The most frequent question we are asked is, rather obviously, “what are the most beautyfull places that you have visited?”

The first answer, maybe a little provocatively, is “all of them!”, and to some extent this is true because all places we saw had some merit, and after all the Rally itinerary is crafted to choose the best places along the circumnavigation’s general route.

At the same time, we obviously have some preferences, and so here are at the top of the list the nicest places which, not by accident, are the most difficult to visit other than by boat:

– the Tuamotu islands, in particular Tahanea, a large, un-inhabited atoll (well, we actually found TWO seasonal inhabitants!…) where we spent few days swimming among brightly colored fish and doing beach-BBQ’s under the moonlight…

– Aitutaki, one of the Cook islands, surrounded by an absolutely gorgeous coral reef, with white sandy beaches crawling with thousands of hermit crabs of all sizes and shapes, and stingrays swimming among the giant clams in the lagoon…

– Uligan, a small island in the northern atoll of the Maldives, where tourism has not arrived yet and the inhabitants, kind and helpful, have been a pleasant surprise after Sri Lanka…

And then, in no particular order:

– Lanzarote (Canary is.), with its thousand volcanoes and dramatically spectacular sceneries

– Nelson’s Dockyard, the romantic marina set in the ancient British Caribbean naval base

– Bequia and the Tobago Cays, first sample of life in the tropics

– Bonaire, with its pink flamingos and its plentyful fish swimming without fear in two feet of water

– the Galapagos islands, surprising despite the media over-exposure

– the Marquesas, with their spectacular sceneries and their people, proud of their nearly-forgotten traditions

– the Society islands, despite all, Huahine above all, but also Moorea, Tahaa, even Bora Bora

– Fiji, with their traditional dances and the kava ceremony

– Vanuatu, still little-exploited and unspoilt (but no bungee-jumping, it wasn’t the right season!!)

– Indonesia, Komodo and Rinca with their dragons crawling on the beach, the welcoming fishermen of the islands, Borneo with its navigable rivers in the forest and the orang-utans

– Singapore, despite the noisy and uncomfortable Yacht Club, huge multy-ethnic city-state which mixes traditions and modernity

– Malaysia, of which we knew very little and turned out to be interesting and welcoming

– Thailand, despite the negative aspects of too much tourism

– Oman, un-foreseen stopover in a country little-equipped for tourism and still welcoming, andour first impact with the desert!

– Djibouti’s interior with its very poor but dignified inhabitants (quite unlike in the main town…) and the spectacular landscapes

– Karnak, Luxor and the Valley of the Kings (they may be full of tourists, but they are still fantastic places)

– the Cyclades with their white cube-shaped houses

Few disappointments, and mostly partially compensated by some interesting aspects:

– Australia: murky waters, infested by killers of all kinds, huge distances between points of interest which make a quick visit impossible, the questionable commercial exploitation of aboriginal culture

– Sri Lanka, especially due to the people’s attitude, although this seemed to be a problem mainly in the tourist-infested places, and the country is interesting and full of history

– the Red Sea: strong winds, mostly on the nose, cold and murky waters, the ever-present “baksheesh” culture

THE MOST BEAUTYFULL PLACES…ultima modifica: 2009-08-14T17:52:25+02:00da shaula3_gian
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