Aruba is one happy island

Aruba is One happy Island

Trip to Aruba

Hi everyone. I’ve been busy lately so I couldn’t post a blog earlier. After being to Texel, Winterberg, Iceland, Swedish Lapland, Zeeland and Aruba, I still had to give some instagram workshops across the country. Besides that I’ve got a drumschool. Busy times but finally time to post my blog about my awesome trip to Aruba!

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Crossfit

So before I left I had some weeks to prepare myself. I wanted to shape my body a bit but it was hard. I only had 5 weeks left. But I did find an amazing thing. Crossfit! Wow! That changed a lot. I live in Holland. In a town called Ede. Normally I don’t like to visit a gym. But this was something different. It’s all about feeling good. Everyone is helping each other to reach goals. Working hard for yourself but as a team. Really like the concept. Soon I’ll tell you more about this Crossfit. If you’re interested already please take a visit at their website: CROSSFIT

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training at Crossfit Ede

O’Neill clothes

So I do work for O’Neill footwear for a while now. But now I needed some awesome shorts and shirts for the trip. So we had some contact and they brought me a nice package at the airport in Amsterdam right before I left. Wow, such a great clothes! Thanks for that O’Neill!

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clothes thanks to O’Neill

Let’s go to Aruba!

So finally time to for boarding. We flew with KLM to Aruba and it was a really good flight. In the plane I met my two travel companions. Two fashion bloggers. If you want to see their story you could visit their instagram accounts as well.
Check out @moderosa and @annarike. It was a 9 hour flight to Aruba and we left at 12:25 in the afternoon. We arrived in Aruba at the Reina Beatrix Airport around 16:30 so we had enough time to explore a bit. After we checked in at the Renaissance Hotel we had a dinner at 19:00. We started our trip with some good food at Pincho’s Restaurant. At 21:00 we drove back to our hotel and it was time to sleep! Because the day after would start with a good active thing! Bon nochi!

Stand Up Paddle Board

Bon dia! So at 08:00 we would be picked up at the hotel. We had a nice breakfast at Cilo. A nice salmon sandwich! It got warm really early that day and I recommend everyone not to forget to bring some sunscreen! Gladly the team of the Aruba tourism authority had give us a nice welcome package with sunscreen in it. Thanks for that! After we had a nice lunch we drove to Mangel Halto for a Stand up Paddle Board with Aruba Surf & Paddle School! That was just awesome!

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stand up paddle board

Lunch at Zeerovers

After an awesome morning at the beach, well prepared by Crossfit Ede, we lunched at one of the best local fish restaurants of Aruba! Zeerovers is at the heart of fishing village Savaneta. It’s a haven for fresh catches of the day. The baskets of fried fish and jumbo shrimps are paired with local side dishes such as “pan bati” (Aruban pancakes), “funchi” (hearty cornmeal cake or fritters)
and “banana hasa” (fried plantain). I strongly recommend all of you who likes fish to visit this place! I had the best shrimps ever! So good.

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lunch at Zeerovers
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Leisure time

So after one of the best lunches ever we went back to the hotel for some leisure time. Finally time to explore a bit more of the island. So we went to the Renaissance Aruba Private Island. The island is famous because of the white beach, the blue and green water, the palmtrees and of course the flamingos! Wow! All of those colors where perfect for the perfect shot! One of the shots I’d made with the newest Sony Xperia Z5 worked so good on instagram! Over more then 6.700 likes and over more then 140 comments! Check out this link for the photo! Relaxing time all over this place. But we could not stay to long. We would be picked up at 17:45 to drink some cocktails at Bugaloe while watching the beautiful sunset. The evening ended with a diner at our Hotel.

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relaxing at Renaissance Private Island

Exploring the National Park Arikok

It’s saturday morning and we’ll be picked up at the hotel for a breakfast at Bright Bakery at 07:00. We would visit the National Park of Aruba for a early morning walk. I really looked forward to that to see some wildlife and some typical Aruba nature. We walked with our guide through this amazing landscape and he told us everything we needed to know. If you visit Aruba, please visit the National Park Arikok. It’s amazing! Check here for their website.

Arikok guide
break at National Park Arikok

I love the food in Aruba

After we had a great time at National Park Arikok we went for a lunch at Old Fishermans. This time I tried something else. Linguini with seafood. It’s all fresh and tasty. So if you like to good food, Aruba will be a paradise for you! Next thing we did, after an afternoon relaxing at the beach, was having diner at a new place called Azia. Their concept offers Asian cuisine, tapas style. Tapas are shared and are served, as they are ready. There is no specific sequence in which they are served at your table. Giving you the freedom to savor as many Asian dishes your palate requires as you share with your family and friends. They establish mainly influences from India, Indonesia, China, Korea and Japan. And it’s really good! I definitely recommend the Rock Shrimp Tempura! Any kind of sushi. They taste amazing! The Korean BBQ Ribs and Pork Belly are just wow.

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lunch at Old Fishermans

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diner at Azia

It’s not just pleasure.

It’s sunday and we had a lazy day. Breakfast at the hotel and some free time to relax. Ok the trips I make are not bad at all. Most of my friends think it’s all pleasure but don’t forget that I’ve to promote the locations in a way others can’t. Tell a story to the rest of the world and make the best pictures at that time. You have to be quick and creative. That’s something that’s in my mind all the time during the trips I make. You have to be a professional. Don’t forget that. Ok, so after a good relaxing morning we went for a lunch at Nos Clubhuis. And again the food was just amazing! I had a shrimp wrap with French fries. So good! They really know how to make a good lunch. Oh and lets take another cocktail! The famous Aruba Ariba. That’s something you just have to try once.
After we finished the lunch the weather suddenly changed. It started to rain and our friends of the Aruba tourism authority said that it would take a few minutes. Normally.

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lunch at Nos Clubhuis

Rain Down On Me

Ok so it started to rain badly. After the lunch it was time to go to Bugaloe to enter a huge catamaran.It was time for a snorkeling  and sailing trip with The Palm Pleasure. It was raining but we went on the boat. We all got our snorkeling gear and a good glas of Aruba Ariba! Time to go. Unfortunately the weather got worse and eventually the captain decided to go back. I really enjoyed it! It rained down on us. For the people of Aruba it was a bless. Finally rain. It had not rained like that in the last 2 years. So it was a good thing.
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stormy weather at Bugaloe

Explore like a local

After the stormy weather we went back to the hotel. I had some diner at the hotels restaurant. Sushi and lobster! Not bad at all. The rest of the evening I stayed in my hotel room and went to bed early. Because the next day would be another awesome day! Explore like a local with photographers Carlos Dijkhoff and Armando Goedgedrag. Together with ABC Tours and its fantastic driver! An island tour visiting the Franse pas, Mangel Halto, Baby Beach, Mangel Cora Wells, Rogers Beach, Seroe Colorado (bridge), lunch at Boca Prins, Natural Pool, Andicuri, Black Stone Beach and Boca Keto. Wow! What an amazing tour! We had an awesome group of people. We visited one of the best places on the island.

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me at Seroe Colorado

Love this part of Aruba

Lot’s of the places are in the National Park Arikok. Just like the natural pool. Ok I’ll be really honest. We went to the natural pool but when I saw these rocks and the colors of this volcanic coastline I just had to make a few long exposure shots. I got so in balanced when walking and climbing these rocks. Finding a good spot to set up my gear for some nice shots. Wow, it worked very well. I’ve posted some on my instagram account as well. I could go back any time to visit these places. So beautiful.

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long exposure at the right side of the natural pool

Cliff jumping

To end the amazing tour we went cliff jumping at Andicuri Beach. It was my first time and it was amazing! We all jumped and the water was so good. It felt so nice. The temperature. And the Andicuri Beach is so beautiful! Don’t miss that place when you’ll visit Aruba.

Andicuri Beach
Andicuri Beach before cliff jumping

Last evening

After a day full of adventure with the team we went back to the hotel. We would be picked up at 20:00 for our last diner in Aruba. Dinner at Screaming Eagle. An exclusive place at Eagle Beach. Chef Erwin Hüsken made us a special treatment.
He surprised us with high quality food. Wow. Really good! You should definitely check out this place full of original culinary experiences. Screaming Eagles.

One Happy Island

After 5 days of adventure, luxury and good food it was time to leave this wonderful island. I’ve had a great experience. Nice people to start with. And I would love to thank our personal guides. Paula and Nadia. Thanks so much! You are the best!It truly is One Happy Island. You have to go. I’d love to go back soon and it looks like I will!During the adventure I also had this awesome smartphone with me.The new Sony Xperia Z5 with the best autofocus there is right now.Eight of my pictures that I’d made with the Z5 are posted by National Geographic Traveler. So proud of that! You can see them here as well. Hope you enjoyed my blog about my trip to Aruba? Feel free to leave a message or share it with your friends.

READ MY STORY ABOUT MY TRIP TO SWEDISH LAPLAND <<<<<<

Lapland and sunrise

Lapland in Sweden

Lapland an the Outdoor Academy Sweden

I really had no idea what to expect when the nice people of Visitsweden suggested me to go to Lapland. Swedish Lapland.
It sounded great to me. I had to wait till the 5th of September. Enough time to prepare my trip. I’d never hiked before and of course at a daily base Youtube and Google where my best friends. My instagram account is full of adventurous and exploring pictures from around the globe and this was exactly something that would get my photos to a higher level. A few weeks earlier I went to Iceland and still with that adventure in my mind I couldn’t wait to go!

Kiruna

I flew from Amsterdam to Stockholm. After a few hours waiting for the next plane we flew to Kiruna. A plane full of people with outdoor clothes. That was something I’d never experienced before. Some of them where fully dressed as if they just came off the mountains. Kiruna is the northernmost town in Sweden, situated in the province of Lapland. After a good flight we landed in Kiruna. A team of the Outdoor Academy where waiting for us. The bus was waiting for us. Ready to bring the participants to the destination. On our way to Björkliden.

Björkliden

After a good 1,5 hours driving we arrived in Björkliden. At Hotell Fjället. There we met all the brands and guides that made the hike possible. We got our clothes and gear like the Lundhags bag pack and we all got a “partner” to hang out with these couple of days. We all checked in and we all got a fantastic cabin to stay for a night. At 19:30 diner was served and it was just awesome! What a great food. Time to go to bed. We would have a breakfast early and leave at 08:45 for our 9 kilometer hike to Låktatjåkka Fjällstation.

Andes Guide
(photo by @wesinthewild)

Låktatjåkka Fjällstation

After a good 5,5 hour walk we arrived at the Låktatjåkka Fjällstation. Wow! What a hike. So many different colors in the landscape. So many different weather circumstances. Wind, rain, snow and so on. What I really loved where the advices of the Arctic guides. The layers of clothes and how to use that. Like the Ivanhoe of Sweden hat. It fits very well! It was my first time and my fellow participants where all experienced. Well not all. But most of them where running marathons or climbed mountains before. Something I heard afterwards. Me as a photographer I could just stop everywhere. Reindeers in the wild at the left side and a rainbow in the wilderness at the right side. In front of me there where all kinds of waterfalls and behind that you could see
the clouds coming closer. After a lunch in the wild we continued our hike. Walking in the clouds approaching snowfields. Almost there. Almost at Låktatjåkka Fjällstation. It was a really tuff climb. 900 meters upwards to visit the highest bar in Sweden.

A life time experience

Shoes out and time to relax. Time to choose a room and time for some nice waffles and coffee. The Låktatjåkka Fjällstation is the perfect place to stay after a good walk. There’s a lot of history about this place. You can feel it all over the place. Good to be here.
Time for our first workshop. Making our outdoor diner. Souvasstew with gáhkko and lingonberries. Souvas is smoked reindeer meat and gáhkko is sami flatbread. We first had to fry the meat and put it aside. Then chop the onion in small pieces and fry in butter. Add the chanterelles and fry for a few minutes. Then add the meat. Add some spices and cream and let it boil for a few minutes. Stew with lingonberriesand Låktas homemade gáhkko! After that we got blueberry pie with custard. Thanks Oskar, Johanna, Vilda, Malin and Ulrika for your good service at Låktatjåkka Fjällstation.

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(photo by @wesinthewild)

Workshops at the Fjällstation

After our diner it was time for whisky. Swedish whisky. Mackmyra. That was really nice! Such a great taste. Really interesting.
When the whisky warmed us up it was time to go to our next workshop. Night photography with one of the best photographers, Peter Rosén. Owner of Lapland Media. That was kinda interesting. Great to be there. Lot’s of inspiration.

That Sunrise

After a great day of hiking and workshops and a good sleep it was time for breakfast. But before that I woke up at around 5:45. A pink light came through the curtains. I openend up the curtains and I saw this dark orange light reflecting on the mountains.
Amazing! So I walked downstairs to the door and there it was. One of the best sunrises I’ve experienced ever. Speechless. Time for a #selftimerwes shot!

sunrise selftimer
(photo by @wesinthewild)

The Sami Guide

After a fantastic breakfast we packed our gear and said goodbye to the crew. Ready for our next hike! Kårsavagge.
Another 6,5 hours walk in the wilderness of Swedish Lapland. But now in a totally different landscape. In the snow. Unbelievable how quick the weather conditions changes. We got a new member in the group. A Sami photographer. But that’s not all. He gives us all so much energy during our walk. Telling us about the history of the Sami people. Their land. Their reindeers. We are not allowed to ask a Sami how many reindeers they own. So that’s why I ask him how much. A big smile on his face. “You can come and visit me. Then you can count them yourself”. After a short walk we arrived in some sort of no ones land. Mountains and snow. Time for another shot.

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(photo by @wesinthewild)

On our way to Kårsavagge

Crossing lot’s of amazing spots. Walk in the snow. Walk through the water. Going up and going down. And there it is. Another big valley. Time for a break and time for my first smoke dried reindeer meat. Our Sami photographer, his name is C.J., had some dried smoked reindeer meat with him. Wow what a taste. Eating the meat and watching the endless scenery. Inspiration all over the place. Time to go. Time to go to the next stop. A stop where researchers built there houses. Another place with lot’s of colors. Even the houses fit the landscape. The total package for a photographer.

Research houses
(photo by @wesinthewild)

The Best Part According our Arctic Guide

Lunch was good and time to move on. After 30 minutes there was the river we had to cross. Through the water and heavily packed. Keep your head straight and don’t follow the water. Move on and don’t fall. I did it! It worked. A little break and ready for the best part according our Arctic Guide. Another different scenery. Other colors then just 30 minutes before. So amazing. Time for another shot. We are in a hurry so unfortunately not much time. Would love to go back again to this part of Swedish Lapland.

last valley group
(photo by @wesinthewild)

The Outlook

Walking the last part to Kårsavagge. But first down the valley. And at a certain point there was a spot that was just asking for a photo. I’m a bit afraid of hight but I had to do this. Seeing and feeling the land. That’s something you should do along the walk. Imagine these paths. Touch these paths. Smell these paths. Be one with nature. Drink the water. That’s what I love most. Drinking the water of the streams and waterfalls. Fresh water and fresh air. So good to be here. That’s why I trusted this land and this spot. Time to let my fear go away for just a few seconds. Be one with this land.

be one
(photo by @wesinthewild with help of C.J.)

Kårsavagge

After refilling my Light My Fire “pack up bottle” with fresh “waterfall water” we finished our last part for this day. The last 20 minutes walk to the camp. What a valley. So good. If you want to hike somewhere where you can be one with nature and it’s elements just go visit Swedish Lapland. You won’t regret. We are going for a downhill walk. You can feel it in your legs. Although these Berg Advance Alfa shoes are amazing! No pain at all. Felt really good. There it is. The camp where we will eat and sleep is in sight.

The Sami

When we arrived in the camp the organization made us some hotdogs. We all got the chance to find ourselves a nice place to camp. We had an amazing Helsport tent. After setting up our tent we met the Sami people. Really interesting if you knew the hunting season just began. They where there for us and they told us a bit of their history. About the land and about how to catch a reindeer. Really cool! After that we made our own speer with an amazing knife. A real Swedish knife. Morakniv. Great tool to make a speer. The Sami gave us some reindeer meat to grill in an open fire. Really nice to do. What an amazing people. Thanks for that! We were all so tired and after making our own food we got some Swedish coffee with a nice story. Something about lemmings. Really funny. Time to go to bed!

helsport
(photo by @wesinthewild)

The Northern Lights

At 20:00 we went to bed. We got ourself some new fresh water out of the river so we could cook the water in the morning to have breakfast. So tired. Time to go to bed. We slept very well in our tent and sleeping bags. Our Woolpower thermo underwear and socks worked so good. Thanks a lot. But then…. At 22:30 I woke up. It rained a bit but I woke up for a reason. I opened up my tent and I looked up. It was dark and the only thing I heard was the streaming water and what I saw was the sky clearing up. Right above my tent. White lights moving around. Then green. Then purple. The Northern Lights where there. It danced and it moved just for me. It only appeared for just 20 minutes. Why did I exactly woke up at the right time and at the right spot? I think that’s the magic of Swedish Lapland. So blessed to experienced this feeling. Thanks Swedish Lapland. Thanks Sami. Thanks people of Sweden.

noorderlicht
(photo by @wesinthewild)

The Last Hike

We slept well. Great gear. After a good outdoor breakfast we got the chance to make some lunch. I took some smoked reindeer meat with me. We cleaned our Trangia pots and pans in the river. Getting ready for our last downhill hike. To Abisko. The last hike. But first a photo of this amazing place.

Vallei huisjes
(photo by @wesinthewild)

Abisko Turiststation

At 08:00 in the morning we left Kårsavagge. Ready for our last part of this journey. It would take about a 4,5 hours walk to reach the Abisko Turiststation. The last hour was for me a physical battle. The only thing I heard was the river. Just the sound. The landscape continiously changed. It looked like small trolls villages. Fairytales forests. So amazing. But it was hard to find out where the end was. But finally there it was. The bridge over the water to the Abisko Turiststation.

abisko turiststation
(photo by @wesinthewild)

The Last Day

Ok, so after we came back there where some more workshops to go too. But I was so tired and my legs where saying no to me.
We all got our own room. With a warm shower. I did not took a shower for 3 days. A kingsize bed. A coffee machine. I did it. So glad I took this opportunity. We ended that night with an amazing diner and party afterwards. I’d like to thank all of you who made this trip possible. All of the brands that made it all worth. All those people of the tourism boards and of the Visit Sweden team. You did such a great job! I’m looking forward to go back soon. With new ideas and new plans. I definitely think everyone needs to know more about this part of Sweden. Swedish Lapland.

Farväl! Vi ses! Trevligt att träffas.

Fore more pictures see: Wesinthewild

Iceland: An adventure to tell about

Exploring Iceland

Hi everyone. Normally I write my blog in Dutch but sometimes I’d love to write in English as far as I can. Feel free to contact me if you see any bad English words or sentence. No problem at all! 🙂 So anyway…I got the chance to fly to Iceland with Icelandair.
The #MyStopOver experience. Staying at the Dyrhólaey Lighthouse as a Grande Finale! Such a great experience I had. Flying Saga Class. That’s Icelandair’s business class. I have met amazing people and saw the most beautiful places. Driving around in a Land Rover Discovery with WiFi with the best personal guide you can imagine. All in one package. Ain’t that just fantastic?

Food and Colors

Eating the best local food there is. The famous Smoked Lamb and the Arctic Charr. Don’t forget the local volcano soup at the The Old Cowhouse Restaurant that I had for lunch during our trip from Reykjavik to Dyrhólaey. It’s all so tasty and smokey. I love that. Especially when you see so much beautiful places. Experience the vibe. Typical Icelandic landscapes with green hills and lots of rocks. Icelandic horses and sheep all over the place. All those colors me as a photographer can wish for. Green, brown, grey, blue, white, orange, purple and black. What a great combination. I think its personal but a dream came true. So thats why I’d love to share a few of my best photos. I’ll mention the location per picture and would love to get some feedback or leave a comment.
Ready for it?

1. Öskjuhlid Hill (Reykjavik)

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Öskjuhlid Hill

2. Reykjadalur (Hot springs)

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Reykjaladur

3. Gljúfrabúi‬ Waterfall (Seljalandsfoss)

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Gljúfrabúi Waterfall

4. Seljalandsfoss Waterfall

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Seljalandsfoss

4. House at Eyjafjallajökul Volcano

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Eyjafjallajökul Volcano House

5. Eyjafjallajökul Volcano

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Eyjafjallajökul Volcano_

5. Skogafoss waterfall

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Skogafoss waterfall

6. Crashed DC 3 Plane (Vik)

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Crashed DC 3 Plane (Vik, Iceland)

7. Black Sand Beach, Dyrhólaey (view from the lighthouse)

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Black Sand Beach, Dyrholaey (view from the Lighthouse)

8. Door Hill Island, Dyrhólaey (view from the Lighthouse)

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Door Hill Island, Dyrholaey (view from the Lighthouse)t

9. Dyrhólaey Lighthouse

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Dyrholaey Lighthouse

10. Road between Dyrhólaey and Vik

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Road between Dyrhólaey and Vik

11. Boat at Laugarvatn, Fontana (Spa & Wellness)

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Laugarvatn, Fontana

Instagram Influencer

If you need me to promote a location in a different way? Please don’t hesitate to contact me. I’ll be in Winterberg, Germany, from 10-17 of august, in Swedish Lapland from 5-9 of september and in Aruba from 22-27 of oktober. New trips are coming up but I’m always in for a new adventure! For more pictures, please visit my instagram account: Wesinthewild

Icelandair

I’d like to thank Icelandair for their great service and great adventure they gave to me. For me as a creative and adventures guy this couldn’t be any better. I’m so thankful for that and I’d love to go back as soon as possible to make an even more inspirational photoshoot. Please don’t hesitate to visit Iceland. This could be the journey you were waiting for. I promise you!

Book this trip

If you would love to experience the same as I did? A #MyStopOver experience? Please don’t hesitate to book this trip! Which picture is your favorite one? Are you going to Iceland? Or have you been there already? Would love to hear your story 🙂
PLEASE LEAVE A COMMENT BELOW. IT WILL BE MUCH APPRECIATED!