It was the Ngorongoro Crater and Serengeti Tour. Here you see us loading up after a pit stop at the local toilets on the way. We left Arusha the day before for the long drive to the outskirts of the famous parks where we camped overnight and got up early for the drive into the Lake Manyana area.
It’s me at Malecon 2000.
In the heart of La Candeleria is Bogota Bike Tours. For a mere $15, you can get a fairly good ride and spend the better part fo the day wandering around Bogota with a group of cyclists. Our group turned out to be about 10 cyclists big. I highly recommend the Bogota Bike Tours. It was one of the highlights of the city.
I probably should tell you that America may be blessed in many areas, but it is sadly lacking in the variety of fruits and vegetables that God put on this planet. Places like Bogota, however, have been endowed with God’s abundant harvest. When we hit the market with Mike, the guide for Bogota Bike Tours, he started picking out and cutting up a variety of the local fruits for all of us to see and sample. It was great, if a little sticky. Mike even has a web page that talks about some of the fruit in much better detail than I could. It has lots of great pictures and and the names that I can not pronounce of some of the wonderful fruits that we ate. Go see Mike’s pictures here.
It’s the Golden Stupa, the #1 Tourist Attraction in Vientiane, Laos. I went there. I saw it. I’d tell someone to go there and see it. But, I don’t need to. The guide books will tell you how to get there. I rented a bicycle and saw all of Vientiane that I needed to see in a little more than a day and a half. This is just one of the sights. Personally, I think the town gets a bad rap. It’s not the kind of place you’d want to move to, but it’s worth going to see.
I didn’t get to talk with them. They were having lunch in a restaurant. I wish I could have heard about their trip but I didn’t want to be a bother. Touring cyclists have the greatest of stories. They’re the real adventurers of the world. I think bicycle touring is so cool. So why don’t I do it? Primarily, it’s because you have to be prepared to sleep out "in it" almost every day, whether it’s cold or hot or wet or whatever and I just don’t see that as a really comfortable way to travel. Granted, I don’t always sleep in the most serene of places, but at least I stay dry most of the time. Maybe some day I’ll get up the nerve to try it.
This is the main tourist center in Kuala Lumpur. Notice the Petronis Towers in the background. When I walked into the building my first thought was "Wow! I don’t think I can afford this place." Fortunately, all the information and brochures were free. It was a nice place.
It’s called Jantar Mantar and it’s a whole amusement park of astronomical instruments built in the early 1700′s. It’s located in the Old Town of Jaipur, India. The instruments are quite sophisticated and the sight is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, making it a big "must consider to see" on my checklist of places to go in India. Our guide took us around and explained the workings of a few of the instruments. The site is on the city tour.
It was a great tour. There were about two dozen of us. Cost about $5. We saw lots of great places. There were temples, an observatory, palaces, a museum, some graves, and three forts. We had lunch at one of the forts in a restuarant where I got a great vegetable thalli for $2. The tour was sponsered by the local government and I was impressed at the quality and happy with the cost. Plus, I had a lot of fun with the other tourists. At the end of the tour the guide took me with him and bought me a cup of Chai at a local shop instead of making me sit through the obligatory stop at the silk merchant. I was humbled.
The Indians call it Birla Mandir. So, if you’re catching a cab, that’s what you would tell the driver. Often, your pronouncEments of the name of a location or site is different to the locals than to tourists. It gets tricky. But, Delhi Tourism got me there with no problem. The temple was really beautiful. The guide was impressive in her explanations. It’s one of the few times that I’ve come out of a temple feeling that I would like to go back and see it again. No pictures were allowed inside, though.The Indians call it Birla Mandir. So, if you’re catching a cab, that’s what you would tell the driver. Often, your pronouncEments of the name of a location or site is different to the locals than to tourists. It gets tricky. But, Delhi Tourism got me there with no problem. The temple was really beautiful. The guide was impressive in her explanations. It’s one of the few times that I’ve come out of a temple feeling that I would like to go back and see it again. No pictures were allowed inside, though.