"What a long strange trip it has been..."

In our 4th and final installment of photos we used the same format as before, with pictures grouped from different areas. Unfortunately, our digital camera broke midway through India, but we had the 'old fashion' kind that worked just dandy until Hawaii - then it died. We had to wait to get settled in order to scan in the photos of the last part of India, Nepal, Thailand and Bali. As before, Margie has compiled a newsletter/narrative, which includes stories of our last part of the trip in Southeast Asia and Indonesia. You may read her latest narrative in its entirety by clicking the appropriate link to the right, or you may go back and forth by using the links on the individual picture pages.
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Margie's Tales
We finished India, just before it finished us, in Agra. The Taj was as magnificent as all describe it to be. By this time India was wearing on us - the heat, the mass of humanity and the difficulty in maneuvering from place to place. We found relief in Nepal then made our way back to India and the extreme heat of New Delhi and the lovely countryside of Shimla, a hill station in the Indian Himalayas.
Nepal was breathtaking, both figuratively and literally. We were there just before the monsoons so the visibility of the great mountains played peek-a-boo, giving us a heighten sense of anticipation throughout our 6 week stay. Most of Nepal is still reached by trekking. Royal Chitwan National Park in the south and the Kathmandu Valley region were the most accessable areas. Our time was spent at Chitwan, Pokhara, and Kathmandu with a couple of day treks into the mountains.
In Thailand, specifically Bangkok, we experienced culture shock. This city was like any US major metropolitan area, with a complex freeway system, supermarkets, skyscrapers and the "organized" hustle and bustle of a city. We only saw a small portion of Thailand. Koh Saumi, a small island off the southeastern coast and Khao Sok Rainforest. The island was the playground for Aussies and extreme surfers and the snorkeling was rich. Our last unforgettable nature encounter found us living in a jungle hut and experiencing its little critters up close and quite personal.
Finally, Bali, was the land of extraordinary rituals and ceremonies. All of the countries we visited had their spiritual/religious lives as an intricate part of their existence - it is not separate at all. However, Bali seemed to be even more fused. Day in and day out continual preparation and execution of Hindu practices were observed. Bali was also an island of artistry. Families specializing in hand crafts - wood craving, painting, batik, etc. pass on the ancient techniques creating an island wide workshop nestled in the rice paddies.
If you missed our previous installments of trip news, you can backtrack by clicking on the Part 1, Part 2 or Part 3 buttons below. We are now readjusting to the American routine in Sacramento. Thanks to you all for coming along on our journey. Our being able to e-mail and post this site was a wonderful and important connection for us while travelling. .
Part 1
of the trip
(Spain and Portugal)
Part 2
of the trip
(Egypt and Morocco)
Part 3
of the trip