October 2017, some impressions from our trip to Zanzibar.
There are some very nice scuba diving videos about this area on youtube. However, these are the best pictures I got from 10 dives due to a very poor visibility.
Zanzibar is the largest group of islands off east Africa. The archipelago is about 40 km off the Tanzanian coast.
The Island has been a semi-autonomous part of Tanzania since 1964. The official languages are Swahili and English. Almost all of the local inhabitants are Muslims.
We stayed at the "Green and Blue Ocean Lodge", an eco-friendly, authentic "zanzibar-styled" boutique lodge with an excellent cuisine situated on the north-eastern side of the main island of Unguja.
Big Thanks to Alois and his crew!!! Mossi, one of the waiters in the restaurant took us on a a walk through the village of Kigomani and the fish market where he was born and which surrounds the hotel.
From the restaurants open-air terrace you can watch the local kids playing in the sea, fishermen going out or coming back, repairing their boats and nets or even the celebration of a traditional wedding so you get a bit of this african flavour.
The dive center "Dive Point Zanzibar" is a 10-30 Minutes boat ride away (depending on tides) located in another hotel up the coast. These guys are very professional and nice.Thank you to Adam, Rama, Abou, Hamisi and everybody else!!
Zanzibar has a typical tropical climate thanks to its location slightly south of the equator.
Off the coast lies Mnemba Island with its Atoll, a photogenic place to snorkel and scuba dive. Unfortunately it is the only place every dive center and provider of snorkeling trips in this area ever goes to so it is very crowded with people and boats.
From an ecological or ethical point of view this is actually good because in this way the bigger part of the atoll stays untouched by divers and snorkelers and only has to deal with the local fishermen who spearfish and netfish around the atoll for a living.
Of course coral bleaching is a problem and the quantity of fish is mediocre... Some reefs (especially further up the coast towards Nungwi are in better shape though)
Maybe I am just spoiled but IMHO there are better places in the world to go scuba diving to.
So if you want to relax in a very nice boutique hotel with an authentic african surrounding and very outstanding food, if you seek calmness and recreation and avoid beach partying and mass tourism this might be a place to go.
But if you are an experienced enthusiastic (or spoiled...) scuba diver you might google for another destination.
Ice Climbing and Ski touring Wildspitze in Pitztal Austria
So my knee is okay-ish again...
We went to Tyrolia, Austria in February for 4 days of blue bird waterfall ice climbing and some nice ski touring.
We stayed at the Biohotel Stillebach - right in the middle of Pitztal where there´s quite a few waterfalls nearby ( even walking distance)
On the first day we had to get used to all the equipment and procedures again, it´s just so different from rock climbing but we got used to it quite fast and it felt like there hadn´t been such a long pause due to injuries and whatnot.
We climbed the "Luibiskogelfall", then teh "Klockelefall", then we hiked uo on skis to 2200m to the fantastic "Piösmesfälle" and on the last day we took the Pitztal Glacier express to 3100 m and did the "Wildspitze", at 3690 m the second highst summit in all of Austria.
Conditions were fantastic, skies were blue and we were almost all alone on the glacier...
Off The Beaten Track - A Dirtbike Adventure In Laos
When I was asked to go on a trip to northern Laos on Enduro bikes I did not even know where Laos was.
We spent eight days on a round trip in northern Laos starting in Luang Prabang, riding alongside the Mekong River, getting close to the Myanmar, Chinese and Vietnamese frontiers. We rode up to 200 km a day and stayed overnight at small homestays and small hotels.
This film is a kind of documentary with no demand for completeness to show the country and culture in every detail but a motorcycle video diary of this fantastic trip.
It was a guided tour organised by "Offroad Laos Adventures", a business run by Charly, a Frenchman and dirtbike enthusiast with a great love for this country, it's people and nature.
Laos is a landlocked country in South East Asia and shares borders with China, Cambodia, Myanmar, Thailand and Vietnam. Since 1975 it is ruled by a communist government and continues to rely on foreign aid from western governments and NGOs and more and more from the People's Republic of China. It is rated as one of the least developed countries in East Asia, with more than 75% of people living on less than two US dollars a day. More than three quarters of the population still live as subsistence farmers. In recent years tourism has become one of the main generators of foreign income.
The population is very laid-back but the Lao national character is a complex combination of culture, environment and religion, which is mainly Buddhism and animism.
Some 150 ethnic sub-groups within 50 primary ethnicities are officially recognised.
The landscape is dominated by rivers and mountains, folding the country into a series of often spectacular ridges and valleys, rivers and mountain passes.
Laos was affected very badly by the Indochina and Vietnam wars, being known as the "most bombed country" in the world.