I have been building up a completely NEW WEBSITE for the Bizarre Globe Hopper and it’s now published!!

It can be found in the address: http://www.bizarreglobehopper.com and therefore this site is going to be totally deleted very soon!

The new site is also completely in English. If you’d like to continue subscribing to my posts also in the future, please go to the new site and send me a message through the “Contacts” -page! I’d love to see you all there, too. Unfortunately I cannot move your subscription information from this site to the new one, so that’s why you have to subscribe again on the new site. Currently I haven’t decided on a new subscription plugin on the new site yet, that is why I’d like you to send me a message.

I’m sorry for the inconvenience this may cause you. But hopefully you’d like to stay informed in the future too and stay with me also on my future adventures! Thank you so much and hope to see you again soon on the new site!

The new logo

The new logo

Brainwaves – a salvation for a traveler on the road?

Brainwaves Travel Essentials

Brainwaves are a measure developed to enhance different states of mind. There are apps to help you study or sleep better, for example. These apps use sequences of binaural tones to stimulate brainwave frequencies associated with various states of mind and this particular app is developed especially for travelers.   https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/brainwave-travel-essentials/id314324616?mt=8

In the process two different tones are played through headphones or ear buds. These binaural tones differ in frequency on the left and right side by an amount matching the target brainwave frequency. When processing these binaural tones the human brain perceives the frequency difference as an inaudible, periodic beat. This periodic beat is often referred to as the binaural beat for a given sequence and the tones themselves as binaural beats, however, this beat is indirectly perceived as opposed to directly heard since it is below the range of human hearing (Perceived human hearing is limited to the range of frequencies from 20 Hz to 20,000 Hz, whereas human brainwave frequencies typically range from .5 to 40 Hz). For each brainwave sequence the frequency of this perceived beat has been engineered to precisely match a target brainwave frequency. The effect on the brainwaves depends on the difference in frequencies of each tone: for example, if 300 Hz was played in one ear and 310 in the other, then the binaural beat would have a frequency of 10 Hz. You can read more from the developers own page: http://www.banzailabs.com/brainwaveapps.html












I have used this little app many times now and I’ve found it more than useful in various situations. Especially I have been happy to have it on long haul flights where I’ve used it regularly to help me catch some much-needed sleep in those cranky airplane seats. It doesn’t just help you to relax and unwind, it also blocks the background noise effectively where ever you happen to be. You just have to keep the volume of your phone loud enough.

The brainwaves help your own brain to focus better, in this case it helps you to get in much more relaxed state so you’ll be able to catch some sleep. I usually cannot take short naps during daytime hours, no matter how tired I’d be but this app has helped me to do even that! And there’s even a program included for the situations where you can’t sleep but on the contrary need to be more focused. Very handy little piece of travel accessory that you really should have!! It’s not an expensive investment but it’ll help you a long way on the road, I’m going to be sure of it since I speak from personal experience. That is why I’d say that this little piece of gear is a must-have if you have an iPhone with you. And of course there are hundreds of options out there, this one app was just an example. Even though one that works really great! But get to know brainwaves apps and you don’t know how you survived without them!

Happy travels!


My NEW travel article is published in Digital Nomad Travel Magazine: Wintertime Adventure – Driving Around Iceland

Last week my second travel article was published in the Digital Nomad Travel Magazines’ issue dedicated to that magnificent land of ice and fire, Iceland.

In between December 2013 and January 2014 we did something that many people will say can’t be done at winter. We drove all the way around the Ring Road, also known as the Highway 1.
We experienced some harsh weather conditions along the way but we did
have a true adventure in this land of fairies and sagas. Though I admit that we had a fair amount of luck with us, too.
Read how we managed to do a journey that many people think is “impossible” – in just 11 days!

If you have an iOS device you can download the whole Digital Nomad Travel Magazines’ issue of Iceland and the app from here: http://bit.ly/VQXuN9.  Subscriptions are TOTALLY FREE so you should get them while they’re hot!
Or you can read the entire article of mine from the screenshots included here in this post.

Either way, join into our adventure in the fascinating Iceland, NOW!

Also feel free to share this post as much as you like and if you’ll have any kind of questions about this kind of journey or something else about Iceland, don’t hesitate to contact me! I’ll be glad to help!
You’ll reach me through here, Twitter: @bizarreglobehop or Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/bizarreglobehopper

Enjoy reading!

Travel Blog Awards 2013 – äänestä minua // vote for me!!

www.supersaver.fi -sivusto järjestää jälleen matkablogikisan, “Travel Blog Awards 2013”. Käy tukemassa minua “Paras matkablogi” -osion voittoon klikkaamalla oheista kuvaa ja seuraamalla ohjeita, miten ehdotuksesi rekisteröityy minulle! Voit käydä tekemässä ehdotuksesi 4.2.2014 mennessä.
Kiitos jo etukäteen!

PS. Tänä vuonna on edessä monta mahtavaa matkaa ja näin ollen myös paljon uusia blogiposteja! Muista siis pysyä kuulolla!

// Booking site www.supersaver.fi is holding again its annual competition “Travel Blog Awards 2013”. Click the image below and take a minute to vote for me to win the “Best Travel Blog” -series!! Instructions are: Click the image below. 1. Choose a competition category (“Paras Matkablogi”) 2. Write the name of the blog, your email address and the web address of the blog (http:/www.bizarreglobehopper.wordpress.com) 2. Click “Äänestä” (= “vote”).
You can cast your vote until the 4th of February 2014.

Thank you very much!

PS. On this year there are many great travels ahead and that means many new stories, too! So remember to stay in touch!

Travel Blog Awards 2014!
Kiinnostaako rantalomat mustan meren rannalla – varaa meiltä halvalla turkin matkat.

On the road in the magical Iceland, part II – East and North

So we drove to Seydisfjördur all the way from Hali. The weather conditions varied very much from blowing snow to an almost clear road. We left at about ten in the morning and our total driving time, including three stops on the way, was five minutes to eight hours! The last stretch from Egilsstadir to the port town of Seydisfjördur was a little road with loads of snow on it and it was also continuously snowing more from the sky. This road had also been marked in red (which is impassable, practically closed) just a day before. But today it was drivable, even though of the harsh wind, snow and darkness. So we were lucky again. Our place was a little cabin constructed of logs at the other side of the fjord. We settled around with our stuff, grabbed couple of beers and took a bath in the lovely hot tub located at the back yard of the cabin. We had a tight schedule on this trip, as I have told you, so we had many one night stops and the following morning we continued the journey again. This time to Myvatn. But luckily this was going to be quite a short drive compared to the last days’ drive. We were the only guests in the cabin village in Seydisfjördur, which wasn’t actually a surprise. Since we arrived in many of our hotels when it was already dark, we didn’t actually see the surroundings properly until the next morning. And this next morning wasn’t an exception. When the morning rose it revealed a lovely scene to the fjord around us with the surrounding mountains.

During breakfasts we were always checking how’s the road conditions ahead of us from http://www.vegagerdin.is. This site is worth more than gold there, especially in the wintertime.
We then drove the relatively short way to Myvatn, which is one of the most scenic parts of Northern Iceland and we had planned visiting all the interesting sites on the way when passing them by.
The first of them was Krafla, a volcanic crater located at the end of a side road of the Highway 1. We located the road, turned on it, drove about 5 km until the cleared length of the road just stopped dead. Ahead of us there were just loads of snow and it could be seen that no one had driven the road since the snow had fallen. We had a 4RW car but even though it wasn’t a superjeep or anything so we chose not to take the risk to get stuck somewhere up there. After all, we were just half way of the road and no one knew how the road would be further away. So we turned back to the main road and continued towards one of our highlights in this region; Myvatn Nature Baths! When you’re driving in Iceland at wintertime you have to accept that every place may not be accessible in those conditions and then you just have to skip it and continue. But luckily there are so many great places that if you miss something out, you’ll have something in replace for sure! So don’t worry.

Our cabin in Seydisfjördur.

We were more than excited when we had the chance to swim in the hot and very mineralistic nature pool of Myvatn. We also were blessed to be one of the few people around there at that time. Always a joy when you don’t have to share your experience with hundreds of other people at the same time. The nature baths reminded me of the onsens of Beppu, Japan. The same smell of sulphur in the air, the same color of the water. The same happened to my silver ring which I forgot to remove from my finger, again – it turned all dark from the power of the waters’ minerals.

Myvatn Nature baths. (This snapshot is by our friend (Thank you!). Check her profile in Twitter: @Mirkku_   Because we were bathing at the time.)

We spent good two hours over there after which we continued towards our accommodation and to looking for a dinner. For the dinner we found a very nice looking place called the Vogafjos, a guesthouse, restaurant and a working farm near Dimmuborgir over there in Myvatn (http://www.vogafjos.net). They serve many organic products and of course products of their own farm. You can even watch the cows in the cowshed from behind a glass in the restaurant. Even while you eat, if choose a right table. Maybe a bit bizarre but also a refreshingly different solution for the restaurant. The dinner was ok. It may have been better if it weren’t a Christmas and New Years’ holiday season when many places at the region are actually not open at all. After dinner we drove to our hotel which we had booked in advance, Dimmuborgir Guesthouse – which turned out to be a disaster. We were told that they wouldn’t serve breakfast, although we had booked the rooms with one. We got 3 different room keys from the reception because one’s door may not be properly closed and the room could be freezing(!). We were not shown the way to the rooms, instead were given a map to them. And when we got to the rooms we noticed that at the front of the doors of two of them were one metre high piles of snow. So if we’d have wanted to see the rooms we would have had to dig our way into them! Which we couldn’t do because the lack of any shovels. At that point we chose to call back to the Vogafjos Guesthouse and ask if they’d have two rooms for us available and leave from the disaster of Dimmuborgir Guesthouse. Luckily they had available rooms for us – even for a cheaper price than the Dimmuborgir guesthouse would have cost – including breakfast! A good thing that we haven’t paid anything in advance, so we could just drive back to the reception and tell them that we weren’t staying. The only good thing at Dimmuborgir guesthouse was the two overwhelmingly friendly sheep dogs that greeted us when coming in! So we drove back to Vogafjos and had a very lovely, cozy, warm and new cottages to sleep in, accompanied by a professional and friendly customer service! In the morning, after a good nights’ sleep, we enjoyed the best breakfast of our whole Icelandic road trip! So I can warmly recommend to stay over there if you ever find yourself at the Myvatn Region!

Our room at Vogafjos Guesthouse.

On this day we had planned to go and see the best part of this region – the Dimmuborgir: http://www.en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dimmuborgir This large place has unusually shaped lava fields and volcanic rock formations. ..And the legend says that when Lucifer was cast out from Heaven, he landed here and therefore created these “Catacombs of Hell”. So what an awesome place!
During our breakfast we chatted with the staff of Vogafjos about the place and they told us that there’d be so much snow now that the only possible way to explore it further would be with snowshoes. They would’ve even helped us to rent snowshoes, if we had wanted to. But we decided not to rent them. And just go to see the place as much that it’d be possible. But very well…eventually that wasn’t exactly what happened. Here’s what really happened. We drove the couple of kilometers to Dimmuborgir, got our gear together and started to explore the place. We got to the point of which the staff had said would be the farthest point you could reach without the snowshoes. And we continued our way! We thought to just “explore a bit further” since there weren’t actually so much of snow that you wouldn’t be able to walk forward. And we went further and further, fascinated by the peacefulness and beauty of the place. Until we noticed that we had already come half way of the longest hiking route of the whole place! So instead of turning back at that point, we decided to walk the whole way – of course! Sure, there were points in where there was so much untouched snow that it reached to your groins. And walking was a bit difficult. And points were the route marker poles were almost invisible, buried under the snow. But with careful eyes, they could still be seen. And without much surprise, we were the only people there. Of course we had good gear, and we also had more than one GPS system with us, so there weren’t any real danger for getting lost. Of course, under the snow there could have been anything but we followed the route markers and trusted into them. It took us about more than 3 hours to complete the route and it sure was worth every step!

In Dimmuborgir there were interesting formations of volcanic rocks.

If we’d have told the locals what we did, they would have said that we were just plain crazy to do that. Maybe we Finns just are a bit crazy but it sure was fun and above all, it was an adventure!! And we always crave for adventures!
We saw the “Church”, a cave of a very unusual shape. I guess we also saw “the Gate of Hell”, even though we didn’t actually recognized it at the spot. We got loads of awesome photographs. And we got to experience something very unique in our own pace and in peace. And we also got to climb to some places where it wouldn’t normally be allowed to climb. So we got everything you could hope for of that place. And I’m sure that the place wouldn’t be the same if experienced at summer with loads of other tourists walking the paths beside you. So there’s always these kind of advantages when traveling in the odd periods of the year and definitely in the off-season. You can do many unusual things but make sure that you can fully trust in your gear, in your skills (without overestimating them!) and into your friends. And if it’s winter you have to have warm and good gear! Because in winter conditions it’s gonna be twice as hard.
So like I told you, we had warm clothes, GPS equipment(s), lots of time in daylight hours and above all, we had good shoes! And if we would have wanted to make the hike a bit more easier for ourselves, we could have rented the snowshoes. But because we didn’t, we got the weeks’ load of exercise at the same time.

The “Church”.

The “Church” from the inside (though this picture doesn’t make justice to it).

We did the longest tour..the only one marked with red here. That was the only hiking tour. The other ones were of “for walking with family” -types.

After reaching back to our car we drove ourselves to Akureyri, the biggest town in the North Iceland where we spent the New Year’s Eve and had the second of our two nights’ rest at an apartment which we had rented from Saeluhus Akureyri (http://http://www.saeluhus.is/en). About that I will tell you more in the last part of this On the Road series from Iceland. And if you’ve liked this, please follow me in Twitter: @bizarreglobehop …Thank you!

The Gate to Dimmuborgir (a.k.a The Dark Castle).

PS. Sorry for the “gloomy” light in these last pictures but the daylight was already fading then.

On the road in the magical Iceland – the Southern part of the trip.

So, we decided to do a thing which most of the people wouldn’t dare to even try – to drive around the famous Ring Road of Iceland in WINTER! But then again, we’re not like “most of the people”, we love the adventure and the challenges that it brings!

We did a careful planning of this trip months beforehand with checking about the conditions, choosing and booking the proper accomodations in possible distances apart, trying also to take notice of the possible delays what the ever changing winter weather could bring before us. You know, there can be winter storms, snowfalls, harsh winds and sand storms, etc. etc. You never know. And we still have only 11 days to complete the whole thing – which is not much! So we will also need a bit of luck with us. Or a whole lot of luck, we’ll see.

Now we have already driven successfully from Reykjavik all the way through the famous Golden Circle and pass the also famous black sand beach in Vik, Eyjafjallajökull volcano and glacier, Vatnajökull glacier and Skaftafell National Park to have a two nights rest here in Hali. On the day when we arrived in Reykjavik on the 23rd of Dec, the Icelandic Road Administrations website http://www.vegagerdin.is showed that the road to Vik and pass it was marked in red. And red means “impassable”. There were even yellow circles with red linings which means “No passage”. So we were really worried that we wouldn’t be able to even start our winter road trip adventure. But we spent our two nights in the capital city and when we left the roads had all turned into yellow and green on the website!! And they mean just “spots of ice” and “easily passable”. Which in this country mean that they’re in good conditions, ie. there ain’t any problems anymore! And we were more than happy, I can tell you! And this change happened in just one day/one nights’ time! So I think that the Icelandic road administration really takes good care of the highway one (ie. the Ring Road) because it’s the whole country’s main road. So we took ahead on the road. Just about 10-15 kilometers (a rough estimate) after driving out of Reykjavik there were already some really awesome views: mountains and a sunrise ever so beautiful from the middle of nowhere!

A sun rising from the middle of nowhere.

We checked the sights of the golden circle, of which the best was the falls of Gullfoss where have been filmed some of the “The Wall” -scenes from the succesful tv-series, Game Of Thrones. That was an awesome looking place.
Geysir was a bit of a disappointment, for it being pretty small and not so much functioning anymore. Its “Little sister”, Strókkur, on the other hand erupts every 10-15 minutes, so if you want a picture of a geysir erupting with a statue of steam and water, just wait with your camera ready and you’ll get it.
I will tell you about Reykjavik in its own posting later, and more specifically about many of the other sights and places mentioned here, since this is only a “on the road, round-up” kind of posting now. Just telling you briefly about some highliths that we have been seeing and doing so far. We had a country hotel in Lambafell for the night, in a log-style built house at the root of a mountain. And from there we continued our journey to stop by at the famous black sand beach of Vik to take some magnificient pictures because this place was conveniently via our journey to the Skaftafell National Park Visitors Centre where we had a booked glacier walk at the Svínafellsjökull, an outlet glacier of the huge and most famous glacier of Iceland, the mighty Vatnajökull. We had booked a tour from Mountainguides: http://www.mountaineers.is/Day-Tours/
And this was the best experience we have had over here in Iceland so far! Absolutely magnificient views, blue ice and mountain ranges. And the more farther you walked on the glacier the more beautiful it got. We also had a great guide, Dana. She told us about the glacier, and took really good care of us. It showed that she really loved her job and she even gave us a longer tour than we had originally booked! We also had only 6 people in our group, of which four were my own friends, so it was a great deal!

Here’s me in Svínafellsjökull glacier with an ice axe in my hand and crampons on my feet.


At the Svínafellsjökull glacier tongue.

The black sand beach in Vik.

Dana, our guide, also told us stories about people she had rescued at the glaciers and mountain ranges when we asked her about how many tourists had died in this range over the years. And I have to say that some people really are crazy! Arrogance and overestimating your own skills can be a deadly mix, that’s all I say. When you’re on such an environment, if you’re not familiar with that particular environment, be careful and most important of all – DON’T go alone, always go with a local guide!

We have had a one days layover here at Hali Country Hotel and today we drove the short way from here to see the Jökusárlón glacier lagoon. They do also zodiac boat tours on the lagoon but at the moment they’re cancelled and when we arrived to the spot we understood, why. The lagoon is now absolutely full of those glimps of ice and little icebergs. No room at all, not even for a little zodiac boat. The scenery at the lagoon is pretty surreal. Here are couple of pictures that we took:



From here we are continuing our journey all the way up the Eastern side of Iceland to the city of Seydisfjördur. A port town at the lap of a fjord. So when you’re reading this tomorrow, we’re already on our way. Or that is the original plan. So, if something happens on the way, if we have to take a round route etc., we can also change the plans and spend the night somewhere else instead. But hopefully everything will go fine and the road conditions continue to be on our side! So fingers crossed!
Iceland is a magical place and I hope that the next time I write for you will be from the north, maybe from Akureyri where we have planned to spend the New Year.
So stay in touch!

Haluatko ilmaiseksi Matkamessuille? Osallistu kisaan ja voita lippu!

Minut on valittu vuoden 2014 Matkamessuille viralliseksi bloggariksi ja tämän johdosta The Bizarre Globe Hopper on saanut arvottavaksi 2 pääsylippua messuille!

Matkabloggaaja 2014

Lippujen arvontaan voit osallistua seuraavalla tavalla:

Käy Facebookissa tykkäämässä The Bizarre Globe Hopperin sivusta ja olet mukana arvonnassa: https://www.facebook.com/bizarreglobehopper
TAI jos tykkäät jo tästä sivusta, niin jaa tämä blogiposti Facebookissa ja laita jakamisestasi ilmoitus tämän blogipostin kommenttiosioon! Arvomme liput kaikkien uusien Facebook -sivustamme tykänneiden ja/tai tämän blogipostin jakaneiden kesken.
Osallistu kisaan 2.1.2014 mennessä! Voittajiin otamme yhteyttä henkilökohtaisesti.

Helsingin Messukeskuksessa järjestettävät Matkamessut ovat auki yleisölle 17.  – 19.1.2014.
Arvottava messulippu oikeuttaa sisäänpääsyyn yhtenä messujen yleisöpäivänä.
Voittaja saa lipun nimellänsä Messukeskuksessa sijaitsevaan kutsukorttien hakupisteeseen, josta sen voi noutaa. Tarkemmat ohjeet noutopaikasta ja -ajasta ilmoitamme voittajille.

Tarkat aukioloajat ja ohjelman voit katsoa osoitteesta: www.matkamessut.fi
Yksityiskohtainen kävijäohjelma näille sivuille päivittyy viimeistään 16.12.2013 mennessä.

Uusi listaushuomio Instagram -tililleni !! // My Instagram account was featured, again !!

Instagram tilini (http://instagram.com/bizarreglobehopper#) on jälleen saaanut huomiota listauksen muodossa!!
Tällä kertaa se on valittu sadan (100) suositeltavan matkailuaiheisen Instagram -tilin listalle valokuvaukseen keskittyvän Photodoto -nimisen sivuston toimesta!
Listalla on mukana monia todella hienoja kuvia sisältäviä tilejä, joten on ollut kunnia päästä siihen mukaan.
Suuret kiitokset, Nancy Young (http://photodoto.com/author/nancyyoung/) & Photodoto ! 

Koko listan löydät tästä linkistä: 

Kannattaa käydä tsekkaamassa!
Ja muista seurata The Bizarre Globe Hopper:ia – niin Instagramissa kuin Twitterissä (http://twitter.com/bizarreglobehop) !

Kansikuva / Intro cover

Kansikuva / Intro cover (by Nancy Young)

** English version:  **

My Instagram account (http://instagram.com/bizarreglobehopper#) has been featured again!!
This time it has ended up on the list of the “100 Fantastic Instagram Accounts  for Travelers to Follow”  by a site called Photodoto which concentrates in photography!

On the list there are many accounts which include truly fantastic photos, so it is an honor to be included in it.
Thank you very much, Nancy Young ((http://photodoto.com/author/nancyyoung/) & Photodoto ! 

You can find the list in here: http://photodoto.com/100-instagram-accounts-for-travelers/ 

Go check it out! And remember to follow The Bizarre Globe Hopper (@bizarreglobehopper, http://instagram.com/bizarreglobehopper# ) !
In addition to Instagram you can follow me also in Twitter: http://twitter.com/bizarreglobehop !

Artikkeli julkaistu Digital Nomad Travel Magazinessa! / Article published in Digital Nomad Travel Magazine !

Ensimmäinen kirjoittamani matkailuaiheinen artikkeli on nyt julkaistu!
Vähän aikaa sitten tutustuin iOS -pohjalla julkaistavaan matkailulehteen nimeltä Digital Nomad Travel Magazine. Pidin heidän julkaisemiensa artikkeleiden tyylistä ja siitä, että he ovat valinneet artikkeleiden tekijöiksi suurimmaksi osaksi aitoja travellereita kokemuksineen. Lisäksi lehden ulkoasu oli visuaalisuudessaan virkistävän toimiva. Parasta tässä myös oli, että lehteen voi tutustua ilmaiseksi  kolmen (3) kuukauden ajan!
Sisäsivuilla oli yhteystiedot jonne saattoi ottaa yhteyttä, jos itselläänkin olisi juttuideoita. Tartuin tähän tilaisuuteen ja laitoin heille sähköpostia. Tällä hetkellä olen matkustanut jo 34 maassa, joten minulla on jo jonkin verran juttuaiheita tarjottavaksi.
Heillä oli seuraavaksi tulossa uusi numero Nepal -teemalla ja niinpä sitten päädyin lyhyen sähköpostikirjeenvaihdon jälkeen kirjoittamaan heille artikkelin omista Nepal -seikkailuistani – kuvien kera.

Kansikuva / Front page

Kansikuva / Front page

Tämän kirjoittamani artikkelin sisältämän Nepal -numeron ja Digital Nomad Travel Magazinen voit ladata iOS -laitteellesi täältä:  http://bit.ly/VQXuN9
3 kuukauden ilmaisen tutustumisjakson koodi on: Friends 
Kun olet ladannut sovelluksen, paina “Subscribe”, valitse vaihtoehto “Current Subscriber” ja kohtaan “Account number” syötä kyseinen koodi “Friends“.

Ja ei kun lukemaan!

Jos sinulla ei ole iOS -pohjaa käyttävää laitetta, ohessa on kuvakaappaukset artikkistani. Niistä voit lukea jutun kokonaisuudessaan (englanniksi).

Mukavia lukuhetkiä & toivottavasti innostut itsekin matkustamaan Nepalin huikeisiin maisemiin!

*** English version *** 
My first travel article has now been published!!
Some time ago I ran into a new travel magazine which have been published on the iOS platform, called Digital Nomad Travel Magazine.
I liked their style of writing and the fact that they had chosen mostly real travelers as the writers of the articles with their real, first-hand travel experiences “from the field”.
In addition to that I also liked the visual presentation of the magazine, it felt somewhat fresh and functioning. And one of the best parts was that you can have a free 3 month preview of the magazine!
On one of their pages was a contact information where to write if you’d had some travel article ideas of your own to share. Well, I have traveled in 34 countries at the moment, so I already have quite a lot of stories to share. So I wrote them an email.
They just had an upcoming issue of Nepal, so after a brief email exchange I ended up writing an article for them of my adventures in the Himalayan/Annapurna region in Nepal, with some pictures of my own, of course.
You can read this article of mine and the whole interesting Nepal issue of the magazine (as well as some other issues of Digital Nomad Travel Magazine) by downloading the app into your iOS device from here: http://bit.ly/VQXuN9
The 3-months FREE submission code is: Friends. When you have uploaded the app, hit “subscribe”. Choose the “Current subscriber” alternative and into the “Account number” write the afore said code: Friends.
And you’re good to go and read some magnificent travel stories!
If you don’t have an iOS device, you can read the whole article of mine from the screenshots included in this post.
Happy readings and I wish that you too will be inspired to travel to the land of adventures and magnificent views, Nepal!

Meksikon toiset kasvot

Yritän aina saada tietoa jokaisen matkakohteeni toisenlaisesta todellisuudesta, siitä joka ei tavalliselle turistille juuri koskaan näyttäydy. Yritän surffata tietoa netistä mutta kaikista mieluiten ostan jonkun tietokirjan, joka käsittelee tätä aihetta. Meksiko on tunnetusti maa, joka on tullut viime vuosina surullisenkin kuuluisaksi huumerikollisuudestaan ja siihen littyvistä murha-aalloistaan. Halusin siis ehdottomasti käsiini kirjan, joka käsittelisi tätä aihetta. Löysin sellaisen San Franciscosta, City Lights Bookstoresta (www.citylights.com). Tämä muuten on parhaimpia kirjakauppoja joissa koskaan olen käynyt!
Sen on kirjoittanut John Gibler ja se on nimeltään “To Die in Mexico”. Tekijä John Gibler on toimittaja, joka on kirjoittanut useita muitakin Meksikon huumesotaan liittyviä julkaisuja. Tässä kirjassa “To Die in Mexico” hän on kirjoittanut hyvin elävästi kokemuksistaan ns. etulinjassa Meksikon pahamaineisimmilla huumealueilla. Hän on muiden toimittajien mukana kun he ajavat teloituspaikoilta toisille ja yrittävät dokumentoida sitä, mitä Meksikon valtamediat eivät raportoi – tai eivät uskalla raportoida. Hän on haastatellut ihmisiä jotka ovat joutuneet ensikädessä kokemaan, mitä on ollut joutua tekemisiin kilpailevien huumekartellien ja niiden teloituskomppanioiden kanssa. Hän on antanut kirjassaan äänen niille ihmisille, joiden äänet on vaiennettu tai joiden tarinat on unohdettu.


Kirjan kansi.

Tämä kirja antaa niin kovin toisenlaisen kuvan Meksikosta, kuin se jonka itsekin sain kierrellessäni heinäkuussa 2013 kolme viikkoa ympäri Jukatania. Ei siellä näkynyt vilaustakaan tästä todellisuudesta, joka kuitenkin on pinnan alla vallitsevana olotilana lähes koko maassa – pelon ja vaikenemisen ilmapiiri.
Gibler kertoo kirjassaan kuinka korruptoitunut poliisilaitos ja jopa armeija on tehnyt sopimuksia kartellien kanssa. Sen sijaan, että ne yrittäisivät kitkeä tätä rikollisuutta, ne avustavat kartelleja niiden toiminnassa. Eräillä seuduilla ei lakia enää käytännössä ole olemassa – paitsi ne lait, jotka huumekartellit sanelevat.
Kirjassa valotetaan myös tämän “huumesodan” taustoja, mistä kaikki on alkanut ja miksi. Lähtien Yhdysvaltojen ja Meksikon talouksien osallisuudesta tähän kaikkeen. Siinä selvitetään myös poliittisia kytköksiä ja yritetään jopa pohtia erilaisia ratkaisumalleja.
Kirjan kiinnostavinta – ja karuinta – antia ovat kuitenkin kohdat, joissa Gibler on mukana Meksikon “Nota Roja” -toimittajien mukana oikeilla rikospaikoilla. Nota Rojaksi (tai “Bloody news”) kutsutaan lehtiä, jotka julkaisevat päivittäin raportteja eri teloituksista, kuvien kera. Nämä makaaberit julkaisut ovat Meksikossa myös hyvin suosittuja.
Hän tapaa myös toimittajia, jotka riskeeraavat päivittäin oman henkensä pitääkseen aidon, tutkivan journalismin hengissä maassa, jossa se on yritetty vaientaa kuoliaaksi. Hän katsoo kuolemaa kirjaimellisesti silmästä silmään jokaisella teloituspaikalla. Gibler tapaa kuitenkin myös “yksinäisiä taistelijoita”, ihmisiä jotka eivät ole suostuneet vaikenemaan kaikesta huolimatta. Ja jotka jonkun ihmeen kaupalla ovat siitä huolimatta vielä hengissä. Nämä haastattelut ovat mielenkiintoisia.
Yksi absurdeimpia faktoja mitä tässä kirjassa esitetään on, että jokaista sataa murhattua ihmistä kohti Meksikon poliisi tutkii näistä noin 5 tapausta (!). Sen kuvan mukaan mitä tästä kirjasta saa, korruption määrä on järkyttävä niin hallitusten, poliisin kuin armeijankin parissa. Kirja antaa kuvan maasta, joka on epätoivoisessa tilassa. Ja tätä tilaa ei tavallinen turisti Meksikossa vieraillessaan näe.

Mutta jos sinua vähänkään kiinnostaa tietää mitä Meksikossa todellisuudessa tapahtuu, tämä kirja on siihen ehkä yksi varteenotettavimmista. Se on tutkivaa journalismia parhaimmillaan. Se päästää lukijansa lähelle, niin tapahtumiin kuin ihmisiin tämän sekasorron keskellä. Se ei ole iloista eikä mukavaa luettavaa, mutta parhaimmillaan se on silmiä aukaisevaa. Suosittelen.

Lopuksi espanjankielentaitoiset voivat vilkaista kirjassakin mainittua linkkiä: www.blogdelnarco.com
jos haluavat saada ajantasalla olevaa käsitystä tilanteesta. Heikkohermoisille en tosin tätäkään suosittele.