From Thursday, October 9, 2003I'm in Irvine, California. What can I say? It's Irvine...nothing happens here!
Where is Ted going next? To Hampton, Virginia to see my family the end of October.
From Monday, May 26, 2003 I'm in sunny Southern California! The sun is out today as we celebrate Memorial Day.
Well, I'm back from a week of the same weather in Portland, Oregon.
Where is Ted going next? To the spend the afternoon by the bar-b-que with friends..mmm...steak!
From Tuesday, April 1, 2003I'm and in Afghanistan!!! Yeah, and I am will start my slow journey over to Iraq later today! Wow, what adventure!!!
APRIL FOOLS!!! OK, just kidding. No, I am really back in Southern California, in sunny and very warm Irvine. Not a cloud in the sky, 80 degrees F...it feels like summer is already here.
Where is Ted going next? To the dentist. No kidding. Well, I haven't been in for 2 years! .
From Monday, January 13, 2003
From Monday, January 13, 2003I'm in Verde Valley Arizona. I am finishing a the last family visits and projects this week.
Where is Ted going next? Back to Orange Country, California to get a job. Where? No answer for that one yet. Keep tuning in...
From Friday, December 13, 2002
From Friday, December 13, 2002Hola! Ciao, Hey now! I'm in Miami! Here it's like permanent summer! I've been checking out all the sights and scenes here in the Miami area - like rolling cigars with Cubans in Little Havana and relaxing on the beaches around south Miami. The other day I took in some Jai Alai. That's the game from Basque, Spain where they hurl a solid rubber ball at over 180mph!
Last weekend I joined 4 other guys for a fishing trip in the Everglades. Out on the Gulf of Mexico, at the mouth of the Shark River...not much of the famous Snook or Tarpon were around..but billions of mosquitos and sand flies devoured us! I'm still itching!
And speaking of devouring...I'm still stuffed from last night's gorge at a killer Argentine steak house.
Where is Ted going next? To the Florida Keys. More relaxing in paradise. Then on to Colorado on Monday, and later in the week, driving down to Arizona for the holidays.
From November 27, 2002
From November 27, 2002Happy Thanksgiving!!!!
I am enjoying the holiday here in Arizona, at Mom's house. A good dose of home cooked food, a warm house, a clear, open skies. And today, I finally closed escrow. I an no longer a home owner!
Where is Ted going next? To the kitchen for more of Mom's fresh cookies and pecan pie. Then to Phoenix and the Valley, then Florida to see the Everglades (I will be the worst fisherman there), Miami, and who knows, maybe Orlando. Then to Colorado the week of 16 Dec. And finally driving from Denver back to Arizona for Christmas. New Year's?
From September 7, 2002
From September 7, 2002Hey! I am Irvine, California! I a truely back home! And this week, to mark my arrival home...I received the last of the mail I posted home from overseas...A package I sent from India, in April 2001!!!
Notice the hand stitched linen, and sealed with melted wax...not quite FedEx is it?!
Where have I been recently? Mostly here...but also a very special weekend in San Jose - the wedding of David and Rebecca.
Otherwise, I've been spending most of my time improving, detailing, and selling my house.
Where's Ted goin' next? To check out a few more cars as I shop for a cheap rice burner to drive around
From August 5, 2002
From August 5, 2002Hey! I am Irvine, California...in the good 'ole USA!
Where have I been recently? We visited the beautiful mountain and canyon region around Colca Canyon. Since this is measured from the adjacent 6000+ meter mountains, to the bottom of the canyon, Colca is the deepest in the world. For us it was a land of teeth rattling bus rides, small towns like Cabanaconde, with no electricity, millions of terraced farms, llamas, and souring condors. This is the place to see condors up close.
We returned to Arequipa and took a bus out the same night. 14 hours to Lima! Then back in the good hands of Javier and Nancy, we were once again stuffed to the point of exploding with amazing food. Awesome ceviche two days in a row, desserts, etc. Then Kathy left town for Ecuador, and I boarded a plane for LAX. Thanks again, Javier, Nancy, Hans, and Julian.
Upon my return to So Cal, I promptly left town the next day, with John, to join forces for Dave Stashower's bachelor party in Las Vegas. What better way to blend into the "real world" after nearly 3 years of backpacking!!!
Where's Ted goin' next? To the hardware store! Got to get working on my condo as I prepare it for sale, now that I'm back. Then, time to shop for a new car...or rather, an old, really cheap one!
From July 25, 2002
From July 25, 2002Hola, I am in Arequipa, Peru. This is one of the oldest cities in Peru and many places keep the old architecture...built of white volcanic stone. The highlights are several churches and two monesteries...and proximity to 3 massive volcanos and the Colca Canyon.
Where have I been recently? After the Pampas tour in the Amazon, we ventured into the jungle and found an mind blowing variety of animals, bugs, and plants. Highlights: toucans, parrots, mccaws, deer, frogs of all sizes, millions of spiders, numerous tarrantulas, massive ants of all types, bats, snakes (a coral snake...kathy was lucky to not step on), and a green cobra...in camp!), quinine trees, swinging over a river on a vine, drinking water from a vine, and learning of the uses of many, many plants. oh yeah, and on the way out of the jungle...a jaguar.
After, we returned to Rurrenebaque to drink too much with Ernie, Terry, Shelly, and Johnny. Back to the mudder ship! Then back to La Paz where i got sick again...what did i eat in the jungle?!
Then on to Sorata in Bolivia to see amazing mountain views...only 10 miles away from...and 10,000 feet below the towering Illampu mountain (6400meters high). Then to Copacabana for a night and on here to Arequipa.
Where's Ted goin' next? Tomorrow we go to Colca Canyon for 2days. Then to Lima to bid farewell to our friends there before I head home to So Cal...July 31!
From July 12, 2002
From July 12, 2002Hola, I am in the Amazon. In the selva region of Bolivia near the Brasil border. Here most people live by raising cattle in the flat lands, farming, hunting, and logging. In Rurrenabaque, itīs all focused on tourism into the jungle and pampas.
Where have I been recently? In the pampas for a 3 day tour of the rivers and swamps. Thousands of alligators and caymans (Kathy counted 178 in 10 minutes). The most memorable for everyone...whether they liked it or not...was trudging through the ankle deep mud and kneed deep water for over 4 hours to find a 2 meter anaconda and 2 cobra snakes. Our guide reached into the brown river water to pull out a nearly 1 meter gator on our night cruise. We also saw loads of capyburas (they looklike a cross between a pig and "Alf"). Loads of colorful swamp birds and the like. And for dinner...our guide snagged 12 piranas off a hand line in about 10 minutes...we managed ZERO. Good dinner...but not much meat on those boys. But they really take to the fresh meat we used for bait. OK, Tim, Anna, Diana, and others...send you photos next month!
Where's Ted goin' next? Back through La Paz and if the salt lakes are clear of snow...down south, otherwise into Colca Canyon & Arequipa, then to Lima to bid farewell to our friends there before I head home to So Cal...July 31!
From July 9, 2002
From July 9, 2002Hello, I am in La Paz, Bolivia. Here at 12,500 ft, it is clear skies and warm...in the sun. And I'm usually out of breath just walking upstairs. We're staying with the Leach family, who have been so very kind to take us in. Thanks Kirk, Danielle, Mateo, and yes, thanks Russ for connecting us.
Where have I been recently? We have spent the last week lounging about...both with some sinus infections. But in the midst of all that TV watching and playing with young Mateo, we visited a few sights in La Paz and managed to spend a few dollars on local wares.
Yesturday's highlights included a tour inside the most bizzare prison I've ever heard of. You have to buy your own jail cell and the more money you have, the better the room...you can even build your own. We gave our guide $10 each which is said to go to the guards and the president of the prison. 1300 men and 300 children live there. Right in the middle of La Paz. But more details coming on this one.
Where's Ted goin' next? Got to hurry off to catch a plane to the low lands...then into the junlge for a few tours. After, it's back through La Paz and into Colca Canyon & Arequipa, then to Lima to bid farewell to our friends there before I head home to So Cal...July 31!
From June 17, 2002
From June 17, 2002Dio mios! I am in Nasca, Peru. Once again...this IS getting old...about one month has gone by between updates. OK, to make this easier or me...and you...you can also hear of my whereabouts via the much more timely and sometimes more accurate web site of my travel partner, Catalina.
Where have I been recently? Or rather, what have I SEEN recently?...LINES, LINES, LINES. Here at Nasca we flew over a massive area with straight lines, geometric shapes, animals...and who knows...maybe an Astronaut.
On arrival to Lima we both enjoyed the wonderous welcome of our hosts Javier, Nancy, Hans, and all the family members. Our thanks to Don Julio whoīs enjoying sunny Southern California right now! In Lima we've been treated to non stop excellent cuisine including home made ceviche, lomo soltana, chicha morada, as well as anticuchos (beef hearts), and all types of fruits and desserts. Thanks to Hans for getting us into the high society of Lima's most exclusing golf and tennis club and to Javier and Nancy for being both guides and chauffers.
But before the garua of Lima, I spent 12 days on the Galapagos Islands in Ecuador...and ON the equator. Wow! OK Amigos! time for a wet landing! I think the 3 hrs of video and 6 rolls of film will help remind me how much fun I had...swimming with sea lions, sharks, sting rays, and penguins. Nearly tripping over blue foot boobies, iguanas, albatros and so many other totally tame animals. My thanks to the crew of the Floreana...but more to the otra pasajeros y nuestro guia. Guys, I promise to share photos soon...after I get home!
Where's Ted goin' next? Tonight it's the joy of a 16 hour bus through the steep and twisting mountain road to Cusco. Then on to Machu Picchu before returning to take part in the festival of the Sun God for the winter solstice. Then Bolivia for even higher altitude and down into the Amazon jungle...and then back to Lima for
From May 22, 2002
From May 22, 2002Hola muchachos! Today is May 22, 2002, and I'm in Bogata, Colombia. Here in the capital, people are preparing for the presidential election, to be held next week. That means more police and military...no, wait, that's every day here. Today i visited outside the president's palace.
Where have I been recently? Wow, another month burned by without any updates from me! From San Jose I toured the mountain perserves of Monteverde and Santa Elena. Saw lots of wildlife...including the stunning Quetzl birds. But no Jaguars! Next to Montezuma (no Mom, not at your house), but on the Pacific Coast. Loads of gringos relaxing and dancing the night away, black volcanic beaches and powder white coral beaches. Then back through San Jose and over to the Atlantic. Nothing but rain in Puerto Limon, Puerto Viejo, and even in Bocas del Toro in Panama. But the Salsa Brava waves in Puero Viejo were still pretty nice. Then across the railroad bridge, on foot, in the rain, into Panama. South to Panama City for shopping, nightlife, and the canal. Next flew to Cartegena toured there for 3 nights. Good fun, but the nightlife is a bit strange. One disco featured pop hits from the US and Latin America...from 10 or 15 years ago. The old city is almost entirely 15th-17th century buildings, in various states of repair. Then by bus to Medallin. People there are surprisingly more outgoing and relaxed there. Shopping included a jacket for the cold weather of Bogata. After another all day bus trip...and more police check points and searches, i reached the high altitude of bogata - 2650 meters (8700 feet). Toured around here yesturday and today...especially the Gold museum with thousands of pieces of pre Colombian works.
Where's Ted goin' next? Tomorrow to Quito, Ecuador. Then maybe to Galapagos, and on to Lima. Dont forget the festival of the Sun God at the winter solstice, and Machu Picchu. Then Bolivia, and somehow, back home. Don't worry Dave, I'll be back in time for your wedding!
From April 29, 2002
From April 29, 2002Hola todos! I'm in San Jose, Costa Rica. Named "The Rich Coast" by Columbus...It's certainly the richest country in central america. So far Ive only seen Immigration, lots of roads, and now San Jose. Just a quick stop here before moving on to the national parks and beaches of Costa Rica.
Where have I been recently? To Honduras - Copan on the border w Nicaragua, then slow journey to the Bay Islands. One week on Utila...what a sweet life! Lots of time in the water with countless varieties of fish, sea turtles, rays, and there are even whale sharks and dolphins. Also lots of time in the hammock. I left Utila in the capable hands of Bettina, Sylvie, Wily, Chris, Brian, and a whole host of others. Then to Roatan for more of the same. And then the long journey south. 3 days by ferry boat and 4 buses from the northern coast of Honduras to San Jose...via Managua.
Where's Ted goin' next? I am yet to pick which parks and beachs and volcanos...but lots of each here in Costa Rica. Then on to Panama and then fly or swim to Ecuador and then Peru! Finally Boliva and ??? Chile, if i have time. Wait...I think i might have time...if i have money!
From April 7, 2002
From April 7, 2002Hola todos! I'm in San Pedro de Laguna, Guatemala. Here on the edges of a lake which is actually the massive caldera of an ancient volcano. Three other volcanic cones stand nearby. The lake is ringed by pueblos which farm the volcanic soil. A few are meccas for students of spanish language and ganja intake (not usually combined).
I am staying with a Guatemalan family and enjoy the privalege of 3 meals a day with the freshed tortillas anywhere...along with the benefit of the free rooster alarm clock...just outside the window. But then again, the house is basically open to the fresh air...gets darn chilly here at night.
Where have I been recently? Since my last update, I left the Carribean for the jungle of Tikal. I climbed the pyramids at dusk and the following dawn for killer views, above the trees. only the peaks of buildings pop up above the green carpet. Tucans, parots, howler monkeys, and much more, all abounding.
Then on to La Antigua, Guatemala, Centro America. The full name. It was once the capital of all central america. Now it is tourist and spanish school central. And for good reason. A beautiful town full of colonial spanish architecture. I rolled in for Semana Santa, Easter Week. I immediatly enrolled in 3 days of spanish class and the only available housing...student housing. The next day i participated with a thousand other guys, in carrying a massive float, with Jesus carrying his cross, for la iglesia de san francisco. In total, 70 people at a time on carried it.
The streets were covered with carpets of flowers and other plants on a bed of sawdust to create amazing artworks...which we then tread upon. The grandest of the many processions during semana santa was for la iglesia de san felipe, where 90 men carried the biggest float. Led by about 100 boys swinging smoke pots and about 2000-3000 total men. Followed by at least 1000 women with a float of their own. This was Good Friday.
After the last smoke cleared and the confetti from Easter Sunday was swept up, I left for Lago de Atitlan and San Pedro. And here I sit...still unable to conjugate spanish verbs...
Where's Ted goin' next? To the Carribean coast of Honduras. Then down to Costa Rica. And when the rains really come in May, I'll head down to South America.
From March 23, 2002 From March 14, 2002
From March 23, 2002Hello mon! I'm on Caye Caulker in Belize! Not much to do here but soak up the sun, snorkel, dive, and drink expensive, local beer. So, this afternoon, I'm off for a 3 hour snorkel trip around the world's second largest coral reef. Where have I been recently? I have been covering a lot a ground...and taking many, many buses. From Oaxaca, I took a painful overnight bus on the twisting, turning roads into Chiapas and San Cristobol. Local buses and VW vans around to local towns and the amazing canyon with 1.2km steep walls...crocodiles, egrets, pelecans, vultures...etc. Sorry, no leapards spotted. Next, another bus to Palenque and a visit to the amazing ruins of a mayan site, set in teh deep jungle. Very hot...very nice. Then on to Chichen Itza where i joined thousands...tens of thousands for the equinox and a the appearance of the serpent...then illuniates the edge of a staircase and reveals a serpent 2 times each year...spring and autumn equinox. They had complete knowledge of the solar system and how to build with great precision. Then a bus to a bus to the border with Belize...only to arrive 10 minutes late to get another bus across. So a night in very unexciting Chetumal. Then a very overcrowded school bus into Belize City...more waiting and a very crowded power boat out to the caye...only to get cloudy skies and rain. But very comfortable here. Where's Ted goin' next? The sun is out so we're going to the reef! Tomorrow a bus to Guatemala and into Tikal - the jewel of Mayan ancientcities in Guatemala. Then down to Antigua for Semana Santa - Easter Week...it's really celebrated with passion there.
From March 14, 2002Buenos tardes! I'm in the central Mexican city of Oaxaca! I am staying in the center of town, near the tree covered, chill plaza in the heart of town, the zocalo.
Where have I been recently? Whoa! This was so out of date! Since my last update, I traveled on yet another overnight bus to Salvador. Yep, rolled into town with and right into the heart of the historic town. Filled with Portuguese colonial buildings and African culture. Ta legal! Ta lindo! Salvador and the state of Bahia is called "Africa in exile." The food, music, dress, art...all from Angola and throughout western Africa. This is THE home of Carnival. After tons of free outdoor musical impromtus buy massive drum bands and solo players, i hit the beaches of Salvador! Ta bom! I stayed at a hostel on the beach...the only person in a massive single dorm room with beds for 54 people! All for the low cost of $6, including a killer big breakfast. Thank God I didn't try to stay at this hostel during Carnival..only one bathroom for 2 floors!
Next, I caught a flight down to the nation's real capital (in size and industry), Sao Paulo. About 20 million people live in the forest of high rises and favelas that extend out forever into the industrial parks. This was a shopping excursion...plane tickets, music, music, music.
When I left, I did the only logical thing...leave the second most populated city in the Americas for the most...Mexico City. An all day flight via Lima, Peru brought me in. I spent the next few days checking out the historic centro, the jammin' Zona Rosa (they make it easy...all night life funnels into here), and the massive ancient ruins of Teotihoucan.
I just arrived here last night from the "DF" and am already slowing my pace to Oaxacan style. Salut! Today I wandered the ruins at Monte Alban. Tonight...more cerveza. WEre meeting in the zocalo at 8...Norwegians, English, Americans...and surrounded by mariachis and vendors.
Where's Ted goin' next? In Mexico, to San Cristobal, and on towards Chitchen Itza for the vernal equinox on March 21. Then to find a town to chill during Semana Santa - Easter week. And then on to Belieze, Guatemala, Honduras, and Costa Rica. When the rain washes me out, I'll be heading on to Equador and Peru.
From February 27, 2002
From February 27, 2002HAPPY NEW YEAR and BOM Boa tarde! I'm near the beach at Arrial D Ajuda, in central coastal Brasil. Tonight is the full moon and there will be many parties on the beach lasting till sunrise. Today it has been cool and overcast...with warm Atlantic Ocean water washing on the soft tan sand...just right for relaxing after too many overnight buses to get here.
Where have I been recently? After leaving Florianopolis, I bused 15 hrs to Foz De Igaucu to see one of he world's most spectacular waterfalls. It dwarfs Niagra. The greatest part is that you can wander for 2 days in parks in Brasil and Argentina, under, over, in the waterfalls...and there are more than 270 falls. Looks like something right out of a Tarzan movie...except for the helicopters flying overhead for the high dollar tourists.
Then another overnight bus to Curitiba, then a few hours later a bus to Paranagua, then a ferry for 2 hrs to Ihla Do Mel - a chill island just offshore. A mecca for surfers and beach lovers. Spent 3 nights there jamming with Marcello, Adriana, Nora and a whole group of others. Great folks there.
Then we reversed tracks and took the train back to Paranagua - said to be the most scenic route in all of brasil...Then another overnight bus. This time back to Rio. I spent one night there traveling with Oren from Israel. The next day our timing was a bit off...got to the mall before it opened at about 3pm on sunday, got directions to the wrong bus, found out that the entire metro is closed on Sunday and then got only the the tail end of a massive concert on Copa beach Sunday night...woops. But again, a great time at Copacabana and Ipanema! Viva Rio!
Then yet another overnight bus to this lovely, and heavily touristed little town of Arrial D Ajuda.
Where's Ted goin' next? North to Salvador de Bahia. Then back down to Sao Paulo and on to Guatemala! Ready for Central America!
From February 12, 2002
From February 12, 2002HAPPY NEW YEAR and BOM CARNIVAL!!!! - Thatīs Chinese New Year - the year of the horse (my year) and this is Carnival in Brasil. Today is February 12, 2002, and I'm on the hot and sunny...and sometimes hot and rainy, island of Santa Catarina in Brasil. Both holidays have coincided this year on February 12th.
What am I doing here? Hey, what better way to start the 2002 than the primo summer celebration in Brasil? Thatīs right, after considering touring Africa, the Middle East, and the Americaīs, I decided to focus closer to home. So with this, Iīve begun my last big adventure before heading home for good...or so I think.
Where have I been recently? I spent a few days and nights jamming around Rio de Janeiro and hanging at the succo bars and taking the daily dose of beach life along with the Cariocas. Copacabana, Ipanema, Sugar Loaf, the worldīs largest soccer stadium (Maracana can hold 200,000), and the beginning of Carnival celebration.
Then I headed 1000km south to Florianopolis to join tourists from all over southern and central Brasil, Argentina, Uraguay, the US and Europe. Officially there are more than 100 beachs on this island. I have not seen them all...but Iīve split my time between beaches during the day and Carnival fest at night in the historic city center.
Much, much smaller than Rio or Salvador, itīs pretty relaxed here. 4 stages of music going each night, parades, dancing, and too, too, too many guys in dresses....man, they love drag for carnival. Loads of cheap beer, bbqīd beef on a stick, beer, corn on the cob, and well, beer.
So, now the party is over, and itīs back to what else? the beach.
Where's Ted goin' next? North to Curitiba, Iguacu falls, then way up to Salvador de Bahia...then to Central America.
From January 8, 2002
From January 8, 2002Hello!!! I'm in sunny Southern California! What am I doing here? Well, did you really expect me to spend the holidays in Europe?
Where have I been recently? A few airports...when the sub zero temps and wind chills got the better of me in eastern Europe, I found a great deal on a ticket here, then continued to Arizona for the holidays. Home to Mom's house for a nice, cozy Christmas and New Year's. I made plenty of New Year's resolutions to send more email and call more friends. But, as with most resolutions, I've already fallen behind.
Where's Ted goin' next? To the internet...to figure how best to get to Africa. Yeah, time for a safari around southern and eastern Africa. Then to the Middle East...no, I won't be dropping in on Afghanistan or Somolia.
From November 28, 2001
From November 28, 2001Bon jour! I'm in busy heart of Paris. I've been here for one week already! Woops, no updates recently...c'est la vie.
Where have I been recently? After reluctantly leaving Cesky Krumlov, I joined Roland and Kevin to Vienna. That proved to be miles of walking in the parks and boulevards of Vienna, stellar art museums and several nights at the Statsopper, the State Opera. Ravi and I are still singing "Pappatacci!" Then to Paris just in time to lose my credit/ATM card, but to dine on French food for Thanksgiving Day. Along with Bertrand for some fine dining and club hopping...helps to have a car in Paris. Walking to all the famous sights and dining on loads of bread, cheese and wine. Salut Mitzuki, Paul, Kristina, Gordon, and Michelle. Today was a great laugh wandering through the Pompidu, the Museum of Modern Art.
Where's Ted goin' next? To the Loire Valley, Bordeaux, then back here before returning to Vienna. Then to Hungary and the south...mission to Greece and Turkey.
From November 15, 2001
From November 15, 2001Dobry Den! I'm in Cesky Krumlov (Cheskie Krumlov). I've been here for 3 days now and it will be hard to leave. Cesky is just near the southern border of the Czech Republic and is THE city to chill out in and walk around. Totally preserved and dating back to the 15th and 16th century for the most part. This is a re-union for all backpackers from Prague...so, back togethter with Susan, Danny, Roland, Kevin, and more. Now joined by Amy and more friends of friends. This town is much cheaper than Prague...so easy to stay a long time.
Where have I been recently? After solving the world's problems with Danny (over many beers), I bought a new backpack...major thing in my life... Then once here in Cesky, we've been seeing the city from all angles, hiking on hikes much longer than intended (yesturday's 20-25km excursion). Playing in the snow and tossing back the true (Czech) Budweisers and catching up on news and email. Tonight: Susan and Amy get to cook! Danny, come back.
Where's Ted goin' next? We're splitting up a bit and Roland, Kevin and I are down to Vienna, Austria. Then...maybe to Paris. Bout time i got there. But after, more time in the East and down towards Greece.
From November 11, 2001
From November 11, 2001Dobry Den! I'm in Praha (Prague), in the Czech Republic. I've been here for 5 days now and am loving it. Prague is a city that was not touched by WW2 bombs and is THE city for walking and exploring and soaking in all the beautiful sights. The best of course is Karlov Most...the Charles Bridge.
Where have I been recently? Wandering all over Prague, watching the crowds, hiking to the castle, taking fliers from the thousands standing and promoting concerts and shows around town, socializing in the best mixer...the crowded hostel in the city center, and of course, bar hoping with the crowds of tourists and locals!...oh yeah, and adding more layers as the temperature keeps dropping. Feels like winter already for this desert kid.
Where's Ted goin' next? Cesky Krumlov, in the south of Czech Republic. Then to Vienna and either to France to check out Paris, or more in the East...Croatia, Hungary, Romania.
From November 3, 2001
From November 3, 2001Cesch! I'm in Krakow, Poland. Just arrived today from Gdansk to this exciting, beautiful city that seems to be a favorite of most visitors to Poland. People here are quite forward, relaxed and open.
Where have I been recently? Making myself at home with Iwo, Beata, and Alice in Gdansk. Many nights in Sopot...including dancing the night away to salsa and samba as well as jamming with the college crowds at teh packed discos. Thanks to the kindness of my hosts, i got loads of cheap food, free lodging, and CNN on tap 24 hrs a day. If Gdansk is so much fun in the chill days of autumn, I can't wait to come back in summer! Tatiana, Olka, Sebastian, and Johnny: see you and Iwo and all next time!
Where's Ted goin' next? Around the central sights of Krakow and a visit to better understand the horrors of Auschwitz, then on to the backpacker's mecca of the Czech Republic. After to Austria, Hungary, Romania...and towards Greece. No, sorry, Afganistan has been crossed off my list.
From October 26, 2001
From October 26, 2001Cesch! I'm in Gdansk, Poland. Dispite the cold weather and now cloudy skies, I'm enjoying this ancient capital of trade and the loads of friendly Poles. Gdansk seems to have a strong beat..as this was the place where the communist empire really started to fall with the progress of Solidarity. I'm staying with my good host Iwo, whom I met when he trekked by land from here to India and back.
Where have I been recently? Chillin' with Gregs and the gang in Vilnius, Lithuania. From Riga to Vilnius, I stopped to see the hundreds of thousands of crosses at...the Hill of Crosses. Then to the great city of V. Here I met the friendliest people in the Baltics. Great old town center, great parks, great cheap food..and best of all, great Lithuanian people.
Where's Ted goin' next? To Warsaw, Krakow, and ?? in Poland. Then on to the backpacker's mecca of the Czech Republic. After?...Austria? Hungary?
From October 22, 2001
From October 22, 2001Laba diena! I'm in Vilnius, Lithuania. This is the beautiful capital and center for study in Lithuania. I'm surrounded by smiling, friendly faces and a beautiful old city center, and the colors of autumn.
Where have I been recently? On a quick tour of the Baltics. First I took the overnight train from St Pete to Tallinn. After splitting a bottle of cognac and home cooked food with two Russian business men, we had the pleasure of being rousted at 3AM for an hour of passport and customs routine. Tallinn is the most beautiful medieval old town center around. Very much a mix of old town and modern Scandinavia and Germany. Then on to Riga, the capital of Latvia. Again, beautiful town center, and more friendly people. The farther south i go, the more outward people are.
Where's Ted goin' next? Another overnight train...these are just the best, to Warsaw. Then on to visit with Ivo and friends in Gdansk. All around Poland and then the Czech Republic. After?...Austria? Hungary?
From October 1, 2001
From October 1, 2001Privyet, I am in Saint Petersburg, Russia. This is Peter the Great's "window to the west." Looks much like Scandinavia and as we're nearing the Arctic Circle (I was wrong...we're only at 60deg north here, but summer is long gone!
Where have I been recently? Around Ulaan Bataar, then 2 days on the train to Irkutsk. I spent a beautiful, Indian Summer day in Siberia, then flew and trained it on to St Petersburg. I've traveled a lot of miles in the past few days! Then yesturday, I toured around the major sights on a nice afternoon tour. Today...a day of rest.
Where's Ted goin' next? The Hermitage and loads of other museums, parks, resturants, and bars. Then to the Baltics and on to Poland, then the Czech Republic.
From September 24, 2001
From September 24, 2001Sain baina uu, (pronounced sahn-bahn-no) I am back in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia! Today is a day for laundry and research. I have tons of Gobi dust to wash out of my clothes. And loads of email to reply to news to catch up on. Wow, a few things have happened while I was out of town. <9>Where have I been recently? Traveling for about 1000km or more with Hugues of Switzerland and Noa and Alon of Israel. We were led by our non-english speaking driver Altai and kept entertained by his 5 year old son, Inkoosh. It's just not the same today without little Inkoosh singing songs and scamming cookies. We were all held in our Russian 4x4 van as we bounced all around the gobi and central Mongolia. Saw dunes, canyons, steppe, mountains, rivers, ancient monestaries, thousands of gers (Mongolian tent-homes), millions of horses, camels, yaks, cows, field mice, eagles, hawks, and yes, too many goats. Too many opportunities to eat mutton...erg.
Where's Ted goin' next? After much debate, planning, cost study, etc...looks like the train station to get a ticket for Irkutsk, then a flight to St. Petersburg. Then to some spots in Eastern Europe: Estonia, Lithuania, Poland, Czech Republic, etc.
From September 10,
From September 10,2001 Sain baina uu, I am in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia! This is the capital and thriving metropolis of about 700,000 people. Fresh out of communism 5 years ago and starting to attract the tourists...in the summer time. It's autumn, but there has been really warm days so far...just wait, I'll need that Yak coat soon enough.
Where have I been recently? Irkutsk around Lake Baikal. We stayed at local Siberian houses and gorged on great, basic, home cooked food. Natural mineral water springs, the deepest lake in the world, holy rock formations, and two shamens who continue the ways of Tengrism, life balance and ancestor worship. Then on the Trans Siberian/Trans Mongolian for two nights down here to Mongolia.
Where's Ted goin' next? Somewhere around the vast, vast country side. Mountains, deserts, valleys, steppe. Oh yeah, and the local disco first...
From August 30, 2001
From August 30, 2001Zdrastvuyte!! I am heading to Siberia! Yeah, will be touring around Lake Baikal and peering into the depths of teh world's deepest lake.
Where have I been recently? The Kremlin, Red Square, and all over Moscow. Lots of time in the opulant metro stations and walking in the many tiny parks about town...and spending lots of cash.
Where's Ted goin' next? Siberia, then on teh train to Mongolia and to see the nomadic tribes and possibly to the Gobi desert.
From August 20, 2001
From August 20, 2001Zdrastvuyte!!! I am in Moscow. The weather is perfect. My visa is in order and registered. My pockets are full of Rubles and Dollars. And I have a place to stay...a real apartment...thanks to Kevin and Mitch! Recently I've been all about London. Sightseeing, lounging, living, and shopping. Met up with loads of mates in London then out of town to Bournmouth (hey Jim, Ruth, Lexie, CLEM...), Horsham (hey mi Gatas), Windsor (cheers Mick). And once again, thanks Phil, Jo, Mike, & Nicola for being such great hosts!
Where's Ted goin' next? To the the Kremlin, then to check out McDonalds...surely they've got some interesting blend of Vodka shake or McRussian. Still putting the plans together for after Moscow.
From August 6, 2001
From August 6, 2001Hello mates, I am in London, sitting beside the river Thames.
Where have I been recently? Since my last update, I traveled across northern Spain and into the Basque region, including Bilbao and San Sebastian. After a ton more tapas, it was back to Madrid, then back up here to London...to get some sun! Yep, more sun here the first week than in all of northern Spain. Since then I've been lounging in the warm hospitality of my friends here...thanks Phil, Jo, Mike, & Nicola!
Where's Ted goin' next? To the Russian Embassy to get my visa and soon on to Moscow...the ideal place for a backpacker to spend too much money!
Where have I been recently? Just about every train station from Oporto to Coru?. Last night to one of the main prazas for fireworks (launched about 40 ft from the crowd) and a pop concert. Before, during, and after, impromptu concerts went off in the streets all around the old city. Bands and their faithful led mini musical parades around the town.
Next I'm going to the Gugenheim museum in Bilbao, then on to San Sebastian. Then to London and to the pub.
From July 18, 2001
From July 18, 2001Bom Dia! I am in Oporto, Portugal! The sun has broken through the clouds although I have just found the cheapest place for email ($0.4 per hour) Oporto is a very colorful city of steep, steep hills and bizzare mix of old and new buildings. The greatest color is along the river banks where the Port Wine houses line one bank and resturants and old houses line mix along the steep river bank.
Where have I been recently? All over Lisboa and some of the surrounding locales. One day to the beautiful green hill paradise of Sintra and to the windiest and most western point in continental Europe. Cheers to my travel partners in Lisboa: Jorge, my drinking partner in crime at the Castello and Snow and Teacher around Sintra and Cabo da Roca. After Lisboa I headed to the university town of Coimbra, then here to Oporto. I wandered around Coimbra and Oporto with Joel...and the tens of thousands out to celebrate yet another patron saint...fireworks, concerts, food. Now, Adeus to Oporto and Bom fortuna to Corey and her further travels.
Where's Ted goin' next? To Sao Bento rail station...will decide when i get there...towards Spain, then London, then Scandanavia, and maybe on to Russia...yeah, I know, I said that last year!
From July 13, 2001
From July 13, 2001Asalama Lekum, I am in Lisboa, Portugal! Not a cloud in the sky and there`s a cool breeze off the Atlantic. Time to climb to the Castello...
I exited out of Morocco with a heavy heart and great memories...and 6 rolls of film. Last two days were on buses and stops through Casablanca and Tangiers. Then back to Spain and direct to Sevilla. A few days enjoying the sights and familiar pace of Spain, then on to the Algarve in Portugal. A couple nights relaxing in quiet Tavira before heading up to Lisboa.
Next, I`m going to the interesting old neighborhoods of the Alfama, below the castello. Then north through portugal...and eventually back to Spain, then London, and the ice of Norway.
From June 28, 2001
From June 28, 2001Asalama Lekum, I am in Marrikech, Morocco! Trying to catch up on email and to get a little shopping done...you must be prepared to put in your time in the souks to bargain for a good price.
Recently Iīve been...All OVER Maroc! I teamed with Natalie, Ben, McKay, and Sotaro to spend two days in the Sahara sleeping under the stars and fighting camels. After the amazing dunes around Merzouga, we hit the oasis like spots of Todras and Dades gorges...icy cool water! And of course we had to stop in Ourzazate and Ait Benihadou and numerous other photogenic spots to check out the giant mud house like Kashbas. Next I teamed with Natalie and Mie to wander the steep mountains and waterfalls of Ourika Valley.
Next Iīm going to the food stalls for fresh squeezed orange juice...there must 50 stalls in the main square...one glass for 10 cents!
From June 16, 2001
From June 16, 2001Bon Jour, I am in Essaouira, Morocco! I'm here with hundreds of thousands of tourists from all over Morocco, Europe, America, and Africa...for the 4 day, FREE, music festival. For a peek...music fest
Recently I've been exploring the bizzare markets (souks) of Marrikesh. In the main city square, you find not a three ring circus...but about 50 rings! Going off each evening around 5pm, the fun goes on till midnight or so. Snake charmers, story tellers, musicians of all sorts, wandering water dispensing men in their bright red outfits, acrobats, and just plain bizzare acts that have to be seen to be believed. Also, there are about 100 orange juice stands (all lined side to side) for juice squeezed on the spot. Loads of tables prepare tajin, kabobs, lamb brains (pass), couscous...all the Moroccan staple dishes. The competition is fierce.
Since then, I've been enjoying the amazing sounds of mainly African music and the intense dancing, here in Essaouira.
Next I'm going to the huge roof top terrace of my hotel to listen to the 5pm show...Next may be a sand dune tour and then on up to Casablanca, Asila, and back to Spain.
From June 4, 2001 From May 10, 2001
From June 4, 2001As-sallam, I am in Africa! Yes, just across the Mediterranean Sea in Morocco. Recently? Wow, so much has happened since the last update...too much to list today, but Madrid, Barcelona, Costa Brava, Valencia, enjoying Javea with the Greene family, Alicante, Granada, and now out of Spain and into Morocco. Next I'm going around the Medina and on to Mekenes, Fez, and Marikesh then up along the Atlantic coast, back to Spain.
From May 10, 2001Hola!!! I'm in Madrid, Spain. Today marks the beginning of 3 weeks of celebration for the cityīs patron saint, San Isidro...and today marks the first full day of sun for a while!!!
Recently I arrived here on Wednesday after an overnight flight from Dehli. No fun, but a few hours of sleep on. I only had to fight an indian guy who stretched out across the 3 empty seats between us...with his grungy bare feet trying to reach to me...
But arrived here to cold and rain and 15deg C after intense heat in Dehli. It was still 33deg C when we lifted off at midnight from Dehli! So, to complete my first full day in Spain I wandered in the rain for hours, then was befriended by a wonderful group of Italian Engineering students from Roma.
They invited me along with their group of 30 to dinner and dancing. True to Spainish and Italian style: eating ended at midnight and we danced till 3...some stayed later. Now I have a nice little head cold to shake off...No problema y grazie mi amici a roma!
Next I'm going to celebrate San Isidro...more food, drink and dancing!
From May 8, 2001
From May 8, 2001I'm in Dehli, India...for a few more hours. Heading out on a flight at midnight. Yesturday was Vesak day...the birthday, day of enlightenment, and the death of Buddha (no, not all in the same year). This day is marked by the full moon of April-May..and not celebrated much in a country that is 80% hindu and only about 1% Buddhist
Since my last update I've been dodging the bicycles, auto-rickshaws, cars, buses, bull drawn carts, and motorcycles, people, cows, dogs, and touts. Been filling my time amusing myself with new ways to joke with and insult the never ceasing touts from travel agents and merchants. Lots of email, developing photos, travel agents, and just trying to decide where to go next.
next? Madrid, Spain. Will tour around Spain, Morocco, and Portual for the next month and a half...I think.
From May 2, 2001
From May 2, 2001I'm in Dehli, India. Back here to enjoy the dust, noise, pollution, and cheap email access to be found in tourist / backpacker area of Main Bazaar, near New Dehli Railway Station.
Since my last update I visited many great sites around Kathmandu, Nepal, including the great Buddhist temples of Bhouda and Swayambunath, the incredible stone cities of Bhaktapur, and Patan, and then on to central Nepal. From Pokara I embarked on a week long trek into the Himalayas - the Annapurna area. Lots of climbing up and down each day...the toughest was the pre-dawn climb up poon hill - 300meters up to the peak at 3200meters...but the reward was great. The views of mountains ranging from 5000meters to nearly 8200 meters in the first rays of sun. After the trek I entered the Chitwan National Park to track Rhinos, bears, monkeys, and the still, unseen tigers. Great safari! Then the long journey in crowded jeeps, buses, and dusty trains to Dehli.
Next I'm going to the photo shop to develop 12 rolls of film...then to the Sony Repair Center to see if I can get my video camera to work again - the door is now stuck open :( Then to the travel agent for tickets to Europe.
From April 10, 2001Today is April 10 and I'm in Kathmandu, Nepal. Changed the travel plans a bit to visit Nepal now...just too darn hot, dry and dusty in Rajastan. Now checking out the unique and beautiful culture here. Tried to catch some views of the Himalayas yesturday...but just too hazy. Getting to be that time of year. Relaxed place here (by Indian standards), cheaper, and the food is safer. May have to stay a while!
Recently I've been to the desert fort city of Jaisalmer for a few days. Great to live in the city in the fort. Right out of the "Arabian Nights" type imagery. Then all day buses and overnight train to Dehli. This is "modern" India. Still cows roaming the streets and all that is India. Then flew up to Nepal.
Next I'm going to see some more temples (they invented the pagoda style and exported it to China and Japan), and mountains, lots of mountains. Maybe back to India for a peek at Leh (the sister city to Lhasa, Tibet) in Kashmir. Then to Greece and into Europe.
From April 3, 2001
From April 3, 2001I'm in Jaisalmer, India. We're in the state of Rajastan (land of kings). Just 100km from Pakistan, at the eastern edge of the Thar desert. Pakistan seems to have gotten the raw deal on this one....sand, sand, sand.
I just arrived this morning from Jodhpur, after Jaipur. No, not every city in Rajastan starts with a "J". The humidity here is about 1% plus the humidity generated by my sweat...The temp is climbing and the tourists (and prices) decreasing.
This is the land of kings and forts...each one seems to be a more impressive stone fort, set in a more stark desert scape. In Jodhpur many of the houses are painted different shades of blue. others are white or cream colored. Here, a tiny city lives inside the fort, set on a hill. Houses (and my guest house) are part of the outer walls.
The past week has been a flow of festivals and celebrations. All names I've ignored or forgotten. In Varanasi we began the Mother Puja 10 days ago...this is basically the Hindu New Year. Dancing, concerts, etc. In Jaipur two evening parades celebrated the wife of Krishna (i think). In Jodhpur they celebrated the birthday of Rama with the Ram fest yesturday. This involved about 100 floats (wagons pulled by tractors) with scenes from the epic Ramayana and a few politcal comentaries. Yesturday was also a day of Muslim fest..forgot that name already. Dancing, drums, sword fights, strength contests.
Now I'm taking advantage of shade and slow internet access to escape the cloudless afternoon sky. Another day or 3 here then?...
Before i hit Rajastan I visited the architectually and aesthetically perfect Taj Mahal. Every there is perfectly balanced...except in the crypt there "his" tomb was set off center next to his dear love's. Agra, the city with the Taj is now an overpriced shark tank of touts and hotel owners, rickshaw drivers, and kids pestering for pens and rupees. Quick afternoon exit to Fatipur Sikri...chill little town with a huge mosque and monument built by Ali Akbar...or his servants, that is.
From March 24, 2001I'm in Varanasi, India. Before in through Dhaka, Bangaledesh, and to Calcutta and Bhodgaya. I spent a couple days dodging taxis, rickshaws, and trolleys, and food poisoning in Calcutta. What better place to spend a hot day..and night...than in a guest house without water? Frequent water shortages as some plumbing problems where "mended." Then to Bhodgaya, where I found the tree descendant of the one under which Buddha sat and discovered "the laws of the universe." This is the most holy place in the Buddhist world. From this to Varanasi and the river Ganges. This is the most holy place for the Hindu world. And a good representation of all that embodies India. Bizzare. Monkeys on the rooftops, cows in the streets, people bathing, washing, and strewing ashes and bodies of the dead in the same river.
From March 3, 2001I'm in Bangkok, Thailand. Through northern Thailand and Laos. Cooking school in Chang Mai (don't expect any repeat performances in California). In Laos, slow, lazy days on the Mekong and Song rivers, swimming around stunning waterfalls, wandering through countless Buddhist temples, biking thru sleepy towns, and haggling for hours over a few pennies at Lao markets.
From February 13, 2001I'm in Chang Mai, Thailand. Recently I've been hanging out with a hundred thousand backpackers in Kao Sahn, in Bangkok. Dodging tuk-tuks and stray dogs. Hitting all the cheap email shops, and finally fixing all those missing links on my Photo page.
From January 25, 2001I'm in Bangkok, Thailand. Now I'm selling off some old travel guide books to lighten the pack and meeting with my travel agent to plan the next month. Recently I spent a few days in my home-away-from-home: Singapore. Visiting with loads of friends before departing the region for this year, and enjoying a little Chinese New Year cheer.
From November 19, 2000Since the last update, I visited the cities covered by Mount Visuvius 2000 years ago, Pompei and Herculaneum. Roman cities still in good condition. Stayed along the Amalfi coast and visited Positano. Also visited the best preserved of all Greek ruins, Paestrum. Temples, city walls, arena, teatros...
Then headed south to Sicily. Loved it...and managed to stay out of the "family" business. There in Catania, Taormina, Siracusa, and of course, Palermo. People are very outgoing and the food is great...spicier main dishes and sweeter deserts. And got a dose of hot sun with a scirocco wind from Africa. Then the all day train to Rome...
From November 3, 2000Just got in last night from Monterosso and the four other towns know as the Cinque Terre.?One day of perfect weather in between days of strong winds and rain.
Before I spent 6 nights in Firenze. Day trips included a day at the Ferrari race track in Mugello, and Sienna, home of the horse races around the central piazza in summer time.
Before was one night in Venice with 2 gray days, but still on the colorful and bizzare canals. Before I spent two days in Verona - beautiful city with all the fashion sense of Milano, but beautiful smaller town atmosphere, great people and atmosphere (and even a Roman arena).
Before I spent 3 nights in Milano relieving my wallet of excess money...
The six days I spent in Zermatt, Switzerland weren't totally planned.?The nonstop rains in southern Switzerland and northern Italy blocked all roads, trains, and phones for days. So, when the skies cleared I enjoyed 2 beautiful days of skiing at the base of the Matterhorn!?Wunderbar!
Prior to that I spent 3 nights in Lucerne enjoying life around the lake and the incredible views around the valleys and mountains.
Rounding off my time in Germany from Munich,I visited Stuttgart (car capital) and Freiburg (the college town with medival style).