La più famosa montagna colorata del mondo è ora deserta. Non più folle di turisti o venditori ambulanti ma il solo epico, spettacolare paesaggio andino e questa vetta che assomiglia ad un arcobaleno
La Rainbow Mountain tra Quispicanchi e Canchis
Contrasti tra le popolazioni locali sul diritto di accesso ai sentieri che conducono alla famosa Rainbow Mountain in Perù, tra la provincia di Quispicanchi e Canchis, hanno reso la montagna stranamente deserta.
Il monte Vinicunca
Il monte Vinicunca, o più comunemente Rainbow Mountain, è la più famosa montagna colorata del mondo tanto da essere stata, negli ultimi anni, letteralmente presa d’assalto dai turisti.
Situata tra le Ande peruviane, alla vertiginosa altezza di più di 5000 metri sul livello del mare, è tra le attrazioni più famose del Perù, seconda solo a Machu Picchu.
Come un arcobaleno di colori
L’aspetto simile ad un arcobaleno è dovuto al sedimento di vari minerali che sotto i raggi del sole colorano il terreno in strisce d’oro, di lavanda, turchesi e di varie altre sfumature.
La recente scoperta della Rainbow Mountain
Benché la sua esistenza fosse da sempre conosciuta ai locali che la considerano sacra, è solo recentemente che è stata scoperta e resa nota al mondo poiché, a causa dello scioglimento della neve sulla sua cima, si è rivelata in tutti i suoi colori ed inserita, così, dal National Geographic tra “i 100 luoghi da visitare almeno una volta nella vita”.
Così, i turisti che ogni giorno visitavano la Rainbow Mountain divennero quasi un migliaio.
E se lo scenario era epico per la bellezza e particolarità del luogo, allo stesso modo la quantità di turisti, di venditori locali che con Alpaca ammaestrati, bancarelle piene zeppe di ponchi e ogni tipo di souvenir, l’avevano trasformata in un colorato bazar a cielo aperto.
Le faide tra le comunità locali hanno chiuso l’accesso al monte arcobaleno
In qualche modo la natura però fa il suo corso e da qualche settimana, a causa di una faida sul diritto di accesso alla cima tra le due comunità locali che abitano la zona, il sentiero che conduce alla vetta è stato chiuso dal governatore locale, almeno finché le due comunità non risolveranno i dissidi. E la Rainbow Mountain è tornata ad essere un solitario, bellissimo, spettacolo naturale senza più folle di turisti o venditori ambulanti.
È oggi possibile visitarla solo arrivando da un faticoso ed estremo trekking di più giorni che impegna lo spirito e mette a dura prova il corpo per le condizioni estreme a cui si è sottoposti ma il premio che si vince alla fine del percorso di circa 40km, dopo aver sfidato le rigide temperature notturne in tenda, è il poter godere di tanto spettacolo da soli. E la pace e il senso di contemplazione che si vive lassù fanno capire il perché i locali da secoli considerino quella cima, la montagna Vinicunca, sacra.
In autumn the days become shorter, the air is fresher, the food is richer, and the colors are more dazzling.
Is October an ideal time to enjoy Norway’s colorful fall scenery?
Is October an ideal time to enjoy Norway’s colorful fall scenery?
I’ve spent 1 week traveling along the West Coast and Fjords at the end of October, and I’m going to tell you the pros and cons of traveling there in this period of the year.
A land with impressive fjords
Norway is a magnificent land with impressive fjords, and its coastline blends with the sea like an unfinished jigsaw puzzle. Perhaps the best way to see all this beauty is to drive your car or your camper van.
Bergen and the weather in Norway
I arrived at Bergen airport, the gateway to the West Coast and the fjords’ area.
Bergen is famous for its pier, the “Bergen Bryggen”, declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Unfortunately, I was unlucky and on the Sunday of my arrival the weather was not at all mild. Rain and wind did not allow me to take advantage of that afternoon that I had reserved for visiting the city.
October rolls around with crisp, cool air, and shorter daylight hours.
In the West Coast and fjords area, it often rains! And this is a fact, perhaps, here, it rains more than in any other part of Norway.
This is because of the mountains that hold back the rain that pours into this abundant and frequent area. During my stay in Norway, it rained every day!
Fortunately, there was no lack of sun that, with ray of lights, illuminated the splendid nature, set the plants on fire with red, yellow and orange colors.
Well, you need to be ready to face both the colorful autumn and the cold winter, from the sun to the snow, on the same day.
Crowds and Driving
Travelers looking for good deals and fewer crowds should consider October: this is likely the quietest and cheapest month to visit Norway.
Driving in Norway is simple. The roads are usually one lane and the speed limit is 80 km / h. In fact, driving faster wouldn’t be very easy anyway because the roads wind in twists and turn up and down across mountains and fjords. The landscape, which at times resembles Scotland and at times Iceland, makes the journey from one point to another very pleasant. In October, you often travel long stretches of road without crossing anyone for kilometers. Even in the most famous areas or viewpoints you are always alone.
What to Do
It’s always very difficult to answer such a question, because each of us has his own particular needs when traveling. In general, October is a month when the days are still not too cold, where it’s still possible to go hiking (even if some routes are already closed), where you can still enjoy the beautiful landscape in the coastal area.
From Bergen to the Atlantic Ocean Road
My itinerary, which started from Bergen, included several stops heading north, crossing the Sognefjord, the Geirangerfjord and covering the entire length of the Nordfjord, to get to the splendid Atlantic Ocean Road, the famous road set of the James Bond movie ” No time to die “. I suggest you to spend your night in one of the several cabins you can find fully immersed into the nature. I chose the Jolstraholmen and its “river suite” and the Juvet Landscape Hotel where I spent 2 nights each. These places are perfect for exploring the surrounding and the quality of your stay is unbelievable.
Think of finding yourself in first row in the warmth of your cabin admiring the landscape in front of you from an immense glass: alone or with the person you love, when slowly the light of the day gives way to the colors of the evening and then to the glow of the moon and the stars in the night. And when you go to sleep it will be the background of the water of the stream a few meters from you to induce sleep, gently.
There you are able to reach waterfalls (don’t miss Huldefossen!), and other natural landscapes like the Gaularfjellet point of view. For those willing to leave tried and tested tourist routes, Gaularfjellet is one of Norway’s most kept secrets. The road winds through Gaular up to Utsikten for incredible panoramic views of the entire area.
The Geiranger Fjord
Between Jolstraholmen Camping and Juvet Landscape Hotel I suggest you go hiking in the Geirangerfjord area and maybe to spend your night in one of the cottages or hotels of that area. There is a nice small village you can reach by rib boat or by hiking: Skagefla and Homlongsetra. It depends if you travel in the first part of October when the rib boat services are still available or in the second part, as I did, when it’s difficult to reach the beginning of the hike with the boat and you should hike all the way from Geiranger. The hike is easy/moderate and will take approximately 1 hour and a half to 2 hours to reach the highest viewpoint of Hamlongsetra (7 km out and back) from where in 30 minutes more you can go down to Skagefla. So you should plan about 5-6 hours to hike all the way from Geiranger and 8-9 kilometers with 600 meters of gain. You will be rewarded with outstanding views of the fjord and of the “Seven sisters waterfalls”.
The day after visiting the magnificent Geirangerfjord I headed east towards the coast and the white beach of Refviksanden. Thanks to the sun that appeared just at that moment, on the beach, the water of the sea was turquoise, but to fully enjoy the fantastic landscape the best way is to hike a trail that climbs steeply up the mountain for about 30 minutes and admire the beach from there. Unfortunately, that trail does not have a name, but you can easily find it on the right by driving along the Kvalheimsvegen just near the first rest area on the left. The advice is, obviously, to go up for the sunset.
Is October an ideal time to enjoy Norway’s fjords AND WEST COAST AREA?
Yes, I think October is an ideal time of year to enjoy Norway’s colorful fall scenery in peace and quiet, as travelers are few and far between. Life is less expensive because October is considered low season, is simple to find accommodations, you can enjoy the autumn landscapes as well winter ones. Temperatures are still good and the overall moody even if, at times a bit melancholy, it represents well the majesty and drama of the landscape.
There is no cure for wanderlust. However, no matter how many places you explore, there are always some experiences waiting for you.
Will the way of traveling change in the post-covid period?
The restrictions caused by the pandemic have created new expectations in people for summer 2021. Therefore, we will look for something out of the ordinary to face personal challenges and, also, to avoid crowds and to live life experiences. So which will be the bucket list for this summer?
Here’s my top 5 Summer 2021 travel bucket list
You don’t have to travel across the globe to experience a magical adventure. So now is the time to let loose and make sure you work on the little things that keep yourself happy.
1. Go on a road trip
From the safety and comfort of your own ride, you can see so many incredible places and experience your road trip at your own pace.
Whether you decide to take a trip across the United States by car, stopping in a motel stage by stage, or you prefer to drive a campervan and stop for the night only where your instincts tell you, a road trip will undoubtedly take you through incredible adventures.
I drove my vintage Volkswagen campervan out of the ordinary and found my personal gateway on the Algarve coast for one of the most romantic sunsets. And, at the end of your journey and discovery, it changes you!
2. Go camping
Planning a camping trip begins with the desire to get outdoors. Pick a date, find the right place, prepare your gear and head out.
We’re more connected through the power of social networks than ever, also in this post pandemic period. No matter where you are, you can make a difference. Have you ever spent one or more days entirely in touch with Nature listening to its sounds? You should try this experience camping into the wilderness, enjoying life and its simple moments like building a tent spending the night under a sky full of stars.
3. Go hiking
Which has been your fearless challenge?
Hardergrat trail is not just a trail, it’s a thrilling journey where you will have mental ups and downs, especially when you see all that stretches out ahead of you. It looks impossible, but it’s not, it’s just very, very long. There, at first stop on the ridge, I rested with that amazing view over the mirror lake. Is there a better way to experience life in the post covid period?
Hiking is freedom, effort, conquest. Summer is undoubtedly the best time to enjoy the spectacle of nature by climbing mountain ridges, in the green, in the silence.
4. Sleep on the summit of a volcano
Do volcanic islands have an energetic imprint? At the summit of Haleakalā 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 clouds in one of the most magical moments of my life, full of freedom and peace.
Sleeping on top of a volcano is not easy because it is freezing at night. I remember I was wearing 3 sweaters. But I also remember that the sky was flooded with glittering stars and the Milky Way gave meaning to the word “magic”.
5. Freeze your time and go to experience a 48hours ”detox” on a private island
A small cabin on a small island in the middle of nowhere. Here is good to be alone and contemplate things and have time to think about life, choices and what you’re here for. It’s where the time is longer and life is deeper.
Think about being in the middle of nowhere with someone so precious for you. All this is so special and unforgettable! I experienced one of the best things of my life just here, in Sweden, and I miss these moments so much now. Freedom, Beauty, the Craziness of being alone in the wilderness…This is why I love life!