Posts Tagged ‘tour’

Egypt: Nile River, Red Sea & Mt. Sinai
Monday, January 5th, 2009

While visiting Egypt’s ancient past, I was reminded of my very own past.  Here is an excerpt from my blog.

[singlepic=983,150,,,right]My only knowledge of Egypt really comes from an unlikely source – Charleton Heston. I can still remember my family all sitting around the one TV we had and watching the Ten Commandments. It was a huge event for us – we were even allowed to eat in front of the TV. Granted, the movie is not necessarily about Egypt but it is set around the Nile, Pharaohs, the Red Sea, and of course Mt. Sinai. All of these things were on the itinerary for my trip through Egypt so it didn’t surprise me that my memories of the movie came flooding back to me.

The movie wasn’t my only source of knowledge of the Nile River though – I have 4th Grade geography to also thank. I know the Nile is the longest river on the globe at 4,100 miles long and it runs south to north – that makes it unique and memorable. However, I still have this image burned into my brain from the Ten Commandments movie where the Egyptian princesses, Miriam, was bathing, washing, and socializing out along the Nile River when a little basket came floating by amongst the reeds with a baby in it…Moses. Therefore the Nile conjures up images of the decadent royal lifestyle, gold jewelry, and femininity – peaceful, yet grand. This is one of the reasons why I chose to tour through Egypt and not simply go to see the Pyramids. I wanted an adventure on the Nile!

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Vietnam: Overview
Sunday, December 21st, 2008

As part of my travels in 2001 I ventured through Vietnam with Intrepid Travel. Following is an overview of that experience.

[singlepic=946,150,,,right]Vietnam…Scooters…Everywhere.  They are your first impression when entering the country and a lasting one throughout.  After all…they are everywhere.  The best part about Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon) were the scooters.  If you weren’t zooming around the city on back of one, you had to dodge them.  And what fun that was – just like a live action game of Frogger.  And since the few sidewalks that are around turn into parking lots for the scooters, you are forced to become one with the traffic.  Add on top of that cyclos, bicycles, and the occassional bus or car, you’ve got fun every step of the way.  This all goes for the rest of Vietnam as well, on different levels – but it’s all part of the charm.

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Egypt: Aswan & Abu Simbel
Thursday, December 18th, 2008

Egypt was one of the destinations I visited during my 16-month career break.  Following is an excerpt from my blog.

[singlepic=971,200,,,right]I mistakenly arrived in Egypt thinking that it would be very similar to Morocco. That’s like thinking that California and New York are similar. And having lived in both – I know that’s not true. Sure, the two countries are in Northern Africa, they are both suffocatingly hot, their language is Arabic (with minor differences), they have the same religion, and they even share the Sahara Desert – camels and all. But beyond that, they really aren’t the same. The difference is that Egypt is all about history – temples, tombs, relics, hieroglyphics, and royalty. Because of that, you tend to see more tourists in Egypt and it is a little more developed in general.

I met up with my new Intrepid tour group in Aswan, Egypt near the southern most border of Egypt and Sudan. That afternoon we went on a hot walking tour of Aswan. Aswan was really a good place to lodge for the night on the way to the famous temple of Abu Simbel (close to the Sudan border). The Nile River flowed through Aswan and it had a large Nubian population. The Nubians are the old nomadic tribal people who inhabited southern Egypt and northern Sudan. They had fought turf wars with the Egyptians many years ago as well as turf wars with the Nile as it flooded their land. We took a boat ride on the Nile, visited an old Nubian village, rode some camels, and had dinner with the locals at the village. We finished the evening dancing with the local kids before we boated back to Aswan for a good, but short night’s sleep.

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Cambodia: Overview
Monday, December 15th, 2008

In 2001, I spent a short period of time in Cambodia with Intrepid Travel as part of my travels in Asia.  Here are reflections from that time.

[singlepic=863,200,,,right]Six days in Cambodia – not enough time to experience all the beauty of her people, countryside villages or temples, but enough to exhaust you of the horrors and atrocities of her past and present.

Some highlights:

Sitting for lunch just as we crossed the border in a village where very few Westerners stop.  Out of nowhere, 50 plus kids emerged, and kept emerging, watching us in awe, laughing, giggling and pointing.  Some would shy away when cameras were taken out, others would act up and jump on one another.  They were amazed by music players and entertained by counting to ten.

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Thailand: Khao Sok & Similan Islands
Tuesday, December 9th, 2008

Michael and I traveled to Thailand as part of our 2007 career break. The following is an excerpt from our travel blog.

[singlepic=607,200,,,right]Of course our stop wasn’t just about the tsunami – we also managed to squeeze in some trips.  On one of these trips we visited Khao Sok National Park.  Known for its great jungle treks, we decided to let the elephants do all the work on this particular trek.  Lumbering along from atop our ride, we were taken along a beautiful hike to a waterfall, where we would stop for a “rest” and the elephants would get a bath.

After meandering back, we got to reward our ride with a “tip” – bananas.  We followed suit and had lunch at one of the parks lodges, which consisted of tree top bungalows.  Then a canoe trip down the jungle river, passing large limestone karsts that are believed to have been part of a reef system spanning from China to Borneo – five times the size of the Great Barrier Reef.

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New Zealand: Abel Tasman
Monday, December 8th, 2008

Michael and I traveled to New Zealand as part of our 2007 career break. The following is an excerpt from our travel blog.

[singlepic=263,200,,,right]Nelson, 1995 – the sunniest place in all of New Zealand. It failed to live up to that title the last time I was here as it down poured for three days straight. On the fourth day, the seas were deemed too rough to kayak the Abel Tasman, as we stood on the shoreline with paddles in our hands and frowns on our faces.

Nelson, 2007 – as we pulled into town the day before to overcast skies and light drizzle, I was apprehensive that Nelson would ever live up to its moniker in my presence. And I was nervous about our three-day kayaking/hiking experience we were to set out for today. As I awoke in our hotel in Motueka (which lives close to Abel Tasman National Park) blue skies did greet us on my birthday morning. I could only hope it would last.

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Australia: Fraser Island
Monday, December 8th, 2008

Michael and I traveled to Australia as part of our 2007 career break. The following is an excerpt from our travel blog.

[singlepic=129,200,,,right]When planning our travel destinations, Michael said that the places he wanted to go to the most were Australia and New Zealand.  And even though I had traveled through both countries before, I was happy to go back to revisit.  And I wanted to take advantage of my return to see things I hadn’t before.  Fraser Island was one of them.

It is said that Fraser Island is the world’s largest sand island, stretching 120kms (75 miles) long and made up of 100% sand over thousands of years of drifts.  It’s hard to imagine that it really is all sand, as the island is lush with woodlands and rain forests, as well as fresh water lakes.  And the only way to explore all of these wonders is by four-wheel drive.

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Australia: Whitsunday Islands/Great Barrier Reef
Monday, December 8th, 2008

Michael and I traveled to Australia as part of our 2007 career break. The following is an excerpt from our travel blog.
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Another bright and early day as we set off from the Hervey Bay area and headed south to Brisbane via train.  Four hours later and we were awaiting our flight north to Proserpine.  From there a shuttle bus took us to Airlie Beach.  And then we made our way by foot to Abel Point Marina.  By sunset we were on a catamaran and ready to set sail for the Whitsunday Islands.  After so much movement in our first week, we were looking forward to anchoring ourselves in one spot for three days – even if our home was moving itself.

One of my favorite experiences from my last visit was sailing the Whitsundays, and I wanted Michael to experience it as well.  And Michael was really looking forward to diving the Great Barrier Reef.  With our tight schedule, we were uncertain if we could squeeze both in, but luckily our boat, the Pacific Star, cruised the Whitsundays and motored out to the outer reef for diving and snorkeling.  Perfectly timed.  Now we hoped the weather would cooperate.

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