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October November December 2019 – Home

11 September 2019 – Japan

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What the photo doesn’t show:
I (Anabela) took this photo and then the sumo wrestler looked at me and called me to follow him to the back of the building. Shit! Jorge was distracted with the wrestling practice that he followed from behind a window. Should I follow the wrestler or not? I did! Once there, he asked me for the camera (with our 2,000 EUR lens on it). No way, would I hand him our camera! I inspected his size (and the size of the two other wrestlers that were amused by the situation), thought another half a second, mentally said good-bye to our camera and gave him what he wanted. He took the viewfinder to his eye and started making sounds that sounded like excitement: ‘Wow good camera! I take photos of the three of you’. Which he did though they all ended up being out of focus!

8 September 2019 – Japan

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Who says Japan is no country for motorcycling? You can’t see Jorge’s face, but if you could, you would see a grin that meant ‘I can’t have enough of this! Let me ride!’ We searched roads through mountains or forests for the simple reason that they were AMAZING!

16 August 2019 – Japan

visit Japan

Nachi Taisha Shrine Pagoda and waterfall. If we had to choose one pagoda in Japan, this would be our selection, because of its location, near the Nachi falls. This is a 133 metres uninterrupted drop, the tallest in the country! Isn’t it beautiful?

12 August 2019 – Japan

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The Arashiyama Bamboo Grove is one of Kyoto’s top sights. We got lucky and witnessed a traditional marriage happening there. It is no surprise that couples choose such a beautiful place for their wedding photos, but there’s another reason for that choice. For Japanese, bamboo is symbolically associated with harmony and balance in one’s life.

8 August – 2019 – South Korea

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We found out that it is possible to spend the night in saunas. How does it work? You pay a ticket (around 10 dollars) to the sauna and afterwards, you head to the resting room where you can sleep as long as you like, including the entire night. Besides a towel, you are also given a pyjama and a blanket. We liked the experience and tried a few saunas in Korea.

24 July – 2019 – South Korea

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Even though it was 35 degrees, we had a good time exploring the green tea plantations at Boseong. Besides tea and ice-cream, there’s an entire range of products made with green tea. Have we mentioned that green tea ice-cream is our absolute favourite flavour!

15 July 2019 Russia

The Trans-Siberian train

With a short transit visa of 10 days, we found a way to make this transit trip through Russia a comfortable trip. Are oyou curious? We put our motorbike on a cargo train and we boarded the Trans-Siberian for a three day railway trip through Siberia, a distance of almost 4,000 kilometres… If you would like to know more, read our article about the Trans-Siberian.

14 July 2019 – Mongolia

reasons to visit mongolia

This was one of the prettiest places of Mongolia, Lake Khovd. A couple of days left before we leave Mongolia and we are already nostalgic about leaving behind some of the places we saw and the wonderful people we met. Mongolia deserves a long visit, so that one can travel slow, as distances are long and are made even longer by its never-ending off-road tracks. Let the journey proceed!

30 June 2019 Mongolia

reasons to visit mongolia

Cutting the wool of sheep is one of the herders’ activities in spring (you should be aware that Mongolia is the second biggest producer of cashmere wool after China), but before shearing the wool, it is necessary to catch the animal, and this seems to be one of the kids’ favourite activities. If you want to help, they will be happy with all kind of help. See how Jorge had fun helping to get the sheep

16 June 2019 Mongolia

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We think we forgot to share that we are already in Mongolia! That is because the internet was poor for some days! We are amazed by the landscape, we have had a lot of camping and have had beautiful encounters! Here driving on one of the many dirt roads of Mongolia, with fellow travellers. What a wonderful time we spent together!

10 June 2019 Russia

We made it to Russia 🇷🇺! After travelling through almost 10 Russian-speaking countries, we finally made it to mother Russia! For days the imaginary music on Anabela’s helmet has been the Russian hymn, and when we passed the border she had such an urge to sing it out loud to the officer checking our luggage! And, “Hey, I read Tolstoy’s Ana Karenina and Gorky’s Mother!”, “In Russian?”, he would probably ask. Still filled with excitement we rode to the next village for the night. When you ask a Russian “How are you”? What do you think he answers?

8 June 2019 Kazakhstan

Kazakhstan steppe nuclear test plant

What the photo doesn’t show:
We are standing 140 kilometres away from a forbidden and atrocious place: For 40 years (1949-89) the Soviet Union exploded more than 400 nuclear bombs at the Semipalatinsk nuclear test site, in the heart of the steppe of Kazakhstan. More than 200,000 people living within 45 kms of the site were never informed of the danger they were being exposed to. There is still radioactivity at the site today and, what is more devastating – three generations later – there are still people dying because of this! The site was closed by President Nur Sultan Nazarbayev, and thanks to his politics Kazakhstan possesses no nuclear weapons!

6 June 2019 Kazakhstan

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This is what I call pure luck! We escaped the storm by centimetres!  Once we were far enough not to risk a drop, we finally stopped to enjoy the view of this huge cloud full of rain and flashes of lightning. We are now approaching the Kazakh border to enter Russia in two days! The friendly lady at the Embassy – the one that looked at Anabela and said: ‘you on motorbike with him? You crazy!’ – ended up giving us not 5 days as she had told us, but 7 days!!! She probably had a look at the weather forecast and changed her mind! Thank you, Russian people, we love you already! Today we will be driving through what was once one of the most secretive and restricted (and saddest) places in the Soviet Union… Any ideas where we are heading to???

1 June 2019 Kazakhstan

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A few days ago we were in Spaask. Spaask is nowadays a memorial of what was once one of the deadliest labour camps (gulags) of Siberia. Being in such a place one needs to ask oneself, why?

– Why did Stalin create more than 400 gulags in Siberia?
– Why did he send there more than 18 million people, and who were these people? Were they really criminals? Or were they innocent people? What was the idea behind the plan of bringing these people to Siberia? Was it another ethnical cleansing? Or was there another reason? You can find the answers to all these questions on our article about the Gulags in Siberia

May 2019 (Kyrgyzstan-Kazakhstan)

Nur Sultan city

The trip has resumed and we are back to Central Asia. After spending a few days in Bishkek to prepare all our gear, we set off to Kazakhstan, where we spent a few days in Almaty, to do some work, but also to visit this amazing city. Afterwards, we followed to the north of the country, towards Nur-Sultan (ex-Astana city). What an impressive city!

March-April 2019 (Portugal-Luxembourg)

Time to work on the next issue that will be launched in June. Time to be with family and friends. And time to prepare the trip that will resume in May and will take us to our motorbike that stood the entire winter in Bishkek. Our trip will resume to take us through Kazakstan-Mongolia-Russia-South Korea and Japan! Come with us

January – February 2019 (Cuba)

We are ready for the next adventure! While our motorbike was hibernating in a cosy garage in Bishkek, we flew to Cuba, where we spent two months travelling. We got to know a lot and had many unexpected experiences, such as travelling by truck! Our Spring magazine will be entirely dedicated to Cuba.

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November to December 2018 (Luxembourg-Portugal)

After spending two wonderful months in Kyrgyzstan, we had to have another break on this trip because winter was approaching and the first flocks of snow had already fallen when we left Bishkek. We left to Luxembourg where we will stay for one month to launch the diariesof Kyrgyzstan and then we will fly to Portugal to spend Christmas with our family.

September to October 2018 (Kyrgyzstan)

Kyrgyzstan ended up becoming another diariesof destination. We could not resist the mountains sprinkled with yurts, inhabited by the hospitable Kyrgyz nomads. Kyrgyzstan is the country of nomadism, as we could observe in the two months that we spent travelling in its mountains.

Reasons to visit Kyrgyzstan Lenin

August 2018 (Kazakhstan – Uzbekistan)

The trip resumed towards Kazakhstan through the Caspian Sea. This crossing with the ferry, from Baku to Aktau (Kazakhstan) is in itself an adventure, as you can read in our article about the Baku-Aktau crossing.

Caspian Sea Ferry Crossing from Baku to Aktau

After landing, and spending two days on the coast, we took the road, that would lead us through the desert until the Uzbek’s border. Uzbekistan would turn out to be another surprise. We meant to drive through without many stops, but that wouldn’t be so. Alone Khiva, Samarkand and Bukhara were reasons enough to travel slowly. But there was much more than these three pearls…

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July 2018 (Azerbaijan)

Amazing Iran will be missed! After Iran, we spent one month in Azerbaijan working on the issue of diariesof Iran. We spent one entire month in Baku, and unfortunately did not visit much the rest of the country. We did have the time to explore the city of Baku, which impressed us so much that we hope to return to visit the rest of the country.

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May to June 2018 (Iran)

Iran was a box of surprises. A huge box (as Iran is four times the size of Germany) and many sweet surprises, because we were not expecting to be so much spoilt by so warm-hearted people, such rich Persian architecture and such a variety of landscapes. Iran has it all!

Iran Bucket List 10 Must-Have Experiences

We have dedicated an entire issue of diariesof to Iran, and have also written a few articles about the country online. You can find some of them here. We felt so well in Iran that it was difficult for us to resume the trip, and move on to Azerbaijan, our next country on our road trip map.

April 2018 (Armenia)

After getting our visa from the Iranian Embassy in Georgia (yeahhhhh!), we drove through Armenia for a wek. Unfortunately, it was still too cold and there was also snow in the higher places, so we kind of rushed through Armenia.

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Our  target was to reach Iran, our next big stop. We have received a 30-day visa but considering the size of Iran, we may have to ask for an extension! Inshallah we get one!

August 2017 (Georgia)

After a short break in Luxembourg, we were back on the road in August 2017. It took us around two weeks to reach Odessa (Ukraine) – because we travel slowly and because we took the opportunity to visit friends on the way. 🙂 In Odessa, we took a 3-day ferry that crossed the Black Sea and that brought us to Batumi, the new Pearl of the Black Sea (in Georgia).

Best Treks in the Svaneti Region

In Georgia we spent two wonderful months discovering the country, its culture, gastronomy and people, which we simply loved. If you would like to see our highlights about Georgia click here. We fell in love with this country, so it didn’t take us long to decide that there would be a diariesof issue about this country.

November 2016

We started our journey in Portugal in November 2016, after spending several weeks discovering the country from North to South.

jorge e anabela valente

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