New Theme, Name, Template and Focus!

So, I have finally taken the step of moving my page from Blogger to a self hosted WordPress page. This will give me more freedom of customizing my page and posts as I wish instead of being restricted by Google. My old blog has moved to!


The second thing you probably have noticed is the name and theme of the page. The page will be simple and consise and I will focus only on one thing, namely travels in the Worlds 201 countries. Stay tuned!



P.S if you are looking for something that is missing from the page it is probably because I have split up the content into two pages, where you will find the rest (downhill biking, snowboarding etc) on my other blog:

The Costs of Doing an Around the World Trip

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Doing an organized around the World Trip does not have to be all that expensive. This posts shows how much I spent on my 3,5 month around the World trip broken down into flights, trips and “on tour spendings”


Now, a month after getting home, we have looked at our bank statements and done a thoroughly calculation of absolutely all our expeses on the trip. The following amounts are in Norwegian Krones (NOK), per person and includes everything except flights and insurance which I have added in the conclusion part.

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Traveling with the Trans Mongolian Railway (21. feb-10.mar):

Countries visited(and duration): Russia, Mongolia, China (17 days)
Booked in advance: Ruski Huski trip 14 500,-
Amount spent on this part of the trip: 2500,-
Total per day spending: 1000,-

Island hopping in the Pacific (10. mar-25.mar):
Countries visited (and duration): Philippines, Palau, Micronesia, Marshall Islands, USA/Hawaii (15 days)
Booked in advance: Hostels 1500,-
Amount spent on this part of the trip: 8500,-
Total per day spending: 666,-

Traveling independently in Northern South America (25.mar-14.apr):

Countries visited(and duration): Colombia, Ecuador, Peru (20 days)
Booked in advance: Hostels, Macchu Picchu day trip 2750,-
Amount spent on this part of the trip: 5000,-
Total per day spending: 388,-


Traveling through Western South America with G- Adventures:(14.apr-13.may):
Countries visited(and duration): Bolivia, Chile, Argentina, Uruguay (30 days)
Booked in advance: La Paz to Buenos Aires Adventure 10 000,-
Amount spent on this part of the trip: 5000,-
Total per day spending: 500,-



Traveling through Eastern South America with Dragoman(12.may-1.jun):
Countries visited (and duration): Argentina, Paraguay, Brazil  (19 days)
Booked in advance: Andes & Amazon, Buenos Aires to Rio 8500,-
Amount spent on this part of the trip: 4000,-
Total per day spending: 658,-



With flights costing 26 000kr per person and insurance costing 3000 per person, the trip ended up with a total around 80 000 krones/ 10 000 euros for 104 days. That is less than 800kr/100 euro per day including flights and absolutely everything except gifts and souveniers. That might sound like a lot, but it is less than double the amount we spend when staying at home and saving up for trip. So, in conclusion, for less than double the money you spend when working and sitting in your couch at home, you can travel the world and have thousand times the fun.

Downhill Biking in Norway and Sweden

“With its many mountains, Norway has got to be a great place for Downhill biking”

I am not sure if the guy I met in Brazil was telling me this or asking me this, but it was true. During this and last summer I have gotten to try out some of the many tracks you will find in Scandinavia, but with a littlebit of creativity you can also find tracks pretty much anywhere. The many long stairways in Bergen city center is one that I found pretty cool, and I have also seen people cycling down from the summit of Dalsnibben to the sea of the Geirangerfjord.

The summer ski resorts with dedicated tracks for downhill biking that I have tried are the following:

Oppdal Bike Park
Open: From May to October it is open on weekends, thursdays to sundays 11.00-17.00
Number of lifts: One gondola, Hovden, serving 7 slopes. There used to be a chairlift as well, Vangslia, but this was closed last year as new owners took over the resort
Getting there: From Trondheim by bus with “Nettbuss Nordfjord” takes two hours and  costs 188kr for a student and 125kr for a bike. From Trondheim by train with “NSB” takes two hours and costs 152kr for a student and 101kr for a bike.
Lift pass costs: 100kr for one ride with the gondola, 210kr for one day pass, 360 for a two day pass
Comment: Oppdal is a quiet little town where it is easy to pitch a tent where you want in the woods. The lifts are within biking distance of the city center, and are pretty quiet with just a few bikers, some sheeps and some tourists walking the trails. There is also a nice viewpoint on top with a restaurant and luggage storage. The slopes are varied, but some are a bit hard to reach now when the chairlift is not open, then you need to push your bike across to the other side of the mountain. The slope called “Superflytløypa” was definitely my favorite, going through the woods, with a few good jumps.

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Mount Ulriken, Bergen
Open: Open every day, but hours are depending on season: May-Oct 09.00-21.00 and Oct-Apr 09.00-21.00
Number of lifts: One gondola, “Perle&Bruse“.
Getting there: Just ride your bike fifteen minutes from Bergen City Center!
Lift pass costs: 90kr for one ride with the gondola, 150kr for round trip or two separate tripsDownhill Oppdal

Comment:  There is one dedicated downhill bike track, with quite unexpected jumps that can be hard to spot. I quite liked riding down the walking trail to Landås/Nattland, but there were no other cyclists in the tracks and places where carrying the bike was necessary.

Hanguren, Voss: 

Open: From June 7st to August 24th, it is open every day from 12.00-16.00
Number of lifts: One gondola, “Dinglo & Danglo/Hangursbanen“, and the chairlift in Bavallen for selected weekends.
Getting there: From Bergen by train with NSB takes 1h 10 mins and costs 138kr for a student
Lift pass costs: 100kr for one ride with the gondola, 210kr for one day pass
Comment: Voss is a town known for its extreme sports, and the slopes are well used by people who know their stuff! You can easily bike from the city center to the gondola or even pitch your tent on top of the lift.



Åre Bike Park
Open: From June 6th until some time in the late summer
Number of lifts: Up to seven lifts can be open for the summer season. Most of them are open from 10.00-17.00

Getting there: From Trondheim by train with NSB/SJ takes 2h 40 mins and costs 166kr for a student
Lift pass costs: 275kr for one day pass (45,- for the card itself)
Comment: It is Scandinavias biggest and best. The red slopes have lots of jumps, especially “Uffes” and “Shimano” That go from the top. The red trail of “Finbanan” followed by “Kanonrøret” fun park can be run from the lower lifts and have some great jumps, drops and wall rides.

My next downhill adventure will go to..
Oslo Sommerpark Tryvann

Open: August 19th to October 13th, Wednesdays-Thursdays (15-20) / Saturdays and Sundays(10-18)
Number of lifts: 1 chairlift serving 6 slopes
Getting there: Take the number 1 tram from Oslo City Center, get off at Voksenkollen Station (second to last) and walk for ten minutes from there to Tryvann Tower. Ticket price is 20kr if you by it on beforehand or 30kr on board the tram.
Lift pass costs: 65kr for one ride and the day passes costs 235kr on weekdays and 260kr on weekends
Comment: I’ll definately bring my bike to Oslo next time I go, as the tracks here look fun!



Skipping the Jet Lag From Long Travels

Catching up on some sleep on overland travels in Brazil

“West is best, and East is a beast!”

.. is a saying commonly used to describe the jet lag you get when traveling by plane over longer distances. And in most cases it really holds true, as you by travelling westward would just experience a longer day than usually, then go to bed a bit earlier and wake up all synced and rested out the next morning. When going East on the other hand, you will travel towards the clock so that you might find yourself wanting to go to bed at noon and waking up at 2am in the morning feeling like it is morning already.

In my case I was going east from Brazil to Norway, and since I had an morning exam and then work the day after I got back, I figured that something had to be done in order not to turn into a real brainless zombie when getting back. And it worked as well, making the transit painless, with absolutely no feeling of being unsyncronized with the new time zone, and by using the steps listed below you should also manage to do so:

1. Set off a days to adapt days at the end of your trip. The app “Entrain” will help you find out how long time you will need in order to fully recover from a jet lag after your travels, depending on your sleeping patterns and the amount of light surriounding you throughout the day. I set my arrival day 72 hours before I was actually going to arrive, so that I would be fully adapted already before getting back.
2. Wake up at appropriate times for the timezone of your destination. “Entrain” will give you a list of times when you should turn on and off your light, and also when you should go to bed and wake up. This is done very gradually in order to make the transaction go as smoothly as possible.
3. Catch an overnight flight. If you are going East, you might have a flight leaving at 10 and landing some time in the morning or around noon, local time. If you manage to sleep through the whole flight you will both save time and also adapt more easily to the new time. Sleeping pills might help, especially if you can get your hands on some melatonin based ones, which are legal in almost every country except Norway.
3. When you arrive, try to get as much direct sunlight as you can. This will help your inner clock adjust naturally to the new time zone.
4. Drink lots of water, and then some more! Hydration is really important and is also why should avoid alcohol and too much coffee while adapting to a new time zone, as this will reverse the effect, making you even more dehydrated.

So these are the tips that really did the trick for me, so if you dont feel like experiencing insomnia, fatigue, diarrhea and confusion (all symptoms of jet lag) from travelling, you should consider trying them too!

A Last Hooray in Rio de Janeiro

We had already been amazed by the beautiful ocean road that we drove from Paraty and Rio de Janeiro, but when we rolled into the city center of  Rio in the early afternoon with the sun shining in our backs and the 30 meter high Jesus statue greeting us for our arrival, we felt great. It was the last ride of our overland tour, the last stop on our around the World trip and a city that we had big expectations of. Our minds were full of images of how we imagined the city to be like with nice beaches where people walked around in small swimsuits, people drinking capirinhas and dancing samba in the clubs and some of the worlds most beautiful sunsets from the many hilltops surrounding the city. After almost a week spent in the city, we concluded that Rio de Janeiro, although a bit too popular among tourists these days, was quite living up to our high expectations and perfect place to end our trip that had already been going on for three and a half months. 


One of the things that made Rio so great, I thought, was that it both had great selection of beaches (Copacabana, Ipanema and Lebron) and lots of hikes and sights close to the city. There was no need to make compromises as we could spend several days relaxing at the beach and then have most of the sights done with a single day tour that we had booked in advance as everything was within such a close distance. In our packed day trip we first set off to see a waterfall, that I must say did not impress a single bit as we had just seen Iguassu Falls and were soon heading back to Norway where big waterfalls are sights as common as the many eucalyptus fields we had spotted while driving here in Brazil.

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Next stop was the Corcovado mountain, where shuttlebuses and an elevator took us up to the summit where statue of “Christ the Redeemer”, one of the Seven New Wonders of the World, was awaiting us. The platform where the statue was standing had great panoramic views over the city from all angles, but was just increadibly small for the amount of tourists that were there. There was no way of getting a picture with more than your head together with the statue without getting at least ten more people in your picture. The place was quite claustrophobic and we were happy to say “been there, seen that” and leave after just ten- fifteen minutes there.


From there we drove with a beautiful view through our windows, through the hilly neighbourhood of Santa Therese, where all the rich people fled to escape the tubercolosis that was raging downtown in the sixteenth century. After that we stopped sor lunch and a walk through the Selarón Stairway in Lapa, made of random tiles from all over the World. It was quite interesting to see how there were three tiles from Norway, including one saying “God Jul”/ “Merry Christmas”, while there were over ten from Khazakstan, including one tile for every letter in the countrys long name. 

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When the tour was finished we had the option of getting dropped off at our hostel or at the bottom of the Sugarloaf Mountain, which is the symbol of Rio and a place that really has to be visited for a sunset view. We had heard that walking a path halfway up (took us 30mins) was gonna get us half price on the tickets, but we soon found out that those rhumors were false and that there is no way of escaping the 30 usd that the cable car costs other than bringing your student id which gives you half price on the ride.

After having seen the upper class houses in Sao Paulo just a few days earlier, it was also quite interesting to do a guided trip to Rochina (means little farm) which is the biggest Favela (Brazilian shantytown) in Rio de Janeiro. Here it is said that over 1% of the population do drug dealing, and our friends who had done the same tour a week before got their tour cut short because there was a murder occuring in the favela at the time they were there. When taking pictures in all directions, we caught some people shying away from the cameras and hiding their faces. “Thats just because they are drug dealers”, said the guide, but even though the favela was full of crime, really poor, dirty and noisy, a lot of the people we met were smiling friendly at us and kids were happy to pop up in front of our cameras for pictures. 
Now I feel absolutely no need to go to Rio for the Carnival or when the World Cup kick off, as the city is definately both expensive and lively enough already, and I would have guessed double prices and owercrowding could not make a stay here better. Go see some samba in the clubs, hike the summits, visit the stadiums for a football game or just relax on one of the many beaches and I am sure you will also love Rio as much as we did.

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Just some travel tips you should consider when traveling to Rio:
Brazil is pretty expensive, and Rio even more so! Expect to pay around 30 dollars for a dorm bed if you want to stay near the beach (eg. the one we stayed at). 

If you are on a budget, you should consider eating at the many “por kilo” houses where you weigh the food you choose from a buffet and order drinks from the waitors. The tap water in Rio is also the best I have tasted in South America and drinking that instead of bottled water can save you some money.

The Hippie Market in Ipanema is huge, runs every Sunday and should be visited if you can. Because we were tired from turning our clocks around we did not go, but we got to visit the night markets that open at 6pm on weekdays which we found great for shopping, and we were told that the Hippie Market was even better!

If you decide to visit the favela you should really go with a guide in order not to get lost and go to the wrong places, but the rest of Rio (and Sao Paulo) felt really safe and clean and prepared for the World Cup starting here in two weeks.

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