>Tag: festivals

Lost In Latacunga – Exploring Central Ecuador

Central Ecuador - Latacunga, Quilotoa and Saquisili “Not all those who wander are lost." - J.R.R Tolkien We get off the bus and have no idea which way to go. Latacunga looks dirty and uninviting, and the first hotel we check is small and dark. However, once we get our bearings and into the town center, things change. We find a room at a nicer hotel among the cobblestone streets, and sit down for a couple of sandwiches at a bright restaurant around the corner. [...]

By |2018-12-19T04:17:38+00:00November 26th, 2018|Categories: Arts and Culture, Ecuador|Tags: , |0 Comments

Nomads, Gompas and Koras – Buddhist Festivals on the Tibetan Plateau

Pilgrims, Priests and Prayer Flags - Buddhist Monasteries on the Tibetan Plateau “I am confident I will set foot again in Tibet in my lifetime.” - 14th Dalai Lama Despite the altitude, it is stiflingly hot and we have to get out of the city. One week in Lhasa is enough time to see its highlights and the outlying temples accessible as day trips. Most tour operators offer excursions of varying lengths to sites farther afield. So, we hire a 4X4 and driver for a few days to visit several monasteries and [...]

By |2018-11-26T21:11:40+00:00October 22nd, 2018|Categories: Adventure, Tibet|Tags: , , , |0 Comments

Ramazan In Turkey – The Fast and the Curious

Dawn Til Dusk - Turkish Travel During Ramazan “Don’t tell me how educated you are, tell me how much you have traveled.” - Muhammad This year, we didn't have turkey for Christmas, so we went to Turkey for Christmas. After all, it is where Saint Nicolas is buried in his tomb near Myrna. We land in Istanbul and spend a week visiting the obligatory sites including Hagia Sofia, Blue Mosque, Topkapi Palace and Grand Bazaar. The city’s skyline is pierced by countless minarets as far as the [...]

By |2018-11-01T16:35:05+00:00September 24th, 2018|Categories: Arts and Culture, Turkey|Tags: , , , |0 Comments

Following The Herd – Nepal’s Dashain Festival

Flocking to Nepal's Dashain Festival - Herders and the Herded "To my mind, the life of a lamb is no less precious than that of a human being." - Mahatma Gandhi Finally, after hiking for ten days up the lush Marsyangdi Valley, we trudge across the 4516 m Thorung-la. Below, the trail descends into the desert-like Mustang of the Kali Gandaki River – a stark contrast to the way up. Descent to Dashain Our climb down to Tatopani coincides with the preparation of the Hindu sacrificial festival [...]

By |2018-08-09T22:28:47+00:00August 20th, 2018|Categories: Arts and Culture, Nepal|Tags: , |0 Comments

Inca Roads And The Gringo Trail – Hiking To Machu Picchu

Machu Picchu And The Inca Trail - Cusco For Christmas “I have come to take away from them their gold.” - Francisco Pizarro We leave Cuzco at dawn on the summer solstice, along the road that follows the Rio Urubamba to Ollaytaytambo. It is a bumpy and steep descent – too steep for our vehicle. The brakes are inadequate, so we must wait for a replacement bus, presumably with better brakes. A local boy sings a few traditional songs to entertain us, while we take the opportunity to become better acquainted [...]

By |2018-08-09T20:47:43+00:00August 13th, 2018|Categories: Adventure, Peru|Tags: , , |0 Comments

Samba In The Rain – Blame It On Rio

Carnaval In Rio De Janiero - Samba In The Rain “Come on, let's go, let's go to Carnaval. It’s time to sing and dance my love. I want the happiness and joy that's found in Carnaval.” - Carlos Sanatana Nestled among the mountains of a rainforest and flanked by the palm-fringed beaches of the Atlantic Ocean, Rio de Janeiro is arguably the most beautiful city in the world. All western cultures celebrate the week before Ash Wednesday and Lent, and Carnaval in Rio is one of the world’s biggest parties. We [...]

By |2018-07-24T22:26:09+00:00May 14th, 2018|Categories: Arts and Culture, Brazil|Tags: , , |0 Comments

Goin’ Down The Road – On Tour With The Grateful Dead

So Many Roads To Shakedown Street - My First Grateful Dead Tour “The bus came by and I got on. That's when it all began.” - Grateful Dead Tour Bus I had no idea. I had seen them twice before, but this was my first tour and my first exposure to life on the road. We don't have a car, so Rick and I “straddled that Greyhound” in Toronto, bound for Alpine Valley – somewhere near Milwaukee. Traveler's cheques seem like a safe option, but I never think about where I [...]

By |2018-05-13T05:18:17+00:00April 30th, 2018|Categories: Arts and Culture, United States|Tags: , , , |0 Comments

Waxing Spiritual – Ubon Ratchathani Candle Festival

 Waxing Spiritual - Ubon Ratchathani Candle Festival “Just as a candle cannot burn without fire, men cannot live without a spiritual life.” - The Buddha Rebirth and Suffering Life sucks. This is an underlying principle of Buddhism. We are reincarnated in an endless cycle of death and rebirth (samsara) in which we suffer (dukkha) until we become enlightened (nirvana). For anyone interested in Eastern religions, few countries offer greater access to exploring Buddhism than Thailand, where 95% of the population practices Theravada Buddhism. Often, when most people think of Thailand, they [...]

By |2018-04-21T10:57:10+00:00January 22nd, 2018|Categories: Arts and Culture, Thailand|Tags: , |0 Comments