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Unrest and Income Inequality in Chile

Posted by on 5:41 pm in Culture | 9 comments

Unrest and Income Inequality in Chile

We usually try to keep away from politics in our blogs and focus on the people we meet and the sights we see.  In Chile this time, however, politics are so intertwined with the people and the sights, we cannot avoid commenting on what we saw. On our first trip in 2015, we saw a country recovering from its horrible dictatorship era.  They had not forgotten what they suffered (a big topic in their cinema and literature), and the country seemed to be moving forward to the brightest economic future in Latin America.  In certain neighborhoods,...

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Our (Truncated) Trip to Chile

Posted by on 9:39 pm in Culture | 18 comments

Our (Truncated) Trip to Chile

We have been to Chile twice before and enjoy the country and its people immensely.  Each previous short trip did not give us enough time to visit all of this beautiful country, so we planned a long three-week trip in March 2020. We intended to shop in Santiago and Valparaiso and then head south to Chiloe Island for some whale watching, followed by a six-day cruise down to the far south to a recently established blue whale sanctuary.  Our plan concluded with a few days in the Mapuche indigenous area. We chose Air Canada out of Vancouver for...

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The World Nomad Games! What?

Posted by on 9:30 pm in Culture | 14 comments

The World Nomad Games!  What?

Fred was leading a delegation to Uzbekistan in August this year when he learned of the World Nomad Games taking place the following week in next-door Kyrgyzstan. Sharon had lived in Kyrgyzstan for two years back in the 1990’s, with Fred as a frequent visitor.  Both fell in love with this small, poor, mountainous country with more horses that people.  It was an easy decision to add a week to his trip to take in those games embracing and extolling the nomadic culture of Central Asia. As Fred researched the games, it quickly became clear...

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What Has Happened to Uzbekistan ?

Posted by on 2:59 am in Culture | 19 comments

What Has Happened to Uzbekistan ?

What has happened to Uzbekistan?  Recent headlines note it is “one of the 12 happiest places in the world”.  Lonely Planet lists it as one of the three “must see” destinations of 2018.  Another notes it is “one of the ten safest places to travel”. Fred recently traveled to Uzbekistan with a small Seattle/Tashkent Sister-City delegation celebrating the 45th anniversary of the oldest sister-city relationship between a Soviet and a U.S. city.  He was flabbergasted. Fred and Sharon have lived in and visited...

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Mountain Music

Posted by on 1:21 am in Music concerts | 9 comments

Mountain Music

This blog, unusually, is about a US trip, not an international trip.  In June we went to the Telluride Bluegrass Festival in the high mountains of southwest Colorado.  This festival at 9,000 feet has been attracting bluegrass music fans for 45 years. Fred’s college roommate Bill and his wife, Marsha, have gone to Telluride many times, and were great to make all the arrangements.   Over 10,000 of your closest friends attend this festival, so prior planning year in advance is essential.  We scored festival tickets a year ago and were not...

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A Trip to Remote Antarctica

Posted by on 3:21 pm in Antarctica Majestic | 17 comments

A Trip to Remote Antarctica

A trip to Antarctica is on every traveler’s “bucket list”… and a trip that takes you south of the Antarctic Circle is an even finer “bucket”.  Such cruises are not for the budget traveler, but who could resist when we kept hearing that the place was melting?   We thought we had better get down to see it before it was gone.  Well, we can tell you that even though it IS melting, there is still a lot of ice left. All cruises to the Antarctic occur during the southern summer, when sea ice is at its least dense....

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The Dzongs (?) of Bhutan

Posted by on 10:07 pm in Culture, Travel | 4 comments

The Dzongs (?) of Bhutan

Our earlier blog talked a bit about Bhutan and how to get there. The latest government pro-tourism project is called, “Why not Bhutan?” The tiny country is now pretty well set up for “high value” (or high cost) and low-impact tourism. A variety of tour companies run treks in the country, though no mountaineering is allowed…in respect for the deities who inhabit the 7,000 meter peaks. We decided on the more usual visit of hitting the three main tourist spots, all centered around western Bhutan. Although the...

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The Last Himalayan Buddhist Kingdom: Bhutan

Posted by on 4:07 pm in Antarctica Majestic, Shopping Overseas, Travel | 12 comments

The Last Himalayan Buddhist Kingdom: Bhutan

Our trip this October took us back to South Asia to visit old friends in both India and Nepal and to make new friends in Bhutan, a country we had never visited before. We found Delhi and Kathmandu as chaotic, bustling, polluted and wonderful as ever, and this made our stay in bucolic and unique Bhutan especially fun as a contrast. We had read a lot about this last of the Himalayan Buddhist kingdoms, where every policy decision is judged for its contribution to the “Gross National Happiness” of the Bhutanese people. Still, we were...

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The New “Great Game” on the Silk Road

Posted by on 4:25 pm in Travel | 6 comments

The New “Great Game” on the Silk Road

The 19th century “Great Game”,  the subject of Kipling’s classic book “Kim,”  referred to the geopolitical jousting between Czarist Russia,  busy expanding into Central Asia, and Great Britain, long established on the Indian subcontinent. The two great powers almost came to blows along their common border in the high Pamir Mountains.   They finally agreed to give a buffer zone to Afghanistan to lessen the chance of inadvertent war between themselves.   That buffer, the Wahkon Corridor, is a finger of Afghanistan...

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