As December approaches my mind is turning to home. A pre Christmas walk at Mt Buffalo is something I will miss. A great tradition. I hope my Beechworth friends Kathy, Jan, Christina and Elizabeth will be exploring Mt Buffalo soon.
Saturday, 29 November 2014
Friday, 28 November 2014
I enjoyed my first ever slice of real pumpkin pie. Actually it was my second as we had turkey and pumpkin pie in the dining hall last night. However it was extremely average, with small portions and the Americans told me not to judge pumpkin pie by what we were given.
It did seem bizarre to be eating turkey in Thailand. Another cross cultural experience.
The restaurant was quite good and is apparently a popular breakfast spot, so I will be heading there again. I was also excited to see that they sold grain bread, cheese and milk.
Thursday, 27 November 2014
The lone camera man was shooting into the sun, which seemed a bit odd and having difficulty with his flash and extension cords.
The tall chap in the white shirt is the headmaster, Mr Greg. You can see how he dwarfs the Thai staff.
Wednesday, 26 November 2014
1. The track was unmarked, with many junctions and a few signs written in Thai.
2. I could hear the waterfall, but not see it.
3. I arrived at this spot with a crossing over a creek, but couldn't actually cross. The waterfall was below passing through a rocky chasm.
4. Instead of retracing my steps, I decided to keep walking in the direction of school.
5. As the sun was setting I found a small lake, but no track leading off the main ridge.
6. As the evening darkened the jungle seemed to become denser and more overgrown.
Finally I found a small section of concrete track heading downwards which eventually lead into the village near school, but I long way from my original starting point.
Monday, 24 November 2014
As a work avoidance strategy, and a chance for some exercise, I rode up to see the elephants again this morning. They are amazing. One of the mahouts kindly took this very gorgeous !! photo of me.
Saturday, 22 November 2014
Loi Krathong was a festival of flowers as well as lanterns and floating things. The floating things were decorated with flowers, the floats in the parade were decorated with flowers, the Thai women and men in the parade carried flowers and had flowers in their hair.
The parade went past the flower market, which was still open and doing a good trade at 9 pm.
The vivid shades of the orchids were glorious.
Friday, 21 November 2014
Thursday, 20 November 2014
Wednesday, 19 November 2014
Tuesday, 18 November 2014
Monday, 17 November 2014
Lots of excuses to stop and snack while following the parade.
However I didn't snack at this one.
Although the image on the case of this food cart is of animal with horns, I think the food is far removed from any large animals. Think more along the line of insects - grasshoppers in particular.
Saturday, 15 November 2014
A sunny Saturday morning with Poppy and Dave at the Milk Bar is always a good thing. Missing the routine, the company and the coffee.
Love to all in Beechworth. Enjoy the coffee and say hi to Poppy and Dave.
Friday, 14 November 2014
There are so many lanterns that the flight schedule at the airport was changed with over 100 flights over the weekend canceled in order to avoid accidents.
Too many photos, too many editing decisions so its three photos today not just one.
Thursday, 13 November 2014
The banks of the Ping River near Thapae Road were crowded with stalls selling and making Krathongs for the festival.
The boy on the left is making bread Krathongs and the photo on the right shows the stalls for flower krathogs, using a base of banana palm trunk.
The river was a mass of floating krathongs - but dark light meant blurry photos.
Tuesday, 11 November 2014
I followed it down the street, snapping away with my camera and cursing the Chinese tourists who would jump in front to have their photo taken with the elephant.
Finally a shot of the white elephant - it means something - not sure what - connected to a myth.
More Loi Krathong photos to follow this week.
Monday, 10 November 2014
To get up the hill on Sunday afternoon after my weekend in Chiang Mai I caught a ride in a tuk tuk. They are rarely seen on the hill and I was concerned that it would not make it up the road. However if I can make it on the bicycle, surely a motorised vehicle could. And it did, but with considerable engine strain on some of the sharp corners and steep inclines.
I think the drive was impressed he made it too. A nice Sunday drive for him and his wife.
Saturday, 8 November 2014
However I also admired one made by a group of Grade 11 boys. It was in the shape of a boat with a skull and cross bones image drawn on a banana leaf sail - very creative.
Friday, 7 November 2014
The festival takes place on the full moon night of the twelfth lunar month, which usually coincides with November in our calendar. Loi means to float and a krathong is the buoyant decorated basket.
Participants ask water spirits to sail away their troubles in their krathongs, which are containers traditionally made from sliced trunk of a banana tree and carrying offerings of incense, lotus flowers and a small coin.
It was a full on afternoon here. Students made Krathongs in the afternoon using slices of banana trunks for the base and then decorating them with intricately folded banana leaves, orchid flowers and incense.
This was followed by cultural performances of costumes, traditional dancing and drumming and a beauty contest (yes! its traditional) in the auditorium. There was a BBQ for dinner then the Krathongs were launched on the creek, followed by launching of lanterns.
Thursday, 6 November 2014
Wednesday, 5 November 2014
It is back to reality here and I'm sure Helen, Julie and Jenny are back to the reality of work at home and missing the freedom of travel and "springers" and spice for dinner each night.
Two weeks ago we were watching the sunset over the plains and temples of Bagan.
Monday, 3 November 2014
When the rain cleared they headed back into the field, walking past their wooden cart to cut grass (or some type of low growing green crop) with with a scythe. Hard work - especially in the heat- but they were smiling and cheerful.
Sunday, 2 November 2014
Saturday, 1 November 2014
Astrology seemed to be important to the Burmese. The day of the week a person is born will determine their planetary post, eight in all as Wednesday is split in two, a.m. and p.m.
Each planetary post was marked at Shwedagon with a small shrine with a Buddha image and a guardian angel behind it. Devotees offered these flowers (and others) and poured water on the flowers while praying.