4. May 2018

USA: Miami

Miami and Miami Beach The Miami metropolitan area is located in the state of Florida and has a total of 5.5 million inhabitants. However, only 500,000 people live in the city, as Miami Beach, for example, is counted as a separate town with 89,000 inhabitants. We stayed between Miami and Fort Lauderdale in Pembroke Pines (160,000 inhabitants). In the end, all cities have a similar flair. One reason is the American habit of building streets in a checkerboard pattern. This makes getting along in the cities easy, but the number of traffic lights is utopian. This and the inferior public transport are just a few reasons, why traffic jams occur even […]
20. April 2018

Sint Maarten – Saint Martin

Sint Maarten or Saint Martin The last stop of our Caribbean cruise was Sint Maarten/ Saint Martin. The pronunciation changes, depending on which half of the island you are. After all, one side belongs to the French, while the other is Dutch. On the Dutch side, the sockets are American, on the French, they are European. In addition, the currents differ and you can pay with dollars or euros. Me feeding iguanas In the port The prices on the island There is an anecdote about the partition of the island: After the islands possession had changed for years between the French and Dutch (sometimes the English), people decided to divide the […]
19. April 2018

St. Kitts and Nevis

St. Kitts and Nevis St. Kitts and Nevis is an island nation with 56,000 inhabitants, has an area of 269 km² (104 mi²) and is one of the 12 smallest states in the world. St. Kitts (also known as Saint Christopher) is the more populous island, separated by a three-kilometer-long canal from Nevis (11,500 inhabitants across 93 km²/ 36 mi²). During the last ice age, the sea level was about 60 m lower and Nevis, St. Kitts, St. Eustatius and Saba formed a contiguous, large island. The distance from St. Kitts to the north-west island of Saba is about 60 kilometers (37 mi). Sint Eustatius can be reached after about 25 […]
18. April 2018

Saint Lucia

Saint Lucia Die Marigot-Bay St. Lucia is the world´s only country named after a woman (Lucia of Syracuse). The Caribbean island has an area of 616 km² (238 mi²) and is home to about 170,000 inhabitants. Ninety percent have African roots and mostly came to the island through slavery. It was only in 1979 that the island became independent and a member of the Commonwealth of Nations. The island’s export hits include bananas, flour and rice. The yellow fruits, however, have declined sharply as export goods and have been replaced by tourism as a source of income. Around 70% of the gross domestic product are from tourism. This branch is a […]
17. April 2018

Barbados

Barbados, my favorite At the highest point of the island The beach Barbados is a 430 km² (160 mi²) island with 280,000 inhabitants. Most of them have African roots and came to Barbados because of slavery. The island is made of limestone, so there are hardly any lakes, as the water seeps away. The country was ruled by the English until 1966, since then, the 30th of November is celebrated as Independence Day and National Day. The most famous persons of the country are the two RnB musicians “Grandmaster Flash” and “Rihanna”. In Saint Michael, where Robyn “Rihanna” Fenty grew up, a street was recently named after her – the Rihanna […]
16. April 2018

US Virgin Islands: Saint Thomas

Saint Thomas via cruise During our time in Ponce, we examined a cheap way to visit more islands of the magnificent Caribbean. After we checked flights, connections by sea and hotels, we booked a cruise as the cheapest and easiest solution. This way, we could visit five different islands within one week, had all meals included and a small, air-conditioned room every night. In general, the whole thing was extremely classy compared to the months in Ecuador and Puerto Rico.  So to speak: I initially had to get used to the warm shower. Our first port was on Saint Thomas, part of the US Virgin Islands. Leaving the ship A magnificent […]
31. March 2018

Puerto Rico

Puerto Rico – after the hurricane Before hurricane Maria hit the island on September 20th 2017 and destroyed it more or less completely, about 3.5 million people lived in the uncorporated territory of the USA. In the weeks after the storm, approximately 500-700,000 inhabitants emigrated (mostly to the United States of America). Furthermore, about 1000 people lost their lives through direct or indirect consequences of the natural disaster. The resulting property damage is estimated at about $95 billion and FEMA (the US Civil Protection) expects a period of one to two years to rebuild the island. Crashboat-Beach We’ve often seen helicopters carrying building materials Incidentally, Puerto Rico means “rich port”. But, […]
12. February 2018

Ecuador: Papallacta

The perfect ending to our trip There is only one thing to say about Papallacta: It was the perfect ending to a perfect stay in Ecuador. We rented a room at the Hosteria Pampalacta. Compared to the price level in the country, the hotel is with about 80 USD per night quite expensive, but worth every penny. In particular, the 800 inhabitants village offers a rare feature: hot volcanic springs. The landscape The outdoor area of ​​the hotel, that lays in a height of approx 3600 meters, offers three pools filled with the hot volcanic water. In the first few seconds in the water, the heat literally burns your skin, but once […]
12. February 2018

Ecuador: Tena – Amazon

Tena – the gate to the Amazon The observation tower in Tena Tena is a city with 20,000 inhabitants and located on the border to the Amazon. Most tourists come to the area to participate in guided expeditions to the rain forest. They offer tours between one and fourteen days and can also adjust to your individual needs. Otherwise, the most popular tourist activity is kayaking and you can see a lot of cars driving through the streets, packed with canoes. A snapshot of the city, on the right the island with the park The sights Unfortunately, there are not a lot of sights in the city. Mainly the “La Isla […]
11. February 2018

Ecuador: Otavalo

Coca-tea for altitude sickness Otavallo is located at an altitude of 2532 meters above sea level and has 40,000 inhabitants. Tourists visiting the city are generally advised to drink one coca tea a day. The coca plant, otherwise known as the raw ingredient for the production of cocaine, shows a far weaker effect as the chemical drug and supports the body in adapting to the thin ambient air. We only tried the coca-tea later in Papallacta (3600 m) – it helps and no, it does not have an intoxicating effect. You can buy the drink in almost every shop or from running traders who only make their money selling tea. But, […]
11. February 2018

Ecuador: Mompiche

Why to Mompiche? Travel educates and broadens the mind, they say. In Mompiche, I learned a lot, especially about handling resources. But let’s start at the beginning: To hibernate outside of Germany, we searched for a house-sitting opportunity in a tropical country. The concept is, that a private person leaves his home to a sitter while traveling. In return for free accommodation, the sitter takes care of the plants and animals or whatever else is needed. To us, this was a nice experiment and it worked out perfectly. After applying to people around the world,  we decided to visit Ecuador and sit three cats for a Tasmanian author. She designed and […]
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