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WIN A 14-DAY EXODUS ADVENTURE FOR TWO THROUGH COLOMBIA ISSUE #38 //$7.95 GST INCLUDED www.getlostmagazine.com
“A GOOD TRAVELLER HAS NO FIXED PLANS, AND IS NOT INTENT ON ARRIVING” – CHINESE PHILOSOPHER LAO TZU // ARGENTINA I AUSTRALIA I AUSTRIA I GERMANY I INDIA I JAPAN I MALAYSIA I MOROCCO I PERU I SWEDEN I VIETNAM
Wellness Experiences from Mexico to Malaysia
Big adventures on Little Andaman
Sabah’s forgotten sun bears
ENTER THE LABYRINTH Fez’s sensor y seduction
SWEDISH SKY SHOW
Chasing the northern lights
Buenos Aires by night
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INDIA Discover Little Andaman island, home to one of the oldest cultures on earth
Witness the wrath of Krampus in an unholy Christmas tradition
Hunt the aurora borealis through frostbitten Lapland
Image: Bornean Sun Bear Conservation Centre
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Where to go when you need to recharge, relax and reconnect with yourself
OF THE WORLD’S TOP WELLNESS EXPERIENCES
Lift the veil on the enchanted labyrinth of Fez
Raise your boot to Aunty Meredith’s end-of-year bush bash
Reclaim your honour in Santo Tomas, where justice is dealt with an iron fist
get in the know A sailor who hasn’t crossed the equator is called a ‘polliwog’.
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News, Views & Events The globe uncovered Events What’s going down? Get Social Join in and win
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Places to Stay The weird and wonderful Top Trips The best breaks Top 10 The world’s spookiest spots Retro Travel Travel from yesteryear in Germany
The hungry traveller in Vietnam
112 PHOTOGRAPHY Expert travel photo tips
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You Wish Queensland reef sleep-out Get Packing Discover Japan’s Shikoku Island with an instant itinerary After Dark Party till dawn in Buenos Aires
Musician David Bridie on finding the rhythm in PNG
122 RESPONSIBLE TRAVEL
Offloading baggage – porter protocol
Professional plant hunter, kidnap survivor and orchid aficionado
118 TOP BARS
The world’s best watering holes
get in the know Prior to 1983, a married woman’s Australian passport application had to be authorised by her husband.
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Gadgets and other goodies
West African sorcery that’s not so bewitching
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TOPPED IN OUR TRACKS: MY TRAVELLING COMPANION AND I stand before an incredible vista, marvelling at the natural beauty before us. Heading south from the Bahariya Oasis in Egypt, we had simply instructed our driver to take us to the famed black and white deserts. We'd seen photos of the white desert's sculpted chalk-rock formations before, however the view of the valley sprawling across our path was completely unexpected. The entrance to the white desert is spectacular, but I am yet to find this view published in any travel books and have only recently found its rough location on satellite images.
•Canon EOS 400D •Canon EF-S 18–55mm lens at 27mm •ISO 100, f/10, 1/200 sec Photography by Nicholas Grundy
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get in the know Buenos Aires is one of the top 20 largest cities in the world.
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BUENOS AIRES In a city where the party starts closer to sun up than sun down, Luke Wright limbers up for a heady night of tango, T-bones and intoxicating tipples.
get in the know Buenos Aires is the city with the greatest concentration of theatres in the world.
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Caught up in the terrifying Christmas tradition of Krampus Night, Lara Dunston finds herself at the mercy of demonic beasts dishing out public floggings in the Austrian hamlet of Zell am See. Photography by Terence Carter
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get in the know The Krampuslauf has always been fuelled by alcohol â€“ in the past it was schnapps.
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Furry horned beasts bearing whips and chains descend upon the town centre for the Krampus procession.
get in the know Traditionally, Saint Nicholas distributed presents to families while Krampus provided coal.
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Young Nicobarese Islanders, whose families were relocated here after the Tsunami, play near their homes at the southern end of Little Andaman.
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get in the know In 2008, eight of the remaining Onge tribe died after drinking medical waste washed up on the shore of Dugong Creek.
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Fulfilling a long-held dream, surfer Brook Mitchell travels to the remote Indian territory of Little Andaman island, home to one of the oldest living cultures on earth and a resilient population still recovering from the 2004 tsunami. Photography by Brook Mitchell
get in the know British-built Richardson’s Lighthouse on the southern tip of the island marks the ‘10 Degree Channel’ between the Andaman and Nicobar Islands.
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s a motley crew of farm animals sprinted past Natarajan’s humble dwelling on the shores of the usually sleepy Hut Bay, he sensed something was seriously amiss. The ground had shaken more violently than at any time in his 87 years here. It was time to go. Grabbing his cane, Natarajan joined the frantic procession and headed as fast as his ageing legs would carry him to a nearby hill, with just seconds to spare. Turning his gaze back to the sea, he watched as the Boxing Day Tsunami, higher than the tallest coconut palms, swept away his home and the entire town beneath him, washing back and forth until there was virtually nothing left. Before Boxing Day 2004 this man, now 95 and still in possession of a razor-sharp wit and a set of piercing brown eyes, was one of the oldest of his generation on this forgotten speck of land called Little Andaman island. It’s a little known Indian territory, and about as far removed from the modern world as you could imagine. #52 get lost ISSUE #38
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Sitting perilously close to the epicentre of the infamous earthquake, yet perhaps furthest from the world’s consciousness in the wake of the disaster, Little Andaman is geographically closer to Thailand than India. It’s the largest in the Andaman and Nicobar chain – a string of lush tropical islands in the Bay of Bengal, which are home to some of the more fascinating tribes left on the planet, along with an ever-increasing number of Indian settlers and tourists. By nightfall on Boxing Day 2004, Natarajan would be the single oldest survivor by many years on an island then home to about 8000 Indian settlers, a scattering of Nicobarese Islanders from the south and the native Onge tribe, a mysterious group who have inhabited this place for more than 40,000 years. Vying with Australian indigenous people for the title of the oldest living culture on earth, the Onge, and their method and exact timing of arrival here, are still a mystery to anthropologists. DNA matches suggest the Onge originated in East Africa, with evidence indicating they are the purest Negroid people in the world today.
get in the know The Nicobarese settlers from further south, who call themselves Holchu, practise a mix of Christianity and Animism.
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Fishermen work for the early morning catch on Butler Bay Beach.
Only 80 or so of the Onge remain, with their prospects for longterm survival looking bleak. According to the locals and another traveller I met, who had been a regular visitor before the tsunami, some senior Onge used to roam into the main town around Hut Bay for supplies. But they
by a sixth sense. Not a single person from the tribe was reported killed while the death toll among the Indian population was catastrophic, as was the damage to the island’s infrastructure, which is only now starting to recover enough to cater for new settlers and visitors.
Patience is key here, with long waits between dismal ripples and Indonesian-style perfect waves when they finally roll across the reefs. Their crack and fizz is only heard by a few fisherman and even fewer surfers. haven’t been seen for years, except by a very select few medical workers granted access to Dugong Creek, an Onge reserve in the far north of the island strictly off-limits to outsiders. When the big wave hit, the Onge, along with Natarajan and the island’s animals, had the intuition to head for the hills, as if driven
Little Andaman had been on my wish list for a long time. A surf movie I watched as a teen, featuring the first instalment of music from the now ubiquitous Jack Johnson, showed perfect waves and glimpses of the Onge. The island, people and waves became firmly lodged in my imagination. More than a decade later, circumstances
get in the know After the 2004 tsunami much of Little Andaman’s population was relocated to a sprawling township 5km inland from the old town at Hut Bay.
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A lone Fassi woman walks near the walls of the ancient Fez medina.
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get in the know Fez means pickaxe, a gift from the Berbers when Moulay Idriss I arrived to build the first settlement in 789 AD.
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In a labyrinth of ancient bustling streets, Susan Gough Henly peels back the skin of Fez culture and discovers the beating heart of Morocco. Photography by Susan Gough Henly
get in the know In the 11th century, the Berber Almoravids built the water and sewage system that is still in use in Fez today.
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am pretty much naked inside the third and hottest steam room of a neighbourhood hammam in the ancient walled city of Fez. The attendant is applying rhassoul, a fine mineralrich clay mask enriched with Morocco’s famous restorative argan oil, to my pink glowing skin, which she has just scrubbed with a zeal most Westerners would reserve for dirty floors. There must be 50 voluptuous local women here with me, some with fussy toddlers, others accompanied by prepubescent girls whose curious eyes can’t help straying towards the scrawny stranger. I’d wanted to get under the skin of this most sacred and secret of Morocco’s cities – I just didn’t expect the experience to verge on literal. Sure, in Marrakesh’s fancy resort spas there are rarified private hammams, all marble benches and tiptoeing staff catering to precious Western sensibilities. Here, I’m washing – and sweating – in the midst of a convivial and noisy scene the way people have done for centuries, before homes had access to running water. My young guide Aisha (who I met just this morning) is lathering herself beside me before she sloshes a bucket of cold water over both of us. It is hotter than a pistol in here and we move to the outer steam room to start cooling off. In the communal changing rooms, the married women dress in pretty underwear, Western clothes and, finally, kaftans and head scarves, then we all file out into a chilly November evening as the last call to prayer rings out from the local mosque.
A view over the UNESCO World Heritage-listed Fez medina, the world’s largest car-free urban area.
Sometimes visitors, however adventurous, look like they’ve been caught in the headlights… walking around the medina is such a visceral experience. Fez is the cultural and spiritual heart of Morocco, its UNESCO World Heritage-listed medina the world’s largest car-free urban area. American writer and longtime Moroccan resident Paul Bowles called it “an enchanted labyrinth sheltered from time”, and today people live and work in its 9000 laneways much the same way as they have done for a thousand or so years. Donkeys remain the main form of transport. Long lines of mourners still visit the tomb of its founder, Moulay Iddriss II, the great-great-grandson of the prophet Mohammed, while its University of Al-Karaouine, founded in the ninth century, is the world’s oldest institution of higher learning. On my first visit to Fez I had felt very much the tourist with an official guide leading me along a hackneyed path of historical highlights and shopping meccas, where I’d bargained for leather, carpet and jewellery in government-approved shops. Yet I was fascinated by this place of secrets, of veiled women and hooded men navigating narrow passageways that weave between high windowless walls. It was so radically different to Marrakesh, six hours drive to the south, which has become a sort of sub-Saharan Costa Brava, with mega-resorts and nightclubs fed by a constant stream of budget flights filled with sun-starved Europeans. Fez, on the other hand, followed a fervent daily rhythm in a time capsule, like a lost tribe in the middle of a maze, unaware that the rest of the world had moved into the 21st century. It was time to take a different tack on my next visit. A new energy is palpable in Fez, as British and French (as well as a few Moroccans) renovate its exquisite riads into boutique hotels, with artisanal, culinary and cultural tours on offer to help visitors understand the intimate fabric of life in the world’s most enduring medieval Islamic settlement. They are just the last in a long line of #62 get lost ISSUE #38
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get in the know In 1980, Fez became the first Arab city to be designated a World Heritage site.
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get in the know Fez gave its name to the brimless felt caps that are typical items of Muslim dress in the Middle East.
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A long exposure captures the dancing northern lights and star trails over Lapland in northern Sweden.
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get in the know The Sรกmi language has hundreds of words relating to reindeer and reindeer husbandry.
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Danika Porter travels beyond the frigid Arctic Circle looking for action in the night sky, helped by some dogged four-legged friends. Photography by Danika Porter Opening Image by Babak Tafreshi
get in the know North American Inuit call the aurora borealis aqsarniit (football players), believing the spirits of the dead are playing football with the head of a walrus.
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Mary suckles her foot for comfort at the Bornean Sun Bear Conservation Centre.
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get in the know The maximum penalty for killing or keeping a sun bear or trading in bear parts is a 50,000 ringgit (AU$17,000) fine and five years jail.
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In the rainforest of Malaysian Borneo, Catherine Best has a rare encounter with a bunch of endangered sun bears and meets the wildlife warrior fighting to save them. Photography by Catherine Best
ary is behaving, well, like a bear with a sore foot. She’s curled up on her haunches, foot in her mouth, suckling away on her claws like a frightened child. Her chestnut eyes are wary and timid, and when she stands her gait is askew, as though her legs aren’t quite up to the task of carrying her. Mary is pining for her mother’s milk – a trait common in Bornean sun bears snatched or orphaned from their mothers. The nurturer in me wants to pick her up, envelop her in my arms, nuzzle her little pointy ears and play noses with her precious little snout. But Mary is a wild animal with fierce canines and elongated claws that could probably disembowel me in an instant should she feel threatened by my embrace. In the steamy jungles of Borneo, in the Malaysian state of Sabah, Mary is the face of a burgeoning campaign to save this precious and little-known species. Victims of both their charms and their obscurity, sun bears have long been targeted by poachers and pet-pilferers; their numbers dwindling with their habitat, yet they’ve
get in the know The sun bear’s gall bladder is prized in traditional medicine because of the therapeutic value of the animal’s bile.
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