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Archive for the 'Travel' Category

A Reason to Diet

Last week I taped a travel show because hubby and I are considering where we might visit next and some of the destinations looked interesting.

Singleton in Australia is one of the places they visited. It’s in the Hunter Valley of New South Wales and is known for the wife carrying competition.

Wife carrying originated in Finland. The sport is thought to originate from two historic tales. The first is a 19th century legend has it that men stole wives from neighboring villages. In a second tale, an outlaw named Rosvo-Ronkainen made potential soldiers prove themselves in a race where they carried heavy sacks. The result is the wife carrying contest.

The rules are fairly simple: everyone involved must have fun. Competitors don’t have to carry their own wives. Rules state that a part­icipant may carry his own wife, his neighbor’s wife or someone he found “farther afield.” The onl­y stipulation is that the wife must be more than 17 years of age and weigh a minimum o­f 108 pounds (49 kg). If the wife weighs less than that, she must carry a weighted rucksack to make up the difference. The official length of the track is 831 feet (253.5 meters). The surface of the track includes sections of sand, grass and gravel. There are two obstacles to climb over, as well as a 1-meter- (3.2-feet-) deep water obstacle to wade through.

Last year, Anthony Partridge and Angela Moore, both from Singleton, came fifth in the World Championship with a time of 70 seconds. The world record stands at 55.5 seconds and is held by a couple from Tallinn in Estonia.

There are three methods of carrying a wife – the traditional piggy back, the fireman’s lift and the Estonia lift, which is shown in the video.

Hubby took one took at the screen, he looked at me and then said, “I hope you realize I’d never lift you.”
I said, “I’d never let you carry me around like that.” We looked at each other, grinned and settled back to watch TV. Neither of us have any desire to try the sport.

Would you like to try wife carrying?

Women Take a Stand

I’m an avid traveler and a recent article in the travel section of the New Zealand Herald caught my attention. It spoke to me. It made me laugh.

In some countries, you still have travel with a father or a husband before being allowed to enter i.e. Saudi Arabia. In other countries I’ve visited, such as Iran, women have to wear head scarves, covered shoes and a long sleeved coat. I have a photo somewhere of me and two girlfriends in the back of a cab in Esfahan, Iran. We’re dressed in black from head to foot and wearing huge grins. We wore a black chador during our visit plus headscarves. I remember being uncomfortable and hot for the full seven days it took us to drive through the country. That said, it was a wonderful experience and we met some lovely people.

In other countries such as Pakistan, India and Turkey, a woman needs to dress with care to prevent giving local males the wrong idea, i.e. that’s she’s available and ready for sex.

But there’s one other thing about travel that’s an even bigger problem for women, and that’s going to the loo. (Restroom for those of you in the US) Sometimes it’s hard to find one and at other times, they’re plain disgusting. A man can go anywhere – choose a spot, take aim and go. For a woman it’s not that easy. Take it from me, I have firsthand experience with this dilemma!

When we traveled overland in India, we’d pull up in the middle of nowhere for lunch. The first thing all the girls did was dive off the truck and find a tree to squat behind because within minutes the locals would appear. Many a time, we’d turn around and find a stranger getting a good view from behind. We learned to be quick.

That’s why this article fascinated me. It was about a new product called the Shewee that allows women to relieve themselves while standing up. To pee with a Shewee you unzip your trousers and push your underwear to the side. The Shewee is placed against your body and the spout angled toward the toilet or ground. A quick shake of the liquid resistant plastic and it’s dry and ready to store for the next time. At 17cm long and being very light, it can be stowed easily.

Here’s the link to the New Zealand website where it sells for NZ$19.90. (there’s also a US website – follow the links from the NZ one)

What do you think?

A Visit to Banff National Park

My special guest today is Barbara Martin who lives in Canada. I met Barbara online and love visiting her blog because it’s always interesting. On each visit I learn something about wildlife, history or beauty spots in Canada. She writes dark fantasy, short stories and flash fiction. Today Barbara gives us an opportunity to visit a beautiful spot in Canada, Banff National Park. Once again, I think you’ll need your warm clothes for this visit, although the pool looks inviting.

Thank you, Shelley, for this opportunity to provide a post during your birthday month.

This post is on my favourite vacation location in Canada, Banff National Park in the Rocky Mountains of Alberta. Every summer during my young formative years my family would come here to enjoy the sights and excursions, as my mother had done during her childhood.
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Portrait of San Francisco

San Francisco would have to be one of my favorite cities to visit. I’m running a bit short of time today so I thought I’d post a few photos from our recent trip. I think I like San Francisco so much because of its situation on the sea. The hills are killers to walk up and down. Believe me, I know because Mr. Munro made me walk up and down several!

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The Golden Gate Bridge is an icon and known worldwide. During the summer months it’s also often shrouded in fog.

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Pier 39 is a fun place to wander. Lots of great ways to empty the wallet here! This is a shot of the merry-go-round. A shot of the resident sealions follows. You can smell them before you see them.

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Coit Tower is another icon. It’s fun to climb to the top and see the views of the city.

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This is a shot of Lombard Street. This end of Lombard Street is known as the crookedest street. It’s also very steep. There are traffic jams here as tourists queue to drive down the crooked street and grab a photo or two.

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Alcatraz Island is known worldwide. A trip out to the island jail is fascinating, although you need to book well ahead. This is a very popular trip.

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Cops on the beat.

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Here’s a statue of The Thinker. It’s at the Legion of Honor, a fine-art museum.

Have you visited San Francisco? If so, what’s your favorite place to visit in the city? If not, which place or thing in the city would you most like to see in person?

Deadwood, South Dakota

I first heard of Deadwood when the HBO show of the same name came out. I started to watch the first one and the swearing horrified me. I think I watched about the first ten minutes before I gave up.

When we decided to visit South Dakota we discussed Deadwood and put it on our itinerary because it sounded interesting. Some people call Deadwood a place where Las Vegas meets the Wild West. There’s certainly lots of history in the town with names like Wild Bill Hickok, Calamity Jane and Seth Bullock attached to it.
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National Parks in America

Thursday Thirteen

Thirteen National Parks I Visited Recently

1. Yosemite, California – just beautiful. I’d visited before but it was much quieter this time due to both the petrol prices and a recent fire that had scared visitors away. We had a perfect day with excellent visibility.

2. Grand Canyon, Arizona. This canyon is awe-inspiring.

3. Petrified Forest, Arizona. My husband and I both enjoyed our first visit to this park. The petrified forests were fascinating.

4. Mesa Verde, Colorado. Hot and dry. Busy but well worth a visit for the peek into the cliff dwellings of the Puebloans.

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5. Black Canyon of the Gunnison, Colorado. I didn’t know anything about this park until I visited but I loved the black rock and the deep canyons. It was stark and beautiful.

6. Rocky Mountains, Colorado. We didn’t have the best weather here. At the top of the pass it was freezing and sleeting. Ranger Michelle answered some of my many questions while I was here and we saw lots of animals at the lower levels before it started raining. A lot of trees are dying here after being attacked by the pine beetle.

7. Devil’s Tower, Wyoming. We walked around the base and saw our first snake here.

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8. Little Bighorn Battlefield, Montana. An interesting place to visit although, man was it hot on the day we visited!

9. Yellowstone, Wyoming. This is a huge park and you need to spend a few days to explore it fully.

10. Olympic, Washington. This park covers both forest, lakes and mountains as well as part of the coast. Crescent Lake was gorgeous and we also enjoyed exploring the coast.

11. Mt. Rainier, Washington. I loved my visit here. The spring flowers were in full bloom and it was really pretty.

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12. Lewis & Clark, Oregon. We didn’t know much about Lewis and Clark and after visiting Fort Clatsop we came away much wiser. This pair of explorers had great people skills and seemed well liked by everyone.

13. Crater Lake, Oregon. One of my favorites. It’s so pretty here. I could look at the lake for hours.

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Crater Lake National Park

Our holiday is almost over and I won’t post again until we’re at home. We’ve had such a great time and seen so many wonderful places.

Yesterday morning we wandered around the gardens at our hotel. Here’s a sunflower shot. I like sunflowers. They always make me smile when I see them.

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Crater Lake is beautiful. Mr. Munro and I have visited before and this time we stayed at the lodge. A forest fire made the air hazy but it was still very pretty. We wandered along one of the trails and relaxed, soaking in the views. It’s a lovely place to chill out.

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Mr. Munro has caught the flu and spent all night (or what felt like all night) coughing, sneezing and blowing his nose. He’s a little better today. Hopefully he’ll shake the worst of it off after a good night of sleep. We’re driving back to San Francisco tomorrow to catch a flight home. I can’t believe how quickly the last six weeks has gone.

Covered Bridges and Lava Fields

Another short post today. Yesterday we drove from Prineville to Cottage Grove, passing through lava fields and in the afternoon driving around to see covered bridges. We’re staying the night at a lovely resort called Village Green. We have our own private garden plus there are 14 acres of garden for resort visitors to wander around. It’s really lovely and deserving of a post of its own.

Here’s a shot of the lava fields. You can see where they have flowed around some trees, leaving them standing while the rest of the area was destroyed.

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And here’s a shot of the Stewart Covered bridge with our rental car. The bridge was constructed in 1930 and restored in 1996.

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We’re off to Crater Lake National Park tomorrow. Unfortunately there are wildfires around and some of the roads have been closed. We’re keeping our fingers crossed.

John Day Fossil Beds, Oregon

The internet link is really slow today but I think I can load one photo. We visited the John Day Fossil Beds yesterday, which were really fascinating. Scientists are still discovering new species of plants and animals on a regular basis.

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This is a shot of one of my favorite beds. The minerals in the soil (from volcanoes) make the rocks look blue/green in color.

We’re off to look at covered bridges today. Guess what will be in the next blog…

The One About Animals

No photos today since I’m tired and can’t summon the energy to download my camera to my laptop. Last night we stayed at Grand Lake – actually outside Grand Lake – at a campground called Elk Creek in some darling little cabins. Mr. Munro has been very clever with our accommodation and we’ve stayed in a real mix. I was sitting our our terrace having a beer and watched a mouse run across the steps. Mice don’t scare me (unless they choose to run over my feet) so I continued sipping my beer and casually mentioned it to hubby. When he investigated, he found more mice. A family of the wee things. Later that night I kept hearing noises and at one stage shot upright in bed and woke Mr. Munro. It was raining and the patter on the roof had woken me. The mice hadn’t decided to come inisde out of the cold, so I went back to sleep.

Today we drove through the Rocky Mountain National Park. I purchased a book on mountain lions and questioned the ranger for some time. Ranger Michelle was lovely and my story idea is fermenting nicely after all the info she gave me. We saw some moose and stopped to take photos. We also stopped to take photos of some elk. Their antlers were HUGE. I don’t know how they manage to hold their heads up. When we traveled farther into the park, it started sleeting – freezing when you’re wearing shorts! I yanked more clothes out of the suitcase and layered. It worked all right and a hot cider at the information center at the top of the mountain completed the thaw. We enjoyed all our wildlife sightings. Next on the list is bison and beers. We have a list and we’re ticking it off. :grin:

Tomorrow we’re driving into South Dekota. Deadwood – here I come!

Oh, I forgot to say that we had a fun time in Cripple Creek and for the first time in history Mr. Munro and I won some money at one of the casinos. Me – the last of the big spenders who puts $1 at a time in the machines, played poker and won. I’m still in shock.