New Year’s Resolutions

Each year on New Year’s Day, I sit and contemplate the year, and years, past, as well as the year ahead. This year I do it in a campground, on the South coast of Western Australia, surrounded by my little family, old friends, and new temporary friends in a beautiful seaside setting, warmed by bright sunshine. Everyone is wearing board shorts and surf shirts. Kids are circling on their bicycles, and men cook bacon and eggs on the communal barbecues that are provided in every park across Australia. The sense of community among strangers is strong. It’s a million miles […]

Enchanted Island: Koh Mook

Koh Mook enchanted us with its ultra laid back island vibe, soft white sand, deep primary forests, and sparkling emerald water. We landed on the pretty beach after a two hour speedboat ride from busy Koh Lipe to find a strip of sand with people milling about, waiting for their ride to the next island. It was a whole new kind of paradise.  Where the other islands had been gorgeous, they were by and large developed for the tourist trade.  Koh Mook was much less developed, and felt more like a secret jungle hideaway. Our hotel was about 300m into […]

Annapurna Trekking: The day I was done

Day 12: Dobato to Ghandruk (The last day) We froze all night in our thin walled little room at the lodge in Dobato. I was fully dressed, in my sleep sack, sleeping bag, and heavy wool blanket over everything, and still never got warm. The cold can get you going in the morning, and once I got up the courage to crawl out of my ineffectively warm cocoon and  put my feet on the icy floor, I was up and ready to go check out those spectacular mountain views we had heard so much about.   They didn’t lie.  There, […]

Annapurna Trekking Days 9-11: The nasty (and cool) trip down

Day 9: Khopra to Chistibang: 4.5 hours, 650m elevation loss What goes up must also come down, and after a freezing night in the community lodge at Khopra, some spectacular sunrise photos, and a rough idea of the trail we wanted to take, we set off, aiming for a village that wasn’t on our map, on a trail that was only a red dotted line. We had another mutinous Austin on our hand for at least half an hour he woudn’t budge out of the surrounds of the lodge. We were still on the main trail for this part, but […]