The technical things
For this years trip, I´ll be using my Iphone 13 and a Leica Q2. I did not want to bring my Leica M10 or my Nikon Df or even some analog equipment, because I am travelling with handluggage only and am not sure, what places I will visit.
There have been people prefering the Iphone as a full replacement for a “real” camera. The process of shooting and using the pictures differs tremendously. While the pictures taken with the phone are very well optimized by software, the pictures taken with the Leica in JPG format most of the time cannot compete with the ones from the iphone. This is different for the raw files basically. They need to be processed (I use Lightroom) before they can be used, which means they require a lot of work before they can be used. This should not be seen as an excuse, to take so much time, to feed this blog though. Still, I guess, most pictures nowadays are taken by phones and pushed around in blogs, other social media and private chats because it is so easy and fast.
It is not only this technical advantage that the phone has. After just three days of competition between the two tools, it becomes clear, that I produce much more trash with the Leica, then with the phone. Focusproblems, unsharp pictures because of movement of the camera (yes it has a stabilizer), bad values about the automatically choosen time, opening or ISO settings result in a lot of trash. This has to be looked at, logged or deleted. Take the picture with the phone – review it on the relatively big and good screen of the phone and continue your journey. Im curious, what I will feel about this competition after the trip, when I am more familiar with the Q2 knowing its strenghs and weaknesses.
But now – lets go and see, if you can recognize, which pictures are taken by which tool!
The last sunset before going to Sofia Airport after midnight lets me say goodbye to Gostilitsa in peace. I love this place and will be happy to come back to it – but now – lets go for real.
Wizz Air took me from the old terminal one to Valencia where i arrived in the morning and got picked up by Cari. Here in Valencia, I always sleep on a boat so the pictures from here are more or less all taken around the harbour.
OK – I already have to admit, that the IPhone rocks! 😀 Lets get going with some pics because it will take way too much time to process all the information. Ill spam you with pictures instead…
Madrid – Buenos Aires – Bariloche
Same thing- lets not use words – push pictures – need to get up to date…
Bariloche is a small town in Patagonia – very close to Chile – and it is famous for a lot of German and Swiss culture. Brewing beer and making chocolate are as typical for this region as the mostly backpacking, young tourists.
Bariloche to Rosario
Traveling by Plane from Bariloche Airport to Rosario lets you understand the size and emptyness of this country. Almost everything built or explored is done in straight lines. The streets are cutting the land and the cities into sqares.
Rosario – little Chicago
This town rocks – I did not expect, to be so impressed. The tolerant and very friendly behavior of the citizens with their mostly European backrounds and the American way of using the available space for big avenues with space for trees creates a free and open spirit.
The country in its form now is pretty young but still there is a lot of history and morbid tracks of the difficulties, problems and attitudes are visible evrywhere in town. A perfect place for some street photography. By the way – most locals that I have contact with cannot understand, why i take pictures of “trash” and not the tipical tourist pictures. Well – i see beauty everywhere – also in the trash. So lets go and explore this vibrant small Chicago.
In the streets of Rosario
Going to Buenos Aires
To reach Yucatan, we had to pass Miami – which was lil exiting, because I didnt have a visa yet. Professionel work so – online application took 20 minutes and the waiting started. Luckily, they approved it and i could board to Miami.
Yucatan – Mexico
The big difference between the experience in Argentinia and Mexico is the places we visit. Even in Bariloche – Patagonia – Argentinia – which is a famous tourist destination, there was not such a huge gap between the Tourists and the people working in the tourist business.
Here, we are visiting the biggest tourist spots of the country. Cancun feels like a huge money making machine where prices – in US$ – are obviously far away from salaries that people earn, who work for that machine. There seems to be no respect between the locals and the tourists. Everything is circulating around money. All places we visited are crowded and regulated about everyting. Walk in a like, dont do this or that, stay for five minutes, you have to go back. Pay the next attraction, view, picture, whatever. People obviously have no brain or culture when they are away from home. It feels like a big Disney Land again which is dominated by capital.
Dont get me wrong – of course, I enjoy – mainly the food – but I have never been interested in resorts or places like this so for me its kind of Babylon. Also, Mexico is huge and we just see a very small part of it. Anyway – its good to know, what you dont like and this makes me appreciate the time spent in Argentinia even more!
Nevertheless, I want to share some impressions from the streets around Cancun, Playa del Carmen, the island Cozumel and of course Chichen Itza – the famous Maya city.
Trying to get out of Mexico
Was harder than expected. Since the Spirit Airline did not accept that I am not vaccined enough against Covid, I could not board the Flight with Ariel going to Nassau. Waiting for Cari in the VIP Lounge to find a solution was kind of sad. I was happy, when we got a new plan.
My way went through Mexico City to Havanna, Cuba. In Mexico City, I ran a lot, to catch my plane. On one level out, through the security, on the other back to catch the same airplane. When I made it, I had to realize, that there was an hour of time difference and I had time to wait for the boarding. At boarding, they asked for my tourist visa for Cuba!!! Same run back and fourth while the boarding was in progress. I spent my last Mexican pesos and made it back in time with a pulse close to 200.
I arrived at 21.00 local time in Havana, changed money and found one of the last taxi drivers out of the airport. Sadly, the goverment had switched of all internet that day (and the following days) because of some famous rapper, who was spending too much money in the center. I had to call Cari in the middle of the night (Europe) to find out my address – everything worked so Jolly dropped me finally around 23:00 in Calle J, Varadero.
I want to go back to Cuba. That is clear already. I enjoyed the people, music, architecture, cars and inspiring views on culture and behaviour of the people. I miss William, Manuel, Maite, the babies, la madre and these small rituals around finding your coffee cubano in the morning or paying different prices for the same thing in different places… Miss Cuba already!
Bahamas – the contrast could not be bigger
After a big woman collapsed at the gate and the emergencies in Havana were with her for the entire time, the Pilot of the 737 flew us to Lyden Pindling International Airport, Nassau – like driving a car! Crazy good pilot not caring for any stall signals…
In Nassau, the customs took me apart and wanted me to go out of the airport. I refused, to stay a night without sleep, learned some Albanian and meat Brayan from Batabano, Cuba.
Finally, I got to Freeport in the next morning.
I got picked up by a completly wasted pick up service – sleeping in the car. After a long first day, we had a spicy Conch salat…
The Conch situation
According to Google:
Why shouldn’t you eat conch?
Conch poisoning is caused by vibrio parahaemolyticus, a bacteria which requires salt water to live. According to Dr Sands, when ingested, vibrio bacteria can cause watery diarrhoea, which is usually accompanied by abdominal cramping, vomiting, fever, nausea, and chills
Dr. Sands? Really? I am sure, I have heared that name before. Btw. the local cigarettes in the Bahamas are named Palms – both – Sands and Palms are produced in Freeport.
Anyway – Grand Bahama seems to be pretty empty and feels like I imagine Florida in the 80s. Didnt make any friends with the locals, enjoyed the silence and was happy, when they let me leave into direction Panama – Argentina – after purchasing a returning ticket to Europe…