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Posts Tagged ‘travel’

Morning sunlight.

Morning sunlight.

Aotearoa.

Morning milking time.

Morning milking time.

 The spellcheck hasn’t heard of the Maori name for New Zealand. Actually it is the pakia name, Land of the Long White Cloud said in Maori. The spellcheck has put a red line under pakia too, it knows white man, Caucasian, honkie and gringo but it needs to learn Maori.

Pauline the fastest camera slinger in the west,

Pauline the fastest camera slinger in the west,

 Anyway Pauline and I are back in NZ that is why I have not been keeping in touch with the blogging family. We are catching up with our Kiwi family. I am having a jam packed, joyous time in the most wonderful little country in the world, Australia is the most wonderful big country.

Pauline shoots a couple of desperados.

Pauline shoots a couple of desperados.

 Pauline’s son needed us to mind the cat while he went on his honeymoon and I wanted to be on the right side of the Tasman Sea for the final of the world rugby cup, the Wallabies and The All Blacks. The Kiwis love their sport and are mad about the All Blacks.

A photographers paradise.

A photographers paradise.

 An advertising ploy was to put out a black milk bottle and a black Weetabix box featuring photos of The All Blacks team. No wonder they won with that kind of home support.

Interesting shapes on the Kaimais at Piroa on our way to Tauranga.

Interesting shapes on the Kaimais at Paeroa on our way to Tauranga.

We always get VIP treatment from our Kiwi family, so we are winners also. Laurence’s farm is better than a luxury holiday retreat. This weekend we are at Jackie and Greg’s place at Tauranga and the adjacent Mt Maunganui.

This tests me every time I visit, I think I am improving.

This tests me every time I visit, I think I am improving.

 Walking the Mount has become a traditional challenge for me. I love that walk it is a most spectacular scenic experience.

We have taken heaps of photos, done some drawing and it is one long sightseeing adventure. I have found a gym in Waiuku. I need their cross trainer to get my endorphin flowing, as my knees can’t hack the impact of running.

Another wonderful day.

Another wonderful day.

 The sun is shining and I have lots of good things to do before my holiday is over. See you later.

Check Pauline’s blog for the wedding and more on our Kiwi travels.

Pauline gets a few more tips on art from the locals.

Pauline gets a few more tips on art from the locals.

 

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A view of Sydney Harbour, CBD, bridge and all.

A view of Sydney Harbour, CBD, bridge and all.

On top of the world.

The Hawkesbury area North of Sydney.

The Hawkesbury area North of Sydney.

We departed the house we were minding in Canberra. Our flight plans did not coincide with our hosts. We left a day before they got back, it would have been nice to welcome them home but they would probably be tired and Peter was happy to mind Millie the dog and would drive us to the airport and pick up his daughter and family next day.

Wonder Woman at Work.

Wonder Woman at Work.

We were grateful for this and the enjoyable stay.

Flowering plants multiply flowers die.

Flowering plants multiply flowers die.

Pauline and I wanted to make it a warm welcome for their arrival home. Pauline Added the feminine touch to our tidy up. I know they will be happy just to be home with familiar things.

A statue at Canberra Air Port.

A statue at Canberra Air Port.

Our trip home went well only minor flight delays. That allowed me to take some photos at the airport, of sculptures, people and windows. I have plenty of photos for the Lingering Look at Windows, blog.

Best to be early.

Best to be early.

If I get organised, Pauline can tell you I just go with the flow. I am not saying I let Pauline do it all. What I am trying to say is I fit in with the inevitable changing my plans to suit prevailing conditions.

Tasteful wall decorations.

Tasteful wall decorations.

 This post is about the beauty of things that are a source of joy like flying home. Flying is always exciting providing we do not let it become stressful. Impatient to get there is a spoiler of any journey. If you have a delay there are lots of things to do.

Beautiful people.

Beautiful people to talk to.

You could walk and look at the unfamiliar surroundings. Walking is a good idea as you are going to be sitting while in flight. Observe the diverse range of people, note their dress, their moods and just watch all the activity.

Happy travellers.

Happy travellers.

 We love our home with its beautiful garden. There are no gardens liked it in our area. High fences and walls are the fashion and every inch packed with large expensive housing. If there is any garden at all it is low maintenance manicured and sterile. Nature is not welcome with chlorine in the pool instead of fish and water lilies.

Stop over at Sydney.

Stop over at Sydney.

If there is a fish pond it is not balanced naturally air pumps keep it oxygenated. Everything has to be pumped up artificially. Pauline and I have our beautiful oasis we have the best of both worlds at Burleigh.

Pauline in our back garden.

Pauline in our back garden.

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To see from a lookout you miss the intimate detail.

To see from a lookout you miss the intimate detail.

Chapman Drive Northhampton jc sx50 066_3000x4000 Chapman Drive Northhampton jc sx50 067_3000x4000

You have to look to see.

You cannot see how productive this land is from a car.

You cannot see how productive this land is from a car.

The renowned Western Australian wild flowers were at their best, after a wet season, three years ago on our last visit. Last week was the first significant rain they have had for two years in the area. The sky is now clear blue and the red dust is all caked and settled. Pauline is ready to roam the travel bugs are biting making her restless.

Slow up and see up close there is more than wild flowers.

Slow up and see up close there is more than wild flowers.

 There is a nice scenic drive from Geraldton, on the Chapman Valley Road, through the grain-growing area to Nabawa then on to the old town of Northampton. The brochure called it ‘The valley of natural charm.’ When the wild flowers are blooming, any city slicker would agree, even doing the legal speed limit of 110 km/hr., one cannot help but notice the colourful flowers.

A White Gum by the road.

A White Gum by the road.

There is a sign look-out, we take the rutted, washed out side track. Did we misinterpret that ‘look out’ sign? Pauline negotiates the rough and gets us safely to a plateau high above the road. It is a good view but quite a challenge to photograph.  The land has had a hard, hot and dry two years, we see tortured trees and acres of parched land, it is difficult to imagine waving wheat fields. Yet Geraldton is the second largest exporter of wheat in Australia.  Lupins and legume crops are also grown here.

Wouldn't this make a lovely painting.

Wouldn’t this make a lovely painting.

We stop to look at a little Anglican Church, it is closed, looks like it has not done much of the Lord’s business for a long time. Today we appreciate its beauty and the dedication the builders put into it. Man does some of his most wonderful works when religiously inspired and also some of his worst acts in the name of his religion.

Parked at the museum.

Parked at the museum.

 We find a nice place to park, in the shade of one of the old White Gums, at the Chapman Valley Museum, where the sign said open, but the doors were closed. We could see the old farm machinery, but I was more interested in the gum nuts. I love to see the trees in blossom, but nuts fascinate me. With their vast variety of shapes and patterns and the way they look silhouetted against the sky.

The shadow of the fence and the aged White Gums with the old Toyota parked, I thought made a good photo. How could I show their character and how these trees spoke to me of years of the weathers hard extremes endured to be shade for man and a home for a diverse range of creatures, birds and animals?

Let me show you natures inspiring abstract art

 and some creatures that find a home under the pealing bark.

Home and shelter to some a work of art to others.

Home and shelter to some a work of art to others.

 When the gum tree is injured it bleeds red sap that dries like red gem stones. I cannot show you, I can only point. You must look to see the wonders of nature. Slow down, the speed of modern life distracts us from much of natures gifts. You have to take the time to look, to see and not be distracted.

Time seems to pass quickly when you are interested. I removed a small piece of bark to see if anything was there. Surprise! A host of stink bugs scurried off. They were not easy to photo using macro, it did not matter if they were blurred, haste always blurs things, and the patterns and colour of the bark was so nice. I was having fun.

Then Pauline from the wagon said. “I am ready when you are.”  Once that may have excited me, but now it only roused me from my flirtation with Mother Nature.

Northampton has a lot of history with the lead mining and the building of the first public railway in WA. running from Northampton to Geraldton. The Church and convent are impressive buildings. I will leave them for Pauline’s blog. What interested me was the Family Store built in 1910 and still hardly changed from the stores I remember as child, thanks to the elderly couple running it.

Where is Mrs Wally?

Can you find Mrs Wally?

A room behind the store displayed the best collection of old sewing machines I have ever seen. We had only $1 in small change to put in the donation jar. In the store there was a wide array of merchandise on display. There was a sparkly coloured glass crystal necklace winking at me and asking me for $20. I did not need it, or want it, still I bought it. There are always times when a birthday is forgotten, it is handy to have some nice trinket on hand.

My mother had a 'Singer' like this.

My mother had a ‘Singer’ like this.

The owner said “You know this is not an antique, I bought it in Perth last week, do you still want it?” “No I do not want it, I am only buying it to see you smile and I would like to take your photo.”

The necklace and an ethical sales man.

The necklace and an ethical sales man.

 As the sun sank slowly in the west we arrived back home completing a round trip. To down load our photos and see how much of the day we have successfully captured.  Only a memory of some of what one can see if one looks.

He is not Love bug.

He is not a Love bug.

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Those Autumn leaves.

Those Autumn leaves.

Why would anyone leave their home in tropical Queensland, to go to Tasmania in autumn, the beginning of winter? Well it gets you out of your comfort zone, we need challengers and on the Gold Coast it is golden sand not golden autumn leaves. A change could be the reason although everything changes. So the reason is Pauline my <pommepal.wordpress,com> wanted to go and when she asked me I gave her my usual answer, “What ever.” I like to cooperate and go with the flow. I have found things run smoother when we are obliging. Thinking along these lines I wrote this.  Hit the above link for photos and more of our adventures.

Logging in on big things.

Logging in on big things.

Life’s  Highway.

Cruising in the afternoon sun, all our work has been done.

We have both paid our dues, we have nothing to lose.

Where ever we hang our hat is home, this wonderful world is ours to roam.

To drift along with the flow, we have found is the best way to go.

Just like the birds in the trees, we are floating along with the breeze.

Smiling at everyone on the way, we make new friends every day.

We were up with the dawning, watching the sun rise this morning.

The days seem to rush past, how long can the blue skies last?

Rain must come you know, to make the flowers grow.

Rain will come and rain will go just comply go with the flow.

Rain makes the rivers run then a boat would be fun.

If the weather decides to storm, we will find some where cozy and warm.

Today we are out in the sun, meeting and greeting everyone.

As the sun sinks over the hill, I am feeling I have had my fill.

As the day finishes in a blaze of glory, I will leave behind my story.

We all have only this one life to live; it is not what you take but what you give.

If you push and shove and hurry, you only invite trouble and worry.

A helpful, kind and sharing human race would make the world a better place.

Make this your main aspiration, to be a real inspiration.

 

 

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Sydney The Harbour Bridge, The Gardens, CBD , looking to western suberbs.

Sydney The Harbour Bridge, The Gardens, CBD , looking to western suberbs.

 

FLYING HIGH.

The Coat Hanger and inner harbour.

The Coat Hanger and inner harbour.

People often remark, you are always smiling. I am not always smiling, life is not perfect, and everyone has problems. I am no exception to life’s laws; everything changes, grows old, wears out and eventually disintegrates. We cannot always have things as we would like. Aware of this truth, I can smile in the knowledge that I cannot cling to the pleasant and the unpleasant will pass. I smile because this is a wonderful world just waiting to be explored and appreciated.

South of sydney.

South of sydney.

When you are smiling the world tends to smile on you and I am as happy as a dog in a sausage factory. Flying to Hobart we pass over my place of birth and get a photo of the Sydney harbor Bridge.

Leaving Sydney looking south.

Leaving Sydney looking south.

It is the same age as me and still keeping up with the modern pace of life. Take a look at these photos, and you will understand why I am smiling. Pauline and I are House sitting our friend Bertal’s lovely warm house. She is off to holiday in Rome for eight weeks. We have two lovely little dogs to keep us amused.

Burtle outside her house leaving for

Burtle outside her house leaving for Rome.

I expected the weather to be cold and windy. Instead the weather is mild and mostly warm and sunny. I have thermal underwear but they are hardly necessary.

My room for eight weeks, Mount Wellington view out window.

My room for eight weeks, Mount Wellington view out window.

This is the first time I have flown with more than a carry-on bag, but the weather will change it always does. Till then I am having no problem smiling and when it does change I will rug up like an Eskimo.

Pauline at the flower show.

Pauline at the flower show.

Sunday we went on the bus to the City Town Hall to see a flower show. It was fantastic both the venue and the flowers. You will have to visit Pauline’s blog to for more on that. Click the link <Pommepal.wordpress.com>.

Pauline and dogs City of Hobart in background.

Pauline and dogs City of Hobart in background.

We left the dogs for two hours when we got back we asked our neighbor, Caroline, if they barked. Yes one barked so we now have a new plan.

One of my jobs is to feed the birds.

One of my jobs is to feed the birds.

Pauline and I are making the most of this weather. One day Pauline takes the bus exploring and I take the dogs walking. Next day I take go on the bus and Pauline looks after the dogs.

Taking a break from walking.

Taking a break from walking.

The house is two minutes walk to the beach and walkways. So it is turn about for a change of pace Pauline does the house work and I have been having fun painting a couple of garden ornaments.

The Bonsai forest, giant trees 50cm tall.

The Bonsai forest, giant trees 50cm tall.

We were taken the dogs included in ,our new friend, Kimbra’s car up to the top of Mount Wellington. It was a real scenic tour taking in the dams and parks on the way back. See Pauline’s blog for more information and photos.

Pretend you are flying high.

Pretend you are flying high.

I have put in photos I took of natural Bonsai landscapes; I just need to put in a couple of miniature Chinese statues to add to the illusion.

Making friends.

Making friends.

To quote Paul Simons “I am still crazy after all these years,” I still see animal shapes in clouds and see faces in notches on trees. The same as when I was a child. I have grown up but I do not intend to grow old.

Looking out the bedroom window.

Looking out the bedroom window.

I will try to smile even though I wear glasses and hearing aids. I could also use a shot of silicone jell in my creaky joints. We can be in pain but we do not have to suffer. Remember all things change both the pleasant and unpleasant.

Looking up to my window.

Looking up to my window.

You can spend your life like a ship, safe in the harbor, but ships were not built to stay moored in the harbor. Get out and give life a chance to show you how wonderful it can be. You could be flying high smiling, but be prepared for bad weather take a life jacket or parachute, an umbrella or an over coat or whatever it takes.

View of Hobart from Bellerive Beach.

View of Hobart from Bellerive Beach.

You know if you smile it rearranges all your wrinkles and they do not look bad at all. If you go around with a worried look on your face people can mistake it for a desperate look and think you are not a nice person. A smile lets people know you are happy and you look like a winner and it is not long before you are a winner.

Green and gold on blue in the golden hour.

Green and gold on blue in the golden hour.

Sometimes you need a bit of help like inspirational music that is why I want you to click this link  <When your smiling, the Zimmers – Vimeo>. It works for me and a good inspirational book “Peace is every step.” Thich Nhat Hanh. It is also a good idea to slow down and take a few deep breaths and let the world catch up to you.

Walking keeps you fit.

Walking keeps you fit.

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A tipical Blue Healer Camp.

A typical Blue Healer Camp.

Blue Healer Trip 1996.

This is a vine caller the Strangler Fig.

This is a vine caller the Strangler Fig.

Strangler Fig see how they take over their host tree.

Back in 1996 my pommepal and I hired a Toyota camp-van in Darwin. Stocked it with canned food we would need so we could visit Kakadu and Litchfield National Parks. It was Pauline’s first experience of this area and it had been 40 years since I had visited here. All had changed there was no need for my concern about provisions one could see almost all the highlights without getting off the tar-seal roads. We enjoyed all the wonders of these great National Parks. Pauline saw Australian animals in their natural environments at the wild life park at Litchfield.

Pauline, the Blue Healer and Bush turkies.

Pauline, the Blue Healer and Bush turkey.

When we got to Cairns Queensland we decided to travel less luxuriously and save money. We bought an old Mitsubitsu L300 van for $ 2,000. It was painted a powdery sky blue with patches of red lead paint, actually it was difficult to see where the red lead paint finished and the rust started. It was the same colour as the Aussie Blue cattle dog known as a ‘Blue Healer’. So I called the van the ‘Blue Healer’ and there was also a TV serial about the police called ‘The Blue Healer.’

The Banksia is tortured by hars conditions pluss fires.

The Banksia is tortured by harsh conditions and fires.

So we could sleep in the van we removed a seat and bought a sheet of five ply wood to place between the back seat and rest on the ledge behind the front seat. Then we visited the recycle shop and bought all our camping needs. The only thing we bought new was our gas bottle. Pauline could tell you the total cost I never bother about costs as long it is within my budget. It was well within our budget it will have paid for its self after the first month.

Banksia men fun and imagination.

Banksia men fun and imagination.

We gave the Blue Healer a real test on its first trip from Cairns, at sea level, up to the Atherton Table lands. We stayed at a newly opened backpackers called ‘On the Wallaby’ at Youngaburra. We mostly stayed at freedom camps, they are free but some have a limit on time you can stay. For a change we sometimes stayed at old hotels or backpacker hostels. We also did WWOOF ing and learned organic gardening as well as all the local knowledge. WWOOFing is the way to meet interesting people and learn many astonishing things, most are vegetarians again we learned new recipes.

Wonderful WWOOFing experiance at Murgon.

Wonderful WWOOFing experience at Murgon.

Murgon go there.

The old ’Blue Healer’ carried us over mountains and on bush tracks it forded streams and took that van where we never would have risked an expensive vehicle. It was small but Pauline and I had it set up to our liking and it was home, we loved our ‘Blue Healer’ it never failed us. We had an amazing trip on a meandering journey all the way to Sydney. In Sydney a warrant of fitness to sell a rusted out vehicle is not granted. So I reluctantly sold our ‘Blue Healer’ for parts. I like to think of that as recycling and that the parts are still traveling around.

Waiting for dinner, diary notes.

Waiting for dinner, diary notes.

When Pauline and I travel we like to meet people and see the things the locals enjoy. It is a learning adventure, not always easy, but we always have a bailout plan. We travel light and never keep pushing on beyond our resources in physical, stamina and finances. Always have your return ticket. You hear a lot of horror stories. Pauline and I have ventured way off the beaten tourist tracks and had no drastic problems. That is because people are usually a reflection of you and you need to deflect them. Do not dressed out-of-place or flaunt your wealth.

The dark tunnel to Emu Beach.

The dark tunnel to Emu Beach.

That may be why we had such a wonderful time in the ‘Blue Healer’ we had no worries about scratching the paint. We could have walked away no worries, other than hitching a lift, if it had failed us. A small van can fit in were the big vans have trouble and people were never envious of our great ‘Blue Healer.’ I have never enjoyed a vehicle more than the ‘Blue Healer’

Singing wind monument at Emu.

Singing wind monument at Emu.

Emu go there.

I am not sketching much since digital cameras took over. Back in 1996 photography was expensive so I always did a sort of sketch diary and this was good. It gave me an excuse to take a rest and better observe things. Sketching can be like meditation you are fully focused. Now we still have thousands of photos deteriorating in a cupboard and I have my trip sketches of old trips. Drawings well not fade as photos and our memory does. Actually it is not our memory but our recall. This post has triggered my recall.

Light House Byron Bay.

Light House Byron Bay.

Byron Bay go there.

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The smile and body language says it all.

Miss who?

Misunderstanding, most of the problems, arguments and even wars, I believe are caused by misunderstanding and ignorance. With ignorance of the full facts a person misjudges a situation. There are other factors that contribute to our difficulty in living in harmony with our fellow man or should I say fellow person?

Here is an example of misunderstanding. Some woman may have had a bad experience with a macho man with a big ego. Then she reads, Miss who? Picks up on misunderstanding, ignorance and fellowman, she could easily wrongly assess the motive in my writing. My intention is to promote understanding. Miss Who? Was my idea of humor, I did not go too far and mention misbehave, that would be a misdemeanor, this is probably not funny to most people.

Stress of modern life.

We have to be very careful with humor. Normally no one minds you laughing with them but usually people do mind you laughing at them and often someone is the brunt of the joke. Remember moderation in all things especially humor, Still never lose your sense of humor, it can keep you smiling over those tough times.

No mistaking these smiles.

Hitch hiking back in the 60s sometimes, when the lifts were few and far between and the situation was getting desperate. I would think of something funny as a prospective lift approached this put a smile on my face. I had noticed other hitch hikers with grim looks on their faces, they were worried looks but to the drivers they looked unfriendly and desperate and fear prevented them from stopping.

Sam, I call him Sam Simardi.

Unsmiling worried looking faces can give the wrong impression to people making snap judgments. When a person is stressed and has troubles they may not only look uninviting, their disposition can also be unfriendly. In most cases this is only temporary. We need to have full understanding of any situation before we start making judgments and airing our views.

Fear contributes to a good deal of our problems; fear is often used by manipulative, ignorant, and greedy people to achieve their objectives. Armies and weapons of mass destruction, we are told, protect us from invasion. Conversely other countries aware of the buildup of forces, in fear, increase their weaponry. This fear is a waste of effort and resources that could be put to better causes. When we smile we send a message that is understood in all languages. Kindness and a helping hand promotes reciprocity.

All children are special.

You now have a positive and a negative list of words. Negative words are misunderstanding, ignorance, fear and greed, positive words are understanding, trust, kindness, moderation and balance.

People in love are beautiful.

This leads me to think, if less was spent by the rich countries on weapons of mass destruction and more on foreign aid, there would be less envy, discontentment and hate. There would be less damage to environment as our resources are wasted on blowing up cities, then rebuilding them.  Have you wondered who profits from war?

This is someones happy home.

I have traveled alone in foreign lands and been treated kindly by the locals. I have tried to smile and look friendly, respected their ways and never flaunted my affluence. I have been more a traveler than a rich tourist wanting a good time. My aim has been to experience their way of life and see the wonders of their country.

Finish on a happy note.

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Matilda our pop-top at Sapphire.

 

Rainbows End

Over the far horizon, round the next bend,

We’re not watching it on TV it is for real my friend.

I could be comfortable at home,

There is no need for me to roam.

Here I am in a pop-top van

Living like a sardine in a can,

Travel is an adventure of discovery,

Home is my destination for recovery.

Round the next corner a new surprise,

all fresh and new before my eyes.

I am not over the hill,

What awaits me is still a thrill

Meandering is the way to go,

driving along taking it slow.

Enjoying everything on the way,

the destination is just a place to stay.

The people you meet, the sights you see

are real experiences, not like on TV.

No TV ads telling us what we need.

actually the ads encourage our greed.

Out on the road in our mobile home,

It is a pleasure just to roam.

Free like a bird on a feathery wing

we travel light but want for nothing.

The people you meet, the sites you see

are real experiences not like on TV.

I would be contented in my comfort zone,

but there is no challenge living at home.

A live adventure stretches your ability,

And all the exercise is not futility.

You realize there is no reason to be afraid,

Look at all the friends we’ve made.

When things go wrong as they sometimes do,

People will rally to help you.

There is so much kindness to be found,

Give it a try before you are underground.

 

Sapphire to Longreach we stopped for photos of Gravilias and Wattle.

Matilda our pop-top at Longreach.

 

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Gold Coast to Darwin.

Spider dwarfing Matilda Pop-top.

 

This Post was delayed because I am traveling with my pomme pal. Meandering towards Darwin in our pop-top van we call Matilda.

I really do not know why I call her my pomme pal as I met her over thirty years ago back in New Zealand. She came out from England in 1961 and took the oath of allegiance that made her a kiwi, and she probably would have remained a Kiwi, except I decided I wanted to go home to Aussie and once Pauline discovered the wide brown land with its far horizons, the tiny land of the long white cloud was too small for her.

She is really my gypsy pal as I would not make the effort to leave the Gold Coast except for her influence. We are always on the move. She once went to England via China, Mongolia and Russia. Not satisfied with that, we traveled round USA. No sooner home than we packed our bags for Korea. We did a trip to Singapore through Malaya on local buses to Bangkok. I really liked that trip.

I love Thailand and Thai people, no; I love everywhere and all people. Every foreign place I have been the people treat me wonderfully. I think it is because I do not act like I am rich, and mix in and behave like the locals. I like to go where they eat and travel the way they do. I have traveled in Thailand experiencing the way workers in the rice fields live.

I may not be able to keep up with my blog out in the never never beyond the black stump, without internet service. I have put in a ping, a link to my pommepal for anyone who would like to keep up with our trip north in our pop-top van “Matilda”.

 

My Country.

 

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