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
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.
It’s a mental journey, it should be on your bucket list
It’s 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 the first stop on the ridge, I rested with that extreme view over the mirror lake. Amazing.
The trail starts quickly to be narrow and scary and the fatigue rises. It’s only at the end, when it’s over, that you will feel the best sensations of freedom and immensity. This is something that will stay with you forever.
The HARDERGRAT trail is mostly on a sharply ridge
It’s 25km long, about 18km are spent on a sharply outlined grassy ridge, with prominent drops on both sides. It’s not for those afraid of exposure, and should never be attempted when wet.
The route is not an official trail, but the path stays on the ridge the entire length. However, the steepest section is unprotected and is a downclimb if you are going west to east.
Don’t underestimate this route! An early start is required from Interlaken to make the Brienzer Rothorn’s last train down to Brienz.
The trail is very long and people can take up to 10 or more hours to finish.
Take enough water with you. There isn’t any on the ridge from the Harderkulm station to the Brienzer Rothorn and during summer time it could be scorching when you are hiking the steepest part of the trail.
At first I attempted the Hardergrat Trail as a traning for the MoanaLua trail on Oahu
Do you want to know the story that stays behind my personal experience on the Hardergrat trail? Let’s go on reading…
In 2017 I was in Hawaii for the Honeymoon. In those mountains, I found one of the most dangerous hikes in the world. I was not ready to attempt it but it became an obsession! I promised myself that I would have hiked the Moanalua when I would have been prepared for it. So I came back and started studying for any hike that looked similar to the Moanalua and found the Hardergrat trail. I couldn’t wait to attempt it. I was so excited. I planned my three days trip to Interlaken almost one year later. It was July 2018 when I hiked the Hardergrat the first time. I started at 4:30 am to hike the first section from Interlaken to the Harder Kulm. I started the real trail at 7:30 from the Harder Kulm station to the Augstmatthorn and ended it at 8 pm when I throw the backpack on my room’s moquette so enthusiast for my effort and leave me to rest on the sofa, notably tired but very happy. It has been a weird experience. I did it again in 2019. It so magical up there when the wind blows, hitting your face and moving your hair in that immense place full of freedom.
The Photographer Luca Oliveri shared with his followers a clip about this abandoned hotel in Switzerland «This hotel was built in 1882 and is now abandoned. Its charm scares me and seduces me at the same time. Would you spend a night here alone?
The hotel in question is the Belvédère Hotel and is located in the Furka Pass. Here has been shot the famous scene of 007 – Goldfinger, with James Bond (Sean Connery) on a secret mission in these enchanted places …
Since the end of the 19th century, when the Furka Pass road was built, tourists have flocked to the hotel for its panoramic views over the icy landscape. The glacier was once only a 600-foot walk from the hotel and a 300-foot long grotto carved into the glacier allowed guests to journey inside.
As the glacier moves farther away from the pass, fewer people visit and the hotel closed indefinitely. Drivers still stop to take pictures of the building and its mountainous backdrop. The building now sits with its doors and windows boarded up, a testament to the passage of time and climate change.
Laos is an enigmatic and vivid experience for the adventurous. It is one of the most ethnically diverse countries in the region, reflecting its geographic location as a crossroads of Asia.
Dark and dreamy jungle, bright rice fields and tea leaves that cover the mountains: the landscape romantically changes shades of green.
When it comes to ecotourism, Laos is leading the way. Protected areas are in many of the more remote zones of the country, and community-based trekking initiatives combine these thrilling natural attractions with the chance to encounter the ‘real Laos’ with a village homestay, helping in this way to contribute to the local community and preserve the environment.
Do you know what ”mahout” means? 👨🏽🌾🐘 They are who works with elephants. It’s a truly symbiotic life because it’s a work that usually is passed down from father to son and because this boy is accompanied to his elephant since both are adolescents, to grow up together.
During my stay in Laos I visited a farm where I met 13 elephants, all rescued from an exhausting life in logging or other kind of illegal works. The visit contributes to the socialization and reproduction programmes focusing on elephants welfare and interaction. I learned the story, the behavior and relationships with other elephants of Makun🐘 a 45 yo male elephant I played and took pictures with during a nice walk into the laotian jungle.
I thought that this was a good way to support the project and make responsible tourism.
For wild elephants, instead, the main problem is logging because elephants are nomads and they need forest to eat and stay together. Logging transform a big forest into some small distant forest where elephants are confined with lack of food and where they can’t mate if not only into their own family with resulting genetic problems. Please let’s travel all over the world but trying to make a ethical and conscious tourism 🙏🏻❤️
”Oi kau ka lau, E hana I ola Honua” Live your life while the sun is still shining: the wind behind, the ocean beyond, sometimes the rainbows above and mountains and cliffs and Nature next to you. Thank you for making me feel tiny, humble and inspired all at once.
The Kalalau Trail is a truly life experience along Nā Pali Coast of the hawaian island of Kauai. The trail runs approximately 11 miles (18 km) along the island’s north shore from Keʻe Beach to the Kalalau Valley and then to the Kalalau Beach. It’s one of the most beautiful, and dangerous, hikes in the world.
The first section of the trail is a two-mile (3 km) stretch from Keʻe Beach to Hanakapiai stream and beach. Here is where everything begins and from where you need to obtain a camping permit from the Hawai’i Department of Land and Natural Resources. The next section connects Hanakapiai stream to Hanakoa Valley, untile mile six (9 km) and then continues on to Kalalau Valley, a large, flat-bottomed valley almost a mile across. After hiking down Red Hill, it is about a half mile to Kalalau Beach. That last part is amazing, it’s like the most perfect part of the Earth. Plants, flowers, sounds, sea, wind, everything…that last part to the beach it’s the “Garden of Eden”
The narrow trail, three major stream crossings that can rapidly rise when raining, and falling rocks…this is why it’s so dangerous.
But curiosity spurs us to venture further and further and go deep into the wild. And it’s not only a trail, it’s a journey and you need so much time, also after you came back, to understand what you had lived.
When you go after the last part and you “dive” into the Kalalau Beach, you find a surreal world. Many travelers believe that a place can leave an everlasting mark on your heart and soul. Like this beach does! Here is where the spectrum of emotions you’ll go through, when experiencing one more amazing sunset, makes you understand that once you’ve had it, you’ll always want it. Wait for it! You will discover, I hope, the most beautiful thing that my eyes have ever seen on Earth. The most peaceful, energetic, exciting place.
The perfection of the Planet explodes while I am amazed to admire this immense, surreal beauty.
I felt lost in a land where there is neither space nor time as we know it, but that wraps the continuous evolving of things with a magic bubble.
It’s like living in the time machine, you go back to the past and relive it with the awareness of the present, you return to the present in a temporal connection with the past to live it with enthusiasm and love. You have no mental or human boundaries over there. You feel inside this magic bubble or inside another unreal planet. Laws, physics, human beings are different when you find the fairness of the Eden.
Overwhelmed by the perfection of this beach, embedded in an ancient casket, bordered by sacred peaks. The glow of the sun’s rays, shortly after dawn, gradually affects the color on the sharpest ridges, setting them on fire with green, brown, orange, yellow and perfumes that, like gold, inebriate the senses. And the chirping of birds everywhere. And the ocean waves at least three meters high. The waterfall, the palm trees, the campfire. The human smile of unknown friends.
And then just the chills down my spine for something I can’t forget.
It was our last day during our six days Scotland trip last November and we decided to spend the night at this fantastic place tucked away on the glorious banks of Loch Awe. You can rich it after a 30 minutes private road wholly immersed into the forest that in November is full of colors. We arrived quite early in the afternoon, so we had plenty of time to enjoy the room and to catch an amazing drone video just from the window of our suite. A gentle breeze in the air and, in the garden, red and yellow leaves fall slowly from the trees, in that perfect autumn day, you can believe in fantasy and fairy tales. We had an excellent aperitif at the hotel’s bar and then we had been accompanied to the restaurant where we had a delicious 3-course dinner. But the most enjoyable thing is the atmosphere we felt during the evening and then the night. It’s like to be in a castle with ghosts everywhere. We didn’t see any but … do you believe in apparitions? You believe or not, this is the right place for you. Everything is so magic! We are thrilled to have experienced an Ardanaiseig adventure. In the surrounding just on the opposite side of the lake, the Kilchurn castle is a place with a long and vibrant history, a few obscure and eerie stories and an astounding landscape that surrounds it. It’s a place where you feel the breath behind your ears walking alone along the path that leads you to the castle.