Tag Archives: cycling

Up Mt. Hamilton Again

IMG_2050IMG_2042
IMG_2052
IMG_2051
IMG_2048
IMG_2053
IMG_2056IMG_2055

Share
Leave a comment

Visiting Vietnam and Cambodia

These are photos and videos from a twelve-day trip to northern Vietnam and northwest Cambodia from April 23rd to May 5th, 2013 with Darlene, organized and booked through BikeHike Adventures.

I’ve organized the pictures into five separate galleries:
Days 1-2: Streets of Hanoi

Our trip began with some sightseeing in Hanoi including a traditional water puppet show, experiencing the packed city streets and the crazy driving habits.  We also visited the Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum, The Enthology Museum and One Pillar Pagoda before catching the night train to Lao Cai.

Days 3-5: Villages of Sa Pa District

We arrived in Lo Cai on the night train from Hanoi and drove an hour to our hotel in Sapa. The Sa Pa district is populated with eight ethnic tribal minorities: including the Black Hmong and Red Dzao.  Our first day was spent on trail bikes and our second day on foot following roads and paths through and around terraced rice fields and small villages. We also visited the Ta Phin cave.  Our second night was at the lovely and secluded Topas Eco Lodge, overlooking the Sapa Valley.

Unfortunately, I wasn’t aware or prepared for what to expect in the Sa Pa region and how much these mountain villages have become a tourist trap/destination. Everyday large numbers of tourists follow the roads connecting these villages and everyday a similarly large number of village women come out to meet them and follow them for most of the day in the hopes of selling some of their homemade craft (clothing, blankets, etc).  I appreciate their effort to supplement their income and make the most of the tourist trade, but it does get sorely tiring to spend each day being constantly plied with requests to “be their friend” and “buy from them”.
Days 6-8: Islands of Halong Bay

After returning from Lao Cai via the night train, we had breakfast in Hanoi before setting off for the coast and Halong (Ha Long) Bay. We stopped along the way at one of several large government sponsored craft stores and factories (employing war victims). We boarded a luxury Indochina junk (a traditional Vietnamese boat) to cruise amongst the thousands of towering limestone islands in Halong Bay.

Our first stop was at a very crowded beach and overlook but later we were able to enjoy some more peaceful kayaking, swimming and exploring. The trip also included an evening paddle around a floating fishing village. Unfortunately our three day cruise was cut short after the first night due to an impending storm and we had to return to the mainland, but we were at least lucky to be able to get a hotel reservation. We spent our extra time on the third day visiting some more sights on the return trip to Hanoi and to catch our flight to Cambodia.

Days 9-10: Temples of Koh Ker

We arrived in Siem Reap the night before and started our adventure in Cambodia the next morning by heading out to Beng Mealea.  Along the way, we stopped to visit an active temple-monastery and meet a Buddhist monk.  Beng Mealea was easily one of my favorite temples because it has been left in much the state it was found, partial ruins overgrown with tree roots and being taken over by the jungle.

After this, we headed much further out to visit various sites of Jayavaram’s 10th century capital of Koh Ker.  We got to camp out overnight next to the step pyramid of Prasat Thom and continued our sightseeing of Koh Ker the next morning before returning to modern Siem Reap for a respite from the sun in the hotel river pool.  That afternoon we went to the dark pink stoned temple of Banteay Srei.  In the evening, we enjoyed dinner and a traditional folk dance show back in Siem Reap.

Days 11-12: Temples of Angkor

Our last full day in Cambodia began with a predawn start to get to the entrance of Angkor Wat by sunrise – with the rest of the huge tourist crowd – and this isn’t even high season!  After the spectacular sunrise, our guide knowingly guided us around Angkor Wat to see the other temples of Angkor while the rest of the crowds lined up to overrun Angkor Wat.  It was a wonderful plan: we got to enjoy the other splendid temples, particularly Ta Prohm, in relative solitude.  We also visited the walled city of Angkor Thom and the splendid temple of Bayon where each of its 54 towers are capped with four massive stone face sculptures.  After another midday break from the sun, we finally returned in the late afternoon to slip in and tour Angkor Wat before its closing.

At sunset, we visited a street market on the outskirts of Siem Reap where our guide demonstrated the enjoyment of some insect delicacies!  (Yuck!)  On the following morning of our departure, we visited a workshop and saw a large variety of crafts, including the sculpting of stone works used in restoration projects.

Share
Also tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Spectacular Sunset

Riding around the Monterey peninsula on Wednesday with Nanci and her visiting friend, Tana, we were treated to not only a lovely day but a spectacular extended sunset in Carmel:

 

 

 

Share
Leave a comment

Two Weeks in Ireland

Just back from two weeks in Ireland with my brother Glenn and my sister-in-law Michele. The first week was spent mostly in the southwest on a very fun, small group tour with Wolfhound Adventure Tours. The second week we rented a car to explore more of the west and a bit to the north.

Click through for pictures and video from the trip:

    

Share
Also tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Cycle to Año Nuevo

Pictures from a bike ride this past Saturday with my favorite pink biker chick, Darlene — 28 miles out to Año Nuevo State Park (and the elephant seals) from my home near Santa Cruz (with a nice little detour along Swanton Rd):

   

Share
Also tagged , , | Leave a comment

Cycling for Booty

Pictures from a road ride out along Cañada Rd from Atherton with Darlene — in the spirit of the Tenth International Talk-Like-A-Pirate Day (Sept. 19th, 2012), of course:

  

Share
Also tagged , | Leave a comment

Portland Visit & Soapbox Races

Click through for a couple of videos and some pictures from a weekend with Glenn and MIchele in Portland, Oregon where we attended the Portland Adult Soapbox Races and Sunday Parkways.  (And Jessica made me a cool hat!)

 

Share
Also tagged | Leave a comment

More Misc Biking

Back Camera Back Camera Back Camera IMG_0208 Back Camera

And check out my new lights —  it’s EL wire (electro-luminescent wire):

IMG_0277 IMG_0278

Share
Also tagged | Leave a comment

Ride Up Mt. Hamilton

Back Camera Back Camera

I opted out of the extra 20 miles down and back up beyond Mt. Hamilton, but the others went on to “The Junction” — and enjoyed root beer floats:

IMG_0005 IMG_0007 IMG_0004

Share
Leave a comment

Cycling Prague to Budapest

This is a collection of images from a ten-day cycling trip from Prague to Budapest, organized through REI Adventures.  We journeyed through the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Austria and Hungary.

Click on through for the full galleries, including some short video clips:

 

Share
Also tagged , | Leave a comment

A Ride out to Drawbridge

My brother and I make a little excursion out to the ghost town of Drawbridge, near Alviso, CA.  And Glenn gets in a little deeper than he intended!  Click through for the gallery:

 

Share
Also tagged | Leave a comment

Weekend Visit to Portland

These are photos from a weekend visit to see my brother Glenn and his wife Michele in Portland, Oregon. On Saturday, we took a little bike ride downtown and rode the new gondola.

 

Share
Also tagged , | Leave a comment

A Little Adventure in Thailand

(April 15th – 30th, 2005)

This is a collection of images from a two week trip to Thailand arranged through BikeHike Adventures.  Most of the trip was guided by Daniel and Scott of Smiling Albino but the last four days were on my own in the Krabi region.

Click through for the full galleries:

  

Share
Also tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Exploring Costa Rica

This is a collection of images from a pair of trips booked through REI Adventures and provided by Costa Rica Sun Tours.  The first was their “Jungle and Sea Escape” from December 20-27, 2002 and the second was their “Costa Rica Multisport” trip from December 28 through January 4th, 2003.

   

Share
Also tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Adventure in Queensland – Australia!

This is a collection of images from a trip in November 2001 organized through REI Adventures.  They call it their “Reef and Rain Forest” multisport trip.  Fifteen days of whitewater rafting, backpacking, camping, biking, sea kayaking, snorkeling, scuba diving, and uh… eating!  It was wonderful!  (No worries, mate!)

Whitewater Rafting on the Tully River

Backpacking in the Rainforest of Wooroonooran National Park

Biking in the Atherton Tablelands

Snorkeling and Diving on the Great Barrier Reef

Sea Kayaking Among the Barnard Islands

Farewell Dinner

Exploring Cairns and Vicinity

Share
Also tagged , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Maui, Baby!

These are pictures from a trip to Maui with Adrena, Glenn and Michele. Click on through for the full gallery:

  

Share
Also tagged , , , | Leave a comment