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

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

  1. orientalplane

    orientalplane Mad for mangelwurzels

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    Ali, sensational photos of the vast, strange and wonderful place that is Bolivia. I especially love the lake with a reflection of the mountain beyond, and the rock formation that looks like a huge, weird mushroom that's suddenly sprouted out of the sand. :inavoid: Great interview too; you describe so well the both the enormous appeal and the many difficulties of living the life you've chosen. Don seems to have captured, or perhaps allowed is a better word, the way into mindfulness that I have never been able to achieve. :(:) I shall never think about South America in the same way again. Having never been anywhere close, I'd rather filed away in my head at least the southern half as endless prairies covered in pampas grass. :lol: Your words and pictures have opened my eyes and my mind. :) Thank you so much for sharing it all with us.
  2. sk8pics

    sk8pics Well-Known Member

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    Ali,
    I can't believe how beautiful those pictures are of the desert in Bolivia! I had to pause a look a long time at many of them . The one below your paragraph about the music is surreal! And I love the one of the 3 kids posing. You are amazing and I love seeing the world through your eyes on your travels. I think you could publish a wonderful book! Thank you for sharing all of this with us.

    Rosie's comments are so true as well.
  3. alilou

    alilou Crazy Stalker Lady

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    Thanks so much OP. It was such an incredibly beautiful and extraordinary landscape. So glad to be able to share it. The whole journey through South America has been (and continues to be) really special, but those three days travelling through the Bolivian High Desert and salt flats (salt flats come in the next post) were definitely a highlight :swoon: :swoon:
    Glad you enjoyed the interview - we always love doing them because it makes us really think about how the journey has changed us, and it certainly has changed us, a lot. Don's a wise old soul :)

    Thanks sk8pics, I must admit I can't stop looking at them myself - such beauty we travelled through. I also love that same photo below the paragraph about the music, and another favourite of mine is the one of the vicuñas. It is a great pleasure to share it - there is so much beauty in the world, especially including those joyous children who were having so much fun playing on the old trains. And the music! That was such a joy for me - all that music from my youth that I hadn't heard for years. I can't remember when I've sung so much! Except to Whitney Houston - trying to sing along with I will always love you? Waaaaaaay beyond my abilities, but I can pitch match great to Simon and Garfunkel :)

    I believe there will be books coming. I feel as if we have enough material for several books.
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  4. sk8pics

    sk8pics Well-Known Member

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    :cheer::cheer: And I know just who to give a copy to! ;)
  5. skatesindreams

    skatesindreams Well-Known Member

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    Echoing all the thoughts shared about your Bolivian idyll.
    It is surely a place I'd never experience without your generosity.

    Amazing and unexpected, what else need be said?

    The photos are magnificent --- oh, the flamingos!.

    I'm so glad the books are "percolating".
    Your audience awaits!

    The interview was great, also.
    Last edited: Jan 22, 2014
  6. alilou

    alilou Crazy Stalker Lady

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    :cheer: I do hope he enjoys it ;) but first we gotta produce it :)

    Percolating is a very good word for the books - like for a year or two ;) I just know one day we'll say okay now it's time to do that.

    Bolivia was truly incredible - what a journey that was. Exactly as you said - amazing and unexpected. So very glad we decided to do it and not let fear stop us.
  7. BelleBway

    BelleBway a monkey stole my title

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    So envious of you as I try to piece together my travel budget and time planning... ;) Always love seeing your posts and gorgeous photography.
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  8. sk8pics

    sk8pics Well-Known Member

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    I'm sure he will, once it exists! I'm going to help him with some web stuff/blogging today.
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  9. alilou

    alilou Crazy Stalker Lady

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    Thanks so much Belle. I think I'd be envious of me too lol - somehow we got lucky. It does feel sometimes as if we won the lottery.
    Where are you off to next? Wherever, I bet it will be fabulous - still remember reading about your Africa stories. And the monkey!

    Say hi for me :) - a bit belated. I've been a bit slack keeping up with this thread :shuffle:


    Anyway - there are two new posts ready

    A new one about the inner journey - don't believe everything the mind tells you!
    http://alisonanddon.wordpress.com/2014/01/25/this-nomadic-life-mind-stories/

    And another post about unbelievable Bolivia
    http://alisonanddon.wordpress.com/2...and-bowler-hats-uyuni-and-copacabana-bolivia/
  10. sk8pics

    sk8pics Well-Known Member

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    Amazing again! Glad you are doing better. And again, I can't thank you enough for sharing your adventure with us!
  11. skatesindreams

    skatesindreams Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for sharing more about "otherworldly" Bolivia.
    We in North America have heard very little about the area; and the wonders found there.

    What an "introduction" you have provided!
  12. sk8pics

    sk8pics Well-Known Member

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    I will! No worries. And thanks for the great card of Bolivia from Peru!
  13. harekrishna43

    harekrishna43 Active Member

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    Loved the pictures from Bolivia - they are simply stunning! Thanks for the adorable Vicuna card too :)

    Friends are mine from Pennsylvania are traveling in Peru right now - perhaps you will cross paths ?

    Looking forward to your next installment.
  14. alilou

    alilou Crazy Stalker Lady

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    Thank you :cheer: Yes, I am doing better though I think maybe I should buy shares in whoever makes ibuprofen. It's called better living through chemistry :) and it will get me back to Van in March when I'll get some treatments.

    Isn't it amazing! We were just floored - such a beautiful and amazing place. We may never get to Tibet or Nepal but in a way Bolivia makes up for that.

    Oh good, you got the card. Peru cards coming from Peru soon. It's nice to hear they arrive.

    Thanks harekrishna, and glad to hear you got the card.
    Where are your friends? We are in Puno until the 11th, then Lima for two days then 13-21 in the Amazon.
  15. alilou

    alilou Crazy Stalker Lady

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    We're back from the Amazon jungle. Eventually I will post about that adventure but first this:

    This Nomadic Life - Things we've learned
    http://alisonanddon.wordpress.com/2014/02/07/this-nomadic-life-things-weve-learned/

    This Nomadic Life - Thank you blogosphere, and our first guest post
    http://alisonanddon.wordpress.com/2...-you-blogging-world-and-our-first-guest-post/

    And a new travel post - Reeds Rocks Pumas and Gods - Lake Titicaca, Bolivia and Peru
    http://alisonanddon.wordpress.com/2...umas-and-gods-lake-titicaca-bolivia-and-peru/

    I actually saw some of the Oly team event on TV :cheer: in Lima before we went into the jungle, after that it was just PBP (thank you FSU!) so now going to see if there are any vids available tho not hopeful :(
    Will finally see it all when I get back to Vancouver in March.
  16. skatesindreams

    skatesindreams Well-Known Member

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    alliou, if necessary, I can help you with videos.
    Let me know.

    Thank you, as always, for allowing me to share your "voyage of discovery"; and introducing me to worlds I would never know, without your very special gifts.
    Last edited: Feb 23, 2014
  17. sk8pics

    sk8pics Well-Known Member

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  18. alilou

    alilou Crazy Stalker Lady

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    Thank you so much re the blog - still having a fine time recording our journey.

    Will let you know re vids. Thank you for offering. Not motivated at the moment. Sometimes FS falls to the back burner.

    Thanks :cheer: Lost of Inca stuff next :)
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  19. alilou

    alilou Crazy Stalker Lady

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  20. sk8pics

    sk8pics Well-Known Member

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    Beautiful, ali. What is that in the picture with the smiley face, in the section on exploring the streets and below the one with 3 people in front of a beautiful blue wall/door?

    Thanks as always for sharing!
  21. alilou

    alilou Crazy Stalker Lady

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    Thanks sk8pics. That's a photo of a door (probably into someone's home compound) that we walked by on the way up to Sacsayhuaman. Colourful eh?! I love stuff like that :)
  22. sk8pics

    sk8pics Well-Known Member

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    A door with a smiley face, that's cool! :)
  23. skatesindreams

    skatesindreams Well-Known Member

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    That luxury train sounds wonderful.
    Another wonderful example of serendipity.

    I'll be thinking of you while you are Internet-less; while awaiting your impressions of the Galapagos.
  24. orientalplane

    orientalplane Mad for mangelwurzels

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    Thanks so much, Ali and Don. The incredible blueness of the lake, the mini-forest of ancient cacti and the very, very woolly llama were some of the highlights for me this time, but it's all beautifully written and accompanied by photos so vivid and ravishing that while sometimes I just wished I were there, at other times I really felt as though I were seeing it myself through my own eyes.

    Many congratulations on your awards - you deserve every one that comes your way, and I feel for sure there will be more. :)
  25. Maofan7

    Maofan7 Away

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    Completely agree
  26. skatesindreams

    skatesindreams Well-Known Member

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    Not many travel writers have the ability to communicate the joy of discovering other cultures. peoples. and experiences; as you have.
  27. alilou

    alilou Crazy Stalker Lady

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    Isn't it? And I just love the colours. Makes my heart sing.

    Oooo that luxury train ride was so . . . . . . . luxurious! We loved it. We are no longer internetless :cheer: I went through withdrawals a bit lol but the Galapagos Islands, and wildlife, are so spectacular that it hardly hurt at all :)

    Thanks OP - one of the best compliments for me is for people to be able to feel as if they are there. It is such a visually rich part of the world, I'm glad I can convey what it's like to be there. xoxox

    Thanks Maofan7 - see above :)

    Thank you so much. Wow, I am so happy to hear this. I just write how it is for me. I wonder if I'll ever get tired of it. I somehow think not. And I love that the feel of it all is coming across.



    :cheer: We are back from the Galapagos, and now in the lovely town of Cuenca, Ecuador. I have a new blog post ready. This one is about the town of Chinchero, Peru where the traditional life of this Andean community is still very much in evidence. Fascinating day there. Hope you enjoy it.
    http://alisonanddon.wordpress.com/2014/03/12/chinchero-crowds-colour-and-sacred-ceremonies/
  28. orientalplane

    orientalplane Mad for mangelwurzels

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    I'm so glad that you're feeling appreciated! :)
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  29. skatesindreams

    skatesindreams Well-Known Member

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    Seconding this!
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  30. alilou

    alilou Crazy Stalker Lady

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    Thanks :cheer:
    :respec: to you both :encore:
  31. sk8pics

    sk8pics Well-Known Member

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    Finally had a chance to read your latest blog. It was great! Beautiful pictures again. Thank you so much for sharing your adventures with us.
  32. alilou

    alilou Crazy Stalker Lady

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    You're welcome. Isn't than a sweet place. I just love their clothing and ceremony. Such a strong sense of community.
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  33. Japanfan

    Japanfan Well-Known Member

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    Looking forward to your report on your experience of the Galapagos. I thought it was becoming more difficult to travel there because tourism was mucking with the islands' ecosystems.
  34. alilou

    alilou Crazy Stalker Lady

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    Our experience of it was that the Ecuadorian govt is very careful about taking care of the Galapagos. There are three small communities, but most islands are completely uninhabited. I don't know how garbage disposal/recycling/etc works in those communities, but I do know that visits to all the islands are strictly monitored as to how many people at a time. All the tour boats are restricted as to which islands they can go to and how often. And we were all told, more than once - no bathrooms on the islands (save it til you get back to the boat), no going closer to the animals than 6 ft, no food allowed on the islands, no flash photography, no feeding the animals, no one is allowed on any of the islands without a guide, no going off the defined path, etc. There's no denying there was some garbage in the water at one of the towns we went to, so it is not completely unsullied, but all the uninhabited islands we went to were pristine and there were animals in abundance. Because they have never had reason to be, they are completely unafraid of humans so it possible to be close to them without them moving away. We walked right through a large boobie breeding colony with adults and fluffy chicks right next to us. It was extraordinary. They say the boobie population is declining due to declining sardine populations due to over fishing so not all is in control of the Ecuadorian govt, but it seemed to me they're doing a pretty good job.
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  35. Marge_Simpson

    Marge_Simpson Well-Known Member

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    Alilou, the latest photos are just gorgeous. I must tell you, a few months back I showed your blog to 2 coworkers, one from Ecuador and the other from Peru.
    Now they keep nagging me, asking me if there are any new entries up, because they want to see more of your fabulous photos from their part of the world. :).
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  36. alilou

    alilou Crazy Stalker Lady

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    Thanks Marge. That visit to Chinchero was a wonderful day. I couldn't believe we'd lucked into that religious ceremony with everyone dressed in their Sunday-best traditional outfits. So beautiful.
    I'm thrilled your coworkers are enjoying the blog. There's at least 8 more posts to come on Peru, and then probably about 4 or 5 on Ecuador so they'll have plenty to look at.


    There's a new blog post up - about a few seemingly miraculous occurrences. Sometimes (read frequently) our luck amazes me.
    http://alisonanddon.wordpress.com/2014/03/17/this-nomadic-life-four-miracles/
  37. sk8pics

    sk8pics Well-Known Member

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    Oh, ali, what a wonderful blog post! What wonderful stories! There are no coincidences! ;)

    And 1263 photos! :lol: Now I know you need to meet Greg one day. :lol: :)
  38. alilou

    alilou Crazy Stalker Lady

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    Thanks sk8pics. We've been pretty dumbfounded by all the synchronicity. It really does seem miraculous.
    The photos! :lol: I was ruthless and that night reduced it to 477. Still have to delete more I think - no one needs that many photos - but there were so many different dance groups, and their outfits were so gorgeous I couldn't help myself. Greg takes a lot of photos too? :)
    I'd love to meet. Someday we'll figure out how get into the US without losing our entire life savings paying for health insurance :yikes:

    I agree there are no coincidences. I just feel so blessed by our luck.
  39. orientalplane

    orientalplane Mad for mangelwurzels

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    Thanks alilou, marvellous writing and sensational photos as always; in pictures and words you infuse everything with the vividness and splendour of life. :swoon: And I'm saying that as here my glorious Gloucestershire is bursting into springtime. About the coincidences, or luck, or whatever it is, I've found that when you feel at peace and at one with the world, all kinds of truly wonderful and weird things will go in your favour. And it's when things are cheerless and hostile and alien that nothing seems to go for you. I don't know quite whether that parallels your experience, but it's an impression I've gained. But who knows whether it's an illusion? Maybe it's just that when you're down, you view the positives in a different light, or dark. And when you're blithe and full of enthusiasm, any coincidental luck is in keeping with your spirits, and you notice it more. I don't know, and neither does anyone else. :inavoid:

    Please put a big heading on the Amazonian segment saying *TARANTULA ALERT* ;)
    Last edited: Mar 22, 2014
  40. alilou

    alilou Crazy Stalker Lady

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    I agree with all of this op, and what you've said does parallel my experience. Who knows how it all works, but I think the way we're perceiving life has a lot to do with how it shows up.
    I hope you're enjoying your glorious Gloucestershire - I get the feeling it's quite magnificent!

    :rofl: :rofl: :rofl: TARANTULA ALERT :rofl: :rofl: :rofl:

    (Don and I both laughed out loud :lol:)