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SustainableBelieving

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Travel

Because you’re not always at home. And that’s a challenge. Sometime.

A night away

Having started my new job yesterday, I was promptly urged to join am ongoing national gathering for the organisation staff. So here I am now, in a hotel room after a lovely day of new people, a new organisation and a new work title. And I quickly want to share the take on sustainability here. 

There are bins for recycling in every room – conference and quarters. Rooms are small an uncluttered with everything in wood and metal – it looks simple and clean. They don’t provide any shampoo or soap but give it upon request to get rid of unnecessary bottles. They have ground heat and LED-lightening, plus a water-saving system according their information board. Plus, they use environmental products. The whole thing is an initiative to support and I want to give them a sustainable shout out. 

Lastberget outside of Stockholm everyone.

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I’ll pick you up

Every time I go visit my parents, who live on the opposite side of Stockholm from me, my mother offers to pick me up at the train. A super kind gesture. Often I say I’ll just walk- it takes less than 30 min- or take the bus – about 10 min. But sometimes I accept, because I’m hungry, or tired, or have a heavy bag. I need to stop that. Yeasterday she offered again, because it’s raining. I sort of want to say yes – but really so can take the bus and walk a few minutes in warm rain. No biggie.

Everytime I take up her offer actually matter since it’s one extra start up and a few extra kilometres that wasn’t needed. So from today I will truly attempt to never be picked up or take the car if it can be avoided. If it is possible, I will solve it with a walk, a bus or a bike ride. Bye bye unnecessary car ride! Hello pretty walk in the rain ūüôā

Our hike to the nature reserve

 

We started our day around 8.30 when we hopped on the bus that went all the way from our station Tanjung Tokong to the National park, which took about 45 min. The public transport in Penang is really cheap and nice, a bus ticket cost you about 2 ringgit which is like 4 kr. All of the buses have air con, and are pretty clean. The traffic is very typical for this region, lots of cars, traffic almost everywhere and pretty crazy driving. Still I didn’t see a smashed car anywhere along the roads or anything.
After the bus ride we ordered a taxi boat to the parks furthest beach called Kampi. We wrote ourselves in to the National parks register book (probably so they know who to look for if we didn’t return).
The parks opening hours were between 9am-5pm.
We started walking on the path through the rainforest towards our first stop, the turtle sanctuary and meromictic lake.
On the way we met a monkey, a goanna and a couple of other hikers. The walk consisted of pretty steep hills both upward and downward. The air was extremely humid so we were sweating lots by just standing. Luckily the thick leaf works gave us shade so we didn’t have to deal with the burning sun.
When we reached the turtle sanctuary and got under the roof it started raining for a short while.
I was pretty disappointed at the sanctuary itself, we got to know that it was a public holiday which meant that there were no guides there to inform us about their conservation work. So we just had to draw conclusions by ourselves, which was not in their favour. There were approximately 5 tanks in the sanctuary. One with lots of baby turtles which I, and some of the other hikers we met inside, assume are going to be let free in the ocean when they have grown a bit bigger and won’t be as easy take-away lunch targets for the big fish.
The tank beside the one with the babies was a turtle that was a bit bigger in size, yet not full grown. I hope with all of my heart that this one will be let free soon.
Then there were the tree last tanks, the most depressing ones. All of the had a big adult turtle inside them, one had a broken shell, the other two I didn’t notice any outer injuries on, but what do I know. The thing is, these big magnificent creatures where put in small (maybe around 1,5×1,5 m) tanks. They swam around in a circle for a bit. They had nothing in the tanks but water. No seaweed, no rocks, not a single thing to enrich the enclosure they lived in. It made me angry. Especially when there was nobody to defend the work the centre is doing.
They hade nice informational posters about how an embryo becomes a turtle and pictures of the different sea turtle species that can be found around the beach. But there was not much about their conservation work.
I innerly hope that what I saw, has a good explanation because of those turtles are just kept like that for fun, this conservation project is a mere scam.
After watching the poor turtles we continued our walking trough pretty rough terrain with more hills. After about an hour or so we reached the beach Kampi, which was pure beauty. We were accompanied the last 20 minutes by a local who normally walks around the reserve on his spare time. But other than that, we were alone at the beach. After a couple of hour of chill we got picked up by our ride and got to see reserve from the outside and the rainforest was magnificent. I can’t believe how you wouldn’t want to conserve the nature, trees may not radiate wifi or grow donuts on them, they make the air around us breathable. They are the reason we live. They are important, much more important than our petty little needs. Much more important than us.

Fresh fruit finds

France is a great place for fresh fruit. Unlike home, you can find fruit that is day fresh and transported only a few hours. And the taste is wonderful.

Whenever you are out travelling, make sure to buy some fresh and local fruits! You can find all kinds of things. My favorite here has been nectarin which I love and has been dripping sweetness. And I just tried Figs which was new for me. It was awesome as well – I’ll try more of that!

The pictures are from a small local shop put by the road in Camarc, a nature reserve area in southern France.

And as a plus: they had paper bags for the fruit and veggies instead of the plastic bags! Yhey for sustainable packaging!

Todays choice

Today we visited the amazing Carri√®res de lumi√®res. If you are ever in southern France, visit it. And if you’re not, youtube it. It was truly amazing and almost overwhelming.

Afterwards we strolled through Le Village which is located right next to it. There we found this beauty. Fresh fruit is generally in abundance here, unlike home, but look at those cups! It’s cardboard and not plastic! I was overjoyed!

The sign said rawfood and stuff to but I didn’t try any of that as we walked on with our fresh lemonades. Thought the village they also had other wonderful sustainable products, sush as unpacked and locally produced soap, fresh and local olive oil, ketchup and jam in glas jars. It was adorable and really nice. And it gave me renewed energy to search for fresh and local products at home – from veggies to bread, oil and candy.

It was an awesome day and I really wanted to share this small sustainable joy ūüôā

Malaysia

While Erika has been out climbing in France (omg looks so fun!!!). I have hopped on an airplane, or actually three to be precise, to visit my mother in Malaysia.
If we start right there, I flew for almost 20 hours across the globe. I know that flying has a huge impact on the world, and I guess a more sustainable way of travelling would have been taking the train through Russia and China. But hey, I only have two weeks of holiday and I want to spend the most of it with my mom.

We have roamed around the city/island of Penang, where she is house/cat-sitting for her friends while they are away.
We’ve been to markets, a festival called Walk the Talk, visited a rehabilitation/conservation centre for orangoutangs called Orang Utan Island and lots more.

In France for a week of climbing

Yesterday was the last day of a week of awesome climbing. Me and my partner have spent the week in france with wonderful instructors, really beautiful views and awesome walls. It has been amazing.

I’ve never done outdoors climbing before so it was wonderful to try and really different from indoors. I have all the muscles and mind set so had little trouble adapting in general, but the size of the grips where a revelation. They are tiny!

Now I’m confident standing on my tip toes with little grip, I can hold on with the tip of one finger and lift with only a few fingers. This will totally up my game at home.

Now we’re spending a few days traveling by care to see the countryside and then we’re of to Corsica for a few days. I’m looking forward to it, but also to coming home and trying my new skills.

In the area of sustainability a lot of thoughts have crossed my mind, and i will tell u more in the days to come. Untill then, here are some pictures!

Lots of fun, lots of challenge and one thing is sure, my fingers are sore as hell.

Long time no see!

I am currently in Cairns with only 4 days left of travelling. We are staying at the Mad Monkey, one of the nicest hostels that we’ve stumbled upon here in Australia actually. It is so incredibly weird how fast time flies. In my head we just boarded the plane from Arlanda a couple of weeks ago.

IMG_8181Since we arrived in Australia we have experienced Sydney for three days, seen the opera house, botanic gardens, walked the coastal walk between Coogee and Bondi and so on. In Sydney we stayed with a AirBnB host in South Coogee, which is about 30 min with bus from the town centre.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAIMG_8229OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAIMG_8213After that we headed 9 hours with train for a 5 day 4 night surf camp at Spot X in Arrawarra. The surf lessons out there were probably one of the best experiences in my life. Staying active while traveling makes me so so so happy.

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After the surfcamp we took a bus for 2 hours up to Byron Bay where we stayed for three days. It was the cutest little town with lots of two floored buildings with all sorts of restaurants and cafes which had big balconies where you can enjoy a fruit smoothie or whatever you like.
In Byron we stayed at Byron Bay Beach Hostel which I can HIGHLY recommend if you are in town. The hostel is newly built, the rooms were clean and the kitchen is big and well-equipped. They did also have a chill out area with a big flatscreen which had Netflix in it! Movie night WIN!

We took the greyhound bus for two hours to Surfers paradise and stayed there for two nights. It was a nice town but it was raining quite a lot so we didn’t really see the real beauty of it.

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After Surfers we headed to Rainbow Beach and stayed there for one night before our trip to Fraser Island started.
Fraser Island is the worlds largest sand island and also a UNESCO world heritage site. The island has over 100 freshwater lakes!
Here we camped and drove around for 3 days.

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When we came back to Rainbow Beach we had to stay for another night because there were no buses (Rainbow Beach itself is a very small and quite boring town).
The day after we took two different busses and travelled about 17 hours over night up to Airlie Beach. Here we lived at Nomads for one night before we headed to the marina and boarded a sailboat called Broomstick. We were 24 people sailing for 3 days around the Whitsunday islands. It was raining most of the trip, but it was all still so amazing. We went to Whitehaven beach, and watched a Island which will apparently be in the newest Pirates of the Caribbean. We had both ginormous sea turtles and dolphins pop up next to our boat!
Slept one night at another hostel in Airlie because Nomads was fully booked. Reports of cyclone Debbi soon hitting Airlie Beach resulted in lots of different whitsundays, boating and skydiving trips being cancelled. Lucky enough we already had booked our bus tickets out of Airlie and up to Cairns because all of the buses were fully booked in a second after the weather reports.
We took a overnight bus to Cairns and arrived there at 5am. Stayed at The Jack for two nights, got our Great Barrier Reef diving trip cancelled and rescheduled two times because of Debbi. Also had the Jack Hostel book us a bus up to Port Douglas so that we could visit the nature reserve there over the day and see some kangaroos and koalas. But they somehow managed to make us pay for the tickets but not book us on the bus (which only leaves once a day). So we rescheduled that for tomorrow instead.
So here we are now, just moved in to Mad Monkey for three days and it is 10 times more fresh and nice than the Jack!
Tomorrow we will finally get to visit the nature reserve in Port Douglas! And the day after that we are doing a little project which is still a secret.
Stay tuned because these last days will be awesome!

Vykort fr√•n Nikki som √§ntligen f√•tt tag i wifi

Hallå!
Nyligen lämnat den vackra thailändska ön Koh Tao.
På Tao spenderade vi någon vecka och tog bland annat våra dykcertifikat för 18 m. Vår australiensiska dykinstruktör Shawn var väldigt duktig, men hade tydligen inte ens arbetstillstånd i Thailand. Vi såg allt ifrån en sköldpadda till muränor och blåprickiga stingrockor.                                Därefter hoppade vi ombord på exkursionsfartyget PansaQueen och seglar runt Similanöarna på Andamansjön för tre dagar av snorkling. Det sköna var att vi endast var ca 10 stycken turister som bodde på båten. Och slapp därmed hela tiden åka runt i trånga små turistbåtar för endagsvistelser på öarna. Vattnet var klarare än kristall och man måste kisa hela tiden då solen reflekterades så starkt. Helt utan problem kunde man se fiskstimmen tiotals meter under ytan. Vi såg tre sköldpaddor, muränor och miljoner färgglada fiskar. Det jag dock blev väldigt upprörd över var mängden turister på öarnas kommersiella stränder. Det var fullständigt kaos samt hundratals människor som trängdes, skrek, fotade, skräpade ner och betedde sig allmänt odrägligt. Ett trettiotal båtar från olika turistbyråer dumpade lassvis med turister på dessa exotiska och sköra öar.


√Ör 1982 gjordes 9 av Similan√∂arna till en nationalpark, √•r 1998 lades √§ven de tv√• sista √∂arna Ko Bon och Tachai till. Dessa elva √∂ar √§r k√§nda f√∂r sina pudervita sandstr√§nder, kristallklara vatten och de fantastiska korallrev som omringar √∂arna med sitt artrika marinliv. √Ėarna 1-3 √§r avst√§ngda f√∂r turism p√• grund av att havssk√∂ldpaddorna l√§gger sina √§gg p√• dessa str√§nder, samt f√∂r att korallf√∂rvaringsprogram utf√∂rs h√§r. Jag blev v√§ldigt glad ¬†att det i alla fall fanns lite h√•llbart t√§nk i denna turistsoppa jag bevittnade. Det √§r olagligt att fiska runt Similan och Surin √∂arna, men tydligen syns fiskeb√•tar √•ka runt √§nd√•. Samt om man dyker kan man se olagliga fisken√§t som √§r uppsatta. ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† Under regns√§songen, 16 maj- 31 oktober, st√§nger nationalparken helt och h√•llet. Fr√•n oktober 2016 st√§ngde √∂ nr. 11, Ko Tachai helt och h√•llet f√∂r att den ska kunna √•terh√§mta sig fr√•n den tunga turismen som f√∂rst√∂rt platsen.


Efter tre l√§rorika dagar sitter jag nu p√• ett hotellrum i Phuket. Denna snorkeltur har gjort att jag k√§nner mig √§nnu mer motiverad till att satsa p√• biologyrket, kanske till och med marinbiologi. Om √§nd√• alla dessa turister hade brytt sig p√• riktigt om dessa vackra och unika √∂ar, och inte bara om likes p√• sociala medier…

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