I'm a retired American from the Northwest, and I am 67. I left the U.S. on 9/11 (isn't that a date for a departure). Little wonder it was such an easy ticket to get! As one of my best friends has always said, "Life's a risk, so you might as well just do what you want."
The current travel plan, subject to change at anytime, is to spend about 9 months in Asia, then, around mid-June, when Asia becomes unbareable, climate-wise, depart Asia for Brazil.
My first stop is Bangkok. This will be my 5th trip to Bangkok and I'm going there specifically to get tickets to other places. If you're not aware of it, Bangkok, London and Athens have 'bucket shops' which are places that typically sell some of the cheapest tickets anywhere on the planet. I'll be there for about 10 days, getting tickets and a visa to India (the one place I'm traveling on this segment that requires a visa a head of time and a ticket showing you are exiting the country). The other potential destinations on the first phase of this trip - Nepal, Tibet, Laos and Vietnam are easier when it comes to visas.
September 14th 2009
From Colombia I was on a mad dash for Quito. This meant that there were a couple of things missed and a couple of good sites and stops bypassed, but I had my mission. I know not why nor ever discovered, but there is a short ‘low season’ in the Galapagos from May through mid-June and I wanted to catch some of the lower fares. Having dallied in Venezuela too long, meant by the time I had bren to Bogota and the fabulous Zone Cafetera, I was beginning to be pushed for time. So, off to Quito. It took me about 2 days to check out the different tours available to the Galapagos, book the tour and the flights. It really wasn’t difficult, but this may have been because it was off season. The whole thing ... read more
June 17th 2009
I have added new friends. If you are interested in previous blogs, go to www.travelblog.org and go to CharlieM. My only other SA entry is Venezuela. The other blogs are on India. I also did blogs on China under CharM You can enlarge pictures by double clicking. Also, there are more pages of pictures at the end of the writing. Just go to page 2,3,4, etc. if you are still enjoying yourself. To all my friends. There is something I don´t seem to be able to do. That is to get the pictures to be where I am in the blog writing. That´s probably because I do too many pictures. Sorry about this. BEGIN! Ah, Colombia! What a beauty she is. Several of you have exclaimed on the mere idea that Colombia was even on my ... read more
May 30th 2009
I HAVE DELETED PEOPLE I AM SENDING TO BECAUSE I DIDN´T HEAR FROM THEM. IF YOU HEAR OF SOMEONE WHO WANTS IT, HAVE THEM WRITE ME AT MILLS.CHARLENE@GMAIL.COM. THERE MAY BE A FEW ON THIS ADDRESS THAT NEVER DID GET ON THE CHINA BLOG. IF SO, YOU CAN GET IT UNDER CharM. BELIEVE IT OR NOT I DID NOT REALIZE THIS SPELLED ''CHARM'WHEN I STARTED USING IT. DAH!. AM HAVING TROUBLE WITH TENSE IN MY BLOGS SINCE I WRITE THEM LITTLE BY LITTLE AND WHEN THEY ARE FINALLY PUBLISHED I AM FAR INTO ANOTHER PART OF MY JOURNEY. FOR EXAMPLE, RIGHT NOW I AM IN QUITO AND WILL LEAVE FOR THE GUALPOGOS IN TWO DAYS. SO, MY COLOMBIA JOURNAL IS STILL TO BE SENT. THE HARDEST PART IS THE DAMN PICTURES. THEY ARE REALLY TIMECONSUMING. BUT, ... read more
April 20th 2008
Well, I finally had to go to the expert, Jeff....who unwound my mistakes and got 'most of you' on the new blog. It is called CharM. If you did not get a blogless blog from me (ie, just a note saying you are on the list) and you would like to be on the new blog list, please give me a quick e-mail and I'll add you. My new address, for the few of you who don't have it, is email@example.com. Hopefully, this time it will all work. With a week's rest in Qingdao next week, I'm hoping that I'll have time to do a few entrie. One of the problems here is finding someone to download the photos. Always, something. Happy Spring(less) spring to you all....I get news from Jeff saying they are still forcasting ... read more
March 15th 2008
Well, if I ever figure out this picture download stuff, consider it a miracle. Of course, picture three isn't my yoga teacher. This is that beautifully dressed doorman I tried to download on my Bangalore blog. Do not ask me how this happens!! Well, I tried again....and, now you see that little cutie....picture #4. Animals: I have never been anyplace where animals wander so freely. On the roads on streets in cities and towns I have seen cows, pigs, oxen, camels, dogs, goats, donkeys, horses (remember those bridegrooms on the white horses riding through the streets with their enterages) sheep, water buffalo (on the steps right in Varanassi, they must be a different breed than the African buffalo which is the meanest beast on the continent (other than man, that is)) and elephants. None of these ... read more
March 14th 2008
Hi All, I am sitting here in an internet cafe in Bangkok, only three days from leaving for my China trip. Do want to tell you about my last experiences in India before going. Tamil Nadu is the southern most state of India. It's main cities are Chennai/Madras, Madurai and Ponidcherry. I visited the last two and only spent a night in Chennai waiting for my train to Calcutta. By the way, I'll be coming back to Tamil Nadu in July. I've told quite a few of you this but will repeat for those who only get the blog. I do think I mentioned that I made a commitment to some major dental work in Goa. This entails me being back there in July and again in December. At first, I thought I would just fly ... read more
February 15th 2008
That is exactly many signs say all over the state of Kerala...."God's Own Country". At first I was thinking it meant the same thing we do when we say we live in "God's Country"...meaning it is a wonderful place to stay. But, here it has multiple meanings, at least to me. First, it is like one might expect the Garden of Eden to be like, luscious, with tropical trees and flowers. Second, in some places you can see a church on one corner, a shrine on another and a mosque right there too. Third, if you take it to mean the Christian God, well there are plenty of them here and they 'ain't' doing bad. I would say this may be the most prosperous state I have been in (although some of the cities, especially Bangalore, ... read more
February 6th 2008
AS YOU CAN SEE, THERE IS NO PICTURE OF THE DOORMAN. THIS HAPPENS WHEN YOU TYPE IN THE WRONG PICTURE NUMBER AND, ONCE THIS IS DONE, my BLOG WILL NOT ALLOW CHANGES. WHAT WE HAVE HERE IS A CERAMIC SCULPTURE THAT WAS IN ONE OF THE PALACES IN BANGALORE. l LAUGHED WHEN I SAW IT. IT IS OF A TIGER ATTACKING A RAJ SOLDIER. PROBABLY DIDN'T 'AMUSE' THE LOCAL BRITSH RULERS MUCH. First, something that Jeff pointed out to me. I always show where I am writing from instead of where I am writing about. So, this means that right now I am in a town called Kollam, which is part of the Backwaters in Kerala. However, what I'll be writing about is my experiences in Banaglore and Mysore...which took place a few weeks back. I ... read more
January 24th 2008
Hi all, As usual, once I get started visiting places where I don't stay for long, I get way, way behind in my blog. Since I left Goa, I have been to Hampi, Bangalore, Mysore and am now in Ft. Cochin (not Munnar the identification above indicates. ) This'll be a two part blog because I am just going to give a little overview of Goa (little compared to my usual tomes). Why? Because I'll be back in Goa in August, plus I plan on spending next Christmas there also. That means there will be plenty of opportunities to expand on the charms of Goa. Which one must assume I like, since I'll be spending a lot more time here in 2008 and 2009. I arrived on 12/19 from Bombay and found that this woman who ... read more
January 9th 2008
FIRST A WORD ABOUT CONFUSING CITY NAMES HERE IN INDIA. AS YOU ALL KNOW BOMBAY HAS BEEN OFFICIALLY CHANGED TO MUMBAI; CALCUTTA IS KOLKATA AND MADRAS IS CHENAI. NOW, I DON'T KNOW ABOUT THE MADRAS/CHENAI THING. BUT, IN 3 1/2 MONTHS IN INDIA I HAVE MET ONLY ONE INDIAN WHO CALLED BOMBAY, MUMBAI AND NONE THAT USED THE NAME KOLKATA. THE ONLY ONES WHO USE IT ARE WE PC FOREIGNERS AND TRAVELERS. SO, FROM NOW ON, AS LONG AS I AM HERE, IT IS BOMBAY, CALCUTTA AND MADRAS!! How to begin! The only reason I even stopped in Bombay is because I had to travel through it to get to Goa. Several months ago I decided that part of my Indian travel strategy (and probably my China travel policy) would be to avoid big cities. ... read more