Hiking

Resa Lätt Malaysia och Borneo är utgiven!

Den här gången skriver jag på svenska eftersom den här boken bara finns på svenska.

I write in Swedish since I have not published this book in English yet. If you tell me that you are really want to read the book I will definitely publish it in English.

Båttur i gryningen på Kinabatangan River

Båttur i gryningen på Kinabatangan River

Resan till Borneo med avslutande dagar i Kuala Lumpur blev min och mina döttrars bästa resa någonsin så det var ett rent nöje att skriva boken och att välja bland de fina bilderna. Varje stund var att återuppleva de härliga stunderna i djungeln med näsapor och krokodiler och snorklingen i det kristallklara vattnet med alla havssköldpaddor och clownfiskar. Och så tillkommer de härliga familjerna vi bodde i där vi fick äta den allra godaste lokala maten, dansa lokala danser och slappa i skuggan på terrasserna.

Att bo på pålar i ett kristallklart hav är det lätt att drömma sig tillbaka till!

Att bo på pålar i ett kristallklart hav är det lätt att drömma sig tillbaka till!

Var nyårsfirandet på terrassen på pålar i det kristallklara havet i den sammetslena natten det bästa? Eller var det bästa promenaderna i byn på Mabul som fick oss att känna oss som att vi hade landat i Hogsmeade (Harry Potter) när vi kryssade mellan barn och hus på pålar där sprakande brasor både under och bredvid husen visade vägen i mörkret. Men det är svårt att konkurrera med det kritvita och turkosa paradiset Mantanani Island där vi var ensamma på stranden förutom en och annan ko.

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San Francisco, a Swedish village and murder mystery at a castle

April has been an active month with three totally different journeys, all interesting in different ways. 

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We started with San Francisco to celebrate a friend’s birthday, do some hiking and hopefully visit Yosemite National Park. The journey, unfortunately, started with a severe delay. Luckily the weather in Zürich was, and we had plenty of time to check out the beautiful city by the lake. This amazingly clear day we could even see the Alps at a distance. However, when we arrived in San Francisco 22 hours too late, our friends had long ago left the airport with our rental car. Well, we got the opportunity to try the Sonoma Airporter (bus). 

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Finally there, we had nine great days. We visited wine yards, went hiking, saw Beach Blanket Babylon (a fantastic show that is closing down after 40 years), went by boat to San Francisco city, and stayed a couple of days at an Oscar winner’s house. Our friend Lorne Petersen let us sleep next to his Oscar. Quite an experience! Moreover, now we can imagine how it must have felt for him, and all other winners when they got the heavy statue in their hands. As that was not enough, we had several great dinners, went to an open stage event at a restaurant, and a rock concert with Low Cut Connie. The finale was the birthday party with great food and plenty of entertainment. After all, our friends are in the entertainment business. Also, we have to go back there again. It was too cold and rainy for Yosemite. 

We had barely set foot at home before we headed towards our country house. To make this trip a little more exciting, my husband went out and bought a car two hours before we headed off. If you don’t have enough excitement in your life, you might have a partner that adds some. 

We had a week with all the sun we did not get in SF, where it for some strange reason was cold and rainy. We played golf, took long walks in the forest, my daughter took several swims in the clear and freezing lakes, we invited old relatives for dinner and Easter cake, and sat on the veranda by the lake and enjoyed silence. An active and at the same time a relaxing week.

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After a couple of days at home, it was time to head south again — this time for a weekend at a Mauritzberg Castle with friends. We slept in a beautifully decorated room with a ghost (at least the staff said so) and a fantastic view. On top of that, we had superb dinners, a perfect golf course, made 13 incredible new friends and took part in a murder mystery. The actors brought us and all the others around the whole castle, even to the attic and to our room. They gave us many clues, and laid out just as many smoke screens, while they played the murder mystery. During dinner, we tried to figure out who the murderer was. I had the right motive, but the wrong killer. A castle worth revisiting!

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After a fantastic journey to Malaysia and Borneo, I, unfortunately, got pneumonia and histoplasmosis (some of my friends say a live a risky life) and did not do much for two months. April made up for that lousy period! So now I plan my next adventures while I procrastinate my writing. Should I go hiking? Alternatively, take a trip to India? Or try to travel by bus and train? So many options. I am not too fond of shopping – except when it comes to travel equipment. There are always things I realize I need. Today I have spent hours checking weight and lumen on headlights, weight on sleeping mats, and foldable walking sticks. Nerdy!

Please contact me if you are just as nerdy, have questions, or maybe some comments!

Hiking and kayaking in Macedonia

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This is my last blog from the amazing journey in Macedonia this summer. The book about our hikes, our stays in cozy villages, and our swims in crystal clear lakes is now hopefully available on all markets, Travel Light in Macedonia - Hiking, cozy villages & crystal clear lakes. The next blog will be about Borneo to where we take off tomorrow.

After hiking to Magaro peak in Galicica National Park we headed to Pestani by Lake Ohrid to swim and relax, but we did not stay more than a day before we took off again. Next stop was to stay in a small monastery in Mavrovo National Park, but they did not have room for us. It is great to travel light when you find beautiful waterfalls on your way, but the six dogs that decided to join us on the hike made it a bit tricky on the narrow path. On the other hand, we had good laughs when they tried to run away with our shoes the second we put them down. What do dogs do with shoes? If we had found a room in the beautiful village Rostusja, we would have stayed and checked out a few of the other waterfalls.

We managed to get a lift to Mavrovo for our last challenging hike. To prepare we had a massage in the spa since we had surprised ourselves by booking a hotel with a lot of facilities. Staying in a ski resort during summer is cheap! The hike in Mavrovo was different in many ways. Parts were extremely steep, but it was open and sunny. The view in all directions from the 1980 meter top was stunning — a place to return to.

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Kayaking in Matka Canyon had been on our bucket list, and it was perfect since we did it on a Monday morning, all alone in the dam. The Vrelo Cave was also better than expected, but it still does not put Matka on top of the list of places to return to even though we had a quite good hike there too. On the other hand, it was fantastic compared to Pristina in Kosovo where we headed next. We will not return there without male company, and we were grateful to return to Skopje for a short stay before returning home to Sweden.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

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Hiking at its' best!

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Our next destination in Macedonia was St Naum to where we took a boat from Ohrid to see the beautiful Lake Ohrid and the mountains. A bonus was to see Tito’s house, and Bay of Bones. The latter is one of the most visited sights. They have reconstructed old roman housing and military facilities from 700 to 1200 BC. 

In St Naum, you will find a monastery which is the primary goal for most people and also the famous springs, Crn Drim. There are 45 springs, and the water is 98 % clear. It is hard to explain how clear the water is, but I try by saying that you barely see a surface. We took a walk around the springs and visited the small churches. Walk the extra mile when you visit St Naum! We were almost alone while the monastery was crowded. The local priest opened St Anastasia, the church on the hill, for us who were the only visitors. It had beautiful icons and interesting history. We also took a boat around the springs and a swim in the lake before entering the bus to Trpejca in the first bad weather we had encountered during our journey.

We had a blind date with an unknown landlord at the bus stop in the small village. Since we had heard so much about the fantastic hike to Magaro, we took the risk, but everything turned out well. Mishko was a great guy, and Jack of all trades. So, of course, he offered us a lift to Lipova starting point the next morning.

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Mishko had never been to Galicica National Park! The locals seldom go hiking which is good to know when you go hiking in amazing Macedonia. Plan and get yourself a good hiking app with offline maps, and don’t rely on the locals to know. We use Wikiloc, and Mishko wanted to leave us at the wrong place until I showed him the picture of the sign at Lipova starting point. The hike was fantastic! It took 5 hours to walk from 1600 meters to the top Magaro at 2255 meters, and back down. The view at the top is magical. You can see Lake Ohrid, Prespa Lake, Macedonia, Greece, and Albania. The hike is partly steep, but manageable, at least if you pick up walking sticks in the forest at the start of the hike. Except for an Austrian, we were alone on the mountain until we almost back on the parking again. 

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A swim in the crystal clear waters of Lake Ohrid and a tasty vegetarian meal, grilled mushrooms with fries, was precisely what we needed after the hike.