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My travelling notebook around the world

Eid al-Adha / Kurban bayram: How we experienced in Indonesia and Tajikistan the Feast of the Sacrifice

With this year’s Ramadan that just started yesterday, I’ve been thinking a lot lately about the three Ramadans that we lived during our long trip, the first in Turkey, the second in Cambodia —where we barely noticed it, as only 2% of the population follows Islam— and the third between Emirates and Oman. And although I have hundreds of notes on our experiences in these four countries living this important Islamic tradition, today I am not going to write about it but another important holiday that Muslims have. If I start by telling you the name of Eid al-Adha, I...
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The giant and the new-born turtles of Ras al Hadd

One of the things Eugenia ended up regretting the most of not coming with me to Sri Lanka, was to miss the chance I had to visit the giant turtles of Hikkaduwa. That’s why, when we got to Oman we knew we had to visit some turtles on the east coast. We thought that would take place in the quite known reserve of Ras al Jinz but as a matter of fact, as usually happened to us, we ended up changing our plan and visiting them at Ras al Hadd, following the recommendation of our Couchsurfing host. Let’s get to...
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In between Roman ruins and the reserve La Camargue: Arles, beyond Van Gogh

During our road trip in Provence, most probably, due to the vivid colors of Van Gogh paintings and for my appreciation for this artist, I was really looking forward to visiting Arles, even if Jordi didn’t have much of a clue about it. As a pleasant surprise, we discovered this city not to be just a home to this great painter but also of a lot of others historical, natural and artistic beauties. Arles from above!   If you planned to stop by the city for just a couple of days, rethink it or program already the next trip, because...
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Where to buy and how to activate a SIM card in Kyrgyzstan?

As usually happens to us, even though we know how useful it is to have a SIM card in the country we are visiting, weeks went by in Kyrgyzstan without even noticing them. Finally, when we arrived at Osh guesthouse we saw that at the front desk there were a lot of free prepaid cards. However, we were about to cross into Uzbekistan, so we took it but forgot about it. It was not until we finished visiting this country and Tajikistan, that since we had the flight from Astana we crossed Kyrgyzstan again and a big part of Kazakhstan....
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How to survive a train in unreserved class in India

As you probably know, in India we took a little break from hitchhiking. On the one hand we thought that the country was huge and that we wanted to see as much as we could of it, on the other hand, we had already hitched more than 20,000 kilometers and we wanted to oxygenate ourselves a bit and finally because we also wanted to experience the favorite public transport of the Indians: the train. After having been traveling India for more than three and a half months from north to south with buses and trains, trying to save the most...
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Trekking guide from Altyn Arashan to Ala Kol: Happy, even if we couldn’t finish it!

There are some days that you wake up full of energy and everything that you have in mind seems so possible. And the day of this trekking was definitely one of them. The afternoon before we had walked quite easily all the way from Aksuu until Altyn Arashan, a charming valley not so far from Karakol, famous for its hot springs and astonishing landscapes. That first trek was 15 kilometers long and not too steep. We arrived in Altyn Arashan that was almost totally dark just on time to pitch the tent, eat something fast and go to sleep at...
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How to cook Central Asian plov (recipe from Tajikistan)

If you have been around Central Asia, you will already know that the most famous and eaten dish in the area is, by far, plov. Many people claim it to be Uzbek, while others say it’s simply Central Asian, but everybody agrees that in every country, city and even family it’s cooked in a different and personal way. In the last four months traveling in this region, we ate plov countless times. And, many other times being hosted by locals they proposed to cook it all together and even though we were really interested in the preparation, we never had...
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