salar de uyuni

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In 2012, the uyuni trip was postponed. In retrospect, it was a good outcome because Jerusalem better reflected my mood at that time.

In 2015, it finally happened: “our driver asked why I’m always running away from the vehicle. To get a different perspective, I said.” After the lights of Copacabana and the heights of La Paz, I found myself literally on the beaten path.

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Walking away from the salt hotel at sunrise, I’m surrounded by the tracks of tourist trucks. Walking away from the tracks, I see a mirage on the horizon.

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Walking towards the horizon, it’s a plastic bottle? And after two years, I’m still struggling with how to respond to it. Let’s suppose the likely impossible scenario that one finds a plastic bottle in the dry garden of Ryoan-ji. How should one respond to it? Does a plastic bottle have buddha nature or not?

P.S. Mum + Dad playing tourists

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sacred valley

Finally uploaded all my Sacred Valley pictures from Peru. Before the trip, I had seen the photo above and I looked forward to this view as we drove into the Sacred Valley at night. The next morning, as we climbed towards Chinchero, I finally realized that this is the view from the plateau and the mountains are much bigger than at first glance. As if I’m standing on the edge of the Grand Canyon looking up at the Alps.

img src=Tomas Spangler (above)

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Many travellers come here to capture images of the locals. I’m always impressed by the kids. Just like I was in Mexico and Guatemala.

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We stayed @ El Albergue Farm in Ollantay. From the restaurant, we see all the trains to Machu Picchu passing through.

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A few times a day, buses from Cusco race through the narrow lanes to drop off passengers heading to Machu Picchu. Thankfully, this guy is directing traffic.

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Walking up the geometric terraces early in the morning, we only encountered one other traveler. Originally from Peru, he moved to the US many years ago and this is his first time in the area.

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On the way back from Chinchero, we visited the salt evaporation ponds of Maras and the amphitheater terraces of Moray. I think of ancient steps moving up these floating staircases. I think of how these human structures seem to recognize that nature is gloriously unfathomable. As if reminding me to live happily in a world I don’t understand. This is why I travel.

P.S. A couple more pictures from my dad from Cusco


img src=Walk to Saksaywaman


img src=Flight into Cuzco

mosel part ii

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I have uploaded all my photos from the mosel valley, home of the steepest vineyards in Europe.

River view @ Haus Burgfrieden (our train was delayed! delayed train in Germany, how is this possible, we asked the owner; this train is always delayed, says the owner)

Hirschgulasch mit Pfifferlingen @ Dazert (there are many German words for beef, he says) (my filet mit Senfrahmsauce was delicious as well)

Cheese for Dinner @ Alte Gutschanke

Pickled Cherry Dessert @ Gaststatte Noss

Bicycle rental @ Schalt Werk (we got regular bike but ebike only EUR 20 per day)

Riesling tasting @ Stephan Treis and Franzen (picture above from Neef)

Interesting semi sweet red wine @ Peter Mentges

Lye roll @ Diewald supermarket

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valentines (COUNT=1377)

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1. Hon-Maguro Akami Wasabi-Ae @ Nami**: Blue fin tuna Akami diced and marinated with pickled wasabi leaves, hon-wasabi and house made *Tosa soy sauce topped with shredded Yamaimo (Japanese sticky yam) and Nori seaweed.

2. Americano @ Ebar: Watching the Nordstrom crowd

3. Villa Sandi Prosecco

4. New sweater for him (Bay Giving Day)

5. New sweater for me
Me: You haven’t washed my sheep sweater
Him: My Club Monaco sweater shrank so you can have it
Me: Yay!

** For a second, I thought: I need to revisit Japan ASAP. On second thought, the fact that I can eat this in Toronto means I don’t really need to revisit Japan ASAP.

newfoundland

Okay. I will be traveling during my year of traveling without traveling. Mum + Dad are doing a three week road trip and I will be joining them for one week in Newfoundland in June.

Perhaps I have achieved my goal without achieving my goal. Looking back, the bestest things from 2016 are all here and now.

3. Buying zester
2. Looking forward to teeth cleaning while Planet Earth watching
1. Realizing that I enjoy weight training

img src=canadiannaturephotographer