Category: Culture

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… Read more »

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… Read more »

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… Read more »

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… Read more »

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… Read more »

Why Patagonia?

Fred and Sharon spent November of this year in Patagonia–that windswept expanse of flat lands and high mountains of southern Argentina and Chile. Why, our friends asked, did you go to a place not known for rugs or textiles and where, uncharacteristically, you can drink the water out of the tap? Yes, Argentina is less… Read more »

By Rail in Mongolia

Fred loves train travel.  You meet an interesting cross-section of a population and get to peer into a country’s backyards as the train passes.  Wherever we go, we take train trips, and Mongolia was no exception. The vast country has relatively few kilometers of rail–all built for them by the Soviet Union.  Besides a few… Read more »

“Gers” and “Yurts” in Mongolia

Mongolia is a wonderful country whose vast landscapes are scattered with round portable nomad tents.  The majority of the Mongolian population call theirs “gers”, but the minority Kazakh people in far western Mongolia call theirs “yurts”.  Kazakh yurts, however, should not be mistaken for Mongolian gers.  There are a number of differences. The two nomadic… Read more »