Back again!

So, long time no see! I remember once reading a tormented author complain about the fact that you can either live or write - if you're writing, you're not actually living, and if you're out there, living, time is short to write. So that is what happens since Irkutsk - with no card to draw money and a long way to go, I barely had time to understand what was going on, much less to write about it all. But here I am, finally living a quiet enough life again, which allows me to share with you, faithful readers, what I have been up to since that now far away November in Siberia. Last post was aboit Irkutsk, which I left to be in Olkhon Island, a place said to be one of the Shamanic centers of the world. I'm not sure about that, but I can tell you that the island is beautiful, the lake is breathtaking and my time there was very pleasant, made even better by the amazing owners of the guesthouse I stayed in and their dogs.

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After a while, I gave up on waiting for my card, borrowed money from a very generous lady and went back to travelling, hoping that when my card arrived at the Siberian address, it would be shipped off to Moscow, which was my next destination. I spent about two weeks there, and it sure was not enough to see everything one should: the cosmonaut museum, the victory museum, the magnificent squares, the live music, the great mix of races and nationalities converging in the most beautiful metro stations of the planet (just really really amazing, art in itself - the palace of the people, as some call it), the Lenin mausoleum, all of that jazz. 
Had a blast there, celebrated a small christmas (they celebrate it in January, but Couchsurfing people always take the opportunity to celebrate, so the 25th was quite enjoyable) got my new bank card and flew over to Leningrad (which for some reason people prefer to call Saint Petersburg).

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Again, two weeks was not enough - the museums, squares, the amazing people, the architecture, the parties, bars - it was all much prettier than I could possibly expect. People in Moscow did tell me I'd like it better there, but I found it hard to believe, as I was falling in love with Moscow, until I arrived there and was awe-struck. I can't forget to mention, also, that the ladies from Leningrad are generally prettier than most of the Russians I met in Moscow or Siberia (though, yeah, it's Russia, there are pretty ladies everywhere there...).
I spent a hell of a new year's eve there, drenched in Vodka and fun, visited submarines, had a good time and went back to Europe, after 10 months in Asia-Russia.

From Leningrad I flew to Stockholm, and headed straight to Vasteras (which in Swedish kinda means Westeros, nerd friends will know), to visit a good old friend and her fun-blasting son Levi(athan). After a few days there, I went back to Utrecht, spent a few weeks organizing myself and trying to pay back all the money I borrowed, then went to Moulins, France, to visit another friend I hadn't seen in many years. After that, another trip - this time for work. Aarhus (Denmark); Bergen, Flam, the SognFjord and Oslo (Norway), Stockholm again, Malmö (Sweden), Copenhagen (Denmark again) and back to Utrecht. Whew! That was all from November, in Irkutsk, to a final stop in Utrecht around the end of March. A lot of ground covered. One could say that's enough, since there were 5 preliminary years living in Italy and the Netherlands but travelling all around Europe, followed by 2013, going through Thailand, Cambodia, Vietnam, Laos, China, Mongolia, Siberia, Moscow, Leningrad, Scandinavia and France... but no, not me! 
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 As soon as I managed to get everything together and breath for a while, I flew to Brasil, to visit friends and family - São Paulo, Rio de Janeiro, Curitiba, Praia Grande, Santos... I watched the world cup (even went to the stadium to see the amazing match between Germany and Algeria), celebrated the 7x1, got the old rock bands together, played a few gigs, wrote a few songs and we even won a round in a battle of bands - only for me to... travel again! This time to Chile, to see my father's family, which I had last seen in 2001! I stayed a while in Santiago, with my father and mother, enjoying a 'standard vacation' with them, until they left, back to Brasil. That's when I... started travelling again!

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Just last week I was in the Atacama Desert, but this I will tell in greater detail, on a future post. I'll try to go back to posting regularly, with more photos and details of each place - I'm back to Santiago, and going to the south of Chile in a few days, and to Patagonia after that, so I should still have a lot of great photos to post and words to write to ye all!

As I say dozens of times each day - ENJOY YOUR TRAVELS! Don't be afraid to go and see new places, meet new people, eat things you never ate, drink things you never drank... I know in my case it may already be leaning towards an addiction, but it is the healthiest addiction one can have, by far.

Welcome back to my trip!

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