
jeepney comfort
Passenger waits for departure on top of a jeepney in El Nido.
religious trip
A group of novices board a jeepney from the island of Marinduque.
jeepney glimpse
Jeepney appears in view of passengers following in another's darkened cabin in Manila.
jolly river
Jolly Rivera, an El Nido resident, driving a jeepney he plans to restore to start his business.
Anti-counterfeiting device
Jeepney owner verifies the genuineness of a Filipino note.
Jeepney meeting
Two jeepneys meet on a chaotic street in the Malate district of Manila.
motorized pedestal
Driver on his jeepney's colorful grille.
Driver behind the wheel decorated with the famous Bugs Bunny rabbit.
sudden squeeze
Passenger finds himself in a narrow passage between two jeepneys.
Unmodest Marketing
Passenger peeks out of a self-promoted jeepney the perfect choice.
Jeepney II Traffic
Jeepneys vie for a tight street in the Philippine capital.
Fellow drivers watch another add oil to his jeepney's aging engine.
burst entry
School passenger enters a jeepney with scarlet lighting.
faith on wheels
A jeepney helper from the island of Bohol opens a door decorated with the figure of Jesus Christ.
Two jeepneys cross at a junction in Manila.
Filipino smiles
Passengers at the window of a careless jeepney in the Philippine capital.
student express
Eccentric Jeepney tries to make his way down a narrow street occupied by a market in Malate.
With the end of World War II, the Filipinos transformed thousands of abandoned American jeeps and created the national transportation system. Today, the exuberant jeepneys are for the curves.

Whoever walks the streets of Manila for the first time finds it difficult to believe that Japanese auto shows, with their ecological innovations, their Toyotas Prius and Hondas Eco, are right above the map.

The traffic light on Pedro Gil St. opens and a menacing fleet of colored tin starts noisily across the width of the asphalt. Behind them is a cloud of black smoke that envelops five or six unlucky scooter drivers, already careful with handkerchiefs pressed to their mouths.

More and more jeepneys follow, decorated and artillery like the owners' desire.

“Now it's nothing” the passenger next door tells us. "They had to see it before the government started to fine them." “In some jeepneys, the driver could hardly see the road, because of so much junk they put on the windshields, on the dashboards and even, outside, on the hood.”

love ahead

Lovely couple ride in the front seat of a Manila jeepney.

The dialogue is interrupted by a "Stop!" shrill shouted several times, one of the terms that the Tagalog dialect incorporated from the Spanish colonists.

The Ritual and Conditional Reflection of Payment to the Driver

Once again, on the way between Makati and Malate, busy chatting with two friends who keep him company, the driver doesn't hear the passengers tapping their coins on the roof (the sound that calls for a stop).

Despite talking at 200 an hour, the reflection of the huge rearview mirror makes it clear that the subject is hot. That alone explains the proud smiles, the uncontrolled laughter, the slapping on the windows, and a certain air of acquaintance every time they have to turn around to collect payments.

When the cabin is full, from those who follow the entrance to the driver, the coins or notes go through dozens of hands. Receiving them, making them move forward is already a kind of conditioned reflex of the pinoys.


Young man from Manila pays for his and his girlfriend's ticket.

When an occasional business colleague is missing, payments run on mere trust. It is difficult for the driver to control whether he receives money from everyone behind him.

Some resort to religious morality to affect the Christian consciences of clients: “God knows Judas will not pay” prophesies a sticker that has become commonplace.

The Best Transport System in the World (from certain perspectives)

There are those who argue that, leaving aside comfort, safety and ecological performance, jeepneys are the best transport system in the world.

It's okay that in more developed countries buses are punctual to the second. And that the stops are equipped with electronic panels that tell you where the approaching vehicle is and when it's due to arrive. Also impressive are its almost zero pollutant emissions, ambient music and ergonomic chairs.

In the Philippines, however, people don't have to wait. You don't even have to go to a stop.

The national jeepney squad is so huge that there are dozens, sometimes hundreds, who fight the same routes.

Jeepney II Traffic

Jeepneys vie for a tight street in the Philippine capital.

As if that wasn't enough, even against the law, many of its drivers (sometimes also owners) choose to drive without a defined route. Whatever the method, there is always a jeepney a few meters away. They are the ones who approach and even annoy pedestrians to convince them to travel.

As for the stops, the customer is always right. Drivers often make slight detours to drop you off at the door of property or the boy at school.

In practice, all passengers know that sooner or later they will ask for the same. If someone isn't about to waste time, just go out and pick up what's coming behind, glued to the back of the one you're following.


Colored row of jeepneys seen from the cabin of one of these vehicles.

The Advantages and Disadvantages of Jeepney Museum Mechanics

It's also important not to forget the mechanical advantages of jeepneys.

In Manila, where the streets and avenues are almost all paved and flat, this factor is less decisive. In the rest of the country, what is not lacking are dirt roads that turn into mudflats in the rainy season.

With their optimized traction, unlike buses and mini-vans, jeepneys not only overcome the most serious problems, they do so with the cab and roof overflowing with people and cargo.

Erika Mother

Jeepney overloaded with passengers and cargo makes a climb near El Nido in northern Palawan.

What's more, they are versatile. An owner can use it as a bus on weekdays.

And, at the weekend, ensure delivery of a shipment of pineapples or bricks. They are also used in special passenger freight, such as school transport.

Or, as we witnessed at the airport of El Nido, where, in order to avoid swells on rough seas, El Nido Resorts uses them to ensure the transfer of its wealthy customers to the bay of the homonymous city.

Na island of Marinduke, we saw them loaded with novice nuns. In Bohol, with a massive load of wood.

religious trip

A group of novices board a jeepney from the island of Marinduque.

From American Willys to the National Transportation System

Jeepneys appeared in the Philippines a few years after the end of WWII. When US troops left the country, left behind their country music and countless jeeps, mainly from the M, MB and CJ-3B series (also called MacArthur, Eisenhower and Kennedy).

In other cases, they have been offered or sold hastily to the Filipinos.

In a country devastated by Japanese occupation and American bombing – the destruction of post-war Manila is comparable to cities most devastated by conflict, such as Berlin and Dresden – by the end of the 40s and during the 50s, poverty reached unimaginable levels.

Jeeps thus entered people's lives as divine blessings.

Jeepney communion

Jolly Rivera (at the wheel), family and friends around the jeepney that the first one bought to recover and thus start his business in El Nido.

Making use of their recognized adaptability, the Filipinos took the quintessence of American war jeeps, added cab extensions that allowed for increased carrying capacity, and metal roofs that protected from the tropical sun and rain.

In this way, each new owner created a private business. Thanks to their entrepreneurial spirit, the newly created jeepneys, in addition to personal and family transport, took on the role of the country's buses and taxis.

At first, they were just stretched out jeeps. Once owners started to cash in and competition increased, the need to be seen by passersby and the pride of owning an impressive jeepney made them start gunning.

The owners painted them in their personal style.

They combined bright colors and all sorts of motifs with decorative and environmental equipment that included hypnotic lights, bells with creative effects and powerful sound systems that tested passengers and passersby.


Driver behind the wheel decorated with the famous Bugs Bunny rabbit.

The Debatable Genesis of the Jeepney Name

As for the name jeepney, its true origin has dispersed in time and there are, today, two parallel theories that explain it.

One says that the term arose from the junction of jeep com knee, by passengers sitting in the cabins knee to knee. Another argues that it comes from the fusion of jeep com jitney, a kind of shared taxi common in the USA and in Canada.

like big people

A young Filipino mother and two sleepy children aboard a jeepney in Manila.

From the late 60s onwards, the Philippines achieved economic growth that was second in Asia, just after Japan.

This calm proved to be ephemeral. Determined to divert millions of dollars to their accounts and to collect shoes, Ferdinand Marcos – in power from 1966 to 1986 – and his wife Imelda quickly perpetuated themselves at the head of the country. And they ended up ruining the Philippines.

An indirect and lesser consequence of this long Marcos misrule is that, until recently, the chaotic evolution of the jeepney phenomenon was ignored. The result sparkles, snores and smokes, today, on the roads of more than 7000 islands in the country.

from Luzon Palawan's last Filipino border.


El Nido jeepney drivers and attendants wait for more passengers

The Jeepney Sanctuary of Manila de Baclaran

We left in Malate. We immediately pick up another stunning plate prototype, which is heading towards the Baclaran market and terminal, on the outskirts of Manila.

It goes full and remains even hotter and more humid than before. The entry of two foreigners causes a chain reaction of compassion. There is a collective squeeze that, out of nowhere, creates space for us to sit down.

If we were Filipinos, the concern wouldn't have been so much. We would most likely make the trip standing up, hanging, half inside, half outside the cabin. Common places aside, from the experience we have in traveling through the Philippines, as a rule, the pinoys are kind and interested – not self-interested – towards visitors.

Filipino smiles

Passengers at the window of a careless jeepney in the Philippine capital.

educated in latin fashion, share an amazing command of English that comes from 50 years of colonization in the United States and have learned it as a second language since entering school. In addition to being open and outgoing.

It didn't take long until we were chatting with half the passengers, too curious about why so many pictures and about our lives.

Almost at the Baclaran terminal, the jeepney enters through the local market.

student express

Eccentric Jeepney tries to make his way down a narrow street occupied by a market in Malate

It advances, decimeter by decimeter, as the carefree crowd moves away. At a certain point along the route, the streets delimited by the stalls tighten in such a way that pajamas, tracksuits and counterfeit backpacks enter through the windows.

In the semi-darkness provided by the upper coverage of the local MRT station (Mass Rapid Transit, the local surface metro), it strikes our minds how many products there would be “diverted” per month.

Baclaran is little or nothing you would expect from a terminal.

More than Mechanics. The Importance of Jeepney Equipment and Decor

We came face to face with a gray and dirty street, filled with a double, almost circular row of jeepneys surrounded by more shops and stalls. We follow the queue.

We admire the decorations on each of them: we find Bugs-Bunnies and Walt Disney characters, Garfields, Spider-Men and their fellow superheroes, Christs and Pokemones, Power-Rangers and Pica-Chus. A few more orientals that we don't know about.

faith on wheels

A jeepney helper from the island of Bohol opens a door decorated with the figure of Jesus Christ.

Other reasons are idyllic or futuristic landscapes, famous monuments and wonders of automobile mechanics, Ferraris and similar cars.

We find even less obvious paintings: abstract, poetic, indecipherable. The spectrum of jeepney decor is endless.

Some drivers slumber waiting for their turn to take off. Others deal with the cleaning of vehicles and mechanics, especially oil changes, as frequent as one might expect from reconditioned engines, several originating from the first half of the XNUMXth century.


Fellow drivers watch another add oil to his jeepney's aging engine.

At the same time, assistants roam the terminal and the adjacent market. They attract customers for the bosses, many, owners of authentic fleets. Such is the case with Mario Delcon, the President of the 10th Avenue Jeepney Association, himself a former driver.

The strategy of client recruiters is anticipation. To do this, distances that seem to make little sense are moved away. They are placed at the exit of the MRT and the streets that give access to Baclaran. They proclaim destinies out loud: Quiapo, Ermita; Makati; Holy Cross; Binondo; Mabini; Parañaque or Rizal.

And some further away, from the surroundings, like Quezon City and Cubao.

Once detected, the customer is taken to the jeepney. Because this is a terminal, you have to wait for the capacity to be as complete as possible. Passenger by passenger, weight by weight, the owner's profit is made up. And you earn your employees' livelihood.

Anti-counterfeiting device

Jeepney owner verifies the genuineness of a Filipino note.

After the Age of the Willys of World War II, the Filipino Base Manufacturing

When the American jeeps ran out, the Filipinos started securing jeepneys with bigger chassis, extra passenger capacity. They made it from used diesel engines. In the long run, this solution represented increased profits for its owners.

In its Willy phase, most vehicles were assembled in the Filipinos' own backyards, by heads of families with vague notions of mechanics inherited from the GI's. Over time, demand increased exponentially.

Some new entrepreneurs have created veritable factories: Sarao, Francisco Motor Corporation, Hayag Motorworks, David Motors Inc. of Quezon City, and MD Juan, the latter dedicated only to vintage, military-style models.

Installed on the outskirts of Manila and Cebu City, such brands were and are miles away from the technology employed by the world's leading motor vehicle manufacturers.

Jeepney meeting

Two jeepneys meet on a chaotic street in the Malate district of Manila.

Instead of robotic assembly lines, there, all the workers, more than human, are Filipino, with everything Latin-Asian, good and bad that the epithet carries.

They are skilled workers in attaching a reconditioned Isuzu transmission to a worn-out Toyota engine, adding suspensions from who knows what manufacturer, molding countless sheets of metal, welding and fitting, piece by piece.

Until the final painting and the placement of the plaque with the name assigned by the owner, the final proof of the personalization of the Filipino jeepney: “Erika” in honor of his wife or any other passion. “The Perfect Choice” so that there is no doubt about the quality of the model. "Damn you". Who knows why.

Unmodest Marketing

Passenger peeks out of a self-promoted jeepney the perfect choice

Unsurprisingly, each jeepney takes forever (about two months) to complete. In its glory years, Hayag delivered fifty custom copies a month.

Some, a few, were luxury models, equipped with color TVs, air conditioning, power steering and four-wheel drive.

From time to time, the latter appear on Philippine roads. They stand out from the rest as if they were sumptuous Ferraris or Lamborghinis.

Despite rudimentary manufacturing techniques, the selling prices of jeepneys are frightening for Filipino living standards: 250.000 pesos (+ or – 4000 euros) the most basic models, where the plate is not even completely painted; 400.000 pesos (+ or – 6300 euros) the deluxe.


Two jeepneys cross at a junction in Manila.

The Downward Curve of Old Jeepneys

For some time now, the production and circulation of jeepneys has faced long-awaited obstacles that only the Philippines' relative underdevelopment and successive governments' concern about its (and that of jeepneys) popularity has slowed down.

The routes are now concessioned to drivers who pay a monthly fee to explore them. Tariffs were also regulated. But the main threat to the future of jeepneys is their intolerable environmental performance.

This was a problem we detected on our first day in the Philippines.

One of the Leading Pollution Generators in the Philippines

As we made our way from the airport to downtown Manila, in the distance, the city was shrouded in a haze so dark that we refused to accept that it might be pollution, more inclined to believe they were storm clouds. It had to be the taxi driver to swallow hard and confirm the harsh reality: "Believe it, it's CO2!"

A study published in a newspaper in the capital concluded that a jeepney with a cabin for 16 passengers consumes as much fuel as a 56-seater coach with air conditioning.

jeepney glimpse

Jeepney appears in view of passengers following in another's darkened cabin in Manila.

If this comparison is worrying, what about the composition of the gases expelled by jeepneys, invariably equipped with used engines that, in addition to processing the fuel poorly, also burn several cans of oil per year.

As soon as we needed to cross Manila at rush hour, we realized that a substantial part of the blame for the massive traffic jams is the excess of jeepneys, many of which roam empty around the city looking for customers.

Outside the capital, Cebu City and other major cities in the Philippines, the panorama is not out of place. When we travel by bus from Manila to Vigan in northern Luzon, we feel the delay in life caused by the hundreds of jeepneys that clog the roads.

sudden squeeze

Passenger finds himself in a narrow passage between two jeepneys.

The Slow and Capricious Philippine Production

Factories that survive the new rules are still struggling with a recent influx of used vehicles from Japan, Taiwan and South Korea. Call. They have already started exporting to the Middle East and Australia.

They now manufacture examples similar to GM's robust American Hummers – these based on military Hummvees. For legal reasons, they are called Hammers.

Jappy Alana, the responsible builder whose family has been making jeepneys since shortly after the Americans pulled out, proudly says: “We may not have the same technology that GM uses to make Hummers but ours cost a fifth of the originals…” “…and despite this, we have been delivering several bulletproof copies, to Mindanao and beyond…”.

burst entry

School passenger enters a jeepney with scarlet lighting.

Mindanao is the southernmost large island in the Philippines. It is in its jungles that Muslim guerrillas resist Abu Sayyaf and MILF (Moro Islamic Liberation Force) which frequently attack Philippine government forces.

Apart from the Hammers, new eco-friendly Philippine factories have launched experimental technological models that depart irreversibly from the original concept. The most publicized was the E-jeepney, an electrical prototype developed by a joint venture formed by GRIPP (Green Renewable Independent Power Producer), Greenpeace and the Makati government.

The process of extinction of traditional jeepneys seems to have already started to work. Everything indicates that it will take an eternity to reach the real consequences.

In El Nido, in northern Palawan, we found a magnificent specimen in the backyard of a house on the edge of the bay. We decided to investigate. We found it was the postponed dream of Jolly Rivera, a retired fisherman with below-average income. “… It's there waiting for the day when I have the money to fix it and start my business…”

jolly river

Jolly Rivera, an El Nido resident, driving a jeepney he plans to restore to start his business.

While in Manila, the first electric models are being tested, in the rest of the country, despite all the restrictions, many jeepneys are still what they were after the withdrawal of the Americans.

Only time will tell whether or not they drive on a dead end road.

Bacolod, Philippines

A Festival to Laugh at Tragedy

Around 1980, the value of sugar, an important source of wealth on the Philippine island of Negros, plummeted and the ferry “Don Juan” that served it sank and took the lives of more than 176 passengers, most of them from Negrès. The local community decided to react to the depression generated by these dramas. That's how MassKara arose, a party committed to recovering the smiles of the population.
Camiguin, Philippines

An Island of Fire Surrended to Water

With more than twenty cones above 100 meters, the abrupt and lush, Camiguin has the highest concentration of volcanoes of any other of the 7641 islands in the Philippines or on the planet. But, in recent times, not even the fact that one of these volcanoes is active has disturbed the peace of its rural, fishing and, to the delight of outsiders, heavily bathed life.
Talisay City, Philippines

Monument to a Luso-Philippine Love

At the end of the 11th century, Mariano Lacson, a Filipino farmer, and Maria Braga, a Portuguese woman from Macau, fell in love and got married. During the pregnancy of what would be her 2th child, Maria succumbed to a fall. Destroyed, Mariano built a mansion in his honor. In the midst of World War II, the mansion was set on fire, but the elegant ruins that endured perpetuate their tragic relationship.
unmissable roads

Great Routes, Great Trips

With pompous names or mere road codes, certain roads run through really sublime scenarios. From Road 66 to the Great Ocean Road, they are all unmissable adventures behind the wheel.
El Nido, Philippines

El Nido, Palawan: The Last Philippine Frontier

One of the most fascinating seascapes in the world, the vastness of the rugged islets of Bacuit hides gaudy coral reefs, small beaches and idyllic lagoons. To discover it, just one fart.
Hungduan, Philippines

Country Style Philippines

The GI's left with the end of World War II, but the music from the interior of the USA that they heard still enlivens the Cordillera de Luzon. It's by tricycle and at your own pace that we visit the Hungduan rice terraces.
Hanoi, Vietnam

Under the Order of Chaos

Hanoi has long ignored scant traffic lights, other traffic signs and decorative traffic lights. It lives in its own rhythm and in an order of chaos unattainable by the West.

When Only Cock Fights Wake Up the Philippines

Banned in much of the First World, cockfighting thrives in the Philippines where they move millions of people and pesos. Despite its eternal problems, it is the sabong that most stimulates the nation.
Bohol, Philippines

Other-wordly Philippines

The Philippine archipelago spans 300.000 km² of the Pacific Ocean. Part of the Visayas sub-archipelago, Bohol is home to small alien-looking primates and the extraterrestrial hills of the Chocolate Hills.
Batad, Philippines

The Terraces that Sustain the Philippines

Over 2000 years ago, inspired by their rice god, the Ifugao people tore apart the slopes of Luzon. The cereal that the indigenous people grow there still nourishes a significant part of the country.
Mactan, Cebu, Philippines

Magellan's Quagmire

Almost 19 months of pioneering and troubled navigation around the world had elapsed when the Portuguese explorer made the mistake of his life. In the Philippines, the executioner Datu Lapu Lapu preserves the honors of a hero. In Mactan, his tanned statue with a tribal superhero look overlaps the mangrove swamp of tragedy.
Boracay, Philippines

The Philippine Beach of All Dreams

It was revealed by Western backpackers and the film crew of “Thus Heroes are Born”. Hundreds of resorts and thousands of eastern vacationers followed, whiter than the chalky sand.
Vigan, Philippines

Vigan: the Most Hispanic of Asias

The Spanish settlers left but their mansions are intact and the Kalesas circulate. When Oliver Stone was looking for Mexican sets for "Born on the 4th of July" he found them in this ciudad fernandina
Marinduque, Philippines

When the Romans Invade the Philippines

Even the Eastern Empire didn't get that far. In Holy Week, thousands of centurions seize Marinduque. There, the last days of Longinus, a legionary converted to Christianity, are re-enacted.
Marinduque, Philippines

The Philippine Passion of Christ

No nation around is Catholic but many Filipinos are not intimidated. In Holy Week, they surrender to the belief inherited from the Spanish colonists. Self-flagellation becomes a bloody test of faith
Coron, Busuanga, Philippines

The Secret but Sunken Japanese Armada

In World War II, a Japanese fleet failed to hide off Busuanga and was sunk by US planes. Today, its underwater wreckage attract thousands of divers.
Bacolod, Philippines

Sweet Philippines

Bacolod is the capital of Negros, the island at the center of Philippine sugar cane production. Traveling through the Far East and between history and contemporaneity, we savor the fascinating heart of the most Latin of Asia.
Jabula Beach, Kwazulu Natal, South Africa
Saint Lucia, South Africa

An Africa as Wild as Zulu

On the eminence of the coast of Mozambique, the province of KwaZulu-Natal is home to an unexpected South Africa. Deserted beaches full of dunes, vast estuarine swamps and hills covered with fog fill this wild land also bathed by the Indian Ocean. It is shared by the subjects of the always proud Zulu nation and one of the most prolific and diverse fauna on the African continent.
Thorong Pedi to High Camp, Annapurna Circuit, Nepal, Lone Walker
Annapurna (circuit)
Annapurna Circuit: 12th - Thorong Phedi a High camp

The Prelude to the Supreme Crossing

This section of the Annapurna Circuit is only 1km away, but in less than two hours it takes you from 4450m to 4850m and to the entrance to the great canyon. Sleeping in High Camp is a test of resistance to Mountain Evil that not everyone passes.
Treasures, Las Vegas, Nevada, City of Sin and Forgiveness
Architecture & Design
Las Vegas, USA

Where sin is always forgiven

Projected from the Mojave Desert like a neon mirage, the North American capital of gaming and entertainment is experienced as a gamble in the dark. Lush and addictive, Vegas neither learns nor regrets.
Bungee jumping, Queenstown, New Zealand
Queenstown, New Zealand

Queenstown, the Queen of Extreme Sports

In the century. XVIII, the Kiwi government proclaimed a mining village on the South Island "fit for a queen".Today's extreme scenery and activities reinforce the majestic status of ever-challenging Queenstown.
Tiredness in shades of green
Ceremonies and Festivities
Suzdal, Russia

The Suzdal Cucumber Celebrations

With summer and warm weather, the Russian city of Suzdal relaxes from its ancient religious orthodoxy. The old town is also famous for having the best cucumbers in the nation. When July arrives, it turns the newly harvested into a real festival.
Yucatan Peninsula, Mérida City, Mexico, Cabildo
Mérida, Mexico

The Most Exuberant of Meridas

In 25 BC, the Romans founded Emerita Augusta, capital of Lusitania. The Spanish expansion generated three other Méridas in the world. Of the four, the Yucatan capital is the most colorful and lively, resplendent with Hispanic colonial heritage and multi-ethnic life.
Beverage Machines, Japan

The Beverage Machines Empire

There are more than 5 million ultra-tech light boxes spread across the country and many more exuberant cans and bottles of appealing drinks. The Japanese have long since stopped resisting them.
Phi Phi Islands, Thailand

Back to Danny Boyle's The Beach

It's been 15 years since the debut of the backpacker classic based on the novel by Alex Garland. The film popularized the places where it was shot. Shortly thereafter, the XNUMX tsunami literally washed some away off the map. Today, their controversial fame remains intact.
Reindeer Racing, Kings Cup, Inari, Finland
Inari, Finland

The Wackiest Race on the Top of the World

Finland's Lapps have been competing in the tow of their reindeer for centuries. In the final of the Kings Cup - Porokuninkuusajot - , they face each other at great speed, well above the Arctic Circle and well below zero.
M:S Viking Tor Ferry-Wrapped Passenger, Aurlandfjord, Norway
Flam a Balestrand, Norway

Where the Mountains Give In to the Fjords

The final station of the Flam Railway marks the end of the dizzying railway descent from the highlands of Hallingskarvet to the plains of Flam. In this town too small for its fame, we leave the train and sail down the Aurland fjord towards the prodigious Balestrand.
Efate, Vanuatu, transshipment to "Congoola/Lady of the Seas"
Efate, Vanuatu

The Island that Survived “Survivor”

Much of Vanuatu lives in a blessed post-savage state. Maybe for this, reality shows in which aspirants compete Robinson Crusoes they settled one after the other on their most accessible and notorious island. Already somewhat stunned by the phenomenon of conventional tourism, Efate also had to resist them.
Sunset, Avenue of Baobabs, Madagascar
Got2Globe Photo Portfolio

days like so many others

Nelson to Wharariki, Abel Tasman NP, New Zealand

The Maori coastline on which Europeans landed

Abel Janszoon Tasman explored more of the newly mapped and mythical "Terra australis" when a mistake soured the contact with natives of an unknown island. The episode inaugurated the colonial history of the New Zealand. Today, both the divine coast on which the episode took place and the surrounding seas evoke the Dutch navigator.
Mahé Ilhas das Seychelles, friends of the beach
Mahé, Seychelles

The Big Island of the Small Seychelles

Mahé is the largest of the islands of the smallest country in Africa. It's home to the nation's capital and most of the Seychellois. But not only. In its relative smallness, it hides a stunning tropical world, made of mountainous jungle that merges with the Indian Ocean in coves of all sea tones.
coast, fjord, Seydisfjordur, Iceland
Winter White
Seydisfjordur, Iceland

From the Art of Fishing to the Fishing of Art

When shipowners from Reykjavik bought the Seydisfjordur fishing fleet, the village had to adapt. Today, it captures Dieter Roth's art disciples and other bohemian and creative souls.
silhouette and poem, Cora coralina, Goias Velho, Brazil
Goiás Velho, Brazil

The Life and Work of a Marginal Writer

Born in Goiás, Ana Lins Bretas spent most of her life far from her castrating family and the city. Returning to its origins, it continued to portray the prejudiced mentality of the Brazilian countryside
Walter Peak, Queenstown, New Zealand
New Zealand  

When Counting Sheep causes Sleep Loss

20 years ago, New Zealand had 18 sheep per inhabitant. For political and economic reasons, the average was halved. In the antipodes, many breeders are worried about their future.
Sheki, Autumn in the Caucasus, Azerbaijan, Autumn Homes
Sheki, Azerbaijan

autumn in the caucasus

Lost among the snowy mountains that separate Europe from Asia, Sheki is one of Azerbaijan's most iconic towns. Its largely silky history includes periods of great harshness. When we visited it, autumn pastels added color to a peculiar post-Soviet and Muslim life.
travelers contemplate, monte fitz roy, argentina
Natural Parks
El Chalten, Argentina

The Granite Appeal of Patagonia

Two stone mountains have created a border dispute between Argentina and Chile. But these countries are not the only suitors. The Fitz Roy and Torre hills have long attracted die-hard climbers
Willemstad, Curacao, Punda, Handelskade
UNESCO World Heritage
Willemstad, Curaçao

The Multicultural Heart of Curaçao

A Dutch colony in the Caribbean became a major slave hub. It welcomed Sephardic Jews who had taken refuge from the Iberia Inquisition in Amsterdam and Recife. And it assimilated influences from the Portuguese and Spanish villages with which it traded. At the heart of this secular cultural fusion has always been its old capital: Willemstad.
Heroes Acre Monument, Zimbabwe
Harare, Zimbabwewe

The Last Rales of Surreal Mugabué

In 2015, Zimbabwe's first lady Grace Mugabe said the 91-year-old president would rule until the age of 100 in a special wheelchair. Shortly thereafter, it began to insinuate itself into his succession. But in recent days, the generals have finally precipitated the removal of Robert Mugabe, who has replaced him with former Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa.
Cahuita National Park, Costa Rica, Caribbean, Punta Cahuita aerial view
Cahuita, Costa Rica

Dreadlocked Costa Rica

Traveling through Central America, we explore a Costa Rican coastline as much as the Caribbean. In Cahuita, Pura Vida is inspired by an eccentric faith in Jah and a maddening devotion to cannabis.
Cambodia, Angkor, Ta Phrom
Ho Chi Minh a of Angkor, Cambodia

The Crooked Path to Angkor

From Vietnam onwards, Cambodia's crumbling roads and minefields take us back to the years of Khmer Rouge terror. We survive and are rewarded with the vision of the greatest religious temple
End of the World Train, Tierra del Fuego, Argentina
On Rails
Ushuaia, Argentina

Last Station: End of the World

Until 1947, the Tren del Fin del Mundo made countless trips for the inmates of the Ushuaia prison to cut firewood. Today, passengers are different, but no other train goes further south.
Tsukiji fish market, Tokyo, Japan
Tokyo, Japan

The Fish Market That Lost its Freshness

In a year, each Japanese eats more than their weight in fish and shellfish. Since 1935, a considerable part was processed and sold in the largest fish market in the world. Tsukiji was terminated in October 2018, and replaced by Toyosu's.
herd, foot-and-mouth disease, weak meat, colonia pellegrini, argentina
Daily life
Colónia Pellegrini, Argentina

When the Meat is Weak

The unmistakable flavor of Argentine beef is well known. But this wealth is more vulnerable than you think. The threat of foot-and-mouth disease, in particular, keeps authorities and growers afloat.
Sheep and hikers in Mykines, Faroe Islands
Mykines, Faroe Islands

In the Faeroes FarWest

Mykines establishes the western threshold of the Faroe archipelago. It housed 179 people but the harshness of the retreat got the better of it. Today, only nine souls survive there. When we visit it, we find the island given over to its thousand sheep and the restless colonies of puffins.
Passengers, scenic flights-Southern Alps, New Zealand
Scenic Flights
Aoraki / Mount Cook, New Zealand

The Aeronautical Conquest of the Southern Alps

In 1955, pilot Harry Wigley created a system for taking off and landing on asphalt or snow. Since then, his company has unveiled, from the air, some of the greatest scenery in Oceania.