Explorer Mikael Strandberg

Ficmec 2020, Buena Viste Norte in Tenerife

Day 1.

I am now departing on a journey where I have no idea what to expect. Covid-19 is knocking on the door everywhere. It is almost like I am heading out for a journey in space. Some fear, lots of joy. But I have to do it for my own professional survival. I also want to do it! I feel really happy to travel again! Let us see how far I get and what I can report to you. Yes, it is only me.

Day 2. 

Dystopia. Kind of. My first feelings after I have been on the move for a day. Stuck at Heathrow Airport. This morning at Kastrup Airport in Copenhagen. Empty and eerie. People are silent, grey and facemask covered. Everyone keeps their distance. No laughter, no rowdiness. Just silent. Scary.

BUT, at least it is possible to move! Sure all clothes stores were closed, so I only have jeans and a T shirt. Stores who sell toothpaste and toothbrushes too. So I stink garlic am sure. You have to fill in forms, tracing your steps, saying you declare yourself healthy. Which is more than fine. We are all in it together. And of course England and England is taking s beating, but there is so many people and so little space. Way harder to keep your distance. But so far so good. And I dont mind less people when having the customary glass of wine as a sign of joy of travelling and life.

Now next leg. Tougher. More covid-19 cases…by the way, it is not an Expedition. Just my first flight/travel in 7 months . That time coming back in a rush from Russia! And this corona, it scares a hypocondriac like me.

Day 3.

Pretty much an empty plane from London. Eerie, but comfortable. British Airways are not allowed to serve food on the 4 and a half our trip, so we basically had a bottle of water and a bag of crisp. Once landed we were checked if we had a fever and then we were let in.

To Teneriffe!

So it is a film festival here. It is beyond my dreams good. Tiny, in a picturesque town called Buena Vista Norte. They show all films outdoors. Yesterday at the premiere it was briefly raining! Heres the films https://ficmec.es/ficmec-adventure/ and heres an interview done with me https://dautedigital.es/…/mikael-strandberg-me-considero-p…/

Again I am so priviliged to end up in a festival with great character! It seems am the only so called director who came. Which I like even more. Everyone is facemask carriers. But these are latinos and it isnt easy keeping the distance. They are warm people. I saw the film about Sarah Outen last night. Very emotional. See it.

Now I am going to celebrate by taking a 10 km easy run up the mountains!

Film is shown at 8 p m tonight. Do come!

Day 4.

A highlight in my doc life for sure!

A magic setting. Man With A Family was shown in front of the library, next to the cathedral and the main square. All surrounded by these scraggy and sharp mountains.

Due to the Covid-19 situation there is a limit on how big the audience can be. But it was full. Q&A doesnt happen. But instead I took part in a very nice discussion before the start of the film. It all felt unteal!

I have really no idea what people thougt about the film. A few dared to come up after the film. The applause felt genuinly good.

It was very emotional to see the film again. I have slept very little the two previous nights. Too excited!

I did a 10 km run in the morning. Pleasant and needed. I will do a 25 km now!

Here is an interview done before the film https://www.facebook.com/cinemedioambientaldecanarias/videos/3329034490505683/?vh=e&extid=0

Day 5.

Amazingly beautiful!

So I have just returned from a 20 km run from Erjos to Buena Vista Norte via Monte Del Agua. The great organizing team spearheaded by Alexandra Suarez had set me up with a taxi to Erjos. A picturesque town set in the mountains at 1000 m a s l. I asked to leave at 8 but she said 9.

“Take your time and enjoy your breakfast without stress.”

I did. This is one thing which has been like balsam for my soul here. It is extremely laidback on all levels. Really a true siesta town. I love it!

So after an hour enjoying my coffe and sandwich at the central cafe on the plaza I was driven up to Erjos. I was worried about the heat. I shouldn’t. Because pretty much the whole trail from Erjos to Monte del Agua was shaded by a wonderful forest.

The whole trail was pretty level. A prepared track where you could pass with a car. Really easy. Forest was beautiful. I saw some bearded lichens which uniquely only can be found in forest where the air is pure and healthy. The run was so smooth and managed only to stop once for a photo. Once in Monte Aguas I had a nine kilometre downhill to Buena Vista on a paved road. Easy, great views and just wonderful. Took me no more than 2 and half hours including the taxi ride up.

I spent the rest of the day chillaxing and talking to people. Buena Vista Norte is the real deal. Completely different to the busy south of the island. I have even made some friends here and can see me returning soon. One of them is Maria, who presented the film and me. She is a film maker, actress and a film intellectual. A very good person. Like the whole team with Javier, Leticia and of course Alexandra!

Now home to the girls. Another Covid challenge in between. I will tell you how it went tomorrow!

Day 6.

Is it safe to travel?

I have had quite a few asking me this. And some saying that I am unresponsible for travelling in these times.

Right now, I am sitting on the train from Copenhagen to Malmö. I took of the facemask again. And feel free. But I have to say, having it on wasn´t such a problem either. If it makes a difference? At least in people´s minds it seems.

Throughout the journey people have done what we know is the way to keep to disease away. As for now. Keep the distance, wash your hands, stay at home if not feeling well. And avoid getting drunk and getting mixed up with big groups hugging and singing!

It is an eerie experience. But, again, one gets used to it. Most restaurants and shops are closed at the airports. Like in London, Tenerife and Barcelona. But open in towns in Tenerife.

Europe is open to travel. Even if you don´t have work to do. Like me. So I would say, go until further notice. And I would read up on what w eknow and don´t know about Covid-19. If we are to believe WHO there´s around 800 million people who have had the disease. So that would mean the death rate is about 0.3%. How does that compare with other diseases which abound?

I think we just have to start living with the fact that it will be around for awhile. And we have to live with it.

I will continue to travel for the opportunity arises.

Now time to see my much missed daughters!

Thanks to Anya, Jessica, Fiona, Danas teacher Kate for making my journey possible!!! This time it was advanced logistics! But it worked!


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