Welcome to Marion and Alfred

CIMG2090We are traveling through America with our little motor-home since January 2011. In South America we visited Argentina, Chile, Bolivia, Paraguay, Uruguay, Peru, Brazil, Ecuador and Colombia. Beginning of 2015 we came to Central America and continued to Mexico.

We love nature and we enjoyed many times pristine and remote places with abundant wildlife, for instance in cold Patagonia or hot Pantanal. Our passion are mountains, thus we stayed much time in the Andes and the higher ranges of Brazil, Central America and Mexico. We climbed up several high and important peaks like Mercedario in Argentina, Huayna Potosi in Bolivia, Ojos del Salado in Chile and Nevado de Tolima in Colombia. Also in Central America and Mexico we found some exciting mountains like Cerro Chirripó in Cost Rica and Nevado de Toluca closed to Mexico City. 

 

Our dream is to travel from Patagonia to Alaska!


 Marion in the Atlantic Ocean

At the moment we are in in northern Mexico. We plan to continue to western US soon, and Canada / Alaska in the next year.


Jumping Whale

This website is organized in articles with pictures and some hints like nice campsites for travelers and mountaineers. Many of our tracks in the mountains and way-points as well as others like reasonable campgrounds are included in our GPS Coordinates files. These files can be downloaded in the "GPS coordinates" menu.

We are happy about every comment, question and hint. Please feel free to subscribe our newsletter, to use our guestbook, contact / email or comment function in the articles. Of course we answer as soon as possible, but it might happen that we have no Internet connection for some days.

to travel to Patagonia
 

Central Pacific Coast

Wednesday, 22 February 2017 00:10

Mexico's Central Pacific Coast is a marvelous piece of nature with a lot of pristine beaches, calm bays, little fishing villages and some dramatic landscapes. Mazatlán and Puerto Vallarta are the largest cities, both with fabulous beaches and many tourists.

After sunset on the southern beach of Mazatlán

 

200 kilometers East of Puerto Vallarta is Mexico's second biggest city Guadalajara with more than 5 millions inhabitants. It is a bustling metropolis with a picturesque old town in its nice center.

   

Sweden Central

Sunday, 27 November 2016 20:25

Central Sweden offers a lot of hiking and mountaineering capabilities along its border to Norway and on the coast of the Baltic Sea. In between the landscape is relatively flat covered by huge forests and with some nice villages and little towns. Its capital Stockholm is located on the coast of the Baltic sea. It is a bustling metropolis with 2 millions inhabitants, a lot of interesting culture, many green parks and some impressive waterfronts.

Roofs of the street Strandvägen of Stockholm

 

After we had crossed the border from Norway on the E14 we turned on the first southern street right and continued to the mountain hut Storulvåns. There was a big parking lot and it was nearly fully occupied. The mountain hut is like a little village with a large hotel including some big buildings.

   

Norway - Jontunheimen, Kristiansund and Trondheim

Tuesday, 16 August 2016 17:21

In Jontunheimen are the tallest peaks of Scandinavia up to close 2,500 meters sea-level. This sounds not very high for alpine standards but you have to take into mind that you are much closer to the North Pole. Jontunheimen has some steep, needle-like pinnacles embedded by enormous glaciers and huge lakes. Besides the thinner air these mountains equals summits with 3,300 meters and more sea-level in the Alps.

Reindeer with glacier


We decided to head along the eastern side of Jontunheimen because the weather forecast was bad as usual for its western part where the clouds of the northern Atlantic Ocean hit the mountains and stick there. 

   

Norway West - South of Sognefjorden

Saturday, 30 July 2016 11:20

Norway in northern Europe and on the western side of the peninsula Scandinavia is a natural treasure with stunning mountains, deep gorges and fjords, uncountable waterfalls, huge glaciers, and green lush vegetation at lower sea-levels. Its population is besides the few cities very low, its density of people is the lowest of continental Europe. It's famous for bad weather but we enjoyed a lot of nice days in June and July which is quit often the case. And it never gets really dark in these two months - literally you might start a longer mountain tour in the late evening.

Typical Norwegian Cot

 

Before we headed to Norway we enjoyed skiing in the Alps beginning of May 2016. There had been lots of fresh powder and the ski slopes on the Schnalstal glacier in South Tyrol, Italy were more or less free of people!

   

Zapotepetl - Nevado de Colima and the state of Michoacán

Friday, 13 May 2016 12:05

In central western Mexico is its most active volcano located: Volcan de Colima erupts several times every day. At the moment access to its top is more than life-threatening but its bigger brother, the more than 400 meters higher summit of Zapotepetl or Nevado de Colima (4268 meters sea-level) can be climbed with some easy rock scrambling. It is less than 6 kilometers away and it provides stunning views of the volcano.

Erupting Volcan de Colima

 

Before we came to Nevado de Colima we traversed the beautiful state Michoacán. We spent a weekend in the fabulous hot springs Balneario Erendira in its eastern part. A nice campsite is included in the hot springs (GPS coordinates: N19° 45.427' W100° 41.482'). Many younger Mexicans were with us - never ending party on Saturday night!

   

Xinantecatl - Nevado de Toluca

Saturday, 02 April 2016 22:53

The large stratovolcano Xinantecatl or Nevado de Toluca is with 4680 meters sea-level the 4th tallest summit of Mexico and the 17th highest point of North America. It has an enormous caldera of 1.5 kilometer diameter which is adorned with two mystic lakes - Lago de la Luna (moon lake) and Lago del Sol (sun lake). A decent dirt road leads up to 4150 meters sea-level close to the caldera, where we camped one night.

Xinantecatl is more a mountain range than a single volcanic cone with several peaks which exceed the 4300 meters mark. Its highest summit, Pico del Fraile is a little bit tricky from the caldera, especially if there is some snow and ice.

Pico del Fraile on the left - the route to its top circles it on the very left

 

When we were in its base town Toluca it was rainy and stormy. Even some snowflakes came down to the 2600 meters high town which is not quite often the case. Sadly the extraordinary hefty winter gale killed some people because some scaffolds and bigger advertisement billboards crashed. But Toluca had a very nice surprise for us.

   

Mexico Central - East

Sunday, 20 March 2016 01:34

The marvelous landscape East of Mexico City is peppered with dramatic and rugged peaks including the three highest summits of Mexico, lush and dense rain forest, arid deserts, beautiful beaches, gorgeous colonial cities, and some industrial hubs like Puebla with its automotive plants.

Citlaltepetl (Pico de Orizaba) which is the highest peak between Colombia and Alaska

  

We had been in this wonderful country 20 years ago. At that time we had climbed up the volcanoes of Citlaltepetl (5610 meters sea-level) and Iztaccihuatl which are the tallest and third highest mountains of Mexico. In between is Popocatepetl which had been our dream for more than 20 years. But it had been and is still so active that an ascent is life-threatening. Also we had visited the nice cities of Veracruz and Puebla. Thus we concentrated this time on other highlights in this area.

   

Oaxaca and Chiapas South

Monday, 22 February 2016 18:06

Mexico's beautiful southeastern state Oaxaca is very diversified: It has rugged mountains, spectacular pre-Columbian ruins, different indigenous people with various languages, rich flora and fauna, marvelous and deserted beaches on the Pacific ocean.

Our campsite La Habana in Zipolite directly on the beach in the shadows of some nice huts

 

Before we came to Oaxaca we crossed the southern part of Chiapas and climbed up its highest mountain, Volcan Tacaná (4093 meters sea-level) which is located directly on the border between Mexico and Guatemala. Our arrival in Chiapas was weird, again (see article Chiapas Central and East). This time we had no issues with the Mexican customs.

   

Guatemala

Wednesday, 27 January 2016 22:56

Guatemala is a tropical paradise with huge mountains up to 4200 meters sea-level. The hot and humid northern part is covered with dense and lush rain forest adorned with some of very exciting Maya ruins like the UNESCO world heritage site Tikal. Central Guatemala is very mountainous with its bigger cities and many villages in its valley. The western range includes some of most active volcanoes on earth, it is part of the Pacific Ring of Fire

Marvelous Volcan Santa Maria seen from the ascent to Volcan Tajumulco

 

Thanks to higher sea-levels Central Guatemala enjoys an eternal spring with comfortable temperatures. The plains of the southern part are hot and humid again but there are some beautiful beaches on the Pacific Ocean. Large sugar cane fields dominate the landscape.

But Guatemala has severe drawbacks. Poverty, violence and crime are common. Its homicide rate is one of the highest of our world. The gap between poor and rich people is unbearable. Thrash is nearly everywhere on its main street. For us it was the most messy country so far in Latin America and we had a scary experience, too. However we spent twice a nice time in this terrific but sometimes dreadful country.

   

Belize

Monday, 04 January 2016 02:59

Belize is a little country on Caribbean Sea with a size of just 22000 square kilometers and 300,000 inhabitants. It was part of the British Empire and became independent in 1981. Hence it is the only state in Central America where English is the official language. Its major attraction is the coral reef along its coast which is the second biggest one on earth and the largest one in the western hemisphere. Sea life is stunning and abundant. Countless tiny islands are in front of its shore.

Spotted Eagle Ray in the shallow water of Sargeant's Caye

 

Besides the ocean some beautiful Maya ruins and little villages with authentic life are other nice destinations. But accessing this paradise was a little bit difficult because we had to pay a very special toll.

   

Yucatan

Friday, 11 December 2015 20:20

The peninsula Yucatan in the northern east corner of Mexico is a wonderful treasury with magic Maya ruins, marvelous Caribbean beaches with exciting sea-life, nice colonial towns and mystical cenotes. A cenote is a natural sinkhole, resulting from the collapse of limestone bedrock that exposes groundwater underneath. It is a huge platform of limestone with an extreme karst nature. There are no visible rivers but it has the longest known on earth in the subsurface. Consequently the cenotes are and were important for human water supply. They were holy for the Mayas and public access was forbidden.

Like the cenotes you find Maya ruins nearly everywhere. Most famous are the UNESCO world heritage sites Uxmal and Chichen Itzá. The latter one had been elected one of the seven wonder of the world few years ago.

The 39 meters high temple Casa del Advino -The Magician's house of Uxmal

 

When we entered Yucatan we had a scary experience. Later it turned out that it was less severe.

   

Chiapas Central and East

Wednesday, 25 November 2015 02:06

Mexico's federal state Chiapas in its southeast corner has a huge diversity as well as flora, wildlife, landscape, culture and people. 12 ethnics live in Chiapas with different languages like the Tzotzil indigenous people in the villages around the town San Cristobal de Casas, a true colonial treasure. It is located 2000 meters high in the cooler highlands which raises up more than 4000 meters sea-level and which is partly covered with large pine forests. The other lower part of Chiapas is pure jungle with nearly unbearable hotness and humidity. Here you find some of the most exciting Maya sites like Palenque, Yaxchilán and Bonampak. The last one has the best preserved pre-Colombian frescoes of whole America, approximately 1200 years old:

Warrior with a shaman who wears a special headgear

 

But the tropical paradise has its drawbacks. Besides the booming tourism and oil industries poverty is still an issue. Most of the indigenous people were exploited and sometimes enslaved in the last centuries. This caused a lot of uproars which were usually knocked down violently by the colonial landowners. The last one was the Zapatista movement in the 1990s, which still have a strong influence in some parts of the state.

   

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