World tour 2019

AROUND THE WORLD IN 50 DAYS –

Jordan, Bali, Australia, Cook Islands, Tahiti, Grand Canyon and Zion, Peru, Iceand, traveling almost every day, discovering every time stunning and diverse landscapes and places of history and heritage. This was not a sporting challenge even though I enjoyed running almost every day in these picture postcards surroundings.

With the kids in Jordan and in the USA, in couple expect for Peru and Iceland, these two great holiday months have resulted in an incredible shared experience. And to not get bothered both physically and mentally, I had chosen to travel with a 30L cabin size backpack, which allowed me to carry and move only with the most important.

From this world trip, I can tell that the world is, indeed, undoubtedly round. Every minute, sun rises and sets somewhere with men and women to watch it, sign of the universal humanity we share with no regards to our culture, history, background and way of life…

July 12 - Dead Sea, Jordan

#WORLDTOUR #Jordan 1.
Swimming in the salty lake of the Dead Sea, the lowest point on earth with an altitude of -430 meters, and water that happens to sometimes carry 150 times more salt than a common ocean, 1,300 kilogram per liter.
Canyoning in the gorges of Wadi Mujib Canyons in water at 30•C.

#TRAILtobeALIVE

July 13-14 - Wadi Rum Desert, Jordan

#WORLDTOUR #Jordan 2 #WadiRum
Wadi Rum desert, mineral desert where the red sand collides with the high cliffs carved by time, vast swaths of loneliness. Sea landscape very much in the style of Mad Max, scorching heat, early morning runs, 4×4 car tourist tour, and hikings in the desert.

#TRAILtobeALIVE

#WORLDTOUR #Jordan 3 #WadiRum Morning RUN
Went for a run in the early morning, walking with quiet footsteps in the sand, without a single sound and a single breeze, in utter peacefulness.
The astronomy observatory set there seems to observe the stars a moment more before they vanish. Bit by bit, the rising sky climbs on the highest peaks,  the mineral desert awakes, a soft breeze emerges in the dawn.
Impassable cliffs still bloke the sun from entering valleys, Wadi Rum trickling stones remain cold and rigid.
Then, slowly, sunbeams flow into the plains, and light up sand and boulders,  to illuminate the world and bringing a new day to life.

July 15-16 - Petra, Wonder of the World, Jordan

#PETRA #Jordan #WORLDTOUR
Petra, impressive maze of canyons replete with landmaks carved in the rock, treasures at the crossroad of multiple civilizations.  Greatness fallen into oblivion, stately and unforgettable.

Morning RUN, #PETRA #Jordan #WORLDTOUR

It is six o’clock in the morning and we follow the Siq running, this deep narrow path, tightened gorge that takes you in only a few kilometers to the very heart of Petra. How many people have taken this path to reach the multi-millenniumy city … Several centuries before Christ Nabataeans had converted the city into one of the most flourishing in the world, with twenty thousand citizens at its peak, on the trading route between Orient and the Occident, spices, and especially myrrh, this resin that used to be sold at a gold price and had already covered a few thousands kilometers from Yemen and Arabia’s boundaries. The Greeks took the city and lost it twice, Romans turned the lower city into a Roman one, giving it all traits… What a gigantic entreprise to sculpt, a few milleniums ago, these dozens graves and mausoleum facades, this amphitheater, these pathways and stairs…. carrying a perfect geometry hollowed within the rock walls.

Then the roads have been changed, civilizations were lost and others emerged, Petra faded and fell into oblivion, buried in the desert sand as given by the pediments of which we only see the top surface from the ground.  Half of the wonder of the world that is Petra is probably imperceptible today. Under Petra’s most emblematic frontage named the « Treasure », archeologists found a buried fronton that may be as high as the one visible today…

This morning run in this open sky city-museum is a true delight, combining the sweetness of the physical activity with the thoughts rambling on these thousand years gazing upon us, reminding us that we are little, and that not much will remain from the moment. This Trail allows us at the very least to feel we are here today and alive…
With Claudie we have already been running an hour and a half without giving it a thought, strolling through the Siq, the Treasure, the Altar of sacrifices, the great Temple… I will still go to the Monastery, have a tea there, then take the way back. I look at the Treasure’s frontage one last time, follow the narrow pass of Siq where the light breaks through it, wondering about the fact that I will probably return.

#TRAILtobeALIVE

July 19-20 - Crossing Bali on a scooter, Indonesia

#Bali #WORLDTOUR
We get to the southern hemisphere between tropics, time differential of 5 hours towards the East, to spend a week in Bali and its neighbour sister Lombok.
Crossing Bali on a scooter, the landscape, the scents, wandering with our light backpacks : amazing !
Ubud capital of zen, green rice fields, Buddhist temples, Luwak coffee, and its monkey forest.
Then small roads leading to Amed along Mount Batur’s volcanic sides and its lake, to reach the black sand beaches of Amed.

July 21-22 - Mount Rinjani Volcano / Lombok, Indonesia

#Rinjani #Lombok #Bali #WORLDTOUR
Ascent of Rinjani volcano,
Night spent on the border of the crater (alt 2.500m), panorama on the active cone of fumarole, and on the volcanic lake. The ascent to reach the top is not possible since the last earthquake occured and took the paths away.
Still it was a nice climb, with a lovely team of carriers and cookers, and an incredible sunset on a cloud sea and Bali in the distance…

July 23-24 - Gilis & Kuta Islands, Lombok, Indonesia

#Gili #Snorkeling #Lombok #Bali #WORLDTOUR
1 day in the water after 2 days focused on the volcanos… Snorkeling (flippers and masks) around the 3 Gilis islands… with coloured fises, turtles, corails, that we had the chance to see…

#TRAILtobeALIVE

#Sunrise #Morningrun #Kuta-Lombok #Bali #WORLDTOUR

Morning Run on the footsteps of the first Sun beams along Kuta bay (Lombok-Bali), fitness training next to the pool, last Indonesian breakfast, and we are headed to Australia, leaving Asia for Oceania…

#TRAILtobeALIVE

July 27 - Litchfield Park / Darwin, Australia

#Darwin #Australia #WORLDTOUR

We are learning to live with our heads upside down and discover Australia, starting from the Northern Territory’s capital city, Darwin, named after Charles Darwin and his theory of evolution.
Australia, island-continent largest than the entire Europe, constitutional monarchy  attached to the Queen of England.
After having performed Indiana Jones, we are now in the part of Crocodile Dundee, that we meet again in our plates as schnitzels. A short passing in the bush to discover countless cathedral termite mounds, and the surprising waterfalls in the arid outback of Lietchfield Park.

July 28-29 - Uluṟu, Australia

Uluru, or Ayers Rock, the impressive and iconic red monolith that rises in the very heart of the island-continent Australia. It consists of a circular 9-kilometer long, 3-kilometer large, and 348-meters high rock. Bowels of the earth rising like an monadnock at the heart of the deserted bush.

Uluru is a sacred massif for Australian natives, as one of the itinerary leading to Tjukurpa goes through the rock. Tjukurrpa, « the Dreamtime », is the key topic that comes with the Australian natives aboriginal culture. The mythical time or dimension of « dreamtime » refers to the origins of the world. Most of native tribes believe all forms of life, plants, animals and humans, are part of a wide and intricate pattern of interactions, which origins go back to the great minds of ancestors from the dreamtime era, a dynamic complex system.

We did the tour on foot and riding bikes. But we did not get to the top, keen to respect beliefs, the rock being sacred for natives who themselves do not climb it in order to avoid violating the sacred path of the  « Dreamtime ». We were astonished by the number of people coming to Uluru to draw their inspiration from aboriginal customs… and who, despite the explanations written at the base of the rock, decide to climb it…

Evening at the Field of Lights, a gigantic luminous work of art, with Uluru’s rock as the backdrop to this view, multicolored terrestrial stars shining under the Milky Way…

(* Drawn from Wikipedia)

#TRAILtobeALIVE

July 30 - Sydney, Australia

#Sydney #Australia #WORLDTOUR
After Bali and Uluru and before Roratonga and Papeete, … it gave us kind of a shock to be in the city again, with the tube, and Southern winter although quite relative in Sydney. A marvellous city combining greenery, British history, youth and modernity.

#TRAILtobeALIVE

August 2-3 - Rarotonga - Cook Islands

#WORLDTOUR
TODAY IS STILL YESTERDAY … !!!
Like the unforgettable scene in Superman where he travels through time by moving opposite the direction of the earth’s rotation, we took off in Auckland (New Zealand) on July, the 31st at 4:30pm, and a few hours later we landed Roratonga (Cook Islands), on the 30th at 10:00pm, the day before.

We get TWO complete JULY 31st, (… and to spend it in Rarotonga if that isn’t great luck too…).

It is logical and scientific, but it still is singular to comprehend, and still, wonderfully magical…

We are then definitely on the other side of the world, with a 12-hour time difference with France…
???

#TRAILtobeALIVE

Our 2nd day of July, 31st 2019. Sportive day, round-the-island on mountain bikes (31km, close to 20miles) with a stop at the local market to have lunch and swim in the lagoon, followed by an interval training along the beaches at sunset.
Difficult day… ? ☀️ ? ?

#TRAILtobeALIVE

August 4-5 - Aitutaki - Cook Islands

Caution, some of the pictures may be shocking… ??
We had heard about Aitutaki as one of the most beautiful islands in the world, and I do think it true… A spectacular lagoon, a small footprint left by tourism, quiet little roads (of which we did the tour on our bikes, about 30km and it is done). Also a bit of kayaking, a few runs to reach the highest peak (alt 124m), and of course to run along the lagoon, you need to do something… ???

#TRAILtobeALIVE

August 6 - Bora Bora, French Polynesia (Tahiti)

#Tahiti #BoraBora #Snorkeling #WORLDTOUR
Tahiti, Bora Bora, on bikes, followed by an amazing afternoon snorkeling with sharks, rays, and colorful fishes…

#TRAILtobeALIVE

August 7-8 - Huahine & Moorea, French Polynesia (Tahiti)

After Tahiti islands with Huahine Island.
Two quiet days, a little bit of kayaking, a few runs, unstressed, raw fish and sunset, … on holiday in the islands… ?☀️?

#TRAILtobeALIVE

#Tahiti #Moorea #WORLDTOUR
One last day in Tahiti islands, spent on a heart-shaped island : Moorea.
Snorkeling in the early morning in the natural « aquarium » of the lagoon, in the middle of turtles and still as many new fishes with many, they hiking-trail running for 2 hours in the forest up to the col of the 3 coconut trees, then sea kayaking  and snorkeling between Tiahura small islands, … a wonderful last day.
Eight days in six islands of the Pacific between Cook and Polynesia, time has been passing slowly and living these few days to the rhythm of the lagoons will be unforgettable.