One big wave…always on the move


Cheri Lucas Rowlands posted a great theme this week on the Daily Post.  I have decided to interpret it with my favorite moving object.. no not myself…..

“Because there’s nothing more beautiful than the way the ocean refuses to stop kissing the shoreline, no matter how many times it’s sent away.”

― Sarah Kay

While in Vietnam I decided to take a rest stop and catch my breath in Danang. I was super exhausted from the hiking, biking and canoeing marathon and just wanted to take a couple of days and rest at the ocean.  I woke up one morning and decided to take some photos of the sun coming up..and later the sun going down. I stood in one place and just kept on shooting photos of the always moving waves.  From the same exact spot every single picture was so different and so beautiful.  I hope you enjoy.

We are tied to the ocean. And when we go back to the sea, whether it is to sail or to watch – we are going back from whence we came.

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“The sea is emotion incarnate. It loves, hates, and weeps. It defies all attempts to capture it with words and rejects all shackles. No matter what you say about it, there is always that which you can’t.” 
― Christopher PaoliniEragon

How inappropriate to call this planet Earth when it is quite clearly Ocean.

Here are some other photos of my beach time.

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I pray to be like the ocean, with soft currents, maybe waves at times. More and more, I want the consistency rather than the highs and the lows.

Would you like to join in? For some of my other favorites please visit –http://dailypost.wordpress.com/dp_photo_challenge/on-the-move/:

  1. Up and Down – Mittened Hands
  2. WFC: Move – Every Photo Tells a Story
  3. The Sheesha Place – Cardinal Guzman
  4. OTM – The WordPress Chronicles
  5. OTM – 2812 Photography
  6. Small Town Port – Empire of Lights
  7. WFC: Moving – Cee’s Photography
  8. WFC: OTM – Across the Bored
  9. WFC: OTM – Wind Against Current
  10. Wanderings and a City – Notes to self
  11. WFC: OTM – Lucid Gypsy
  12. As Near to the Ocean’s Edge – By LRose
  13. WFC: OTM – Roland’s Photo Blog
  14. WFC: OTM – Far Flying Dreamers
  15. WFC: OTM – Stephen Chapman
  16. Cityscape 2528 – Art is Horseshit
  17. WFC:OTM – Wise Monkeys Abroad
  18. East West – Yi-Ching lin Photography
  19. Three generations, one bike – Cambodian Beginnings

 

 

Watching the Wheels in Vietnam


There were two Daily Post prompts that got me to thinking about my most recent trip from Hanoi to Ho Chi Min City.  The first prompt, “The Happy Wanderer” was from March 19 and asked about your travel style. The second post was titled, “If you leave” and was about the cross roads one faces when they decide to leave one thing and start another.

These prompts were an excellent segue into the very first portion of my trip.  I do love to have a plan but usually I am perfectly ok with letting it flow once I’m on a trip.  Having said that the first portion of my trip was with a tour company that placed me on a completely different trip than the one I had paid for and I was not a happy wanderer.  I think if the food had been good and it had not been pouring down rain and the pace had been a little slower so I could enjoy the culture and the people more I would have been ok.  However, it was a soup sandwich for the first six days.  I did decide to leave the tour after 6 days and go off on my own but it was a difficult choice.  In the end it ended up being the best decision.  Having said that, as I look back through the photos, I did have some moments of beauty and fun.  I hope you enjoy the biking portion of my trip.

Videos of bikes in Vietnam (not my own)

Driving in Southeast Asian Countries like Thailand, Cambodia and Vietnam can be challenging and very dangerous.  When you first go there you can’t imagine that rules even exist.  I have traveled in all 3 countries and I am always blown away by the traffic, the bicycles, the motorcycles and what each of them carry.

The difference between driving in Vietnam and Nepal is that Vietnam has at least evolved to the point they have traffic lights and seem to have more clearly defined rules and when I was there they seemed to mostly follow them.  They also drive on the “right” (correct) side of the road.

Despite the dangers I did decide to take a vespa tour as well as ride a bike during a couple different portions of my tour.  I was obsessed with taking photos of the variety of motor bikes, bicycles and the loads they carry.  Part of the obsession was due to the fact that for the first 6 days I as mostly stuck in the back of a crowded van and could only shoot pictures out the window.  The other part of the obsession is that it is truly amazing what a person can load onto a bike/cycle and stay upright.

vietnam tours

Vespa tour in Ho Chi Min City

My first bicycle trips were outside of Hanoi and I was with a French family and one random French guy.  They were all super nice and though I did not speak French they did their best to help make me a part of their journey.  I sort of miss them.  I also feel very bad about being so stinking cranky during those six days.  As you might remember from many of my last posts, I love to eat and I was NOT being fed enough on this trip.

Another reason I was a bit cranky and eventually did make the decision to leave was because it did happen to be either misty or pouring rain for the first 6 days of the trip.  My bike chain broke off about 3 times and the mud and speed with which we were traveling often made it hard to get some good photos. However, I’m mostly pleased with the results.

vietnam cycling

When I finally made it back to Ho Chi Min City, I took a Vespa tour and so the following are from both the bicycle rides near Hanoi and the Vespa tour in Ho Chi Min City.

Your classic 2 (or more) on a bike seemed to be the most common form of transportation.  The first two are really my favorites.

Man's best friend.

Man’s best friend.

Traffic Police

Traffic Police

vietnam 2 on cycle

Whether it was going to school or just driving around bike soloists seemed to be less common than two or more on a bike.

Don’t get me wrong, I was able to find many great solo rider shots.  Some of these were taking while I was madly hiking at breakneck speeds through rice paddies or on roads and others were taken from the back of the Vespa or the back of the van.

vietnam Solo riders

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There were crowded roads, peaceful roads and both light and heavy loads.  I was fascinated with the variety of wheels and carts and bikes and cycles.

Vietnam crowded with bikes Vietnam big loads

 

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Vietnam Various loads

Some of my favorites were the bikes with no apparent owners.

Vietnam no owners

Random final shots of watching the wheels in Vietnam.

The bottom line is if time permits, I want to go back and visit Vietnam again.  I would do it outside of a tour group though so I could really get to know some of the amazing people of Vietnam and their culture a little better.

Other posts I liked this month

  1. Bikes in Vietnam
  2. Better photos than my own.
  3. Biking Through Vietnam
  4. Bicycles in Vietnam
  5. Welcome to Vietnam
  6. Zen and the art of motorcycle maintenance
  7. Vietnam
  8. Vietnam the land of suntanned smiles
  9. Day 440: Dalat and Nha Trang
  10. Living Simple Life and the Obstacle | Journeyman
  11. Debt and Mattresses (Daily Prompt) | Thinking Diagonally
  12. Reflections: At A Crossroads… | Mirth and Motivation
  13. Leaving on a Jet Plane . . . | meanderedwanderings
  14. Crossroads | The Land Slide Photography
  15. Daily Prompt: The Happy Wanderer | SIM | ANTICS
  16. Can I like to have an itinerary and still fly by the seat of my pants? | Thus Sings My Soul
  17. A Life Worth Living (Daily Prompt) | Riding Bitch
  18. A Peace Walk | U Be Cute – Follow the child inside of you…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Birds of a feather.. well you know..


“Some birds are not meant to be caged, that’s all. Their feathers are too bright, their songs too sweet and wild. So you let them go, or when you open the cage to feed them they somehow fly out past you. And the part of you that knows it was wrong to imprison them in the first place rejoices, but still, the place where you live is that much more drab and empty for their departure.”
― Stephen KingRita Hayworth and Shawshank Redemption: A Story from Different Seasons

I had to participate in this week’s Travel Theme: Birds from Ailsa.  In my last post I mentioned loving taking random non-posed pictures.  Sometimes this goes very good for me and sometimes it results in me having to delete about 300 of my 500 random shots that didn’t produce anything.

HOWEVER, on the last hash I attended while walking through a field we startled a flock of birds and i clumsily grabbed my camera and shot off 7 photos and didn’t expect a thing.  (Refer to “On On” post if you do not know what a hash is).  Out of the 7 photos I took, the following photo came out pretty well.  Thank you point and shoot.

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A few other birds on this hike..

But really, the reason I love this theme is it reminds me so much of an old, old movie that horrified me as a child.  Enjoy.

Yeah horrible graphics but still frightening.  So to leave on a happier note..more birds.

It’s Not All Dust and Dirt…


It dawned on me the other day that nearly all of the photos I have been showing have been covered in dirt and dust and I’m probably painting a very grimy picture of Kathmandu.  In all honesty, dirt and dust is just about all I’ve seen since I’ve been here.

HOWEVER,  this past weekend I went up to a great little cottage in Shivapuri which is only about a 20-30 minute escape from the dust of the city.  Nepal is now in the season of celebration and blessings are given for everything.  Dogs were blessed on one day, cows on another, men, women, and children on others.  It’s really amazing to be in an area where virtually EVERYTHING and everyone is given a special blessed day. People celebrate here like they do everywhere, eating and drinking and enjoying each other’s company.  Bamboo swings set up throughout the city, dancers and musicians young and old celebrate this time of year.

It’s a delicate balance of happiness and celebrating life as it is handed to you mixed with extreme poverty and a daily standard of living that encompasses very hard work and sometimes barely scraping by.

Along with the the standard holiday festivities I was able to fit in some hiking and just a beautiful relaxing 2 days in a very cool location.

Laxmi Puja at Shivapuri Heights Cottage
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The evening of November 3rd is a very special evening in Kathmandu with the celebration of Laxmi Puja – part of the Tihar Festival also known as the Festival of Lights.   The Shivapuri Heights Cottage provides a great venue to witness the festival and is also the perfect vantage point to view the spectacular display of lights down in the Kathmandu Valley.
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Tihar, the Festival of Lights, is one of the most dazzling of all Hindu festivals. During the festival all the houses in the city and villages are decorated with lit oil lamps. Thus, during the night the entire village or city looks like a sparkling diamond. This festival is celebrated in five days starting from the thirteenth day of the waning moon in October.

So many I loved but couldn’t include from the last few themes:

1st impressions – Nepal


Well, here I am in Nepal.  Just a quick connection to share some of my first thoughts about life in Nepal.  Please understand I have only been from my house to my work and at one small event in between.  I hope you enjoy.

I arrived in Nepal about 10:30 pm on a Friday night after spending a week in Hong Kong with a dear friend and her family.  Even though I had been in this time zone for almost a week, of course I still felt a little tired.  I got dropped off with a notice that I would be picked up at about 10:30 am to do some shopping.  My sponsor took me to breakfast and to the grocery and then I came back home.  I didn’t get a huge opportunity to take photos on the first day.  I was just a little jet lagged and forgot my camera.

On Sunday I awoke to the sound of “We will We will Rock YOU!!”  Sung in English and performed by several young children outside my back patio.  I found out very quickly that Nepalese people have a 6 day work/school week. I was a bit of a fanatic with some picture-taking at this time from my balcony.  Some of the teachers began to quietly talk and look at me and point.  I later found out that all of the American’s in the building were standing on the patio snapping photos as well.

I was picked up again at about 10:30 to tour a few things that were important to our time in Nepal.  On this day after once again going to a local diner I managed to make it to a market.  It was a bit dirty with the vegetables strewn on the ground or even on little dirty mats.  Apparently during the monsoon season here everyone had been advised not to eat any of the lettuce or leafy greens because there was some sort of parasite in them that even the bleach people commonly wash their veggies and fruits with was not killing it.  I’ve chosen to try a more natural method of cleansing by using “grapefruit seed extract”.  I used this all through the two years I was in Venezuela and I never got sick.  Several people here are also using it and have stated that they have yet to get sick.

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Fear not, the fruits and veggies that are not consumable do not go to waste.  A random passing cow will stop and nibble on what is there. Cows here have more rights than people and they have the right away in the streets as well.  So I’ve been told.

random cow in market

random cow in market

Speaking of right of way…I’m not sure who has it on the streets.  You drive on the left side of the road but in reality you drive in the middle of the road and people pass on each side of you coming in each direction.  This is exactly the reason I will not be driving but depending on someone else to do that for me.

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These final shots are some random ones I took from my rooftop and the rooftop of a neighbors.  I hope you have enjoyed this introduction to Nepal.  Feel free to stop in any time.