Page 10 of Patricia Somewhere Travel Blog Posts

North America » United States » Florida » St Augustine July 24th 2006

Hello from Saint Augustine, the oldest town in the US. The town is only 1.5 hours from Gainesville, on the Atlantic coast. It's a nice little town which attracks lots of visitors for a taste of the old times. On the way there, we pass by several tiny Southern towns, very typical of the Floridian landscape. It's nice to stroll the streets lined with the victorian old houses, now transformed into bed & breakfast, art galleries and stores. The smell of freshly made candy follows us while we window shop on St. George Street. There are several cozy restaurants in town but we still haven't found one with great food worth a return trip. However, the Manattee vegetarian cafe, although not a picturesque place, offers delicious vegetarian food. We 've been eating there since our first ... read more
Old style
Fun Shops
Fun Shops

South America » Brazil » Alagoas » Maceió July 9th 2006

Maceio I hope you enjoyed the pictures on my previous blog. On this entry, I’d like to write some of my reflections from the place I left 20 years ago, when I moved to the US. I left a small city; I now find a capital of a million inhabitants. It’s natural beauty still very much alive. Even now, winter time, the calm ocean is still splendid. Not as blue or green as in summer time, but it still beautiful. Unfortunately, not all is to be admired. Traffic was bad than, it is horrible now. Poverty was bad, it is horrible now. Health care was bad, now it’s worse. Homeless people were few and harmless, now the many who populate the streets, day and night, include young children and teens addicted to drugs, the most popular ... read more
Kids eager for a little toy
Dona Dora

South America » Brazil » Alagoas » Maceió July 8th 2006

Hello all: Thanks for the feed back many of you sent on the pictures I took of Morros (Hills). It inspired me to send a few more words about it and pictures. Morros is a place of incredible natural beauty. The coconut trees reach to the sky, their leaves dancing with the soft blow of the gentle breeze. The blue ocean caresses the white sand or smash against the tough rocks, in a contrasting pattern. The tide brings the rolling waves to our feet, and takes them away in a repetitious cycle. I lay in the hammock, peacefully watching nature’s wonders effortlessly spreading serenity. What an incredible place. To have the perfect scenario for relaxation, meditation or nothingness, one just needs to be here and let it all be. How lucky I’ve been to be able ... read more
view from the varanda
Just Me

South America » Brazil » Alagoas » Maceió July 7th 2006

Hello all. I just arrived from my trip to Brazil. As usual, it's a wonderful, but also melancholic time for me. Going to Maceio is about visiting my family. For you, who have never been there, know that there are lots of nature related sights to explore. Beautiful prestine beaches with blue or green ocean, reafs, coconut trees, delicious sea food, a lagoon witch meets the Atlantic ocean... and very friendly people, music, heat. In Maceio, I just spend time with my sister, parents, nephews, niecce, uncles. There are hundreds of them, seriously. At Morros de Camaragibe, however, where my sister Andrea has a beach house, I feel like a resting tourist in paradise. Morros is located less than 2 hours from Maceio. We travel thru asphalt and dirt road inthe middle of sugar cane plantations ... read more
Maceio 2
Dinner for me

Asia » China » Tibet May 2nd 2006

On my way to Namtso Lake, 4 hours north of Lhasa, I travelled thru the high-altitude plains of the Changtang (northern plateau), the highest and largest plateau in the world. This area doesn't have rivers, only lakes, and supports very little life. At this time, all the lakes are frozen, including the holly lake Namtso. The wind is brutally cold and at almost 5000 meters, the high-altitude makes it hard for me to breath (a short walk feels like a marathon!). My feet tingle, screaming for oxygen. But, I'm having the opportunity to wander in a spectacular surrounding in remote Tibet, and I won't let the high altitude get on the way. The harsh landscape is very unique. Arid soil, snow still on the peaks of the mountains (as high as 7000 meters), drokpa women and ... read more
Still landscape
Comformist tent
Nomad Woman

Asia » China » Tibet May 1st 2006

I posted a sign and got 3 people to share a 4WD with me for 900yuan. Michael from Germany, Hubert from Austria, and Marleen from Holland. It took us 4 hours to get to the lake which is still frozen. This is the second-largest saltwater lake in China. On the way, we could see pilgrims prostating their way to Lhasa, yak and sheep herds on the hills with with snow on the peaks, nomad tents, sections of the infamous new railroad and a "parade of exactly 91 Chinese army trucks"! The landscape is harsh: brown rocky soil, snow, icy lake. The wind is brutally cold, particularly for a tropical Brazilian. It's ~minus 5-10 centigrade, and the 4718 meters above sea level makes it hard to breath. My advice: do NOT do what I did. Follow the ... read more
Cooooold wind
one more site
Rocks around Nam-tso

Asia » China » Tibet » Lhasa April 25th 2006

I had read about an orphanage in Lhasa and I planned to visit it. Getting ready for the visit while still back home, I packed pens, small dolls and stuffed animals, and a little more. I had an address and I thought that was all I needed. Well, it turned out that it was not that simple. Taxi drivers in Tibet are usually Chinese, can't read, don't understand English, sometimes not even Tibetan, and don't have a clue on how to read a map. The first driver nodded, like an "yes", drove and dropped me off at "who knows where". I walked showing my little piece of paper with the name of the orphanage for 30 minutes. Went into a hotel where I didn't get any help and to a second, where nobody knew what I ... read more
At Dickey Orphanage

Asia » China » Tibet » Lhasa April 22nd 2006

New to my travel companions, Sera was already familiar to me. In 2005 I visited the monastery and even found a couple of monks who spoke English. It was great chatting with them at that time, and great being back to see and talk to them again at the debating courtyard. Sera is one the the 2 great Gelupga order monasteries and dates of 1419. At one point it had 5000 resident monks but now there are only about 600. The Chinese still cruelly controls much of the Buddhist religion, culture, etc. At the 3 colleges which remain from the ravages of the Cultural Revolution, "student monks" will study for quite long periods of time. One of my friends has been studying for 21 years already, Thus, let's say he is doing his "phD or post-doc" ... read more
Lively debates
Sharing ideas/ideals
End of Debate

Asia » China » Tibet » Zhigatse April 20th 2006

I took a 4 hour trip to Shingatse, the second largest city in Tibet, on a public bus. Angie, a great gal from Canada, was my travel buddy. What a journey! The passengers were dirty, spitted all the time, Chinese men smoked like crazy. It was not pleasant, particullarly since I wasn't feeling well. The bus stopped a couple of times and most people got out of the bus to urinate, "al fresco", right there by the bus. Peeing everywhere is a very normal act around Tibet, with no shame at all. I finnally admitted to be suffering from High Altitute sickness. The headache, nausea, heart pounding and shortness of breath made it hard, but I was not willing to let it spoil my precisous and limited time in Tibet. Thus, headed up the hill following ... read more
Angie and I under prayer flags
On the kora path
Rubbing on holly stone

Asia » China » Tibet » Lhasa April 19th 2006

You can't imagine how Tibetans in general have no access to photos and go crazy when they see themselves on the little screen of digital cameras. After noticing that in 2005, I bought a polaroid camera to take pics and give to them a couple of minutes later. It was worth the cost and trouble of caring a bulky camera/films. The happiness they experienced was so rewarding! The problem came when EVERYONE wanted a picture, not just kids and moms, but also monks, old pilgrims, etc. They gathered and practically begged with beady eyes. It was hard to say no (by the way, there isn't a word for "no" nor for "yes" in Tibetan). So, I had to created a rule: I'd only take pictures of mothers and their little kids. That was the only ... read more
Pilgrim with 2 sons
Pilgrim at Sera Monastery
Pilgrim beggar 1

Tot: 2.749s; Tpl: 0.044s; cc: 19; qc: 159; dbt: 0.0922s; 2; m:saturn w:www (; sld: 1; ; mem: 1.7mb