alilou's Adventures in Wonderland - all over the map.

Discussion in 'Off The Beaten Track' started by alilou, Apr 20, 2010.

  1. spikydurian

    spikydurian Well-Known Member

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    777 steps? Not for my old creaking knees! :lol: Is there a reason for the 777 steps? Is the no. of any significance?

    The temples are amazing. Their 'gods' remind me of the Hindu gods.
  2. alilou

    alilou Crazy Stalker Lady

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    I'm not aware of any significance for the number of steps - I think that's just the number they needed to get to the top. It was a pretty easy climb actually because we had to go slowly because it was quite crowded in places, also there are seats on the way up so you can rest if needed.
    Aren't those Nat spirits fantastic - they remind me a bit of all the Hindu gods too - so colourful, and each has it's own personality. The guy on the horse with all the bottles of liquor is the nasty one apparently.
  3. alilou

    alilou Crazy Stalker Lady

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    There's a new post ready, the first of three about Inle Lake. Inle Lake was definitely the highlight of our trip to Burma - well Bagan and Shwedagon Pagoda were also both pretty spectacular, but I think Inle was best of all. Here's the beginning of the Inle Lake saga via the link in my sig line.

    There is also a new post in the This Nomadic Life series about how being nomadic has changed us.
    Direct link:http://alisonanddon.wordpress.com/2013/07/04/this-nomadic-life-whats-changed-don/

    Having one of those very lazy days where I don't want to do anything at all. Going to read a mindless book now :)
  4. orientalplane

    orientalplane Mad for mangelwurzels

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    Ali, is the solidified palm sugar the same as that which is called jaggery in the Maldives and Sri Lanka? I remember that but it may be different. The photos of the village with the procession of the young boys and girls soon to be monks and nuns are so vibrant and vivid! The 777 steps sound a bit horrifying so I'm glad there were seats to rest on; in any case, it's obviously worth the climb for the colourful glory at the top. Do you know the name of the trees with the golden flowers? And Lake Inle with its incredible hotel! I wouldn't have blamed you if you'd just decided to stop your travels there and stay permanently. Unfortunately there's always the money aspect..... Loved the lumpy, stumpy Buddhas and the carved watermelon! Surely smoking the cheroots must result in a lot of health problems; it made me wonder what happens to these people if they fall ill? You were so lucky to see the leg-rowing race; perhaps in time Oxford and Cambridge will try this! And though it might sound strange to you, at first glance the lake streets reminded me of severely flooded towns that we've recently seen here in England :(; of course it only takes a few microseconds to realise that it's nothing like, but still...... they are remarkable. Thanks for this journal entry with its beautiful writing and rich, memorable photos - I'll look forward to the next instalment! :)
    Last edited: Jul 8, 2013
  5. alilou

    alilou Crazy Stalker Lady

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    Yes, as far as I can tell it's jaggery though in India (and probable Sri Lanka too) it's made with sugar cane or date palm sugar. In Burma (and Cambodia) it's made with toddy (or palmyra) palm sap.
    That monk ceremony with the boys on horses was spectacular, the more so because it was completely unexpected, and the 777 steps weren't so bad - in places it was very crowded so we had no choice but to go slowly. And we're both pretty fit anyway. We like to climb things :)
    I tried to find the name of the trees with the golden flowers but was not successful. We saw them in Laos and Burma, and then we came to Mexico in late March and lo and behold they were blooming here! In Mexico they are called primavera which of course means Spring so very appropriate.
    We tried to stay the whole time at Inle Lake at the hotel in the middle of the lake. It was so magical we would have blown the budget for it. It was also fully booked. I think we were very lucky to get a room for even one night.
    Burmese cheroots are not nearly so bad as western cigarettes. They are all natural ingredients (no added chemicals!), wrapped in a leaf, very little tobacco, and flavourings added like tamarind. I haven't heard of significant health problems from them. Not like cigarettes anyway.
    Leg rowers at Oxford and Cambridge! That would be a sight to see. Yeah I was thrilled to see a race - really lucky.
    I didn't know there had been flooding in England. In Calgary too I've heard. We don't get the news much. Well we mostly try to avoid it. I hear about most world events by a quick scroll through the thread titles in OTBT here on FSU - that tells me all I need to know :)
    So glad to hear you're enjoying following along on our adventures. Sorry I've taken so long to reply - been putting a new post together.
  6. alilou

    alilou Crazy Stalker Lady

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    And now there is a new post ready. This is about two of the amazing markets in the Inle Lake area, and some floating gardens that have to be seem to be believed. Quite ingenious, and astonishing. I was blown away. Again!
  7. alilou

    alilou Crazy Stalker Lady

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    Two new posts! Count them! Two! We've been busy at it.

    Mr alilou has written a post in the This Nomadic Life series about "you get what you get"
    Direct link http://alisonanddon.wordpress.com/2013/07/14/this-nomadic-life-you-get-what-you-get/

    And there's a new post about the extraordinary country of Myanmar - still in the Inle Lake area. The link in my sig line is direct to that.

    One more post on Mynamar and then, finally, I'll start doing some posts on Mexico where we've been for the past 4 months. It's hot here :)
  8. alilou

    alilou Crazy Stalker Lady

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    I have just published the final post on Burma - this one about a day-long hike in the hills above Inle Lake, and a Pa-O wedding. Beautiful country and fascinating people.

    We then flew back to Bangkok, from there to Vancouver for a little housekeeping, then to a beach in Mexico to recover :)
  9. alilou

    alilou Crazy Stalker Lady

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    Finally got to blogging about Mexico! :cheer:
    Getting to the the end of the stories of our journey through India and SE Asia feels like I've reached some kind of milestone.
    This latest post is about the little fishing village of La Manzanilla where we lived for four months to recover. Heaven. :swoon:
  10. skatesindreams

    skatesindreams Well-Known Member

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    I'm so glad that Manzanilla turned out to be the "Idyll" you needed after the stresses of Asia.
    You've made me want to go there!
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  11. alilou

    alilou Crazy Stalker Lady

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    Thanks skatesindreams. Yes! Go there! It's beautiful and there's lots of lovely places to rent, though I think the place we stayed was one of the best because of the private pool and the view. So lucky :swoon:
  12. kwanfan1818

    kwanfan1818 I

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    I'm so happy to read about Mexico: all of these months reading about your adventures in Asia, I was trying to imagine what your life was like in Mexico, and I'm so happy to read that you and Mr. alilou have gotten a much-needed time to rest, process, and write in such a beautiful setting :cheer2:
  13. alilou

    alilou Crazy Stalker Lady

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    Thanks kwanfan1818. Yes, it was wonderful to just stop for a while. And we found the perfect place. Next travel post will also be about life in La Manzanilla, with a "Nomadic Life" post in between.
    Hope to see you, however briefly on aug 13 or 14 - fly to Sweden on 15.
    Love your new sig line :)
  14. alilou

    alilou Crazy Stalker Lady

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    The next post is ready - also about our life in La Manzanilla, the perfect little place for a 4 month rest. Beautiful Mexico. The link is my sig line :)

    And another post from Mr alilou in the This Nomadic Life series - You get what you get, part 2 - in which he writes about what we got was his backpack (including my wallet with drivers licence, bank card and $90, his top-of-the-line reading glasses, keys to our Oaxaca apartment, etc) stolen :eek: (It was all okay really - nothing that we can't do without, and nothing that cant be replaced, but a shocking experience anyway)

    http://alisonanddon.wordpress.com/2013/07/30/this-nomadic-life-you-get-what-you-get-part-2/
  15. Alixana

    Alixana recovering Oly-holic

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    That sunset picture from La Manzanilla is absolutely breathtaking .. thanks again for sharing!
  16. alilou

    alilou Crazy Stalker Lady

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    Thank you. We were lucky enough to have many beautiful sunsets there. After a while I got a bit blasé about taking photos of them.
    And thank you for reading :swoon:
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  17. spikydurian

    spikydurian Well-Known Member

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    Allison, sorry to read about the loss of some belongings. You are right not to let the minor incident spoil your holiday. Like you said, you did not lose anything which is difficult to replace.

    Wow, the view from your apartment is stunning. And the birds .... they are absolutely gorgeous. You must have a very good camera in order to be able to capture them so well. I can live like that too Allison. I wouldn't mind waking up everyday to view of the ocean, chirping of the birds and watching them play. Isn't it nice knowing that you can do whatever you feel like without the constraints of time and responsibility.

    I am in love with Karen's pets! That beautiful regal blue-eyed snow-white feline and her laid-back companion. The fish on the beach - http://alisonanddon.wordpress.com/2013/08/01/mexico-part-2-la-manzanilla/ is it a puffer fish? Looks like one?
  18. skatesindreams

    skatesindreams Well-Known Member

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    Allison, What a glorious spot La Manzanilla proved to be for R and R. in every sense of the term!
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  19. alilou

    alilou Crazy Stalker Lady

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    The backpack being stolen was a shock more than anything else, and had nothing in it of great value or that can't be replaced. We really got the message the hard way about being vigilant with our stuff after 4 months resting in La Manzanilla and getting complacent about it.
    Oh it was heaven to wake up to that view and the birds and garden every day. So blessed to know the people who own the house. Total serendipity!
    Isn't that cat a beauty?!! :swoon:
    And yes, it's a puffer fish - we saw quite a few of them. I think the fishermen catch them in their nets along with whatever else, and just leave them because they're inedible.

    Oh we were so lucky! As soon as we mentioned on the blog way back that we were thinking about Mexico and Sth America our friends contacted us and offered the casita. They lived on a boat based in Vancouver during the northern summers, and their house in La Manz during the northern winter. Now they also have a condo in the Van area, but still spend a lot of time on their boat. If not for them we would never have even heard of La Manzanilla.
  20. alilou

    alilou Crazy Stalker Lady

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    The next blog post is ready - this one is about the gorgeous town of San Miguel de Allende, situated inland in the state of Guanajuato. What a change from La Manzanilla. Living in a very Mexican small fishing village, with a beautiful beach, and suddenly we are teleported to Europe! San Miguel is a beautiful Spanish Colonial town :swoon: and so different from anything I expected to see in Mexico - perhaps due to sheer ignorance :eek:
  21. alilou

    alilou Crazy Stalker Lady

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  22. Alixana

    Alixana recovering Oly-holic

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    (((alilou))) Feel better! Love all your pictures from Mexico .. so much like Europe!
  23. skatesindreams

    skatesindreams Well-Known Member

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    alliou, imagine the ultimate serendipity: your "in house" specialist; and the neurosurgeon available to confirm the diagnosis!
    I hope the bumps and bruises have faded into memory by now.

    I love the European vibe of San Miguel, as well.
  24. alilou

    alilou Crazy Stalker Lady

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    Thanks Alixana. I do feel better. Pretty much completely healed by now. We loved those Mexican towns too - so vibrant and beautiful.

    I know! Incredible serendipity - a neurosurgeon right there just when I needed one! Bumps and bruises all but gone. Thanks.
  25. alilou

    alilou Crazy Stalker Lady

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  26. skatesindreams

    skatesindreams Well-Known Member

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    Thanks so much for continuing to share about the joys and "concerns" of your journey.
    Oaxaca seems amazing...looking forward to more "words and pictures"!
  27. orientalplane

    orientalplane Mad for mangelwurzels

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    As always, Ali, wonderful writing, and exquisitely beautiful pictures, bursting with vividness. Thank you for sharing your travels with us here. :)

    ETA: Thank you so much for your postcard, which arrived on Saturday and which - Lord knows how - I forgot about last night. It's a little ray of hope for me. :)
    Last edited: Aug 27, 2013
  28. alilou

    alilou Crazy Stalker Lady

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    Thanks skatesindreams - glad you're enjoying our journey. Yes, Oaxaca is amazing, and the festival a truly wonderful experience.

    You got the Mexico card?! :cheer: I'm so pleased.
    And thank you for kind words. It's such a pleasure to share our journey.

    :cheer2: :biggrinbo Don and I got interviewed! On one of the top travel sites on the internet! We're so excited, and honoured. :cheer2:

    You can read it here http://www.nomadicmatt.com/travel-blogs/don-alison-success-story/
  29. skatesindreams

    skatesindreams Well-Known Member

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    What a lovely interview!

    More serendipity; and great "press" for you.
    I'm sure you'll get more offers/invitations after this!
  30. alilou

    alilou Crazy Stalker Lady

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    Thanks skatesindreams. It was fun doing the interview. I hope there's more to come.
    The most immediate effect has been nearly 100 more followers of the blog :eek: :cheer:
  31. kwanfan1818

    kwanfan1818 I

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    What a wonderful interview!!!!!!!!
  32. overedge

    overedge Well-Known Member

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    That's fantastic!! What great exposure for the blog (which it richly deserves, of course).
  33. sk8pics

    sk8pics Well-Known Member

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    So sorry to hear about your mishap, but glad you are feeling better! And yes, thank you for continuing to share your adventures with us!
  34. alilou

    alilou Crazy Stalker Lady

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    Thanks :) We had so much fun doing it.

    Thanks overedge. The exposure has been amazing - over 1700 shares on FB! We're floored!

    Thanks sk8pics. Yes, I'm feeling much better. All healed up now, and off to Montreal in a couple of days, then South America. The journey continues . . . . . . .
  35. skatesindreams

    skatesindreams Well-Known Member

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    I assume you are collecting lots of frequent flyer miles!
  36. alilou

    alilou Crazy Stalker Lady

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    Yes we are. Haven't decided when to use them yet.

    A new post is ready. It's a second one about the fabulous dancing and costumes of the Guelaguetza Festival in Mexico. So much colour. So much joy. The people of Oaxaca are amazing.
  37. sk8pics

    sk8pics Well-Known Member

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    Great blog entry as usual! Two friends of mine spent some time in Oaxaca, I believe, studying spanish. I will have to ask them about this festival.
  38. skatesindreams

    skatesindreams Well-Known Member

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    Wow!

    I'd never heard of this festival.
    As always, your narrative and photographs are wonderful.
  39. alilou

    alilou Crazy Stalker Lady

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    Thanks sk8pics. I bet your friends would have been to it if they were there in July. It's such a huge festival it would be hard to avoid. And so much fun.


    Thanks skatesindreams. We'd never heard of it either until we stumbled into it. So glad we did, if was really fabulous.
  40. alilou

    alilou Crazy Stalker Lady

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