Still sorting and uploading pics... Kamares is a Venetian house dependency restored with natural materials situated in the heart of the preservable village of Maheri, in an area of a rare natural beauty, scattered with historical and prehistorical monuments. It combines traditional architecture with modern facilities.

The complex is located among organic hanging gardens. It is composed of five stone apartments, a villa and a large swimming pool, with a total capacity of 20 beds. It is situated at a distance of 30 km airport of Chania, at 23 km from the city of Chania, at 6 km from the ancient city of Aptera and at 5 km from the coast of Kalyves.

Off to Zanzibar

Starting last part of our trip: Going east... Finally we left our second home in Arusha with first bus in the morning (starting at 6:00 am *argh*) and headed east to Zanzibar. Since everything seemed to be somehow related to Mt Kilimanjaro, we decided to take the Kilimanjaro Express although Dar Express goes at similar schedule and same price which was 30.000 TSH.

Whole trip took about 10h for us from Arusha via Moshi to Dar with half an hour of break in between...not counting 1.5h unplanned stop right after having lunch where our bus driver had to repair the brakes *hehe*. Actually we hoped for last ferry to Zanzibar around 16:00 but this was out of sight after last stop.

Thanks to Alexia we already had a B&B recommendation in Dar es Salaam, the Jambo Inn Hotel which was reasonable, in direct walking distance to the ferry landing, has a restaurant and most imortant had a free room.

Kilimanjaro via Machame route...

Juli and I made it again! Without having seen any mountain before (ok, I did climb up to 150m on famous Bungsberg in SH when I was a child ;-)) we did successfully reach Uhuru Peak - the highest point in Africa at 5.895m.

Decision for particular route

We actually started out in Tanzania without having agreed which route we wanna go. I was aware of several different routes but since I did not have any experience my only pre-requisites were:

  • route needs to provide chance to properly acclimatize,
  • route needs to be possible w/o extensive climbing experience.

Juliane was in favor of Shira/Lemosho route; I considered Machame route - both with a minimum of a 6-day hike in order to acclimatize and both routes not being #1 route chosen by everybody (which is Marangu aka Coca-Cola-Route).

Not telling yet that the rangers also sold Coca-Cola for 4$ each at Barafu camp ;-)...

In the end there was no discussion since we met two french guys in our hotel: Jean-Christophe and Damien already had decided & booked a tour with Tanzania Summit Adventures for 6-day Machame route hike. So, we simply jumped in, made a quick decision and joined them - and it was best that could have happened to us!

The Big 5


Where to go? Night again, some red wine and a chat...ending up in weird brainstorming about possible places to travel to in 2011.

The Qingzang railway is a high-altitude railway that connects Xining, Qinghai Province, to Lhasa, Tibet Autonomous Region, in People's Republic of China. The total length of Qingzang railway is 1956 km: 815 km section between Xining and Golmud and 1142 km section between Golmud and Lhasa.

Lhasa is the administrative capital of the Tibet Autonomous Region in the People's Republic of China and the second most populous city on the Tibetan Plateau, after Xining.

Mount Kailash (Elevation: 6,638 m (21,778 ft)) is a peak in the Gangdisê Mountains, which are part of the Himalayas in Tibet. It is considered off limits to climbers in deference to Buddhist and Hindu beliefs; Pilgrims of several religions believe that circumambulating Mount Kailash on foot is a holy ritual that will bring good fortune. The path around Mount Kailash is 52 km (32 mi) long.

Paro Airport (IATA: PBH, ICAO: VQPR) is the only international airport of Bhutan. The airport  sits at an altitude of 7,300 feet (2,200 m) and is renowned as one of the world's most scary airport: "[...] only eight pilots in the world are qualified to fly into Paro [...]"


Finally made it: Although my holiday started officially last Wednesday, we were still facing some open topics which needed to be solved. As always. But does not matter anymore, critical stuff is done - way to go, yeah! So, time to organize some presents...which is most likely even more stress on last days compared to any working issue I had in past 3 months :-)

Cycling the Cabot Trail

Juli and I made it and survived the Cabot Trail on Cape Breton Island in Nova Scotia, Canada :-). Wondering what this is? Well, Alexander Graham Bell described it perfectly:

I have travelled the globe. I have seen the Canadian and American Rockies, the Andes and the Alps and the highlands of Scotland, but for simple beauty, Cape Breton outrivals them all.

The Cabot Trail

The Cabot Trail is a highway and scenic roadway in the Canadian province of Nova Scotia, located in northern Victoria County and Inverness County on Cape Breton Island. The route measures 298 km in length and completes a loop around the northern tip of the island.

It is passing along and through the scenic Cape Breton Highlands: the northern section of the Cabot Trail passes through Cape Breton Highlands National Park, the western and eastern sections follow the rugged coastline, providing spectacular views of the ocean and the southwestern section passes through the Margaree River valley before passing along Bras d'Or Lake.

Clockwise or counterclockwise? Counterclockwise!

Since neither Juli nor I have had any experience with cycling before, we split our tour into 5 days having a 6th day as a fallback. But even for me, as living mostly from coffee & cigarettes for years now :-(, 5 days worked out perfect  - and we still had lots of time to do stops in between, check some smaller hiking trails, do whale watching or simply enjoy the landscape (which you should really, really do).

If you are planning something similar, check Brian Hedney's page on "Cycling the Cabot Trail" which was of great help to us upfront! The following links consist of my mini diary, some GPS info (yes, I like my gadgets ;-)) plus pictures, pictures and even more pictures.

Last but not least: Some places special to us...

Although friendliness and feeling welcome was the main tenor for all places & people in Cape Breton, some places I will remember a tiny little bit more. Can't really say why, but here they are:

Restaurant "Flavor": Actually not on the Cabot Trail but in Sydney where I rented my bike for the tour. Gordon and Bev from the Colby House B&B recommended it and I can only agree: We had a very delicious dinner at the Flavor!

The Maven Gypsy B&B: This was our first evening out on the road after cycling, we were not sure what we could expect. But Christine & Devin made our day! If you are ever around Wreck Cove make sure you stay (at least) a night  and enjoy their hospitality.

Restaurant "Rusty Anchor": Having left North Mountain behind us on Day 3, we arrived in Pleasant Bay and really needed dinner. Elizabeth, our host at The Poplar B&B, recommended it and we enjoyed a scenic sunset as well as fresh seafood in all kind of variations.

"The Red Shoe Pub": On our last day back to Antigonish we drove by Mabou late in the evening. Not only serving delicious food and good beer...Monday night also spontaneous fiddling by people from Mabou as we coincidently learned. If you go there, try Monday night!