tisdag, december 25, 2007

RTW42 - summary, Stockholm, Sweden


We are at the moment at our final destination of this journey/vacation/trip (actually, it has been such an amazing adventure, really - we can hardly belive that we pulled it off), Stockholm, and are enjoying (!) the Swedish weather. It was super to celebrate Christmas among friends and family.

Now, we only have a five hour train ride home in a few days until we reach home.

Many people have asked us what was the best part and we solemnly agree that spending a week on the deserted (there was one Tongan living there who had three huts to rent out) island of Uoleva in northern Tonga was the most stunning and amazing thing.

We lived in a hut just 11 metres from the beach and spent every day making coffee, swimming, reading and walking around. The nights was spent with Toni enjoying the local cuisine drinking tea and bush lime juice. Although most of the hours was spent worrying about Nim who had over 40 degrees of fever (we were still pretty close to the main island of the Haapai Group) it was still an excellent adventure and a beautiful place. We think she had Roseola (three day fever) but she was almost as happy as ever.

And after 357 days Nim took her first steps - all three and a half of them. Now, the hard work really starts ...

Please - enjoy life, we are, it is amazing.

Kindest regards
stefan sara nim

torsdag, december 13, 2007

RTW41 - friends, Siem Reap, Cambodia


Have now had one of the best days on this journey - friends from Sweden came to visit! It was great and it felt like we had never been away from home at all. We took Peter and Roger to the river promenade and ate pizza, drank coffee and beer and in the night we took a close look on what the back streets of Phnom Penh had to offer at night time. They could offer beer, beer and beer which we gladly indulged in.

Kind regards
Stefan sara nim

fredag, december 07, 2007

RTW40 - activities, Siem Reap, Cambodia

I have been attending cooking school in Siem reap, this is my teacher Roun who demonstrated how to make a real Amok.

Participated in Angkor Wat International Half Marathon - the best thing about it was that it costed 55 USD for me/foreigners but only 2 USD for Cambodians - the money went to charity, great project. The race went not so well but I realized later why as I got sick for five days. Real sick ... about 40 visits to the dunny a day - no exagerating!

And of course we've been to see Angkor Wat. No words can describe it. It just have to be seen.

Apart from this we have been doing what we love, and know, best: shopping and drinking coffee in tranquil garden cafes.

Kind regards
stefan sara nim

torsdag, november 22, 2007

RTW39 - my beautiful family, Siem Reap, Cambodia

RTW38 - arrival, Siem Reap, Cambodia

Leaving Chantaburi we came the next day to Poipet - the first border town of Cambodia. Our guidebook describes this place as 'the armpit of Cambodia' and for once it was so very correct. Never have I seen a more dreadful and terrible place (for a tourist - even the most bombed out village in Afghanistan had more charm than Poipet).

The town consisted of a strip of mud filled with honking trucks, dirt and pusy touts. Nowhere to eat and nowhere to go. Unfortunately it was late in the day so we had to stay but fortunately we found a good place to stay. It even had a TV so we watched 'The Da Vinci Code'and 'Friends with money' - the latter with Jennifer Aniston, very funny actually.

We stayed in the hotel room eating chips and drinking 7-up.

The next day we hired a taxi for the 3 hour trip toi Siem Reap. Terrible road conditions.

But all this made coming to Siem Reap a splendid experience - this is paradise. We surely have the greatest place to stay here on the journey. 5 USD with a balcony and a bathroom and a very charming building, free Internet and a cosy in-house restaurant . Sooo lovely.

Notice the good use of AK-47 in the picture.

Kind regards
stefan sara nim

RTW37 - images from Thailand, Siem Reap, Cambodia

Leaving Koh Chang we opted for Chantaburi - City of the Moon. City of noise and uncharm was more like it. We found a lovely guesthouse though - 3 metres from a very noisy bridge. Terrible place but we were only meant to be passing through on our way to Cambodia.

There was however a large cathedral, but only one restaurant in a town of 100 00 people, luckily we found it, they had rice and milkshake.

Kind regards
stefan sara nim

fredag, november 16, 2007

RTW36 - this is Thailand (?), Koh Chang, Thailand

onsdag, november 14, 2007

RTW35 - Disneyland for adults and shopping, Koh Chang, Thailand

I know that all of Thailand is not only sun, sea, sand (and sex) - but at least it seems that way here. Swedes everywhere eating ice cream, swimming, sunbathing, eating pizza, shopping and just having a splendid holiday time in general. Then again, of course we enjoy it heaps: we eat good, drink a bit of wine, hang out on the beach and pretty much do whatever we want.

Like shopping. We had to buy a big bag pretty early to fit in everything that we have bought - every time we leave our very small and claustrophobic bungalow it does not take more than a quarter of an hour before our little stroller is riddled with shopping bags.

And we are not finished yet. Tomorrow I'm off to the dentist to do whatever he think is needed. Our budget for the whole trip is very soon finished. Lovely.

Kind regards
stefan sara nim

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måndag, november 12, 2007

RTW34 - little Sweden, Koh Chang, Thailand

Have now arrived to "little Sweden", aka Thailand (we are now at White Sands Beach in Koh Chang) after five days of waiting out minor bouts of 'Montezumas Revenge' which have been present in two of this travelling familys members. It took us two days of very smooth travelling (boat, pick up, ferry and car) to get here.

The last stop in Cambodia was not the greatest because we spent almost 24 hours a day in the hotel room on Victory Hill. Did manage to visit a Guesthouse which also hosted 300 different snakes ...

Crossing in to Thailand from Cambodia is like travelling from the third world to the first, they have everything here! Even Swedish magazines as well as Swedish food - and not only one dish or magazines, the full monty! There is even a Swedish snus factory in Thailand - due to open next month! Swedish and Swedes everywhere!

We like it here, way more expensive than Cambodia but way more smooth. Great food, kind people, good beach - the usual cliches ... Still, can't wait to get back to Cambodia. NOt so many tourists, contradiction, we know.

Nim is growing and is learning a new trick every week. She can now:
climb down from beds
give things to us
stand without support for more than three seconds
make the sign for dog
walk around with the aid of furniture

Kindest regards
stefan sara nim

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måndag, november 05, 2007

RTW33 - language difficulties, Sihanouk Ville, Cambodia

I went to the hairdresser ten days ago, he did not speak english, I do not speak khmer.

Me not happy.

RTW32 - shark etc., Sihanouk Ville, Cambodia

We have now been away for a week walking without shoes where the electricity do not shine - lovely!

First we went to Koh Russei - an island one hour outside Sihanouk Ville - where there was nothing but tranquility (and a few bungalows and a restaurant). Then we went to Otres Beach which was even lovelier! At this place we all got sick and are now closer to town (at the Green Gecko Guesthose) and resting.

Before that I went diving again at Koh Reng Samlam (or something), murky mock diving but I saw a SHARK, hooray. It was a very small bamboo shark, but still. On the way back (2.5 hours) I got so seasick that my legs did not carry me, very terrible. Maybe this was beacause I had two contact lenses on my left eye (because I lost mine so I borrowed two of Saras - my vision is half as bad as hers, no problem ...)?

We did not like Sihanouk Ville at first sight but now it has gotten to us despite all the tourism and marijuana pizzas, touts and prostitution. It actually is a nice place, good food and cosy guesthouses, low prices and kind people.

Nim seem to be recuperating from imitating a patchy, rashy and prickly salami in her skin into a baby that is almost the same colour everywhere. That feels good.

Kind regards - it is beautiful here
stefan sara nim

fredag, oktober 26, 2007

RTW31 - khmer images, Sihanouk Ville, Cambodia

torsdag, oktober 25, 2007

RTW30 - party ..., Sihanouk Ville, Cambodia

Have now travelled (very smooth travelling between New Zealand and Cambodia despite staying a full night at Bangkoks airport) by bus to the coast of Cambodia and it is ... well, so-so. It is all boom-boom-hard-rock-party and it is hard to find a quiet place, beach, restaurant, guesthouse or just anywhere for Nim.

The chaotic capitol of Phnom Penh was actually better ... there we found the most lovely family run guesthouse with a veranda to laze all day in the hang mats. Well, with Nim we only get about a minute or five to actually take it easy or laze around ... The Cambodians are crazy about her, they just adore her eight teeth and run away and bring the closest friends and family to see her as well.

In Phnom Penh we found a lovely and expensive cafe run by former street children - all the money went to a home for street children, we probably enjoyed that more than the AMAZING Royal Palace, beautiful temples everywher - too much and too many to even comprehend, Cambodia is an amazing destination.

Well, we are still enjoying ourselves despite all the action here. I even found not only one, but two places offering FREE accomodation ... Crazy stuff. There is a lot of drugs and ladies on offer here, very sad of course. We are paying 5 USD for the most quiet bungalow in the city quite close to the beach. It is quite okey (read child proof). The food here is LOVELY and we can feed Nim bananas and yoghurt any time of day, smooth sailing.

It is hot here, very hot, almost too hot. Of course we now long for the cold and grey winter back home ...

Kind regards
stefan sara nim

tisdag, oktober 16, 2007

RTW29 - miscallenous images, Auckland, New Zealand

måndag, oktober 15, 2007

RTW28 - miscallenous images, Auckland, New Zealand

We are still in New Zealand and loving it immensly!!!

söndag, oktober 14, 2007

RTW27 - miscallenous images, Auckland, New Zealand

Some images from Auckland (the running photo is from Waitekere Half Marathon - I came as #15 out of 263).

fredag, oktober 12, 2007

RTW26 - ultramarathon, Auckland, New Zealand

Being interested in meditation, ultra running, vegetarianism, spirituality and philosophy there is one man that puts this all in to one nice package – Sri Chinmoy. Born in 1931, he is an Indian philosopher and teacher who emigrated to the U.S. in 1964. An author, composer, artist and athlete, he is perhaps best known for holding public events of inner peace and world harmony. His teachings emphasize God, meditation, service and tolerance. Sri Chinmoy believes that a balanced lifestyle fosters harmony and inner peace. His integral approach to life encourages physical fitness and sports as a vehicle for personal transformation.

In 1977 he founded the Sri Chinmoy Marathon Team, which holds endurance events worldwide, from fun runs to ultramarathons up to 3100 miles! In the spiritual community where he grew up, he excelled in soccer, running, decathlon and volleyball. He later completed many marathons, ultramarathons and shorter races, played tennis and took up weight lifting.

'There are countless people on earth who do not believe in the inner strength or inner life. They feel that the outer life is everything. I do not agree with them.'

Sri Chinmoy practises sports not for joy or fitness, but also because he sees sports as a natural vehicle for expressing his philosophy of self transcendence – it is all about self transcendence. Inspired by his example, several of his students have attempted to stretch their own personal limits - setting world records in various fields, running multiday races, swimming the English channel and climbing the world's highest mountains.

'Determination and impossibility are never to be found together.'

In New Zealand, I was supposed to enter a 24 hour ultra marathon tomorrow - I had been looking forward immensly to this for months and months, have prepared myself rigourosly both mentally and physically. I had come all this way to Auckland and, more amazingly, healthy and in good shape and I was finally to participate in a Sri Chinmoy event!

But Sri Chinmoy died in America just before start, so the race director cancelled the race as the whole community and commitee was saddened by his death, some were going to the funeral.

Kind regards

måndag, oktober 08, 2007

RTW25 - pics from Tonga, Auckland, New Zealand

Scenery, Pangai, Tonga

Nim with unknown friend
Keeping track of Nims fever and medication

Scenery from the deserted island

The wharf in Pangai in northern Tonga