Arriving in Lombok, Sylvain sees his first cars for two months. But it does not last. We head straight for the village of Senaru, at the foot of the Rinjani, the Lombok volcano, which rises to 3700 meters. Here, there is no question of leaving alone to attack the summit. The path is not very difficult to find, but it is mandatory to be accompanied by a guide. We leave the next day with three other French and one English. Our theory is verified once more: as soon as there is a place back and many pebbles to climb, it is stormed by the French, as in Nepal. This time, we even have porters for tents and food, luxury! Finally, we will realize later that it was not so much luxury that it …

The first day of walking is quite hard: 1500 meters of positive difference in 6 hours is hard. And then after Gili, we are not very good. But the surprise that awaits us at the top is well worth the effort. We arrive in time to see the sunset on the huge crater of the volcano, magic!

On the second day, we descend into the cratere towards the lake that fills it. We stop at noon at a hot spring. In fact, it is more than a source, it is a small stream run through several basins at different temperatures and waterfalls: our first hot shower for months and above the clouds. We go back to the edge of the cratere to sleep before the final climb of the next day.


After the Rinjani, we return to Bali one last time a few days in advance before flying to Australia.

We have time to take a last dive together on the famous space of Liberty in Tulamben east of Bali. very pretty. It’s also fun to dive in the middle of the many divers who are doing their baptism here.

And then we spend a few days in Kuta, one of the world’s surf capitals. Here is nothing of Indonesia, there are only tourists, by the thousands. Department stores of all brands cover the world’s bondees streets.

In the evening the nightclubs are filled with young “crevices” (see Gilou, for over 40 years it does not mean they burst) who are rotated around by countless Indonesian whores. It must be recognized that some are really beautiful. Finally all I dislike well and Sylvain also after the time so quiet we spent on our islands of Indonesia.

I’m happy to leave Kuta, and sad from Indonesia where I imagine living well. Now Australia is going to be very depaysante.


Back to India! First goal: Varanasi, formerly called Benares.

From the Nepalese border, we take local buses. We are the only whites and the people seem more amused, especially since the bus is full and we are sitting on our bags in the driveway. A taxi, two buses and three rickshaws later, here we are arrived in the sacred city. Ten hours to cover three hundred kilometers, or thirty kilometers an hour on average.

From our hotel on the banks of the Ganges, we observe the spectacle of ritual ablutions, snake charmers and children playing in the water. Our guide calls the Ganges poisonous so we do not like them. In the evening we attend the “Puja”, the religious ceremony on the ghats (quays) of the Ganges. The ritual is very precise and the gestures really graceful and millimetric.

Near our hotel is the main burning ghât. It is the place where one burns the bodies on buchers to purify them. Pregnant women children, or dead by cobra bites are thrown directly into the water. We are sometimes surprised to see people floating around.

Inside the city, it’s another kind of show. It’s a kind of permanent Lille clearance sale. Of course, we are offered all kinds of drugs. But drugs are the devil. Not good, it can make you sick.

But Sylvain does not need drugs for that, just a good bacteria. After a few visits to the toilet (nothing unusual in India) he staggers, yellow: “Francis, call a doctor, it’s okay, I do not go down to the toilet, I have more strength.” Not easy with forty of the Turkish toilet on the ground floor. François helps him drag himself to the hotel next door, in a luxury room with integrated western toilets. Some medications, a good night’s sleep and a day in bed and Sylvain is on his feet. Just in time to catch our train to Calcutta.


It is here in New Delhi that I take India for the first time in the face. Sylvain was in Bombay. Because arriving in India is not trivial. We remember his first time in India.


I waited with particular impatience to see India. “Incredible India” as the Indian tourism ministry advertises abroad. With what I could see in the documentaries I expected to take full eyes but I suspected the directors to linger on the most impressive.

And yet in truth it is even more so

An explosive arrival

2 minutes after our arrival still in the airport the person in charge of the prepaid taxis tries to rip us off with aplomb. He has forgotten a good part of our currency.

We ride in my first rikshaw and en route: the overwhelming heat, the smell of spices, the human anthill, whole families on motorcycles, monkeys everywhere, obvious poverty but also sparkling smiles and beautiful Indian sarees colorful …

Tourites Street

The first hour has passed and here we are in the streets of the tourites in Delhi completely lost. This street or neighborhood is rather Pahar Ganj. The scenery: a dirt street that buzzes with activity, dubious electrical connections, a white cow forcibly sacred passes in front of us … My eyes are wide, “Is it really there?”

A friendly young person who speaks good English approaches and offers his help to find our way. A few meters further to the suspicious look of a policeman we realize that he is not there to help us but to attract us elsewhere by taking advantage of our naiveté. We go back on our steps it was the good street.

Another few minutes and here we are in our hotel. After the tiny reception we go upstairs. The metal grid floor allows us to see all the lower floors. In our room the sheets are doubtful and the fan that turns crooked only sends us back the burning air.

That’s it, let’s go! Welcome to India


We are in Ecuador. The only bus leaving here today is only two hours away. So we wait at the border post by talking with the customs, who do not ask for more. There is no crowd here. Nobody else crosses the border during our two hours of waiting. Andrea and Tania take out the mull pot and rotate it. Customs officers are intrigues. They did not know, but they appreciate.

Finally, the bus arrives. In fact, it’s just a 4×4 truck on the board of which wooden benches have been installed. Given the state of the road, it shakes. After a while, we stop in front of a military barracks. A soldier comes out and entrusts his little girl to Tania for the trip. His mother will wait for him when the bus arrives. We arrive at Zumba and quickly get on with another bus that takes us to Loja. We spend the night here before leaving for Cuenca the next day. We spend the day walking around this beautiful city, with its huge cathedral that looks a bit like Istanbul’s mosque.

A beautiful street of CuencaA beautiful street of Cuenca

Banos, a seaside resort in natureBanos, a seaside resort in nature

In the evening, we take a bus to Ambato and we’ll take another bus to Baños, where Andrea and Tania have to meet Chilean friends. The city is invaded by Ecuadorian tourists who come to spend the weekend in this balneaire resort which does not have much charm. I say goodbye to my Chilean companions who leave to volunteer in another city. After a night in Baños, I take a bus to Quito.

I arrive in Quito on a Sunday evening around ten o’clock. If I had a little information, I would have known that it was the worst moment. I share a cab with an American meets on the bus. Unfortunately his hostal is full. I give myself up to leave but everyone here discourages me to walk around the neighborhood with my bags. Apparently, it may be the backpackers area, it really fears the evening. I am also advised not to venture more than two blocks from here.

So I leave my bags here and go looking for a place to sleep. Everything is overpriced in Quito. After a few streets, I meet a group of guys who look at me strangely. They speak Spanish to each other, thinking that I do not understand them. There is one who tells others that security guards are too close. Too close for what? I do not prefer to know it and go straight to the guards. I head for the first hotel I find. On the road I still have time to be offered twice the coke and to make me dock by a prostitute.

After a night in my beautiful expensive hotel, I go find Francois who has found a nice hostal in a quieter area. We leave the same day for San Gabriel, the last city before the Colombian border. Just enough time to fly the camera we had just bought in Peru to replace the one I had forgotten at Cañon de Colca. It was between my legs in the bus, impossible to know how they managed to sting it without me realizing it!

Tips for Enjoying Rio Carnival in Brazil

Rio Carnival is a huge festival celebration in Brazil held every March every year. It is split into Sambódromo Carnival and Street Carnival. The officially declared days for Carnival are usually from Friday to Wednesday. Engaging in the carnival event like a local is the major concern of a first time attendee. It is no big whoop if oneself makes comfortable and choose a few blocos for watching. Here are some tips for enjoying the festival to a great extent.

Get Started

Hire a taxi or come in train to Lapa to be close to Sambódromo. The event usually takes place in sector 3 or 9. You may prebook a hotel in Lapa and head early to the parade. As you are getting started, follow some measures for being healthy as much as possible. Do not overdrink wine or caipirinha but drink plenty of water. Consume fruits, vegetables, and juices to feel energetic. Wear sunscreen as you will be under the sun rays for the whole day. Wear flip flops rather than sneakers, as you may be splashed or hit puddles on the way.

Dress up In Your Fashion

It is not necessary to dress up like a bloco. Have fun wearing accessories and outfits in your fashion. Include flower garlands, fluffs, colorful beads, or bows. You may have funny, elongate, or elegant costumes on your own.

Be Safe

Keep your stuff intact till the end of the day. Zip your hand accessories like mobile, cards, and cash. Do not hop into indigenous people as they may bump back.

Know the Schedule

Samba school parades may be seen from Friday to Wednesday. Even if you miss any of them, you will have a chance to watch them on the following Saturday. There will be lineups of schools, floats, revelers, and thousands of community locals. Blocos and schools will have their stage schedules and last the whole day and night. So, plan for entertaining throughout the day so that you may leave before 6 pm.

Just Participate

Even if you do not know how to samba, it is enough to participate in the celebrations. You may learn by taking your steps closely watching sambas performing. If you know a couple of songs, then symphonically sing along with them to have an exhilarating experience.

Hang out in Smaller Groups

Do not gather large groups as you may have lots of confusion while meeting other crowds, and sometimes you will be looking around for someone.

The vibrant air will be bursting with bangs round the city. Following the above tips, you will surely enjoy Rio Carnival.

Wonders of India

India is a mystical land, a large country in South Asia, and the second largest in the world in terms of its population. The country is bordered by the wonderful Himalayas on one side and covered by three oceans on three sides, namely, the Arabian Sea, Indian Ocean, and the Bay of Bengal. It has the most diverse terrain with its rich and varied heritage.

Right from snow-clad mountains on one side to vast coastline, the landscapes of India are commune with nature.

The history of India dates back to over 5 millennia. Many dynasties and civilizations have lived in this mighty land. The Indian architecture portrays the influence of the invaders at different ages.

A complete trip that includes all attractions is not possible, as the country is vast and there are distinct facets for each. The following places are just a tip of the ice berg to get you a feel of its glamorous history.

Taj Mahal

Taj Mahal is one among the wonders of the world. It was built by the Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan in the memory of his late wife Mumtaz Mahal and it houses her tomb. Located on the banks of the Yamuna River, it fabulously depicts the artistry of the Mughal architecture.

The mausoleum complex took around 20 years to build. Adorned with ivory-white marble and being persistently preserved, the iconic monument stands out as the symbol of love.


The Gometeswara statue is a 57-foot monolithic statue situated in Shravanbelagola, Karnataka. This is dedicated to God Bahubali of Jain religion and was built around 983 A.D. The emblematic idol depicts the prolonged meditation of Bahubali. An event called “mahamastakabhisheka” is performed every 12 years and while it is held, the figurine is anointed with milk, saffron, and ghee. Devotees throng this place from all over the world during the event.

Harmandir Sahib

This is popularly known as the Golden Temple. It is an important Sikh Gurdwara (temple) located in Amristar, Punjab. It was built by Guru Arjan, the fifth guru of the Sikhs around 1589.

Spanned by a manmade pool, the temple was continuously modified and revamped due to the invasions by Mughals. It is worth noting that Maharaja Ranjit Singh rebuilt it with copper and marble and the center sanctum was covered with golden foil, and thus the name Golden temple.


Hampi is a village in the state of Karnataka situated amidst the ruins of the Vijayanagar kingdom. This is a UNESCO world heritage site having numerous remains of old temples. The beautiful architecture of these temples highlights the glorious era of the Vijayanagar kingdom. This is a must visit site for the explorers of historic sites.

Konark Sun Temple

This temple is dedicated to the Sun God and is situated in Konark, Odisha. It was built by King Narasimhadeva I in the middle of the 13th century. The shape of the temple is a big chariot with 12 pairs of wheels, walls, and pillars pulled by seven horses, all made of stones.

Nalanda University

This university is one of the oldest universities for higher studies in the world, which dates back to the 5th century BC. The remains of this historic university are located near Patna in Bihar. It was once a popular village and a trade route. It is said that students from countries like China, Tibet, and Persia came to this center for learning. It is believed that Gautama Buddha has also delivered few lectures here.


These majestic sculptures have been embellished by three groups of regimes, the Chandelas, the Sultans, and the Khajurahos. Located at a distance of 175 km from Jhansi, the Khajuraho temple is a mix of Hinduism and Jainism artistic works. First, it was constructed by the Chandeles with the religious tolerance, later invaded by the Sultanates in the 13th century, and finally, the erotic carvings of Khajuraho were made. These stunning temples of Khajuraho are a great attraction for tourists.

There are many such wonders in India, of which the abovementioned seven have been included in the UNESCO world heritage list. It is really awe-inspiring to explore them and discover the fascinating history of these sites.

Wonders of Belgium

Belgium is a northwestern European nation with multilingual, multicultural, and historical significance. It is surrounded by the four neighboring countries: France, the Netherlands, Germany, and Luxembourg. Thus, it is ideal for weekend getaways and short trips from these country sides. It is the original land where “French fries” came into being. The country is divided into two lingual blocks: Dutch-speaking Flanders and French-speaking Wallonia.

Belgium has to be included in the top list of European attractions, for its rich culture and art significance. Otherwise, the epic views of galleries, museums, and remnants of the medieval Bronze Age will not be revealed to the visitors.

The striking explorations of Belgium are the surreal fine arts and culture like belfry bells, arcades, avant-garde paintings, cathedrals, and castles and scenic natural spots like caves, rivers, rugged hills, and forests.

Do not miss out the marvelous cloisters, gothic culture exhibitions, and castles of Ghent, Brussels, Bruges, Antwerp, Dinant, Liege, and Mons.


Ghent is the capital city of the Flanders province. It is the second largest city north of the Alps. It explores the flying buttresses of Gothic architecture, the gateway ruins with Romanesque arches, and Baroque art galleries. The city is known for its polyptych paintings, “the Adoration of the Mystic Lamb” being one among inspirations.


Brussels is the capital city of Belgium and is recognized as a UNESCO Heritage Site originated in the 13th century. It combines both the culture of Flanders and Wallonia. The city represents the incredible art with gables, ornate stone carving, and pillars. The Atomium is the Brussels’ Eiffel Tower. Gargoyles on the Cathedral of St. Michael and St. Gudula are gorgeous architecture in Brussels.


Bruges is noteworthy for exquisite canals, which shows the history of the Vikings. It is the Europe’s “Venice of the East.” The holistic tourist exploration of the city is possible only by foot rather than by boat. Meanwhile, one may enjoy the glimpses of beauty of the canals through boating. The Belfry Tower, the Flemish Béguinages, and the Groeninge Museum are the prominent places in Bruges.


Antwerp is the diamond capital city of the world. It is a vibrant nightlife city thriving in fine arts and technology. The great Flemish bigwigs Rubens and Van Dyke are revered for their medieval paintings. They are among the six jewels of Antwerp. One may explore the houses and studios of all the six.


Dinant is in the Nemur province, which is along the banks of the Meuse River. The clifftop citadels and the Sanctuary of Beauraing are incredible views besides the most popular caves of Han and the Grotto of Dinant.


Liege is the capital of Wallonia and situated on the Meuse River. It is known for the arts, archaeology, and art & glass museums. The Blegny mines and the Henri Chapelle American Military Cemetery are nearby locations from the city.


Mons is a vibrant city accessed in an hour from Brussels. The city center is “Grand Place” within which museums, shops, and restaurants are widely spread. The main square is surrounded by the Breadhouse building, Baroque houses, the Gothic Town Hall, and luxurious guildhalls.

Visit the small country of Belgium with exceptional fine art significance.

South Africa: Is it the best decision to go there on holiday?

When you are reading the news, you will notice that there are many problems in South Africa. From the violence to political problems. This makes it hard to decide if this is a country that people want to visit. Especially, with a great place like Cape Town. With this information, you will know for sure if you can plan a trip to South Africa, or if you should rather consider another country.

Is it really as dangerous as what the media are telling?

Something that you need to know is that the media likes to make things sound worse than what it actually is. Yes, there are some places in South Africa that might be dangerous with lots of violence. However, this isn’t in most parts of the country.

If you did your homework and you know as much about South Africa as needed, you will be able to travel to this country without any problems.  There are some other countries that are more dangerous than South Africa.

Things that the media don’t tell

There are many things that the media don’t tell about South Africa. Like the fact that this is a beautiful country and that tourists are most of the time safe.

They also don’t tell that when there is a crisis in this country, that all the people are standing together to help and assist each other. This is a country with friendly people and many tourist attractions to see.

Consider these when you are planning your trip to South Africa

Before you are going to this country, you should make sure that you know the areas that are dangerous to go to. This way, you will be able to avoid the danger and you will make sure that you have a great time in the country.

You should also make sure that you know which attractions in South Africa you should see. You might be surprised about the number of things that you can see and do in this beautiful country.  There is table mountain, some caves you can visit, and warm ocean water to enjoy.

South Africa. The beautiful country with so many problems. However, you don’t need to worry about your safety when you are planning a trip to South Africa. The only thing that you should know is the areas that are safe for tourists and the different things you can see and do. The media are not telling the whole truth when they are talking about the dangers that South Africa holds. This isn’t as dangerous and scary as what the media is telling, and you don’t need to fear you and your family’s lives. You can have the best time of your life, and will enjoy every minute of your stay.