Mons (Belgium), december the 27
Salut à tous,
Ce petit mot pour vous souhaiter de très joyeuses fêtes et une très bonne année 2012 ! Pour notre part, nous sommes à Mons en Belgique depuis le mois d’octobre 2011.
Nous profitons du confort de l’Europe qui se déglingue…
Nous devrions en principe passer une grande partie de cette année en Belgique pour nous occuper de notre famille, de nos affaires et boire quelques bières entre amis. Nous espérons pouvoir repartir pour le début de l’automne prochain. Who knows ?
Notre cadeau pour les fêtes : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YmRnp4VeMnM
Hope you’re very well. We wish you a Merry Christmas and a happy New Year. We hope that everything is keeping on the good way for you. As far as we are concerned, we have settled down in Mons (Belgium) since October 2011. We’re enjoying the comfort of our slowly dropping down Europe.
We should stay here almost the whole year in order to care our family, our matters and have some beers with our friends. We’re expecting hitting the road again in fall. Perhaps heading to Buenos Aires. Who knows ?
Meanwhile our present for your ears and eyes only http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YmRnp4VeMnM
Medellin (Colombia) October, 4 – 2011
Why do we have to come back home so promptly ?
The property manager of my Mum (the latter is old and seriously sick) has just decided to quit at the end of next December and we’ve just been informed of it recently. We didn’t expect such news so quickly. Consequently, we have to come back to Belgium and put a temporally end to our project to run a hostel abroad. We’ll already touchdown in Belgium this Thursday October 6.
We’ll keep this blog running and it’s going to have another aim while staying in Belgium.
We’d like to tell you how nice it was to meet you on our way and share our common vision of this world and all those moments of happiness, our chats and our projects. We hope we’ll bump into each other in other time and other place. We thank you for having visited our blog and urge you on staying in touch with us. Sure that we’ll have so many other things to share in our blog.
For those of you who have decided to stay and keep on living the way you do, we hope that everything we’ll be all right for you. Stay free, alive and kicking. A part of you will always be shining in our heart.
As we know our passion for music, we couldn’t resist posting this. Enjoy it as usual and sure you can read between the lines.
Nath & Al
It barks at no one else but me
Like it's seen a ghost
I guess it seen the sparks a-flowing
No one else would know
Hey man slow down, slow down
Idiot, slow down, slow down
Sometimes I get overcharged
That's when you see sparks
You ask me where the hell I'm going
At a thousand feet per second
Hey man slow down, slow down
Idiot slow down, slow down
Hey man slow down, slow down
Idiot slow down, slow down
Pourquoi avons-nous dû rentrer en Belgique si précipitamment ?
Le gestionnaire des biens immobiliers de ma mère (qui est très âgée et très malade), nous annonce qu’il part à la retraite fin décembre 2011. Nous ne nous attendions pas à cette nouvelle aussi tôt. Nous sommes donc malheureusement contraints de mettre un terme momentané à notre projet d’ouverture d’une auberge à l’étranger. Nous rentrons en Belgique ce jeudi 6 octobre 2011.
Notre site restera actif et aura un autre objectif pendant notre séjour en Belgique.
Nous tenions à vous dire tout le plaisir que nous avons eu à vous rencontrer sur la route et à partager ensemble notre autre vision commune de la vie et tous ses moments de bonheur, nos discussions et nos projets. Nous espérons bien entendu vous retrouver un jour ou que ce soit, c’est certain. Nous remercions aussi tous les visiteurs de notre site et les encourageons à rester encore en contact avec nous. Nous aurons encore bien d’autres choses à dire sur notre blog.
Vous connaissez notre passion pour la musique. Nous vous laissons sur ce morceau
September 2011 : Costa Rica : Pura Vida !
We were told lots of negative things about Costa Rica (full of Yankees, sky-high prices and so one) but we were really positively surprised. I’d say that the country was quite affordable and finally the nature was really amazing.
Eventually, the accommodation was simply a bit more expansive and even we could hit some really great deals. Only the food was fairly pricier but it was still reasonable.
It’s fairly reported that the nature is astounding in Costa Rica and I can totally agree with that. Eventually there is not more wildlife to spot but it’s perhaps easier to see it.
Firstly, we went to La Fortuna to see the volcano Arena and his lagoon. Till recently the volcano’s been in activity but it’s seemed having reduced it for one year. Nevertheless, the volcano views on the lagoon are absolutely delighting and the volcano has a perfect cone and it’s really lovely and impressive.
Then afterwards, we headed for Tortugero on the Caribbean coast. The place is unique on its own because it’s a kind of little island flanked on one side by the Pacific Ocean and but on the other side by some wild rivers and the tropical rainforest so we can sail with some lanchas to visit the rivers and it’s really packed with lots of different kind of animals (crocodile, tropical birds, monkeys, spiders, tropical snakes…). But Tortugero it’s mainly famous for being one of the best spot to see tortoises coming there to lay their eggs. 4 out of 6 world renowned species of giant tortoises lay their eggs in Tortugero. For us it’s definitively a must see.
We did one tour to spot the tortoise and it was great (even if I keep on thinking that they could have organized Tour less touristy and more natural that what they usually do – but unfortunately it’s getting so hard being able to spot wildlife on your own and by yourself).
Afterwards, we went to Manuel Antonio national Park: gorgeous beaches and a bunch of crazy monkeys. The park is located on the Pacific coast. Really lovely and interesting.
Then finally we went to Corcovado which is reported to be one of the best place in the world to spot tropical birds, jaguar, ocelot and so one. We did some wonderful walks and saw some beautiful beaches ever.
September 2011 : Panama : Freed since 1999
You can’t visit Panama without being interested in the fabulous history of its canal.
It’s absolutely true that the canal is really a wonder and changed probably the face of the world trade.
The dark side was certainly the role of the North American presence in the area and how they have sustained a kind of fake revolution that ended in a declaration of independence of Panama in their relation with Columbia (Panama was previously a part of Columbia). As soon as those “revolutionaries” proclaimed the independence of Panama, the US recognized it in order of being there to be ready to buy the canal. That’s what they did and that’s how they stayed there until 1999.
Fortunately Panama has been now able to run his business since then and it seems to be a success story.
In panama, we saw Bocas del Toro (awful because too gringonized) and Panama was a really interesting town. The old Casco Viejo is specially very beautiful and interesting. There is there such an atmosphere a bit like in la Habana (pero no hay lugar que podemos comparar con la Habana qua les la luz de Centro America).
We were in a nice hostel where lots of very friendly people (it’s was a bit like living in the “One million hotel” by Wim Wenders –sure you should know it).
So we are still keep in on going to Columbia and trying as much as possible to get out of the beaten tracks to get to the real.
Esperamos que en America del Sur vamos a vivir con una gente que esta mas preoccupado en su propia historia y creo que va a ester el cas.
Vaya con suerte !
Notre trajectoire au Panama fut assez courte. Nous nous sommes concentrés uniquement sur "Bocas del Toro" et "Panama City". Nous avons été assez déçus par l'île de "Bocas del Toro", île finalement fort touristique et assez chère qui ne présente
que peu d'intérêt sauf à posséder un bâteau. Les belles plages ne sont accéssibles qu'en bâteau-taxi très couteux...
Enfin, nous sommes arrivés à Panama City afin de réserver notre vol pour la Colombie. Nous y sommes restés une semaine et avons pu admirer le constrate entre la ville moderne, dotée d'une skyline similaire à celle de NY, et le "Casco Viejo", ancienne ville coloniale espagnole. Nous avons bien évidemment visité le canal du Panama , un chef d'oeuvre d'ingénierie.
Nous avons passé 10 jours au Costa Rica et n'avons vraiment pas été déçus ! La nature y est extraordinaire ! Nous avons été d'abord deux jours à La Fortuna, au pied du superbe volcan Arenal : la lagune du volcan y est très belle et offre de belles balades dans les environs.
Ensuite, nous avons continué notre route jusqu'à "Tortuguero", le plus grand site de ponte de tortues d'Amérique Centrale (et peut-être du monde - car 4 espèces de tortues sur 6 dans le monde, pondent à Tortuguero). Hormis cela, l'extraordinaire variété d'animaux que nous avons pu voir (tortues de mer, caïmans, toucans, serpents, iguanes, singes, ...) l'endroit est tout simplement magnifique (bordé entre le Rio, la jungle et la mer des Caraïbes), c'est un endroit tout à fait particulier accessible uniquement par voies d'eau .
Ensuite, nous avons été à Manuel Antonio, superbe parc naturel (jungle) au bord de l'Océan Pacifique. Là se trouve des plages magnifiques de sable blanc entourés de cocotiers, ainsi qu'une flore et faune incroyable dans la jungle. Des familles de singes et des ratons laveurs, attirés par les pics nics des touristes, se sont rapprochés de nous. Nous avons donc pu les observer de très près. Ce fut un très beau spectacle.
Pour terminer, nous sommes allés au Parc de Corcodavo, qui est un des plus beaux sites de réserve naturelle au Costa Rica pour l'observation des animaux. C'est une région assez éloignée et difficile d'accès. Le parc naturel est malheureusement trop éloigné des zones habitables donc nous n'avons pas pu nous rendre jusqu'au parc naturel même. Cependant, le petit village de Drake, situé dans la région du Corcovado ainsi que Puerto Jimenez, offrent déjà de splendides promenades dans la nature. Là, aussi les plages étaient magnifiques et c'est ici que nous avons pu observer les superbes perroquets rouges à grandes plumes," les macaws". Espece en voie de disparition,pourchassée pour la beauté de leur plumes, ici enfin ils peuvent vivre en toute liberté. Nous en avons vu une bonne cinquantaine, un superbe spectacle !
Septiembre 2011: Nicaragua : un pais de volcanes y de revolutionarios
Estoy leyendo otra ves el libro del Che que se llama « Soberania policica e independencia economica » en El papel de la universtidad en el desarrollo economico de Cuba (Ernesto Guevara. Escritos y discursos, La Habana, t. 4,81-82), yo fue conmovido comprender como estas palabras fueron adecuadas para un pais como Nicaragua.
« El regimen interno que tenga cada pueblo que le permita en mayor o menore grado o por completo o que no le permita en absoluto ejercer su soberania, debe ser asunto que competa a dicho pueblo ; pero la soberania nacional significa, primero el derecho que tiene un pais que nadie se inmiscuya en su vida, el derecho que tiene un pueblo a darse el gobierno y el modo de vida que mejor le convega. Eso depende de su voluntad y solamente eses pueblo es el que puede determinar si un gobierno cambia o no. Pero todos estos conceptos de soberania politica, de soberania nacional son ficticios si al lado de ellos no esta la independencia economica ».
Keeping short this great though, one can sum up it as: the sovereignty of a country requires that this country should be free of any kind of external and foreign interfering and furthermore above this political sovereignty that its economic sovereignty be protected and secured.
It’s obvious that that concern was basically acute and prevailing in the whole Central America during the second half of the previous century for a few politicians struggling to maintain the national sovereignty.
Nicaragua is certainly with Cuba one of the best instance of that bloody struggle (Cuba has still been surviving the US ashamed block).
We can claim that Nicaragua suffered the American interventionism for almost 70 years (from the twenties to the Nineties).
Nicaraguan unmatched wealth and above all his natural wonder is “el Lago de Nicaragua” as big as Corsica (!). Indeed, if you check your map, you’ll see that a large part of Nicaragua is covered by his huge lake and the key is that this wonder is able to give a link between the two oceans (Atlantic and Pacific). Indeed, far before the building of the Panama Canal, the only way to cross over the two big oceans was through Nicaragua (That ‘s true that only small ships could sail at that times and that one needed to enlarge the rivers around in order to ease the sailing of big tanks). For the international trade, it was such a matchless asset.
Eventually, this lake was Nicaragua cross and roots of blood.
It was without taking head of the US external foreign policy.
From the very beginning, the US government tried to dominate internal Nicaragua politics in order to ease their use of the lake (History taught us that they would fail finally and then tried other attempts in Panama which also will cost lots of life in this country – it took Panama years to rediscover his rights on his own canal…).
US Interventionism in Nicaragua really started back to the early 20thies and will give birth of one of Nicaragua politics famous character Augusto Sandino.
This man is still venerated in whole Nicaragua and it’s safe to say that he fought against the US Marines presence for more than 15 years. He did all he could to bring out and fight against Nicaraguan governmental corruption embodied by the Samosa family. The Samosas were presidents of Nicaragua from father to sons during almost 60 years (5 times exactly). They were just puppets controlled and spearheaded by the US governments and all the dollars that flew in the Samosas pockets to help them to turn their blind eyes.
Samosa build an internal army which was charged of finding and murdering all the regime opponents. They killed thousands of people and they killed also Sandino in 1934.
After the assassination of Sandino came lots of opponents to the Samosa regime and especially in the student field. Lots of them were murdered during some demonstrations.
Those events gave birth to the FSLN (Frente Sandinista de Liberacion Nacional) which is still the major party in Nicaragua. His leader is Daniel ORTEGA which is President of Nicaragua currently. Ortega is running for the upcoming elections that are occurring next November. FSLN is a left wing party and underpins the left wing tendency in some Central and South America countries.
Without really planning it we walked through the revolutionary path during our stay in Nicaragua.
Firstly we settled in the lovely town of Leon which is the FSLN main town. It was really moving to see all those murals (we can see a few on our website) showing the local population fights against the Samosa tyranny. I really like the one you can see Sandino (You can recognize him generally thanks to his black hat) swatting with his right boot the ridiculous Uncle Sam (How amazing!). It reminds me of some of the savories murals of Santa Clara in Cuba …
The temperature was sky-high in Leon (You could never picture it – so so hot). Despite of that we spend our time to visit some martyr memorials and El Museo de la Revolucion perfectly located in the main square.
After that we rushed through the cost line to bath into the warm and sunny Pacific Ocean (very dangerous by the way because of some rip tides).
After a few lovely days in Leon, we discovered the wonderful town of Granada. Our aim out there was to take up a new Spanish session that could last one week and so we did it. We got some rather good teachers and spent 3 hours during 5 days to improve our rather intermediate Spanish knowledge. Weather was still boiling. Scorchers after scorchers. I really didn’t check the temperature but it had to be very very warm. Granada is a wonderful and pretty town located in front of the Nicaraguan lake. It’s an old colonial town filled with churches and green squares, narrow streets full of colorful small houses with tiled roofs. A wonder. An unmatched quality of live. Round the town we can bump into volcanoes, lakes, mountains…really astonishing and so so cheap, guys, you would have cried thinking of what we are missing out there. Out there we were hosted by a charming Nicaraguan family and by accident there were just very involved in the FSLN. They were preparing the upcoming elections and it was rewarding talking about politics with them and giving them a small hand.
Concerning the touristy way of life, we visited the “Isletas” which are incredible small islands located in front of Grenada in the lake. Some of them hosts some wonderful houses for a some very loaded family. Heaven on earth ! Really peaceful and lovely.
We have to say that we can assure you that there are lots of thing to do in Nicaragua. That’s a lovely and peaceful country and so many different things to do : beach, hikes, culture. Local people are very friendly, helpful. Local food is great. Their beer “Toña” is delicious and far better that Mass wine and guys, they have such a Rum, “La flor de caña”, a wonder…a very very good Rum, perhaps one of the best in the world, seriously speaking. It’s reported that it could be done with some Canes coming out from Cuba when some Campesinos decided to escape out of the Isla Bonita because they were afraid of the socialism building out there. But any way this Rum is a wonder and so cheap. It’s really a pleasure to go out there thanks to some affordable drinks. Great !!!!
After something like 10 days out here in Grenada, we shipped through the wonderful lake to hit the enchanting Isla of Ometepe. The journey was amazing and I’m very pleased that I don’t have lots of readers because it’s a wonderful place to go which is unbelievably not spoiled by some beheaded tourists. The place is simply unique on its own. Local people are so smiling, friendly, welcoming. We found there our best comedor since we left ! (Yes the best address). The views on the two volcanoes are simply breathtaking. In a few words, really nice.
We hanged around out there, treating ourselves with a horse ride. Not that bad guys, not that bad at all. See the pictures.
Then we had to dash through the lake again and hit San Juan del Sur, a reported paradise for surfers located in the Pacific Ocean. Really don’t worth going there hitting some pathetic Gringos parties. We left as quick as we could heading to the Costa Rica Border in order to live some other terrific adventures.
If ever you decide to fly to Central America, go to Nicaragua. You shouldn’t be disappointed. Promise. I could give you such a journey that you wouldn’t ever forget.
Que mas ?
Eso no lo sé asi que tengo que irme, amigos, y espero que la vida es bella para vosotros y sus familias y que vamos a tener algunas buenas noticias de vosotros rapidamente.
Vamos a Costa Rica pronto para verificar que sea verdad que alli la gente vive la « Pura vida »…hum que interesante, verdad ?
Hasta siempre y que les vaya bien, amores mio.
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