Puerto Plata, Dominican Republic

The Dominican Home Silver

Independence Park of Puerto Plata
Statues and flag of the Dominican Republic in the Independence Park of Puerto Plata.
Puerto Plata Cable Car – PN ISabel de Torres
Puerto Plata cable car cabin with the city in the background
exuberant visitor
Exuberant visitor to the Callejón de Doña Blanca in Puerto Plata.
Dari Reinoso and Co.
"Masters of the Ocean 2019" champion Dauri Reinoso (in blue) and buddies at the Take Off stand in Playa El Encuentro.
a sweet reprimand
Charlotte reprimands her birthday sister Anabela for destroying the birthday cake at Plaza Independencia in Puerto Plata.
Anabela, the birthday girl
Anabela's birthday girl on her grandmother's lap in the Independence Park of Puerto Plata.
blessed ride
Visitor walks on an elevated walkway next to the statue of Christ the Redeemer of PN Isabel de Torres, in Puerto Plata.
Frankenstein displays Brugal gems
Frank Vázquez displays one of the most highly regarded bottles of Dominican Brugal rum.
sweet and colorful joke
Josefina Martinez, from Tortuga, plays with cotton candy in Puerto Plata
Aquatic SSSSS
Surfer glides along one of the waves at Playa El Encuentro, near Cabarete.
Champion relaxation
Dauri Reinoso, "Masters of the Ocean 2019" Champion, water sports instructor at Playa El Encuentro, Cabarete.
surf break
Surfer leaves the sea at Playa El Encuentro, near Cabarete.
blue and green caribbean
View of the coastline in the vicinity of Puerto Plata, on the north coast of the Dominican Republic.
Two desalination
Surfer friends Gabriel and Huba shower after some surfing at Playa El Encuentro, near Cabarete
blessed ride
Visitor walks on an elevated walkway next to the statue of Christ the Redeemer of PN Isabel de Torres, in Puerto Plata.
Photo experiments in pink
Boyfriends try to come up with a perfect photo-reflection on Callejon de Doña Blanca in Puerto Plata
Sellers at the base of Christ the Redeemer in Puerto Plata
Vendors at the entrance to the market inside the statue of Christ the Redeemer on top of PN Isabel de Torres, in Puerto Plata, Dominican Republic.
Puerto Plata resulted from the abandonment of La Isabela, the second attempt at a Hispanic colony in the Americas. Almost half a millennium after Columbus's landing, it inaugurated the nation's inexorable tourist phenomenon. In a lightning passage through the province, we see how the sea, the mountains, the people and the Caribbean sun keep it shining.

Sosua, Cabarete and Puerto Plata stand out on the map and are famous, but it's just Playa El Encuentro that we stop at.

They dictated the destination and a series of factors that the Atlantic unrolls over the north of the Dominican Republic in waves that surfers from all over are used to admiring.

A forest of dense trees shelters an initial area of ​​sand.

A community of water sports schools share the shadow of this shore, the warm and delicious sea in front, the customers who visit the coast and, equally or more importantly, the opportunity to live a natural and elusive day-to-day, without the stress and hassle of so many other ways of life.

There we met, in full post-surf showers, friends Gabriel, (from Margarita Island) and Huba, also Venezuelan, of Hungarian descent, members of the Frescollective project and with some ideas up their sleeves for the surroundings of Playa El Encuentro.

Gabriel and Huba in the shower, Playa El Encuentro, Cabarete

Surfer friends from the Frescollective collective Gabriel and Huba shower after some surfing at Playa El Encuentro.

Right next door, we enter the 321Take Off surf school, then represented by the Argentine Juan, but founded by Yahman Markus Bohm, also creator of the competition Masters of the Ocean which combines surfing, kitesurfing, windsurfing and paddleboard.

Part of the entourage we follow takes on surf lessons. We wandered along the beach in search of other treasures.

Surf Lesson, Playa El Encuentro, Puerto Plata, Dominican Republic

Group of friends learns to surf on the seafront of Playa El Encuentro.

Surfers from different generations try the most suitable maneuvers for the swell of the moment. Some throw themselves into the emerald Caribbean water, others leave it and disappear into the blackness of the forest.

Dauri Reinoso also comes and goes. Dauri trains on Del Encuentro waves and works as a surf teacher for 321Take Off. won the Masters of the Ocean 2019 held in Cabarete but, in a good surfer way, poses for us with a lightness of soul that only many ethereal hours between the waves grant.

Dauri Reinoso, Dauri Reinoso, Masters of the Ocean 2019 Champion, at Playa El Encuentro, Cabarete

Dauri Reinoso, Champion of “Masters of the Ocean 2019”, water sports instructor at Playa El Encuentro, Cabarete.

Brugal. A Not Frugal Rum

Frank Vázquez welcomes us at the entrance to the Puerto Plata factory of the famous Dominican rum Brugal. Hearing that there was a predominance of Portuguese in the group, he informs us that he would guide us in Portuguese. The version is the Brazilian one but even so its competence amazes us.

“But you've already worked on the Brazil?” Not! I have a lot of curiosity. I like to learn, I don't sit still! I can guide this tour in ten different languages. Also, I'm a firefighter, rescuer, paramedic, lifeguard. I'm done with a little bit of everything, you know? Because I'm Frank and that's why they call me Frankenstein…

We hadn't touched the rum yet. The conversation already sounded surreal to us. Frank interrupts her to save us from the monstrous Caribbean sun. Inside, as he did time and time again, he describes the brand's history, shows us its most valuable bottles and gives us a taste of different productions.

Of the various Brugal rums on display, one Pope Andrés stood out, of whom only a thousand bottles remained, each valued at at least $1500.

By that time, the whole group had tasted some rum, the most modest, of course.

Rum tasting at the Brugal factory, Puerto Plata, Dominican Republic

Frank Vázquez serves rum during a performance by the Brugal rum factory.

Photos of the brand's papal star were requested in all shapes and sizes. Afraid of breaking it and being banished from the congregation of the spirit that employed him, Frank embraced the museum box that protected the Limited edition 2015 with a blessed care.

In times of intense industrial espionage, we only had the right to spy on Brugal's production unit. No photos, no videos. It was supposed that no boldness.

Frank Vázquez displays bottles from Brugal, Puerto Plata

Frank Vázquez displays one of the most highly regarded bottles of Dominican Brugal rum.

Ascent to the Isabel de Torres Tropical Peak

The tropical heat of a pressure cooker that continues to make us sweat just to refresh ourselves has little or nothing since the sun's zenith.

We get ahead of the traffic in San Felipe de Puerto Plata, the city. we surpassed guaguas – vans for almost twenty passengers, carts – private cars that take taxis and we see them circulating with almost half the capacity of the guaguas.

E motoconchos, mototaxis that we accompany in their capacity, we don't really know if the maximum is: four passengers holding on to the driver. And each other.

Angel, the Dominican who led us with heavenly smoothness and rocked to the sound of bachata popular in the country, completes a final climb in a curve.

Finally, we reach the foot of Pico Isabel de Torres, named after the Queen Isabel of Castile, born in Madrigal de Las Altas Torres (Valladolid) and in force in the years when Christopher Columbus unveiled these West Indies to the West. Old world.

At 793m, the mountain of Puerto Plata is at a ¼ of the altitude of Pico Duarte (3.098m), the roof of the Caribbean islands, but, as it rises from the imminent seashore, it preserves an impressive coastal drama.

It's Thursday. Without the Dominican weekend visitors offshore, the cable car passengers are sparse.

The summit to which we were going to ascend was many meters short of the record-breaking peak of Pico Duarte. By way of compensation, the authorities of Puerto Plata emphasize the fact that the cable car that connects the city to its mountain is a pioneer.

The line was inaugurated in 1975. At that time, it didn't have identical ones in the sea and surrounding archipelagos.

From then until now, it was not long after a century. The cabin we follow, this one, takes a mere eight minutes to conquer the lush hillside.

At the window facing the Atlantic, we passed humble homes and an earthy, deserted baseball field. Little by little, we see the white houses of Puerto Plata shrink from the splashing green.

When we inspect the view from the landing platform, the forest overwhelms the urban area below with relief.

We appreciate a kind of sub-peak lined with an intricate mantle of small palm trees and other lush plant species.

To the west, the view made it evident that San Felipe de Puerto Plata had extrapolated the tightest of successive jagged coves on the Ambar Coast, where this precious fossilized resin is most abundant in the Dominican Republic.

View from the top of the PN Isabel de Torres cable car, over the coast of Puerto Plata

View of the coastline in the vicinity of Puerto Plata, on the north coast of the Dominican Republic.

We admire her for a few extra moments. Until the open-armed appeal of an unexpected Christ the Redeemer makes us turn our backs to the coast.

A first staircase leads to the foot of the monument, based on a half-sphere with windows. A second one passes between a waving flag of the Dominican Republic and another of Puerto Plata.

It takes visitors to the dreary interior of the white half-ball where a community of sellers of crafts and treasures attract them to your business.

All around, a botanical garden with endemic flora and the natural vastness of the PN Isabel de Torres, seemed to us more worthy attractions.

Sellers at the base of the Christ the Redeemer statue, Puerto Plata, Dominican Rep.

Sellers at the entrance to the market inside the statue of Christ the Redeemer on top of PN Isabel de Torres

We skirted the sphere below the feet of Christ, overflown by flocks of parrots shrill, the same birds that Christopher Columbus would have observed, then, probably much more abundant and noisy.

Columbus sailed off the present-day Ambar Coast in 1492, on the first of his four voyages to the Americas. It reached these parts of the Caribbean after having crossed the Bahamas and traveled the eastern half of Cuba, with the coast always in sight.

After the failures of La Navidad and The Isabela, the north of Hispaniola would only receive a successful colony, in a year still under debate, between 1502 and 1506.

Whatever the date, the village was planned by Cristovão Colombo and his younger brother, Bartolomeu.

At the time, a note by Cristovão about the argent look of the persistent fog on that mountain that welcomed us will have served as an inspiration for its name: San Felipe de Puerto Plata. Where do we return in the meantime.

 The Lives That Bring More Life to Puerto Plata

We disembarked from the van straight to its Independence Park, designed with creative geometry from the heart of La Glorieta, a two-story Victorian octagonal bandstand.

The architectural style of the bandstand is no coincidence. Around it, there are many other Victorian buildings built from 1857 onwards, influenced by European and immigrant boats that began to arrive in the port at the end of the XNUMXth century.

It is said, in fact, that the fashion spread as ships landed brochures and leaflets with images of Victorian buildings.

These buildings are still standing, each with its lines and colors that clash with the most modern constructions and the austere lines of the Cathedral of St. Philip the Apostle.

We head for the temple's tripartite entrance when a humble, unholy celebration catches our attention.

Sitting on a park bench, a girl holds a birthday cake. Behind her, a young Dominican woman ties an arrangement of balloons to a corner of the bench.

Grandmother and mother of the birthday sisters Charlote and Anabela photograph Anabela in the Parque Independência de Puerto Plata.

Grandmother and mother of the birthday sisters Charlote and Anabela photograph Anabela in the Parque Independência de Puerto Plata.

Charlotte turns three. The mother takes care of the adjustments for a photo session that will eternalize the moment. “It's not just Charlotte.” tell us the lady. "Anabela, the youngest, also just made the first one!" With the help of her grandmother and a friend, the mother sits her two daughters on the bench with the cake in the middle.

Angelic Anabela ignores the photos. Little given to ceremonies, he takes a big finger of icing from the cake and smears cream all over his mouth. Charlotte puts her hands to her head. The sister does not stop.

Attack the colored sectors of the cake. Charlotte asks her mother and grandmother for help but, amused by her youngest daughter's photogenic mischief, the adults ignore her. Charlotte loses patience. He screams at his sister and tries to stop her sugary terrorism. Too late and in vain.

Sisters on their birthdays at Independencia Park, Puerto Plata, Dominican Rep.

Charlotte reprimands her birthday sister Anabela for destroying the birthday cake.

We no longer enter the cathedral. Instead, we reversed our way to the bottom of Independencia Park and then to a new street in the city, the alley of Doña Blanca Franceschini, recently opened by the family of the Punta Cana tourist group, Rainieri Kuret.

The alley was repaired by the group and the family in honor of the 110th anniversary of her grandmother Blanca's arrival in Puerto Plata in 1898. Bianca (original Italian name) Franceschini and her husband realized that a hotel in Puerto Plata was needed.

Thus, they decided to found the Hotel del Comercio, later Hotel Europa, and laid a solid foundation for Dominican tourism.

We found the alley magenta from end to end. Decorated with benches, windows and mirrors that challenge lovers instagramers. We see Marielys and her better half struggle to come up with a creative photo that arrives.

Boyfriends photograph themselves at Callejón de Doña Blanca, Puerto Plata

Boyfriends try to come up with a perfect photo-reflection on Callejon de Doña Blanca in Puerto Plata

Fifteen minutes later, when they noticed the hyperactivity of a bunch of photographers with cameras that seemed to them professional, they couldn't resist: “Can't you help us here? This reflex story is complicated… and you're used to it.”

We do the girl's pleasure. She peeks at the photo and looks at her boyfriend with a reproachful air of: “See? Was it really that hard?”

Just below, in the walk of the shades, we found Josefina Martinez, from Tortuga, an island north of Haiti.

Much more comfortable as a model, the three of us had fun in a short improvisation around the cotton candy I was tasting.

Sweet joke, Puerto Plata, Dominican Republic

Josefina Martinez, from Tortuga, plays with cotton candy in Puerto Plata

We went down a little further, towards the seaside. There we find the Fort of São Filipe. Until the middle of the XNUMXth century, Puerto Plata continued to develop around this fort.

Until, around 1555, it fell into decay and became frequented mainly by pirates, in such a way that in 1605, to prevent the expansion of piracy that harmed the Spaniards, Felipe III ordered the destruction of the city, which would only come to be repopulated after a century.

We found the fort already closed but, as always in Caribbean port cities, surrounded by life. Tomás Nuñez had reverted to his old habit of inline skating and, as far as we could see, was keeping fit.

At one point, he sat down squeezing his skates beside Lourdes and Darwin, both lying down watching the waves crashing along the length of the walls.

Residents of Puerto Plata, Tomás Nuñez, Lourdes and Darwin in the vicinity of Fort São Filipe.

Tomás Nuñez, Lourdes and Darwin in the vicinity of the fort of San Felipe de Puerto Plata.

We came to think that the two family of Tomás but no, they didn't know each other. Dan, Lourdes' husband and Darwin's father, fished farther down, out of sight.

Confused? Maybe. Nothing much if we take into account the richness of what we had experienced in just one day in Puerto Plata. would follow the Peninsula of Samaná and its Haitises.

Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic

The Longest Colonial Elder in the Americas

Santo Domingo is the longest-inhabited colony in the New World. Founded in 1498 by Bartholomew Colombo, the capital of the Dominican Republic preserves intact a true treasure of historical resilience.
Lake Enriquillo, Dominican Republic

Enriquillo: the Great Lake of the Antilles

Between 300 and 400 km2, situated 44 meters below sea level, Enriquillo is the supreme lake of the Antilles. Regardless of its hypersalinity and the stifling, atrocious temperatures, it's still increasing. Scientists have a hard time explaining why.
Lagoa Oviedo a Bahia de las Águilas, Dominican Republic

In Search of the Immaculate Dominican Beach

Against all odds, one of the most unspoiled Dominican coastlines is also one of the most remote. Discovering the province of Pedernales, we are dazzled by the semi-desert Jaragua National Park and the Caribbean purity of Bahia de las Águilas.
Barahona, Dominican Republic

The Bathing Dominican Republic of Barahona

Saturday after Saturday, the southwest corner of the Dominican Republic goes into decompression mode. Little by little, its seductive beaches and lagoons welcome a tide of euphoric people who indulge in a peculiar rumbear amphibian.
Samaná PeninsulaLos Haitises National Park Dominican Republic

From the Samaná Peninsula to the Dominican Haitises

In the northeast corner of the Dominican Republic, where Caribbean nature still triumphs, we face an Atlantic much more vigorous than expected in these parts. There we ride on a communal basis to the famous Limón waterfall, cross the bay of Samaná and penetrate the remote and exuberant “land of the mountains” that encloses it.
Soufriere, Saint Lucia

The Great Pyramids of the Antilles

Perched above a lush coastline, the twin peaks Pitons are the hallmark of Saint Lucia. They have become so iconic that they have a place in the highest notes of East Caribbean Dollars. Right next door, residents of the former capital Soufrière know how precious their sight is.
Oviedo Lagoon, Dominican Republic

The (very alive) Dominican Republic Dead Sea

The hypersalinity of the Laguna de Oviedo fluctuates depending on evaporation and water supplied by rain and the flow coming from the neighboring mountain range of Bahoruco. The natives of the region estimate that, as a rule, it has three times the level of sea salt. There, we discover prolific colonies of flamingos and iguanas, among many other species that make up one of the most exuberant ecosystems on the island of Hispaniola.
Cartagena de Indias, Colombia

The Desired City

Many treasures passed through Cartagena before being handed over to the Spanish Crown - more so than the pirates who tried to plunder them. Today, the walls protect a majestic city always ready to "rumbear".
Henri Pittier NP, Venezuela

PN Henri Pittier: between the Caribbean Sea and the Cordillera da Costa

In 1917, botanist Henri Pittier became fond of the jungle of Venezuela's sea mountains. Visitors to the national park that this Swiss created there are, today, more than they ever wanted
Margarita Island ao Mochima NP, Venezuela

Margarita Island to Mochima National Park: a very Caribbean Caribe

The exploration of the Venezuelan coast justifies a wild nautical party. But, these stops also reveal life in cactus forests and waters as green as the tropical jungle of Mochima.
Tulum, Mexico

The Most Caribbean of the Mayan Ruins

Built by the sea as an exceptional outpost decisive for the prosperity of the Mayan nation, Tulum was one of its last cities to succumb to Hispanic occupation. At the end of the XNUMXth century, its inhabitants abandoned it to time and to an impeccable coastline of the Yucatan peninsula.
Okavango Delta, Not all rivers reach the sea, Mokoros
Okavango Delta, Botswana

Not all rivers reach the sea

Third longest river in southern Africa, the Okavango rises in the Angolan Bié plateau and runs 1600km to the southeast. It gets lost in the Kalahari Desert where it irrigates a dazzling wetland teeming with wildlife.
Aurora lights up the Pisang Valley, Nepal.
Annapurna (circuit)
Annapurna Circuit: 3rd- Upper Pisang, Nepal,

An Unexpected Snowy Aurora

At the first glimmers of light, the sight of the white mantle that had covered the village during the night dazzles us. With one of the toughest walks on the Annapurna Circuit ahead of us, we postponed the match as much as possible. Annoyed, we left Upper Pisang towards Ngawal when the last snow faded.
Architecture & Design

the last address

From the grandiose tombs of Novodevichy, in Moscow, to the boxed Mayan bones of Pomuch, in the Mexican province of Campeche, each people flaunts its own way of life. Even in death.
The small lighthouse at Kallur, highlighted in the capricious northern relief of the island of Kalsoy.
Kalsoy, Faroe Islands

A Lighthouse at the End of the Faroese World

Kalsoy is one of the most isolated islands in the Faroe archipelago. Also known as “the flute” due to its long shape and the many tunnels that serve it, a mere 75 inhabitants inhabit it. Much less than the outsiders who visit it every year, attracted by the boreal wonder of its Kallur lighthouse.
shadow of success
Ceremonies and Festivities
Champoton, Mexico

Rodeo Under Sombreros

Champoton, in Campeche, hosts a fair honored by the Virgén de La Concepción. O rodeo Mexican under local sombreros reveals the elegance and skill of the region's cowboys.
Cathedral of Santa Ana, Vegueta, Las Palmas, Gran Canaria
Vegueta, Gran Canaria, Canary Islands

Around the Heart of the Royal Canaries

The old and majestic Vegueta de Las Palmas district stands out in the long and complex Hispanization of the Canaries. After a long period of noble expeditions, the final conquest of Gran Canaria and the remaining islands of the archipelago began there, under the command of the monarchs of Castile and Aragon.
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.
Parra Sea
Mendoza, Argentina

Journey through Mendoza, the Great Argentine Winemaking Province

In the XNUMXth century, Spanish missionaries realized that the area was designed for the production of the “Blood of Christ”. Today, the province of Mendoza is at the center of the largest winemaking region in Latin America.
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.
jet lag avoid flight, jetlag, turbulence
Jet Lag (Part 1)

Avoid Post-Flight Turbulence

When we fly across more than 3 time zones, the internal clock that regulates our body gets confused. The most we can do is alleviate the discomfort we feel until it gets right again.
Masai Mara Reservation, Masai Land Travel, Kenya, Masai Convivial
Masai Mara, Kenya

A Journey Through the Masai Lands

The Mara savannah became famous for the confrontation between millions of herbivores and their predators. But, in a reckless communion with wildlife, it is the Masai humans who stand out there.
Got2Globe Photo Portfolio
Got2Globe Portfolio

life outside

Goa, India

To Goa, Quickly and in Strength

A sudden longing for Indo-Portuguese tropical heritage makes us travel in various transports but almost non-stop, from Lisbon to the famous Anjuna beach. Only there, at great cost, were we able to rest.
patriot march

Formosa but Unsafe

Portuguese navigators could not imagine the imbroglio reserved for the Formosa they baptized. Nearly 500 years later, even though it is uncertain of its future, Taiwan still prospers. Somewhere between independence and integration in greater China.
Geothermal, Iceland Heat, Ice Land, Geothermal, Blue Lagoon
Winter White

The Geothermal Coziness of the Ice Island

Most visitors value Iceland's volcanic scenery for its beauty. Icelanders also draw from them heat and energy crucial to the life they lead to the Arctic gates.
Visitors to Ernest Hemingway's Home, Key West, Florida, United States
Key West, United States

Hemingway's Caribbean Playground

Effusive as ever, Ernest Hemingway called Key West "the best place I've ever been...". In the tropical depths of the contiguous US, he found evasion and crazy, drunken fun. And the inspiration to write with intensity to match.
Pico Island, Azores Volcano Mountain, at the Feet of the Atlantic
Pico Island, Azores

Pico Island: the Azores Volcano with the Atlantic at its Feet

By a mere volcanic whim, the youngest Azorean patch projects itself into the rock and lava apogee of Portuguese territory. The island of Pico is home to its highest and sharpest mountain. But not only. It is a testament to the resilience and ingenuity of the Azoreans who tamed this stunning island and surrounding ocean.
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.
Traveler above Jökursarlón icy lagoon, Iceland
Natural Parks
Jökursarlón Lagoon, Vatnajökull Glacier, Iceland

The Faltering of Europe's King Glacier

Only in Greenland and Antarctica are glaciers comparable to Vatnajökull, the supreme glacier of the old continent. And yet, even this colossus that gives more meaning to the term ice land is surrendering to the relentless siege of global warming.
San Cristobal de Las Casas, Chiapas, Zapatismo, Mexico, San Nicolau Cathedral
UNESCO World Heritage
San Cristobal de Las Casas, Mexico

The Home Sweet Home of Mexican Social Conscience

Mayan, mestizo and Hispanic, Zapatista and tourist, country and cosmopolitan, San Cristobal has no hands to measure. In it, Mexican and expatriate backpacker visitors and political activists share a common ideological demand.
In elevator kimono, Osaka, Japan
Osaka, Japan

In the Company of Mayu

Japanese nightlife is a multi-faceted, multi-billion business. In Osaka, an enigmatic couchsurfing hostess welcomes us, somewhere between the geisha and the luxury escort.
view mount Teurafaatiu, Maupiti, Society Islands, French Polynesia
Maupiti, French Polynesia

A Society on the Margin

In the shadow of neighboring Bora Bora's near-global fame, Maupiti is remote, sparsely inhabited and even less developed. Its inhabitants feel abandoned but those who visit it are grateful for the abandonment.
Peasant woman, Majuli, Assam, India
Majuli Island, India

An Island in Countdown

Majuli is the largest river island in India and would still be one of the largest on Earth were it not for the erosion of the river Bramaputra that has been making it diminish for centuries. If, as feared, it is submerged within twenty years, more than an island, a truly mystical cultural and landscape stronghold of the Subcontinent will disappear.
Train Fianarantsoa to Manakara, Malagasy TGV, locomotive
On Rails
Fianarantsoa-Manakara, Madagascar

On board the Malagasy TGV

We depart Fianarantsoa at 7a.m. It wasn't until 3am the following morning that we completed the 170km to Manakara. The natives call this almost secular train Train Great Vibrations. During the long journey, we felt, very strongly, those of the heart of Madagascar.
full cabin
Saariselka, Finland

The Delightful Arctic Heat

It is said that the Finns created SMS so they don't have to talk. The imagination of cold Nordics is lost in the mist of their beloved saunas, real physical and social therapy sessions.
Coin return
Daily life
Dawki, India

Dawki, Dawki, Bangladesh on sight

We descended from the high and mountainous lands of Meghalaya to the flats to the south and below. There, the translucent and green stream of the Dawki forms the border between India and Bangladesh. In a damp heat that we haven't felt for a long time, the river also attracts hundreds of Indians and Bangladeshis in a picturesque escape.
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.