Making the Best of a Week in Carson Pass, CA

It was as trip we didn’t really want. A use it or lose it timeshare situation that resulted in a week in a very basic ski resort in a very remote location in the Sierras. How remote is it? It is an hour drive for anything other than skiing, hiking or fishing. Heck, [Read more …]

Ngorongoro Crater and Highlands

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We left the Northern Serengeti for the second and final stop of our Tanzanian Safari experience–the animal-filled Ngorongoro Crater. Exploring the Southern Serengeti—By Air To get here, we flew from Kogatende to Lake Manyara. The flight took us over the totally different Southern Serengeti and the Crater itself. The southern section of the park, over [Read more …]

Masai Mara National Park

border marker from Tanzania to Kenya

The border between Tanzania and Kenya Africa was only about five miles from our safari camp, marked, at least at our location, only by a concrete post on a dirt trail. As you cross this border, you leave Serengeti National Park (Tanzania) and enter the southernmost realms of Masai Mara Park (Kenya). The [Read more …]

Continuing in the Serengeti

lion pride

As we continued in the Northern Serengeti, we wanted to see many of the animals that we had seen on previous safaris, as well as some of the animals that we had not previously seen in the wild. Visiting the Big Cats After experiencing the wilderbeests, the big cats were our second priority. Although we [Read more …]

Serengeti National Park

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After four days in Rwanda, our next stop in Africa was Tanzania and the Serengeti. Our Coastal Airlines 14 passenger Cessna prop plane took us from Kigali Rwanda, over the large, irregularly shape Lake Tanganyika, making 2 short stops en route on dirt runways (one for us to get our visas and one to pick [Read more …]

Guling Mulu National Park, Malaysia

canopy walk 01

Guling Mulu National Park in Malaysia, commonly known as Mulu, is the jewel in the Malaysian national park system. It’s a tropical rainforest (receiving more than 15 feet of rain per year) with tall mountains, steep cliffs, dramatic, razor-sharp limestone pinnacles, a huge network of caves of all levels of difficulty, rivers to cruise, a [Read more …]

Shanghai

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A Brief History of New Shanghai Shanghai is an entirely different experience than Beijing. Although it has a relatively similar, or actually somewhat larger population, it has a very different feel. Also, a very different history. As our Bike Beijing guide explained, if you want to experience 4,000 years, of Chinese history, go to Xi’an [Read more …]

Longji Terraced Rice Fields and Guilin

carrying our suitcases down hill

On our previous trip to China, we took excursions through a number of lovely, albeit artificially color-lit limestone caves that were cut into the soft rock by rushing water. This time, we skipped the caves to explore new areas. After flying in Guilin, our guide picked us up to take us to Longji (Longsheng), for [Read more …]

Beijing. How Much Did the Olympics Change the City Versus the Growing Economy?

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The last time we were in Beijing (albeit 15 years ago), we remember lots of small shops along most streets, with the men playing mahjong, the children watching TV and the women washing or doing other work (while the men played, which really irked Joyce).Those tiny local shops selling homemade goods have been replaced by [Read more …]

Forbidden City

Forbidden City from outside

No trip to Beijing is complete without a trip to the Forbidden City, the Chinese imperial palace from the Ming Dynasty to the end of the Qing Dynasty. Unlike the rest of Beijing, the Forbidden City has not changed from our last trip (other than for a huge, ongoing, decade-long restoration project), including Mao’s [Read more …]