21
May 2014
POSTED BY Brad
POSTED IN

Asia, Blog, Europe

DISCUSSION 14 Comments

Murphy and His Law

We had arrived in Turkey in the Spring, and as a result the days were generally chilly and the nights cold. Beyond Anatolia we knew it would only get worse; we’d been to Europe in Spring before and knew that our experience would be, to our Arizona-bred bodies, the equivalent of living in a van in the Arctic circle. And let’s be honest, Europe is almost entirely above the same latitude as the Canadian border, and everyone knows that Canada is a frozen, uninhabitable tundra eleven and a half months out of the year. That’s why it has come to be known as “The Dangerous North.” It was with this information that we decided to drive as quickly as possible from Turkey to Morocco in Northern Africa, where we could wile away the Spring until better weather transpired in the North. But we faced an immediate challenge: we had only three days to legally exit Turkey, and we were a full three day drive from the border.
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11
May 2014
POSTED BY Brad
POSTED IN

Asia, Blog, Europe

DISCUSSION 11 Comments

Sailing Turkey’s High Seas: A Dream is Killed

As the months pass and we continue to wake up each morning in a van, our sense of adventure rises and falls like phases of the moon. One day we wake up in a Colombian junkyard and it can only get better from there. Then one day over our morning coffee we regard with amazement the way that the jagged tip of Tierra del Fuego slices into the sea, the very end of the Americas, the end of the road. But for every momentous morning coffee view there’s a nondescript parking lot or a filthy Indian petrol station. Still, no matter where we wake up and how our desire to carry on is tested, I still come back with the same suggestion to my sweet and forgiving wife.
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01
May 2014
POSTED BY Brad
POSTED IN

Asia, Blog, Europe

DISCUSSION 12 Comments

Cappadocia: Chutes and Ladders

Sleet had been falling on and off all morning. In the village the men huddled around a tea shop next to a barren mountain in the gray, bleak Turkish countryside. Inside—that is, inside of the mountain—I was precariously wedged midway up a 30 foot vertical shaft that connected two levels of a vast, hidden underground city. I paused in the darkness and looked down into the abyss, a lone useless rope dangling between my legs and disappearing into the black space below. The space above me was illuminated by a flashlight held by a mustachioed man in a leather jacket, a Turkish Burt Reynolds. The chute was no more than 24 inches square, having little pockets dug into its walls to serve as toe and finger holds, carved into the solid rock by villagers seeking protection from invading Hittite tribes some 3,600 years ago. I tried to imagine how I might utilize the rope should I lose my grip on the walls, seeing as how both hands and feet were busy keeping myself wedged in the shaft, but every mental scenario ended with me lying in a crumpled heap, the dangling rope faintly tickling my lifeless body.
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09
Apr 2014
POSTED BY Brad
POSTED IN

Asia, Blog, Middle East

DISCUSSION 13 Comments

Go Go Goa!

About a year and a half ago we got an email from someone in Pakistan inviting us to Islamabad when we passed through the Middle East. He was with the VW club of Pakistan, and had been following our trip through the Americas. When we got to Islamabad, he said, there would be a big community of friends waiting. We would have families to stay with in any major city in Pakistan, they would organize a club outing to the mountains when we arrived, they’d show us the best food and adventure drives in the area, and they even offered to give Nacho a new paint job. Sign me up! Ever since then we’ve anxiously looked forward to Pakistan.
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07
Apr 2014
POSTED BY Brad
POSTED IN

Asia, Blog

DISCUSSION 16 Comments

Cowboys and Indians

At last we arrived in Mumbai, the planned termination of our Indian adventure. Lo and behold, as we wound our way into town, we were pulled over by a cop. Indian cops are nothing more than common criminals, and this one fit the stereotype to a T. After pulling us over in thick Mumbai traffic he got off of his motorcycle and waddled over to my window, his mustache like a smudge of barbecue sauce on his bulbous face. He quickly got to the point that we had committed a heinous crime.
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05
Apr 2014
POSTED BY Brad
POSTED IN

Asia, Blog, Middle East

DISCUSSION 15 Comments

Trouble on the Pakistani Border

After the Indian wedding we skipped town and headed for the deserts of Rajasthan. We made a pit stop at the Taj Mahal near Agra, a building said to be the most impressive ever built. It was impressive, I will say, and the attention to detail and scale were remarkable, but to say it is the most impressive building in the world is a bit of a stretch. The inside of the building is plain and small, and the overall size pales in comparison to many. For those who have been to Saint Peter’s in the Vatican City, or the Duomo in Milan, the Taj Mahal will seem somewhat humble. Still, once past the relentless touts and camel drivers that surround the complex, the Taj Mahal was a real treat. Perhaps equally interesting was the Red Fort, only a few kilometers away in Agra.
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03
Apr 2014
POSTED BY Brad
POSTED IN

Asia, Blog

DISCUSSION 9 Comments

The Big Fat Indian Wedding

As seems to happen to us from time to time, we have fallen grossly behind on our blog. As the days and weeks pass, the interesting things keep piling up and eventually we become as we are now, struggling to catch up to the present. So much happened in Nepal that we couldn’t get ourselves to stop dwelling on and writing about them, meaningful things that changed the way that we will think and live. Much of this came from weeks spent living with our surrogate family in the Kathmandu suburb of Dobighat.
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