He is known and loved by so many around the world. In every country. In every corner and places you probably never heard of. A true travel junkie. A lot of times, people ask the question, why do you travel so much or feel empty when you don’t. Robert Nammour’s Follow The Hippo blog fill those times when you needed to have a life changing experience, if your get away is crazy backpacking around the world for a year and a half. It teleports you to a place where you can only imagine. It will make you laugh, make you cry, make you hold your breath and want to read it faster so you can get to the end, but not fast enough to finish the story. It will make you fall in love and make you scrunch in horror (mostly in horror! He has done pretty crazy stuff, this is far away from the luxury)
Above all, his journey is real, passionate, crazy and over the top, but it is real, and it is his story. Robert is the perfect of example of GET UP AND GO quotes.
“The Pink Hippo is an ideal. First thing you need to know is that the Pink Hippo is neither an actual hippo nor is it pink. To put it simply, the Pink Hippo is different to everyone. It is a goal, an ideal that a person holds to. It is what every person out there strives to achieve. So yes, the Pink Hippo does change with time. It can be a significant other. It can be a business goal. It can be wealth. It can be wisdom. It can be funny.
At this point in time in my life, my Pink Hippo is Travel.”
Madhouse, on the other hand is about entertaining people. During his year and a half trip, he met all sorts of talented individuals: singers, acrobats, musicians, magicians etc. And well, the day to day routine can get pretty boring. So he decided to start this little company whose goal is to entertain. They hire out these talents to all sorts of private and corporate events based in Lebanon.
Here is his diary
Destination Rurrenabaque, Bolivia
Of all the places I’ve been, that was by far the most unique.
Stayed at We camped out in the Amazonian jungle.
I had a sleeping mat and a mosquito net. So no, there wasn’t any room service! But the setting was beautiful: the river by the campsite, the jungle, the animal sounds all around us.
Month September ( Extremely hot and humid)
In your suitcase Clothes for a few days, as you will be washing them in the river. Canned foods. A machete. A mosquito net. Cigarettes. Alcohol. A camera.
Dined at I think I answered those above! You eat what you can catch. And rice. Always rice. And bananas
Shopped We passed by a village and a couple of smaller settlements. The locals there were more than happy to sell all sorts of random things
Diary Walked (a lot! about 6 hours a day, while carrying about 25 kilos worth of equipment). Fishing (we had to catch something…or we wouldn’t have anything to eat but the rice we carried). While I was in the jungle, we spent most of our time walking, exploring and looking out for all sorts of animals. The first few days were tough, as each of us had to carry his share of the camp and equipment (25 kilos!). Eventually though, we fell into a rhythm the the walking got easier. Before nightfall, we also had to setup our campsite and fish for dinner (nothing like fried piranha and bananas!). Once done with the daily chores, the drinking would start. But we always had to be sure not to wander away from the campsite and the fire, not with so many dangerous bugs and animals roaming out there in the night.
Once, I even woke up to our guide (a local hunter), straddling me, his hand on my mouth. Several rape scenarios flashed through my mind before I realized he was pointing at something: a panther, crouching behind a tree, about 4 meters away from me. Freak out.
They have a saying in the jungle “todo sirve”. Everything can be used/has a purpose. There are vines that trap water so you can never go thirsty. There are all sorts of berries and animals to hunt/eat. There are fish to be caught. But then again, there are lethal bugs. Spiders. Animals that will hunt/eat you.
The day we set off, we took a mini bus to a town and proceeded to walk for about 5 hours until a small indigenous village. Over there, our guides told us a little about the jungle, “everything you need is in the jungle. Food, water, shelter, weapons, remedies, medicines”
The jungle. It is intense. It does not make you feel small like the ocean or a desert would. It does not make you feel part of something beautiful the way a forest would. It is intense. It is dark. It is green. It is full of life. It is magical. I left Bolivia with tremendous respect for nature. Especially the jungle, but that’s the jungle. I have other stories about Bolivia for other posts.
Tips I cannot stress this enough: everyone must go into the jungle at least once in their life. You can camp. You can stay in a lodge. You can sleep in the trees. It is up to you. It depends on the level of comfort you like to travel in. But I say again: the jungle is a must. It will make you believe in the magic of Pacha Mama (Mother Earth)
What did you learn from your trip Never Go Back. Never go back the way you came. Never go back to something you left behind (after all, you left it behind for a reason!) Never go back to. It’s simple. It’s clean. It’s my mantra. Am I going back? No. I am pushing forward.
Mode of travel Took a bus from Peru, it was on my way to Argentina