Mysore Market and Palace

A palace, a hill temple and a couple of markets; and the photo opps award goes to the market. We actually hit two, one of Mysore’s quaint old markets and its bustling Devaraja Market. They were filled with the usual Indian fair of vegetables, spices and flowers, but this one had something special, vendors who welcomed a camera pointed at their goods.

The Royal Palace is the attraction that brings the tourist though. Personally, I found it a bit hotel like. Perhaps this is due to the British design, intended to mimic Indian style. Magnificent workmanship though made it well worth the tour. A short trip out of town to climb the stairs of sacred Chamundi Hill was well worth the effort too. Continue reading Mysore Market and Palace


We came down from the cool hill station air of Kodai to tropical Kerala. First stop Fort Kochi (Cochin); the Portuguese, Dutch and British cultural melting pot, where there is a Christian church every few blocks – with a pile of parishioners shoes left outside, distinctly Indian style.  The historical trading town still has its Asian Fishing Nets (see the photo below) in use, making for a classic port scene of old meets new. Continue reading Kerala

Tamil Nadu

Our first stop in India threw us right into the thick of their infamous polluted, congested cities. However, the Tamil people proved to be set on ensuring our stay is pleasant. In the thick of honking horns and swerving motorbikes, trucks and rickshaws, approached people would patiently greet us and offer their best advice, often helpful. One such case resulted in an escorted cross-city bus trip back to our hotel neighborhood, complete with a stop for tea and a guided walk through Triplicane, Chennai’s, Parthasarathy Temple temple. And, believe it or not, unlike my experiences traveling the North ten years before, there wasn’t even a hint of opportunism; the university student refused my insistence on paying the cafe bill. Continue reading Tamil Nadu

Laugavegurinn – Hiking Trail

There is something airy about a place with a constant smell of sulfur and where steam billows from the ground. Even the hot water from the tap has the sulfur smell. The upside, of course, besides looking really cool, is being in a country with countless hot-springs and a strong economy from energy independence. And, yes, strong, despite impressions from the 2008 economic collapse. Everyone seems to live comfortably and crime was unseen. Continue reading Laugavegurinn – Hiking Trail

Crossing the Alta Puna

I have really grown to enjoy these long bus journeys.  Today I have the front seat on the upper deck, providing a continuous 180 deg view, for crossing the high Andes from Salta, Argentina, to San Pedro de Atacama, Chile. The first awe-inspiring site was the area around Purmamarca, known as The Land of Seven Colors for the many shades of red and brown through green and purple the hillsides take. Continue reading Crossing the Alta Puna

The Frey

Cicuito Chico walk Friday,15th, then the next day Sarah and I hiked up to the well-known climbing area The Frey.  CC was a must-do because Sarah had picked up post cards highlighting it from the limited post office supply in San Martin.  It ended up being a good inspiration.  Beginning at Puerto Panuelos, there are several short trails through Valdivian forest and along small coves of the huge, 100 km glacial relic, Lago Nahuel Huapi.  The highlight being the views atop Cerro Lao Lao. Continue reading The Frey

San Martin to Bariloche

As I write on the bus from San Martin to Bariloche, passing through the seven lakes region of Neuquen, I realize what a treat it is to have connections in far off places.  Pedro’s family opening their cottage to us was huge, but there were also little things; like when they gave us a couple of locally caught rabbits, which we turned into a dish inspired from Sarah’s Mexico travels and a stew for our last couple of days in Quila Quina. Continue reading San Martin to Bariloche