Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Coolest site ever

Here 's a great site to use for planning biking and running training routes all over the world.

Monday, June 4, 2007

Hiking in the Himalayas

We just got back yesterday evening from a 2 day trek in the western Himalayas!! Woo! And now- 20 hours later- my legs are still completely exhausted! Need to do a few more shorter trips to get in shape before we try an overnighter again...

So, we left early Sunday morning and headed for the hills just north of McLeod Ganj (the city we're in right now). After about 15 minutes of walking uphill, we realized what we were in for, for the next 8 hours.... 14 km and 7 hours later, we were almost cresting the mountain, acompanied by the boom of thunder and lightning overhead, when rain started falling on us. I asked our guide if we could stop to put rain jackets on, but he told us hurriedly, "No no, 2 more muinutes. Fast!". So then he takes off, jogging up the rest of the mountain. The rain that was falling quickly turned into hail. Just when I was starting to panic, I got to the top of the mountain, and ran under this tarp that was set up in front of a little cabin, where our guide was beckoning us too. Seriously as soon as we stepped under the crowded overhanging, the sky opened up, and little gum-ball sized hail was dumping down on us!!

As soon as my eyes adjusted to the darkness, I realized that the little cabin was actually a huge cave that went about 15 meters back, and was housing about 30 hikers taking refuge from the storm! It was pretty exciting, sitting in there wrapped up in blankets, being served chai tea, watching the hail pour down outside of the cave.

About an hour later, the hail stopped, and we all emerged to a clear sky, and beautiful mountains surrounding us. It was one of the most beautiful scenes I have ever seen!! (I will add pictures in a week, when I put them to CD). We camped at this plateau at around 3300m (started at about 1800m). The hill was covered in wild irises and other flowers, and we spent the rest of the afternoon and evening wandering around the area.

Our guide cooked us an amazing 3 course meal (complete with 3 kinds of curry) on a camping stove!! It was incredible- definintely the best food that we have had so far.

The following morning, we trekked up to the snowline, and a glacier on the slopes of the neighbouring mountains, before beginning the long descent back to town.

No more time at the internet cafe.... gotta run!!! Take care everyone!

Saturday, June 2, 2007

Happy Birthday Mom!!

Woohoo!! I love you and miss you Mom! I hope you're having a great day! I wish I could be there to celebrate with you!

Enjoy the Saefway cake! Save some for me!!


The first week in India...

Hmm, this post will be a bit disorganized... I'm too hot to think properly about what I'm typing. I think it's been over +30 every day we've been out here! Insane!! Actually, when I flew into Delhi last week at 9pm, the sign beside the runway read +39!! gross!! Needless to say, the majority of what I've been doing is sweating hahaha.

After meeting Rach at the airport at 2am last Friday, we took an autorickshaw through the sketchiest area of Delhi, where we got a hotel for the night. We paid WAY more than we should have, but it was late, and the conversion math just wasn't working for us, so we shelled over 20$ for a good night's sleep. A few hours later, without that much needed sleep, we emerged from the hotel, to greet our first day in India. What a day that was... neither of us was prepared for the chaos, filth, and insanity that is Delhi. After about 5 minutes wandering around, we decided the best thing to do would be get out of that crap hole as fast as possible!! Unfortunately, foreigners can't buy tickets at the bus or train station (this is what we were told anyways- it may or may not be true), so we were led 20 minutes away to a "government" booking agency. After gettign mad at us for being skeptical about the whole sketchy procedure, they insisted there were no busses or trains out of Delhi of the next 5 days (which I find VERY hard to believe), so we ended up buying a plane ticket outta there to Srinagar, Kashmir.

We were both aware of the political unrest in Kashmir, but Rach's brother had been there a couple of weeks earlier, so we thought it would be ok. And it was!! It was gorgeous! WE stayed in a house boat for two nights, on a peaceful lake amidst the mountains. There were a lot of soldiers in the city, and the state, but they were all really friendly, and even posed for pictures with us!! That was great =) Although a little unnerving, seeing soldiers in little makeshift sandbag/barbed wire bunkers skattered along the road ways. Anyways, our experience there was great, but we moved on pretty quickly, since our travel time is pretty short.

From Kashmir, we headed to Dalhousie, Himachal Pradesh. Unfortunately, we had 20 hours of bus travel between the two cites. Our first day of travel ended in Jammu, which is honestly the most disgusting place either have us have ever seen. Stepping off the bus into mounds of garbage, the smell of urine in heat saturated the air, making for a pleasant welcoming. After 30 minutes of searching for a hotel, we finally found one. After checking out the tiny room, and paying, I headed into the bathroom, only to find we had a present left for us in the toilet- a floating turd!!! I was so disgusted, and immediately went downstairs to get a refund. Unfortunately there were no other hotels, so we had to sleep in the turd one, but we took off as fast as we could the next morning...

Dalhousie was great though. We spent the last few days there, doing some day hikes/walks around town, and sampling all the yummy Indian food.

Now we are in McLeod Ganj- the home of the Exiled Tibetan Government. We have yet to actually see the Dalai Lama's Palace yet (we were too excited about email, after no computers for the last week and a half) but I'm sure it will be great. There is a really large community of Tibetan refugees living here, but from what I've seen so far, it seems to be an enormous congregation of dredded hippies. We hadn't seen any other foreigners yet, but that's al there are here! Ther are also bakeries!! Woohoo!! I had carrot cake today- it's been so long since I had baking, so I was pretty pumped =)

Well, that's it for now!! I miss you all at home so much!! Take care, and keep me posted about all of your adventures!

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Creative writing from my kiddies...

I got my older students to do some creative writing for one of our classes, and here's a couple of stories that they came up with....

The Tiger

Long time ago I have tiger. She is very smart to play with. Her is too fun but tiger has strange habit. Every night she disappear. I think this is unusual and I bind the thread around her legs.

At night thread is moving and I follow thread and I surprise because she is woman. We married and happy but she had one problem. She is back tiger every morning.

Fly Man

Today I walk on road and I play ping-pong. At that time I change into a fly. I go to fly school. There are many fly friends. I say "hello, hello!!" but they are disregard me. I'm very very sad and I want to their kill. But they pluck my legs. I'm very very pain.

But fly man help me and I have imitation legs. I am happy. I change into the person. I step on fly teacher. Squish! Wow! Fly teacher is crush! Fly teacher shout "I will be back!"

Hahahaha I was pretty entertained by these- thought I'd share them. I guess these guys are Schwartzenegger fans....

Tuesday, May 1, 2007


Here's Hammy- our friendly hamster, whom we inherited from friends leaving Korea, and whom they inherited from a student, who brought it to school in a plastic bag... "Teacher... hamster???".

I guess I've always been partial to animals that I can't accidentally kill by stepping on, but this guy is pretty cute. He's also pretty skilled at acrobatics, but unfortunately he's camera shy, so I have yet to get video footage of him in his natural habitat, monkey-barring across the cage.

Friday, April 20, 2007