Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Cuzco and sacred valley

Six week travelling behind and now I'm in Peru and the Andes. The temperature is not anymore +30 degrees, but more or less between 15-20 degrees. I have been already get used to more warmer climate and thus these chilly nights here feels a bit cold.

Cuzco at night

After Galapagos flew to Cuzco, where have been 3 days to acclimatize for thinner air. Cuzco is beautiful city located high on the Andes (3500 m) and near the sacred valley of the Incas. Nowadays you can find remarkable inca ruins like Pisaq and Ollantaytambo in the valley.

Sacred valley

Cuzco is starting point to Machu Picchu trips. Tomorrow heading to km 82 post and starting 4 days Inca trail to Machu Picchu. Therefore I should be at Machu Picchu at new year. Let's see if Machu Picchu is as amazing than 8 years ago. At that time visited this sacred Inca city without trekking the Inca trail...

At the same time I wish everybody happy new year. I'll continue updating this blog next year :)

Friday, December 25, 2009

Marvellous Galapagos islands

Giant Tortoise (Santa Cruz subspecies)

Galapagos islands went to top 3 ranking on my list. It's amazing how close you can get to animals and how plentiful there are endemic species which to watch and photograph, not to mention swimming and snorkelling with them. Just to mention some of the species during 8 days cruise on the islands, there were sea lions, penguins, albatroses, blue-footed boobies, masked boobies, lava lizards, marine iguanas, land iguanas, white-tipped sharks, sea turtles, giant tortoises, flamingos, sting rays, and so on... In addition of these species there were subspecies of these different from island to island.

Cruising ship Estrella del Mar I (16 passengers)

As an example land iguanas were black on Isla Seymour, yellow on Isla Plazas and green on Isla Santa Fe.

Yellow land iguana at Isla Plazas

There are still 11 subspecies of Giant Tortoises, but only one Tortoise is still living from the subspecies from the Island Pinta. His name is Lonesome George and he is currently in Charles Darwin station at Santa Cruz island. When he dies then there will be only 10 subspecies left, unless scientists can reproduce him or get him to mate with the females tortoises from the other islands. These Giant Tortoises can live up to 200 years and can weight even 600 kilograms.

During 8 days cruise, ship visited on 10 different islands and there were possibility in addition of hikes on the islands to do snorkeling nearly every day in warm waters. I was able to spot and swim with various different species like Galapagos penguins, white-tipped sharks, sea turtles, stingrays and sea lions, not to mention tens or hundreds of different colourful fishes.

This was a trip worth of every penny, just awesome experience! But you need a plenty of time to check all the photos and select best ones.

Sea lions posing to camera at Isla Espanola

Friday, December 18, 2009

Christmas at Ecuador and Galapagos

Quickly passing Panama and Colombia, I arrived to Ecuador couple of days ago, where I`m planning to stay a little bit longer. Quito is located at 2800 meters above sea level and you noticed it, if you arrive directly from the sea level. Couple of first days you need to take very slowly and taking the breath constantly even when walking slowly on the streets. Quito seems to be nice city and especially the Centro Historico, which was declared as Cultural Heritage Site by UNESCO, is cozy with small restaurants, hotels, and boutiques.

Two days in Quito has been busy to make bookings for the one week Galapagos islands cruise. I got the cruise on last minute deal price, which is remarkably cheaper than list price. In addition the flight tickets to islands were included on the price. Tomorrow morning flight from Quito to Galapagos and then 7 days and 8 nights cruise on the islands. It means that christmas eve will be spent on the Galapagos. Anyway the boat doesn't have internet connections and therefore most probably there will be one week holiday :) from updating this blog. Anyway I'll try to post some photos of Galapagos animals after the cruise. I wish everybody a merry christmas and lots of useful gifts...

Monday, December 14, 2009

Cerro Chirripo

After spanish studies I had to have some physical exercise and indeed, I got what I ordered.

Cerro Chirripo is Costa Rica`s highest mountain (3820 m) in Chirripo National Park. I took the bus on friday evening to San Isidro de General, did the packing, bought some food and slept few hours before early bus (5:30 AM) took me into national park. After paying the entrance fee and the accomodation in the mountain refugio "Base Crestones" I started from the village San Gerardo, at 1500 m. It was hot and humid day. Paths are full of mud and the climb is cruel. Base Crestones is at 3400 m and after 14,5 kms and nearly 2 kms higher than the village I reached the Refugio at exhausted. My legs had cramps on the way, and I was having only 5 bananas, 2 chocolate bars, cookies and couple of bread with me for the whole 2 days climbing. There were no possibility to buy any food on the mountain.

After resting the evening and having short sleep before 3 AM wake-up I started to climb to the summit with headlamp showing the path. It was still 6 kms and 400 vertical meters to the top. Finally at 6 AM I reached the summit shortly after first sunrays.

Finally at the top

However I was still on halfway, and I had to descent back to village during the morning, because I had reserved a bus to Panama City at 14:30. Therefore after a short break at the top, I started descend of 20 kms of muddy path with 2,3 kms vertical difference.

Above the clouds

This was one of the hardest climbs I have ever had. After the climb I had 15 hours bus ride ahead of me to get to Panama. I haven`t slept well for three nights, due to early wake-ups or bus ride. Today, when I arrived to Panama I just took the hotel room and had a little of sleep.

Central America has been travelled through, but there are lot`s more of interesting places to see on Central America, than what I was on this short trip. Now it`s time to move on to South America. Tomorrow I`ll have a flight to Bogota, Colombia. But today I`m having a rest well deserved...

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Spanish course at Heredia, Costa Rica

Intercultura school for students in spanish & english

I'll be studying spanish in Intercultura at Heredia in Costa Rica this week. Teachers are professional language teachers and the athmosphere at the school is relaxed and motivated. Stuff is extremely helpful and friendly. I'll have spanish lessons 4 hours per day from Monday to Friday.

My spanish teacher, Nuria

I'm staying at a homestay in a local family, not far away from the school. It takes about 10 minutes to walk to the school. Heredia is small city just 11 kms from the capital San Jose and therefore it's more relaxed environment than huge San Jose to enjoy and learn new language. My family is just great, excellent and delicious breakfasts and dinners together with family. Good practice for spanish to discuss with family members and get to know Costa Rican way of life more closely.

My homefamily Campos Rojas

For those who knows already some spanish have a look the following dictionary of Costa Rican vocabulary :)

Costa Rican vocabulary

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Pura Vida! (Pure Life)

Pura Vida is Costa Rican way to say hello and literally means "pure life".  Two days ago I left behind Granada and it´s hot and lovely athmosphere.

Hotel Patio del Malinche in Granada, lovely place to stay

Started 15 hour boat trip over the Lago de Nicaragua. Sleeping in not so soft seats were nearly impossible. Though got few hours sleep before arriving at 5 AM at San Carlos harbour in southern Nicaragua.

On the upper deck of the boat

We had bananas with us :)

I recommend to avoid San Carlos - Los Chile crossing from Nicaragua to Costa Rica. It is not the fastest way to get over... When arriving at 5 AM, the immigration office opened at 8 AM. We had to queue at least one hour to get our passports stamped and everything paid. Then still waiting 1,5 hours before our boat departed.

Waiting on a boat for departure

Finally on the way to Los Chile, Costa Rica

When arriving into Costa Rica, you need to wait until your lauggage is searched. Then wait until immigration office will open and stamp your passport. All this takes another 1,5 hours. Anyway I managed to get into Costa Rica and got the bus to take me to La Fortuna. Bus drive is another nightmare with constant stops. The bus will stop in every 100 meters to either to pick-up somebody or leave somebody. It took some 3 hours to get to La Fortuna (roughly 60 kms). Therefore I decided today to visit thermal spa with hot springs close to La Fortuna and just enjoy after 28 hours trip from Granada. Oh, it was heaven...

There is "real" Erick-Son TV :) I didn´t know Ericsson is making TVs as well...

 Erick-Son TV

These are the 8 Central American countries. From upper left to lower right corner:
Mexico (Pesos), Belize (Belize Dollars), Guatemala (Quetzals), El Salvador (US Dollars), Honduras (Lempiras), Nicaragua (Cordobas), Costa Rica (Colones) and Panama (Balboa = US Dollars)
Central American money

Each of the countries has own slang and the people are calling themselves differently. Guatemalans are "Chapins", Costa Ricans "Ticos", Salvadorans "Guanacos". It´s like Savolaiset, Karjalaiset and Lappilaiset in Finland, when you know where (s)he is coming from you can immediately characterize him/her :)

So, Pura Vida to everybody from C.R. and remember to celebrate the independence day of Finland.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Recovering from 2 days bus drive

Lying on a hammoch and reading LP Costa Rica, which is the next country

I have been just resting, walking around the town, eating well and enjoying the athmosphere here in Granada after exhaustive 2 days bus drive through El Salvador and Honduras. City seems to be as pleasent as I was assuming. I could stay here even longer, but unfortunately need to continue, cause there are other plans for coming weeks.

Iglesia de Guadalupe

I have had a little pain in my right side of the back and therefore I went for the massage. The blind people are having massage service in a local cafe just next to the central square. It was excellent!

My masseur

Today I´ll be heading to the southern tip of the Lago de Nicaragua by boat. The boat trip will take some 15 hours to cross this huge lake, which is the 21st largest lake in the world. By the way Saimaa is ranked on 36th. There are even sharks in the lake, bullsharks, they can live both in freshwater and in saltwater. Lago de Nicaragua is connected to Caribbean sea by the Rio San Juan. San Carlos is border city to Costa Rica and I´ll be crossing the border with another small boat up the Rio Frio to the Costa Rican border station at Los Chiles.

On the shore of lago de Nicaragua

P.S. It´s even possible to get Eskimo icecream in Granada :)

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Safe trip

M16 guns everywhere

Long bus drive from El Salvador to Granada, Nicaragua is finally over with KingQuality. Oh boy that was tough. There are security guards with M16 guns everywhere in El Salvador. They are standing in bus stations, petrol stations, in the streets, in hotels, in restaurants, etc... I haven´t get used to it yet. El Salvador is the most violent country in Central America, roughly 10 murders every day. I don´t wonder it at all, when there are guns everywhere and on TVs all movies are extremely violent. I haven´t seen a single movie in the bus, which wouldn´t have been shooting, fighting and violent.

KingQuality bus

Now I need to rest for a while in Granada, which seems to be a nice colonial city on the shore of Lago de Nicaragua.

Monday, November 30, 2009

El Salvador -> Honduras -> Nicaragua bus itinerary just about to begin

Trying to get frst to Honduras. On the weekend the border was closed due to Presidential elections and buses were turned around from the border. Now the border should be open and I´m waiting a bus in San Salvador in El Salvador to get to Tegucicalpa in Honduras. I´ll try to just quickly pass these two countries El Salvador and Honduras and change the buses and get to the Nicaragua. These long bus drives, big cities and bus terminals are really boring. Not the highlights of the trip :) I hope to be in Nicaragua by tomorrow. Hoping fast and safe trip...

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Volcanos at Antigua

 Sunset in Flores, Guatemala

I stayed one night in beautiful small island (La Flores) in Lago de Peten in Guatemala. Then I had a long 10 hour traverse to another side of the Guatemala. I was not having any christmas party feeling at the bus, but I know it´s just christmas party time at it hottest in Finland. Therefore my greetings to all who have had fun parties and probably some kind of hangover next day.

My christmas greetings together with Guatemalan snowman

Now I´m at Antigua, a small pictoresque town near the capital Guatemala City. Antigua is located next to three volcanos Agua (Water), Fuego (Fire) and Acatenango. There are 63 volcanos in Guatemala and three of them are active: Fuego, Pacaya and Santiaguito.

Volcanos Fuego (on the left), Acatenango (middle) and Agua (right)

Today I climbed (or actually walked) to active Volcano Pacaya to see the lava and feel the heat. It was amazing 2 hours climb from 1900 meters up to 2400 meters. Pacaya is 2552 meters high, but it was not safe to climb up to crater. At 2400 meters we saw just a few meters away lava flowing and heat burning our feet. Wooden sticks started to burn if they were sticked to lava. Heat was nearly unbearable.

Volcan Pacaya in action

Lava flowing towards just few meters away

Antigua is nice town and the area pretty much cooler than in caribbean side, because of the elevation. Nights feels even a bit cold up here, when I have already used to tropical climate in Mexico and Belize. Anyway I´m going to stay in Pacific side for a while and continue tomorrow to El Salvador.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Once in a lifetime experience: ATM cave

It has been unbelievable gorgeous in Belize. I traveled to Western Belize to town called San Ignacio, which has some caving experiences to offer. The most famous one is ATM (Actun Tunichil Muknal), which was amazing experience. Wow!!! First we hiked 45 minutes in the jungle and rivers to reach the entrance into the cave.

On the way Carlos, our guide was telling about plants and trees, how they can be used for medicine as learned already by Mayans. We ate termites, they tasted like carrots, but full of proteine. There were couple of Americans and couple of Canadians in the same group. Eventually we got to the gave, we took all of our clothes of except short trousers and swam into the cave.

Then we negotiated ourselves through tiny holes upper and further to the cave when finally after couple of hours entered into huge cathedral, where there were archeologically remarkable artifacts of Maya and bones and skulls.

This cave is protected and only limited number of visitors is permitted to enter the cave with certified guide.

Still at the same day my trip continued to Guatemala and after border crossing I headed to Tikal, the most famous Mayan ruins in Guatemala. Temples were pretty much similar than in Chichen Itza, but the environment was totally different. Tikal is in the middle of jungle, whereas Chichen Itza is not. Chichen Itza is archeologically more interesting, but Tikal for it`s location. The photo has been taken on top of Temple IV and you can see Temples III, II and I.

As a summary for Belize I would say it is a country, which everybody needs to experience. It is great and awesome! People are friendly, they are really investing in eco-tourism and country has something to offer for everybody. It is a paradise for divers, sailers, snorklers, kitesurfers and windsurfers. It has beautiful islands and beaches. Maya ruins and caves are offering once in a lifetime experiences. I just love Belize from now on...

Tuesday, November 24, 2009


Today I rent a kayak and paddled around the north part of the Caye Caulker island. There were sunshine, heavy showers and strong wind. The north island is pretty much in natural state and there is no habitation. I found some nice small sand beaches, where to stop over.

Tomorrow heading again to inland towards San Ignacio town, which is near Guatemala border. After Belize I will be crossing to Guatemala...

Monday, November 23, 2009

Caye Caulker

This is tropical paradise! Caye Caulker island is a sand bar with no cars on the white sand streets. I got a room from Tropical Paradise Hotel, it has even Wi-Fi and good views to Caribbean palm beach.

I'm going to hang-out here couple of days just relaxing and loading my photos to Picasaweb. You can do kite surfing, snorkeling, scuba diving, surfing, sailing, kayaking, swimming, etc... pretty much everything you can do in the water in addition of laying on the beach and taking sun. There are plenty of small hotels, hostels, lodges, guest houses and restaurants, which offer the services for mainly North American tourists.

Let the sun shine!

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Crocodiles, monkeys, maya ruins & circus

The big surprise was that circus has been coming to town! It was Russian circus, which I could believed to see in Helsinki, but not in Orange Walk town in Belize. However it's not my thing and I just skip it. Instead I was having a Lamanai tour today...


Boat trip to Lamanai Maya ruins were amazing. Carlos was a really experienced guide. He could see and point out the animals from the boat so far away. On the way to ruins we saw Crocodiles, Spider Monkeys, which we feed with the bananas. They were coming all the way down to the boat.

We saw some giant orange Iguanas, and lots of different birds, like black vultures and Jesus Christ birds. There are four different species of vultures in Belize and black ones are most common. King vulture is rare and is as big as condor. Jesus Christ female bird is going from male to male and giving eggs to each of the male to nest and raise baby birds.

Local fisherman on the river had bunch of fishes and there were even a rifle on his boat. Carlos was explaining that hunting is allowed as well and the locals take the guns with them when doing fishing and hunting.

On the site saw some howler monkeys, which were howling like a wolfs. Lamatai Maya site is quite remarkable, only 2% of it's buildings has been restored. There are over 1000 buildings and the area is large, where they have been living. There were couple of nicely restored temples, mask temple and jaguar temple. the highest temple reached 33m high.

When coming back to lodge there were this 4 meter long crocodile on the shore just 10 meters away the terrace of the lodge and the local guy was feeding it.

So I had to do it myself as well...

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Orange walk, Belize

Welcome to Belize. Walk slower, take your time, smile, be friendly. Don't worry, be happy. I found Belize a great place to visit. People are friendly, athmosphere is laid-back, great places to see, weather is perfect, food is excellent... Orange walk is a small town and I will be doing tomorrow Lamanai boat trip to Maya ruins in the jungle. Orange walk name comes from the fact that people were walking through orange plants when going to the center of town.

I was surprised for another thing as well. English is the official language of Belize and people do speak fluent American english in addition of spanish. I think I'll spend here a little bit more time than was planning to.

There are Amish settlements around Orange walk and you can see lots of them here. Tomorrow when doing the boat trip we are passing some Amish settlements along the river.

I'm staying at Riverside Lamanai Retreat. I can recommend this place for everybody, it has only three rooms, but what a location!!! Friendly stuff and great service. It looks like this:

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Chichen Itza

Maya ruins were impressive, but still I was more amazed Macchu Picchu years ago. Anyhow last evening there were light show over the ruins and I managed to get few photos, even I have only my small pocket size Canon Ixus and 10 cm tripod with me. This morning I entered the ruins again, when there were not many people. The very same "building" in daylight:

All tourist buses are coming after 10AM, but I was staying in a Villas Archeologicas just few minutes by walking from the ruins. I recommend :) There were even pool at the front of my room...

Now I'm at Valladolid and waiting the bus on the way to Belize.

As a summary Mexico has a very good bus network, you can get anywhere very cheap. Cancun is like Canary islands, spoiled in 70's when all the hotels were built there. It is not beautiful city at all. Visit Isla Mujeres instead.

At first night on the island I realized I forgot my earplugs at home. Hopefully I'm able to find and buy them on the way. The noise level is something else I have used to in my apartment. On the way to Maya ruins I met a couple from the USA, Alaska. Their family name was Vainio, which was funny coincidence, cause their grandfathers have been coming from Finland. They gave me some good hints for the rest of the trip.

On Chichen Itza I met Swiss guy, who has been sailing now over 1 year in Mediterranean, Atlantic and in Caribbean, and is planning now to continue to Cuba and then via the Panama channel to Pacific Ocean and Polynesia. Great stories and interesting people...

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Turtles, beaches, sunshine, ice cream

Rent a bike and did a visit to the southern tip of the island (which is by the way the most eastern point of whole Mexico). Didn't see Cuba over the Caribbean sea, though. On the way went to see some turtles (green or white turtles) on the incubation farm. The smallest ones were 10 days old and the biggest ones 25 years, weighing about 120 kg.

Sun has been shining and temperature has been above the comfort zone occasionally. Therefore I had to :) go to swim on Playa de la Norte. White nice sand beaches from which to choose one...

Check today's views from here.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009


6 hours flight from Chicago to Cancun, Mexico is over. Flight was not non-stop, but I had to change the plane in Mexico City. Tropical weather was hitting my face when stepping out from the plane at Cancun airport. I headed straight to Isla Mujeres island, 15 minutes by ferry from Puerto Juarez. Found a decent hostel and planning to stay in the island two nights, before heading to Chichen Itza maya ruins. It was already dark when I get to the islandm so it's nice to see tomorrow on the sunlight what kind of place this is. Need to dig out suncream and sunglasses from the backbag and head to the beach. I wonder how cold water there are in Caribbean sea...

Sunday, November 15, 2009


Sears tower was renovated from the previous visit 10 years ago. This June on the skydeck level, they have been building glass "boxes", where visitors can go to see how much space there are under your feet, if you dare to look at down to the street. These glass boxes are over 400m above the street level and you can get quite impressive photos (I would say quite airy).

Thursday, November 12, 2009

3rd time

I have been in Latin America and in Andes 2 times before.

It was 11th of September in 2001. We had had a nice 2 weeks hiking around Peru's highest mountains, Cordillera Huayhuash was the name of the trek. We had just returned back to Huaraz and today there were a plan to go to see Pastoruri glacier. When I step into the bus at around 9:00 AM, I see from the TV, that aeroplane is just crashing into the tower in New York. Terrorist attack is ongoing.

It was 26th of December in 2004. I was climbing on the slopes of Aconcagua. Christmas Eve were spent in Base Camp, Plaza Argentina, at 4200 m. On 26th we are climbing to camp I (5100 m) to leave some gear and come back to Base Camp to rest and sleep. I'm climbing 4 hours to reach the camp I and I'll leave some food, climbing boots, my ice axe, crampons, small and big bag with clothes in the camp and return in two hours back to Plaza Argentina. It is not earlier than on 6th of January 2005, when I have returned back to Finland, I heard there has been a huge earthquake in Indian Ocean on 26th of December resulting huge tsunami, which has killed lots of people. It killed nearly 230 000 people and it caused the entire planet to vibrate as much as 1 cm!

Now I'm going there 3rd time. I know a Finnish saying, which says that if something has happened two times, there will be third time as well. I really do hope, this saying is not going to be true this time. But if it turns to happen, then I need to consider to visit Latin America and Andes never again...

Tuesday, November 10, 2009


American Indians had a close relationship with the nature. I'll try to experience the same and hopefully will have good memories of Central- and South-America nature and people. I'll try to avoid big metropolis and cities and concentrate more on small picturesque villages with mountain sceneries and white sand beaches next to royal blue sea.

But at the same time I'll be travelling to see again how beautiful place Finland is to live. Hopefully I'll understand it once again. Sometimes you just need to travel far away to see very near. Things, which I consider as self-evident, will be definitely re-evaluated and the real value of those things will be enlightened...

One of the wisdoms from the American Indians, how we try to escape the nature and move away from it:

"Tipi is a good to live; always clean, warm on winter, cool on summer, easy to move. White man builds big houses, like a cave, they are expensive, not lighted by sunlight, difficult to move and white man is always sick."

Indian chief - Flying Hawk (1852-1931)

Monday, November 9, 2009

Tampere City Hall

On a weekend I had a chance to visit City Hall of Tampere. I was invited as a guest to the event arranged by Tampere city, where all those persons were awarded, who did "Pirkan kierros" this year. "Pirkan kierros" is a series of excercise events (4 different long distance events nearby Tampere : Skiing, cycling, rowing and jogging) and everybody who finishes all those events during one year has achieved the title "The finisher of circuit of Pirkka 2009".

Vice mayor of Tampere "Perttu Pesä" had a welcoming words and we all had a chance to see beautiful and renovated city hall and feel it's athmosphere. There were even some snack and wine served during the evening.

At the very same evening I had farewell parties at my home and we had even more wine and some snacks during the evenning and night. At some point of time there were mysterious relaxing exercise ongoing, how to relax with your hands up. You can try it as well....

5 days and counting. There are still something to do before the trip...

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Endemic species in Caribbean Islands

Ground was white when I was taking my bicycle from the storage in the morning. Slowly winter is taking a firm grip of autumn and inevitable turning the scenery into snowland!!! Cold wind was blowing from the north when I cycled towards the hospital with woollen hat and gloves to warm my head and hands.

When waiting my turn for the doctor I happened to read magazine "Suomen Luonto" (Finnish Nature), which had plenty of interesting articles. There were one article about new endemic species, which were named after national heroic epic of Finland "Kalevala". I was amazed, when I realized there are some species in Caribbean Islands, which are named after Kalevala. Trinidad has one endemic butterfly species, whose latin name is "Archaeoprepona demophoon ilmatar" and Lesser Antilles has endemic fern called "Danaea kalevala". Kalevala epic has been inspirer to biologists in addition of J.R. Tolkien, who read Kalevala even in original language, finnish!

Oh, I nearly forgot. The results of the health check was OK. There were even 3 doctors (2 of them just graduated and learning), who made the examination. One of them even said to me, "You have a good heart" :)

Wednesday, November 4, 2009


I have been sitting on front of my PC whole day writing a story of kayak trip from the last summer. I made the longest and the most demanding kayak trip so far by paddling from Stockholm to Turku in 14 days. Alltogether 391 kilometers on the Baltic sea and crossing of Åland sea between Finland and Sweden. It was successful and rewarding trip, but next summer I'm planning to do even more demanding trip. My aim is to paddle both Swedish and Finnish coastline in a row, about 3600 kilometers during 3 months. I'll be starting the trip from the border between Sweden and Norway in the beginning of May and ending the paddling on Virolahti on Russian border on August.

Today I have been finalising the booklet for Annapurna circuit hike, which I'm planning to lead just before the kayak trip. If I can get minimum the group of 5 people for the 3 weeks' trek, then we'll head to Nepal on beginning of April to experience spring in Himalayas with brilliant Rhododendron forests and gigantic peaks of seven and eightthousanders. This would be my fourth time in Nepal, and third time in Annapurna, which is definitely my favourite one of Nepal tea-house treks.