Argentine sunrise

September 3rd, 2009 § Comments Off on Argentine sunrise § permalink

Beautiful show of nature from the plane’s window on the way here but on the ground it’s the end of winter…gray/white skies and occasional sun

Dallas airport bathroom signage

September 2nd, 2009 § Comments Off on Dallas airport bathroom signage § permalink

High winds? Torrential rain? Mud slides?

Poll: pre-airport stress

September 2nd, 2009 § Comments Off on Poll: pre-airport stress § permalink

Is anyone ever in a good mood when heading off to the airport? We should be (we are going away, yay!) but there’s always last minute stress that takes about the entire ride to wear off

Aregentina bound!

September 2nd, 2009 § Comments Off on Aregentina bound! § permalink

Buenos Aires
Mendoza
Salta
Colome

Must. Finish. Packing. And. Errands!

Total Solar Bust

July 23rd, 2009 § 2 comments § permalink

Others saw it (including passengers on the longer Costa cruise we opted to not take)…but our eclipse was clouded out. Woke up to lightening and rain in the morning and no matter how hard the captain tried to move out of the heavy cloud cover, the eclipse was buried under a blanket. Such a bummer! It did get super dark, which was quite ominous especially while at sea, but we didn’t see the blacked out Sun–-the entire reason for our journey to Asia. We got a glimpse of the partial eclipse in the hour before totality, but only for a fleeting moment under several layers of gray clouds.

Quite a bummer! I am so jealous of everyone else who got to see this eclipse, the longest for the entire century.

Blocked

July 16th, 2009 § Comments Off on Blocked § permalink

Last time in China we couldn’t see our blog (it was on blogger.com, and that site is still blocked). We’re now using Word Press and hosting it on our site, so perhaps that’s why we can see this blog.

Can’t access Facebook or Twitter, though. It’s like I’ve been taken back to the internet circa 2005, an ancient land of isolation!

Arrival in Mongolia

July 26th, 2008 § Comments Off on Arrival in Mongolia § permalink

July 24 – Day 2

The trip here felt like one of the longest days of our lives. Yesterday, our first full day in Mongolia, I crossed three days off the calendar in my journal-two of them fully spent in airports or in the sky. The third day crossed off was spent traipsing around Ulaan Baatar bleary-eyed and foggy-minded with jet lag, so I’m not sure if it even counts.

The temperamental nature of our trip-all the unknowns and things that could go wrong in regard to logistics and weather (clouds ruin a good eclipse) have become somewhat realized, although nothing is certain still, either good or bad-which, ironically, is the only consistent thing with this trip: that nothing is certain.

When checking in to our guest house yesterday morning, Zaya (of Zaya’s Guest House) called Aero Mongolia to confirm our flights to Hovd on July 24 (today). Hovd is part 1 of a 3 part journey within Mongolia to our proposed camp and eclipse site. Her call resulted in a lengthy conversation with the booking agent, during which I thought to myself how wonderful it was I didn’t understand the language, because if I could follow along, and due to the length and tone of the conversation, I’m sure I would have been stressed out-there was obviously some problem, but it’s easy to ignore and defer worrying about it when you don’t know what it is.

It turns out that in early July, during the riots that happened in Ulaan Baatar regarding election results, the airline’s office was burned down and they consequently had no records. Somehow, though, they knew the flight was fully booked and apparently Benjamin and I were not on their passenger list. Zaya threatened the airline with having to pay for our travels and they suddenly found seats, but recommended we get to the airport super early to get them. Later in the day, Zaya left a note on our door that the airline needed us to present ourselves to their office in person, as the departure time had changed from 11:00 am to 5:30 pm.

Having done that, somewhat skeptical whether or not we actually have seats, our plan is to arrive to the airport super super early instead of just super early as recommended to make sure we get a boarding pass.

Rusty Writing Boy

July 20th, 2008 § 1 comment § permalink

On our first trip to Asia back in (checking my passport) 2002 during the dotcom meltdown when we first got our taste of travel and were bitten I kept an ongoing email list of posts and reports mostly written by me. Our last trip was faithfully and frankly reported and beautifully documented on film by Ms. Cheryn. There were plenty of occasions that I contributed silently to if not in text but in action and always to amuse that bubbled to the surface in a lot of those posts. I am throwing my hat back in the ring for perspective.

I have to say that I feel a little overshadowed and daunted already with the surplus of Ms. Cheryns yarns.

Welcome, armchair travelers

July 11th, 2008 § 1 comment § permalink

Follow along as we travel from the steppes of Mongolia to Korea’s DMZ.

We arrive in Ulaan Bataar on July 22, where we’ll begin a journey to an area Lonely Planet calls the ‘wild west’– the remote and rugged Altai Mountain range, to witness the eclipse on August 1. While others are paying thousands of dollars to travel with tour groups, having flights, drivers, and accommodation all planned out for them (not to mention professional astronomers as guides, on hand to lead the group through the eclipse experience), we have chosen a more adventurous and less expensive DIY approach.

It took upwards of a month to organize a domestic air ticket within Mongolia (and I’m crossing my fingers we actually have reservations), there is little information to be found online, and beyond that we’ve read in LP that if we hang out around this or that market in 1 town, we can probably find a driver within a day or two to get us to the next place. Probably. And so, because I have had no other choice, I have deferred all trip planning to some distant point in the future up until now, having decided to ‘worry about it when we get there’ because there is no other way–and now that the trip is less than a week away, the excitement and anxiety is growing.

We depart Mongolia on August 8–conincidentally the opening day of the Olympic Games–and arrive in Korea, where we’ll be traveling for 2 weeks to test our next Me No Speak title. Back home on August 23.

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