Nepal 2022

After having been delayed by the COVID pandemic, we could finally go to Nepal, visiting the Dolpo region. A dream we already had for a long time, now came true.


We had visited the Himalayas in 2015 around Ladakh (India) and had almost forgotten how impressive they are. In Nepal the mountains are even higher making it a spectacular experience to hiking them again. Even if you do not climb the Mount Everest the views are simply stunning. We have been hiking at around 3000-4000 meters with often views of the high 8000 meters mountains in the distance such as the Dhaulagiri range. The climate is very mountain-like: during the day it can be hot but as soon as the sun sets it gets chilly. So having good clothes and a warm sleeping bag is no luxury.

Barley fields (after the harvest) near Mukotgoan (4000m) near the Dhaulagiri massif (>7000m)

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South Chile/Argentina 2019

And again, we started in Patagonia; already for the fourth time! We had nine weeks in total of which we spent half in Patagonia, both the Chilean and Argentinian part. The other half we spent in the Lake District of Chile which has many lakes and volcanoes.

Carretera Austral

This road runs from Puerto Montt to Villa O’Higgins. The part between Villa Cerro Castillo and Villa O’Higgins is unpaved and the most interesting. It is good to have a 4WD for that! We also saw many bikers and we admired them for their stamina and wondered how many flat tires they would have on this trip. We visited again the remote Villa O’Higgins, after having been there 13 years ago: it had expanded quite a lot!

Carretera Austral between Cochrane and Villa O’Higgins

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Costa Rica 2017

In the summer of 2017, we traveled together with Margriet her sister and family (husband and three kids) to Costa Rica. Since we were with a big group, we made most arrangements (4WD and housing) before we left. You need to be a bit on time with this since Costa Rica is becoming popular. All-in-all we have stayed around four weeks in this beautiful country.

Most photographed animal of Costa Rica

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Aragon 2016

We have already spent some holidays in the Pyrenees but we keep coming back. We simply like the mountains and atmosphere: quiet and rugged spots, nice old villages and friendly people. Especially the Spanish part is our favorite. That is why we wanted to go back there and continue through Aragon; a very old part of Spain. It used to be a kingdom together with Catalonia and stretching out to parts in Italy. It was also the place where the old Christian and Muslim cultures met (and clashed). For this reason, there are many castles and fortresses in Aragon which together with the nice landscape makes it a nice hiking experience with lots of old history.

Castillo de Loarre

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Patagonia 2015

In February/March 2015, we made a trip to Patagonia together with our friends Danny and Désirée. The two of us had been there before and wanted to show our friends this beautiful country and visit some nice places again. Patagonia has just one drawback: it is far away. It took us two days of traveling from Utrecht to El Chaltén; the start of our journey. But it is worth the hassle!


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Japan 2014

In June/July 2014 we travelled through Japan, partly together with our nephew René, who lives in Tokyo. We started in Tokyo and from there travelled to Shikoku Island for a trek in the mountains and to visit the famous temples there. Then we returned slowly to Tokyo stopping at several places along the way such as Nara and Kyoto.


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Ladakh 2013

In August/September 2013 we travelled during a month in Ladakh, the northwestern part of India in the Himalaya, together with our friends Danny and Désirée. The basis of our trip was Leh, the capital city of Ladakh. We made treks through parts of Ladakh and visited Buddhist temples, always returning to Leh. This has advantages and disadvantages: you can leave part of your luggage behind in a guesthouse (reducing the weight of your backpack), but it is less adventurous. Ladakh is situated at an altitude of 3500 meter, so some customizing is necessary (actually, we did not have a lot of problems perhaps due to the Diamox we took).


Leh is a small and touristic town. It has very many shops and outdoor/adventure companies. It has a nice selection of restaurants, but getting a beer is a problem at times (not to mention a good glass of wine!). For religious reasons, they do not always serve beer. Sometimes it is available and then they may sell it as ‘tea’. We stayed at the Shanti Guesthouse, in the quiet outskirts of Leh, which is operated by friendly and helpful people. We could leave part of our luggage there in-between the treks

Roofs in the old city of Leh, looking down from the castle

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Northern Norway 2012

After an evening in Tromsø, we started our journey with a boat trip on the Hurtigruten to Honnigsvåg; the closest town to the Nordkapp. Knowing that the Nordkapp is a tourist trap, our main objective to go there was to experience the desolated feeling of this kind of northern town. Moreover,it was one of the places were we could take the bus to the Stabbursdalen National Park (NP). The overnight stay, the restaurants and buying the food for our trip, made us realize that Norway is an expensive country.

Sami Shelter

Our five day hiking trip across the Finnmarksvidda started with a marked path through the Stabbursdalen NP, which we followed during the first day. Slowly we hiked up the plateau and after crossing a local hill – Stuorra Binalvarn – we set up camp at a small lake close to the larger Corvošjávri lake. The next day our route continued without a trail and we aimed roughly southwest. At a certain point we decided to change our route a little and try going through to the small and inviting Ingungorsa canyon. Realizing that our progress in the canyon was very slow, we decided after three hours to climb up to the plateau and needed to use our GPS to find out were we were and how little we had proceeded. After a few more hours we encountered totally unexpected a dirt track (not on our maps). It proved to be one of the few tracks the Sami people use (and create with their four-wheel bikes) to inspect their reindeer herds. We ‘spoke’ with one of them that day. For two days we followed the track, mostly going through tundra landscape, sometimes having to cross rivers, wrestle through bogs, going over hills, and camping at tranquil places (the second day near the Njakkájávri, the third near a small caravan on enormous skis close to the Ceakkojohka). The dirt track ended at the end of the third day at the place were we encountered one of the very long reindeer fences that divide up the Finnmarks plateau. Continue Reading…

New Zealand 2011

Our three month sabbatical started with bad weather in Europe. Total closure of Heathrow airport due to snow for more than a week, forced us to change plans. Instead of starting the three months with a five week trip through Laos and Cambodia, we directly flew to New Zealand. Auckland therefore was quite disappointing, especially given that the original plan promised a much more exotic start of our holidays. We decided to move on as quickly as possible and do something spectacular to distract our minds from the missed opportunity to visit Laos/Cambodia.

First of many swingbridges

We booked huts on the Tongariro northern circuit (which is a so-called great walk making it mandatory to book huts or camp sites in advance). We wanted to combine this circuit with a trip around mount Ruapehu. The unstaffed huts in that second part of the trek do not have to be pre-booked (you just pay with hut tickets putting them in a ticket box), but after obtaining information from the park information center we decided to also bring our tent (“it may be crowded”). It turned out that the park information centre was totally uninformed, since there were almost no other hikers in that part of the park. Although carrying the full camping equipment made the going tougher, this first trek turned out to be very spectacular. The New Zealand hut system was a real surprise, especially the huts that are not part of the great walks. The cleanliness and the availability of water (mostly by collection of rainwater coming from the hut roofs in watertanks) makes that for most hikes there is no need to carry a tent. On the last part of the trek we only encountered small trekking groups, mostly from New Zealand, which gave us the opportunity to experience the friendliness of the country in which we will travel the next view months. Luckily we got a lift from a young couple from the trail-end to the nearest town Okahune after seven really wonderful trekking days. Continue Reading…