Today is the 8 month anniversary of our year long honeymoon. We’ve now traveled 65000 kilometers by plane, train, bus and boat, and it is still incredible to have the freedom to do experience all these different cultures and activities.
Just as I tried four months ago I tried to pick my top 10 photos but I never believed I would be able to do so. How could I with countries as varied as Indonesia, Papua New Guinea, Tahiti, Easter Island, Chile, Argentina and Peru. Therefore I again present my top 4 as well as the longlist. Which one is your favorite photo??
Kagai, Chimbu province, Papua New Guinea. Women from the Kagai village where we were staying showing their local singsing for us. We just finished dinner when we heard singing from the communal hut. We were encouraged to go over, as they did this as a surprise for us, their guests. We found about ten women with facepaint, cassowary feather headdresses and some traditional clothing. They would start slowly singing about welcoming guests, hospitality, love, life, fertility, children and many other things. At some point the tempo would pick up, and they would alternatively hold hands with the woman on either side, whilst rocking their upper body from left to right and shaking their heads vertically to make the feathers move. We were invited to join in, and it was surprisingly complicated. When I asked a young girl how often they practice she answered “we don’t need to practice, it’s our culture we all know the moves and songs from an early age.” It was by far the best cultural experience I’ve ever had.
Lago Colorada in the Bolivian altiplano is by far the most bizar lake I’ve ever seen. Red and white due to various organic and mineral compounds in the soil and water, it’s surrounded by peaks as high as 6000m. The rest of the area is incredibly dry, and has a yellowish brown color. The lake is home to thousands of flamingos, some of which can be seen towards the bottom. The whole region is an explosion of mineral colors in sand and water, and the three day excursion from San Pedro the Atacama to Uyuni is one of the best I’ve ever done.
Puno, Peru. A young woman in historic clothing recording a message for social media. She had been singing during the celebrations for the founding of the Inca empire when Manco Capac rose from lake Titicaca on 5 November. Puno, as Peruvian cultural capital, throws a big party for the annual celebration, with over a week of festivities. More information can be found here.
Orangutans in Tanjung Puting national park, Kalimantan, Indonesia. The national park is home to some 6,000 orangutans as well as countless other species of monkeys, reptiles and birds. The orangutans are a mixture of wild and rescued (and subsequently released) orangutans. Whilst the released orangutans are comfortable to eat from feeding tables, wild orangutans tend to stay away from the inevitable crowds that this brings. However, in times when food is scarce the wild urangutans also visit the feeding tables, which we happened to witness. The pictured pair of mother and young didn’t actually go to the table, the young was too distressed by the presence of humans, and made all efforts to get away and hide. Mum was a bit more relaxed, but not much. All in all I think the ecotourism in the national park is a little too successful, and whilst this brings benefits to the local population, it does also put a strain on the animals. Luckily staff and guides are respectful of the animals and seem to have their hart in the right place.
And my other favorites: