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Not skiing but hiking at Hovfjället

Denmark-Sweden 2016


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large_1297706_1477126945468.jpgHovfjället
Near Torsby is the ski resort Hovfjället. We left my cousin to do some work around the house and me and his girlfriend went for a hike in Hovfjället. Here there are actually some marked hiking trails and still we managed to get sort of lost. We parked the car at the central building and walked up to the information map and decided on the route we were planning to take and started walking.

After a bit we saw a signpost and turned towards it. Our route was on one of the arrows so we followed it. We walked a while above the treeline and then the path went down into the forrest. Some parts were muddy so they built a boardwalkto make it easier for hikers. The dog had a great time walking the route three, four times up and down, bathing where he shouldn't, going to be a fun ride back with wet dog in the car.large_1297706_14771269621806.jpgHovfjälletWe followed the route to a cabin, all seemed fine. If we turn left we should be going uphill again towards the starting point. But after a bit the trail went downhill again, this doesn't seem right. We went on for a bit but as the path kept going down we decided to go back the way we came. Turned out we started all wrong by walking towards the signpost, we should have stayed on the main path, but instead we started the trail backwards. Who puts a signpost on the end of a walkingtrail? Only in Sweden I guess.

In the evening we went on a picknick near the river. We wanted to build a fire on the beach but there wasn't much beach to go on so we used the fire pit near the cabin instead. Again the dog had great fun swimming (yeah the wet dog smell again!) We roasted sausages in the fire and had salad and some beers and soda for the driver.

On our way back to the house an elk crossed the street, too dark to take a picture so you just have to take my word on it; I had my elk!

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Posted by Stefmuts 05:24 Archived in Sweden Tagged landscapes mountains nature hiking forest Comments (0)

The hills have eyes and saffron

Morocco 2015


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large_1297706_14596783932568.jpgAfter a lovely breakfast at the pool side we were off to Taroudant. Well on our way, we passed the film set of the hills have eyes (an American Horror movie). We had already passed but made the driver turn around to take a closer look.

Two man are guarding the set and for a few coins we can look around all we want. Not everything is from the one movie, some egyptian stuff got mixed in there as well (?) We just couldn't help ourselves and just had to fool around getting in, on and touching stuff, but aapparently thats ok. The set is maybe even scarier than the movie. Back home I watched the movie again to see if I can make out the stuff on the set and I must say it's not really a great movie even for a horror story. Our guide found a big gun in the store so we all went in there to see what else was there.large_1297706_14596784099645.jpg I wouldn't buy anything there though!

Next is a viewing point. Since today is mostly sitting in the bus we are just glad to get out, view or no view. We have tea in a small town with a big market. Not the normal market but especially for the upcoming festival ( Id al-Adha - sept 24 ) We have seen people carrying sheep all week already. It's really crowded and mostly food they sell here.

After another few hours in the bus we stop at a saffron farm. Not much safron growing at the moment but we get to taste safron tea and we can buy some. I think it makes a nice souvenir so I buy some.

Lunch in a tent with typical moroccan music (sadly not live played) and a nice view. And later on a short stop for goats in a tree (argan tree) We are really bushed when we finally arrived in Taroudant. We had to find a restaurant on our own tonight, our guide set us free in the souk. Wasn't that easy though, lots of places already closed for the festival but we managed to find a pizza place and a supermarket for some drinks and snacks which we consumed on the roof terrace of the hotel. We had to bring our own stuff because the terrace and bar are kind of abandoned so we had to make our own party.

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Posted by Stefmuts 22:48 Archived in Morocco Tagged mountains desert nature movies hiils Comments (0)

a picture from 'One thousand and one nights'

Morocco 2015


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large_1297706_14469032525873.jpgAït Ben-HaddouIt was a 5 hour drive from Marrakech [Marrakech-travel-guide-1082075] to Aït Ben-haddou with some photostops on the way. We are really inthe land of the thousand kasbahs, the most beautiful little villages almost blend into the surroundings. We stopped just outside the new town of Aït Ben-Haddou at a spot where we had a nice view on the old Ksar. When we arrived at our Hotel we found out the last stop wasn't really necessary since we had a beautiful view from the hotel pool area. Our hotel is called la Kasbah so maybe the name should have given us a hint. Some of our group go and change into their bathing suits, not me, I think 2 hours is too little time for the hussle. We only have 2 hours before we have to get ready for the tour in the Ksar, the old town so I choose for just chilling by the poolside, enjoying the view and trying to post the picture from 'One thousand and one nights' on my facebook page, which didn't work by the way.large_1297706_14469032477630.jpg

For the tour of the Ksar we gathered at the riverside were our local guide was waiting for us. There's no water in the river today so we don't have to use the stepstones or the modern bridge. The guide tells us a bit about the Ksar, the people who used to live there and are now living in the new village across the river. He also points out the archways specially built for the movies, one for 'Lawrence of Arabia' the other for 'Jewel of the Nile', I'm not sure if that's correct though, couldn't find anything on the internet about that, maybe he just meant they were in the movies (maybe other TB-ers know more about that? Please tell me!) I did find some pictures of 'games of Thrones' at Aït Ben-Haddou, they pimped th Ksar up a bit but it's clearly recognizable.

Inside the Ksar a labyrinth of small alleys, we first proceed to the top of the hill for the great view at the fortress on the top.large_1297706_14469036849054.jpg On our way down from the top we visit one of the houses. Most are abandoned but we were told that there are still some families living inside the Ksar. After the tour we cross the bridge to the new town where we decide to have dinner a bit earlier than planned so we have the evening off.

Back at the hotel a couple of our group (including me) install themselves on the seats besides the hotel entrance with a can of beer bought at the neighbours (a restaurant)

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Posted by Stefmuts 22:59 Archived in Morocco Tagged landscapes mountains desert culture Comments (0)

Escape from Marrakech, exploring Imlil area

Morocco 2015


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large_1297706_14462308262751.jpgToday we leave the hectic city life of Marrakech [Marrakech-travel-guide-1082075] behind to go hiking in the High Atlas mountains at Imlil [Imlil-travel-guide-1080938]. This one day excursion is optional so not the whole group is going for this hike. Our tour guide knows this area very well so we don't need a special mountain guide to show us around. We do need a mini bus and a driver to get us to the start of the trip and in the afternoon back to Marrakech. After breakfast, around 9 o'clock the bus arrives and were off to Imlil. It's a big difference from the city, less traffic, a lot less traffic, and as we start walking even no traffic at all. We walk through a forests of walnut trees where locals are harvesting the nuts. It reminds me of the walnut tree in my garden, I did not take into account the harvest time for walnuts, what's my garden gonna look like when I get home ? After a bit we leave the trees behind to climb higher up the mountain.large_1297706_14462308094034.jpg The village in the distance is where we are going to have lunch, good to know but it's still a long walk away. We all enjoy the beautiful landscape of the High Atlas and now and then we stop and our guide tells us something about the area, flowers and birds. Some local people on a donkey pass us on the narrow path, it's the only traffic up here. In the village on the other side of thevalley we can see some cars parked, but most group members try to keep it out of frame while taking pictures not to spoil the magical view. We walk down into the valley and into the walnut forrest again and the up into the village. The last bit to the lunch spot, the steep stretch of asphalt is difficult for me, I'm getting tired and I'm hungry. The lunch makes up for all discomforts. The location is Tamatert guesthouse.large_1297706_14462308477696.jpg Where we have our tagine lunch in the sitting room. Shoes off before entering! The lunch was great, the typical tagine meal, but the walk made us all appreciate it a lot more. After lunch we walked back to the bus and in the afternoon we were back in Marrakech. To top it off we decided to have dinner on the Jemaa el fna square. The square looks totally different from day time, lots of small restaurant stalls have emerged. Our guide said he knew a good one so we followed him twice around the block to land at number 41 (Chez Ssaid) but he was right, it was a good one!

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Posted by Stefmuts 03:39 Archived in Morocco Tagged landscapes mountains nature Comments (0)

Chorepani circle trek

Nepal 2013

large_1297706_140145978276.jpg5 day hike in the Himalayas

When? October 2013

Whom? A group of 24 travelers with travel company ‘shoe string’ , two local guides and a bunch of Sherpa’s

Day 1:

Everyone had to re-arrange their luggage at the hotel as we can only pack 1 backpack per 2 persons. Quick breakfast and off we go

We leave by bus from Pokhara [Pokhara-travel-guide-1138426] for the starting point of the trek at Ghorepani [Ghorepani-travel-guide-1333327]. We buy some snacks and soft drinks to go and then we start walking, one guide up front and one in the back to make sure the group stays complete.

Across the bridge, we must wait until the Guide has arranged our permits for the trek.large_1297706_14014597833506.jpg Everyone had to provide two passport photos for that. After a bit we could continue

First part of the trail is relatively flat, as far as anything’s flat in Nepal. After just a few hours it’s tea time. We have to pre-order our lunch (fried rice or noodles) so the guide makes a list and gives it to one of the Sherpa’s who rushes off to get it to the next stop in time.

After the lunch we get a taste of what lies before us, lots and lots of steps! We pass small villages and rice fields, all cuddled up against the mountains. Everything here is a complete difference to Kathmandu [Kathmandu-travel-guide-1138212] city, clean air, threes, mountains, and best of all, no cars or motorbikes. Supply is done by donkey or is simply worn by locals on their backs.

First guest house is a nice one with hot and cold shower.large_1297706_14014597849924.jpg As we all prepared for the worst this felt like luxury. The restaurant has a pretty extensive menu, I thought it would be 5 days of ‘Dahl bath’.

Day 2:

Today a lot of steps ahead, beautiful sceneries, magical forests, picturesque villages, but most of all, lots of steps. Our guesthouse today is Hilltop and is located directly on the route up Poon Hill.

After installing our sleeping bags and taking a shower we settle around the big stove with hot chocolate and apple pie

Day 3:

Getting up really early to go up Poon Hill. As I’m sipping my tea I can see other hikers walking by our guesthouse, or at least the lights they are carrying. No breakfast this early, we’ll come back to the guesthouse for breakfast after the sunrise on Poon Hill. We join the row of people going up and just before sunrise we reach the top of Poon Hill at 3210 mtrs.large_1297706_14014597858094.jpg It’s crowded on Poon Hill, everyone wants to see this. It’s also very cold, IJS OP M’N PET as a group member stated (translation: Ice on my hat) Thank god I did buy those mittens in Kathmandu, I nearly didn’t.

I thought the worst part was over now we only have to walk down to the starting point in another 2,5 days.

Back at Hilltop guesthouse finally our breakfast, help me remember to never ever start walking on an empty stomach again !!!

The next part of the trek is ‘Nepali flat’ again, only now It’s a bit more downhill than uphill. Again beautiful views, forests, views on Annapurna mountain, we didn’t have to go all the way up Poon Hill for that.

Today’s guesthouse is Fishtail, named after the mountain which is actually called Machupuchare but looks like a fishtail and there are some nice stories about this holy mountain.large_1297706_14014597856086.jpg

Day 4:

Breakfast on a sunny terrace with a beautiful mountain view, thick coats on though.

Today mostly downhill. We all know you should hold the same pace as going uphill, but as many do, we go faster so at the end of the day our muscles start to hurt. One girl sprained her ankle but not too bad and close to the next guest house.

Because of the festival there was a party this evening, we joined of course!

Day 5:

Last part of the trek, only a few hours to go. The girl with the sprained ankle was able walk although it was painful. We knew we were nearly at the end of the trek when we saw cars again.

Our guide had to check out our permits and then on the bus back to Pokhara

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Posted by Stefmuts 00:02 Archived in Nepal Tagged landscapes mountains nature culture trekking Comments (0)

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