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Archive for June 2019

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We rely on helicopters just to safely get around Afghanistan’s capital Kabul.

Waiting for my ride back to Kabul

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We shall not cease from exploration, / and the end of all our exploring / will be to arrive where we started / and know the place for the first time.” T. S. Eliot, The Wasteland

Norway is Alaska with Balls!

On Top of The World 71°10′21″
These are words that at 20 years, the Old Age of Youth, I could only accept on blind faith; having no travel or life experience yet to prove them true. 

Home, in fact, was/is a place you want to leave ASAP, and set out on a new course. 

There is something innately human about exploring. The need to break free and sail away is, in fact,  ancient, enduring and incessant.

Voyages trigger a concept called psychological distance: Something about the experience of leaving your place creates a shock and awe, a pathway into a new perspective that floods the brain with ideas.

Neurons that wire together fire together. Now that I have my dreamer-pilots license, I am sure I'll be "flying" again.

 For me, this shift in perspective starts as soon as I'm on a cruise ship . Ships are weirdly the most lucid part of my life. Every cruise I take somehow changes my life in some way. Norway has done it again.

 "The cure for anything is salt water: sweat, tears or the sea."-Karen Blixen (Out of Africa)


On Top of The World 71°10′21″

I feel a lot better lately: it's as if, I am on top of the world. Oh, wait a minute, @330 miles above The Arctic Circle,  in Nordkapp Honningsvåg, I am on top of the world

I AM on The  Top of The World.

The great journey for all travelers was once  limited to explorers and expeditions, now accessible to anyone crazy enough to take a 14 day cruise to get here and back to Europe.

Endless daylight is hauntingly constant, and this cliff that plunges into the endless Arctic Ocean is majestic, having Rock of Gibraltar like gravitas.

The view from all directions is mountains, and the sound of snow melting, as Mother Nature speaks, is awe-inspiring.

Tromsø, Norway-Gateway To The Arctic

Some complain about the rain, others bike in it, and some bike in it and hope they get struck by lightning.
"What are we on? We are on our bikes."

There is Norway I'd go Oslo and make a pun about these large, soft, 
 fluffy and heart-shaped vaflers (waffles), a Norwegian tradition.

The view from The Bridge

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Taking a moment to PAWS and reflect

Good guys in Badlands. These hounds follow those who feed them

Every great story seems to begin with a snake. Our morning hikers spotted a cobra.Charmed to meet him, I am sure.  These serpents  come out early in the morning and late at night, so the risk assessment says go out in the afternoons to lower the impact of meeting up with these cold-blooded hazards.

The snake in most South East Asian cultures is positive. Even the most poisonous thing, in India, the cobra, is a sacred animal. It embodies the power of life, because the snake sheds its skin. If I meet up with one, however, I'd consider it a sign of good luck...and run as fast as I could away from it.

I'm just glad to see so many dogs and watching these dogs be dogs is so funny. I can say any thing whatsoever  to a dog, and the dog will give you a look that says, ‘Wow, you’re right! I never would’ve thought of that!" They are  truly man's best friend.

These Afghan Shepherd "war" dogs here are pavement specials-muts. Most are refugees from the Afghan livestock guardian dog clans.

These lads and lasses are working dogs that have a GPS DNA to follow the nomads that roam these hills and  protect caravans and flocks of sheep, goats, camels and other livestock from wolves, big cats and thieves. ‎It's nice to have them around, following us, to ward off the other packs of wild dogs roaming these parts, and the snakes.

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Coming home to a place I've never been before. It's Fee-Gee (Fiji)
Cue John Denver's Sunshine On My Shoulders.

You can't get any further away before you start coming back.Imagine sailing across the blue waters of the South Pacific, passing by idylic islands, teeming with exotic fish and majestic coral reefs--Oh wait I don't have to use my imagination because what you see is what you get. Bula.
Click links:

On Fiji Islands-Suva-PineApple Express

Ah Suva!, from sea you  looks  so promising, despite the oil slick...but in town, it looks like paradise has  committed suicide. I thought cyclone season was over. 
This is like if that Biggie Smalls rapper met the Afghan Kush,and they had a baby.

Fiji-Dravuni- Another Day Another Island-Escape To Reality

Fiji has over 300 islands- I have seen about 25 so far this trip. I'm concerned that "the wow factor" no longer applies. Yet if I take an imaginary a ride down Southern California's Carmageddon- Interstate 405, breath in some smog  while stuck in bumper-to-bumper traffic. I still want to escape to  MY reality--being in the South Pacific! I love the  Free Parking for all boats, ships and anything that floats.

Freedom can certainly be purchased in a  7 days vacation on one of these idyllic islands. I just happened to visit  one of them, and stayed the day. Priceless.

Fiji Islands-Savusavu-Cue The Sun

Natural, Lush and Beautiful,Where the hell's Fiji? Near Florida?

To the east of the International Date Line lies an exquisite garland of islands known as Fiji. Dignified smiling people bid you "bula," or welcome, to their unspoiled homeland and give you bottles of water called Fiji, bottled at the "source".

Glamping onboard the five-star cruiseship Crystal Serenity.Roll Video...

Ed Reif is the Wilt Chamberlin of the high seas, putting up ports of call numbers so high that mere tourist could never come close 

Country Roads take me home to Studio 54, New York City and The Long Island Railroad-NOT  This South Pacific run, the Tahitian Treasure  28 days voyage , went on a cocaine binge today, jacked a Benz and crashed into a pole. That’s bad, right?  The Fiji Islands are nothing more than the Paris Hilton of paradises, not the best looking but certainly the most photographed for the travel brochures 


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