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Colourful, full of activity, a place to head to for llama hair jumpers to keep the chill off at night and a must for the photographer. Buses can be taken from the city of Latacunga (nr park national cotapaxi) – set out early though the locals all head for this market as well.
Last week after work, Noah and I took the metro downtown to see the Cherry Blossoms by the Tidal Basin. While the National Cherry Blossom Festival wasn’t starting for another two days, I still considered this goal checked off since all I cared about was seeing the trees anyway. I grew up in Maryland and while I’m pretty sure I saw the trees sometime during my years there, I can’t recall that I did. And I haven’t been to see them since we moved back to the area almost four years ago, so I was due for a visit. I am so happy we went when we did. The weather was perfect, the sun was shining just right and it wasn’t too crowded since it was later in the afternoon. Don’t get me wrong, it was still crowded (I practically had to shove some people in order to get good shots!) but it wasn’t…
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If the King’s Palace in Cambodia is all too formal/expensive for you I have an alternative that is close by and does not cost a cent. Walk up the road with the Palace walls to your left. A couple of streets up on the right is a very old temple.
Gateway to temple complex
Everything here is crumbling but of course this adds to the ambience.
There were no mangy dogs and the monks are happy for you to look around.
There are some interesting statues in the grounds – not sure what is going on here!
Loved this statue
It really pays to screw your courage to the sticking post and have a wander off the beaten track – this is what you could find. Amazing stuff. And of course you can have a well-earned drink at the Foreign Correspondents Club just down the road.
View of Xela from the school roof.
I woke up to the sound of the eternally barking dog outside my window, wondering for a moment where on earth I was. I checked my cheap plastic travel watch and it read 6:50 am. The sun had yet to light up my bedroom and I was exhausted after a fitful night’s sleep. I tossed and turned, continually stuffed in my ear plugs and cranked my white noise up yet nothing seemed to help drown out the symphony of noise from the Guatemalan city life. Unfortunately I’ve always been a light sleeper which got worse after I became a mother. I swear I sleep with one eye open, listening throughout the darkness of the night for someone to call my name.
My first day at Spanish school was in a little over an hour and I was so tired I had no idea…
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I landed in Guatemala City on an excessively windy day on Sunday, March 4th. After a fitful night’s sleep at a mediocre airport hotel I was ready to leave Houston and finally continue my way south to Guatemala. I had the usual feelings of excitement and anticipation which I always get before I land in a new country and enter into the mayhem it brings. The whole bag of usual mixed thoughts raced across my mind.
What would it be like? Would I enjoy my stay there? Would I understand and be able to communicate in my broken Spanish? Would I be safe? Would I get sick? Would my ride be there as expected, waiting for me outside the baggage claim? Would the bus ride suck?
You would think that a seasoned traveler would get over these worry wart antics but it never seems to fail. I’m always a…
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Back to our trip along the Mekong. Our host was a funny lady and cracked jokes all along the way – she was also a bit handy with the bamboo and made many different things out of the strips by plaiting them together Rings with a stone, bracelets, flowers with hanging crickets from the end – very talented.
The riverside is a fascinating place and we saw all sorts of businesses plying their trade to the boat people – including a dexlux coffin making shop!
Next stop on our river trip – the Klongs of the Mekong
A great base for exploring the floating markets of the Mekong and the backwaters of the Klongs. The town has a bustling market that sells just about everything one could need for your DIY enthusiast and the food night market based along the riverside makes for good dining at affordable prices. As soon as we arrived someone was giving us the hard sell for the markets and eventually we negotiated a price that everyone was happy with. We opted for the longer tour and I’m glad we did as we saw a lot more than the shorter 2 hour trip offered. First we visited Cai Rang market before heading onto Phong Dien Market. We then went around the back of the Klongs to see village life which included a walk, a visit to a paper rice cottage industry and a family breeding pythons for money. There were the two of us in the boat and we only saw a handful…
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