Saturday, December 24, 2011

Merry Christmas and a few words about my plans.

First of all I would like to wish you all Merry Christmas.
For 13 months I traveled through Asia and Latin America and it was incredible time. I learnt so many things. This was my school of life, or maybe even second PhD in Life. I seriously appreciated the possibility to broaden my horizons so dramatically.

For the Next Year I would like to wish you that you manage to:
- broaden your horizons
- wake up often with a smile on your face
- meet wonderful and good people on your way
- and continue walking on the happiness path.

And now I will tell you a bit about my future plans.
Now I am back home in Łódź enjoying the time with the family. But first of February I will move to Germany to Heidelberg. Where I will study leukemia, CLL in German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ). I hope some of you will manage to visit me in Heidelberg :)

Finally, coming back home to Poland.

I was already in Europe for ten days but no-one knew in Poland that I am back. I continue my surprise rout. First I went to Przesiaka in Polish mountains where my sister and my mother were staying. Together with them I went home to Łódź, where I surprised my father and my grandparents. Few days later I surprised my other grandparents and finally I showed up by surprise on the birthday party of one of my friend. And then finally I organize welcome surprise party for the pipette. Welcome home pipette.

Dresden, my second home.

CSC_3383Finally I reached Dresden, my second home. I was able to surprise and meet most of my friends here. Dresden, Dresden, sweet home.

Hitchhiking accross Europe

My "towel" hitch.
After seven months in Latin America I landed in Brussels. Here I met two my friends: Vinciane and Agnieszka. In Brussels I stayed only one day I decided to hitchhike from Brussels to Heidelberg, where I stayed with Mathias for one night. After another hitchhiking day I reached Dresden. My last few hours to Dresden I traveled with the girl. We had a very interesting conversation, but one of her questions was incredible. She asked if I am a serious hitchhiker, if I have a towel!!! This was reference to Douglas Admas book, Hitchhikers to Galaxy about which I mention in my second post on the blog, where I was saved by a towel!. Incredible.

Sudden decision ....

From Yachxilan I went to Palenque, another Maya side. The second day in the morning I had a feeling that .... it was time to go back home...
I went to Internet cafe and looked for flight ticket home. I found one cheap option from Cancun to Brussele by JetAirFly in 48h. Cancun is located only 12h bus ride from Palenque. I thought a bit about this and not telling anyone about my plans I bought it and in the evening I was already in the night bus.
I did not plan to come back already but this was an impulse. I had a feeling that it is time for me to come back, so I did it.

Hitchhiking to Maya ruins.

From Commitan I decided to hitchhike in direction to Tonina, Maya ruins. And indeed it was an impressive Maya ruins. But my next destination was more challenging to reach - remote Maya ruins called Yaxchilan. I had two possible ways to get there. One I had to go back to Commitan and travel around on the main road or try to go on a side road. It was impossible for me to predict how often there would be a mean of transport on this side road, but it means .... adventure :)

100% Mexican party in Commitan

Francisco and his
Mexico famous drink.
Do you remember incredible Karolka, who I met in Brasilia during carnival? She has a good friend in Mexico, Francisco ala El Nuca. I contacted him through CouchSurfing platform and I got invitation for birthday party in Commitan!!! Since I was in San Cristobal De Las Casas I managed to hitchhike to Commitnan in two hours.

My most exotic food!!!

My most exotic dish.
During my trip I ate many exotic dishes, but the most exotic one... was the one that I preprepared myself in Mexico. It started very innocently. I wanted to cook scramble eggs, so I went to the market. On one of the stands I found... cactus. I got know from the lady that was selling it how to cook it.

MEXICO, here I am!!!!

In the morning I walked up in San Pedro de Lagoon and initially I wanted to stay longer in Guatemala.... but in the evening I got to Mexico! South Mexico was said to be relatively safe, so I started to hitchhike. I managed to get to lifts at the back of the truck and I felt completely free, completely independent, completely merged with the wind.

Chicken Bus

Beautiful chicken buses.
There is great mean of transport in Central America - Chicken Bus. It is an old American School bus which is beautifully painted and decorated. On some of them there are even silver sculptures attached. But inside.... they did not exchange seats... For most of the people it is completely fine since they are short, but I am very tall so initially I had some problems where to squeeze my legs. With time I got used to this small inconvenience. Usually in this bus there was interesting atmosphere. Loud music, packed people, interesting conversations, some small animals.

Friday, December 23, 2011

Trip to Santa Clara Mirador

Chapi at the view point.
San Pedro de Lagoon is one of the city located close to the lake Lake Atitlan beneath the volcano. Together with Lidka, Chapi and Joner we decided to climb to the view points. It was an easy climb, but the challenge was to avoid the check point where one has to buy entrance ticket to..... this mountain. First of all we were not sure if they have right to charge for this trip, secondly, my Artesanías were on much lower daily budget than I was, so it was crucial point for them.

Market photo session.

CSC_1734One day together with Lidka we went for a photo session on a local market in San Pedro. We walked around and 90% of people were very happy that we want to take a photo of them. I like a lot few of those shots.


CSC_1735I promised you once to write a little bit more about Artesanías. Artesanías are people that travel and sell art that they make. They usually finance they travel and life through what they can sell. They never know if they manage to sell anything that particular days. Artesanías are usually a very interesting people. Those people are usually free of many daily worries. They love temporariness. They love the moments. I would say that they are hippies of Latin America.

They also know how and where to party!!!

School parade

CSC_0999During my very interesting stay in Jalpatagua I witness the school parade in this city. There was a school anniversary and dressed up children walked around the city. It was very interesting event. Some of them were dressed up like a beauty queens, some of them dressed up in the huge bags....

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Lucky mistake - spontaneous Couch Surfing.

My incredible hosts
Sometimes traveling does not go according to the previous plan. I got stuck just after crossing the border to Guatemala, because the last day in El Salvador I over hitchhike... It was a very lucky mistake at the end.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

El Salvador: Country of smiling people.

El Salvador.
El Salvador is a very interesting country. It was one of the most dangerous place in Central America. But it was in a past. Now it is relatively safe place - of course except capital. But almost all capitals in central America are very dangerous. I think smile is a natural facial expression for people living in El Salvador.

Saturday, August 6, 2011


I traveled most of the time in El Salvador by hitchhiking except for two short rides by buses. And during one of them I learnt a very interesting thing...


Juayúa was my last stop in El Salvador. Small beautiful town on the famous Rute de flores. I ate here a delicious Popusa, made of thick, hand-made corn tortilla filled with meat and cheese. In the morning I went with two Australian guys to neighbouring waterfall.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Pacific sea food

My shrimps
I came by for the weekend to La Libertat and a small beach city Tunco. I hoped to immerse myself in the night life. There was a great samba music for one and a half hour, where I danced a lot, but I got a bit disappointed with the rest of the life music at at this spot. Finally I concentrated on improving my cooking skills.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

How did I celebrate my traveling birthdays?

My El Salvadorian friends.
One year on the road, one year traveling, one year without schedule, not knowing what will happen, who I will meet, where I will sleep. How to celebrate it?

An easy thing was to dress two different socks in the morning. After breakfast from one of the street stalls I went shortly to Internet cafe. But it was a traveling birthday, so I knew that I had to move on and celebrate this anniversary traveling. I decided to go in the direction of Pacific. How? Of course hitchhiking. The most unplanned mode of the travel. You never know where one will end up, you never now when one will get the ride, and you never know who you will meet on the road.

Monday, August 1, 2011

On day, two borders, ten means of transport, getting to El Salvador

Mirror of the Chicken bus.
One day, two borders, four hitchhikes, three chicken bus, one minibus, one collective, one rickshaw and walking for two kilometers. Very fulfilling traveling day. From Leon (Nicaragua) I wanted to get to Perquin (El Salvador). To achieve it I had to cross Honduras.

Friday, July 29, 2011

Surfing down Volcano Negro - Black hill.

Climbing the active volcano
with the boards
Imagine huge ash mountain that is growing all the time, since it is still active... Imagine this huge mountain in the middle of green ocean of plants. And finally imagine that from this mountain people are surfing down in the orange parachute overalls. This is the volcano Negro.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Nicaraguan friends, Polish agents and best food in central America. Everything in Leon.

Agent: Pink Bocian and Agent: Black Bocian
mastering they hiding skills in Leon.
I arrived with chicken bus to the suburbs of Leon. I walked out from the bus, and wanted to eat dinner. It was a very warm afternoon so I had a huge desire for a cold beer. I walked to the local restaurant where I met two Artesanía guys: Chapi and Jonne. They were very surprise to see extranjero (foreign) in this part of the city. But they got very happy when they heard that I am Polish, since Jonne had girlfriend from Czech Republic - Jidka. She was apparently around the corner, so in the moment I was also able to meet Jidka. I ate my dinner and we drunk together a beer. Jidka brought Frisbee so in the meantime we threw a bit Frisbee to each other. It was ages since I did not throw Frisbee!!!

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Bat's Breeze and an active Masaya volcano

Bat's Breeze
I know many ways to get fresh and cold. One can take a cold shower, turn on a vent or look for a shadow under big tree. Those are a few standard methods. But now I discovered another way. One has to find the bat cave and wait for the sun. When the bats are flying out, they can get you fresh.
The bats can fly surprisingly closed to the face but I was told that they would not hit the person thanks to their great echolocation. And I can prove it. Despite that I am really tall, they did not hit me!!!!

Isla Ometepe

On the way to Isla Ometepe.
I moved straight to Nicaragua from Panama. I did not want to stay in Costa Rica since I heard that it was the most expensive country in Central America and it was predominant holiday destinations for Americans. So as fast as possible I moved to Nicaragua. In the bus I decided that I want to visit Isla Ometepe.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Peace Corps volunteers in Panam City.

Peace Corps volunteers.
In Panama I met four amazing girls. They were just about to start their volunteering for Peace Corps. They were going to spent next two years in a small, underdeveloped village somewhere in the jungle in Panama and help the local community with different types of environmental sustainable projects.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

One year passed like.... few life times.

On my way.
Do you remember what you did one year ago? I exactly remember, I boarded the plane in Warsaw, and I started my trip. It was one year ago, but it seems that it was ages ago. During this year I experienced so many things, I met so many people, I visited so many places. I think I changed quite a bit also. I hope that we will meet and you will be able to judge this change.

Sailing Cartagena - San Blas - Panama

San Blas.
In Cartagena I was searching for a boat that would go to Panama and that would need a qualified sailor. There are many sailing boats traveling between Colombia and Panama since the land border goes through a jungle controlled by drug cartels and is almost impossible to cross. All flights are very expensive.
 Many backpackers that travels through America, goes on the sailing boat.

Yacht hitchhikers

Boat YouYou, optimist and Mikołaj.
What is the chance to meet another long term traveler from Poland? Unfortunately there is not too many Polish travelers. Till now I met three of them. What is a chance to meet a traveler facinated with the sea much more than I am? Additionally what is the chance that this traveler has the same first as me????

Colombia, Cartagena

It is a country with great vibration, incredible local people and very interesting music. From every bar and pub there is a music that makes your leg starting to dance. On the street the Colombian Hamburger seller was dancing while preparing his hamburgers!!!

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Dolphins, harmony, full moon...

True friendship.
Pink dolphins, overwhelming animal harmony, full moon rise over the amazon and the longest snake in the city.... I experienced it all in Colombian jungle in Leticia and Puerto Narunio.

Peru - very diverse country.

For me Peru consist of different parts. I experienced South Peru with a great company of my sister and my cousin. Afterwards I moved to central Peru - beautiful Andes, further on to North Peru which is less touristic developed and has some amazing archaeological sides like Kuelep and finally my beloved Amazon....

Polish people in Peru

Children in Peru celebrates
beatification of John Paul II.
Poland and Peru despite of huge distance, has a very unique relationship. The first connection of Peruvian people with Poland is the Polish papa, polish pope, John Paul II. He visited Peru three times and his visit made a huge impression on many Peruvians. Our host lady in Lima remembered the details of his visit and she considered him as the most spiritual powerful person that she ever came across. I also met a guy in Iquitos that had been a child when he greeted the pope on the airport. And he said that it had been the most memorable event in his whole life...

Butterfly love.....

Transparent butterfly.
I would never before expect that the animals that butterflies can fascinate me so much.... I was already fascinated with them in Asia, than suddenly in Brazil, at Iquazu Falls I came across magic butterfly spot. Finally in Iquitos I visited butterfly farm, where I came across one of the most beautiful life form I have seen. Transparent butterfly.


Fruits -one day market shopping!!!
In Peru I fully developed my addiction towards fruit juices. This was the country where I have seen the highest number of local people addicted towards fruits juices. On most of the Mercado there was a special section with selling different combinations of fruits mixed with water or milk. Sometimes they even prepare more surprising mixtures like the ones counting beer....

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Getting connected to the Amazon or getting lost in Amazon

Thanks to the night under the bridge while being in Himalayas I managed to establish unique connection with Himalayas and Zanskar river and I knew that the adventure like this might happen also in South America. But I did not expect that I would get lost in the biggest tropical jungle and literally in the waters of biggest world river....

My 24h menu in Iquitos after boat trip.

Grilled fish with grilled platano.
I am asked quite often, especially by my grandparents: "Grandson, but what do you usually eat on your way?" My menu differ a lot and usually I try to eat the staff that the local people eat. For sure my favourite dining place is Mercado (Market).

Friday, July 15, 2011

With the flow of queen of the rivers...

Hammocks on our slow boat.
One of the best Polish movies ever is an cult movie called "Rejs" ("The Cruise") and talks about a interactions between passengers during the river cruise along Vistula and was released in 1970. This move has a very specific atmosphere and is full of mostly difficult to translate polish humor. This movie is extremely rich with great quotations, just to give a feeling, here are two examples:

"...but what voting system can be used to select the method of voting?"
"'s time for actions, not words. Now let me speak."

Long, long time ago there is no such a river cruise on Vistula river. In most places around the world the river transport was substitute by much faster road one. But there is the queen of the rivers - Amazon, where one can still feel an unique atmosphere of slow traveling, lazy boat going down the stream while one interacts with other travelers on board for days...

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Bus entertainment and live teleshopping (infomercials).

I came across a special type of the entertainment on the local buses in Peru. A guy jumped on the bus and for five minutes is citing the bible and emphasised how important is the God, human life, love. Then he complained about the moder life and how people were getting disconnected from their roots. He emphasized that the modern life was too fast, that the food was very bad and that this was a reason that we all had problems with our ...... stomach.

North Peru - Kuelap, Sipan, Chan Chan

North Peru.
North part of the Peru is a bit less touristic than the South but it is very reach in different archaeological sides. After few days rest at the Pacific seaside I started to explore three very diverse archaeological sides and one incredible waterfall.

Majestic peaks of Cordillera Blanca.

Cordillera Blanca.
In those one of the most beautiful mountains around the world, I had only three hiking days before I had to go back to Lima for my dentist visit. So I decided to use this time as much as possible and to go for three different day hikes.

Peru dentist

My tooth.
For all this time I did not have a need to go to any kind of the doctor. But already in Paraguay in Argentina I started to feel inconvenient pain in my jaws. One of my tooth hurt.

One of the most interesting crossroad in the World!!!

Did you ever come a cross a street crossroad that fascinated you a lot? I did in Lima. This is one of the biggest crossroad in town with the traffic lights Lima of 9 December street and Paseo de la Republica. It is the most interesting crossroad that I have seen in my life.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Machu Picchu - "Lost City of the Incas"

Lamas in Machu Picchu.
After four days of Salkantay trek and one day rest in Aquas Caliente, we reached magical located Lost City of the Incas. It is situated above a loop of the Urubamba River, which surrounds the site on three sides, with cliffs dropping vertically.

Salkantay trek

Beautiful tree on the trek.
There is only one trekking path from Cusco to Aguas Caliente and Machu Picchu which can be done without the guide. It takes four days. The second day one have to go over the high pass at 4600m and afterwards descent through the jungle. This is an alternative road towards crowded Inca trail.

Isla Amantani

CSC_4666Together with Malgosia and Maciek, we made a home stay on this island. We stayed in a small room where we were provided with typical meals three times a day. The most delicious were different types of potatoes. Bolivia and South Peru are the mother lands of potato and they have huge variety of this vegetable here.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

One of the most beautiful sun rise Puno - Capachica over the Lake Titicaca.

Our next step was a city Puno from which we wanted to go one of the Islands on the lake Toba. Instead of islands hopping, which is very touristic, we decided to spent more time on the biggest island on this lake, Isla Amantani which is the biggest and the least touristic.

Whole inside the earth - Colca Canyon.

Colca Canyon
From Arequipa we wanted to see "the whole inside the earth" - Colca Canyon, which is promoted to be the deepest canyon in the world. And it is apparently twice deeper than Grand Canyon in USA.


Convento de Santa Catalina
Arequipa was the first city where I sight saw with my sister Malgosia and my cousin Maciek. We walked around the city and it took me a bit to convinced them to go for the dinner and for juces to the market. Maciek wanted to try chicha..... Fermented juice, I did not realize how dangerous this can be but we drunk it. It is delicious so we even bought two small bottles for the evening.

Meeting my sister and my cousin

Malgosia and Maciek.
Finally in Arequipa I managed to meet my sister, Malgosia and my cusin, Maciek. They both came to Peru for three weeks and we wanted to travel together through South Peru.

Bolivia and La Paz

It is the cheapest country to travel in south America. Only 5%country roads are sealed ones, so the bus road is usually very slow.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Heaven gates - Salar de Uyuni (Salt desert)

Dion at heaven gates.
What is your imagination of heaven gates, or stairways to heaven? Or did you ever dream about walking in the clouds? Can you imagine that the photos of the salt desert are only partially as beautiful as this place in reality?
Read first previous intro story to heaven gates here.

Entrance to heaven - lagunas

In Bolivia I did not have lot of time, so I decided to see one recommended by many people - Bolivian heaven - Salar de Uyuni (Salt Desert). The beauty of this place is incredible. So incredible, that it almost become my grave.... but about this at the end of the story....

Train cementary

Train cementary
There is a place, on the desert, few kilometers from Uyuni, where trains finishes they life. They stay at the end of the one way track, and are enjoying they own company, the sun and the sand around. Those trains have still they magic power and majesty's.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Hitchhiking across Argentina.

From Paraguay I wanted to get for few days to Bolivia and from there I had to hurry to meet my sister and my cousin is south Peru. I would love to explore some corners of Paraguay, but I will have to do it next time. For now I decided to get to South Bolivia through Argentina and I wanted to hitchhike there.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Terere and sopa Paraguay (Paraguayan soup)

Terere equipment hidden in the tree whole.
In Paraguay cold Mate (Terere) is extremely popular. In Asuncion many people are walking around with the cup, spoon and the thermos. Seriously, so many people, bread seller, taxi driver, bank Clark, even the policemen on duty has all his mate equipment at hand. I tried it and I like it. It is delicious.

Couchsurfing and studing Spanish

Diana and Manuel.
My most important aim for Paraguay was to devote some time and to study Spanish. Already being in Asia I bough a self-learning book with Cd's as well as I downloaded a few podcast for learning Spanish. When I was traveling in Asia I was listening to them from time to time, but I never had enough time to sit and study with the book. In Asuncion I managed to stay in Diana´s place doing couchsurfing. I was sightseeing a bit the city, but most of the day I studied Spanish with my book and it was very useful. After my stay in Asuncion I was able to keep an conversation with the locals :)

Funny building.

There is not too many buildings that might me lough. Actually I can recall two famous, funny buildings: dancing house in Prague and Crooked house in Sopot. One day when I was wandering around Asuncion I found the building that initially I could not understand what it was, and than I figured out that it might have been kind of architectural joke.

Charming Asuncion

Palace of president at the back, pigs at the front.
I seriously think that the Asuncion is a charming capital and very easy going. For the European standard, it is probably not the safest capital, but I guess it is one of the safest capital in south America. I could wander on my own there! Whiteout too much fear!!! Asuncion lacks touristic attractions but it has its hidden charm.