We love to travel to places rich in natural history - cloud forests, coastal areas, grasslands, mountains, temperate forests -- plants, animals, birds, insects, etc. Culture and foodways are equally interesting -- vegetable growing, traditional foods, history and culture-- all are wonderful ways to expand our understanding of the diversity of people and where they live.
There are photo galleries from some of our previous travels on my website: just click through to the travel link. Here's the travel gallery link
. Simply paste the address into your browser if the link doesn't work properly (http://people.clemson.edu/~lwagner)
We'll be traveling in South India from Dec. 13, 2007 through Jan. 9, 2008 - hope I'll be able to post a few comments and photos along the way, but otherwise will do so when we return!
We've had great trips to Mexico, Canada, various European countries, Costa Rica, Chile, Peru, Ecuador, Thailand, Laos, and Vietnam (marked on the map), and we're looking forward to Australia and New Zealand, Indonesia and Malaysis, and returning to Laos, Southern Vietnam, South America, and ...
January 1st 2008
We'll be heading towards Mysore tomorrow after an interesting time in Munnar, Periyar, and the Nilgiris. Internet connections have not been very available, and are too slow for posting photos, so I'll wait until we return to the U.S. on Jan. 10. But, I've made lots of notes, Tim's taken many wonderful pictures, so we hope to provide an impression of our travels after we return of an amazingly diverse country full of constrasts. Happy New Year! Lisa... read more
December 22nd 2007
The tourist track in Kochi has a defined beat along Princess St, Tower Rd., Bastion St. Napier St., and Rose St. The harbor, Chinese fishing nets, and ferry docks are equally popular along with the seawall walk. The Mattancherry District and Jew Town are easily reached along Bazar Rd., but the more interesting route is to meander through the back lanes across the pensinsula that makes up Kochi. Today's walk ( on a non-holiday) took us past bakers frying up potato fritters, lentil donuts, and other treats, as well as meat-selling stalls with hanging carcasses, an ancient woman sifting rice in front of her modest dwelling, and an alleyway full of very small living quarters spilling over with cooking pots. An accidental sojourn into another alley turned out to be a slaughterhouse of sorts: fresh goatskin ... read more
December 22nd 2007
We've had a lovely time in an apartment-like homestay on Buergher St. in Kochi. The proprietor of Preethy Store (ph: 0484-226547) on Bastion Street has a couple of rooms above his house -- the inexpensive rooms (~$20) have AC, and are clean and neat, but the highlight is the nice porch overlooking Buergher St. and the sitting room, kitchen, and refrigerator. Hotel Arches, on Rose St. (0484-2215050), also run by his family, sent us here, and it's been an excellent change from a hotel, with the side benefit of getting to know him and his family a bit. There are some nice new hotels in Fort Kochi not yet in the guidebooks -- Yoder House and Old Harbour Hotel, both with nice rooms and ambience, and equal quality but half the price of the high-end places ... read more
December 21st 2007
Ancient Chinese fishing nets at the Fort Kochi beach are still in use; they use long arching tree trunks, nets, and counterweights to scoop up whatever fish come into the nets. We saw mostly small fish, but large boats were bringing in larger fish (red snapper, kingfish, baby sharks), large prawns and spiny lobsters. Smaller boats used nets to catch small fish, which were plucked from the nets on the beach. Cats prowled the beach for fumbles, and the ubiquitous Indian crows were flying overhead. Some of the fish were "auctioned" off directly in small batches; others were sold to restaurants or individuals. Fort Kochi is an interesting blend of cultures-- Muslim, Christian, Hindu, etc. I can hear the Muslim prayers as I enter this post. Yesterday was a major Muslim holiday marking the end of ... read more
December 17th 2007
Spending some time in the historic town of Panjim, Goa was a welcome change from the city of Mumbai. The pastel-colored houses reflect the Portuguese history of Goa, ~ almost 450 years of Portuguese rule. The old houses, colorful and atmospheric, are lovely, but Panaji (Panjim) had the look of a city waiting to wake up on the weekend, but today's bustle on Monday has me reconsidering the thought. There's a highly controversial land boom here in Goa, rampant beach development with hotels and villas, special business zones for attracting businesses, special permits for mining in the forests, etc. Interesting to read the many local papers with stories on the subject. Villagers and environmentalists oppose the development of natural areas and beach-front areas. Old Goa, nearby, was the center of the Portuguese city in the early ... read more
December 11th 2007
We like to travel light -- I get tired of wearing the same thing, but it beats carrying more stuff around. We've pared it down in recent trips to a small Kelty bag that can be worn as a pack, along with an ultralight-weight Patagonia day pack that can be stuffed inside the main pack. Much better than a backpack. This picture makes the bag look rather large - but it's great to be able to schlep it around easily. I carried too many books last trip-- I guess I'll have to write journal notes instead of reading! ... read more
December 9th 2007
We're flying on Dec. 12 from Atlanta to Mumbai, via New York City. The direct flight to Mumbai is 16 hours. Mumbai (formerly called Bombay) is located in central India, and is a major center of business in India (and the home of Bollywood). ... read more
December 9th 2007
We're leaving for Mumbai and heading south next week. We've never been to India, but thought it would be fascinating to explore, primarily entranced by the spicy food and memories of idyllic sounding accounts by traveling food writers. A shallow reason to visit a country, perhaps, but foodways reflect the center of people's lives, I think. A couple of our colleagues have been on recent trips, either with students to some of the tiger preserves, or to collect aquatic insects in the Western Ghats, and they're keen on the experience. We have lots of Indian students at our university -- reason enough to learn more about their country. (A recent call about a credit card transaction had me talking with a nice person with an Indian accent, who turned out to be based in Mumbai, and ... read more