The golden city of Jaisalmer is a labyrinth of stone and sunlight. Its greatest feature, the Jaisalmer Fort rises out of a hill, rolling through the cloudless sky with a wave of curved outer walls. Built from yellow sandstone, it glows in the heart of Thar desert.
Wind whips my hair into a crazy tentacle frenzy as we ride into the desert. The windows are all down in the Bolero that zips past dry clouds of golden dust and Indian music filled with sitar and drums crackles out of the speakers. Cows create traffic jams on the otherwise empty road that leads us to our campsite. Suddenly we arrive to our oasis where we will join in a camel safari and all worries as to whether it would be the right decision dissolve. Beautiful grounds spread before us where peacocks strut in the brush and pink desert flowers bloom outside of our tent.
The ancient city of Bhaktapur is a jewel in the rough. On the outskirts of town, one could pass by without knowing what lies hidden within its unassuming walls. Hopping off the public bus with no shortage of colorful hanging beads and Bollywood beats, we wandered down the street looking for our guesthouse.
There is a shift that happens when one leaves and returns, especially when that space is over the span of a year around the world. Some of the friends you missed so much still seem far away during first conversations. You become a short-lived novelty, a talking point that lasts for an intro and then it’s back to the latest local gossip or next best thing on Netflix.
Long ago in Japan, a deity appeared on Mt. Mikasa riding a white deer. For centuries after his visit, deer were seen as messengers of the gods and to this day are protected under a national treasure status. Nara is the present day area where these once sacred creatures roam.
I came across a movie I never finished from my time in Lanzarote today. Why it wasn’t completed I don’t know, but it is now. My time there was peaceful, filled with sun and nature. I often found myself feeling as if I were on another planet and I think this movie conveys that as I travel through silent volcanic landscapes. Enjoy! For more information on Lanzarote, you can visit this previous post on the beautiful island in Spain.
Tonight I walked south on Hahei Beach, the light a golden hue on the cliffs at the far end of the sandy stretch. I marveled at the orange bluffs with huge trees growing over the edge supporting a rope swing weathered by kids of summers passed. Water etches patterns of fire into the sand and snails are formed from sea plants.
I traveled north in New Zealand to see the giant Kauri trees that grace the Waipoua Forest there. They are the oldest and largest trees in the country, some aging over 2,000 years. Being the tree lover that I am, the Kauri Walk was one of my favorite walks during my time here.
A popular destination on the North Island of New Zealand, Cathedral Cove was quiet this morning as the sun rose over the water in a golden light. I left the popular cave area and walked to this rock formation that was sculpted anew when the sun’s glow graced its side. I treasure moments like this when the world first wakes up and shows how brilliant it can be. To find out more about Cathedral Cove visit this website.
When I first drove to Golden Bay, my rental car heaved up the mountainous and winding road seeming to head off into the sky. Then another turn would take me higher, at times making me dizzy. Blue skies were the destination up above and soon white feathery clouds were passing me by. It seemed to take ages, but finally a descent took me down into the area of Golden Bay. Green hills and teal waters spread out before me. Small stretches of colorful beach houses with flowers out front and weathered mailboxes lined the coast. It felt like endless summer and barefoot walks on the sand awaited.