wayfaringwordhack: (wayfaring wordhack)
for Rabia. I don't know what kind of setting you decided on, but maybe some of this will inspire you.

Too tired for commentary; just some sights from the great salt flat and surrounding mountains/desert.

I did promise you something beautiful, no?

See more )
wayfaringwordhack: (footprint in the sand)
This a journey through photos post so I shall put it behind a cut.  Come in and walk a while with me.

If there are road signs, they are few )

Photos: 1) Three Rivers Petroglyph Site, NM, USA; 2) Kemmerer, WY, USA; 3) Wheatfield near Vinon, France; 4) Capitol Reef, Fruita, UT, USA; Yellowstone, WY, USA; 5) Uyuni Salt Flats, Bolivia; 6) World's deadliest road, Bolivia.
wayfaringwordhack: (wayfaring wordhack)
January is Volcano Awareness Month in Hawai'i. Did you know?

Since I'm writing a book featuring a volcanic island and--*waves at [livejournal.com profile] asakiyume*--I know one other person on my flist who also has a story in which a volcano plays a part, I'm going to share some related photos from our world trip.

Whether you need volcano inspiration or not, I hope you enjoy a glimpse of the trip that brought the Sprout into our lives. :P

No lava flow here, just lots of hydrothermal activity and beautiful colors on extinct volcanoes:

Mammoth Springs, Yellowstone

Pop behind the cut for more )

I spend hours on the Internet, looking for inspiration for the Witherwilds, forgetting that I already have a ton of it on my external hard drive.
wayfaringwordhack: (sail away)
I was looking through photos today because a friend J and I dined with yesty asked me to gift him with a B&W photograph for his walls.  I haven't found something to share with him yet, but I did enjoy looking at some photos of Halong Bay from Vietnam.  I shared a few when we were actually traveling there, but not many because I was feeling morning sickness too acutely to want to spend time posting to LJ.  When I read your post, [livejournal.com profile] asakiyume, and the mention of your floating village in the comments, it made think of these pics again, so I thought I would put them up.

Even tikes know how to row in Vung Vieng...
wayfaringwordhack: (Default)
I'm sitting in a bookstore café, with a few hours of me time on the horizon, so it is time to play catch up with LJ and hopefully write and sketch a little.  Good music on café sound system (and when they let me down with George Michael or Celine Dion, I put on J's fancy earphones and escape into my own iTunes), flowering tea in a tall glass beside me, surrounded by books and no smokers (in Albania, no one respects the no smoking signs :( ), sounds like a good way to spend an afternoon.

The light in the café leaves a lot to be desired but I took a pic with my laptop anyhow. Accessing Photo Booth, I found the other, rare photos I've taken.  How fun to see the other places my Mac has been. I should remember to use the laptop camera more often (and I might if the quality was better...)

Top to bottom, L-R:  view of the mountains in Coroico, Bolivia, after our bike ride down Death Road; San Pedro d'Atacama, Chile on Christmas Eve; on a boat cruise on Ha Long Bay, Vietnam;  The Friends Bookstore, Tirana, Albania.
wayfaringwordhack: (web)

On our world trip, while in Santiago, Chili, J and I took great pleasure strolling around, photographing some awesome graffiti. I always meant to put up a wonderful quote that I found that day and the accompanying art, but I never got around to it. I took a photo at the ornithological reserve in Le Teich the other day that will do the trick now because the Santiago pic is on a hard drive, packed away.  Somewhere.

The whole flock trembles when the black sheep eats the wolf. ~~Unknown 

Speaking of sheep, Soëlie, Manou (or Madame la Maman, as I call her), and I went for a walk in the woods this afternoon, on the flank of the Black Mountains, and part of our path ran alongside the back of a sheep pasture.  I've been doing the obligatory animal sounds* with Soëlie, and she was maa-maaaa'ing her heart out, trying to get the sheep to come to us. Sadly not a one obliged her. :P

*It's been several months, at least three, that S meows, and in Le Teich, she learned to click her tongue to call horses. 
wayfaringwordhack: (Default)
 For [livejournal.com profile] asakiyume 

Julien and I have somewhat of a love affair with White Sands. If we can, whenever we are in the States, we go there. I checked my archives for our world trip and see that I failed to make a post about our last visit, which I shall rectify now. How's that for catching up on blogging?

The first time I took Julien (and two of his friends) to White Sands I had no idea how much they would enjoy it, so I didn't plan time to camp or stay more than an afternoon.  The second time, after we were married, Julien and I took his brother to go see the dunes, this time armed with a tent.  However, we arrived too late, so late the park ranger was locking the gate and preparing to leave.  I begged and begged, telling the lady that the guys had come over from France and she capitulated and let us in, making us promise to head straight to our campsite and not get lost. Sadly, time still was not on our side and we had to hit the road and continue our trip the next morning.

The last time, this trip, we went prepared: tent, provisions, and three days at our disposal to really explore the park.  At the desk, we reserved our site and asked to book subsequent nights in different spots, to which the park official sadly informed us that the monument would be closing the next day in preparation for military exercises. (White Sands is next to Holloman Air Force Base and its missile range.) Thwarted again.  We were so bummed. 

We got to take a few photos, enough to show you the lovely shades the gypsum takes on as the sun moves across the sky, but unfortunately, we had no time for hiking or exploring as we've always dreamed of doing...

So, [livejournal.com profile] asakiyume , I'll answer your question in images. The sands really are that white during the brightest part of the day, but they are also:

dusky purple as the sun sets:

rich, chilling blue when autumn's sun disappears behind the San Andres Mountains, a warning of the cold desert night awaiting you;


 come dayrise, the dunes are the color of sugar cookies or biscuits fresh from the oven:


then, for the rest of the day, you can enjoy the many nuances  of white that the sands have to offer:


 (click on any of the images to enlarge them)
I wish I would have taken time to blog about our visit just afterwards, about the smells, the air, the feel of the gypsum crystals on my bare feet, about the stars over our tent, about the feeling of going into the heart of the dunes and the peace I find there.  But sadly, our next stop was with my family and I had no heart or time to wax about beauty after that.

These words that I just read in The Names of Things really speak to me when I think of that visit and look at that stunning orange foliage in the bottom collage:

"Something like the Fall in me
All my leaves were dying
They died in the most violent way
and turned screaming colors."
ETA:  Oops, saw that the last image wasn't clickable. Fixed now.
wayfaringwordhack: (bosch flying fish)
Though I'm no great or avid birder, one of my favorite things to do on my walks is look at and listen to the birds. I'd love to get photos of them, but I don't have a proper lens for that, nor do I seem to have the camera with me when a flighty feathered one deigns to hold still long & close enough for me to snap a picture.

But I enjoy them all, nonetheless: the crow splashing and bathing in a frost-rimed puddle; the grey heron huddled, solitary like a bitter, drab old man, in an overgrown field; the dainty ball of puff that is the European robin in winter; or the middle spotted woodpecker tapping out a beat in the towering pines. I'd dearly love to get a good photo of a blue tit, for I think they are the most darling little birdies.  

Alas, neither chance nor the avian critters themselves have favored me since we moved back to the Centre. However, I do have a few bird photos up my sleeve from our world trip and decided to share those instead:
Collage with bird names and locales )

Someday, mayhap I'll have a proper telescopic lens. Then watch out, birdies...
wayfaringwordhack: (Default)
Inspired by the nifty tracks [livejournal.com profile] asakiyume  posted, here are various and sundry tracks that I had a blast photographing in the biting chill of a Utah morning during our world trip.

Despite the warm tones of the sands, it truly was very nippy as it was October and we were on the dunes before dawn to catch the first glimmering rays on the crystal grains.

And here is an odd one out, a photo of tracks taken in Yellowstone on our hike to Grebe Lake.  We should have put a hand by the prints to give them scale, but they were quite large, at least 3" across, if memory serves. Anyone have any idea what they could be?  I looked in the guidebooks in various park gift shops and ranger stations and didn't see anything similar. 

wayfaringwordhack: (Default)

 ...because it is worth it.  Really, it is. I say so.

Seriously though, how could say I had done my duty in showing you Machu Picchu if never I gave a shot with the emblematic Wayna Picchu soaring over the ruins?

wayfaringwordhack: (Default)

Two panoramas: one from Ollantaytambo and the other from Machu Picchu.  These are patched together shots with the edges left rough because, while I was thinking of taking a panorama, I didn't go about it very scientifically. Hopefully the quality isn't too bad, but I tried to save them as gif to keep a transparent background. As usual, click to enlarge.

Ancient Inca cities )

The entry that corresponds to these photos is here.

And yes, [livejournal.com profile] clarentine , this means I'm getting out the external hard-drive with the photos on it and will be sending them to you soon to shed some light on your building questions. :P
wayfaringwordhack: (Default)
I took some panoramas while on the world trip but didn't have a program to assemble them. I thought I would (slowly) start doing that and share a few with you. I did this one today because the place--Uyuni Salt Flats in Bolivia--speaks to me of the Witherwilds in Paoqei, which I am currently trying to get out of my head and onto paper computer screen.

The harsh, hostile landscape really struck a chord with me. Being there was like walking through the Witherwilds myself. But like all memories, the sensations and details have faded, so I'm going through my photo library, remembering.

Colorado Lake, Uyuni

Here's the link to the photo if you want to see a larger version.
wayfaringwordhack: (Default)
...if you receive a postcard from Vietnam?

We sent out 40 of them before leaving that country over a month ago, and so far no one has told me that they received one. I'm beginning to give them up for lost. :(

We heard stories about stamped cards and letters never reaching their destinations from Thailand because people steal the stamps, and I'm beginning to think that is what happened in Vietnam. :(
wayfaringwordhack: (Default)
 Didn't count on having the net in the Hanoi Airport.

Just thought I would share:

Before takeoff, on the flight between Hoi An and Hanoi, Vietnam Airlines played a instrumental rendition of "I Surrender All," an old Christian hymn.  I wondered what they were trying to tell me, but we landed in Hanoi without incident.

In the Hanoi airport, in a restaurant of all places, we were seated across from a little imp of a man who decided to blow his nose...into the air! Completely ignoring the napkins on his table.  Let the snot fly, who cares, right?  Not.

Seriously, can you get any more disgusting?  Oh, he did deign to take up a napkin at the end of it to delicately pat at his face.

Oh, forgot the guy in the shuttle out to the plane who was sneezing all over everyone, not even bothering to put his hand in front of his mouth.  Just achoo, Here, have some germs and why not a bit of spittle in your hair... 
wayfaringwordhack: (Default)
 Going to be doing a fair bit of traveling and continent hopping over the next little while.  That means I won't be around for the next couple of weeks.

I wish you all well until then. Sorry I won't be able to keep up with your blogs.  if there is something I need to know, feel free to email me or respond to one of my entries if you don't have my address.

Over and out
wayfaringwordhack: (Default)
The number one reason we came to Vietnam was to visit the Unesco World Heritage site Halong Bay. With its 1969 islands, the bay is vast, and we only saw a very small part of it on our 3-day cruise. The glimpse was worth it, though. We may not have had blue skies, but the myriad isles and calm water were still lovely. And the lack of rain, a real blessing.

The PalomaSuite on the Paloma
The Paloma
Our boat. Definitely one of the top four on the water.
Suite on the Paloma
Our suite. Complete with private balcony. Why yes, we do know how to splurge...
Floating villageRower in bamboo boat
Floating village
The floating fishing village of Vung Vieng
Rower in bamboo boat
Vung Vieng seems to get by on fishing, pearl culturing, and toursim. Teenage girls and women, but some young men, meet the tourist boats in their little woven bamboo embarkations and row visitors around the village.
Kayaking foolsHalong Bay from vantage point
Kayaking fools
We took up the paddles, too. Had to get a little exercise!
Halong Bay from vantage point
After exercise for the arms, we hiked up one of the islands to get a different view of Halong Bay.

I'd like to say we didn't hear a single horn while out on the water, but like ol' Abe, I cannot tell a lie...

Ah well, it is Vietnam.*

*Thanks to the French; it'd be China, otherwise. ;)
wayfaringwordhack: (Default)
From my vacation.

Julien has rented a motorbike and has puttered off to go surfing.

I'm staying in the hotel and declaring today my holiday from vacationing.

On my agenda:



Eating chocolate and bananas!

A bubble bath!
wayfaringwordhack: (Default)
Hanoi is, hands down, the noisiest city I've ever been to. It also has the most daredevil motorists (mostly scooter drivers) of any country I've yet visited.

We have it on good authority that Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon) is twice as bad. Thank goodness we aren't going there. I've had about all the honkhonkHONKing I can take.

That's all I hear now. Horns, horns, and more horns.

Someone, please make it stop!
wayfaringwordhack: (Default)
This may backfire on me since we are only halfway into our Vietnam trip, but the mean things we heard about the Vietnamese?

Not true.

Ok, so the first guy we tried to do business with--the shuttle driver at the airport--was a total ass who tried to charge us double the normal fare, but apart from him, we've only dealt with super nice people.

Want pushy street vendors who won't take no for an answer? Go to Antananarive. The residents of Madagascar's capital win that competition hands down.

Want rude toursism agents and agencies? Go to Peru and Bolivia where they believe a sucker is born every minute and they have no need of a good reputation or repeat business.

In Vietnam, people care about their image and they care about word of mouth, at least those we've had contact with do.

Nice change.
wayfaringwordhack: (chameleon - goofy)
During my cooking class, the teacher took us out into her garden to show us some typical plants and herbs. She pointed at her pepper plant, thick with bright red chiles that looked like christmas lights, and said, "In English you call these 'bird's eye' chiles. Here in Thailand we call them 'mowshi'."

"Mowshi,' we all repeated faithfully, trying the form the sounds right.

She gave us a funny little look and said, "Yeah, mowshi because it looks like shi(t) of mouse."



wayfaringwordhack: (Default)

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