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Sudan

November 4th, 2005 Comments off

This article countains more info about Sudan.
A description of what I did, what I like the most and dislike the most.

Description:

I only got a 7 days Transit Visa, thanks to

the embassy in Ethiopia, to visit the biggest

country in Africa. So I haven’t take time to really visit the country and went almost in a straight to Wadi Halfa (Egyptian border). The contrast with Ethiopia was impressive, people are so nice! Among the more friendly I’ve met in Africa (Northern Mozambique is a close 2nd). THey all want to get out of Sudan so if you can print some info about getting a visa to your country you’ll be a star.

Highlights:

– The kindness of the people

– Desert ride

– No tourist (almost) so you have the country for yourself

Down Sides:

– The 26 hours ride from Kerma to Wadi Halfa (try to break the journey if possible

– The assle to get the visa

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Ethiopia

November 4th, 2005 Comments off

This article countains more info about Ethiopia.
A description of what I did, what I like the most and dislike the most.

Description:

After 6 weeks there I wished only one thing:

GET OUT! The country is amazing, the scenaries, the culture, the history, etc. The only problem is the people, they are VERY annoying, there’s no other word. Near the Kenyan border and in Axum it was not a problem but ub the “Northern Historical Route” it was quite irritating. Of course you always meet a few person that are genuanly friendly but it’s not enough to compensate the You You You You, Money Money, Give me, One Birr, Very very hungry, This is a rock give me, etc. After some story from friends who were stuck in the Omo Valley for a long time because it was impossible to get a fair price for the bus I deceided to avoid that place.

Highlights:

– Lalibella’s Church

– Axum

– The scenary all over the country

– Awassa (Adenium Camp)

– Simiens Mountain trek

Down Sides:

– The very annoying people

– Being sick 3 times (one wit scabbies!!)

– The guys working at the Sudannese Embassy in Addis

– Unable to walk 5 minutes without being fallowed

– The very annoying people

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Why TravelHard.com?

June 10th, 2005 Comments off

I’ve been asked a few times why I choose that name for my site.

I’ve been called “Hardcore Traveler” by a friend in Tanzania. Because I love hardcore music and because of the route I had done and the one I was planning to take. HardcoreTraveler.com was a bit too long (and already taken) so I had to find something else. I was listening to Andrew W.K. CD I brought with me and when I heard the song Party Hard I thought that Travel Hard would be a nice combination as well.
Travel Hard, Travel Light, Travel Far!

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Visiting Tribes Men

June 10th, 2005 Comments off

That’s another very hard one. There’s good and bad things about this practice.

I still think that going on an organized tour/trip to tribe’s people is bad. It is very interesting of course but it brings them our values faster than they can take it. They lived for centuries without money (for example) and now they ask 1$ for a picture of them. Doesn’t it sounds strange to you? If they don’t ask for money, they’ll ask for sugar or cigarettes. I think the impact of one or two persons on them is far less then any trucks full of tourists coming to their village for 2 hours. What good is it to them if in 10 or 20 years they don’t exist anymore and all wear 2Pac t-shirt? Actually I think we should learn from them, they’re usually far more in harmony with nature than us. Isn’t it utopist?

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Giving to the locals

June 10th, 2005 Comments off

That’s a hard question, should we give money, food, clothes, candy, pen, etc to the locals when we visit a poorer country?

Maybe the fist question to ask is: Do you do that at home? I’m not against giving to the country you’re visiting but giving candy to a kid or money to a junky won’t help them in the long run. Even pen to children is not a very good idea in my opinion because it gives them the impression that we (the visitor) have everything and they will expect a “gift” from the next visitor they see. There are some places that I’ve visited where every single person I met asked me for a “gift”.
If you want to give pen, give it to a school or a teacher, they will know who really needs it. Same for money, give it to an organization that is renown, at least your money will really help someone that is trying to get a better life. Giving to kids can take them out of school to get that easy money. The parents might also force them to beg to visitors. Of course there’s nothing bad in feeding someone that’s dying from hunger. It’s better to give him food than money, at least you know what he’ll do with it. Use your common sense and it should be all right.

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Materialist

May 25th, 2005 Comments off

It sad to admit it but even after 9 months in after Africa I’m still a materialist bastard! It’s hard to change 27 years of conditioning.

I realized it when I was sailing for 17 hours in a boat with no food and no place to go or even walk. We were 4 on a 10 meters by 40 cm wooden pirogue, I was laying on my back and let my mind go free. After a few hours of day dreaming I start thinking about a game I used the play at home: Magic. I was thinking of buying some cards I need for the game!! Few hours later I was thinking that I should/might buy a new 64 bits computer when I’ll be back home. I was quite disappointed of myself and I’m trying to convince myself that I don’t really need those things.

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Kenya

April 12th, 2005 Comments off

This article countains more info about Kenya.
A description of what I did, what I like the most and dislike the most.

Description:

Another country that I was planning to race thru but where I stayed a lot longer than I tought. The main reason is that my father came to see me there and then I had to wait few days for my flight to Madagascar. My expectations were right about this onem very touristy and aim toward tourism, I know that I sticked to to touristy route but still. It’s a beautifull country and I enjoyed it a lot beside Nairobi.
When you dare go off the tourist path (beaten track as LP put it) you discover a all new and a lot interesting Kenya. MY first love was Maralal where you can see a lot of Samburu and Turkana. I was invited in a Samburu village on the Archer’s Post / Moyale route, it was really interesting to there for a few days.

Highlights:

– Maralal

– Samburu’s village

– Masaai Mara

– Talking with the locals

– Lamu

Down Sides:

– Too many tourists

– Nairobi that look like a Western city

– Touts in Nairobi

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Rafting: Zambezi vs Nile?

March 28th, 2005 Comments off

The Zambezi River is in Livingstone Zambia or Victoria Falls Zimbabwe. The White Nile is in Jinja Uganda. I did the Zambezi first in the low water season, it was my first real rafting experience. I asked other persons witch one they prefer and they all agree with me.

In short, if you have to choose go for the Zambezi. Both of the rivers have class 5 rapids and I think the Nile have even more of them. In the Nike the rapids are far from each other so you paddle a lot in calm water. In the Zambezi the rapids are closer to each other so it’s provides fast action and low recovering time. The sceneries are also a lot more interesting in the Zambezi, you’re in a gorge between Zambia and Zimbabwe. In the low water season you are very deep inside the gorge and it’s quite impressive. On the other hand, the food after the long day and the quantity of beers available was a lot more interesting in the Nile!

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Uganda

March 21st, 2005 Comments off

This article countains more info about Uganda.
A description of what I did, what I like the most and dislike the most.

Description:
I had to hurry a bit because I had to be in Kenya 3 weeks after I got in Uganda. Due to the high price of Gorilla’s trekking (365 USD) I had to skip that. I mainly stayed around lake Victoria to get to Kenya faster. Beside the fact that public transport drivers always tries to rip you off people are friendly and you feel very safe to walk at night (not alone and not in Kampala).

Highlighs:

– Rafting in Jinja

– Kalangaga – Hornbill Camp Site (Ssesse Island)

– Free internet access in Kampala Backpacker

Down Sides:

– Matatu (taxi) drivers

– Crater Lake near Fort Portal

– Unfriendly owner of Kampala Backparcker

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Rwanda

February 28th, 2005 Comments off

This article countains more info about Rwanda.
A description of what I did, what I like the most and dislike the most.

Description:
Beautifull landscapes and very friendly locals, at least outside of Kigali! I just loved Rwanda even if there is little to do or see as it’s a very small country. Of course there was a genocide 10 years ago, but people are getting over it and live in peace now. Definitly one of my favorite country so far.

Highlights:

– Kibuye – Betanie Center

– Landscapes

– Friendly and very helpfull locals

– Partying with Aussies Docs in Gahini

Down Sides:

– Bus breakdown between Kibuye and Cyangugu – Worst road in Africa so far!!

– Butare, too big to be nice, too small to be interesting

– The price rise for Gorilla’s trekking

– They drive on the right side of the road and the wheel is also on the right so it’s very scary!

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