Among the thousands and thousands of Spanish roads, one of the most beautiful and wildest stretches is probably found in Tenerife.
The road is in the middle of the national park
Starting from the tourist area of the Costa Adeje, it took me about 1 hour to get close to the Teide volcano, the highest point in Spain and the highest point above sea level in the islands of the Atlantic.
Two main aspects have made the island road reach the top of the ranking.
First of all, the road in the middle of the national park, showing on both sides the landscape of volcanic lava flows, the endemic vegetation and the view of different geographical layers that are a sight to behold.
On the other hand, the imposing aspect of Teide itself, the Volcano that crowns the road with its 3,715 meters in height, generates even more impact and arouses reverence among visitors.
What Teide means? The legend of the Guanches
The word “Teide” derives from “Echeyde” which meant hell in the language of the Guanches, an ancient people living in the area.
According to a legend, Guayota, god of evil, kidnapped Magec, god of the sun and light, taking him inside the great mountain and, after the prayers of the Guanches to the supreme god Achaman, he was freed and the Volcano was covered with sugar loaf, trapping the devil inside.
It is the only road in the Canaries that has managed to enter the ranking and in the first place!
The shortest and most suggestive way to reach the top of Teide is through the cities of Arona and Villaflor. However, be careful, especially before the highest point, as there are many hairpin bends and the road narrows.
On the way to the highest point on the island of Tenerife, you will see the landscape change considerably. There are several points of interest and mirador.
Then, the landscape will become more and more lunar until you reach the entrance to the Teide National Park and it’s at that point that the show begins
Stairway to Heaven – the most magical place on Earth
CHAPTER 1 – OCTOBER 2017
We arrived in front of the main gate.
Closed! Bolts and padlocks. Peremptory prohibition messages: ‘Private property. Government property. Don’t cross. Violators will be punished according to the law.’
Disappointed, we couldn’t understand.
A gentleman in his seventies was watching us from afar. He parked slowly as if he wanted to slow down the time. He got out and approached with a stentorian step disguising his previous, apparent, clumsiness. He asked us what we were doing there.
The story of the Haiku Stairs began at that moment.
He didn’t know the real reason for the prohibitions. He only knew that it’s impossible to go through that gate. Nobody could go any further! Someone ignored the prohibitions and went on anyway. Someone else desisted. He couldn’t tell us if there was another way to overcome the ban. It was vague but, in our opinion, he knew it.
We walked back to the gate.
‘What do we do?’ The temptation was strong. After all, it’s only a trek. Why not to get past the gate? Someone does it. ‘
The temptation was strong, the temptation was very strong.
It was three o’clock in the afternoon and, all in all, we were still on time.
If it had taken two hours to reach the summit, we would have been at the top for sunset. The sky was clear and the light fantastic. No clouds in the Sky.
The sunset was surely beautiful up there.
Sometimes, a myth born by chance, without having looked for it.
That first time, we went back to the hotel in silence, dazed. What was previously a stage of the journey, a tourist attraction, had now suddenly become the meaning of the whole journey.
The Haiku Stairs was the archetype of existence. Perhaps, in the world, there were other places that meant the same thing, the archetype of existence, to other people.
CHAPTER 4 – MAY 2018
“When I go, I am respectful and full of peace, completely immersed in the experience, perhaps because you are in it for 3922 times. The activity confuses the senses and opens the spirit. We rise from civilization to magic. At the top you can savor hot food and you can calmly reflect, letting all this become part of the memories before civilization erases the traces of this lived magic and makes us plunge back into the harsh reality. People think they go there for the epic view but, along the way, they recognize themselves reflected into Nature. They share a majestic energetic imprint with the Earth and appreciate it through their soul. They discover that they have climbed a mountain to discover themselves in a new light and the new dawn becomes the best part of their day. They always say ‘I didn’t think it was so beautiful’, sometimes smiling, other times in tears. Every time I walk along it I lose myself in him “
We met Matt one morning in early May. At that moment we didn’t know anything about him, but his words about Haiku Stairs, recorded in a travel blog, reflected our most intimate feelings. His description was vivid and full of color and sounds.
Again, a shock seemed to paralyze our bodies. There was someone in the world who had managed to climb the stairs.
We wrote him and, a few days later, we were friends. Being able to share our emotions made everything more real. Haiku really existed and Matt knew it well. It would help us make our dream come true.
CHAPTER 5 – AUGUST 2018
We skirt the road, ready to flee into the woods if Matt would have told us to do. Then, as we begin to climb up, Matt tells us to go into the forest and go up from there.
The ground is wet and slippery, we help ourselves with the bamboo and with the roots of the damp and viscous plants. Above us, the cars whiz by on the H3.
A few moments later we go around the fence.
Nature has ingenious methods for finding our weak spots when it forces us to live in the center of our magical Universe.
Suddenly it is as if we were naked and with the heart of a child walking the path of our life. We are happy.
The climb begins on the first of the 3922 steps that we will not count.
Matt understood that we feel what he himself has tried for more than two hundred and eighty times, so many times he has climbed. And he knows that we can no longer live without the stairs, like him.
Shortly after, going up, we have emerged from the impalpable haze of the clouds and now we can see everything around us. It’s like getting rid of a burden and the show, even from here, is magnificent. Fatigue gives way to vigor.
At times the sky is leaden, at times is blue disappearing into the sea. You can hear the cackles of some birds and the Amakihi of Hawaii, and then nothing else except of us gasping with increasing fatigue when, again, the mountain rests.
When we are about to reach the top, we slow down. A few more meters and we will see the radio station which, in a few minutes, was shrouded in clouds, perhaps to move us away one last time, perhaps as a last, extreme attempt for protection.
We are close. We slow down again, in our hearts we would not want our climb to end so quickly. Without realizing it, the legs tremble, for the pain and for the fear of finding out what awaits us up there, the eyes turn and, closing, sigh. The neck’s muscles, tense, screech like ropes when the wind hits them. The chest also contracts just after inhaling, exhaling with the restlessness of repeated frictions the breathlessness loaded with fatigue. The light is now palpable and at times, however, rarefied.
Four hours are too few and at the same time interminable to finish everything.
We are on the verge of unreasonableness, so high up.
We are at the horizontal walkway that precedes the radio station, here the iron boards are well positioned and well preserved by the nature of the mountain that has made them his own, as a part of himself that it can no longer do without. Here, we feel the strong call of God, free from everything. We see neither Kaneohe nor the horizon. We perceive with our senses every truth that surrounds us. The gods of Hawaii are everywhere.
Mana, the vital energy.
The stairs no longer belong to man, but, now, they are the mountain’s son.
For a moment, the Haiku Stairs is there only for us. Now, I understand why 300 days ago, in October, we went back to the hotel and desperately threw the backpack on the carpet. I understand everything now, and my eyesight is sharper than ever. Now, memories can finally merge and find peace. I will never be able to go home, ever again.
Mana, the life energy is everywhere and makes the heart explode with joy.
The VW T2 Camper is an iconic symbol of carefree rolling freedom. It has been dragging artists, surfers, family and adventurers since 1950. When you attempt to drive it, it’s always intrepid, so you have to relax, slow down and take your time. Then, your holiday’s starting and you will feel a member of a community of explores. When you park your car, you will see some smiling people coming to talk to you, and you can be sure that they are keen to talk about their epic adventure, whether it’s the time they drive through Portugal and be engaged with their beloved one, they are part of the same community as you are and they still feel to be on the Woodstock elevator…
Everyone who travels on a VW T2 camper has a great story to tell
Everyone who travels on a VW T2 camper has a great story to tell: do you want to listen the mine? We rented “Brasilia” by @siestacampers in Faro. Her name comes from “Brazil” where she has been manufactured at the factory in Sao Paulo. From 1953 to 2013, she was one of the last Volkswagen Kombis of this classic car produced by Volkswagen for a long time. Compared with earlier models, it has some major improvements, including a biofuel engine that reduces CO2 emissions. She comes with everything included for you to have an amazing retro campervan holiday around the Algarve coast.
As said, driving it has been a little bit hard at the beginning and you feel like you have to relearn to drive like you are going to get again your driving licence but after almost 30‑40 Km things get better and you feel safer. Maybe that’s it what lights up the moments spent with Brasilia with an irresistible charm. Even if slowly, you will grind out many kilometers while the landscape out there flows frame by frame from the windows like in a movie.
At sunset the magic comes
We have been at the border between Praia da Zimbreirinha and Praia da Bordeira in 2017 for the sunset: “how great would it be to spend the night here in a camper?” we said to ourselves that time. And the idea to come back to that wild oceanic coast came to life. “We will be back again sooner or later!” we concluded. This year it was time to make our promise come true, so the first evening we headed to Praia da Zimbreirinha and parked Brasilia on the cliff. Out of the ordinary we found our personal gateway on that cliff for one of the most romantic sunset.
This has been one of the best moment we had during our recent road trip in the Algarve Coast. We had had dinner recently when the magic atmosphere appeared while the warm evening lights slowly gave the way to a sky full of stars.
Are you a dreamer?
Imagine to be, suddenly, immersed under that sky full of stars and feel the connection with the atmosphere and the universe at large down there. Look, then, to the sky to be inspired or to march towards your goals and dreams.
What would you do if you had only 3 days to spend in Maui?
ALOHA Mother Maui!
When I landed, it was the first time there and Mother Maui filled each part of my body and my soul, my heart and spirit, my lungs and fingers with her essence. The Beaches, the Winds, the Lush Trees and…something else that I couldn’t quite explain.
I think I read somewhere that the landing at Maui is a bumpy ride. But I guess I have been lucky, in my landing there I have not got a bumpy one. And from the initial descent to the final approach, you might have the opportunity to see 6 islands and a partially submerged volcanic cinder cone: Oahu, Moloka’i, Lana’i, Kaho’olawe, The Big Island of Hawai’i, Maui, and the Molokini Crater!
Which are the best life experiences you could live there?
There’s something special when you land in one of the Hawaian islands and each of them has its own particularity: Maui is the island of the Haleakala Volcano where it is told to pass the vortex of the Heart Chakra, that is our center of love, connectedness, and forgiveness. When out of balance we feel closed to love and hold grudges, when in balance we see the good in everyone.
Matt, our Hawaian friend and our Guru, reached us at the airport and lead us first to the “Down to Earth” market where we had lunch and bought an unforgettable sticker “The answer is Love” for the rear window of our car and then to the “Big Beach”. We had an amazing swim there and played with waves and snorkeled. As I laid there I felt a deep sense of relief, something like how you feel when you finally sit after having a marathon day and your body thanks you. My body and heart took in a tremendous amount of love and Healing.
Think about this: wake up early in the morning for the flight from Honolulu, a day completely full and…the best part of the day have not came yet. I was so excited!
The Haleakala summit was waiting!
First, there is no food, gas, or water sold in the park, so be sure to take anything you may need with you.
Second, if you would camp on the park, get the permit for the night some days in advance.
At the summit it’s easy to forget where you came from as you look out onto what feels like another world. At dawn, I was suspended in a soft sea of coulds in one of the most magical moment of my life, full of freedom and peace. Also if it sounds strange or foolish running out in the middle of the road and scream, for me it has been so liberating and rewarding.
My idea of the perfect experience included spending the night camping on the summit watching the stars twinkle, full immersed into the nature and, then, the day next, waiting for the sunrise over the Crater.
The night is full of stars and gives the most magnificent milky Way
I was not ready for the below-freezing temperatures but fortunately Matt had some sweaters for us.
The night gave us the most magnificent Milky Way I’ve ever seen. The magic was everywhere and the sunrise came soon at 5am.
I went up to highest point of Haleakala at 9740 ft (almost 3000 meters) over sea level. The view was 360 degree all around and most of all on the crater, as the sun rised and the rich colors of the mountain landscape took shape below me. All this beauty is the result of the spectacle that only millions of years of earth’s movement can provide. It is hard to describe in words.
After we had breakfast on the top we took the way down to the civilisation. On the the road back the feeling of deep freedom was everywhere and the energetic power of the volcano was blowing on the air. Another stunning moment.
The road to Hana – explore, dream, discover
Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from safe harbor, catch the trade winds in you sails and explore, dream, discover the world. This is what you will feel along the Road to Hana.
When driving the Hana Highway, the most attractive thing is the journey, not the destination. There are only few words to describe the beauty of this drive, because of its cliffs covered by green and lush valleys and because of its waterfalls. The curves embrace the coast and gaze at the ocean. Couple that with black, red, and white sand beaches, a multitude of trails, and beautiful gardens and you’ve discovered the highway to heaven itself.
You may find out that there are legendary stories associated with each spot where Gods have left their mark and historic battles have been fought.
One amazing spot is the “Black Beach”, also if the proper Hawaiian spelling is Wai’anapanapa which literally means “glistening water”. It’s nestled in a private cove where the pitch black granules glisten, dark and mysterious. It is not just a black beach, but also an important historical area for Hawaiians. Their heartbroken Queen once took refuge in a sea cave here, and the legend was born. Some would say that this is a sacred place.
“Would you like to have some adventure?” asked Matt
“Obviously!” we answered
You’ll enjoy the ride much more this way! So we suddenly turned left in a small unpaved road into the jungle and went so crazy and fast. Yes we had our adventure there and enjoyed so much the time we spent into the jungle. The Nature is so majestic in this place.
The little cove inside a cinder cone of the “secret red beach” is great for swimming and cliff-jumping but has no official trail to reach it. Reaching the steep, slippery slope to the beach requires wandering through a field at the end of a road before finding a homemade sign pointing the way.
We arrived at sunset and the show of mother Nature was undescribable, pink and red colors everywhere and the crispy water on my feet.
“Maybe it happens, maybe the magic happens!”
Here it happened! It wasn’t supposed to spend the night at this beach but the beach captured us. Sleeping under the stars again, after the previous night under the Haleakala sky, and waking up and share the breakfast is one of the most inspiring life experiences, in the same world full of colors and emotions of the previous evening.
You will feel the energetic footprint of the Earth.
Maui is Love and Sharing:
it’s a beautiful life out here and connected with nature we find its meaning and when we look at what’s around us we realize that this is so good and special.
When we get connected each other, as humans, we can appreciate the connection so deeply and understand that’s so special and the ecosystem of the universe around usi s so important.
When we drive into our consciousness and understand what truly means to Live, to Love and to Share, we can go deep and dive into what means to be togheter. Consider how our time together might affect the rest of life.
Forget lush forests rife with birds songs…if you are a climber, a rock hound or a star gazer, Spitzkoppe is your Eden.
The Spitzkoppe is often referred to as “the Matterhorn of Namibia” which means “pointed dome“. It is a group of bald granite peaks or inselbergs located between Usakos and Swakopmund in the Namib desert. The granite is more than 120 million years old and the highest outcrop rises about 1,728 metres (5,669 ft) above sea level. The peaks stand out dramatically from the flat surrounding plains.
The nearest town is Usakos. From the B2, take D1918 to D3716. This is approximately 50 km from the town.
The Spitzkoppe area is managed by a women’s cooperative
The Spitzkoppe area is managed by a women’s cooperative who maintain campsites throughout the brilliantly colored rocks. At the entrance a fee is paid and camping can be arranged.
And here the best part of the trip comes: ever imagined to camp under the desert’s sky full of stars? The space is so ample that you will feel alone with your own private camping spot all the time.
I arrived in the camping area at evening after a long journey from the Etosha National Park, I found a sandy camping spot near an Acacia tree filled with delicate nests of the Masked weaver bird.
Rocks are the color of rust and ochre.
I put up the tent and enjoyed the gorgeous view watching the sunset drinking a glass of dry South African white wine.
The Spitzkoppe area is a camper’s dream
Campsites are located in a variety of interesting rock formations leading to trails. You can get to most campsites by a regular car, but a 4-wheel drive is better. Note: there is no water on the campsites and only some have toilets. But the scenery is absolutely spectacular!
“That’s life!” I thought. To enjoy life and its simple moments like building a tent in the desert.
Have you ever spent one or more days fully in touch with Nature listening to its sounds sitting by a beautiful fire under the night sky?
You should try this experience.
When I was there, I was afraid of wild animals and snakes but, fortunately, I met only a jackal looking for food: It was scared more than me and it ran away quickly when it saw me making some noise.
What “awesome” truly means
If the sunset was spectacular, only when the night felt I was reminded what the overused word “awesome” truly means.
The stars stretched from horizon to horizon, gleaming in the dry air, unfettered by light or air pollution.
I always thought the desert night was cold. Not in the Spitzkoppe desert. Only at around 4 in the morning the temperature inside the tent dropped suddenly down and I fell asleep without thinking of being into a sauna.
I woke up at sunrise and had breakfast on the rocks: well worth walking around and doing a bit of climbing to enjoy the best early morning sunlight of the desert when, minute by minute, the sky grows lighter and the air from fresh became warmer and warmer. Like the stars of the past night, It has been special too.
Ever thought about escaping for 48 hours this loud and crowded world and being surrounded by untouched nature and silence?
Yes? I did, and it has been amazing.
I loved every single moment of that singular life experience.
In perfect harmony with its surroundings, there is a private island retreat, not far from Stockholm, that allows you to experience life at your own pace, minute to minute, hour to hour, day to day.
Isolated cabins in the north of Europe
Ever listen about isolated cabins, in the north of Europe, immersed in fantastic natural landscapes?
KABIN Sweden is one of them: a small cabin on a small private isolated island in the middle of nowhere.
If you’re interested in this kind of experience, this is the right place for you.
Go on reading…
The island is in the middle of Lake Fjärden, renowned for its natural scenery and unspoiled landscapes.
You will have 48 hours of freedom to roam nature
You will have 48 hours of freedom to roam nature. This is the principle!
Skinny-dipping in a lake, picking wild berries, lying on a springy bed of moss, or taking your canoe out for a spin.
Let’s start from the beginning!
We arrived by car in a private parking lot. Then we met Jeroen, the owner of the cottage. He brought us by boat to the island and illustrated us the practical informations we needed.
“Here there is the food and some recipes…here there is the wood for the fire!”
Then he went away and left us alone.
My 48 hours “detox” time started. This is a dream!
You can live the place alone, with your partner, your family or with your friends. I assure you it will be extraordinary.
Your stay will be completed with organic vegetarian meals based on the permaculture design principles.
I miss so much warming the bread in the chimney, the morning, for breakfast.
Food has another flavor when you cook it with time and passion! Discovering new flavors, mixing vegetables or vegan meals, finding your best recipe is so pleasant.
During summer there is plenty of time because the sunset is late in the evening and, also at midnight, there is a slice of sunlight at the horizon.
There are times when a man doesn’t know anymore what to do or how to rediscover himself in an enormously fast-changing world.
Stop. Freeze the time and listen to nothing than nature sounds!
It’s good to have time to contemplate things thinking about life when, in the silence, you’re fully connected with the world around you!
Have you ever spent an evening sitting around the fire, among its sparks, in the dim calm of the sunset? It’s an ancestral charm that reminds us of a distant past when we lived in the open air and gathered around the fire to tell stories or live a moment of relaxation.
When you come back, when the curtain closes and you return into civilization you will miss so much that place. You would like to live again and again and again that fantastic experience where everything is perfect and where, into the forest, you lost your mind and found your soul.