Fascinating worldwide trips

Ethiopia, Russia, Hawaii and more!

(Scroll down for infos and pictures)

Ethiopia

I’ve spent two really hot weeks in Ethiopia in February 2016.

Unbelievable landscapes with extraterrestial Dallol volcano and the doorway to hell, lavalake Erta Ale.

In addition primeval crocodiles and other fantastic animals in Awash National Park.

All embedded in hostile but anyway inhabited Danakil desert. An experience which definetely will affect my life!

Kamchatka

Our (me and Chris Weber) three week expedition to Kamchatka in June/July 2013 during their so-called summer was characterised by extreme bad luck regarding the weather, yet extreme good luck regarding the volcanoes. Apart from exploring the culture in the Kamchatka capital of Petroplavlovsk, these active volcanoes were the main focus of our expedition:

Shiveluch, the most northern active volcano: the Shiveluch area was completely destroyed by a pyroclastic flow in 2005 and looks very dramatic as a result. We witnessed a night time eruption and subsequent glowing dome. Furthermore, shortly before our departure a rare pyroclastic flow occurred right in front of our eyes – unbelievable!

The absolute highlight of the expedition was the exhausting 9 day trek to the Tolbachik volcano. The trek itself was marked by a cyclone resulting in rain, strong winds and a snowstorm, however, at the Tolbachik site we were able to look into the crater with its very rare lava lake on several occasions. The spectacular atmospheric evenings with glowing skies and fascinating strombolian eruptions were worth all the effort.

This area, as indeed the entire country, is one of Earth’s extreme hot spots and it holds a truly magical attraction.

Guatemala

Together with V-E-I I spent one week in Guatemala (in 2011) to visit some of the active volcanoes.

Starting point of all of our trips has been the cosy and colorful city of the colonial era Antigua where we enjoyed the atmosphere as also many tasty cup of coffees.

We first visited the Pacaya volcano. But we were not very successful, on the one side due to the bad weather, on the other side because of the missing activity.

But we were compensated for that at the Fuego volcano which we climbed escorted by some local bandits (to protect us against non-local bandits). At this volcano we experienced many (partly very strong) eruptions under a clear sky!

The last sunny day we visited Lake Atitlan. We enjoyed three of the most beautiful villages around the lake and experienced local markets, a coffee fabric and a lot of colorful clothes.

Hawaii

After having visited the islands Honolulu and Maui we reached Big Island (also well known for its Triathlon) with Kilauea volcano.

Besides some waterfalls and the summit of Mauna Kea the excursions at the Kilauea volcano have been THE highlight of our trip:

A helicopter flight, two nights at the lava ocean entry (fascinating the never-ending “fight” between the elements water and fire), sneaking through the night to Halemaumau crater and especially the adventurous “hunt” of a skyhole (degassing hole of the lava flows) detected while the heli flight.

The big turtle at our departing day has been a great ending of this unbelievable trip.

Sicily

Spring 2009 I planned a 4-day trip to Sicily with a good friend. The target of the trip has been the visit of Stromboli volcano plus a 2-day trekking at snow covered Etna volcano.

But the weather threw a spanner in our plans. We still were lucky the first day at Stromboli volcano with good weather and strong eruptions.

The next day we had to postpone the planned Etna trek due to a temperature of minus 20 degree Celsius at the volcano. So we changed plans and spent the day at Vulcano volcano.

The day after we couldn’t leave the Stromboli island because of a rough sea, the ferry was not able to land.

The fourth day we finally rushed in direction of Etna volcano but were stopped by a engine breakdown. In the end we only could stay about one hour at the Etna area before we had to hurry to the airport.

Indonesia

My passion for volcanoes was founded during a three weeks tour to Indonesia in 2008.

Besides some interesting temples and a typical Wayang show we of course visited many active volcanoes: Merapi, Dieng Plateau and Kelut. Highlight were erupting volcanoes Semeru and Bromo located in the so-called Tengger Caldera – for me one of the most beautiful place at Earth).

Most impressive experience were the sulfur miners at Kawah Ijen with its unbelievable working conditions.

The trip ended with a few relaxing days at Bali island.

Peru and Bolivia

In 2005 we spent three more than exciting and memorable months in Peru and Bolivia with following stations:

Peru: Lima, Arequipa, Climb of El Misti volcano, Colca Canon, Cusco, Valley of the Kings, Machu Picchu, Social work in Larapa.

Bolivia: La Paz, Valley of the Moon, Condoriri Trek, Lake Titicaca, Salar de Uyuni, Potosi.

An unbelievable experience which also had a great influence on my further life with having climbed my first volcano and also got robbed with arms.