alilou's Adventures in Wonderland - Rarotonga, Oz, Vietnam

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

  1. skatesindreams

    skatesindreams Well-Known Member

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    None of the "milagros" you've been experiencing surprise me!
    They've been part of your journey(s) all along.
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  2. alilou

    alilou Crazy Stalker Lady

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    Milagros is miracles? I never knew that. Gives a whole new meaning to the title of the movie The Milagro Beanfield War
    I do agree - the whole journey seems like a miracle. From the moment we were inspired to sell our home and car and all our belongings and jump into the void, from the moment we said YES, no matter what, it's been extraordinary, and such a huge gift I cannot even begin to express. But it still surprises us, and enchants us, when stuff like this happens. Every time.
  3. alilou

    alilou Crazy Stalker Lady

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  4. harekrishna43

    harekrishna43 Active Member

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    Wow - what incredible photos! They just keep getting better and better - I know so little about this part of the world - Macchu Pichu to me was an answer on "Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego?" when my nephew was a contestant many, many years ago. You are such a great story teller and the places come alive from your words and stories - I am so happy to be part of your amazing journey!
  5. alilou

    alilou Crazy Stalker Lady

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    Thanks harekrishna. Machu Pichu is such an astonishing place. I loved doing the research for it, it gave me a much deeper appreciation of the Inca and what they achieved. They were way ahead of their time.
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  6. skatesindreams

    skatesindreams Well-Known Member

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    Your narrative and pictures (glorious) are wonderful, as always.
    Yet again, I'm grateful to be able to share your experience.
  7. sk8pics

    sk8pics Well-Known Member

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    Another treasure, ali. Thank you again. And somehow I really loved the picture of the little flowers blooming in the middle of nothing.
  8. alilou

    alilou Crazy Stalker Lady

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    Thanks. And you're welcome - I love having you along for the ride :cheer:

    And you too sk8pics :cheer:

    I was pleased with that photo too.
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  9. alilou

    alilou Crazy Stalker Lady

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    Well I've done it again - a new blog post is ready. It's been ages I know. We've been in transition - back to Vancouver for 10 days to do a little 'housekeeping' and taxes, and catch up with friends, and watch some of worlds with some of the Vancouver FSU crowd. Tomorrow we're off to Cypress for two months.

    This post is about the Peruvian town of Ollantaytambo, and a Fiesta, and a bullfight :eek:

    http://alisonanddon.wordpress.com/2014/04/03/ollanta-fiesta-corrida-ole-ollantaytambo-peru/
  10. redfiretrees

    redfiretrees New Member

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    Wow! Machu Picchu! I'm so jealous! Great blog and photos! I've always dreamed of going there. It's one of the places that's in my bucket list but since it's too far away I don't think I'll ever be able to go..
  11. sk8pics

    sk8pics Well-Known Member

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    Awesome again, ali, but that was horrible about the bullfight. I don't blame you guys for leaving and not watching the whole thing. Pity the poor young bull who may end up meeting that fate one day. But, your pics are great as usual!
  12. Maofan7

    Maofan7 pacem dare occasionem

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    Superb photo's as usual, Alilou. Thank you

    Can't believe that there is still bullfighting around in the 21st Century. Evil in paradise.

    Last edited: Apr 6, 2014
  13. skatesindreams

    skatesindreams Well-Known Member

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    What an amazing narrative; and fabulous photos, as always.

    Most of us view bullfighting from our 21st century perspective.
    For them, it's part of hundreds of years of history and culture.
  14. orientalplane

    orientalplane Mad for mangelwurzels

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    Yes, but you could say the same thing about hunting with hounds, which thankfully is now illegal in Great Britain (though in Scotland the law is somewhat complicated).

    Incredible pictures and everything exquisitely observed in words, Ali. :)
    Last edited: Apr 6, 2014
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  15. alilou

    alilou Crazy Stalker Lady

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    Thanks so much redfire. It really is an extraordinary place. Maybe one day you'll get there. You never know . . . . . .

    Thanks sk8pics. Yeah, the bull fight was pretty grim. I know we couldn't have taken any more.

    Thanks Maofan. We loved Ollantaytambo, but I never thought I'd ever see a bullfight, and just the beginning was certainly enough. I can't believe they're still doing it. It's still pretty common throughout Sth America I think.

    Thanks skatesindreams. I know what you mean about it being part of their culture for hundreds of years. Even longer in Spain I think, but I believe they've stopped it there. And for sure it's not the only form of using animals for 'entertainment' - cock fighting comes to mind.

    Thanks OP. I'm glad they finally did away with hunting with hounds - that was pretty cruel, though maybe began, way back, as a natural means to get food. Probably bull fighting did too. But I still think there's no excuse for still doing either these days.

    I'm in a cafe in Larnaca in Cyprus. A bit disoriented. Tired so maybe not making a lot of sense. Just wanting to say thank you to you all for following the blog and your nice comments.
  16. alilou

    alilou Crazy Stalker Lady

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    Two new posts ready :cheer:

    The first I published about a week ago - about our recovery from the South America Odyssey.
    http://alisonanddon.wordpress.com/2...life-recovery-and-having-your-ducks-in-a-row/

    And the latest is about the city of Lima, Peru's capital.
    http://alisonanddon.wordpress.com/2...-and-bloody-awful-bikes-a-short-stay-in-lima/

    I have just finished watching all the Oly coverage
    In my world the OGM's are V&M, Yuna.
    D&W and Sotnikova have great technical skills, and put on a very good show. It was all so dramatic something must have happened. :drama:

    But they will never come close to having the grace and finesse and finish of V&M and Yuna, all of whom have pretty kickass tech skills themselves. :swoon:
  17. skatesindreams

    skatesindreams Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for both posts.
    As always, much "food for thought".

    The reason/purpose for being in Cyprus will reveal itself in time, I'm sure!
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  18. alilou

    alilou Crazy Stalker Lady

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    Thanks, and you're welcome. Lima was lovely though definitely not a highlight. Cyprus is proving so far anyway to be a place to rest and heal. Who knows what else it will bring. A little online research has revealed I almost certainly picked up a mosquito-born virus in the Amazon. Apparently there are over 160 mosquito-born viruses in the Amazon, and I was bitten several times daily. I have the symptoms described and the cure is rest and more rest and healthy eating. Lucky to be able to do both.
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  19. skatesindreams

    skatesindreams Well-Known Member

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    There is at least part of the reason you are in Cyprus!
    The "evil" mosquitoes would be impossible to avoid in the Amazon, I suspect.
  20. alilou

    alilou Crazy Stalker Lady

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    Yes it's true about Cyprus, and we rest here in a way we wouldn't if we were in Vancouver. I didn't worry about the mozzies in the Amazon because we knew there was no malaria there. Silly me. We should have researched a bit more. At the time we didn't know about the 160+ viruses. And mosquitoes love me :scream:
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  21. alilou

    alilou Crazy Stalker Lady

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    :cheer: It's the amazing Amazon :cheer:


    :yikes: TARANTULA ALERT :yikes:


    :scream: SCORPION ALERT :scream:


    That's a warning for the more sensitive readers :) I've been told there are some :shuffle:

    The first two photos of the latest post are of a tarantula and a scorpion. If they give you the shudders just scroll right past them.

    http://alisonanddon.wordpress.com/2014/04/27/joy-of-the-jungle-the-amazing-amazon/

    There's also a new This Nomadic Life post about the sneaky tricks of the mind.

    http://alisonanddon.wordpress.com/2014/04/23/this-nomadic-life-observe-the-mind/

    I am in heaven watching the entire season on dvd from Skate America onwards. So far I'm up to TEB.
    After seeing D&W's FD at SA I fell in love with it, with them - suddenly saw something in them I'd never seen before :swoon:
  22. orientalplane

    orientalplane Mad for mangelwurzels

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    Thank you, Ali. Funnily enough I can cope with scorpions no problem, even though (as I'm sure people will know) they're also arachnids. Well, I might scroll through until surely they must be gone...... :yikes: Thanks for the warning. :slinkaway
  23. skatesindreams

    skatesindreams Well-Known Member

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    I think your photos are as close as I want to get to a scorpion, tarantula, or that colorful rattlesnake!
    Fascinating adventures, as always; literally, as well as intellectually and spiritually.
  24. alilou

    alilou Crazy Stalker Lady

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    I didn't know scorpions are arachnids. But then if you think about it they're certainly not insects and they have to be one or the other. Read what I've written above the spidey pics before you very quickly whizz past them - it's kind of the intro to the jungle.


    Thanks skatesindreams. Yes, it's certainly a journey, on all levels. I guess I have snakes on the brain. I almost typed snakesindreams :yikes:
  25. skatesindreams

    skatesindreams Well-Known Member

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    Snakes are definitely not part of my dreams!
  26. alilou

    alilou Crazy Stalker Lady

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    God I hope not :lol:
  27. kwanfan1818

    kwanfan1818 I

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    As much as I miss you in Vancouver, I'm glad you're in Cyprus resting.
  28. skatesindreams

    skatesindreams Well-Known Member

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    So am I.
  29. alilou

    alilou Crazy Stalker Lady

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    Thanks. I miss you too, but boy are we resting. I'm discovering laziness in a way I never have before. I'm not quite comfortable with it. I keep wanting to be full of energy and active again, though I must say things have improved a lot since we've been here.
    I can't thank you enough for the dvd's. It's part of the healing of package - lazing around watching skating and eating ice-cream for some part of every day :)

    Thank you <3
    We are slowly recovering. Going for short walks most days. Even that is an improvement. And my hip is much better. :cheer:
  30. sk8pics

    sk8pics Well-Known Member

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    Glad you are feeling better, ali, and thanks as always for sharing your amazing journey with us. I was particularly amazed at the stick insect and the walking trees!

    I have been in Kentucky for a week, which is not as exotic but is nevertheless very cool. I will send you some pics once I'm home and get through a couple of days of work.
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  31. alilou

    alilou Crazy Stalker Lady

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    Thanks sk8pics. Isn't that stick insect incredible?! You'd never know it isn't a twig of a tree it's so realistic. We were amazed by it, and by the walking tree. And by so many things there.
    I'd love to see some pics of Kentucky. I can't remember if I've been there or not . Is the Jack Daniels distillery in Kentucky? If it is then I was there about 35 years ago :eek:
  32. alilou

    alilou Crazy Stalker Lady

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  33. skatesindreams

    skatesindreams Well-Known Member

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    Wow, to the entire post!
    The flora and fauna aside, I particularly love your photograph of the beautiful little girl wearing the pink shirt.
    Last edited: May 5, 2014
  34. orientalplane

    orientalplane Mad for mangelwurzels

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    Glad you are feeling better, Ali, and also thanks for the lack of tarantulas this time. ;) What a lovely, lovely journal entry, especially the pictures of the human and non-human inhabitants. I very much liked the little bat, the bright orange fungus, the gorgeous green snake with its patterned back coiling itself around a tree, the red and yellow caterpillar whose colours shout out, "Don't you dare eat me!", the beautiful macaws and hoatzins, the caiman hiding away in the luxuriant leaves of a plant I don't know and wish I did, and the sheer greenness of everything. Also, that little girl in the bright pink top is going to break a few hearts when she grows up! :)

    It seems such a pity to introduce a heavyweight topic of sadness and concern, but I wonder for how many more generations the Amazon rainforest will stretch so far and wide, and what further destruction will do to the environment of not just South America, but of the whole world. We can only hope that its value will be seen for all that it is, and serious measures taken to prevent the various ways in which it is vanishing. :(
    Last edited: May 5, 2014
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  35. alilou

    alilou Crazy Stalker Lady

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    Isn't she a beauty?! All the kids were just delightful once they got over their brief initial shyness.

    I'm feeling much better thanks. I guess everyone needs to be thoroughly lazy from time to time :)
    Thankyou for your lovely compliment. I really enjoyed putting this post together. I was completely taken by the fungus - such unexpected beauty. Same with the snake - gorgeous colours, and the caterpillar. Beauty in surprising places. I wish we'd been able to get closer to the hoatzins. Apparently they're quite clumsy and don't scare easily so if it wasn't for the lagoon we probably could have gotten quite close to them. I was absolutely thrilled to see macaws in the wild! I'd seen them several times over the years in bird sanctuaries. I think there's one in the conservatory in Vancouver, but nothing compares to seeing birds/animals in their natural habitat.

    I know at least the part of the Amazon we were in is a national reserve of over a million acres (or hectares - can't remember which) so that at least is safe. I also know there are parts of the jungle being destroyed by mining, and of course by farmers in Brazil. But most of it is safe I think. I've always thought that if I were a millionaire the charities I would give to first would be to those working to save the rain forests of the world. If we don't have forests we don't have oxygen, and that's just about the end of it.
  36. sk8pics

    sk8pics Well-Known Member

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    Another beautiful post, ali, thank you so much. I was :yikes: at the vampire fish. But wow, you swam with dolphins, how wonderful! And they were in their own natural place. It all looks very beautiful. And to your comment about the happiness of the local people under some harsh circumstances, that has been my experience in Guatemala, too. The poorest people are often the happiest and most generous. Obviously not always, but I've met a quite a few like that.

    BTW, ali, I emailed you some pictures, actually a link to some.
  37. alilou

    alilou Crazy Stalker Lady

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    Thanks so much sk8pics. I was :yikes: at the vampire fish too. I'd never seen anything like it. I would love to get to Guatemala, not least because I have close friends living there, but it just hasn't happened yet. I also have found that generally the 'poorest' people are happy but I don't mean those living in truly dire circumstances. It is those people who are materially poor by western standards but have housing, and close community, and most importantly clean water and enough to eat. Most of these people live close to nature and I think it feeds their souls in a way that people living in sealed structures in cities just don't get.
    I got your email. Thanks. Sometimes I get lazy about replying to meals, but I will soon I promise :)
  38. sk8pics

    sk8pics Well-Known Member

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    Yes, I think you are right, ali, and you out it very well. No worries about the email, just wanted to make sure you knew it was there.
  39. alilou

    alilou Crazy Stalker Lady

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  40. sk8pics

    sk8pics Well-Known Member

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    Oh my, ali, your poem is lovely and touching. I am so glad to know you, if only a little bit. I will read the other blog post later, but I had to immediately tell you how lovely the poem is.

    I remember on the TV show, Touched by an Angel, one of the characters once said, "I had a choice. I chose to love."