Why male orangutans have such weird faces

Today we are in Sarawak in Borneo and finally found a mature male orangutan. WOW! It was easy to notice they have strange flappy face-pads called flanges, which females find attractive – yet males may wait 20 years before developing them. Mature male orangutans have large flappy cheek-pads, known as flanges. As far as females are concerned, they prefer males with them, over those without. … Continue reading Why male orangutans have such weird faces

Borneo Orangutans

As we waited in the sun, the small crowd began to grow antsy, scanning the trees for a sign. Finally, leaves began to rustle, and we collectively held our breath. Then a flash of reddish-gold was spotted between the green jungle leaves. Finally, the ropes giving easy access to the feeding station, began to wobble and our first orangutan appeared. It wasn’t long before more … Continue reading Borneo Orangutans

Jungle trekking in Sumatra

We trekked in Gunung Leuser National Park (GLNP). It is one of the most biologically diverse habitats on the planet. The region is located in a remote part of Indonesia’s largest island and straddles the provinces of North Sumatra and Aceh. It is a land where mountains rise sharply from the lowlands with peaks that stretch out and into the clouds. The jungle, scarred at … Continue reading Jungle trekking in Sumatra

Bali – Island of Gods

Bali the “island of the Gods” has plenty of charm: temples, beaches, diving, spa treatments and handicrafts at bargain prices. Even so, the island’s most indispensable attribute is its people; their warmth, generosity and dedication to preserving their culture are what set the place apart. Mostly famous for its landscapes that are both dramatic and exotic, rice paddies in Bali are part of the people’s … Continue reading Bali – Island of Gods

Borobudur – A wonder of the world

Along with Angkor Wat in Cambodia and Bagan in Myanmar, Java’s Borobudur makes the rest of Southeast Asia’s spectacular sites seem almost incidental. Looming out of a patchwork of bottle-green paddies and swaying palms, this colossal Buddhist monument has survived volcanic eruptions, terrorist bombs and an earthquake to remain as enigmatic and as beautiful as it must have been 1200 years ago. From a distance … Continue reading Borobudur – A wonder of the world

Cruising Indonesia

It is difficult to get our heads around the denominations of their currency. For instance an average lunch for 2 costs 100,000 Indonesian Rupiah. Our first thought is, Whaaaaat??? Then laugh when we realize it is only $8 US Dollars. The Holland America cruise Part II took us through 8 different locations in Indonesia. Two are famous: Borobudur and Bali, which are so photogenic they … Continue reading Cruising Indonesia

Inle Lake and ending in Yangon Myanmar

As I entered the wide expanse of Inle Lake at the end of a narrow feeder channel, two fishermen appeared performing what I could best make out as a slow-motion, over-the-water ballet with oars for props—all while balanced on the bows of their boats. It was absolutely enthralling. Life on the shallow, 13.5-mile freshwater lake is utterly captivating: With no roads or sidewalks to speak … Continue reading Inle Lake and ending in Yangon Myanmar

Mandalay Myanmar

A sunny morning’s float down the Irrawaddy River is good for many things: letting your face bask in the sunshine, visiting with other guests whilst drinking tea; watching river life; or traveling up river to the town of Mingun. In Mingun, we photographed the local ice cream man on his bicycle and visited an assisted living facility for the elderly. Pagodas are everywhere in Myanmar. … Continue reading Mandalay Myanmar

Balloons over Bagan – Myanmar

Few travel experiences compare with flying over Bagan in a hot air balloon. With over 2,200 temples and pagodas, there is no better way to take in the incredible history spread across the plains of Bagan. The layers of wind push us past Buddhist monuments built between the 10th and 14th centuries; the spires of thousands of pagodas spread in the distance and the Irrawaddy … Continue reading Balloons over Bagan – Myanmar

The Lost Year

If every scar tells a story, we wrote a book. Sometimes, this traveling stuff is bloody hard work. Pulling power cords, hefting baskets filled with equipment, lifting kayaks into the bed of the truck, carrying bicycles thru tunnels in European train stations, loading the bikes on the train (along with luggage) in less than a minute. So we have wear and tear . . . … Continue reading The Lost Year

Barcelona Spain area highlights

For two weeks we enjoyed the manic of Barcelona. We attended concerts, rode bikes by the beach, ate tapas and drank Sangria. We lived in an apartment in one of the residential neighborhoods and tried to blend in. The Castilian people are vying for a new European country of Catalonia, and you see their patriotism hanging from balconies. The locals hold folk dancing every Friday … Continue reading Barcelona Spain area highlights

Chateaux of the Loire

Chateaux of the Loire – Being homeless, this was a great opportunity to do some house hunting in France, fortunately for us and our budget none were for sale. These castles originated in the 9th and 10th centuries, when territory in France was divided among individual lords and princes. These nobles built castles to control the area immediately surrounding them, and were both offensive and … Continue reading Chateaux of the Loire

Vins de Bordeaux

Vins de Bordeaux – Nature has been kind to Bordeaux this year. A bumper crop of grapes, a fine harvest – calculated on the lifecycle of the vine, in other words the sugar content and the ripeness of the grape skins, harvests take several days, or even weeks, depending on the size of the plots. In the Bordeaux vineyards, Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon grapes are … Continue reading Vins de Bordeaux

Cote d’Azur

Riviera is an Italian word for coastline. The French Riviera (Cote d’Azur) is the Mediterranean coastline of the southeast corner of France. It also means super yachts, villas of the rich and famous, Princess Grace, beautiful coastline, Monte Carlo Casino and Monaco. We did it all. We stayed outside the city of Antibes, 3 blocks from the Mediterranean and a half mile from a cycleway … Continue reading Cote d’Azur