The good news is that I survived the 3 day, 2 night Thailand northern mountain trek, which included: riding an elephant; spending a couple of nights in two villages; visiting 3 waterfalls and a lagoon; rafting down a river; and hiking approximately 15 miles over the course of the trip. Believe me when I say that I am not exaggerating too much when I use the word “survived.” This is one of the toughest things I have done physically and emotionally in quite a few years. I have climbed 14000 foot mountains (more often referred to as 14ners by folks in Colorado) that weren’t nearly as tough as this experience. If you want something to take you out of your comfort zone, then going on this trek will definitely push you to your limits. Continue reading
I am really enjoying myself in Thailand. The people here are wonderful. Paul Sorenson, who is here visiting from Vietnam, where he teaches college business classes, has been my guide around this wild city. I have a bit of time here to post some pictures of the city . . . They tell the story better than I can. Continue reading
Hello from Bangkok. I met up with Paul, my friend from Vietnam and we are having a blast! I spent the first day and night in the Sukhumvit district, at the Park hotel where he was staying, so we could be certain that we would connect. No hitches there. Fast forward to almost the next morning, we both didn’t get too much sleep, enjoying the Bangkok night life. Continue reading
Australia, Botanical Gardens, Bush Tracks, Chill Backpackers, Chinese, Irish, Kurilpa bridge, New Zealand, Queens Mall, Queensland, Scottish, Sir Thomas Brisbane Planetarium, South and Central America, Thai, Vietnamese, Wales
The day before I leave Australia and in baseball parlance, I hit a double. It could have been a home run, but for one little detail . . . The Sir Thomas Brisbane Planetarium was closed due to upgrades being installed and wont re-open until March or April. The Planetarium runs regular shows in the Cosmic Skydome for public and school groups, observing sessions in the observatory and occasional public field nights. Continue reading
It rained again today, limiting what I wanted to do, which was to climb Mount Coot-tha, which overlooks the city of Brisbane. It is a popular bushland tourist destination including the Brisbane Botanic Gardens and Sir Thomas Brisbane Planetarium. It also has bike trails, parks including a waterfall. The poor weather kept me near the city center, so instead, I went to the Art Gallery and walked more of the city. Continue reading
I didn’t bring a wrist watch with me on my RTW trip because I believe that most jewelry, including watches are big “tells” insofar as potential thieves identifying you as someone who might have money and therefore, you’re susceptible to being ripped off. Consequently, I leave most of that stuff at home. So, I woke up at 5:00am this morning, albeit, I didn’t know what time it was. I fired up my tablet and took a look at my task tray, where the time and date are located. It was 5:15am and I couldn’t help noticing the date, February 17. This also is my birthday. Continue reading
The last few days in Sydney were truly remarkable and enjoyable. I met quite a few people and in part, this was due to my decision to switch accommodations from the suburb outskirts of Sydney to the city center. I checked out of the hostel Thursday morning (Feb. 14th) and knowing I had a long wait before boarding my train to Brisbane , I ate a hearty Aussie breakfast (a lot of carbs) and then found a comfortable couch at the hostel. Also waiting along with me – to other destinations in Australia and other countries – were approximately a half dozen other people, including a young German, Marius. Continue reading
The subject heading is a quote by Sydney J. Harris and I couldn’t agree more. So with that attitude, I started my day, promising myself that I would lighten up on Sydney, Australia, and give it another chance. Hey, y’all need to cut me some slack though – I had just completed a visit of New Zealand, one of the most beautiful countries I have ever seen.
I have been at the YHA Railway Square Hostel for two days and I love it! It is perfect for my needs. First and foremost, it is near the Central Station train and bus services, including Inter-country trains, which will take me to Brisbane tomorrow. It’s also relatively inexpensive. Even more so, because I was refunded $50 due to my room (main one) light being burnt out the last 2 days. Yesterday, the Night Manager attempted to fix it and was unable to do so. He gave me two breakfast vouchers and said it would be taken care of today. It wasn’t and Sylvia, the Assistant Manager at Railway Square, refunded me part of my room rate (the $50) and did it graciously without hesitation, truly concerned that I was inconvenienced by this. Wow! I was shocked by this, because I had a bad experience with reservations I made for Chill Backpackers in Brisbane. More on that in a bit. Continue reading
I’ll preface this post by saying that I LOVE SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA, but there is a flip side . . .
My accommodations were not in Sydney during my first few days in Australia. I had reserved a room via the internet while in Christchurch, New Zealand; and unbeknownst to me, it was located almost 50-60 miles away from the Sydney city center. Frankly, it might as well have been located on the moon. The neighborhood was excellent – a suburb that was reminiscent of where I grew up in Sunnyvale, California. Continue reading