Tuesday, March 25, 2008
PS: Believe or not, even after just returning from our RTW trip where I rode over 25,000 miles on my bike, my brother still wouldn't let me ride his new Ducati Monster!!! Girls just can't get a breat when it comes to boys and their two-whelled toys!
Besitos a todos.
Sunday, March 23, 2008
After getting the customs agent to invent a visa for us on the fly for $30 we were allowed into Paraguay. We had heard rumors all around South America about the outbreak of dengue fever and how you shouldn't visit there. Also, it is known as an extremely corrupt place (the fact we could bribe our way into the country didn't give us reason to dispute this!)
We visited the only Paraguayan World Heritage site, a set of ruins left behind by the liberal Jesuit priests who (God forbid!) had tried to educate the local Indians and give them some independence and autonomy. Soon the Jesuits were banned from the New World.
It isn't often you get a World Heritage Site all to yourself. It was beautiful in a solemn way.
Friday, March 21, 2008
We really had a wonderful time in Nepal, and just looking back over the pictures we get even more appreciation for the beauty and uniqueness, the warmth of the people and its nascent entry into the modern world.
Here are pictures of Kevin in front of one of the Holy Temples, Clara with the women of our new friend Rupendra's family who invited us to their family meal, and some burning fires for all of the bull and goat sacrifices (look for the blood on the ground in front of the temple) for the coming of age of some of the boys in the local community.
Thursday, March 20, 2008
Every night at sundown the Pakistani and Indian armies try and outdo each other with shows of macho marching, long toned yelling, and deferential respect. Clara had the camera trying to record the long monosyllabic call to attention.
Hundreds of people come to watch the ceremony which lasts about 1/2 an hour, with the crowds yelling nationalistic slogans back and forth...
"Long live Hindustan" !!! They yell on the Indian side.
When we left India, sometimes Clara and I would start up the chant:
"No More:" followed by "Hindustan!
Wednesday, March 19, 2008
Here are Pictures with our wonderful friend Orestis, with a functional old BMW like the one Kevin has in his garage ready to get running (don't hold your breath!), the beautiful and talented Clara, and Kevin picking an olive from the tree that Athena granted to the Greeks who then named their city after her.
Saturday, March 15, 2008
Kevin and Clara overlooking the City of Islamabad. You can just make out the city through the pollution.
Kevin shows how easy it is to get a Pakistani Military Guard to hand his automatic weapon over!
A picture from the the summer lodge of our hosts Richard and Barbara
Here we are riding through a tribal village in the North West Frontier Province. Our friend Kathy is videotaping from the back of her husband James' bike. She was worried we would get shot at any time.
Our favorite phrase at the time was from the movie "Team America", 'Dirka Dirka Burka'!
Wednesday, March 12, 2008
Yes, the word on the street is that we are back in Boston and it is true. With no sleep we came back on the red eye at 6:30 a.m. and were at work by 9 a.m. My head started exploding immediately with all the idiot drivers I encountered, the obvious violations to the historical code which had occurred in my neighborhood since I left, and someone touched my tools!!!!
Anyway, a good nights sleep has helped the situation. Clara and I are living in a tiny one bedroom in Roxbury but it seems like Paradise compared to the places we have been living in. It is just like our first apartment out of college: mattress on the floor, furniture from the trash, mismatched utensils from my basement.
I feel fifteen years younger.
But, I can't wait to get back on the motorcycle for the next trip....maybe Africa!
Who is In?
Monday, March 10, 2008
Yesterday after Kevin and Sean went surfing at sunrise accompanied by dozens of sea turtles, we took the Hana highway to the east of Maui. It is a super windy road along the coast dotted with waterfalls and roadside vendors offering delicious sweets and crafts. At night, Sean worked hard on an ice sculpture for an upcoming wedding.
Today we drove to Lahaina on a road that skirted the azure ocean and sometimes was so narrow that we barely fit on it in our borrowed Toyota truck, "brother-cuz" Sean's surf-mobile. We stopped several times to look at the humpback whales that appeared in the horizon in the midst of their mating season.
Tonight we walked across the street to Sean's friends' home (Malcolm and Poni) for a fantastic Hawaiian BBQ, complete with opihi (look it up!!!) and home-made banana bread...hmmmm, delicious.
Tomorrow we fly back to the mainland and clear across the country to you-know-where.
Saturday, March 8, 2008
Please continue to check in for awhile as we do some "clean-up" of our files and pictures, and add comments about the trip. Some people have suggested we write a book, which we might pursue. We'd love your thoughts on what you liked, which of my stories you found boring, which pictures you liked best, what parts of the world you'd like to hear more of, etc. (For our foreign friends, this does not mean to write in and suggest we tell me more about YOUR country. This means you Orestis!)
Believe it or not, we haven't even written about some of the funniest, adventurous and scariest episodes of the trip. The drunken jerks with the gun in Ireland, the physical attack in South America, the Interrogation Room behind the Iron Curtain, and the best salesman in the world, the guys selling corn husks rolled in powdered cheese to children in Mexico. They were lining up for it!
Add comments to the blog or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
So, to get everyone started here are some lists I've started:
Top Ten Lists:
Top Ten Things I Miss:
1) Friends and family
2) Good pillows and mattresses
3) Hot Showers
4) Kermit Ruffins live in New Orleans
5) Coaching youth baseball
6) Good meat and steaks on the grill!
7) My music collection
8) Relaxing in nature with clean air and water
9) Watching a good movie at home with some popcorn
10) Building cool stuff with my tools
Things from Around the World I Will Miss:
1) All the friends we have made!
2) Buffalo Mo Mo’s in Nepal
3) Rodesio in Brasil
4) Parking Toys in Bangkok
5) 50 cent tacos in Mexico
6) Caparinha’s from Brasil
7) The friendliness and positive attitude of the Thai and Brazilian people
8) Philippe the baby Giant Anteater
9) $1 fried chicken plates in Bolivia
10) Just Riding the Motorcycle every day, Woo Hoo!
Friday, March 7, 2008
Much to Kevin's dismay, we were let back in to the USA today without much ado. He was kinda looking forward to having to explain why he had visited Pakistan ("I was looking for Osama" was his rehearsed answer!) and to get a chance to tell some other travel stories, but he will have to wait for another time.
Anyway, we were only asked the regular questions about bringing in food or seeds or animals etc...as we answered the questions appropriately we were welcomed home with a smile and sent on our way.
So, we are in Maui, Hawaii. It is my first time here and I already see why people perceive this area of the world as a paradise...pristine coastline, crystal clear water, laid-back attitude, perfect weather...works for me! We will decompress here and then head back home to Boston on Monday, back to our real lives once again. What a shocker.
Thursday, March 6, 2008
The adventure carpenter! You're just not exposing yourself to enough danger unless you are balancing on top of a 2x4 15 feet in the air while curring a tropical hardwood tree post over your head with a cheap Thai circular saw and a low amp generator!
Tuesday, March 4, 2008
Monday, March 3, 2008
It has been a bit over one year that we have been living out of our panniers and backpack and wash-and-wear has taken on a whole new meaning for me, that we have been sleeping in hotels, tents, stranger's homes and eating out in restaurants and road-side huts, that we have been crossing borders and learning new languages on a weekly basis, and that we have been spending every hour of every day, 24/7, together.
As honeymoons go, this has been one for the books! When it is all said and done, we will have traveled for 376 days, ridden over 32,000 miles, visited well over 200 cities in more than 40 countries, and made countless friends throughout the globe. But this trip has been about more than numbers and statistics. During this journey I have come to discover much about myself and to confirm things I already knew. I am as strong as I always perceived myself to be but I am more stubborn than I would like to be. I love the presence and support of my husband and companion, but I crave space, silence and solitude especially in the mornings and the evenings. I am not a tremendous social creature and have to make a real effort to be open to spontaneous conversation. I prefer to do my own riding instead of riding on the back of anyone's bike. I take instruction well as long as it is presented in the form of constructive criticism but I do not respond well to the "do as I say and not as I do" method of teaching. I need to shower/bathe on a daily basis, Chapstick is my constant companion, Listerine is not a luxury in my opinion and Pringles 'N' Fanta makes a good meal. I'm absolutely sure that as I digest the trip over time, I will have quite a bit more to say about my "learnins" on the road; but, for now th..th..th..that's all folks!
Sunday, March 2, 2008
This weekend was election time in Thailand. Like Mary and Joseph residents are required to return to their hometowns to vote. We wondered why we saw many, many buses on the road Saturday, many with people on the roof. Sunday, there were miles long traffic jams coming into Bangkok.
The selling of alchohol was banned for the weekend (try that in America). It is interesting to see so many people here caring about an election, where in the supposed "birthplace of democracy" only 1 in 10 voted in the last election.
Unfortunately, as Hemingway said you really need to speak the local language to get a feel for the mood of the masses. We are pretty oblivious here, especially spending time living in the jungle!
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Saturday, March 1, 2008
We left whispering seeds yesterday, saying goodbye to all our new friends, buying some handwoven products for friends, and promising to stay in touch.
It was a stupendous day, perfect temperature, the clearest skies and wonderful road ahead. Clara was in such a good mood being back in civilization, that she let me takeé a detour to the official Myanmar border at 3 Pagodas Pass. We reached the border which was nothing more than two gates, two signs and two closed offices being guarded by one guy sleeping barefoot on a bench with no firearm presence at all. Needless to say, the border was closed.
We took the picture, and I meandered across the imaginary border just to say I had, and then we headed back down highway 323.
For the next 100 kilometers or so is up and down, round and round, with a new reservoir on the right for 25 miles, and the peculiar Thai mountains all around with their not very high but particular green covered jagged peaks, or blocked areas topped with odd geometrical designs. The combination of it all made it one of the most fun and pleasant rides of the trip. One of the hills was so steep that all the people riding the bus had to get out and walk so that the bus could make it!
We settled in for the night at our riverside guest house, between the two "bridges over the river Kwai" made famous by the movie. $8 and still no hot water or AC, but mattresses! We can work our way back into luxury slowly!