Tag Archives: tourism

Tilicho Lake

– this post  is part of  ‘trekking the Annapurna trail’ and follows‘Mellow in Manang’

I wake up at 5 AM and  join ‘the others’ for ‘breakfast’. Little did I know that putting raw garlic and spirulina in my mint tea would turn out to be a smart combination.  We will be climbing 900m in less than 3 hours from 4100 to 5000m. Onto Tilicho Lake. One of the highest lakes in the world, but not the highest as many do claim. check here to know more. But today’s hike would definitely be a highlight of the Annapurna trail!

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We start at 6 AM and leave our packs in base camp so today will be a hike with no weight on the back. the ascent would be steep enough anyway.  And with every step more and more stunning white peaks would reveal themselves.

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Contrary to the day before I happen to be very fit and I ascend very easily. I leave the rest of the group behind very soon which makes me enjoy the silence more profoundly. I am soon behind the Korean couple whom I saw leaving when I reached the breakfast table.

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The small path keeps  going up and one would think ‘when does this stop?’ as there is only that much pressure a head can withstand, right? And my spare garlic is not endless either. To clarify something here: I eat raw garlic (which tastes horrible yes) because it increases the oxygen intake in the body drastically and gives you a really good time after the bad taste! I have been recommending it all along and I still do (as I had a very bad experience with altitude sickness 8 years ago)

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The last winding path leads even more up and then the last more or less even stretch towards the lake. THE LAKE. What would the lake look like at first sight anyway? This I was wondering…

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I immediately took a turn to the right to get around the lake thinking that my time would be limited here in terms of my altitude capacity and also somehow keeping up with ‘the group’ who was on a schedule.

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The silence here is very profound, and even though I had been longing for it, it seems almost too much to bear after the endless hustle and bustle of India, mainly

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Tilicho_Lake_25I go further down the lake which stretches 4 kilometers deep. That seems totally ridiculous when you look at it from above, but true when you take the walk all the way down, which few people undertake…

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Tilicho_Lake_22I was already on my way back when I met my Thai companion Pong. Someons said he suffered headaches and went back but no, he just took it easy and made it all the way up. I walk all the way back to see the group again but they left already so me and Pong went right into the lake, taking a ice-cold dip and filling up our water bottles with the water of the lake as we had some purifying tablets left. (and it was very unlikely factories were dumping their waste waters into the lake)

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Suddenly, after a few hours, clouds came drifting in and I was reminded of the warnings people gave. After the noon the weather can turn around unexpectetly with fierce winds challenging one’s balance. I knew from  past experiences how serious this can be so we focused our minds on the craziest of circumstances. Anyway we wanted to stay up there as long as we could to enjoy this special place and also to get acclimatised to this altitude in preparation for the Thorung La pass but now was big time to get back!

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The walk back was very sweet though, yes there were clouds but they provided for the most amazing light spectacles avaialble, it was a sheer delight and the perfect ending for a most stunning day

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The Isis temple of Philae

The Isis temple of Philae sits on a small island in the river Nile near the city of Aswan in southern Egypt. It’s a major tourist attraction, and as it goes with the Egyptian destinations, they are not necessarily tailored to a solo traveler like me.  This I realised once again as I saw one after another tour group embarking on the boats  to the island. And these are not even the people staying on the big ships cruising the river Nile.  I was lucky enough though to hitch a ride to Philae.

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The Isis temple used to be located on another island but along with the inundation of the Aswan dam the temple and many monuments were recovered and  repositioned on Philae and if you didn’t know you wouldn’t really notice.

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Upon entering the temple’s interiors the atmosphere coming off the walls is pretty special, the murals soak you into the ancient world, a time long gone but in a curious way it feels as if it’s the present moment. I was lucky enough to be alone in certain places, also when face to face with a little bird in a hole in the wall who caught my attention for minutes at a time. Gazing into each other’s eyes, I received a nourishing transmission of some sorts…

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There is a tremendous amount of stories surrounding Isis ranging from the mainstream legends and fables we are being taught in school. Then there is the more esoteric notion of the mystery schools of Isis of which Mary magdalene and Jesus the Christ might ‘ve been initiates. The goddess Isis is also connected to profound cosmology, associated with specific planets aligned to the ancient world.

No matter what might ring true to your inner ears, here’s the invitation to receive the power encoded in the murals of the collages below…

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Even though Isis was the main deity venerated here, there were also shrines dedicated to the Hathors, multi-dimensional, extra-terrestrial beings who have been associated with numerous ancient civilisations of the past and most recently with ancient Egypt. (photo above)

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The seaside mayan ruins of Tulum

Imagine yourself immersed in the warm turquoise carribean water less than two hours after landing in Cancun, Mexico.  Just a little further south from the overrun beach town Playa del Carmen, Tulum offers a more laid back feel and is quieter and still has enough bars offering you your happy drinks during the happy hours.

Tulum is known for its seaside mayan ruins standing on the cliffs overlooking the ocean, just next to the beaches which makes it an ideal combination for many a visitor.
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Being Silly on Nainital Lake

Nainital Lake is a very popular summer destination with Indian tourists. Whether on their way to the summer snow or not, the little lake, bordered by a strip stuffed with hotels and restaurants, attracts hoardes of Indian families and couples.

Me and my friend Franz first practised on the little bikes at the lakeside before we took to the water on the surreal kitchy pedalos  and thus having a fun break from our enduring motorbike trip through India, just being silly  among the other floaters on Nainital Lake!

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