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Roman Bruehwiler's Posts
Roman has posted 94 reports and 722 photos.

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Abkhazia Visit: 2017-5
2017-06-07 - From Sochi I visited Abkhazia in a daytrip. It was easy to cross the border from Sochi to Abkhazia. With a local guide I visited lake Ritsa, a lovely lake in the Kaukasian mountains, close to the Russian border. The valley up towards lake Ritsa was beautiful, green and clean. When I entered Abkhazia the first time, some years ago, at the Zugdidi border, the Abkhazian custom people were extremely unfriendly. That bad experiance has now been healed partly by the lovely and peaceful landscapes I have seen during this daytrip. I can recommend Alex from Sochi to organize such a trip to Abkhazia: ak@rutasochi.ru / https:\\rutasochi.ru

Abruzzo Visit: 2010-10
2010-10-24 - In one week in October 2010 we travelled through all the southern Provinces of Italy. The "Gran Sasso" Natinal Park was the most impressing part of this journey.

Agalega (and St. Brandon) Visit: 2009-11
2009-12-05 - Agalega is a restricted aerea. The Ship \"Mauritius Pride\" sails twice a year from Mauritius to Agalega. You need a permission from the \"Outer Island Development Coorporation\" in Port Louis (oidcgm@?intnet.mu / Mrs Naeck).
It takes 48 hours oneway and you sleep in your seat or on the floor. The price of about 300 US$ includes the food and the lodging on Agalega. You need one week for this trip (2 days go, 3 days stay on Agalega, 2 days back).
When I sailed to Agalega on November 2009 there were about 180 passengers (3 European and 177 people of Mauritus visiting their relatives on the island.)Don\'t forget your snorkeling gear, it is a good place for snorkeling.

Ajaria Visit: 2012-6
2012-06-12 - Batumi seems to be a booming city in 2012. Many new hotels welcome a increasing number of tourists. I came by car from Poti to Batumi, from where I choose the way to the east across Ajaria.
For about 150km (to Achalziche) I needed almost 6 hours. It's a good idea to have a 4x4 car but I saw many people driving this road with a common car. During winter time til mid of May this road may be closed because of the snow on the pass.
These road across Ajaria is a real beauty!!!

Aksai Chin Visit: 2011-10
2011-10-10 - The journey to Aksay Chin starts at Yecheng (also known as Kagelik) a city between Kashgar and Hotan. From Yecheng the Chines government is building a new paved road throug Aksay Chin onwards to Lhasa. If you plan to travel to Aksay Chin I would recommend to wait until 2015. Then the main part of the road should be paved and you can do this trip from Yecheng to Aksay Chin and back to Yecheng in three days.
Between Yecheng and Aksay Chin you have to cross two passes over 4900m high. The village where it's possible to find an accomodation is called "Sanshilin Yingfang", about 450 km away from Yecheng. From "Sahnshilin Yingfang" you can reach Aksay Chin within a four hour drive.
For Aksay Chin you need a special permit. I got this permit trough www.chinahighlights.com.

Before you go to Aksay Chin you should know if your body is comfortable with high altitudes!

Aksay Chin is a very, very remote place!

Aldabra Islands Visit: 2016-2
2016-02-19 - Onboard the NOBLE CALEDONIAN ISLAND SKY we sailed from South Africa to the Seychelles, where we visited Aldabra, Farquar and the Amirantes. I was sharing this trip with Luca and Jeroen. Six people of the Seychelle customs had to fly from Mahe into the island of Assomption to stamp our passports. For that charter flight the company payed 24000 US$! On the south side of Assomption island we found a shelterd beach to go ashore and explore the island before sailing onwards to Aldabra. Aldabra is the second largest Atoll in the world and covers a larger area then the main island of Mahe. We enjoyed very much a drift snorkeling along the main channel. The incoming high tide pushed us inside the logoon offering a large range of fishes and corals. One of the highlights of an Aldabran visit is for sure to see the big turtels. They can be found all over this World Heritage island. Overnight the ISLAND SKY repositioned to Cosmoledo Island our third landing and snorkeling site within the Aldabra Group.

Amirante Islands Visit: 2016-2
2016-02-20 - Onboard the NOBLE CALEDONIAN ISLAND SKY we sailed from South Africa to the Seychelles, where we visited Aldabra, Farquar and the Amirantes. I was sharing this trip with Luca and Jeroen. Coming from the Farquar group we visited the southern most island of the Amirantes, Alphonse. We landed at the beach of the only hotel of the island where a week costs between 5000 and 8000 US$. Just in walking distance from the hotel there is an airport connecting the island to Mahe. Within the Amirantes there is another island offering an airport and excellent hotel services: Desroches. Alphonse offers good diving and snorcheling sites.

Annobon Visit: 2011-12
2011-12-17 - Africa's connection (STP) offers chater flights from Sao Tome to Annobon (jannie.fourie@africas-connection.com).
At Sao Tome's embassy I got the visa for Annobon. When I arrived at Annobon, the chief police officer told me, that I was not allowed to leave the airport building because of the lack of a special permit. For 250US$ he was willing to guide our group to the crater lake (Lago Mazafim). With three cars we made this short trip to that beautiful place.

Before they let us go back to Sao Tome, I had to offer drinks to the local authorities and to pay another 300 US$ for departure tax.

Annobon is not a tourist friendly place!

Antipodes Islands Visit: 2010-11
2010-11-29 - On November 2010 I visited all the subantarctic island onboard the SPIRIT OF ENDERBY with HERITAGE EXPEDITIONS. We were lucky to have mostly good weather during our 17 day trip.
For tourists it is not permitted to go ashore on 3 of the 6 subantarctic islands (Bounty island, Antipodes island and Snares island). These islands are accessible only the park rangers and scientists.
If you stay in London the Antipodes Island is situated on the other side of the world.

Aosta Valley Visit: -

Apulia Visit: -

Arunachal Pradesh Visit: -

Ashmore and Cartier Islands Visit: 2014-3
2014-04-09 - At the end of March 2014 we travelled onboard the Reef Prince out of Broome to this remote destination. Mostly birders booked this kimberleyexpeditions.com.au trip. The only non-birders: Terry Last and myself. On this 8-day trip we had several occasions to go ashore on west island and once on east island. We were lucky with the calm sea conditions, we had seen almost no waves during these 8 days. I enjoyed very much the excellent snorkeling spots with a large variety of corals and fishes including sharks.

Assam Visit: 2011-2
2011-02-17 - Everywhere it is written that it is necessary to have a special permit to visit the eastern states of India. When we visited these states in February 2011 it only was necessary to get a permit for Nagaland, Arunchal Pradesh and Sikkim. The other states (Manipur, Mizoram, Tripura, Meghalaya and Assam) were free to enter.

Auckland Islands Visit: 2010-11
2010-11-29 - The Auckland Islands are the most attrative islands of the New Zealands subantarctic islands because of the variety of the animals and the plants. On Enderby Island (the northernmost island of the Auckland islands) you are allowed to walk around the island and sometimes it is difficult to make your way troughout all the sealions lying everywhere along the coastline.

Aves Island Visit: 2015-3
2015-03-09 - Since many years I was looking for a chance to visit Aves. When William Beakland offered a trip from Sint Maarten to Aves I was happy to share this trip with Don Parrish, Terry Last and William. Leaving Sint Maarten on Sunday March 01, 2015 we reached Aves on Monday afternoon. At Aves it is never for sure you are allowed to go ashore. 12 military guards of Venezuela have a close look what is going on. Our captain forced us not to take a camera ashore. After a very wet landing we spent a half an hour ashore, exploring the island before returning to our catamaran. Some of the soldiers came aboard our ship for a coffee. They were happy to get some Swiss chocolate and cigars from Havanna as our present to them. In front of the only building we spent the night in a well protected area before returning to Sint Maarten where we arrived Wednesday after lunchtime. Aves was my MTP destination no 800! If you are interested to visit Aves, you may ask Glenn, our captain for a trip: howell.glenn@gmail.com.

Azerbaijan (other) Visit: 2013-10
2013-11-09 - In Baku I rented a car and made my way to all provinces (rayons) of Azerbaijan. There are 60 rayons and cities to visit and doing so, I found friendly people and very beautiful landscapes. The roads were much better then expected but there also some roads not better then the worst you can find somewhere in the African jungle. It\'s really easy to drive by yourself and not often you will see police cars controlling the traffic. Compared to Naxcevan the mainland is much more relaxed and open minded.

Bahrain Visit: 2018-1
2018-01-25 - I stayed for three days in this little country at the Persian gulf, where it's easy to find working people from Pakistan, India, the Phillipines and so many other developing countries, but it's hard to find a working man from Bahrain outside the airport. By rental car I explored the island during two days , visiting the four provinces, the two UNESCO sites and four UNESCO sites from the tentative list. None of them is really worth to visit, except the Bahrain fort. I tried to reach the southern tip of the island, a remote area, without success. This part of the island is used for army issue.

Bangladesh Visit: 2015-12
2015-12-18 - There are 7 provinces and 3 Unesco World Heritage Sites I visited in Bangladesh. By rental car and driver I explored the country from east to west and south to nord within 10 days, including a three day boat trip to the Sundarbans. I expected to find millions of mosquitos in this Wild Life Sanctuary but there are none - what a surprise and how relaxing to enjoy the wind in your hair standing in front of the ship crusing trough the water channels and above you the stars of the night without any fear of malaria bringing mosquitos. The Sundarbans are worth to be visited. Visiting the UNESCO ruins of an old Buddhist temple at Paharpur was a disappointment and nothing special. The most beautiful village I have seen within Bangladesch is Puthia, an old capital east of Rajshaj. Not only the beautiful restored buildings but the whole scenery of this place is very special. Travelling throughout Bangladesh is mentally not easy because of the all over seen poverty and the total lack of cleanliness.

Belarus Visit: 2013-11
2013-11-30 - It\'s easy to rent a car at the airport of Minsk. The roads all over the country were much better than expected and almost no police is watching the traffic. It was a very relaxed way to explore the country by car. Outside of Minsk it\'s hard to find some english speaking people.

Bhutan Visit: 2017-3
2017-03-24 - Within 9 days I visited all of the 20 districts of Bhutan. The road conditions were much poorer than in India. Thanks to this I had more time to enjoy the beautiful landscapes, the rich wildlife and all these pretty houses all over the country. Compared to India you will find only low numbers of cars on the roads, especially in the eastern part ot Bhutan, where tourists are rarely seen. When I started my trip at Samdrup Jongkhar the custom authorities did not really know what to do with an European tourist, as it almost never happens that this species come along at this border point. So it took 1,5 hours to do all the necessary procedures. After that more than half an hour was needed to change 100 US$ into Bhutanese Ngultrum at the Bhutanese National Bank. 2400 km on poor roads that is what you have to face when visiting all districts of Bhutan. My conclusion: Bhutan is a WOW-country, really worth going!

Bjornoya Visit: 2014-6
2014-06-17 - In June 2014 the Ortelius (Oceanwide expeditions) visited Jan Mayen and Bear Island during a two weeks trip. Thanks to good weather conditions it was easy to go ashore at Bear Island and to walk up to a hill where we had an excellent view. On a three hours Zodiac drive along the coast we spotted many caves and tunnels and hundreds of thousands of birds made an amazing noise.

Bolivia Visit: 2015-10
2015-10-31 - When you want to visit all of the 9 deparementos of Bolivia, its a good idea to start at Santa Cruz. There we rented a car and made our way to eight of the provinces and to most of the World Heritage Sites. When you start at Santa Cruz you have enough time to get used with the high altitude, when travelling towards La Paz. We made about 3500 km with a rented 4WD. Our highlight was the journey from Uyuni to the Island of Incahuasi and further on to Tahua on the north shore of the lake, an unforgettable drive!

Bounty Islands Visit: 2010-11
2010-11-29 - On November 2010 I visited all the subantarctic island onboard of the SPIRIT OF ENDERBY with HERITAGE EXPEDITIONS. We were lucky to have mostly good weather during our 17 day trip.
For tourists it is not permitted to go ashore on 3 of the 6 subantarctic islands(Bounty island, Antipodes island and Snares island. These islands are accessible only for park rangers and scientists.

The Bounty islands consists of some rocks without any vegetation but a lot of life: Breading birds, seals and pinguins. The air is full of noice of all these animals. There are not many places on earth to hear such a sound!

Brunei Visit: 2016-4
2016-04-16 - After having visited the Spratly Island Layang Layang I spent two days in Brunei, exploring all four districts by rental car. Doing so, I got stamped my passport eight times when visiting the district of Temburong. This part is splitted from the rest of the country, making it necessary to cross a part of Sarawak to reach the Temburong district. When you are travelling by Royal Brunei you will hear a muslim prayer before takeoff and the Brunei airport becomes a mosque five times a day when the music disappears for minutes and the imams voice drowns out everything else. For non muslims this can be pushy and annoying.

Campbell Islands Visit: 2010-11
2010-11-29 - On November 2010 I visited all the subantarctic island onboard the SPIRIT OF ENDERBY with HERITAGE EXPEDITIONS. We were lucky to have mostly good weather during our 17 day trip.
For tourists it is not permitted to go ashore on 3 of the 6 subantarctic islands (Bounty island, Antipodes island and Snares island). These islands are accessible only the park rangers and scientists.
Campbell Island is famous for its megaherbs and the Royal Southern Albatross nesting here in large numbers.

Chile (mainland) Visit: 2016-10
2016-11-10 - In October 2016 I visited the regions north of Santiago de Chile by rental car. 5000 kilometers troughout wonderful landscapes. It's special to be in the Chilenean Atacama desert. The sun is shining the whole day, but the temperature is always pleasant because of the cold air coming from the sea.

Chukotka Autonomous Okrug Visit: 2010-9
2011-11-28 - Starting at Nome (Alaska) I flew with Bering Air to Anadyr. There the Spirit of Enderby waited for our trip to Kamtchatka and the Kuril Islands. 2017: On the way from Murmansk to Anadyr I visited several remote places of Chukotka, for example the city of Lavrentjia, the whale bone alley, north of Providenzia, the island of Vankarem and Wrangel island, where we spotted 181 polar bears around a stranded bowhead whale. The passengers of Heritage expedition's "Akhademic Shokalsky" were thrilled to see such an extraordinary spectacle. After this Northeast passage I spent two nights in Anadyr, visiting the surrounding hills. There is not one single road leading from Anadyr to any other village. This city is accessible only by air or ship.

Clipperton Island Visit: 2013-4
2013-05-03 - Once a year the NAUTILUS EXPLORER is visiting Clipperton Island leaving from Cabo San Lucas (SJD). This trip goes first to Socorro Island and then to Clipperton Island and back to Cabo San Lucas. This trip takes about 2 weeks. Mostly divers are using the Nautilus Explorer. Its not easy to go ashore. I had to swim over the reef. Thats not an easy run! Its possible to walk around the island. It took me about 5 hours for the whole walk. Walking around you will find a lot of rubbish, left from earlier days and brought in from the waves. I enjoyed very much a lonely day on Clipperton Island.

Cocos Island Visit: 2016-9
2016-09-27 - Onboard the INULA I joined Arvids last combined tour to Cocos and Malpelo. From Boca Chica, close to David, it took two days to sail to Cocos Island. We ankered close to a pretty waterfall. While the divers made their daily dives, I was able to go ashore three times and found a very green and beautiful island without any rubbish on the beaches. Snorkeling was also great. I never saw that many sharks at one place! All divers were fully satisfied to find all the sharks they wanted to see, big schools of hammerheads, white tips, tigers and so on. Around the island you cand find more then 20 waterfalls, quiet high ones and some of them are very close to the beaches. Cocos is a real paradies, worth to be protected for the future!

Colombia (mainland) Visit: 2017-11
2017-11-29 - Together with my friend I visited 31 of 32 provinces (departementos) within three weeks. Starting from Bogota by rental car we were heading north up to the national park "Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta" and then crossing all the provinces on the western side. From Pasto we crossed the Andes to the Amazonian side to Pitalito and from there back to Bogota (about 4000 km!). On the way we visited all Unesco and Unesco tentative sites, except "Los Katios NP". At Turbo we were highly recommended not to go to Los Katios because of the danger to be kidnapped. I flew by plane to the provinces of Arauca, Guaviare, Vaupes and Amazonas. We entered the province of Vichida by boat and I missed the province of Casanare! What I will remember: every day some excellent Colombian coffes, very friendly people, long days in the car, hot and humid air in the Amazonian provinces and very comfortable temperatures above 1500m, wonderful landscapes and always short ways to the next water (rain, rivers, lakes).

Corn Islands Visit: -

Croatia (other) Visit: 2015-9
2015-09-26 - Within 10 days I visited all of the 20 provinces (Zupanja, Gespanschaften) together with my wife by car. This was a relaxed way to explore the country and to visit the 7 UNESCO sites of Croatia. Dubrovnik was our highlight, a remarkable place!

Daito Islands Visit: 2010-1
2010-02-10 - From Naha there are to daily flights to Kitadaito or to Minamidaito. One of these flights goes first to Kitadaito and after a stop of 40 minutes the flight continues to Minamidatio from where the plane returns to Naha (Okinawa). Roman Bruehwiler Jan 2010

Ducie Island Visit: 2012-3
2012-04-26 - From time to time the German MS Hanseatic goes from Valparaiso to Tahiti and makes a stop at Ducie Island, where the passengers are taken for a Zodiac cruise along the island. Thanks to the captain's help I was allowed to go ashore as the only passenger. Doing this at low tide all crew members of that Zodiac were hurt when we landed on the reef - but we did it and I was very happy!

East Timor (other) Visit: 2014-4
2014-04-09 - East Timor has 13 districts. Oecussy is one of them. In Dili I rented a 4 wheel drive car and visited 11 of the districts within 7 days. The most remote district (Cova Lima) I visited by plane (on the way back from Oecussy to Dili). The rainy season was just over, all the plants green, a lot of flowers offering the most beautiful colors, the air clear with good views towards the mountains. The road conditions were often very poor and you should not think about renting a normal car!

Ecuador (Mainland) Visit: 2016-12
2016-12-22 - Ecuador has almost everything a tourist can wish and in addition to that I found much better road conditons than expected. That made it easy to drive to all of the 24 provinces of Ecuador within two weeks (including five UNESCO world heritage sites).

Europa Island Visit: 2018-4
2018-04-21 - Perfect weather conditons allowed easy landings on Europa, Juan de Nova and Glorieuse Island (Scattered Islands)on our cruise on one of Ponant's ships "Le Lyrial". 12 travellers (MTP and Nomad Mania) were keen to set their feet on these French islands. Particularly Juan de Nova and Glorieuse offered big white sand beaches. These beaches are the most beautiful I ever have seen!

Extremadura Visit: 2011-12
2012-01-07 - After my journey trough Asturia and all provinces of Portugal I passed Extremedura on my way back to Madrid.

Farquhar Group (Farquhar, Providence, St. Pierre) Visit: 2016-2
2016-02-19 - Onboard the NOBLE CALEDONIAN ISLAND SKY we sailed from South Africa to the Seychelles, where we visited Aldabra, Farquar and the Amirantes. I was sharing this trip with Luca and Jeroen. There are four island forming the Farquar group. We went ashore at the main island, called Farquar atoll. Despite of some very beautiful beaches the obvious thing on this island is the rubbish, all kinds of plastic, that can bee seen all along the beaches. What a mess! Do to the low tide we had to walk from the beach over the reef back to a point where the Zodiacs where able to pick us up. The day before arriving at Farquar the tour leader had decided to cancel the visit of Farquar because of a delay in the schedule. As we insisted hardly and told our MTP story the tour leader took back his decision and cannceled another island, not on the MTP list. Thanks Pam!

Fernando de Noronha Visit: 2010-2
2010-02-10 - Fernando do Noronha is a very expensive place to stay. There are no cheap hotels! But it is worth to visit the island for snorkeling and a boat trip to the dolphins. I never saw such clear water as around this island.

Franz Josef Land Visit: 2017-9
2017-10-12 - On the way from Murmansk to Anadyr the passengers of the Akhademic Shokalsky spent three days at Franz Josef Land. Unfortunately the weather was quite cloudy and the northern Islands were not accessible because of the ice conditions.

Free Zone (Sahrawi-Controlled) Visit: 2016-11
2016-11-25 - For many years I was looking for the opportunity to get a permission to enter the sahrawi part of Western Sahara, without success. When visiting all provinces of Mauritania my guide was offering his good connections to the army chief and thanks to this it was possible to visit the Western Sahara close to Choume. We entered Western Sahara at N21 19,823' W13 03,724' and left at N21 26,174' W13 00,815. As I do often, I took a stone from the desert and I will give a good place to it in my garden back home in Switzerland. Leaving Mauritania into Western Sahara with just a Mauritanian single entry permit could cause big problems! Idoumou was my guide and driver: info@desertmauritanie.com

Glorioso Islands Visit: 2018-4
2018-04-21 - Perfect weather conditons allowed easy landings on Europa, Juan de Nova and Glorieuse Island (Scattered Islands)on our cruise on one of Ponant's ships "Le Lyrial". 12 travellers (MTP and Nomad Mania) were keen to set their feet on these French islands. Particularly Juan de Nova and Glorieuse offered big white sand beaches. These beaches are the most beautiful I ever have seen!

Graubunden Visit: -

Heard and McDonald Islands Visit: 2012-11
2012-12-08 - There are not many ships sailing to Heard Island. But on November 2012 the SPIRIT OF ENDERBY started from Freemantle to the long journey to MadDonald and Heard Island. That became the longest trip I ever did for just one destination: Over 10,000 kilometers travelling by 10 knotes: thats a long time! We were lucky to see Big Ben on a brillant day, but only two landings were possible because of the severe weather conditions.

Heilongjiang Visit: 2010-2
2010-03-08 - It is worth to visit Heilongjang in the winter time because of the yearly Harbin Ice festival. If you are looking for a good (and cheap) travel agency for China I warmly recommend: www.chinahighlights.com. They work very professional and reliable.

Henderson Island Visit: 2010-4
2010-04-26 - In April 2010 we sailed from Mangareva (Gambier Islands) to Pitcairn and to Hendersen. Our captain's boat the 'Southern cross' was in a very bad shape. I never would recommend to sail with this boat! It was not possible to go ashore by boat so we had to swim over the reef and back to the boat (quiet dangerous!)

Iraqi Kurdistan Visit: -

Jan Mayen Visit: 2014-6
2014-06-17 - In June 2014 the Ortelius (Oceanwide expeditions) visited Jan Mayen and Bear Island during a two weeks trip. Thanks to good weather conditions it was easy to go ashore at Jan Mayen and to walk from one side of the Island to the other (where the Ortelius was waiting to take us abord).

Juan de Nova Island Visit: 2018-4
2018-04-21 - Perfect weather conditons allowed easy landings on Europa, Juan de Nova and Glorieuse Island (Scattered Islands)on our cruise on one of Ponant's ships "Le Lyrial". 12 travellers (MTP and Nomad Mania) were keen to set their feet on these French islands. Particularly Juan de Nova and Glorieuse offered big white sand beaches. These beaches are the most beautiful I ever have seen!

Kazakhstan Visit: 2015-5
2015-06-04 - Within three weeks I visited all 14 oblasts of Khazachstan mostly by rental car. It\'s true: many of the Kasachan roads are terrible, but I have seen many places where new roads are under construction. So in the future it will be more easy to explore the country by yourself. I was surprised to find many places in the mountains looking like the Swiss alps. I found many very friendly and openminded people.

Kermadec Islands Visit: 2011-4
2011-04-18 - To visit the Kermandecs you need about 10 days. From 7th to 16th April 2011 I joined a trip of Heritage Expeditions from Tauranga to the Kermandecs. There is only one island where you are alowed to go ashore - Roul island - the main island.
Because there is no easy access to the crater lakes (blue lake and green lake) you will not be able to swim in these lakes. But the waters around the island are clear and a good spot for divers (turtels, sharks...).

Khabarovsk Krai Visit: 2017-10
2017-10-12 - Flying in from Yakutsk I rented a car at the airport of Khabarovsk and first crossed the Amur river to reach the Jewish Oblast (Evreyskaya autonomaya oblast). Early the next morning I left Khabarovsk on a sunny day towards Komsomolsk na Amure, where I arrived in the afternoon. The road runs along the Amur river but you will almost not be able to see it's waters because of the forests between the river and the road. At Komsomolsk a certain Sowjet style is still alive.

Khakassia Visit: -

Krasnoyarsk Krai Visit: 2017-9
2017-10-27 - The Akhademic Shokalsky made several landings on Severnaya Zemlya during its northeast passage from Murmansk to Anadyr. Thanks to the calm weather all intended landings took place. Snow, ice, rocks and some little flowers and plants can be found on this very remote territory.

Kuril Islands Visit: -

Labrador Visit: 2011-8
2011-09-02 - Late August 2011 I made a "cruise" with the "Northern Ranger" from Goose Bay up to Nain. This 2 day trip goes along the cost to 5 costal villages. From Nain there are several daily flights back to Goose Bay.

Lesotho Visit: 2018-3
2018-04-20 - Within four days I visited all of the 10 districts of Lesotho by rental car. After a week of rain I enjoyed 4 lovely sunny days with brilliant views. Much more than expected I stopped my car to take pictures and I was filled with wonder to see such amazing landscapes. Lesotho is really worth to be explored!!!

Mali Visit: 2018-5
2018-05-25 - Within one week I visited 8 of 9 regions (Kidal was too far and too dangerous), 4 Unesco sites and 4 Unesco sites from the tentative list. Visiting the cities of Timbouktou and Gao was possible only by renting a plane what we did as a group of 7 travellers. Would I go again to Timbouctou for free? No! The good days of Timbouctou have gone and dust, heat and rubbish is what has been left! What impressed me most was the arch of Siby and the villages of the Dogons around Bandiagra, for example Songa and Songo! These villages are unique and really worth to visit!

Malpelo Island Visit: 2016-9
2016-10-13 - Onboard the INULA I visited Malpelo for 4 days. Unfortunately the authorities refused to explore the island, therefore I just had to climb a rock on the west side of the island. Arvid, the owner of INULA told me, it was the same place where Bob, Don and Therry went ashore some years ago. I enjoyed very much snorkeling in clear waters, full of schools of different types of fishes. The divers found Malpelo a better diving spot than Cocos Island. The governement of Columbia introduced a new rule for visits at Malpelo. Every ship, visiting Malpelo, must start from Buenaventura, Colombia. This rule takes place in 2018.

Malyj Vysotskij Visit: -

Market Reef Visit: 2018-7
2018-08-01 - Together with Wolfgang Fobo, Harald and 2 other MPT travellers I visited Market Reef on a calm day in July. Almost no wind is a condition to be able to go ashore at Market. We enjoyed this lovely place for 2 hours. The boat to Market leaves from the restaurant Bodegan in Käringsund (2 km north of Eckerö, Aland). The trip takes about 1 hour oneway. Ships owner: Mats Sjöström: yvonne@esab.ax Tel. +358 400 679 954 The trip is sold for 600 Euro (up to 10 people can share this amount!)

Mauritania Visit: 2016-11
2016-11-26 - In less then 10 days I visited all provinces of Mauritania, starting from Nouakchott and ending in Nouadhibou. About 3000km by 4x4, 70% on paved roads, 15% on gravel roads and 15% over sand dunes and tracks through the wilderness. Mauritania is still on of those countries without any touristic infrastructure outside the capital. But sleeping in a tent in the middle of the desert, listening the sound of nature that's even better than a 5* hotel. I also visited the UNESCO world heritage sites of Chinguetti and Banc d'Arguin, but the highlight of this trip was the climing of Ben Amera, a monolithic rock close to the border of Western Sahara. It's the perfect place to stay overnight!!! Idoumou was my guide and driver. If you are looking for an experienced tourguide, often driving on the left hand side of the road, not seeing what is coming from behind the curve, always having two portables in his hands, phoning and typing text messages (while driving) and praying not 5 times a day but almost constantly, then he may be the perfect driver for your trip: info@desertmauritanie.com.

Mount Athos Visit: 2014-4
2014-04-27 - April is a good month to visit Mount Athos. The hotels in Ouranoupoli are cheap (for example hotel Xenia 4*, 10 min walk to the harbour, 44 Euros fullboard) and the temperatures are very comfortable. About the permit: It\'s not possible to get the permit the day before the departure. You only will get the permit the day of your journey to Daphni. I stayed in the monestary Gregorious, a Greek Orthodox monestary, very easy accessable by boat. The fast boat takes about 1 hour for Ouranoupoli to Daphni, the slow and cheaper ferry needs about 2 hours and 30 minutes.

Mozambique Visit: 2015-8
2015-09-06 - From Maputo I started my journey to the 10 provinces of Mocambique by a 17 hours bus trip to Beira where I spent 2 nights in a new Chinese seaside resort, called GOLDEN PEACOCK. From there I flew to Tete and Lichinga where I wanted to visit lake Niassa (I cancelled then this trip because of the bad road conditions).From Lichinga I flew to Nampula where I rented a car to visit the provinces of Zambezia and Cabo Delgado and the UNESCO World Heritage Site Ilha de Mocambique. Back to Maputo I rented another car and made my way to Swasiland and the iSimangaliso Wetland park (UNESCO)in South Africa.

Mustang, Kingdom (Upper, Lo Manthang) Visit: 2014-10
2014-10-20 - Since 2013 a jeepable road is offering a short trip from Jomosom to Lo Manthang in just one day (two times you have to change the vehicles because of a missing brige over the Kali Gandaki and difficult road conditions). I choose the old way to reach Lo Manthang, a 5 day trekking (one way) starting from Kag Beni. Do to the daily strong wind you will not like to 10-30 Jeeps passing by every day and producing clouds of dust. This slow option gives time to become familiar with the conditions of the high altitude. We spent then three nights at Lo Manthang before returning in a very beautiful 7 hours walk via Ghar Gompa back to Ghemi, from where we hired a jeep back to Jomosom (300 US$). The permit for Upper Mustang is still 500 US$ per person (valid for 10 days)

Nagaland Visit: 2011-2
2011-02-17 - In Switzerland we met a christian singing group from Nagaland. Since then we were looking for a good opportunity to visit this part of India.
What we saw first when we crossed the border: The christian cross.

Nakhichevan Visit: 2013-11
2013-11-08 - When I took my first picture just leaving the plane, a police man forced me to delete my picture. For two days I travelled by taxi trough all of the 7 rayons of Naxcivan. The taxi driver had to call every hour to the police to tell them our position. When we picked up a hitchhiker he fist told me that he was not sent for monitoring me. Everywhere you will see police and military guards, but I did not feel free and save but controlled. The most beautiful landscape you will find in the south and in the Sahbuz rayon close to the Armenian border (Batabat lakes).

Nicaragua Visit: 2017-12
2017-12-22 - Within 10 days I visited all of the 17 departementos of Nicaragua (3 by flight and 14 by rental car). I found two places from the Unesco tentative list (Granada and the Masaya volcano) much more worth to visit than the two Unesco sites Leon and Leon viejo. I enjoyed the stressless driving on the roads of Nicaragua (not too many cars and trucks and almost no police controls) and the beautiful landscapes in the highlands of Matagalpa and Jinotega. I spent two nights on Corn Island, with a WOW-factor close to zero!

Oecussi Visit: 2014-4
2014-04-09 - I tried several times to get a multiple entry visa for East Timor, without success. Therefore I decided to charter a plane and to fly out of Dili to Ponte Makassar. MAF is offering such flights. After a two hours sightseeing trip around Ponte Makassar we returned towards Dili. To book this flight was a good decision. Shortly after the rainy season the air was clear and I had a beautiful view towards the mountains and the shoreline.

Oeno Island Visit: 2010-4
2010-06-08 - On the way back from Pitcairn the captain of the Southern cross said that he would not go with his dingy over the reef to the island, so we had to swim. That may be dangerous! One of our group stood into a starfish! Only by calm sea it is possible to cross the reef!!!

Panama (mainland) Visit: 2016-8
2016-09-24 - During 12 days I explored Panama by rental car. Visiting 12 provinces including San Blas and the UNESCO sites of San Lorenzo, the old city of Panama, the Amistad and the Coiba National Park I found a lovely and well developed country, mostly good roads and not to much traffic, except in Panama city where you will find traffic jam at all times. Unfortunately I was not able to visit Darien Nationalpark, because of very havy rainfalls. Too much water also made it impossible to visit the province of Emberaa. Just a kilometer away from the province border (close to Puerto Limon) water flooded the only road and made a passage impossible. After visiting Panama I joined a divers boat trip to Cocos and Malpelo.

Peru Visit: 2013-9
2015-11-21 - Within three and a half weeks togehter with my neighbour Anton I visited 24 departemontos of Peru and most of the UNSECO World Heritage Sites by rental cars. Starting at Lima at sea level we had to climb a 4850m pass driving towards Huancayo on the first day. Many other drives on high altitudes followed and we always enjoyed the changes of landscapes very much. Thanks to the bad condition of many roads you often find yourself alone for long distances outside the cities. And yes, it is true: Machu Picchu is one of the most beautiful UNESCO World Heritage Sites in the world.

Peter I Island Visit: 2013-3
2013-03-26 - What a blessing to find Peter First Island on a calm and sunny day. It was on March 14th, when the ORTELIUS made it\\\'s way to this beautiful island. Because of the high tide it was not possible to land by zodiac, because there was no space, where people could walk around. Therefore we used the two helicopters to bring all the 60 passengers to the island. We spent there several hours and enjoyed a beautiful walk on the plateau of Peter First.

Primorsky Krai Visit: 2017-10
2017-10-12 - At Vladivostok airport I rented a car to drive to the Shikote National park, famous for it's tigers. It's more than worth to drive these 650 km to Terney. During my visit in the first part of October I enjoyed three days of sunshine and found beautiful coloured oak and birch forests and extremly clear waters at the beaches of the Japanese sea. The road conditions on the A181 were excellent.

Puntland Visit: 2017-4
2017-04-29 - After having visited Mogadishu I found Basasso a quiet and even relaxed place. When I asked our guide about the most recent attack of Al Shabab in the area he answered: "just three days ago they attacked soldiers"! For that reason it was a must to have armed soldiers with us when travelling about 120km inland through dry land, where rain has been missed for over two years. What a surprise to find a spring area offering a pond with cristal clear water to swim in it - a feeling like heaven! We travelled with: www.untamedborders.com.

Qatar Visit: 2018-4
2018-04-21 - My first impression of Qatar: Clean and safe! There must be of lot of money to build up a complete new infastructure. The eastern part of Qatar seems to be full of teams constructing new roads and buildings - impressive! Within three days I visited 8 municipalities and two UNESCO sites by rental car. For the southern and the western part I recommend a 4x4!

Redonda Visit: 2012-8
2012-08-29 - Two years ago I tried to reach Redonda by boat. I failed. This time I booked a helicopter from Caribbean Helicopters for 1050 US$. For this price 4 people can fly in about 20 minutes to the island. We started at 6am because of the heat and I guess this was a good idea. It's easy to walk around and climb the highest point of the island. But it's almost impossible to climb from the beach up to the plateau.

Revillagigedo Islands Visit: 2013-4
2013-05-03 - Once a year the Nautilus Explorer (divers use this boat) is heading on to Socorro and Clipperton Island. There are four islands belonging to the Revillagigedo islands. Leaving from Cabo San Lucas you will reach San Benedicto Island after 24 hours. Socorro Island and the Roca Partida are two other islands of this archipelago that are visited on the Nautilus cruise. It is not allowed to go ashore on one of the islands!

Ross Dependency (to S. Pole) Visit: 2013-3
2013-08-25 - On the way from Invercargill to Ushuaia the vessel Ortelius stopped at different places in the Ross Dependency. Thanks to the two helicoperts onboard we were able to fly to the dry Valleys.

Sakha Republic (Yakutia) Visit: 2017-10
2017-10-12 - Arriving from Anadyr via Magadan I stayed for three nights at the Polar star hotel in Yakutsk, where I found different travel agencies. When I asked at 9am for a day trip to the Lena pillars they arranged such a trip within one hour. At 10am a driver and a guide were ready to start. The road towards the Lena pillars runs as far as to "Tit-Ary" (180km, 4 hours). From there you will be brought by boat (40 min oneway) to the Unesco World Heritage site. I payed 400 US$ for this day trip.

San Blas Islands Visit: 2016-9
2016-10-01 - Nowadays its an easy one day trip to visit San Blas province from Panama city by car. A paved and well maintained road leads from the Pan Americana towards Carti in a notherly direction. In addition to this sidetrip I booked a trip to Playon Chico (PYC) and stayed for a night in the Yandrup Island Lodge, just a 10 minutes boat ride from the airfield. I enjoyed some good snorkeling trips to three smaller outer islands. Good visibilty and large swarms of fishes made it worth to go for these snorkeling trips.

Saudi Arabia Visit: 2016-1
2016-01-15 - During a business trip I had 10 days to explore the country. I visited 12 provinces and 4 Unesco World Heritage Sites by rental car and one povince (Najran) by flight. From Riyad I started my 4200 km journey towards the north visiting the Unesco sites at Riyad and Jubbah. The roads are excellent all over the country and driving would be easy without facing so many Saudis driving like street Hooligans day by day. The most impressive area in Saudia Arabia is the mountain range around Al Ula. The small sister town of Petra in Jordan is Mada in Salih, another Unesco World Heritage site. Some 25km north of Mada in Salih I spent a night in the first touristic tent camp within Saudia Arabia, called Madakhil camp. From Jeddah I explored the mountains towards the south. At Ta\\\'if, Al Baha and Abha the roads climb up from about 400m to over 2000m about sea level and you can see many donkeys around the rest areas. My journey ended in Jeddah where I visited the old city, the forth Unesco World Heritage Site of Saudia Arabia.

Scott Island Visit: 2013-2
2013-03-25 - Scott Island is one of the most difficult destinations. Often the island is surrounded with ice. On February 2013 the ORTELIUS made its way to the Ross sea and there was no ice around the island. Despite of fog and snow we were able to fly to the island. We could not see any birds or seals, just vulcanic rock, snow and ice.

Seychelles (Inner Islands) Visit: 2016-2
2016-02-22 - Within three weeks I visited 25 districts on Mahe Island, Praslin and La Digue and the outer islands of Aldabra, Farquar and the Amirantes, including the two UNESCO World Heritages Sites. One of the most beautiful beaches I ever have seen can be found on La Digue: Grand Anse! On Mahe and Praslin its easy to rent a car to explore the island by yourself.

Socotra Visit: 2011-1
2011-01-25 - Felix airways flies 6 times a week from Sanaa to Socotra (every day except Thursday). The only reasonable hotel on this island is the Summer Land Hotel at Hadibo. Outside of Hidibo there are no hotels but some camping places.
The most wonderful place on the island I found was a swimming pool high over the sea in the Homhil Nature Parc. A half an hour walk away from the next houses you have a quiet and peaceful place with an extraorinary sight to the sea and the surrounding hills.

Somalia (Other) Visit: 2017-4
2017-04-29 - Thanks to Kolja's extrem traveller conference 2017 I was able to visit one of the most dangerous cities in the world. We spent two nights at the Jazeera Palace hotel, just three hundred meters from Mogadishu airport. During a trip throughout the capital we visited the fishmarket, the beach and differnt areas of the city. It's hard to witness when people are killed just in front of you, as seen in Mogadishu.

South Georgia Visit: 2012-4
2012-04-30 - On the April cruise 2012 from Ushuaia to Antarctica, Tristan and Ascension I met Bob Bonifas (no 3 of MTP). On South Georgia he was able to celebrate his MTP destination number 800. Congratulations!
Unfortunately the MS Plancius had a major problem with his power engine, so that all passenbers and crew had be taken out by another cruiseship from South Georgia to Montevideo. But thanks to that we could spend more than a week at Grytviken, which was a pleasure to me and a mess to Bob.

South Orkney Islands Visit: 2015-3
2015-04-28 - My first attempt to reach the South Orkney failed when to much ice was around the Island some years ago. But 2015 on the Bouvet trip the Ortelius anchered on a beautiful day in front of Laurie Island. We were able to visit the Argentinian Orcadas Station.

South Ossetia Visit: 2012-6
2012-06-09 - About 80 km north of Tiblisi the Georgian Military Highway passes close to the South Ossetian border. From Mleta we walked for about 2 hours up to a mountain monastery. That monastery lies on South Ossetian ground. When we arrived there were some very friendly border soldiers. They let us pass into South Ossetia. After visiting the monastery and some small talk with the soldiers (two of them spoke an excellent english) we went back to Mleta without any problems.

South Sandwich Islands Visit: 2015-3
2015-04-28 - On the way from South Orkney to Bouvet Island the ship Ortelius visited the southern most Island of the South Sandwich Islands: Thule Island on April the first 2015. This Island is visited quite rarely. The most obvious thing on the Island is the Argentinian Base, destroyed by the British during the Falkland war. Thousands of penguins (chinstraps and gentoos) and seals can be found all over the Island.

South Sudan Visit: 2011-6
2011-06-16 - My trip to Southern Sudan started in Addis Abeba, where I got my travel permit to Juba. The drive to Gambela took three days and another day from Gambela to the border, 130 km west of Gambela.
From Gambela to Lare (about 100km west of Gambela) the road is newly paved. From Lare the road goes 30 km towards the north (unpaved). The Ethiopian Goverment is constructing this new road into Southern Sudan to enable the import of the Sudanese oil. When I crossed a small river and found a tent with the border police I first was arrested. Only good connections to the embassy of Southern Sudan in Addis Abeba helped to be released from \"jail\". When I was back in Gambela another traveller told me he made the same experience. At the end two officers in charge became friendly and were willing to take a group photo.

Sovereign Military Order of Malta Visit: 2010-10
2010-10-24 - This spot seems to be one of the smallest places MTP traveller have to visit. Unfortunately it was not possible to visit the house itself.

Spratly Islands Visit: 2016-4
2016-04-16 - There is one easy way to visit the Spratly Islands. From Kota Kinabalu you can fly to a diver resort on Layang Layang (part of Sabah, Malaysia, flight time: 1 hour). This very small island is not much more than an airstrip and a hotel complex. I spent two nights on the island and enjoyed the crystal-clear waters around the island, an eldorado for divers, well known for its hammerhead sharks. The charter flight to the island can't be bought without the hotel arrangement. I booked the trip with Olaf: olaf@sabah-borneo.nl.

Sri Lanka Visit: 2015-12
2015-12-22 - Within 8 days I visited 9 of 9 provinces and 8 UNESCO World Heritage Sites. I was lucky to find World\'s end, Horton Plain National Park, on a sunny day without any fog. Thanks to three weeks of rain before the time of my visit the air was clear, allowing a formidable view. Thanks to my experienced driver all sightseeing points had been found easyly but sometimes it took much longer to go a distance then expected do to some bad roads. At the end of my journey I spent two nights at the Amaya Beach Hotel at Passikudah on the east cost. From there it\'s a 6 hours ride back to Colombo airport.

Sudan (Other) Visit: 2015-1
2015-01-22 - In January 2015 I visited all provinces of Sudan (except the Darfur provinces). This trip was organized by www.raidantravel.com. I can recommend this company. I hardly tried to get the permission for Darfur, but without any success. Even a flight to Nyala and back to Khartoum the same day was strictly refused!

Swaziland Visit: 2015-9
2015-09-06 - Renting a car was a excellent way to explore the four provinces of Swasiland. I found good to very good road conditions. The main risk you have to face are the wild animals crossing the roads when you are driving trough a game reserve. In the Ezulwine valley I can recommend the Mantenga Lodge, where I spent two nights and the Royal Swazi Spa, where I spent one night.

Telangana Visit: -

Tobago Visit: 2010-4
2010-04-26 - Compared with Trinidad, Tobago is a much better place for snorkeling. Tobago offers very clear water.

Tunisia Visit: 2018-2
2018-02-26 - Within two weeks I visited 24 provinces, 8 UNESCO sites and 8 UNESCO sites from the tentative list by rental car.I found the Roman city of Dougga the most impresive UNESCO site of Tunisia and really worth to visit.

Turkmenistan Visit: 2015-6
2015-06-23 - In June 2015 I visited 5 welayats (provinces) and 3 UNESCO World Heritage sites. In Turkmenistan it\'s not allowed to rent a car and drive by yourself. Therefore I hired a car with driver and guide to explore the country. I can recommend: Ayan-travel.com! June is not the best month to visit the country. It was very hot, often over 40 degree Celsius.

Tuva Visit: 2011-9
2011-10-11 - At Novosibirsk i rented a car and made my way to the Altai Republik and further on to Khakassia and Tuva. I was surprised to find excellent road conditions. So it was really a pleasure to drive these 3800 kilometers through several oblasts.
When you arrive at Kyzyl you feel you are in Mongolia. The people looks very much like Mongolian people do. The way of life is more quiet than in other russian cities.
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