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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21
Mar 2014
POSTED BY Sheena
POSTED IN

Asia, Blog

DISCUSSION 5 Comments

Welcome to the Jungle

We stood at the water’s edge in our shorts and flip flops along with a horde of other Western and Asian tourists. Six massive elephants rested on their sides in the cool river water of the Rapti. Every day the elephant’s masters, or mahouts, brought them out to the water to be washed, and we were invited to help.
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15
Mar 2014
POSTED BY Brad
POSTED IN

Asia, Blog

DISCUSSION 17 Comments

Langtang Phooey

A while ago in the Andes mountains of Argentina we passed through a place called Uspallata, and thereafter began our ill-fated international food smuggling debacle, which saw us retreating to Uspallata. Uspallata, as it turned out, was the home base for the filming of the movie Seven Years in Tibet, turning the surrounding Andes into the surrogate Himalayas. As we drove from Uspallata to the Chilean border, passing the iconic Aconcagua and other imposing Andean peaks along the way, we just kept thinking, wow, these mountains are just like the Himalayas. Imagine. Just like Tibet.
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25
Feb 2014
POSTED BY Brad
POSTED IN

Asia, Blog

DISCUSSION 19 Comments

The Maoist Revolt

You may recall a reference that I made a short time ago regarding Nepal’s turbulent recent history involving the fall of the monarchy, the rise of the Republic, and the persistent problem with those rebellious and violent communists, the Maoists. You may also recall my mentioning that the country is still plagued by periodic Maoist assaults. It should come as no surprise then, that as a function of Murphy’s Law, no sooner had our friends Nathan and Claire booked their plane tickets to visit us in Nepal for a ten day vacation, that the Maoist rebel leaders announced that the entire country would be completely shut down for a period of—get this—ten days, by force if necessary, coinciding perfectly with our friends’ visit.
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19
Feb 2014
POSTED BY Sheena
POSTED IN

Blog

DISCUSSION 3 Comments

Crouching Tiger, Hidden Tiger

It was harvest season in Pokhara Valley. During our trek of the Annapurna circuit the rice fields surrounding our camp had changed from neon green to gold. Harvest season was the most time critical event of the year and everyone was cutting down the rice paddies with their sickles, beating the rice off the ends, and stacking the dried grass in heaping mounds.
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09
Feb 2014
POSTED BY Brad
POSTED IN

Asia, Blog

DISCUSSION 17 Comments

Around Annapurna, Part 3: Little Tibet

<< Read Part 2

We stood atop the roof on the edge of Muktinath and hung our laundry from the lines, glad to have put the grueling Thorong La behind us. A chilly wind cascaded down the canyon from the direction of the pass, stirred our hanging socks, and then swept into the canyon below. Behind us the Himalayas towered miles high, and on the other side of the canyon in front of us was a different world altogether: the former Kingdom of Lo.
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