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7 weeks in Latin American: Update IV

TravelPosted by Jean Dar Wed, June 06, 2018 18:07:05
Santo Domingo - Bayahibe Dominicus - Bavaró/Punta Cana

Santo Domingo, also called "La Capital", is the capital of the Dominican Republic, with its collage of cultures and neighborhoods. This is where the sounds of life, domino pieces slapped on tables, backfiring mufflers and horns from chaotic traffic, merengue and bachata music blasting from corner stores are most intense. At the heart of the city is the Zona Colonial, declared world heritage by UNESCO, where you'll find one of the oldest churches and the oldest surviving European fortress, among other New World firsts.


I shot the photo above on 23 February 2018, picturing the first cathedral in the Americas and the statue of Christopher Colombus in front of it. Santo Domingo is an intensely urban city, home not only to colonial architecture dating back to the days of Christopher Colombus, but also to hot clubs, vibrant cultural institutions and elegant restaurants. Santo Domingo somehow manages to embody the contradictions central to the Dominican experience: a living museum, a metropolis crossed with a seaside resort, and a business, political and media center with a laid-back, affable spirit.


My photo above from 25 February 2018, pictures El Rey and La Reina (King & Queen) of the carnival in Santo Domingo. Two days later another parade took place here celebrating the Independence Day of the Dominican Republic. While carnival events take place around the entire country, Santo Domingo's festivals along the Malecón are the most large-scale and take place every weekend in February. Visitors can expect spectacular parades, costumed performers, dancing, rum drinking, and street food. The masks worn by the 30,000 participants in the parade symbolize good and evil.


Where ever you go in the Dominican Republic, the beautiful scenery is never far away. My photo above, also from 25 February, shows the views to the south from Malecón across the sea during the Carnival festivities. The Dominican Republic is a poor country and theft and robbery are more or less common place here, should you not take some precausions. As always in poorer countries, don't flash your wealth in any way, cameras and phones may be carried around in a small backpack or discretly consealed on your body, and after being used put back into the backpack. The Colonial Zone is however fairly safe during daytime.


The Atlantic Princess is a popular dive in Bayahibe, see my photo above with me inside of it on 3 March 2018. This wreck is also a superb easy freedive in good conditions. This wreck is also a superb easy freedive in normally good conditions. Another well-known dive is the St. Georges Wreck andwas originally known as the M.V Norbrae but was renamed St. George after it was hit by Hurricane George in 1998. It was built in Scotland in 1962 and was a 240 feet long cargo ship that was used to transport barley and wheat between Norway and the Americas. While diving in the wreck you will see a spectacular display of marine life.


Isla Saona is a tropical island located on the southeastern tip of the Dominican Republic. It is a government protected nature reserve and is part of Parque Nacional del Este, a popular destination for tourists from all over the Dominican Republic, who arrive in fleets of catamarans and small motorboats on organized excursions every day. The island is known for its beaches, on which I managed to capture a Portuguese Man-o-war on 2 March 2018, see my photo above. It is also known as "floating terror" and its venomous long tentacles deliver a painful sting, which on extremely rare occasions has been fatal to humans.


My last photo is from 6 March 2018, picturing the popular beaches at Bavaró and Punta Cana. I only stayed here for two night and basically had my hotel on the beach! This part of the Dominican Republic is highly touristic and a bit too much so in my taste, but with my home-ward bound flight departing from the Punta Cana airport, I had no other option than to realax here on my last day on my "7 weeks in Latin America" project. With plenty of all-inclusive resorts and hords of tourist, this gave me the impression it could as well have been in southern Europe and not necessary in the Caribbean.

- I currently working on the Carnaval de Barranquilla video for my YouTube channel.

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My New Video: Ushuaia & Tierra del Fuego

TravelPosted by Jean Dar Wed, April 04, 2018 23:00:13
El Fin del Mundo - The End of the World

Ushuaia is the capital of Tierra del Fuego, Antártida e Islas del Atlántico Sur Province in Argentina and is commonly regarded as the southern most city in the world. It was founded on 12 October 1884 by Augosto Lasserre and is located on the shores of the Beagle Channel surrounded by the mountain range of the Martial Glacier in the Bay of Ushuaia. Its motto is: "Ushuaia, end of the world, beginning of everything".



The footage in my YouTube video is from 30 January - 1 February 2018.

If you want to see Tierra del Fuego's most beautiful landscapes, flora and fauna and historical museums, Ushuaia really is the where it all begins. With an airport, all sorts of accomodations available, plenty of restaurants and tour operators willing to take you to various parts of this region and with a wide range of activities offered, Ushuaia is without a doubt the best location in Tierra del Fuego for a memorable vacation.

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My YouTube Video: Perito Moreno Glacier

TravelPosted by Jean Dar Sun, March 25, 2018 20:52:52
Patagonias most famous glacier

My video contains footage from 28 January 2018, picturing what probably is world's most well-known glacier: the Perito Moreno Glacier in Argentina. This glacier starts actually in Chile (the mountains on the far end in this video), and continues across the border into Argentina. Tours with bigger or smaller buses are arranged from El Calafate and usually takes less than 1,5 hours one way.



The Perito Moreno Glacier is one of a few glaciers in the world that are actually growing and a visit will easily be fitted into almost any itinerary with one full day in El Calafate. I was positively surprised how well organised the whole area around the glacier was, with a large restaurant at the end of the boardwalk and smaller fastfood suppliers at the start. I recommend a day trip to the Perito Moreno Glacier if you visit El Calafate. It is a sight to see!

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7 weeks in Latin American: Update III

TravelPosted by Jean Dar Sun, March 04, 2018 18:05:02
Carnaval de Barranquilla - Cali - Medellín

Colombia, Latin Americas oldest democracy and the third most populated country, is as diverse as one can imagine, spanning from the Caribbean to the Amazon forest, and from the Pacific Ocean to the summits of the Andes mountain range over 5,000 meters. The history and cultural heritage of Colombia matches the diversity of its nature and regions.

In a sence El Carnaval de Barranquilla puts the folkloric traditions and heritage of this big country together in one huge carnival spanning over four days. Several separate events in Barranquilla during the previous weeks and months culminates in the Carnaval de Barranquilla, world's second largest carnival, only surpassed by Rio de Janeiro in Brazil!


On 9 February 2018 I shot the photo above at Plaza de la Paz in Barranquilla, picturing the XXIV version of the Gran Noche de Tambó on the very eve of the carnival. This year it was in honor of Aníbal Velásquez, a barranquillero artist who has always been associated with the accordion and the Caribbean rhythm song such as Cumbia. A rhythm that undoubtedly puts him among the immortals of Colombian popular music. This was a night with some 15,000 dancing people gathered at Plaza de la Paz, and what a night it was!


The Carnaval de Barranquilla 2018 spanned between 10-13 February and included a number of different Reyes and Reinas (Kings and Queens), but La Reina de Carnaval this year was Valeria Abuchaibe Rosales, and it wasn't easy to take a good photo of her in the parade at Via 40, which is the main venue of the carnaval. But at least I got a good one of her passing by swiftly on 11 February 2018 during the Gran Parada de Tradición, see above. El Carnaval de Barranquilla was included in this trip from the very start.


Cali in Colombia is the Salsa capital of the world, and was my next stop after the Carnaval de Barranquilla. I did of course take dance lessons here at the SalsaPura dance school, which was basically round the corner from my hotel. I did know some basic moves in Salsa Cubana previously but the Caleña style is so much more, with a freedom of movement and variations that I found being so interesting and fun! On 18 February 2018 I had my last lesson, see my photo above. I'll return to Cali for more salsa caleña dancing in the future!


Cali is somewhat overlooked by many tourist in Colombia, but there are a lot of things worth seeing here. Museo Arqueológico La Merced is one of them, displaying many items belonging to the most important pre-Columbian cultures in the Cauca region, the Calima, Quimbaya, Tumaco and Tolima and more, see my photo above from 17 February 2018. The museo is next to the Iglesia de la Meced, also worth having a look at. And one museum you simply can't miss out on is the Museo La Tertulia, the city's impressive modern art museum.


The capital of Antioquia is Medellín, Colombia's second largest city, that is modern and vibrant and has renewed itself from the drug trade brand it had in the 1980's and early 1990's. Medellín is today a very popular city for both tourists and Colombians. The metro system is the easiest way to get around the city and there are plentyful of museums and sights to visit. One of them is Pueblito Paisa, located at the top of Cerro Nutibara with great views of Medellín both day and night, see my photo above from 20 February 2018.

My last photo is also from Medellín, showing me at the Escobar Gaviria family grave on 21 February 2018. The final resting place of "El Patron" Pablo Emilio Escobar Gaviria is just next to me on this photo with flowers on it. I managed to get in touch with someone who's family used to be invovled in the drug trade and also behind the scenes in the first season of the series Narcos. He showed me the roof top where Pablo Escobar was killed, or commited suicide, some of the buildings built by "El Patron", and we also entered Barrio Pablo Escobar, the only barrio built for the poor by "El Patron" that has his name.

- I'm now spending my last day in Bayahibe Dominicus, Republica Dominicana.

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My YouTube Vid: In The Shadow Of Fitz Roy

AdventurePosted by Jean Dar Sat, February 17, 2018 03:02:49
In The Shadow Of Fitz Roy - 2018 Southern Patagonian Icefield Expedition

Few places in the world can deliver such abundance of jaw-dropping photos and videos like Patagonia in Argentina and Chile, with some of the most fantastic mountain scenery on the planet.

I landed at El Calafate Airport in Argentina, close to the Chilean border and took a minibus to El Chaltén, the adventure hub in this part of Southern Patagonia. A four day long expedition would follow between 23 - 26 February 2018, that entered the Patagonian icefield and took us all the way to the Chilean border. All the time being in the shadow of Fitz Roy.



Fitz Roy lies on the border between Argentina and Chile and is located in the Southern Patagonian Icefield, near El Chaltén, Argentina, and the beautiful Lago Viedma. First climbed in 1952 by French alpinists Lionel Terray and Guido Magnone, it remains among the most technically challenging mountains for mountaineers on earth.

The original idea was to summit Gorra Blanca on the Southern Patagonian Icefield, but some slight injuries to my left shoulder, the one that hasn't had advanced surgery, put an end to those hopes. Plan B was to spend some time on the icefield and take in the beauty of these mountains.

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7 weeks in Latin American: Update II

TravelPosted by Jean Dar Mon, February 12, 2018 18:57:29
Ushuaia - Bariloche - Buenos Aires

In Argentinean Patagonia you have got a few popular tourist hubs where its really easy to arrange tours, day tours or longer ones, in order to take in landscapes, flora and fauna or adventure sports, such as white whiter rafting, kayaking, horse riding, hiking, mountaineering etc.

I would say that I took in all four of the most well-known ones in Argentina: El Calafate, El Chaltén, Ushuaia och Bariloche during my two and a half weeks in Patagonia, I also entered Chile twice in the process. A few days in the Argentinean capital city of Buenos Aires was a good ending to my Argentinean/Patagonian leg of "7 weeks in Latin America".


My photo above is from a day tour I had arranged from Ushuaia on 31 January 2018. I stepped on a catamaran at "the end of the world" and casted off. Beagle Channel, the watery border between Argentina and Chile, and penguins, cormorants, albatrosses and seals where all spotted during this day, as the mountainous feature of the Chilean Tierra del Fuego loomed to the south. Its also possible to spot whales but further out from Ushuaia than I went.


My photo above is from 31 January 2018. Ushuaia is the capital of Tierra del Fuego, Antártida e Islas del Atlántico Sur Province in Argentina and is commonly regarded as the southern most city in the world. It was founded on 12 October 1884 by Augosto Lasserre and is located on the shores of the Beagle Channel surrounded by the mountain range of the Martial Glacier in the Bay of Ushuaia. Its motto is: "Ushuaia, end of the world, beginning of everything".


My photo above is from 4 February 2018. It was a crazy day going to the Nahuel Huapi National Park from Bariloche in Argentina and white water rafting the Manso River all the way into Chile! In this photo only the skipper is still in the raft and the full team of seven, including me, are moving fast closer to the Chilean border among the class 3 and 4 rapids. White water rafting in Bariloche was one of first things I included in this trip and it turned out to be the best single day so far!


I took the photo above on 3 February 2018, while having an excursion from Bariloche to the Lake District. No matter where in Patagonia you end up, in the south, central or north, the scenery is just lovely. I found out that even scuba diving is available both in Ushuaia and Bariloche during the summer time, as basically as adventure sports are. Wintertime makes Bariloche a prime Argentinean ski resort. The summer in Bariloche is hot but the other locations in the south are more cooler and windy.


My photo above is from 8 February 2018, picturing the Obelisco, a prominent feature of Buenos Aires located at Avenida 9 Mayo, in the very heart of the city centre. By that time I was more than half-way through my "7 weeks in Latin America" trip, and Buenos Aires was a hot, sweaty location with plenty of museums and attractions to see, of which I saw the most part of. Unfortunatly the Plaza de Mayo and Casa Rosada where closed during my visit due to renovations.

- I'm now taking part in the famous Carnaval de Barranquilla, Colombia.

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My YouTube video: Santos, São Paulo

TravelPosted by Jean Dar Wed, February 07, 2018 13:08:58
A weekend in Santos, São Paulo

The first weekend of my "7 weeks in Latin America" started in the largest country in Latin America, and in the largest city in the southern hemisphere - São Paulo, Brazil. I didn't stay there for long as I had made plans for the weekend in Santos, some two hours taxi drive to the coast from São Paulo.



Coming from the dark, snowy and icy Swedish winter to the tropical heat of Brazil was of course a nice thing. My hotel was just across the street from the Gonzaga Beach of Santos and with all the restaurants and shops very close by. All in all, I had 63 hours in Santos and this is my YouTube video of my stay there.

I arrived in Buenos Aires, the capital city of Argentina, yesterday and am writing this post from my hotel here. My hotel is located at the huge Avenida 9 de Julio in the very heart ofthe city, and with the Obelisco more or less outside the entrance door.

- Subscribe to my YouTube channel and be notified as I upload more videos: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCmbjDTe_QzhnHtLTpOmhzLA

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Airbag - Gran Encuentro

MusicPosted by Jean Dar Fri, February 02, 2018 02:38:16
Argentinean hard rock music

Being on my "7 weeks in Latin America" trip and currently in Argentina, its not surprising I've been listening to local music. One song that I really like and was officially released on YouTube only days ago, is Airbag's song Gran Encuentro, originally from the 2016 album Mentira La Verdad.


Airbag is an Argentine hard rock band formed in 1999 and consists of three brothers: Patricio Sardelli (lead guitar, piano and vocals), Gastón Sardelli (bass guitar and backing vocals) and Guido Sardelli (drums, rhythm guitar and vocals). They have released five studio albums and one live album and toured mostly around Latin America.

- Enjoy!


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7 weeks in Latin American: Update I

AdventurePosted by Jean Dar Tue, January 30, 2018 21:37:23

Santos - Southern Patagonian Icefield - Perito Moreno Glacier

I'm writing this post from the very southmost city on the planet, Ushuaia in Argentina, where I'll be staying for two more days. My idea is that as much footage as possible from this "7 weeks in Latin American" travel project should be included in YouTube videos in the near future. I will also continue to post photos and info here at Ad Astra.

During the past weekend a couple of bomb blasts have killed and injured many poeple in the caribbean city of Barranquilla, Colombia. This is where the famous annual El Carnaval de Barranquilla will be held 10-13 February, and I'll be joining in, unless the whole event gets cancelled due to safety reasons.


My photo above is from 20 February 2018, showing my very close friend Jessica Beatriz in the museum of the world-famous Brazilian footballer Pelé. The museum includes personal items from Pelé, such as pairs of his football shoes and jerseys. His achievements on the pitch are just staggering, having scored 1,279 goals in 1,363 games, securing him the top spot in the Guinness Book of World Records. This is a "must see" in Santos, Brazil!


My photo above, from 21 January 2018, pictures what I guess most people associate with Brazil: mile after mile of sandy praias. This photo is of course from the Praia Gonzaga in Santos, with my hotel just across the street in fact. For millions of Brazilians the praia is almost an outdoor living room. I'm not a beach bum in any way, but I did spend a good portion of a day in the sun and the sand with Jessica Beatriz.


Leaving Santos in Brazil for the Patagonian landscapes on the 22 February 2018, I arrived in El Calafate, Argentina, in the afteroon and stepped on a minibus bound for El Chaltén. My photo above is taken between El Calafate and El Chaltén, showing Lago Viedma in the Santa Cruz Province. I got immediately fascinated by the colours of the lake, the open steppe and the beauty of the place. Patagonia really strikes a chord within me!


I went to El Chaltén in order to have my first mountaineering experience since my climbing accident in Ecuador on 7 December 2013. Already on the second day did I injure my left shoulder, the one that has not had advanced surgery. Obviously this put things in a new perspective and a summit push on Gorra Blanca turned into a hike on the Southern Patagonian Icefield instead, with spectacular views. My photo above from 25 January 2018.


My last photo, from 28 January 2018, pictures what probably is world's most well-known glacier, the Perito Moreno Glacier in Argentina. This glacier starts actually in Chile and the mountains on the far end of this photo are in Chile. Tours with bigger or smaller buses are arranged from El Calafate and usually takes less than 1,5 hours one way. The Perito Moreno Glacier is one of a few glaciers in the world that are actually growing. This is a sight to see!

I will start making a YouTube video as soon as possible, when not being out on a tour taking photos and taking in the stunning scenery here in Patagonia. The first one will of course be from Santos, Brazil, and I will also post it here at Ad Astra.



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7 weeks in Latin America (5)

TravelPosted by Jean Dar Mon, January 15, 2018 22:37:10
El Carnaval de Barranquilla, Salsa Caleña y Medellín

Leaving Buenos Aires and Argentina, my first stop in Colombia, Latin America's oldest democracy, will be the famous four day long Carnaval de Barranquilla, worlds second largest carnival and only surpassed by Rio de Janeiro in Brazil. This carnival is Colombia's most important folkloric celebration and was proclaimed a UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage in 2003. El Carnaval de Barranquilla and Patagonia were the two first things I fitted into this "7 weeks in Latin America" project.

This carnival really makes Barranquilla come alive during these four days and room rates at hotels rises dramatically and pre-payments on rooms are necessary, as most hotels expect to get fully booked. This year El Carnaval de Barranquilla is held between 9 - 13 February, with something going on basically every hour non-stop. Trying to get out of the city before the rest of the bunch, I'll be leaving in the afternoon of February 13 for Cali, missing out on the Grand Finale. The video below is from last year's carnival.



Cali, or actually Santiago de Cali, is as well-known for its Salsa Caleña, as Buenos Aires is for its Tango. So no wonder I'll be taking private dance lessons here for a week then, hopefully two per day and continuing with locals in the nights at the different salsa venues through out the city! Its going to be interesting to see how much the Caleña style differs from the Cubana style that is more common. Cali is also called "the Salsa Capital of the World", and has the most salsa schools and salsa teams in the world.

My last destination in Colombia will be the city of Medellín in the Paisa region of the country. Medellin is known as the "City of Eternal Spring" due to its perfect spring-like weather year round. The combination of warm days and cool nights helps to make this, the second largest of Colombia's cities, a top destination in Colombia for Colombians, international tourists and business people. Long gone are the days of Pablo Escobar's narcotics empire that smuggled all that cocaine into the USA during the 1980's...


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My YouTube Video: False Bay Wreck Diving

AdventurePosted by Jean Dar Fri, January 12, 2018 20:08:55
Diving MFV Orotava & SAS Pietermaritzburg in False Bay

l was hoping to upload this video before New Year's Eve but my internet connetion was faltering and is still not perfect. But at least I manage to upload it to my YouTube channel Ad Astra - Jean Dar early this morning. It includes some of my footage from the two wrecks in False Bay, the MFV Orotava and the historical SAS Pietermaritzburg. All my diving in False Bay was arranged through Pisces Divers in Simon's Town.

From 1958 to 1983, MFV Oratava and her crew of up to twenty-four worked as a fishing trawler along South Africa's coast. In 1983, after years of deterioration, the fishing vessel was finally donated to the False Bay Conservation Society. An impressive fifty meters long and nine meters wide, this wreck is in fairly good condition and lies on the sandy seabed at thirty four meters. The highest point, the funnel, is at a little more than twenty two meters, and the gunwales are at some twenty five to twenty seven meters. I had two dives on the MFV Orotava.



The SAS Pietermaritzburg was first commissioned in the Royal Navy as HMS Pelorus in 1943, and took part in the D-day invasion of Normandy in World War II as the lead ship sweeping mines to make way for the invasion fleet. She was sold in 1947 to the South African Navy and renamed HMSAS Pietermaritzburg. In 1994 she was scuttled to make an artificial reef at Miller's Point near Simon's Town. The wreck settled upright on the sand at a maximum depth of twenty two metres, but has begun to collapse and the interior is much less accessible than it used to be. I had three dives on the historical SAS Pietermaritzburg.

With only six days to my next trip, the "7 weeks in Latin America" project, only a few items are still to be purchased and I'll also look into vaccines and medication for the trip. Updates from the "7 weeks in Latin America" project will of course be posted here at Ad Astra, as the project unfolds.


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7 weeks in Latin America (4)

TravelPosted by Jean Dar Mon, January 08, 2018 21:34:47
The City of Buenos Aires

The Argentinean capital city of Buenos Aires is one of Latin America's top tourist destinations so I just had to include it in my itinerary for my forthcoming "7 weeks in Latin America" project. I will spend half a week here after my Patagonian leg of my project and the Brazilian stop-over, mainly to take in the famed museums, culture, art and history of this city. And I'm sure I'll be sipping down some Argentinean wine too..

The city is highly influenced by the Europeans who started to arrive to Buenos Aires some 150 years ago and is today synonymous with Tango, which has influences from European, Native American and also African cultures. The dance is included in the UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage List since 2009 after a joint proposal by Argentina and Uruguay. And if you haven't got a clue what Tango music sound like, just listen to the music in this video.



I have made hotel reservations really close to the Obelisque and am hoping to get some beautiful nighttime timelapses of it with my new mirrorless Sony a6000 camera from the room of my hotel there. And with the addition of a Haida Neutral Density 3.0, 1000x filter to my camera, I should be able to get at least some sensationally good photos. This filter is suited for very long exposure times and could boost my creativity.

When coming up with this project I initially also had Santiago, the capital city of Chile in it, but with the timeframe available between Patagonia and the Carnival of Barranquilla in Colombia, that starts on February 10, I had to settle for only Buenos Aires. I'm pretty sure I'll have another project that will include Santiago in the future, so only Buenos Aires will have my full attention for half a week in early February this time.


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7 weeks in Latin America (3)

TravelPosted by Jean Dar Thu, December 28, 2017 19:33:23

El Calafate - Ushuaia - Bariloche

After the Gorra Blanca and Patagonian Icefield expedition that will start and end in El Chaltén, I will also spend time in El Calafate, Ushuaia and Bariloche, taking in the natural beauty of the Patagonian region and its history and culture. All these locations are found in the informative video below along with plenty more stunning places from both the Argentinean and Chilean part of this region.

The Argentinean city of El Calafate got its name from a little bush with yellow flowers and dark blue berries that is very common in Patagonia. The city is the natural destination if you want to see the spectacular Perito Moreno Glacier, but also a convenient stopover before/after further exploits to the north, including El Chaltén, the FitzRoy mountain, famous hiking routes, river rafting and canoeing, or a Gorra Blanca expedition.



A couple of days in Ushuaia will follow my visit to El Calafate and the Perito Moreno Glacier. Ushuaia is commonly regarded as the southmost city in the world and found in Tierra del Fuego, on the very tip of the South American continent. The highlights here are the breathtaking landscapes, the history of Ushuaia and also the wildlife including Penguins, Whales and Sea lions along with activities like hiking and canoeing.

Far to the north in Patagonia lies San Carlos de Bariloche, known as only Bariloche, a major tourist and adventure hub in this part of Patagonia. The big attractions here, as in much of Patagonia, are the stunning landscapes including mountains and volcanoes, waterfalls and beautiful lakes. The obvious activities here are hiking, mountaineering, canoeing and skiing, but Bariloche is also well-known for its good cafés and restaurants.



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My YouTube video: The Sardine Run

AdventurePosted by Jean Dar Sat, December 16, 2017 11:31:20
My South African Sardine Run video on YouTube

Finally I got all the footage together from my South African Sardine Run earlier this year and compiled this almost five minute long video. The Sardine Run is a "must do" if you are into diving, freediving or even only snorkeling. And if you want to participate in one of world's most spectacular natural events, interacting and swimming with Dolphins, Sharks, Whales and Cape Gannets etc, this is the one for you!

There are a few companies offering packages for the Sardine Run, and depending on when, where and for how long you would like to go, just compare the different packages and have your pick. However, most arrangements are week-long and its a good idea to make reservations way ahead in time, since this is a very popular annual spectacle and not many spots are left at the start of the year.



I have included a content list in my video to highlight the best footage in there, but the one thing I missed out on was the huge Sardine bait ball and footage from below showing Cape Gannets dive-bombing into it from above. I will return for a second Sardine Run, probably in 2019, in order to capture that on film. Read my previous posts here from the Sardine Run to get an idea and feel for it.

My next video on my YouTube channel Ad Astra - Jean Dar could feature me diving in False Bay, South Africa, including footage from the wrecks SAS Pietermaritzburg and the Orotava, but I have to look at the footage that I've got before I can tell if that is going to be the case. What I can promise is that videos from some of the most sought-after dive locations on the planet will surface on my YouTube channel one after the other. These videos will of course be from Palau, Yap, Guam, Saipan and the utterly mind blowing wrecks of Truk Lagoon (Chuuk Lagoon).


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7 weeks in Latin America (2)

AdventurePosted by Jean Dar Sun, December 10, 2017 13:28:28
Gorra Blanca and the Southern Patagonian Icefield

Patagonia has been on my tick list for some time now and with my forthcoming travel project, 7 weeks in Latin America, I will finally go to this stunning location in Argentina and Chile. This, one of the absolute highlights of the project, will follow directly after the short Brazilian stopover (see previous post). In total 16 Days are set aside for the Patagonian leg of this project, including El Calafate, El Chaltén, Ushuaia and Bariloche.

I will arrive in El Calafate via Buenos Aires, coming from São Paulo and Santos in Brazil. From El Calafate I will go by bus to El Chaltén and the following day the Gorra Blanca Expedition will start. Gorra Blanca is situated in Chile and both El Calafate and El Chaltén in Argentina. The famous Perito Moreno Glacier is reached from El Calafate, and my plan is to see it before leaving for Ushuaia in Tierra del Fuego.



As my right shoulder is now strong and functional after the advanced shoulder surgery I had in June 2016, I have thrown in some mountaineering into this trip too. Gorra Blanca is an easy peak in the Southern Patagonian Icefield (Campo de Hielo Patagónico Sur) with exeptional views of both the Fitz Roy mountain and large parts of the icefield itself in good weather. Thus making it a perfect mountaineering comeback objective for me.

I have been purchasing new mountaineering gear since I sold most of my stuff after the climbing accident in December 2013 that fractured my right shoulder. Some top end mountaineering items are now in my inventory and this could be useful if I chose to continue climbing after this project. During this Gorra Blanca expedition I will put my new La Sportiva G2 SM mountaineering boots and also my custom-made PHD sleeping bag with Drishell outer fabric to the test, along with my new small and handy Sony A6000 Camera.


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