Saturday, 31 January 2015

More Tumpet Flowers for Friday

The orange climber is putting on a brilliant show throughout the village.  This one is on the fence of a house near school. Hope everyone has a brilliant weekend.

Friday, 30 January 2015

Road Making (III) Burmese Style


Making roads has become the theme for the week.
While the concrete laying and raking and sweeping of the Thai road makers is fairly basic, the Burmese road workers have an even tougher life. 
One group we passed on a road were pouring asphalt from buckets and wearing gumboots or thongs.  It was hot weather and hot work.  

Another group in Mandalay could be seen carrying baskets of stones and crushing them by hand (with hammers) on the side of the road.  
Rollers were the only machines to be seen. 

Once again hot and hard work on a hot day.  
Regardless this lady still gave us a smile.

Thursday, 29 January 2015

Wednesday, 28 January 2015

Road Making Thai Style

On my expedition, unknowingly into a National Park, two weekends ago, I was stopped by this concrete truck, pouring concrete for a new road.  
The lack of high vis vests, hard hats, and covered foot wear was obvious, along with the high tech team based approach to laying the road.

Tuesday, 27 January 2015

Queen Sirikrit Botanic Gardens

On Sunday morning as part of my cycle tour, I visited the Queen Sirikrit Botanic Gardens in Mae Rim.  It was a lovely morning to explore the lush, green and extensive gardens.  They are situated on the side of a hill, with walking tracks through different collections of trees, leading to the glass houses at the top of the hill. More labels were needed on the trees, but I did learn a bit. lThere was an interesting palm collection and some gorgeous orchids in the glass houses. 
The Thais seem to love topiary - it's every where- so of course there was a collection of topiary- including these two elephants!

Monday, 26 January 2015

An expeditionary cycle tour

 Finally a cycle tour.  The weather at the moment is lovely - perfect cycling weather.
I set off on Saturday afternoon; a downhill start, then flat around Chiang Mai, ending with some hills, approx 50 km.
 Yesterday more hills and of course a short cut, that is never a short cut, but through interesting and out of the way country.  Lots of terraces and some small villages and friendly people who pointed me in the direction of Samoeng.  Not that I could pronounce the name properly - it took several goes and a few did give up on me.
As you can see it the hills are steep, but terraced and very productive.

Sunday, 25 January 2015

Good view good weather

A new wine and coffee bar opened on the hill opposite school last year.
There is a balcony supported by one large column, protruding out from the main area.  Not sure where the arrows are pointing?  Beechworth??
Cafe Max is an off shoot of the Best View restaurant and serves  a variety of coffee. The staff wear aprons with "Barista" in large type writ across the front.
The wine is South African,  red or white, from flagons.  So wine bar may be an overstatement in the title.
The coffee is fine, the view is great and it is a lovely place to read my book and spend some time on a Saturday morning.
Couldn't get the wifi to work, so not able to replicate the full Saturday morning experience of coffee and the The Saturday Age.  Hope everyone else has answered the Good Weekend Quiz.

Saturday, 24 January 2015

Friday Trumpet Flowers

Orange trumpet flowers - a very original name for these orange trumpet shaped flowers.
Their brilliant colour brightens many gardens and covers many structures at the moment. So more photos to come.   Hope everyone has a lovely weekend.

Friday, 23 January 2015

A Charging Baby Elephant

I called in to see the elephants on Sunday afternoon. 
One group had just left with tourists on board and these were being feed - leaves and bananas.  This baby elephant and another of a similar size headed towards me with great interest and basically had me trapped against a tree as they used their trunks to search for food in my camera case on my head.  

Despite telling them I had no bananas, and patting them they persisted in their search for quite a while and I was able to pat them and get covered with elephant snot.

After they departed I realised there was a banana in the backpocket of my bike top.  The elephants must have smelt it  and wanted to find it.

Thursday, 22 January 2015

New Crop below the Rice Paddy

Its not rice, but my crop identification skills are minimal so I don't know what it is.  I have already been to the Rice Paddy restaurant for tea one night and might head there again tomorrow.  I have had two meal free days due to illness so looking forward to some good food.

Tuesday, 20 January 2015

Back in Chiang Mai

I have been back a week. Missing Australia, home, food (sour dough bread, Gerard and Sharon's great steak and lamb, BBQs  and raspberries) and the normality  of a summer break.
It has been a week of teaching, settling in, some cycling and a visit to the elephants.

It is the cool season - rather autumnal, with temperatures 17- 22 C, so very pleasant and enjoyable.

This rather large road marker appeared at a look out over school in October.  Ban Kao Dua is the name of the village above school and Hang Dong is the closest city.  Its now almost a suburb of Chiang Mai.  The green roof of one of the school buildings can be seen the left of the marker.