Friday, May 25, 2012

I Want to See the Fort!!

Jaisalmer Fort was a picturesque place indeed.  I walked around with a couple of fellow travelers in those really amazing pre-sunset moments and I couldn't believe how deep and rich the colors were.  Quite charming.

From: The rooftop of my guest house in Jaisalmer, India
To: Illinois, USA

Same Same, But Different

Some things have changed in Salt Lake City.  The downtown now boasts a large (and frankly overpriced) mall, a GIANT Harmon's and several new condo buildings.  9th and 9th now has a delicious gelato joint.  Olympus high school is expanding - big time.  The dumpy joint on 13th and 11th has been replaced with a gorgeous restaurant.  Smith's is new, sparkly and has a gas station.  Red Butte Garden has acquired a beautiful neighbor in the Natural History Museum (which I have yet to visit) and I am told it boasts one of the best views in the city.  The University Guest House has grown an entirely new wing.  Liberty Park staff is no longer in the process of squeegee-ing the oil off each individual duck.  Trax now has all kinds of new lines.  Millcreek Library is now a place I would gladly spend the day working (and plan to!).  

Friday, May 18, 2012

As I Lay Me Down to Sleep

Prayer flags really were everywhere!!

From: My room at the Traveler's Home Guest House in Kathmandu, Nepal
To: Utah, USA

Even Gods Need a Good Read

Another book store pic for one of the bigger readers in my life. I visited this shop many times during my time in Dharamsala.

From: The best book shop in McLeodganj, India
To: Utah, USA

The Chocolate Log

Really???  Would you eat at this place?

From: McLeodganj, India
To: England, UK

Ngadi Bazar

Our first day of trekking was pretty spectacularly beautiful.  The views only became better every day after.  This night it was pounding down rain and the river outside turned from teal to brown in about half an hour.  Due to the weather I couldn't take a picture outside so below is a better view taken the next morning...

From: The window of our guest house as the rain beat down on our first trek night in Ngadi, Nepal
To: Utah, USA

I Loved This Place!

I truly could not get enough of the Taj Mahal!!!

From: The Taj Mahal, Agra, India
To: Texas, USA

31 Shitheads on a Bridge

We played cards.  A lot.  This was the first night of the trek so we were just getting started and as we didn't know each other well we were quite civilized.  Things got pretty intense there by the end.

From: Our first night of card playing.  Appears to be Shithead we were going for here in Ngadi, Nepal
To: Washington DC, USA

Pi Day - Behind the Scenes

Pi Day was a productive one for me.  I flew from Chiang Mai to Bangkok to Kuala Lumpur to Delhi.  I also sorted out my finances, wrote a blog post, and sent a postcard to Al.  All before taking on what would be two of the craziest hours in all of my time in India.  A day to remember for sure!

From: A rickety table in the Bangkok Airport, Thailand
To: Utah, USA

Flower Signs

Some fun with perspective after everyone had been energized by coffee and butter-soaked breads.

From: The cafe with the best coffee on the trail (so I'm told) on the road from Marpha, Nepal
To: Utah, USA

Do You Have an Ace Bandage?

The design of my shoes combined with the stormy weather meant I needed some drastic measures for preventing blisters.  The measures actually caused some other blisters in the end.  Oh well.  It all worked out in the end.

From: My makeshift sports clinic at the guest house in Chame, Nepal
To: Utah, USA

Trains and Tea

My first Indian train experience!!  I was surprised actually at how clean and comfortable it was.  I had been told all kinds of horror stories.  Shortly after taking this we even had the chai guy come through with a delicious cuppa.  That's service! 

From: The back of the seat of the guy in front of me on the train from Jaipur to Udaipur, India
To: England, UK

The S***

On my first day in Delhi, I met these two German lads who were just as lost as I was.  We trudged through together and had a grand old time for a few days in Delhi and Jaipur.

From: Our rooftop table at the hotel in Delhi, India
To: Utah, USA

As Easy as MBC

This is sort of a 360 view as the postcard shows the mountains directly behind me while I was taking the picture. The hike to Macchapaucchre Base Camp was pretty wet and a little bit miserable in parts.  The views were incredible though!  And the hike to Annapurna Base Camp for sunrise the following morning was one of the most beautiful things I have ever seen.  Bonus picture below :)

From: Macchupachure Base Camp, Nepal
To: Texas, USA

I Like the Crow Landing in the Corner

This day nearly killed me.  We climbed stairs for six hours essentially non-stop.  I thought I would never make it but we finally got there!  The views from the top are pretty spectacular so I suppose it was worth the effort.

From: A town on the most stair-filled day of hiking in my life, Annapurna Circuit, Nepal
To: Utah, USA

I'll Take Mine in a Bucket

Once back in civilization we hit the whiskey buckets pretty hard.  I have no regrets.

From: The Bamboo shack thingy on the lake in Pokhara, Nepal
To: England, UK


I don't know if I mentioned the Sheraton already but it was INCREDIBLE!!  I spent the day in various forms of hot water including: a long shower, a long bath, a sauna, a steam room, and this pool.  I also ate a lot of delicious food (some of it eaten in my room while wearing a robe)  Fantastico!

From: The Sheraton swimming pool, Delhi, India
To: Utah, USA

From: Sheraton lounge, Delhi, India
To: England, UK

From: The concierge lounge at the Sheraton, Delhi, India
To: Utah, USA

Plan B (or C, or D...)

Train planning in India can be quite a mess.  When you sit down with an agent you should have alternates prepared.  This postcard is accompanied by a sheet that fellow travelers had put together in the hopes of finding a solution.

From: The couch of the most wonderful travel agent in Udaipur, India
To: England, UK

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

A Little Israel in India

While this place was responsible for a horrible night of toilet love, my time here did wrap up a pretty wonderful day in Udaipur.  So not all was lost :)

From: The restaurant that made me ridiculously ill in Udaipur, India
To: England, UK

Green+Paddy Does Not Always = Ireland

I LOVED the color of the rice paddies! Such a perfect green.  All the colors on the trek were brilliant.  What a beautiful place!

From: Rice paddies along the trek, Annapurna Circuit, Nepal
To: England, UK

Saves on Postage

This guy didn't speak any English at all.  Somehow we had a lovely conversation of hand gestures and nervous laughter and at the end I asked if he would pose with a postcard for me.  But apparently he thought it was a gift so right after this shot he put it in his pocket. Guess it was meant for him all along :)

From: The bus from Delhi to Jaipur, India
To: The bus from Delhi to Jaipur, India


The beginning of a seven hour journey to Dharamsala.  What a gorgeous (though sometimes terrifying) drive!

From: The bus from Amritsar to Dharamsala, India
To: Utah, USA

Happy Birthday Sisterino!

We made it over the pass!!!!

From: Thorong La Pass, Nepal
To: California, USA

Please Sir May I Have Another?

Two adorable fishies helping me enjoy the first two scoops of ice cream the day after the trek.  Don't look at me like that!  It wasn't FOR breakfast.  It was just dessert AFTER breakfast.

From: Pokhara, Nepal
To: Germany

A Happy Hour (or three) Indeed!!!

This place was a terrible/wonderful find!  Gorgeous gelato.  Beautiful bruschetta.  And a happy hour with perfect Prosecco!  What more could Black Piss ask for?? Only to have the band reunited again to celebrate the victory :)  

From: The delicious Italian restaurant in Pokhara, Nepal.  Again.
To: Colorado, USA

Scoop Me!

I don't want to admit to how many scoops of ice cream I ate the day after we ended the trek.  I will say that it was fewer than the number of shakes I had my first day back in Bangkok the week later at least!

From: The delicious Italian restaurant in Pokhara, Nepal
To: Washington, DC, USA

Peace Cafe

After the first meal at the Peace Cafe, we ended up there at least once a day for the rest of the week.  DEEEEELICIOUS! I recommend the porridge with banana and honey as well as the veg thenthuk.

From: Peace Cafe, McLeodganj, India
To: England, UK

Chillin Out

After the pass, we landed at the Hotel Bob Marley.  I didn't leave it for the next 36 hours.  Just sat around eating apple pie and bemoaning my sore calves.

From: Hotel Bob Marley, Muktinath, Nepal
To: England, UK


A view from the wonderful Kunga Guest House in McLeod. A perfect home for my last week in India!

From: McLeodganj, Nepal
To: England, UK

Home Cookin

I loved going into the kitchens in Nepal.  Those are my boiled eggs cooking over on the left.  I ate a ridiculous number of them while trekking.   

From: Manang, Nepal
To: Texas, USA

Yak Cheese

We'll take 400g please!! 

From: Manang, Nepal
To: Utah, USA

As Nepalese as Apple Pie

A Germany bakery in Manang.  This town was full of home comforts!

From: Manang, Nepal
To: California, USA

Mapping Out the Trek

My giant Annapurna Circuit map.  It came with us everywhere and saw some hard times.  It has a lot more character now!

From: Kathmandu, Nepal
To: England, UK

Mandatory Chocolate

Trying to decide the perfect chocolate bar to spend my last rupees on.

From: Kathmandu Airport, Nepal
To: England, UK

Post Puppy


From: Traveller's Home Guest House, Kathmandu, Nepal
To: California, USA

Tough Chicks

The waiting room at Kathmandu Airport.  The flight was delayed an hour and a half which made for an interesting connection in Delhi.  Made it to Bangkok though! 

From: Kathmandu Airport, Nepal
To: England, UK

The Ubiquitous Lama Bag

The last postcard from Nepal. 

From: Kathmandu Airport, Nepal
To: Utah, USA

Jantar Mantar

The coolest thing in Jaipur - a GIANT sundial

From: Jaipur, India
To: England, UK

Keep on Truckin' Cafe

One of the many trucks on the road to Pokhara.  I loved how they decorated them so colorfully. 

From: Lunch break stop/bean market on the road from Kathmandu to Pokhara, Nepal
To: Texas, USA

Me and My Monkey

A dude just chilling with his monkey on the drive to Pokhara. 

From: The road from Kathmandu to Pokhara, Nepal
To: Missouri, USA

Long, Steep, Stone, Staircase

On one of the many many many long staircases we climbed in and out on the Annapurna Base Came trek.  

From: Bamboo, Annapurna Sanctuary, Nepal
To: Georgia, USA

Monday, May 14, 2012

Aaaaand we're back!

In my first 24 hours back in SLC, I:
  • ate a homemade meal 
  • got a little bit tipsy with my dad on Yellowtail Shiraz
  • was greeted with both the largest marshmallows I have seen in my life as well as the biggest pile of Peeps I have seen outside a grocery store display - all completely crunchy and delicious!
  • struggled to make the decision between French Toast Foolishness and Huevos Mexicanos at Park Cafe
  • confirmed that Liberty Park still exists but walked the perimeter just to verify 
  • strolled through the biggest Harmon's ever to exist
  • laughed with my favorite of Alexes
  • drank tap water! And, even better, used the crushed ice machine in the new fridge!
  • took a long, hot shower
  • drove - and was completely freaked out every time I turned left across traffic
  • motorboated a pile of fresh laundry
Not too shabby for a first day back, eh!?

As I type, I am downloading my photos to be sorted, rated, and edited.  Hopefully that means they will be posted soon as well.  I know, I know.  I keep saying this.  But NOW I don't have to worry about the cost of internet cafes OR the likelihood that the power will go out at the worst possible moment.  So hopefully this time things will work out and you can FINALLY see some travel pics!!!