No one step back

Gori is not far from Tbilisi and only famous for being the birthplace of Stalin. Long time no see Joseph!. There is a Stalin Museum, located in the Stalin Park, on the main city avenue named… can you guess it? Leon Trotsky? Milton Friedman? Nope, it is the Stalin Avenue.

As the museum doesn’t make any attempt to judge, neither I am going to do here. There you can find random stuff about the State Capitalist leader: statues, carpets, his train, lots of pictures, his pyjamas… As well, many Stalin souvenirs in the surroundings shops.

Another thing nearby you can see (or avoid) is Upshtilike cave city, just saying.

It has been already one week of traveling so let’s see how I am doing with my travel goals list:

Find the cheapest beer in town (€0.56 a pint) ✔
Hitchhike ✔
Lost/damege electronic devices (casio & powerbank) ✔
Learn local language basics:hello, thank you and I didn’t know she was 16 in local ✖
Drinking the local moonlight ✔
Going in a bus with chicken ✔
Crash into a wedding ✖
Small scam from a local tout ✔

Tbilisi loves you

The free wifi network “Tbilisi loves you” will greet you as you arrive at the airport (great for sleeping btw). The same lovable network will follow you around the city center, to make sure you don’t miss on the latest news in Venezuela, your friends’ meals on FB, or your Tinder matches, if that is your thing.

Soon I could see some of the familiar features of former Soviet countries cities: krushyovkas, marshutkas, ladas, leafy big avenues, deep underground with a lady in a cabin by the escalator, supermarkets with a larger variety of vodka and beer than food… That makes easier figuring out how things work. Sure there are some nice differentials particular to the Georgian landscape: khachapuri in all shapes and sizes, good food, and smiley people that even seem kind of happy.

Stalin Chacha, more about Joseph in the next episode…

Overall, Tbilisi is a pretty pleasant city. It has an interesting nightlife, you may just go out for a beer in the evening and be back at sunrise. There are many chances that friendly Georgians will assault you armed with chacha. I was expecting chacha to be like vodka or tequila, but it plays in a different league, closer to absinthe I would say. Chacha loves you as much as Tbilisi, just in a different way. Tbilisi is like the sweet lover you hold hands with in the park, while Chacha is more like the priest that approaches a kid with sweet talk and then… all of a sudden… becomes another isolated case.

One day I visited Sighnagi, in the wine region. There I had a guesthouse for myself to chill out and take a break from the chacha life. I was told the place is good for a couple of hours, but that is too optimistic, I would say more like half an hour. Going for a stroll to the nearby monastery may keep you busy a bit longer. It’s a pretty village and locals are certainly an endearing, laid back bunch. Sighnagi is good if you go, life goes on if you don’t.

 

 

 

Top 10 lamest animals

Because lists seem to be the thing among lazy readers, here you have one with some pathetic creatures I found on my trips. Will try to publish one with the most awesome ones at some point.

1. Komodo Dragon

Awakening a sleeping dragon just cos I was bored

Where? Komodo Island, Nussa Tengara, Indonesia

Why? They don’t spit fire or fly. Big disappointment. They should be called Komodo lizards or Komodo dicks

2. Orangutan

Where? Bukit Lawan, Sumatra, Indonesia

Why? Any red haired primate is meager (think Ed Sheeran). Other monkeys make fun of them.

3. Guanaco

This guanaco voted for Macri

Where? Argentinian pampa

Why? Get stuck on fences and die

4. Yak

Where? Nepal

Why? Like German girls, these hairy creatures don’t shave. Yaks have been known to inadvertently shove people off the path and down the steep slopes while hiking, a dumb way to die

5. Reindeer

Where? Lapland

Why? Will stand in the middle of the road and not move if you are driving a car. Try to get out to take a pic and they will run away as. They provide sleigh rides to tourist and end up on the plate for dinner. Some people admire how they adapted to the cold weather, but if they were smarter they would have moved somewhere warmer.

5. Milodon

Where? Puerto Natales, Chile

Why? Kind of big sloth that got extinct because he was too lazy to move for food. They hug gringos.

6. This Donkey

Happy donkey

Where? Kashgar, Xinjang, China

Why? 5th leg for no reason. Other donkeys are awesome

7. The Paulo Coelho reader

Where? You can find them in any place with a “good energy”, but they thrive in The Banana Pancake Trail. Eat-Pray-Lovers are their relatives

Why? No comments. I am being generous not placing them in nr 1

9. Buffalo

Bondage buffalo

Where?  Tana Toraja, Sulawesi, Indonesia

Why? See pic

10. Surfers

Where? Many places, but the Bali ones are the worst of their species

Why? OK, you can stand on a table on water, got it, congrats! and that makes you think you are cooler than other people

Latinoamerica

I have a few pending posts to write about Sweden, England, Mexico, Mallorca… but will leave them for now to focus in South America where I am currently travelling.

And I will start by translating something I wrote in Spanish for a contest to win a trip do SA (original with pics). I missed the price just for a few votes (got 112 and the winner over 1000). My presentation was clearly the best but most voters are stupid and I didn’t have the media support, you know how the so called “democracy” works. Well, I am in SA anyway. So here the crap I wrote:

It seems that there are more people in this contest than in the job center line in Spain, but, if Rajoy won an election and Arbeloa a World Cup, I stand a chance. It is about time that South Americans can enjoy my awesomeness as others did in many places. I do not like to brag, but I was in more than 60 countries and can play the triangle. Among my experiences: living with remote tribes in Mentawai and Sulawesi (Indonesia), drinking vodka for breakfast with Kyrgyz nomads, cycling in the Karakoram highway, Nordkapp, eating tortilla in Betanzos, 3 weeks trekking in the mountains of Nepal, hitchhiking the Pamir Highway, remote Burma, Laos, Iran, Oman, Tajikistan and more … I have a blog  year compiling stories from one year in Asia, which used to have about 100 readers per day (10 from friends and 90 from bots I created to feel appreciated). This is the most liked post on FB.

Not yet sure you will vote for me? Here you have the list of things I want to achieve there:

  • Party at Rio Carnival and get as many STDs as I can
  • Visit Machu Pichu and Uyuni without taking a single picture
  • Strengthen the commercial exchanges between Colombia and my native Galicia
  • Open a phone call center in Ecuador
  • Ride the Panamericana on a bicycle and the Austral Road on a donkey
  • Climbing Aconcagua
  • Buy toilette paper in Venezuela
  • Many volunteering projects, permaculture, sustainability, wwoofing and all that shit
  • Live along Guyana tribes
  • Steal an Argentinian guy’s girlfriend
  • Wear Evo’s jumper
  • Find Paulo Coelho. Kill him. “And, when you want something, all the universe conspires in helping you to achieve it.”
  • Record the “cerveza” tune with Wendy Sulca
  • Spit on llamas
  • Film an Argentinian movie without Ricardo Darin
  • Go for a ride on Mujica’s Beatle
  • Hitchhike to Antartica
  • Invite Kevin Roldan to my bday party
  • Kill hippies in El Bolson
  • Spend most of the prize money on booze, drugs and… squander the rest

Top 15 Best Beaches

This is the list of the best beaches/beach destinations I have been to. They are mainly ranked according to the beaches themselves, but I took into consideration the attractions around as well. Although I could fill this list almost entirely with SE Asia ones I gave extra weight to others for more diversity. If you have any suggestion fire up in comments.

1. Togean Islands – Sulawesi – Indonesia

Why? Perfect tropical paradise, that’s it. More

Cons: Difficult to get there, don’t go, go to Bali instead 🙂

P1020603
Beach – Blue Star – Sunset – Bajau Houses

2. Railay – Krabi – Thailand

Why? Astonishing karst formations. Consist of 4 beaches: Pranang (probably most beautiful beach I’ve ever seen), West Railay (sunsets and bonfires), East Railay, and Ton Sai (caters to backpackers and climbers). Monkeys. Don’t miss the lagoon! More

Cons: As many places in Thailand, tourists, ranging from fake hippies to posh-luxury

P1091039_h600
Pranang

3. Reynisfjara (Black Beach)  – Vik – Iceland

Why? Epic Icelandic landscape, black sand, formations like the ones at the Giant Causeway, amazing rocks in the sea. Next to Vik village with its picturesque church. The pretty Dyrholaey arch is nearby and not far plenty of awesome waterfalls, glaciers, volcanoes…

Cons: Wheater, cold water (I tried it at Vik). I was lucky and got a very warm sunny day for Icelandic standards (+18)

Not my pics. I've lost mine :(
Not my pics. I’ve lost mine 😦

4. Tiny Island – Mentawai – Indonesia

Why? Remote inhabited island, palm trees, clear water, white sand, fish. More

Cons: Mosquitoes on steroids, malaria zone. Dont’t know the name of the island, Masalot???

Sunset - Beach - More Beach - Me
Sunrise – Beach – More Beach – Me

5. Glyka Nera (Sweet Water) – Crete – Greece

Why? Secluded and quiet. Fresh water springs next to the sea. Good for camping or sleeping rough. Nudist. Goats!

Cons: Some pebbles. We got there at night and when we went back at day time didn’t look good at all for someone scared of heights like me, that was before Asia where I walked many much worse ones.

View - Goat - Path - Beach
View – Goat – Path – Beach

6. Tulum – Quintana Roo – Mexico

Why? Mayan ruins by a pretty tropical beach. Iguanas around. Nearby cenotes to visit. Tequila and mezcal. I had to add one from America 🙂

Cons: Guess it… Gringos

Not my pic, again mine are lost
Not my pic, again mine are lost

7. Praia das Catedrais (Cathedrals Beach) – Galicia

Why? I was born about 40 km from this beauty! Amazing rock formations.

Cons: Rain. People from Madrid visiting during summer time.

Awesomeness
Awesomeness
not my pic
not my pic

8. Koh Rong Island – Cambodia

Why? Crystal clear water. Sand so white that was hurting my eyes. Cheap beer. More

Cons: Development plans for the island threaten the calm vibe.

this guy doesn't give a fuck
this guy doesn’t give a fuck

9.  Weekuri – Sumba – Indonesia

Why? The beach is nice, but the amazing nearby lagoon is the main reason I am including this one, which may not be fair. More

Cons: Try to find the lagoon by yourself… no info anywhere, better go back to Bali 🙂

P1020256
Lagoon

10. Random Beach – NordKapp – Norway

Why? I found by chance this pretty small arctic beach near the Nordkapp road toll. Spectacular fjord landscape. Midnight sun (or midnight rain).

Cons: Supercold water, I went for a short swim and my penis looked like regular size. End of June and there was still snow on the beach.

End of June!
End of June!

11.  Haad Khom – Koh Phangan – Thailand

Why? Another pretty tropical beach, a quite on in the party island. Resident pig. People say that nearby bottle beach is better. More

Cons: Jews, sorry I didn’t mean to be racist, let’s say the presence of Hebrew tourists that live in Palestine

IMAG0215
Oink Oink
PC290963
Another Lame Tropical Beach

12. Akrotiri (Red Beach) – Santorini – Greece

Why? Red sand, red cliffs

Cons: The most touristy on this list, many from Britain or Merkelland

DSCN3610
Red, I don’t lie

13. Koufunisia – Greece

Why? Koufuinisia is a small island with plenty of nice beaches and pretty spots like the hole in the pic, located next to a pretty nudist beach

Cons: Very few tourists when I was there, but I am afraid that’s not the case anymore.

IMG_1997
Something – Sex Symbol – Mikel Climbing – Hole

14. Seven Sisters – England

Why? White cliffs

Cons: Pebbles and not many thrills apart from the cliffs. Londoners.

not my pic, didn't care enough to take one
not my pic, didn’t care enough to take one

15. Komodo – Indonesia

Why? Big lizards. Komodo village nearby. Good snorkelling. More

Cons: Sorry for repeating myself, tourists

Recruiter
Recruiter

Wild Strawberries

Time was passing and I was getting comfortable with my life in the farm. I named one of the sheep “Relation” so I could say things like “I have a relationsheep” or “yesterday I was in a relationsheep”.

absolut

According to locals it was the best summer in many years, even too warm to sleep sometimes. Quite often I was playing basketball, beach volley (yes in Sweden!) or going for runs in a national park.

I  kept cycling on the weekends and discovering beautiful spots in Skäne, like the Österlen area. On one of the rides, I found the new Vikings Valhalla, the Absolut factory.

Some friends come to visit and I went a few times more to Copenhagen and there were a couple of festivals in Malmö with some free gigs, like the lovely girls below.

Fact: For Scandinavian film lovers like me, the concluding scenes in Ingmar Bergman’s masterpiece Wild Strawberries were set and shot in, Lund.

 

 

Vikings

Wow, I am one and a half year behind with my writing  (talking about Abba’s land from Chile), I am becoming the master of procrastination. You may have noticed the site blog appearance has changed to make it responsive, still waiting to find a reliable web developer that can turn it into a proper site. I did since I got some analytics indicating that 65% of the blog readers are connecting from a mobile device, 39% of which read this blog while taking a dump and 0.8% while having sexual intercourse (0.2 % with me).

Everything was going smooth in peaceful Scandinavia as summer was starting. Genetically blessed locals turned to be friendly and welcoming, difficult to believe they are the descendants of ruthless Ragnar Lodbrok friends.

Swedish mating dance
Swedish mating dance at a summer solstice celebration

I kept cycling quite a lot and on another bike trip, I visited the amazing Nimis, at the micronation of Ladonia in the Kullaberg peninsula, where I spotted the rare Swedish zebra.

The scandinavian zebra in his habitat, not giving a fuck
The Scandinavian zebra in his habitat, not giving a fuck

I liked so much the place that, after a strenuous bureaucratic process that consisted of an online application form where I have to enter my name, I became a proud Ladonian citizen.

Nimis. Ladonia is best, your country sucks
Ladonia is best, your country sucks

More pics