Posted by: syorkestern | March 12, 2013

Back home – last months newsletter is up

Last Friday we arrived in frightfully cold Göteborg and were met by parents and relatives. Happy reunions! And tomorrow we head down to Blekinge to meet up with Filippas side of the family!

I will not even try to summarize our experiences from the almost 2 year long trip, but we are both in full agreement that it was a great experience and well worth all the trouble and sacrifices made.

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No boats for some time now and no travel plans. This feels great still and we are already busy setting up the normal life again. Eventually the travel bug might strike again, but for now it is well buried.

Filippa made an effort and put together Februay picture pdf, which is now up. That concludes the story and eventually in the spring we will shut down this web site.

Hope to see you in person soon instead!
Martin and Filippa 

 

Posted by: syorkestern | February 24, 2013

January is up – and so is the surf

This morning Orkestern and Ninita arrived at Galapagos without us. Bittersweet emotion, we are happy they seem to have made it without major issues and in good time, but of course it would be cool to be there now with the sea lions playing around the boat.

Life in Santa Catalina is not bad either though, I guess real envy of our sailing friends will only properly set in when we have worked a bit back home and you are again stuck in a traffic jam on the E6 motorway. 

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The January newsletter has been uploaded, containing mostly the Peru trip and a little Panama of course.

We have a couple more days to finetune our surfing skills before getting on the bus back to PC and then the flight northeastwards to Sweden a couple of days later.

/Martin

Posted by: syorkestern | February 13, 2013

Underwater Coiba

Both Filippa and I are very happy to to take water over our heads at times. Being so close to a first rate diving spot like Coiba, we could hardly avoid to put on the flippers and join the fish!

White tip reef shark - very common here, we saw over 20 during the dives

White tip reef shark – very common here, we saw over 20 during the dives

Flag Cabrilla - every crevice contains at least one here.

Flag Cabrilla – every crevice contains at least one here.

Bumphead Triggerfish, Pseudobalistes naufragium

Bumphead Triggerfish, Pseudobalistes naufragium – biult like a tank.

Amberjack - one of these came in in the end of the dive, scaring away a school of jacks.

Amberjack – one of these came in in the end of the dive, scaring away a school of jacks.

spadefish

Pacific Spadefish

Langustine

Langustine

All geared up with Self Contained Underwater Breathing Apparatus

Filippa and Martin – all geared up with Self Contained Underwater Breathing Apparatus

Mexican Hogfish, Bodianus diplotaenia

Mexican Hogfish, Bodianus diplotaenia

All the fish in the pictures here were seen during a single dive, and often in abundance. Schools of thousands of Bigeye Jack, Greybar Grunts and Snappers. Most of the pics are not ours, while we did play around with a UV camera during the first day and got some decent shots.

Giant damselfish

Leather Jack

Chevron Barracuda - you don´t see Great Barracuda here like in the Caribbean, but these slightly smaller relatives come in large groups.

Chevron Barracuda – you don´t see Great Barracuda here like in the Caribbean, but these slightly smaller relatives come in large groups.

Fine spotted moray - one of the ones we saw at this site was a huge, almost two meters long, specimen.

Fine spotted moray – one of the ones we saw at this site was a huge, almost two meters long, specimen.

Greybar Grunts

Greybar Grunts

Golden Trevally - saw this species in three age stages this week - juveniles, intermediate and adults.

Golden Trevally – saw this species in three age stages this week – juveniles, intermediate and adults.

Panemic Green Moray Eel - most common of the morays around Coiba

Panemic Green Moray Eel – most common of the morays around Coiba

Even if the Whale Shark eluded us again, Coiba diving did not disappoint us!

Posted by: syorkestern | February 1, 2013

More pics of Peru

In the village of Ollantaytambo, narrow alleys from Inca times.

In the village of Ollantaytambo, narrow alleys from Inca times.

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A rather dry landscape, but still full of flowers and fig trees.

A rather dry landscape, but still full of flowers and fig trees.

Ollantaytambo Inca ruins

Ollantaytambo Inca ruins

Posted by: syorkestern | January 29, 2013

Bowling at the Mall

Contrasts are stark this week. We headed back from Cusco in the early morning, flew via Arequipa, Lima and San José to end up in Panama City again in the late evening. From the near freezing Andees to the “normal heat” of the tropics. Our frozen bodies are slowly thawing.

Another contrast was to go to the mall after a couple of weeks in the high Andees. Houses made from clay bricks and llamas to eat-all-you-can pizza joints and January clothes sales. Sad to say goodbye to Nina and Ola, whom we met over lunch – this time we will really not meet until they get back to Sweden, in whichever way that now may be, boat or plane.

Peru was a nice trip, sceneries awsome and beautiful, colourful people. We spent most of the time with one of us being sick, but that didnt stop us from enjoying.

Bowling-Balls

We also had time to check in with the new crew of Orkestern to give them a few last pieces of advice and well wishes. They seem to have a steep learning curve and make sure to film every bit of it too!

Back to the bowling in the mall – we decided to put our old skills to the test yesterday. Lets not go into any details about scores, but we are soon going to file a complaint to the international board of bowling about the lack of proper balls with the right hole size weight ratio, shoes with rubber heels that made you stop and not slide and possibly uneven floor..

Now tomorrow morning off to Santa Catalina and Coiba, in the southwest of Panama, for four weeks of diving and surfing!

Filippa just finished the December picture slides – check under The Tour as usual.

Posted by: syorkestern | January 21, 2013

Valle Sacrado

In Pisac, looking further into the Sacred Valley

In Pisac, looking further into the Sacred Valley

Idag åt jag den bästa avocado jag någonsin ätit. Den var stor, gul i köttet, smakade smörkräm, hade inte den minsta antydan till svarta eller dåliga partier och kostade mig överkomliga 1 Sole (2,5kr) på marknaden. Avocadon mumsades precis på vårt nya rum i Ollantaytambo – eller kort Ollanta (Åljanta) – som byn kallas.
Efter lite funderande valde vi bort bussarna med de 2-siffriga restiderna och hoppade på ett flyg från Lima till Cusco. Det var två timmar försenat, men när vi väl kom ombord hade vi ovetande fått platser i Business class, så det var ju fint. Cusco är centrum i höglandsområdet där Inka-folket bodde och en relativt stor stad med kraftigt turistfokus. Vi hoppade raskt i en liten buss som tog oss på 1 timme över ett bergspass och ner i Valle Sacrado, dalen som följer Urubamba-floden, till den lilla byn Pisac. Här checkar vi in på ett trevligt Hospedaje (lite som hemma-hos-familjen hostel) där vi blir kvar i hela 6 dagar – tyvärr mest för att vi båda däckas av nån trökig influensa (vi har träffat svenskar igen, så vad kunde man vänta sig!?).
Vi lämnade Pisac runt lunch efter att ha besökt söndagsmarknaden. Filippas influensa har varit ihållande och dryg, så medan hon tog igen sig i rummet (fortfarande i Pisac alltså) begav jag mig ut på jakt efter lite souvenirer. Pisac är välkänt för sin hantverksmarknad, som är ganska enorm med tanke på byns mycket begränsade storlek. Just på söndagen var det fullt med traktens bergsbönder som sålde frukt, potatis, mat, chicha och annat gott. Mycket vackert allting, folk är verkligen som gjorda för att se fina ut på kort i Peru, små damer i Peru-hatt och inka-kjol som säljer Chochlo con Queso (majskolv med ost) etc, ni fattar. Jag fick fatt i så mycket textila souvenirer som ville passa i ryggsäcken så jag var nöjd, och som tur var även Filippa när jag sen redovisade. Även ett rejält glas frukt-Chicha fick jag mig.
Solen bränner ordentligt mitt på dagen, det känns som det inte finns nått ozonlager så här högt uppe. Vi är visserligen bara på 2800 meter här nere i dalen, men luften är sval och krispig som just bergsluft. På kvällar och nätter blir det riktigt kallt, och värma upp husen är inget man sysslar med. Alltså tre tjocka filter på sig ibland och man drar sig för att duscha i den ljumna duschen. Men att duscha mer sällan är vi ju vana vid sen seglandet…
Hela byn Ollantaytambo ligger i en gammal inkabosättning och har massor av ruiner kring sig på bergssidorna. Eftersom det är regnsäsong/lågsäsong är det inte så mycket turister, vilket är bra. Att det sen inte har regnat nästan alls och vi nu haft två dagar av strålande sol gör inte saken sämre. Ut och utforska imorrn!
Den 26:e flyger vi från Cusco till Lima igen på morgonen för att ansluta direkt till planet mot Panama. Vi får hoppas de håller sig till en måttlig försening då så vi inte missar vårt flyg. Fast huvudsaken är kanske att de flyger försiktigt, den där gamla filmen Alive utspelar sig väl här i krokarna.
//Martin
PS November Resebrev är strax uppladdat!

Posted by: syorkestern | January 11, 2013

Peru!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOur six months of the Panamanian tourist visa expires today Jan 11th. So good thing we are no longer in the country of Panama. Our first idea was to take a long bus trip up to the Costa Rican border as we had heard some people do to extend the visa. But after a good deal of thought on how we best should spend our post-boat vacation days, we decided to buy a ticket to Peru to explore the Andes fo a couple of weeks.

TACA Airlines took us safely via San José, Costa Rica, down to Lima in the southern hemisphere. After all our sailing between the countries, an international airplane flight is disturbing in a way: You never get to acquaint your brain with the idea of going to that new country, you are just abruptly dropped down there. Lima is a lively place with some 8 million inhabitants, and it hits you with a bang. It´s the capital of a poor nation with about 40% of the people living below the poverty line. With only our first taxi ride from the airport to our hotel yesterday, we can conclude that traffic is not for the faint-hearted and noise pollution is abundant.

Today we woke up refreshed again and started to make plans of how to best explore the country. Should we include the all-popular Machu Pichu? Shall we see Lake Titicaca? Shall we hike the Andes? Shall we try the local delicacy Cuy (guinea pig/marsvin)?

Stay tuned, we will report what happens.

Posted by: syorkestern | January 7, 2013

Bye bye Orkestern!

 Strange to be sitting here in a hostel (or homestay as it describes itself) without a long list of “today´s chores”. The ground and the chairs are stationary, the oat meal cooking pot doesn´t slide of the burner and the water runs freely from the taps. Somebody here gave us advice on which shower was the best, of the three existing, Martin and I just looked at each other – if the water is running without us at the same time pumping and holding the hose, what can possibly be a better shower than that?

 Yesterday the new owners of Orkestern took over. We had three days for running through all the gear, going out sailing, loading on their luggage and off ours. Imagine travelling to Panama to buy a boat and planning on staying away for almost two years! What to pack?

Caroline and Johannes is a really nice and bright couple (and Swedish). We are proud to hand over Orkestern in their care, and we already have had proof thay can both sail, swim and deal correctly with the Panamanian taxi drivers – so we have all faith in them.

Caroline and Johannes on the premier sail.

Caroline and Johannes on the premier sail. Martin just enjoying the ride. 

 

Today we are tired, happy that our plan of selling around New Year worked and surprised to find ourselves quite without major engagements or responsibilities. Let´s go on vacation!

Filippa

p.s. we will continue reporting from our journey on this webpage until we reach Sweden (on an aeroplane)   d.s.

Posted by: syorkestern | December 23, 2012

God Jul – Merry Christmas

This last week our social calender has been really full. We have been with friends to see a movie, we have been playing cards with Ninita, we met Adrian Lang and Camilla in Casco Viejo for sightseeing and drinks. The latter two showed up in Panama City without much prewarning and we had a good time with them. By chance we had on Friday booked ourselves on a little jungle trip to visit the Embera tribe who lives on the Chagres River, which they could join!

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A bus took us from the Causeway up to a lake where the Embera Indians picked us up in large narrow dugouts with 30HP outbords. The trip soon took us up far into the Chagres River. At one point it was unclear if we were going to make it up the river that day, because of the masses of water flowing down from recent rains. The river was 15ft higher than usual and brought a good deal of trees down which we had to avoid.

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The day was spent in the village, seeing the Medicine mans plantation of medicinal plants, looking at and buying handmade crafts, eating lunch and seeing the dance show. And the highlight: The village had a tame otter which played with the dogs. It was called Gato (meaning cat in Spanish?!) and was hilarious.

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MERRY CHRISTMAS EVERYONE!
Martin and Filippa

Posted by: syorkestern | December 19, 2012

Hobbits

Just back from Albrook Mall after seeing The Hobbit with Nina, Ola and Ron. Good movie but perhaps not quite as good as I hoped. Always nice to see some dwarves though, they always cheer you up.

Christmas shopping is ongoing intensely at the mall, so we are glad to get away from there. No more visit before xmas, this will only get worse..

Merry Christmas everyone!

/Martin

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