Almost 28k miles on our jet plus about 5k round trip to/from SFO and 2 side trips to Cusco from Lima and Kilimanjaro airport to Serangeti airport. In total we have flown more than the circumference of our planet in less than four weeks. Looking forward to getting home.
We will refuel in Azores then off to Orlando for a total of close to 11 hr flight time. Landing in Orlando for an overnight stay then fly back to SFO Tuesday.
As our around the world trip draws to a close, we gathered as a group one last time for dinner as most people will be heading back to Orlando while a few will be going off elsewhere. Many dressed up in various outfits from places we have visited. The dinner also included entertainment by two […]
Visited the Souk (artisan market), Madrases Ben Youssef (old Islamic College now a museum with beautiful tile work) and Koutoubia Mosque. Lots of walking. Beautiful crafts. Kurt was repeatedly warned “don’t touch or annoy the cobra”.
With such a long history, Egypt is a country filled with pride of its culture and heritage. It is disheartening to learn of all the looting of the tombs since the ancient time by grave robbers to 19th/20th centries by the colonial government and later archeologists. Even as recent as Arab Spring only a few […]
We departed Luxor early morning and landed in Cairo an hour later. The pyramids are enormous but very crowded. We did not climb onto the pyramids, but rather we admired them from a restaurants where we could see all 9 pyramids while enjoying a great Egyptian lunch. We then got private access to the Sphinx […]
We took the river boat across the Nile to the Valley of the kings to enjoy a private tour of several tombs, including Sety l whose tomb was the largest and most colorful. Cannot believe we also got to visit King Tut’s tomb, which is quite small but beautifully decorated. Our incredible evening of private […]
The expansiveness of the temple complex and the size of the statues and columns are truly indescribable.
Off we go to Egypt. Eight hours later we landed in Luxor. We went straight to the Luxor temple to see its magnificent stonework.
Living off the land and protecting the animals are the way of life in the serengeti. The Circle of life is the prominent theme here where birth and death are just part of how things are. By the way, serengeti means endless grassland. for someone with serious grass pollen allergy like Emily, this is probably […]
Kurt went on another game drive and got some awsome pics of a lioness. Our visit in Tanzania ended with great African music and cuisine. Emily’s new favorite dish- avocado and mango salad. Kurt tried the goat meat.
Hyrax is 12 inches long and looks like this one is about 5 lbs. It is actually closely related to the elephants rather than rodents.
Woke up at 3:30am to watch the meteor shower. Got lucky there was a patch of clear sky even though most of the sky was cloudy. Saw a dozen shooting starts (unfortunately did not capture any on camera). However, someone with eagle eyes spotted that the pic of Tanzania night sky shows the Southern Cross. […]
Kurt took full advantage of his camera to capture some great photos of cheetahs that even the group photographer was envious of. After driving back from the balloon site, we found ourselves looking at a herd of over 30 elephants who decided to come to the water hole by our lunch area at the hotel […]
Another 4am bus ride for an hour in total darkness on a dirt road to the site where the balloons take off. Soaring over the Sarengeti at sunrise is an experience no words can describe.
As we say goodbye to India’s delicious cuisine, dazzling clothing and music, we endured a 4am departure and a long flight to Tanzania. Landed in Kilimanjaro airport and switched to a puddle jumper to the national park. Then an hour long bumpy ride on a jeep on dirt road to the hotel. The ride was […]
Yet another 5am trip. Got on our plane to Agar, where Taj Mahal is located. After a short flight, we landed in a military airfield and took another bus to Taj Mahal. It was also packed with people. The building is beautifully designed with marble fascade of flowers and quoran quotes. It was disheartening to […]
Never seen a more crowded and busy place, not even Times Square on New Years Eve. Jaipur is a city filled contradictions. The tour guide was proud to showed the glimming shopping malls, high tech operator centers, universities, government building and expensive condos, yet every street is filled with people selling stuff or sitting on […]
Cambodia is a country still trying to recover from the dark period under Pol Pot where over 2 million people were killed. Our tour guides all personally experienced the harsh reality of the genocide. One tour guide lost his entire family at age 6. He was homeless and eventually became a monk. He learned English […]
During the monsoon season the Tnle Sap Lake is 10 meters higher than when we saw it today which in the dry season. The water feeds into the Meikong river in Vietnam. The dwellers in the floating village are migrants from Vietnam who now lives in Cambodia (could not get clear answers from the tour […]
Banteay Srei is 200 years older than Angkor Wat. it is made of pink sand stone and very elegant and detailed 3D carving.
visited an elephant rescue sanctuary where the elephants were saved from carrying evil tourists around Angkor Wat until one died from a heart attack. There are 11 elephants living in the sanctuary enjoying their retirement of bananas and sugar cans. It was well worth it to see such beautiful animals even though we had to […]
After waking up at 3am again, we worked on our laptops. At 5am we were off to Angkor Wat in the dark. but it was too cloudy to see the sunrise. We then went to the temple with the Banyan trees where Tomb Raider was filmed (Ta Prohm Temple). And finally the temple of smiling […]
Kurt went off in a tut tut for a lecture in Angkor Wat history while Emily stayed in the hotel in preparation for our 4am departure for sunrise at Angkor Wat tomorrow. At the mean time, a tour of the hotel that reminds us of the colonial time. No, our room faces a street and […]
We stopped off at a bird rescue sanctuary to see the birds, kangaroos, and two grouchy cassowaries.
While most in the tour group went to the great barrier reef, we opted for a visit to the oldest rain forest in the world. We had an aborigine guide who took us on a short tour of the forest to learn about the culture and history of the people. It was quite educational. Humid […]
After a week living out of a suitcase, everyone started to ferment a bit. The tour organizer booked us into a hotel with in room washer and dryer. After doing our laundry, we went to the group dinner that consisted of a visitor who was exceptionally furry and cute.
The captain got special permission to do a flyover of a large part of the Great Barrier Reef. We got an amazing view of the reef before landing in Cairns.
Spending half day at Fiji before continuing our westward journey towards Australia. Got up at 3am. We did some work on our computers (slow wifi) and Kurt swam in the warm Fijian water before packing up again for another 5 hr flight to Australia.
After having practically no sleep for almost a week, we are off to Fiji with a quick refueling stop at Tahiti (in the airplane for a total of over 12 hours). We caught up on our sleep a bit before landing in Fiji which is incredibly hot and humid.
We are awe strucked by the size and number of Moais dotting the island. Each is unique. Learned so much about the history and how the population was almost decimated by small pox when the Europeans arrived and later taken advantage of by various countries. Nowadays the locals love the American archeaologist William Malloy who […]
Not much luck with Peru. First was Day 1 where we flew to Cusco, turned back, checked into a hotel at midnight and had to get up at 3:30am for a 5am flight to Cusco. on Day 4, more problems with our departure to Chile. The passport agent was suspicious of our short stay and […]
Less than a week after we left Peru, the president of Peru tried to dissolve th parliament, causing massive protests and his impeachment and arrest. Now there is a no travel advisory as many tourists are stranded to Machu Pichu as the railway we had just travelled on a few days earlier were blicked by […]
Massive religious site near Cusco built by pre Incan. gigantic megalithic structure where stones are carved to fit together without mortar.
thunder storms, cancelled landing, wobbly trains and bumpy long bus rides to finally see Machu Pichu. the site was empty because it is rainy season. massive swarms of no see um bugs. quite a bit of casualty in the group. we managed to mostly avoid getting bitten with large quantity of deet spray. Lesser of […]
For each country we visit, we get $10 in local currency for misc expenses. First stop is Peru.
The tour group members are from all over the US and Canada. We met up in Orlando to receive our tour orientation.