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October 2016

Powerwalk to Paraguay

Some people need their morning shower in order to wake up and some their morning coffee. My morning ritual is to go for a 30 minute power walk and drink half a liter of water while doing so – if I have time and it’s not raining, that is. It’s an amazing way to start the day. I really like getting up early and enjoy the world while it’s still calm before the crowds get out. It’s more relaxed, the air is a little more fresh and the light in the morning hour is so much nicer. They say motion creates emotion and I can tell you it’s true. Both your body and mind really wakes up and my own little theory is that the water is a good way to «rinse» your system before starting the day. Usually I stop 2-3 times per every walk for 10-20 seconds and just take a couple of deep breaths. You should try it too, it’s incredible how just a quick break and some deep breaths lowers your shoulders no matter what you do. Today’s morning walk was a little special though and the stop was 10 minutes instead of 10 seconds.

I woke up in Brazil, Foz do Iguaçu to be precise. A river, which is also the border to Paraguay, runs along the city and a bridge with the suitable name Friendship Bridge connects the two countries. With blue skies this morning I thought it would be a good idea to simply walk to Paraguay – so I did. The bridge was located a couple of kilometers away and the  bridge itself was approximately 500 meters I guess. Arriving to the bridge I had to immigrate out of Brazil getting my passport stamped and also migrate when reaching Paraguay. I just stayed there for 10 minutes before walking back. Again, immigrate out of Paraguay just 10 minutes after arriving and also migrate back in to Brazil filling out forms and the usual stuff. This is the shortest I’ve ever been in a country and there is a reason for it. Right after the bridge you enter the city Ciudad del Este which is like a huge shopping center for the Brazilian people since they don’t pay tax here.

It was fun to get another passport stamp and actually be able to say I’ve been to Paraguay, even though I really haven’t seen the country and I don’t think I ever will. I’ve done some online research but there is NOTHING in Paraguay that attracts me, so spending time and money going there is for me out of the question.

Next up is a city I’ve been to before and which I consider is one of the most beautiful on earth and is perfect for nice morning walks along som stunning beaches. Can you guess which one?

Border Brasil - Paraguay

Chasing waterfalls

Beauty can appear in many ways. I really love mother earth and think she without doubt is the best architect ever. Usually I find mountains and beaches the most interesting, but the place I’ve been visiting the last two days is indescribable. I have literally been chasing waterfalls for two days.

Iguazu Falls are located on the border between Argentina and Brazil and consist of 260 different waterfalls. It’s the not highest in the world but by FAR the largest when it comes to the amount of water passing by. I think that people sometimes abuse superlatives like «breathtaking» – but this place really can live up to it. The sight, size and sound of all this is just unbelievable and pictures can’t justify the size of it.

80 % of the falls are in Argentina and 20 % in Brazil (this is as far as my mathematic skills go btw). The first day I spent in Argentina where you should be prepared for a whole lot of walking. I estimate I walked at least 10 kilometers. There are so many waterfalls to see and there is a «lower walk» and an «upper walk» and both offer great views of the falls. As always when visiting touristic areas you should be there early. I was there at 8 AM when opening and stayed until 14.30 which was enough I think. I would say this is one of the «tourist traps» really worth visiting just like Machu Picchu.

Day two I spent on the Brazilian side which is smaller and just takes around 2 hours to see. Here you see the falls from a little more distance and get a good overview look.

That’s it that’s all folks!

Iguazu Falls

Netflix and Montevideo

My travel has changed a little bit the last time. The first 5-6 weeks were full of amazing adventures both high and low – warm and cold. Of course the areas I visit offer different things and the since east coast of South America (Argentina, Uruguay and next Brasil) are not in the Andes – there is not the same amount of really unique adventures. But that’s really fine for me now. In the beginning there were almost an adventure every day either waking up in the desert or super early in a mountain village to catch a bus to some radical place. Last time week has been more about Netflix and hitting the gym – and it has been great.

Even though I’m traveling I like doing the things I do at home too. Sometimes I meet people questioning why I exercise when traveling. “You are on vacation – relax!”. Well, the fact is I relax when I work-out, perhaps not physically but mentally and that’s what matters to me. A hobby or need doesn’t just go away because you are in another country. Hitting the gym, watching a tv-series or/and going on Tinder-dates are just normal things for normal people nowadays. It’s also a good way to meet the locals in their everyday situations and with long blonde hair, tan skin and tight tank-top (believe it or not) a lot of people are eager to exchange a few words with this “gringo” in the gym.

In a total I spent 4 full days in Montevideo, the capital of Uruguay. Two of those were sunny and nice and then it’s a lovely city where you can go to the beaches and enjoy the parks along the beach walk. The other two days were cloudy and grey – and then there is pretty much nothing to do here. To say it straight out: it’s dead boring and not very beautiful either. On the other hand it has the highest standard of living in South America so it’s actually the perfect place to kill some grey days just relaxing, working-out and enjoying the good food it has to offer.

The hostel I stayed in was the first in South America where it was possible to stream video. I’m not traveling the world to watch TV, but since there were a couple of grey days I used it to watch season 2 of Narcos. Amazing production and since I will be in Colombia in about 3-4 weeks I found it really interesting. When in “Netflix-mode” I also went through another Netflix original series; Stranger Things. Well produced, cosy, unique and exciting! Well worth seeing.

No Netflix for a long time now – I’m off chasing waterfalls!

Montevideo