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Six years of adventure with pics to prove it.

Roatan Redux

Filed under: Roatan — she_travels at 4:36 pm on Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Right then, here I am…. thanks goodness I have many weeks here abouts cause all I did the first seven days was sleep and read… I was so quiet the people running the accommodation finally sent someone over to make sure I was still breathing.

I have a new addiction…Kindle, dang that thing is going to be the demise of my bank account. I bought the one wireless and 3G capable world wide, I have no idea how Amazon did it,  I have to pay for the book but I don’t have to pay for the privilege of using the 3G connection. All Hail Amazon! No more packing books, no more buying books in odd countries, no more reading what happens to be available…new addiction I have.

I didn’t see the guys from the place I am staying at the airport, did they say someone would pick me up?  No matter BobMarley’s parents were waiting for Mom BobMarley to board the plane  I stepped off. One of the perks of visiting a tiny place, easy to find anyone traveling the same route.  We said our hellos and goodbyes, when Dad BobMarley offered me a ride cause he was going my way.  I mentioned I should check one more time for the people I thought were picking me up, he said “Cool, meet you in front.”

We chatted about real estate (no one is buying), the economy ( the world tried to blow up a few years ago)  and the weather (it had not rained enough to speak of in six weeks). What? two years ago it was still pouring in March, I was wearing my sweat shirt it was so cold and wet.

Imagine my surprise the next day…

Dang! ya can’t even see Light House!

I had to get in to West End for supplies, food mostly. Thank goodness I had the sense to bring my raincoat, I was still soaked by the time I had walked the beach from West Bay to West End. The good news, wet in 80 degrees is a far cry from wet in 60 degrees. By the time I was headed back the rain had stopped.

A couple days later I looked up from my book to see this….

The mainland for gosh sakes!

That evening…

Sunset truly does help everything look better.  That is one BIG boat.

It has been hotter than I ever remember here. Part of the heat is little to no breeze some days, with no wind comes calm sparkling clear water. LOOK! at that blue.

The length of West Bay Beach, from the East edge of Foster’s ( where I am standing) to the sand point of what the cruise ship people call Tabyana Beach just past the red roofs of Infinity. Ya can’t see the Wall unless you know it is there but the far right green is Light House Point. This looks like a non cruise day, perhaps Monday of last week.

This one is taken from the same place but with a zoom, the pier is Foster’s, The red roof in the upper right is Infinity Bay.

Right then, so on a cruise day there is far more going on, the people in kayaks are more than likely from a ship, the guy in blue sitting on the bottom level of the pier is with them and works for Gumbalimba Park…I noticed it is now the uniform of Gumbalimba cause I walk past every trip into town. There were prolly 12 kayaks with three guys this day. One of them detoured to help out a couple ladies having trouble with a paddle boat in the bay. I have no idea what the problem was but a dive boat stopped as well, in the end I saw a kayak with two people paddle out, attach maybe a rope and drag the ladies in the defunct boat back to the sand.

If ya look at the top of the pic at the sand point, that is where many of the cruise people end up, something new to me is the four floats in the water out from that spot. I decided to take a dip in the sea to alert the fish of the impending happensg from the ship, not that they didn’t know it was coming but common courtesy..anywho much to my amazement, these four spots are local guys on surf boards. I don’t know if they are life guards, or if they are policing the coal. But sure enough…. guys on surf boards laying out in the ocean. I doubt they are getting paid much but that is a hell of a job  huh?

I also saw….

This lady with a guy also on what looks like a surf board. There truly is all manner of entertainment both in and out of the water on this island these days. Snorkeling trips, Cayo Cochinos trips, paddles boats, kayaks, para sailing, glass bottom boats, Snuba, hiking, exploring the island either on your own or with a local guide, heck you can even go with Scuba being  the scuba guys are the ones who originally put this place on the map.

Endless Beaches….Seals?

Filed under: Road Trip — she_travels at 2:32 pm on Tuesday, January 26, 2010

If your not right on the coast with beach and rock, you are in the trees, looking through.

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See the black dots close to middle lower frame..

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There are two here, one  middle-ish and one sorta mid far left..

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I took this shot after the one above. While I was doing so I heard a noise, sorta garden party mixed with breeze. When I looked back to the black dots and just to the left I saw….

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Yeah, how did I miss them the 1st time… wind mustataken the sound a different direction.

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I love this pic, the beach seems to go on for ages.

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If ya get tired of the sea, play in the sand.

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Reminded me of a ski area.

Oregon Coast

Filed under: Road Trip — she_travels at 2:17 pm on Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Blues and greens…

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I found a one lane road traveling south parallel to the main road I was on, I stopped and made a sandwich here.

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See the moon shaped bit with the sand…I had a peek in the tide pools.

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The tide pools I wandered are below, this pick is from the other side, if ya looked in the right place you might could see my lunch site in the distance.

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Path to the beach and tide pools.

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I was madly looking for a whirlpool surrounded my rock called  “Devils Cauldron”. I walked far up the beach in search of it, then decided to head back to where I saw bunches of people. The above is what I found, a small opening in the rock the man in the white T-shirt is photographing and alot of rock.

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Come to find out…I was standing in the Devils Cauldron. Holy hannah was that thing big! Had I the time I would had stuck around for high tide.

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Another sea creature through water picture.

Mui Ne, Vietnam

Filed under: Vietnam — she_travels at 5:59 pm on Saturday, February 21, 2009

Mui Ne is on the ocean, most of  the guest houses are as well.

The view from the porch of my room.

I dropped my bag in the room, walked out the door and turned right to walk up the beach.

Sebastian

Organizing the net.

About an a hour later, bringing in the haul.

Bad photo of the catch.

Sorting, I saw honest to goodness seahorses..holy hannah!

The next morning in the dark before sunrise I took a motorbike ride to the Dunes. I was the passenger in the motorbike.

Motorbike guy took me back the way we had come to another area of dunes. When we went by the first time there was not a person or car around, when we came back you had to be very careful not to hit any of the people crossing the road from parking lot to Dunes.

See the gal to the right in a white shirt? She has a rented sled, seems this area is all about the sliding down the dunes in a bit of plastic. I think I prefer snow.

I snapped this from the dunes people were sliding on.

The guy driving the motor bike was not talking to me much,  just stopping where he thought he should I s’pose. The next stop turned out to be a fishing port between the boats in the above image and the tree line.

Had I been less overwhelmed by the masses of people coming and going I would have been paying more attention to what the ox cart was loaded with. See the fish in the woven basket?

Shelling some kind of mussel.

Ice, they were supplying the ships in the harbor.

Sorting squid

The round boat guys were transferring ice out to the ships and bringing the catch back. I was told the ships fish all night and every morning there have this mad, crazy fish market thing going on.

Many motor bikes moving stuff about like this.

Next……

Place called Fairy Creek.

I was told to walk in the water, it was only about ankle deep.

I really enjoyed MuiNe. Sitting on the beach watching a family fish for a good bit of one afternoon was great fun, not to mention sunrise in the sand dunes.

Saigon, here I come.

Nha Trang

Filed under: Vietnam — she_travels at 11:26 pm on Friday, February 20, 2009

I was all about the guest house room with a sea view.

The beach past the Palms felt huge when I was standing on it. It was empty during the day but the minute the sun started going down it was chock a block full of people. The locals do not like the sun.

While waiting to be picked up for the three island tour I noticed this guy drive up to the guest house across the way. Many of the guest houses here are rooms on the upper levels with the   lowest level being the living space for family/manager or who ever runs the guest house.

The guy drove up on the white motor-bike, the woven bag with orange handles was between his legs holding three of the plastic jugs like the one you see at his feet. He gave the jugs to a lady who took them down the stairs behind him. When she returned she gave him some money and three empty jugs. I decided this guy was just like the milk man but he was delivering gas for the motor bikes, I could smell it.

The three island tour started with a mass of people and chaos in the harbor. I was all about keeping my mouth shut and my eyes on the guy who picked me up at the guest house. While waiting for him to make a choice on what was next I noticed a Carnival Cruise ship was docked. Heck,  I had no idea there was a cruise to this part of the world.

This gondola thing was stretched across the bay to a fun park (still under construction) of some sort on the other side. In the distance you can see the line of buildings before the mountains.

I first saw this from a distance wondering what the heck it was. As we motored closer…

A pirate ship with full sail, man made, cheesy they turned in to an aquarium. Compete with…

Cheesy sea creatures.

Next stop snorkeling off the shore of an island farther out.

Asians snorkeling… funny huh? The three people you see without life jackets are from Australia.  I was on the other side of the boat having a grand time with the corals of all colors, the fishes of every shape imaginable.

Back in the boat we motored to another island, tossed the anchor to have lunch.

The guy on the table is the tour guide, we had finished lunch, once the table was cleared the tour guide guy was all about the Karaoke. You can just see the drums set up behind him with the kitchen crew about to start playing. Karaoke is big arse business in Asia. Most of the people on this boat were from the south of Vietnam, four from China, four from Israel, two from the UK and me (an American).

The singing got a bit loud for me, when the Israelis jumped off the roof of the boat to water, I was in after them, then the Brits jumped over board as well.  The water was far deeper, rougher and the current was a challenge. The Brits and I grabbed the anchor rope for stability, then got to chatting. They were on their honeymoon/Asia tour before moving to Australia to work full time. Very nice people.

When the music stopped I thought they were moving the boat again so I climbed back up the ladder to put my t-shirt and shorts back on. Once settled I realized I was wrong but was not sure what was going on..I didn’t see anyone in the water, I sat back down to wait.

Before the Karaoke had started another boat had anchored next to us. It was part of  the same tour group, they had come to share our band.

I was not sure where the Brits or the tour guy had gone, I stepped to the edge of  the bow of the boat looking. From around the bow of the other boat I heard a voice saying some thing about “The American”. It all registered in a blink, there was something in the brochure about a floating wine bar, I didn’t  pay attention being I don’t drink. The tour guy was in the water with an inner tube around him,  had a bottle in one hand and a rope in the other, there was a second rope attached to his inner tube. I could hear him plain as day now cause he was looking directly at me yelling “Get the Fu**ing American off the boat. Fu**king American off the boat.” He repeated it several times, I think just to hear himself say fu**king American. Half way through the second verse I was stripped down to my suit and dove in to the water.

When I could see around the other side of the second boat  there were people every where in the water with Dixie cups in their hands. All of them had inner tubes around them and the rope from the guide’s tube was attached to all of them. The other rope was attached to a bit of foam then the second boat. The foam had a small well filled with Dixie cups.

There was a shout from the second boat and an inner tube landed in front of me. The guide suggested I put a hand on any one of his ropes, safety issues he said. I was all for it,  the current on this side was stronger than it had been on the other side.

Th guide offered me wine and his name, though I no longer remember it. I had a sip of  the wine, squishing up my face I said “It’s not very good, but the company is.”  The guide started a new chant “Very bad wine, very good company.” He continued to chant this line  intermittently for the remainder of the trip.

The third island on the three island tour was several levels of covered, or not, space along another island. It was a delightful stop for a nap.

All in all it was a great way to spend a day.

Next up, Da Lat,. They say it’s cold , I could not past up the chance to find out.

Hoi An and Cham Island, Vietnam

Filed under: Vietnam — she_travels at 7:15 pm on Friday, February 20, 2009

I spent my day and a half in Hue with a guy (Jimmy) I met on the bus from Laos and a gal (Hang) we befriended on the tour of the Tombs in Hue. He is from America, an art teacher someplace in the south, good company that guy was! She is from Vietnam, a tour guide in Saigon for the wealthy, she was chock a block full of info about the county and culture. Because I had no set plan of any kind  when Hang mentioned she was going south, stopping in Danang for a few hours and then on to Hoi-an to take a tour of an island off  the coast I asked if I could tag along. Ya know me and islands.

When the bus we boarded in Hue stopped for lunch, Hang told me to follow the dirt path behind the building then turn to my left walking toward the water. I found the next three images.

We were heading into that mountain range. Home of  longest tunnel in Vietnam at a length of 3.9 miles, said Hang when we were back in the bus. She also mentioned the mountain range was the dividing line between “the north of Vietnam” where there are four seasons and “the south of Vietnam” where there are two seasons, rainy and dry.

Hang and I walked the streets of Danang for a couple hours.

Hang says there are few gas stations about certainly not in town, this is one way people get gas.

Pics from Hoi-an below.

My obsession with old buildings continues.

Bougainvillea tree anyone?

One of the few images of Hoi-an’s ancient town which came out well. As you can see we were strolling after dark.

Cham island follows. This was my kind of place, clear blue water, green green fields of rice. It is a fishing village first and a tourist stop second.

Cool arse rocks  huh?

Fish drying.

Making sugar cane juice.

Hang and I left Hoi-an on “the sleeping” bus to Nha-Trang.

The seats were not delightful but nice enough for 12 hours all night.

On to Nha-Trang, a room with a view and a truly fun 3 island tour with a half crazy tour guide and a boat full of Asians.

Road Trip with Mom

Filed under: Educational,Photos,Virginia — she_travels at 10:14 pm on Thursday, November 1, 2007

I landed a house sit in Virgina just south of DC. Mom decided she wanted to go visit friends and family so we decided on a bit of a road trip. I drove while mom navigated. I had zero agenda other than arriving in Manasses Oct 3rd and arriving in Colorado Oct 17th to take care of Harley ( The coolest black lab you ever met) and the Hayes House with a kitty and two horses.

We were headed east the 26th of August.

You may or may not know this,  eastern Colorado and most of Kansas are much of nothing. We did stop in a place called Wakeeny, Kansas to have something to eat. It was a very sad, dead sorta town with only one place serving food. It was an old time pharmacy with a soda fountain with the very best BLT I have had in a long time. We had the pleasure of chatting with the locals about our adventure to the east. They were all kinds of impressed we were not only from Colorado but “oh my, driving as far east and Virginia”. It is one of the very best things about travel, chatting up the locals.

I think we got the Subaru stopped outside of St Louis some place for the evening. Mom said later she started knowing when it was time to quit cause all the color would drain out of my face when I was done. I guess that is as good as any reason to quit driving.

The next morning we were off through Kentucky….I mean to tell ya what a beautiful drive. Mom got us off what we starting calling blue roads (interstate) on to little back country, middle of the hollar town like “Betsy Sue” and “Harold” I kid you not, names of town. Places that had signs saying “Congested Area” with not a single person, car or animal about. There were hills and dales of huge trees, green green fields.. There were acres of land with white fences holding horses and small shacks with all the Halloween garb you can buy at Walmart. There were many old barns with tobacco drying in them.

Somewhere along the line I started snapping pics.

National Park-ish I think. I remember a brown sign.

It was misty and wet.

They don’t call ’em the smoky mountains for nothing. See the ever so low cloud cover?

Mom wanted to see her Aunt Ann in Richmond, Virgina.

Aunt Ann wanted to visit the cemetery where her mother in law and sister in law were buried. A town called Ashland where mom spend time in the house below every summer with her grandmother. Who, I think, was Jessie (headstone this pic). By the by – That is mom and my great aunt Ann in the pic. Ann is 92 and sharp as a tack, not to mention funny. We laughed through lunch that day.

House in Ashland.

I am standing in the street with the camera…this….

Is behind me…crazy huh? Two sets of railroad tracks in the middle of the street. Talk about noise!

Yes, me and trees. This huge old boy lives at the end of the drive at the Ashland house.

After our visit with Great Aunt Ann, mom decided a day or two at the beach would do us some good. Virgina Beach as a matter of fact. Little did we know it was a very special week end.

The Nepture Festival. Sure enough people from all over came to see the sand castles.

My favorite! It was called “Cleaning the Beach”.

At some point after the beach and after the house sit we were on “Skyline Drive” in the BlueRidge mountains, or was it Smokey Mountains. Either was it was early morning.

It is said these mountains are much much older than the ragged, jaggedness of the Rocky’s

Color we were not without.

Lets not forget my favorite!

Did I mention Bear…. Cute huh?

Lakes of Tennessee at sunset.

I think this was Tennessee on the way back to Colorado.

We also found this castle looking thing along the way.

And now…for your educational pleasure…

Did ya know cotton is grown in Arkansas? Yeah, me either.

Did ya know they make huge stacks and cover them in the fields with colors? Yeah, me either!

The other thing mom and I learned while in Arkansas…Rice is their second largest crop. Yeah, me either. Right up until the time we asked an old boy wearing a “Rice Growers” cap at the gas station.

One down the road we found this…

I can’t imagine anyone leaving the back country before happening upon at least one of them.

Ahh yes sunset that evening…we may still have been… no wait this was Oklahoma. Dang..what was the name of that place.

And then after 19 hours of driving the day before, we wanted so badly to be through Kansas and most of eastern Colorado in the dark.

Antelope just outside of Denver. Had I been thinking I would have snapped a shot of Pikes Peak on the other side of the road ..er….but I didn’t. Next road trip that direction.

Mom and I giggled all the way out and all the way back. She had grand visits with friends while I hung out in the muggy hot that is Manasses. Ahh but the cats were great fun.

We decided on the way back we would have to do it again…direction and destination forth coming.

BallyCastle

Filed under: Ireland,Photos — she_travels at 1:44 pm on Sunday, May 27, 2007

BallyCastle was a place I was having a hard time getting out of. I kept finding things I wanted to do. First up. a stroll about the town and beach.

Another photo op I could not pass up. The shop fronts, the square, the church and the sheep on a green field behind it all.

BallyCastle beach….there are the most amazing rocks on this beach. I later was talking to a guy in the park about my not understanding why someone has not thought to collect rocks, polish them, create jewelry and sell it to the tourists. He just gave me one of those looks saying, “There ya have it, your very own export business.” I gave him a “who me” look  and said “No way man, I quit workin!” I do however have a sack of rocks in my bag.

Next up…a thing called BallyPatrick Forest Park. They made a one lane paved track around the area so people can drive about, there are spots to picnic and plenty of space. The track is a loop if six miles. Being off season they do not allow cars in…this means I have the whole of the six miles to myself.

This bit of path runs along the car track, it is all of a mile added to the original six. You can just see where they have been cutting the grass.

The flora grows like mad here…I liked this shot cause all the lighter green is new growth on this tree.

The bridge is the main road over head. There is a bit of a creek here they put cobblestones on so people have to drive under the bridge and up the creek at the same time.

I loved the way the sun was shinning through the forest. You may be able to see the line of the irrigation ditch. This is forestry land…they plant, grow, harvest, and replant.

Another view from yet another hill I hauled my hinnie up. See the bit of lighter brown toward the bottom on the pic? That is cut forest.

I loved this shot, a bend in the road with many a green tree and one not like the others. By the by ~ at this stage in the game I had had my coat, coats, on and off about four times.

This is what happens when you leave nature to itself in this part of the world. Do you see it under the tree?

So, I walked the six miles having a vague notion it was a loop but not in possession of a map. The bus driver dropped me off at the car park entrance with advice that he would be coming back the other direction at 4:15. I was wondering part of the time if it truly was a loop or if I was going  to have not a clue as to where I was once the track stopped. The two things I had going for me where “I can always go back the way I came” and “This is a one way track, right..?”

In the end it did loop sorta..the track came out on the main road about 3/4 of a mile from the car park entry. So…I walked back to the car park wondering what to do next. I had about two hours before the bus would be back this way. I had come from BallyCastle in one direction and had not seen any of  the other direction on the road…I vote to see the new direction.

Now, I must back up to Leenaun for just a minute. One of the gals working for the hostel in Leenaun hitchhikes about forty miles to spend her days off. She has been known to “hitch” to Galway, a far bit farther than Clifden. Ok, now think of me, I have just walked about seven miles….with intent to see what is around the next corner, I have been rained on twice and the rain is getting heavier by the minute…there are “shall I stick my thumb out” thoughts going through my head…about the time the rain turned to hail I figured the gods were talking to me. Stick my thumb out, I did.

Several folks did nothing but splash me with rain and hail. I was about a mile past the car park at a place called “the vanishing lake” Yeah, something about the lime rock layer under it the water can and does just blink out of sight. A car stopped, now mind you I have never hitchhiked but I have seen it done in the movies, the car stopped, just like in the films I ran up to it, opened the back door and said quietly, “I am only going as far as Cushendun”. The lady in the driver’s seat said “Yes, that’s fine”. I thanked her several times and mentioned I was in need of a cup of tea. The gentleman in the passenger seat noticed my accent and asked “where in America” I told him when he decided to give me a bit of a lesson about “The Nine Glens of Antrim”. I was tickled to death to find out “Glen” means gully a glacier made. They were delightful people and do you know that lady dropped me off at the door of the only “Teahouse” in Cushendun.

I thanked them again several times and turned to find a cuppa to warm my everything. I finished my tea as the sun was coming out so I decided to see what the track along the river was all about.

A view from that the track in Cushendun.

Having just enough time to finish that short bit before the bus showed up. The driver gave me a funny look while asking “Did you walk down?”  “Nahh” I said “got a lift”

Next up…the ever on going walk to GlenAntrim, “The Queen of the Glens”.

Portstewart, Giant’s Causeway

Filed under: Ireland,Photos — she_travels at 11:47 am on Sunday, May 27, 2007

The first two photos are Portstewart then four of the Giant’s Causeway and four of the famous rope bridge. Once upon a time the bridge was much different, the fisherman used to catch salmon from it. For reasons I don’t understand the salmon run between the main land and that tiny island. Crazy fishes shoulda gone around.

See the cloud in the very back, under it is a bit of a shaded area…Scotland!

Yet another bit of coastline. There is so much coast and all of it is different. Some are nice beaches, some are rocky stretches of yuk, others are fierce cliffs and crashing waves.  Its great fun. By the by ~ this is called White Rock Beach. I found more than one white rock while walking it. They come from the white cliffs around the bend in this picture. I have one in my bag..its the strangest thing, a soft rock.

Crazy rocks at the Causeway.

More crazy rocks.

Wacky huh?

Stacks and Stacks of crazy. wacky rocks.

Nice clear water!

I preferred the cliffs here to those at Moher.

Yes, I walked across it..it moves a bit..the more energy you put into your stride the more the thing bounces.

West Bay, Roatan

Filed under: Educational,Photos,Roatan — she_travels at 6:31 pm on Monday, April 23, 2007

Yes, folks I have moved once again. In the spirit of keeping you up to date I have pictures if the morning walk. Ok. the walk I took this morning anywho. It was a bit abbreviated being that when I landed my morning hug from Mr. Foster he said “How do you feel about helping out in the office today, good?”

Me being the person I am with zero ability to say no said instead “Sure, whatever you want.”

Thus, shorten walk. The good news is pictures of beautiful West Bay Beach follow.

As you can see very little would dare wash up on West Bay Beach. It is clean, beautiful white sand.

This is 8am in the morning for gosh sake!

The end of the beach hits this wall and the reef is three steps from the sand.

If you are looking to buy….

West Bay from the hill.

Foster is the guy that owns the resort where I have stayed most of the years I have been down here. His daily ritual is to rake the grounds.  The sea is at my feet.

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