What could possibly go wrong?
I met him at our camp in Masai Mara National Park, Kenya. He was surprisingly fluent in English so of course we started talking. When the sun was about to set he asked me if I wanted to join him to his village. I asked him how far it was but he assured me it wasn’t far... so why not? What can possibly go wrong alone in the darkness in the middle of Masai Mara??
Walking to his village
We sat off. After 30 min walking I asked him how much left it was to walk. It had become dark and we heard the lions in the distance. Not far now he said, so no worries Mr Patrik. After additional 15 min we finally reached the village. He gave me a tour around it and I was invited to his hut. Sorry to say it was now too dark to take any photos.
Pitch black when going back
When the time came to go back it had become pitch black. It was amazing to cross the plain, just me, him and the stars in the sky. We heard the unmistakable sounds of the lions, they were much closer now. I asked him what he actually could do if a lion would show up. He stopped and looked at me and smiled. No worries Mr Patrik I have my “rungu”. He showed it to me. No more explanations needed, obviously it was self explanatory. He had his “rungu”...
Three lions, then problem Mr Patrik!
I insisted, what if there are two lions...? He just looked at me with pity and said “hakuna matata” Mr Patrik and he shook his “rungu” and started walking again. But then he added, three or more lions Mr Patrik then we have problem! He gave me a big assuring smile and the only thing I saw in the darkness was his white teeth.
A “rungu” is a wooden throwing club or baton. It‘s especially associated with Masai morans (male warriors) who have traditionally used it in warfare and for hunting. And “hakuna matata” means “no problem” in Swahili.
This is the Swedes favourite
Hard boiled egg on a slice of bread and kaviar on top is a Swedish favourite for breakfast. For me, as long as I remember I grew up with this combo. And yes, I love this type of sandwich together with a cup of coffee for breakfast. But the question is, for someone who never tasted kaviar before, will they like it?
Will they like it? See their reaction!
I decided to put my friends for the ultimate test. Of course they had eaten toast with egg before but never together with Swedish kaviar. Here I let them try it with "Rågrut", which is crisp bread, another Swedish delicacy. Well, lets see their reaction!
A day in Bangkok
Bangkok is a dazzling city which has so much to offer both day and night. So here are some snapshots of an amazing day in Bangkok.
This day I practiced what you can call street photographing. All images are from Cebu city around Climaco street and in the area of Colon street.
And off she went to a better universe!
My mom was clearly the strong and independent type of woman. She always chose her own path in life no matter what.
At the time when she was young it wasn’t that common for girls to strive for a proper education. But she did. She realized in order to be independent she needed to educate herself. So she went to Anders Beckman’s school and became a fashion illustrator.
In the end of the 40:es and beginning of the 50:es it wasn’t that common to travel abroad. Probably under wild and loudly protests from her parents she did travel in early age. One of the first trips she did was hitchhiking from Sweden to France, through a war-torn Europe.
By this time the ideal here in Sweden was to have a secure source of income at a good stable employer. But not my mom. Once again she chose her independence over a stable and secure life. She became her own boss in the competitive and tough but on the other hand, highly creative fashion industry.
An unusual mom compared to others...
Against all odds she bought a house and raised her only spoiled son (me) to be a good boy. She did this all by herself since my dad died way too early. She was a good mom but a bit unusual compared to other moms. She made me open my eyes with the wonderful to travel and also never to say no to new exciting dishes to eat.
In later years she was diagnosed with the Alzheimer’s disease. She really hated what that this terrible sickness did to her independence and integrity. When the years passed by and the sickness relentlessly got worse she got more and more dependent of help. She hated it by all her heart.
She made the life a hell for all the helpers including her only spoiled son (me) who was coming there trying to do their best helping her. It was not that she was evil but she wanted her independency back and to take control of her own life again.
Fuck this world!
I know she hated the thought of moving to the home for elderly. I deliberately waited as long as possible but the inevitable came and I had to take the decision for her to move. I like to think she made up her mind there. “Fuck this world, I am 92 years old and this is enough!” So maybe she did the only thing she had control over, stopped eating and drinking so she could make her last trip as soon as possible. So at 12.40 PM today she peacefully transferrd to a better universe.
A walk in the park
Autumn in Sweden is from September to October/November. It's generally windy and rainy, to put it simple it's the sign of the upcoming cold winter. But it's also the season of colors, when all the leafs turns to yellow, orange and red before they eventually fall off the treas. So what can be better than a walk in the park this beautiful autumn day?
Last but not least... a link:
Breakfast before hiking
Before you go hiking you need to eat a real breakfast, right? So this morning Danica went out and bought the breakfast... I usually advised her not to buy so much food, but as usual it was more than we could finish. For just around P100 we got noodles, chicken livers, vegetables, some kind of pork meat, soup and of course the mandatory rice!
Philippine Tarsier Sanctuary
One of the starting points for the hike is the Philippine Tarsier Sanctuary. We had decided to make a combo, first visit the Tarsier Sanctuary and then do the hike since the hiking trail starts just behind the sanctuary. As usual we were assigned a guide who took us along some narrow trails around the sanctuary. Despite the dense vegetation I was able to spot several of the shy tarsiers and I regretted deeply that I had been lazy and hadn't brought my big camera with me. Grrr...
After tarsiers then hiking
Our main objective this day was the hiking. We easily found the beginning of the trail behind the actual sanctuary but after a couple hundred meters into the rainforest the trail wasn't that that clear to follow. We had been told it was easy to "just follow" but suddenly it didn't feel obvious. Danica was more concerned of the potential "monsters" hiding in the rainforest but I was afraid to get lost.
The rewarding view
Soaked in sweat with empty water bottles we finally came up to the viewing deck one. The view was breathtaking! We had almost a 360 degrees view over Bohol. It was worth all the blood sweat and tears to come here. A perfect spot to take photos from or having a romantic picnic or why not do both! Maybe even stay here overnight to experience the most awesome sunset and the sunrise... in that case I guess I have to convince Danica that there are no monsters hiding in the bushes beneath...
How to get to Corella
It's about 13 km going to Corella from Tagbilaran City.
Via public transport: From Sikatuna Jeepney Terminal, (This is right infront of Island City Mall) get into a jeepney bound to Sikatuna via Corella. This jeepney drops you off at Philippine Tarsier Foundation. Fare is P17.00. Tell the driver of the jeepney that you are headed to Philippine Tarsier Sanctuary in Corella. Upon arrival there is a huge signage and rough road, take it and walk for 300 meters to the research building.
Going back, just take a jeepney headed to Tagbilaran. And yes it is safe to hitch hike here. Fare is P15.00 for jeepney.
If you have your own motorcycle it's very easy to go there, just follow Google maps.
Philippine Tarsier Sanctuary and the Sikatuna Tree Park
You can start your hike either at the Philippine Tarsier Sanctuary or at the Sikatuna Tree Park. There are two viewing decks to visit and the hiking trail connects the Tarsier Sanctuary with the Tree Park. Just follow the signs. Viewing deck one is closer to the Tree Park and the viewing deck two is more close the the Tarsier Sanctuary. Hiking from the Tarsier Sanctuary, visiting both viewing decks and end up at the Tree Park should take around 2-4 hours depending on your fitness level.
Comfortable shoes and water
Be sure to wear comfortable shoes, it can be very slippery. Bring lot's of water. Plan ahead so you will be out from the rainforest before it gets dark, unless you intend to spend the night there. When it's dark it will be very hard to negotiate the trail.
Philippine Tarsier Sanctuary is worth a visit
If you begin your hike at the Tarsier Sanctuary you should take the opportunity to visit the sanctuary itself. The entrance fee to the sanctuary is P60. If you just go for the hike, it's free of charge whether you start from the Tarsier Sanctuary or the Tree Park.
Click this link to see other posts about Bohol:
A real Filipino breakfast is never wrong!
What can be better than salty bangus (fish) fried to crispy perfection, scrambled eggs, rice together with spicy sawsawan sauce? Did I hear crispy bacon and eggs?? Well, I guess nothing excludes the other, right?
Why are mangroves so important?
Fully loaded with protein, good healthy omega 3 fats, carbohydrates and caffeine we headed for Oboob Mangrove Garden. Maybe you have heard that mangroves are important...? So why are mangrove habitats so important? Basically Shoreline protection. Mangroves protect shorelines from damaging storm and hurricane winds, waves, and floods. Mangroves also help prevent erosion by stabilizing sediments with their tangled root systems. They maintain water quality and clarity, filtering pollutants and trapping sediments originating from land.
Oboob Mangrove Garden/Eco Park
It was easy peasy for us to go there with our beloved scooter. We paid the entrance and then attended a short lecture about the Eco park. In my opinion they are doing a great job preserving this sensitive habitat. We were assigned a guide who told us more about the Eco park and of course she even helped us to take some pictures according to Danica's directives.
Tropical storm Basyang
This morning at breakfast it had been quite windy. So later when we came back to our resort we heard about the tropical storm Basyang. There were rumors that the ferry would be cancelled for going back to Cebu Island. So of course we became a little bit worried. It was not the first time we had been stranded on an island. We had already been away for two weeks and it was time to go back to Dumaguete. In the evening we clearly noticed that the wind gained strength. Me: What's the problem it's romantic to be stranded on an island, right? But Danica: I am longing for my daughter huhu...
The typhoon luckily became degraded to a tropical storm but still with hard winds and lot's of rain. The result was that the ferry going back to Cebu island was cancelled. We decided to move from the somewhat remote Bantayan Nature Park and Resort in to the more central located Adelaida Pensionne. We were lucky, we got the last room! There were many other guests with the same strategy, staying near the ferry terminal and wait for the ferry to resume.
The ferry was resumed
After a couple of days the ferry was resumed. That day we had a quick breakfast at the Boulangerie Francaise and off we went. We reached Cebu Island at lunch time and then we had roughly 300 km to travel from north to south to our second ferry over to Negros. We had our dinner break at McDonalds in Toledo. I was beginning to be stressed. Time was already 5 pm and in one hour it would be dark.
The driving went awkward
Around Barili the the driving really went awkward. The tricky road crosses the mountains and the traffic was horrendous. Big trucks and buses speeding and overtaking each others and not to mention it was pitch black! We took a short break at a little sari sari store and I swept two Coca Colas to regain some energy. We still had roughly 60 km to Alegria where we had booked a room at Lucci Pension House for the night. Slowly I realized my mistake, 60 km is very far when driving in the Philippines specially when it's dark and you are drop dead tired. Lesson learned, be sure to plan ahead so you can avoid to drive long stretches in the dark.
Back to Dumaguete
From our lunch stop at Dulot we just had a couple of hours more to go before we came to the ferry over to Negros and back home. We had been away for roughly 2 weeks. We drove 600 km back and forth and maybe at least 200 km on Bantayan Island.
Road trips are fantastic!
Making a road trip is really a fantastic way to experience the true Philippines. You see a lot and have full flexibility to go and stay wherever you want. But beware of that the traffic might be very different from what you are used to from back home. In my experience you need to adjust yourself to the Filipino way of driving otherwise it might be difficult. Always bear in mind that there are many accidents daily in the traffic so driving a scooter in the Philippines is certainly a high risk activity. Use your common sense and follow some basic guidelines and you will be less likely to get in serious trouble.
1) Be sure you rent a scooter in good condition and with all paper works in order
2) Don't drink and drive and always wear helmet
3) Don't drive fast and furious, better to be safe than sorry
3) Avoid driving in the dark. You don't want to collide with a stray dog...
4) Plan ahead, out in the province it can be far between the nice places you want to stay at
5) Don't bring too much stuff, travel light and easy is part of the freedom!
Shooting Seagulls - with a camera
Today I tested the camera for fast flying objects, Seagulls. I took 1K+ photos and I actually cheated a little bit... I had an assistent who threw bread to attract some attention from them. And yes! We got attention and the competition for the bread was fierce.
Good bye Dumaguete
Good bye Dumaguete for this time. But I will be back.
The flight from Dumaguete to Manila went smoothly. It departed ahead of time and consequently arrived ahead of time to Manila. The video shows start and landing and an awesome view over Dumaguete and the Sibulan airport.