Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Wandering Thoughts Brought Me Here

I'm left to my own devices for more than a month, so I need to use up my time productively. *cough* Kinda bored right now so I thought, why not dust off that cobweb off this blog?

Here's another random selection of pictures - mostly of food. My mouth is watering right now thinking of the flavours.

And my "selfeet" collections. Err.

This was dinner in Istanbul - at a small cafe, far off the main street, with a friendly host who served us complimentary tea and salads and spicy dips. I had the adana kebab which was - holy smoke - super delicious! The host kept on giving us bits of stuff to try, it was really nice. Glad we went out of the way and found this place.

My thing with tiles and floors.


Have you noticed how I love old tiles like these?

Walking on the cold stones of Pammukkale. My feet were numb by the time we reached the end.

My first meal in Yangon. Mild, I had to ask for chillies :)

Closer to home, I think this was in Central Market.

Midnight supper at some R&R  mid-way between Yangon to Bagan. Yeay for chillies!

And this, might've been Penang, at the Blue Mansion.

The best chilli chips ever. Must eat with chilled beer.
Sunset drinks at Chitwan NP, Nepal.

Lunch of dhal bhat, Pokhara.

I'm keeping myself busy researching and planning for 2015. So many places! I think I'll add robbing a bank to fuel this affliction. Who's with me?

Thursday, June 26, 2014

In Not So Many Words.

It's been a while. Actually, it's been yonks since my last post.
Can I do a wordless post?

I'd like to share with you these - from my first trip to Nepal. Totally random, no sequence. Well..maybe a few words here and there.

Some green plant, thriving on the hillsides and along footpaths.

Patan Durbar Square. 

Resting - hike up to Nagarkot. Trying to smile despite my aching legs and fatigue.

Colourful boats at Fewa Lake, Pokhara. 

The beauty of small things. On the way down from Sarangkot. 

My favourite shop! WSDO in Pokhara. 

Cute little girl in Sarangkot. Love her hat!

Boy in at public park, Pokhara.
Jersey : Arsenal. Backpack: FCB. Name : it was something like Ozil. 

Tibetan lady at her shop at the Tibetan settlement. 
So many really nice things. 

Newari gentleman, at his bookshop in Pokhara lakeside.

Rakam I think his name is. A Tibetan descendant, at his thangka shop in Patan.
Simply amazing painting skills, so fine.

Jibi, my hiking guide for Sarangkot explaining to me some thing. He's been to EBC countless times. 

Man selling some kind of fruit or veg, in a street off Patan Durbar Square. 

Turning the prayer wheel.

Random. Patan.

Mother and baby on the way down from Sarangkot. They overtook me!
("This alien is too slow")

With my (very handsome) paragliding pilot, Suren aka Maila.  
So much fun flying that afternoon! What an experience!

Babi for sale at Thamel meat stall. I think it's cured or smoked already.

Young boy, cutting green/turquoise stones for jewellery. 

This was in Patan.

Young girl, dressed up nicely and with kohl-ed eyes at her family's juice shop, Pokhara. 

Puppets on strings, at Kathmandu Durbar Square. 

Cycling day in Pokhara. As usual, I got beaten by the heat. 

Surprise welcome garland upon my arrival upon Kathmandu. Come to think of it, this is my first time getting garlanded with flowers.

Hanuman Dhoka (?) at Kathmandu Durbar Square.

Observing a cremation at Pashupatinath on a rainy afternoon.


I'm going to return to you. 
#happyplace #meromaya

Thursday, February 27, 2014

The List Only We Know

I like lists (as if that isn't obvious by now :p)

Anyway, other than pre-trip packing lists there's usually another miscellaneous list of OTHER things that need to be done before you go for that long-awaited trip.

For me, some of the items on that list are:-

1. Check-in and print boarding passes, booking forms, visa forms, insurance certs etc.
2. Pay all bills that are due or fall due within the trip
3. Call bank to inform my itinerary and enable the use of my credit card abroad.
4. Charge the camera batteries, transfer pictures from memory card (I always forget this!)
5. Put aside a book/ books for the trip. I am quite selective here.
6. Check if you have enough foreign currency. (remember to buy in advance when the rates are good!)
7. Check my food stock in the office drawer :p Don't leave chocolate lying around.
8. Prepare my little 'pharmacy' of meds, sanitiser and wet wipes.
9. Visit my doctor if needed for special meds.
10. Prepare my little notebook with my notes and 'research' stuff.
11. Check and bring passport size photos.
12. Download new music/playlist if there is time.

Hmm...I think that's generally it. I am sure everyone has their own quirky list(s).

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

A Bowl of Pho and then ...

Wanderlust strikes back.

Sunday, February 2, 2014

Pinatubo Conquest - Done and Dusted, Literally.

Twitter won't let me post pictures right now (boo!) so I'm gonna show it all off here.

 Daybreak as we started our 4x4 jeep ride towards the volcano and to start the trek.

A very bumpy ride!

 Photo-op stop at these rock formations. They remind me of the Pinnacles. It was brrrr cold, 13-15 degrees.

And we start trekking! 

Look at that sky! This is raw - no filter, no nothing.

It was not easy walking on this 'screed'. 

Then we reached the rest huts after about an hour I think, or was it longer? I can't recall now.

I think we took 25 minutes :p Congestion on the trail.

Already excited to see what's beyond this point. 

Hey hey we're there! 

 Someone in the group helped me to take this picture :) Very nice, thank you po.

 Isn't this lovely? The colours were nice. It was peaceful. Weather, perfect!

Obligatory selfie.

Went down the steps towards the lake edge. 

View half way down. There were small avalanches on the slopes across the lake.

 Selfie again. Don't mind my hair please.

I thought these steps would help me train for Tikhedunga :) 

Celebrity spotted! Christian Bautista, Filipino actor and singer, had to endure his legions of female fans in photo-taking. I do not know who he is :p The one on the right is another Malaysian, J, who happened to be in the same group.

Okay then we needed to trek back the same way. It was high noon, the sun unforgiving, the trail dusty. The guy in green was our local guide Romero. He was kind but only knew very limited English.

At the end of the trail my feet and sandals were all white. 
After the 4x4 ride back, our hair were all white too from the dust!

Trek : Mount Pinatubo, via O'Donell trail
Elevation : 1,485 asl

This trip was booked through TRIPinas, and it cost me Php2,099 which included return transfer from Manila to Capas, 4x4 jeep and guided trek to the crater. Meals and everything else are on personal account. We were given a Certificate of Conquest upon completion of the trek. We had to meet up with the coordinator at 2:30 am for final registration and briefing at McD Pueblo at Ortigas (Mr Tee the coordinator was quietly amazing in handling this big open group on his own), and the convoy of vans left Manila at 3 am. Reached Capas early at around 5:30 am and waited for the local tourism body to register us and assign guides and jeeps. Took off just around 6am and reached starting point around 7:30 am. Trekked at normal pace and reached crater around 9:15 am. We had two hours to rest and have lunch. The return trek starts at 11:30 am. We got back to Capas at almost 3:00 pm, washed up and some changed into fresh clothes. Then it was back in the van and we were back in Manila by 5:30 pm.