Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Long gone, but not lost

Well, the days keep cranking by with lots of events and many mile of travel. Tomorrow we set off from Aswan on a day and night-long excursion on a felucca (local sailboat) down this little river called the Nile. The trip has made it to Wadi Rum for a night sleeping under the stars, Aqaba, Sinai, Cairo (crazy), and here to Aswan and Abu Simbel. The pace of the trip is a little fast for being totally pleasant, but we're definitely getting to check off a lot of boxes of places visited and things done. Here are a few photo taken since I posted last.

Sandstorm-tinted sky over Madaba, Jordan. We saw snow in Amman a couple days later. Weird.

More sandstorm action at the Roman ruins of Jerash.

Me getting some solo time with the treasury at Petra, Jordan. It took getting up at 4:30 in the morning to accomplish, but the early bird got the worm.

Getting on to sunset in Wadi Rum, Jordan.

The monastery of St. Katherine's at the foot of Mt. Sinai, Egypt. They have a fire extinguisher right beside the bush said to be on the spot of the burning bush of Biblical fame. Who said monks don't have a sense of humor?

Two of the pyramids of Giza (the Great one in the foreground) on a very hazy day in Cairo. We actually couldn't see the city for it, which wasn't so bad at all.

The hypostyle at the temple of Philae near Aswan, Egypt.

The relocated temples of Abu Simbel, Egypt. The interiors were actually more striking than the exteriors, which was surprising, though photos aren't allowed inside.

“History is Philosophy teaching by examples.”

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Canyon of the Haloed Moon

So, I've just time for a brief note before heading to Wadi Rum today and Aqaba and Sinai tomorrow. Since arriving in Amman, we've visited the mosaics at Madaba, the Roman city ruins of Jerash, Mt. Nebo, the Dead Sea, the crusader castle at Kerak, and this little place called Petra (you might've heard of it). Weather has been surprisingly cold. It actually snowed the last night/morning we were in Amman, and it has been pretty chilly and windy most of the time here. There was also a sand and dust storm with really heavy winds for a few days. Regardless, it has still been fun, and the coming days' events look to be similarly pleasant. Hopefully we'll warm up a littl bit in Egypt, at least during the day, but the nights will likely still be down in the single-Celsius digits. Posting pictures may have to wait until Cairo.
"...follow me. I know the way. Ha!"
~Marcus Brody

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

bags packed...let's go

OK, so in an hour or so we'll head to the Manila international airport terminal. A few hours after that, and it's off to Amman, via Bangkok and Kuwait. Sadly, despite about 6 hour scheduled in Kuwait, it probably won't be possible to go see anything outside the airport. It feels good to be getting to this Middle Eastern chapter of the trip. It really seems like that's going to be where the really cool sights get seen. Anyhow, cheers to the upcoming 6 hours of jet lag.

Happy trails.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Flip-Side Philippines cont.

The village of Batad.

The beach at Sabang, Palawan.

The boats to get to/from the Underground River, as well as the maw of the river itself at Sabang.

Some of the local fauna in Sabang, including carabao (water buffalo) and bayawak (monitor lizard).

The next leg of the trip carries us across 6 time zones to Amman, Jordan, which will feel wonderful I'm sure. Until then we're just TCOB getting rested and prepared for the drastic change of scenery, culture, food, environment, etc. It really feels like we'll be inundated with cultural and historical sights and sounds once we get there. It should also be significantly cooler and less humid, which will be nice after the shock to the system the Philippines has been.
"All men dream: but not equally. Those who dream by night in the dusty recesses of their minds wake in the day to find that it was vanity: but the dreamers of the day are dangerous men, for they may act their dreams with open eyes, to make it possible. This I did."
~T.E. Lawrence

Flip-Side Philippines

Having been on the go for a while here on Palawan in the Philippines, I finally have a chance to put some digital pen to paper and post some photos. Palawan has been much warmer than Banaue, but has thankfully not seemed to be so wet, though it rained hard here in Puerto Princesa last night. A few days hanging out here, followed by a couple more days getting back to and doing more of the recharge-the-batteries thing in Manila, and the Philippines will be history, as far as this trip is concerned. The following are some representative photos of the high points of the trip thus far.

Jungle plants floating in the Pasig River flowing through the urban blight that is Manila.

The mile-long barracks on Topside at Corregidor, and blasted lateral tunnels in the Malinta complex also on the Rock.

Sunset from Corregidor.

The rice terraces of Banaue.