Together with our friends Danny and Désirée we visited Iran in October 2018. Iran is a beautiful country and interesting from several perspectives. It has a very old history and modern-day Iran is reflecting that mingled with contemporary history.
In the summer of 2017, we traveled together with Margriet her sister and family (husband and three kids) to Costa Rica. Since we were with a big group, we made most arrangements (4WD and housing) before we left. You need to be a bit on time with this since Costa Rica is becoming popular. All-in-all we have stayed around four weeks in this beautiful country.
We have already spent some holidays in the Pyrenees but we keep coming back. We simply like the mountains and atmosphere: quiet and rugged spots, nice old villages and friendly people. Especially the Spanish part is our favorite. That is why we wanted to go back there and continue through Aragon; a very old part of Spain. It used to be a kingdom together with Catalonia and stretching out to parts in Italy. It was also the place where the old Christian and Muslim cultures met (and clashed). For this reason, there are many castles and fortresses in Aragon which together with the nice landscape makes it a nice hiking experience with lots of old history.
In August/September 2013 we travelled during a month in Ladakh, the northwestern part of India in the Himalaya, together with our friends Danny and Désirée. The basis of our trip was Leh, the capital city of Ladakh. We made treks through parts of Ladakh and visited Buddhist temples, always returning to Leh. This has advantages and disadvantages: you can leave part of your luggage behind in a guesthouse (reducing the weight of your backpack), but it is less adventurous. Ladakh is situated at an altitude of 3500 meter, so some customizing is necessary (actually, we did not have a lot of problems perhaps due to the Diamox we took).
Leh is a small and touristic town. It has very many shops and outdoor/adventure companies. It has a nice selection of restaurants, but getting a beer is a problem at times (not to mention a good glass of wine!). For religious reasons, they do not always serve beer. Sometimes it is available and then they may sell it as ‘tea’. We stayed at the Shanti Guesthouse, in the quiet outskirts of Leh, which is operated by friendly and helpful people. We could leave part of our luggage there in-between the treks