Thursday, December 31, 2009

trip part ii

after spending about 10 days back in the US, split between the bay area and portland, we head off to part 2 of our adventure tonight.

it was nice being back in the US, nice beds, hot showers, good food, burritos (four times in 10 days). a bit rushed to replenish and buy new supplies/gear and also see as many people as we could.

next up, bolivia (which involves 4 flights and a 22 hour layover in lima, peru), then overland to chile and argentina. we fly to new zealand at the beginning of march via LAX, with a couple day stop in the cook islands to check them out. a month in new zealand, month in australia, and back to SF april 30th.

even though our packs have almost doubled in weight from all the climbing and camping gear, we're excited for the next 4 months. it'll be quite different since we'll mainly be hiking, backpacking, and climbing, things that we've missed quite a bit over the last 7 months.

if anyone is interested in joining us on this "tamer" part of our journey, we'd love to meet up with people along the way...

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

egypt, athens, slovenia photos

photos from egypt, athens, and slovenia have been posted:

home for christmas

after spending a few days in athens where it was cold and rainy, we spent a few days in ljubljana, slovenia visiting erick's cousins. just our luck we managed to time our trip when they had a cold front passing by, with highs around 15 deg F and snow. as a result we didn't do much except christmas shop in the city and visit the town of bled, but it was very beautiful and his cousins were extremely hospitable. slovenia is a beautiful country and we'll have to return there one day during the summer to take advantage of the mountains.

due to the scheduling of our flights, we had a one night layover in amsterdam, just enough time to take the train into the city, sleep at a hostel, and take the train back to the airport. but we finally made it home after 7 months and it's great to be back. unfortunately we'll only be here for 10 days before heading to bolivia and with the holidays, it'll be a very short and busy 10 days...

Monday, December 14, 2009

out of the middle east

our time in the middle east has come to an end, we left Egypt yesterday and are now in Athens for a few days.

the desert oases were interesting. we spent a night in the white desert, visited the interesting formations there and in the black desert. of all the oases, siwa was by far the nicest one and the most remote. we had a couple days there, then in Alexandria before flying out.

unfortunately, the less than hygenic conditions in Egypt caught up with both of us at the end. we both had stomach problems and didn't feel well the last week. might also be partially due to malnutrition the past couple months. very glad we saw all the countries and sights and enjoyed our time but also happy to leave.

Greece is giving us sticker shock and also weather shock, it's very expensive and cold. but nice to be back in a place where prices on food are clearly marked and not made up depending on whether or not you're a local.

we'll be home in a week, can almost taste the burritos.

Saturday, December 05, 2009

pyramids and temples

we've spend about a week doing the touristy things in egypt. went to the pyramids in giza, which are very large, though now quite as impressive as i imagined. part of the problem might be because we were scammed getting to the pyramids. a really nice guy (teacher) helped us from the metro to find a bus to the pyramids. long story short, it turns out he and the bus driver work with some horse/camel stable and we were taken there and had to listen to a sales pitch for why we should ride a horse/camel around giza. we refused and ended up having to walk an additional 2 miles to the entrance of the pyramids. what we get for being cheap and trying to do everything by public transportation.

after cairo, we headed down to aswan on an overnight (all tourist) train. aswan was very nice. had an evening boat ride around the islands, which was beautiful and relaxing. went to visit philae temple which was well preserved and had been moved stone by stone from it's original place under the water (after the dam was constructed).

we took an overnight felucca ride up the nile, which was actually very nice and good food, then drove to luxor. visited the valley of the kings (where there are 63 royal tombs underground, including king tutenkhamans) and the valley of the workers, tombs of the workers who built the royal tombs. the tombs were of course empty but still very impressive with painted carvings and the burial chambers.

from here we head into the desert oases for about a week, then alexandria, then we fly to greece for a few days...