Bricks of Chinese Pu-erh Tea


I am surprised Pamela didn’t collapse when we entered Tea City. We have been so many amazing places in the world, and I don’t quite recall anywhere bringing her to such a hushed awe. This shelf was completely full of pu-erh tea bricks. I am sure Pamela would have loved to ship the whole stall home!

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Lotus Blossoms in Bali

From the Depths

From the deep cold darkness the lotus awakens. It’s beauty perhaps only surpassed by it’s journey and determination to survive, to blossom. It fights to spend what time it has in the glory of the sun. It grows to sway in the gentle warm breeze. I can see why Buddhists find such inspiration in this, beautiful little flower.

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A Beautiful Old Box in Peru

Old Palaces

I didn’t quite realize the significance of our hotel in Cusco until we had already left. It was really a transit stop for us, and most of the time we spent there was just to sleep. It was old…built for the Conquistador Pizarro. Much of the ornamentation around was old…really old, but displayed in the open. I can’t say how old these boxes were, or if they were from another time, I do know they were exquisitely beautiful.

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Didgeridoo Player on the Helix Bridge in Singapore

Eclectic Style

If nothing else, Singapore is diverse. Architecture runs from ultra modern to old world. The residents are from China, India, Malaysia, Africa. I was not entirely surprised, but it was surreal none the less, to be greeted on the Helix Bridge by a street musician playing a Didgeridoo! Oddly this is the first time I have ever seen anyone playing one of these Australian instruments. I have always wanted to play one, but unlike my native saxophone, the Didgeridoo does not come with a spit valve.

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Yuyuan Garden Walkway Design Detail

What’s Underfoot

You cant miss this river stone walkway. The moment you step foot on it, you notice the irregularity…its more natural feel. You notice the uneven-ness of nature, but you also know it is anything but natural. This fits perfectly with the way I feel about Chinese gardens in general. It always seems to me the Chinese are looking for some harmony and connection with nature (in their gardens), but it’s always seems a more “perfected” nature, taking the good, discarding the bad…molding to find a perfect form. This is neither good nor bad, and only my interpretation which is course is always changed itself.

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On a Deserted Bali Beach at Sunset

Peaceful Wandering

It was peaceful on the beach in Bali. It was oddly quiet when I visited and I was so exhausted that I decided to spend the days I had sitting on the beach at the resort. That is an exceptionally odd thing for me to do…I don’t think I have ever done it before honestly. The ocean in my little cove was calm and the sun had retreated behind the clouds making for some wonderfully warm light. I was walking alone on a beach, halfway around the world for my home. Sometimes, I am in awe of where I have been.

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  • Aperture: ƒ/8
  • Camera: Canon EOS 5D Mark II
  • Taken: 17 February, 2015
  • Focal length: 25mm
  • ISO: 100
  • Shutter speed: 1/250s
  • Title: On a Deserted Bali Beach at Sunset

Shelves of a Tea Seller in Shanghai

For the Love of Tea

It is no secret that my wife LOVES tea. So much is her passion, that when I said I would fly here anywhere in the world she wanted to go for her 40th birthday, the answer came without delay. China. I was so happy to take her to her first (I am sure of many) visits to Hangzhou and Shanghai, China, but more specifically Tianshan…Tea City. Tianshan is in Western Shanghai. An endless maze of wholesale tea vendors and shops where your tea dreams can come true. Below is just one shelf of random teas, but the supply was as endless as the offers of more samples. Come prepared to be completely overwhelmed.

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Peruvian Dancer in Cusco

Virgen de Altagracia

Travel is a box of chocolates (in the Gump sense). Peru was a series of unexpected sights, locations, sounds, tastes and festivals. Upon arriving in Cusco, we walked to the Plaza San Francisco and were met with a Parade celebrating the Virgen de Altagracia. I am not Peruvian, nor Catholic, but the Virgen is apparently not huge IN Peru, but in Argentina and specifically the Dominican Republic, so I think we witnessed a bit of a small and interesting celebration! This particular dancer frequented my shots, she had a wonderful dress, I was particularly fond of the way the tassels whipped by as she danced round and round!

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Deep in the Bamboo Forest on Maui, Hawaii

Hiking in Maui

On my most recent trip to Maui I decided to try an “easy” hike I had never attempted before, the Pipiwai Trail on the Eastern side of Haleakala. It’s not a particularly difficult trail. The ascent is easy, with only around 600 feet of elevation gain. As always the fantastic hikers at Unreal Hawaii wrote a detailed guide to the Pipiwai Trail, but please be forewarned, you will sweat and take some bug repellent. I forgot and ended up with a number of bites. Today’s photo is just a random shot I took along the trail.

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Meet Ms Scarlett My 2016 Mini Cooper S

It was her employer MS SCARLETT!

It’s a day I thought would never come…I finally purchased a NEW car! I am a frugal sort of person. All of my automobiles have been given to me in some way. A used car someone didn’t want any longer. My old 1992 Ford Ranger XLT had been through most of the members of my family when it came to live with me. Oscar is its name, but from looks, to convenience, to a dead air conditioning system on a super hot summer…I finally decided, after 40 years, it was time to actually BUY a car.

Ms Scarlett came to live with us yesterday. When I met her I literally squealed and jumped for joy. She was custom built, just how I wanted her by the awesome Mini team in Oxford, England. Already I can tell she likes to drive more than I am accustomed to. The interesting thing is she is SO FUN to drive, I am completely agreeable to this new arrangement between myself and das auto. The Mini people refer to it as “motoring” and I can tell Ms Scarlett and I have a long number of years of fun ahead of us together!

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