grateful (COUNT=1508)

i++ Weekend stay with both sets of parents @ summit haven surrounded by pine forest; the magic of a tentative step on layers of pine needles

i++ Dundurn Castle, which is not actually a castle but impressive nonetheless due to our great guide

i++ Dinner @ Aberdeen Tavern

i++ Drinks @ Collective Arts (picture below) (guava beer eh)

i++ Waterfall hikes (dad picture above)

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)


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.


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


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.


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.


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

machu picchu


Finally uploaded all my pictures from Machu Picchu. I didn’t know what to expect since it’s so famous and could very well be overrun with tourists. But if you wake up early enough to get on the first bus and walk a bit from the entrance, it’s really quite peaceful.


Dad taking pictures while waiting for the gate to the Machu Picchu Mountain hike to open. Other hikers wandering whether we can see anything from the top given the density of the mist. Since this was our second day, we assured them that the mist would evaporate soon enough.




P.S. A couple more pictures from my dad from day 1

memories coalescing


I don’t regret revisiting Utah last year.

Certainly Zion in the spring is very different from winter. The fact that cars are not allowed into the park in the busy season and that we had to ride the bus resulted in some interesting views through the tinted window.

The hike to delicate arch was amazing despite the Chinese tour bus. My dad actually told this Chinese lady to stop after she did twenty poses so that the non-Chinese tourists can have a go at it.


I recall seeing a painting that Tiffany was working on. There were beautiful details of rolling forests and a huge white space in the center. That’s Bryce Canyon, she said. Now that I’ve been there, I see what she might have been getting at. It’s more atmospheric to look over the amphitheaters into the distance than to look into them.

(Grand Canyon, on the other hand, I think one needs to step into to experience.)

So if I enjoyed it immensely, why am I still not done uploading the photos?

As someone who reads various travel magazines and blogs, I see amazing pictures of Utah National Parks every week. Reviewing my owns shots seem boring in comparison. But looking at them again and threading and rethreading my own thoughts, I feel memories coalescing.

P.S. A photo from my dad from Zion

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Family portrait on route to Delicate Arch

So much for sorting Bolivia pictures. Just realized that I’m not done with Utah photos from last spring. I have to admit that I was shocked to see bus loads of Chinese tourists in Arches National Park. But we got up early and beat them to Delicate Arch. So there!


P.S. A picture from my dad from the day before at Canyonland

P.P.S. A picture from my dad from the day before that at Arches

lights of the andes

20150407_Bolivia_9_Sunset at Hostel_42

My dad still has not posted his Bolivia/Peru pictures. He is still debating how to name this series. I suggest Lights of the Andes. Everywhere along our journey, as the sun sweeps the horizon, snow capped peaks “rage, rage against the dying of the light”. Not unlike all the civilizations that have come and gone.

“Good men, the last wave by, crying how bright
Their frail deeds might have danced in a green bay,
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.”

img src=Dad’s Photo Blog