It was time to leave Banff and travel north to Jasper National Park. After Lake Louise Highway of Heroes (Trans Canada 1) turns west and continues up in the mountains to the famous railway spiral tunnels at Kicking Horse pass. I travelled north on Highway 93 Icefields Parkway of many considered the most beautiful Highway of the world.
My second day in Banff was spent walking around Lake Louise and up to Lake Agnes Tea house on the right hand side of the lake. The elevation gain is 385 meter; expected walking time is 2.5 to 3 hours for the 3.4 km to Lake Agnes Tea house. But first i few more view from Moraine Lake!
I read in guidebooks that Isla Ometepe is a very nice island in Lake Cocibolca. However I was not too interested in visiting the island. A discussion with an American family in Granada changed my mind. The family came from Chicago in United States. Last year the wife and their children had visited Isla Ometepe. She thought that Isla Ompete was so beautiful so the whole family decided to go to Nicaragua for a second time. I decided I should visit Isla Ometepe as well at least for a couple of days.
The mighty Kanadan River flows through the Rakhine state of Myanmar into the Bay of Bengal. The area around Kanadan River was once the most important farming area of the whole mainland South East Asia feeding millions of people with rice. After the British walk out of Burma leaving Myanmar to be ruled by despots of different kinds this farming area has dwindled from its glory days. Nowadays it can´t even support its own inhabitants with rice for the day, maybe not even bring rice to the people of Rakhine state. For the brave few backpackers who dares to go to the remotest corner of the world it has been a wet dream to do the Kanadan river journey. I turned this wet dream into an unusually wet river journey in the rainy season of 2007. Are you thinking about going? Please dream on Rakhine state are now closed and the Kanadan River Journey impossible. I will keep feeding your dreams with pictures and ideas from my river journey on Kanadan River.
I used Madaba and Mariam hotel as a base for my travelling in Jordan. The best strategy for travelling long distances in Jordan is renting a car. A rental car work out far cheaper than Mariam hotels very cheap taxi deals on long distance travelling. You might think it´s difficult to drive in Jordan? I can say it´s surprisingly easy! It´s also very safe, Jordan has few accidents and many speed bumps. This brings the speed down in road crossings. As a matter of fact there are two speed bumps in every road crossing on the main roads. Jordan has millions of speed bumps.
I tried to book a hotel room for the night in Umm Qais, in the far north of Jordan. Not possible, said Charl al-Twai manger of Miriam hotel in Madaba. They say Umm Qais hotel is closed, but do stay overnight in Irbid instead. I was not interested in staying in Irbid since the Rough Guide said “If time is short, give it a miss”. I strolled away to an internet café and search for hotel rooms in Umm Qais. On a hotel booking site I found Umm Qais hotel. The hotel had nice reviews and it was very cheap only 15 JD for a room. The message was book now only two rooms left.
Most people visiting the Dead Sea stay at expensive hotel resorts at the northern shore. In fact, there is an interesting budget alternative 30 km south in Wadi Mujib national park. Wadi Mujib is the Grand Canyon of Jordan, a fantastic area for walking, canyoning.
Landmannalaugar about 30 km east of Hekla in the inner of Iceland is probably one Europe’s most extraordinary places. One can reach this wilderness area with a bus from Reykjavík. The journey takes five and a half hour and the bus ride starts at 8:30 in the morning. Buy the South Circle pass at Trex in the bus station in Reykjavík and include Vik in your schedule. There is a possibility to extend the journey to Skaftafjell as well. If you go see to what you have best possible tent, sleeping bag, backpack and walking boots. You will need a tent that can withstand a storm in the open landscape without any wind protections. One can expect surprisingly cold weather even in the middle of summer with snow and temperatures below zero degrees celsius. Bring a warm sleeping bag with you! Stock up on food in Reykjavík harbor area, if you decide to break the journey into Landmannalaugar, Sellfors is another good are to stock up on food. If you are unsure about the standard of your equipment rent a hut but book as far in advance as possible. Landmannalaugar is a fantastic walking country with several possibilities for a day walk. If you are self-sufficient and can carry all your gears, there is the extraordinary fifty-five kilometer walk down to Pórsmörk.
The wilderness peninsula of Hornstrandir was my next goal after Látraberg. This is a real wilderness area only open in the summer months. If you really would like to fight with the elements go early in the season when it´s rains a lot. In the end of the season in the middle of August it can be sunny and nice weather if you are lucky. One more bonus going late in the season is all the blueberries one can eat everywhere on the green hills.