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Archive for the ‘Post by Mary’ Category


Yangshu on the River Li at Sunrise

Dear Readers, stay with us!  We are still out here far, far away soon to leave Nepal for India.  So many adventures to tell you about.  I can’t wait to tell you about the treasures of Tibet and our adventures on the Annapurna Trek.  But, 33 years in the government have
not yet de-programmend my chronological senses!  So, back to China… (more…)

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Wandering in the Afternoon Light High on the Rice Terraces in Long Ji

After our short stay in Yangshou, we took yet another tour to get to Long Ji to see the mountain side rice paddies.  We only had one night in Long Ji as our aim was to cross China to Chengdu to make our arrangements for our Tibet tour.  In fact, our main aim in China was to get to Tibet and coming in from the east allowed us a longer visa for visiting Tibet. (more…)

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Life of A Kept Panda is Pretty Good

Chengdu is the home of Giant Pandas and gateway into Tibet.  We were there for both.  Travelling without a Lonely Planet Guide did create gaps for us.  Key on every train or bus we have ever taken on this trip is to know where your hotel is, how far from the station and a general sense of how much it will cost getting there by taxi or rickshaw.  What is guaranteed is that the taxi driver will charge you four times the amount and they will never put their cab meter on to make it an honest ride.  This was what we were faced with on arrival in Chengdu.  Our taxi driver refused to give us a real rate and failed to realize he had a map in the back of his cab and other cabs posted the legal rate/kilometer.  Before he could take us on the longest road around the city, Matt ordered him to pull over and out we jumped with no knowledge of how to get to our hotel! Luckily we found an honest cycle-rickshaw driver who agreed to a reasonable rate and delivered us to Sim’s Cosy Garden and Cafe.  (more…)

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Here I am, back with another promised update.  This is our new discipline, to alternate work days to catch up on editing and blog updates.  While I work, Matt is out exploring Pokhara and obtaining our trekking permits for the Annapura Trail!  We hope to start that very long walk on 25 September.  I am feeling a little apprehensive about 21 – 29 days walking at great altitude in the world’s biggest mountains! “Its just a wee stroll,” Matt says to comfort me.  I say, “let’s hire a porter and make it a wee stroll!”  Details to follow on that adventure later.

Now, Hong Kong.  What a fabulous city!  My big city experience is a Canadian one – Halifax, Montreal, Ottawa, Toronto and Vancouver.  Vancouver would be the more exotic one, what with its tall, shiny buildings nestled into the Rocky Mountains.  None of these prepared me for Hong Kong.  In a word, it is all BLING!  Buildings, harbour, decadence, the shopping paradise for millionaires!  Diamonds, rubies, opals and Rolexs in every window.  The really BIG fashion name brand stores all had guards at their doors and line ups to get in!  Imagine!  As much as I was mesmerized by all the bling, Matt was equally gaga for the technology.  Full malls dedicated to just technology.  We visited it all, more than once and stocked up on new gadgets.


Bling!  Something for Every Occassion! (more…)

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Hello Dear Hearts!  At last, I have found time to settle into a little story telling.  Life on the beach in Bali was a wonderful, laid back, much needed rest.  Matt and I stayed so long, we only had two weeks to cover Java and Sumatra.  Once we hit the road, we burst into travel mode and have not stopped since!  I had to put my foot down yesterday and demand ten minutes just to shave my legs before dashing out for another early morning adventure!  I am writing from Chengdu, China and will try to fill you in on our adventures in several parts to break up the stories.  OK, since writing, we have traversed Tibet, precariously creeped across dramatic landslide road bursts into Katmandu and now are catching up in Pokhara, Nepal.  The blog update is top on my list!  A few countries to comment on.  Here is Indonesia to start with.


Rock carvings at the Elephant Temple (more…)

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Sunset over Mount IJen on Java
By now our travel planning process had become less focused.  The Lonely Planet had guided us well in navigating our way through India and Bali.  With no book or google time to figure out Java, we headed out on a bus from Ubud to the ferry to Java.  On the ferry we met a delightful young French couple who told us of their three day volcano tour through Java and we stepped off the ferry in search of such a tour.  Can you believe our good luck that the first folk we stopped on the street off the ferry were tour guides offering us just the tour we wanted! (more…)

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M&M shadows in the early morning light.
Arrived in Medan, Sumatra with six days to get to the jungle and track down a few orangutans!  Our final quest in Indonesia.  Again without a guidebook we get on a mini bus to Bukit Leuang, a small village in the jungle where orangutans are known to live.  In fact, it is home to a well known Orangutan Rehabilitation Centre where orphaned or injured apes are cared for and reintegrated back into the wild. (more…)

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Natural Beauties – Aphrodite Rises from the Sea

We are in paradise where beach living is what millions of travelers have come to Bali for.  A complete change from the ultra dress/body conservative norms of India.  There you will recall my challenges of fitting into a society where women were expected to be wrapped up in six yards of beautiful sari drapery and a full petticoat beneath.  There I conformed and draped myself in long, multiple layers against all sensibilities of fighting 45 degree temperatures. (more…)

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    Balagan Beach our new home!
   Sunset at Ulu Watu Temple (more…)

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M & M dashing about the hills on a zippy scooter!

After successfully submitting Matt’s passport documentation to the Canadian Embassy, we once again left New Delhi and headed to Rishikesh on an over night train.  Thankfully the train ride was uneventful and we landed with all our possessions in tact.  We shared a quick tuk tuk ride up river with a nice lady from Estonia, who had been to Rishikesh once before.  We tagged along with her in search of our promised Ashram.  Matt and I agreed that we would spend at least seven days on looking deeply into our souls with days of meditation and yoga.  Rishikesh is the universal centre for both. (more…)

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