Saturday, December 29, 2012

Bicycles we saw in Nepal

Really fun looking for bicycles in Nepal.

Not only do bicycles move lots of stuff, they are on the Annapurna trail now because roads circumnavigate the Annapurna's.

 Mtn bike trail riding is very popular in the Kathmandu valley. It's a tourist attraction now with many bicycle companies competing for business.

In Kathmandu, on Dec 1 (World AIDS day) we saw a bicycle parade of perhaps 50 - 100 wearing t-shirts with red ribbons to raise awareness.

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Avalanche coverage in the NY Times

The other night I was with a friend who is a non-skier.  I was telling her about my love of powder skiing and the current snow report. Snow was falling in the lowlands where my mom lives outside the Seattle area.  I was struggling because I didn't have my avalanche transceiver, shovel, probe and other safety equipment that is absolutely necessary to carry when skiing in storms and these snow conditions. Everything was in storage.  Jet lag.  Talk about a classy problem re-entering western society. Ski postponement. Wanting to just go!  Where is my ski sponsor?

Anyway she got to asking about an on-line advertisement's for avalanche air bags that pops up on her computer while she web surfs.  I explained to her that last year near Steven's Pass ski area a pro-skier survived a very big avalanche last year wearing one. Today she texts me to share an article in the NY Times about this particular avalanche accident.  And what an article it is!

Using a mix of multi-media, the article comes alive with audio, video, interviews and simulations which educate the reader about the complexity of this tragic event. Within the format of the article there is even a very user friendly way describing avalanche snow science!

This style of article is going to change how on-line newspapers are presented.  Just you see.

We're headed up north to Canada, so there will be plenty more opportunity to get at it.  Where I'm going the avalanche forecasters are advising to "stick to the powder".
Have you been naughty or nice?
mom's dog "Bear"
Santa rippin' it
I think it's going to be okay.  Happy Holidays!

Thursday, December 20, 2012

The SIMple life

I suddenly find myself in possession of SIM cards from six different carriers in six different countries. I have used my phone in Nepal (NCell), Thailand (TrueMove), Australia (Vodafone), New Zealand (Telecom NZ), USA (AT&T), and of course Canada (Koodo). If I get stopped by the cops and they find all these SIM cards and my two passports (Canada and New Zealand), they'll think I'm a spy for sure! Or perhaps a drug dealer. I guess I better shave and cut my hair before I cross the border into Canada!


Wednesday, December 19, 2012

The "not so nice" beach

We found a beach in Thailand that didn't have shopping malls and hotels built and there were no cars 
Although there was nice surf and at night even bioluminescence to entertain us
The regulars come back year after year there and there is a pact amongst them to not tell even their best friends where they go for those three months out of the year
The water was warm enough for our bodies
So we decided to stay.  Just don't ask us where.   We were told that it wasn't "such a nice beach:" and you probably wouldn't like it either.  You might be disappointed when you got there.

what's the plan now?

Responsible, funded couple seeking cabin/room in house/apartment in British Columbia near a ski hill and backcountry ski terrain for Jan-April. The catch for us is we are not only skiers (ski-hounds?) but also own two miniature dachshunds that are around 10 years old. If interested one of them retrieves ball and both are entertaining for no price, plus they can catch the occasional mouse. For us all, including the fur children, we stay quiet and respectful to be your tenants and friends.
We will want to stay longer if we find a good fit (work, community, etc) in the area.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

King's Birthday

We arrived in Bangkok for the king's birthday. The entire country was wearing yellow shirts and on public holiday.  Everywhere were colorful displays of the King and Queen.  Fireworks and homes and shop owners with lit birthday candles  in their houses and storefronts.  The King gave a speech that was broadcast on all the local tv channels.  Good message for the speech. When we were in the bus station shopping mall last night, at 6:00pm the national anthem was played and all the people walking and talking came to a halt.  Mark and I stood and watched on tv the pictures they played. Short and sweet observance and then back to busy. 

Escape from Bangkok

Yesterday we learned how to use Bangkok's public transit system.  The airport rail link, subway, and skytrain took us to the giant solid gold Buddha. At 5.5 tonnes of solid gold, I was surprised at the apparent lack of security around the statue. Maybe there's lots of invisible security, or maybe no one steals it because they don't have room for it beside the mantle.

Now we're waiting at the bus station for the bus to Ranong. From Ranong we'll head out to Ko Chang or one of the other islands on the Andaman coast.

We're eating some of the spiciest red and green curry we've ever had - when they put a picture of a hot pepper beside the menu listing, they mean it!


Monday, December 3, 2012

Goodbye Nepal

Bangkok here we come!

It's been great to be in Nepal for the last two and a half months (well, except for getting sick and Kathmandu traffic). We've seen lots of beautiful mountains, monasteries, and momos (but we ate the momos). We saw one dachshund in the whole country, and it's lucky enough to live at the stupa in Boudhanath. The best part of Nepal was the wonderful people we met! We hope to be back some day to visit and trek some more.