South America

Mayan Riviera

Alexander and I spent a short but relaxing time in the Mayan Riviera with our friends this april.

The highlight was Ek Balam – “Bright Star Jaguar” in Maya language, a Yucatec-Maya recently (and still only partially) excavated archeological site within the municipality of Temozon, from the Preclassic until the Postclassic period – the seat of a Mayan kingdom. In ancient times, it was a large city, controlling a populous and prosperous countryside. The Acropolis houses the possible tomb of king Ukit Kan Le’k Tok’, who ruled from 770 (the starting year of the “height” of this city) to 797 or 802 CE.

In this ball court there were a number of discoveries made, among them a collection of burnt stone balls that may relate to the Mayan ball game which we saw in a spectacular show at the Xcaret park.
The Xcaret Park had a numerous animals and a little boy in a red hat weaving in and out amongst the ruins scattered all over the huge park and resort.

The other highlight was a swim in the biggest of Yukatan’s 7000 cenotes. This one: Cenote  Maya, a great natural pool of 80 m diameter with beautiful rock formations and roots reaching down the had a wooden staircase or vines to down into. We opted for the former.


Cuba 2008

Cuba was the first destination really that was more of a vacation than a painting inspiration. Still, I found the architecture in Old Havana, a UNESCO World Heritage Site right in line with my interest in old doors and door series I started in Nepal.

It was my last “alone” trip for a long time, as I was 7 months pregnant. Contemplating how I would be able to keep traveling in the future with my son, I enjoyed this “transitional” time in a new place, which I found to be very family oriented and the people to be extremely respectful to pregnant women.



One of the most unbelievably dreamy, windy and everchanging landscapes I had experienced to date was this year in Patagonia while camping at Torres del Paine National Park, in Argentina. The colors at sunrise as the sun hit the peaks were unreal.

From Usuaia, the capital city of Tierra del Fuego Province (Argentina), commonly regarded as the southernmost city in the world, I saw glaciers in Beagle channel so blue they too seemed hard to believe. I trekked on Perito Moreno Glacier, one of the very few still advancing glaciers. I arrived in El Chalten, in Chile with my friend Dawn with our tent ready to camp just as almost a meter of snow covered the ground. We still hiked up to Mount Fitz Roy and just as we reached it’s foot the clouds momentarily revealed it’s which quickly disappeared again.