Gail and Rick

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Gail and Rick

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South America April 24th 2016

This last week we started out in Puno- high in the Andes, right next to Bolivia. Not too much in Puno except that it is the starting point for Lake Titicaca tours. It is almost at 14,000 feet, but we have gotten pretty used to the altitude and no problems for which we are thankful. Our 9 hour boat ride on the lake included 2 islands - Uros floating islands and Taquille island. Uros was so interesting - they rely on tourism so were very happy to show us their homes and explain how they live. They originally started out trying to escape the Incas who were trying to assimilate all the minorities, so they moved on to the lake and lived in boats which they made out of reeds. This led to more permanent homes ... read more
One of the Uros islands.
Uros women
Reed boats

South America April 18th 2016

Aquas Caliente is the small town from which you get to the mountain city of Macchu Piccu. We had no idea what to expect from it except that accommodations were either backpacker or quite fancy (we chose the first option). When the train pulled in, after the lovely ride with Peru Rail from Ollantaytambo, it was a shock to your senses. Banff in the summer - times 10. Tourists, restaurants haranguing you to eat at their place, massage ladies waiting to relieve your tired body after your grueling day - souvenirs, markets, whew! One good thing is no cars - only buses. Plus the incredible location in the mountains. Finally found our hostel and were handed a roll of toilet paper and small soap upon check in. Small, moldy smelling room. The good thing was that ... read more
Magical mist lifting on the way up to M. P.
Still smiling on our way to the Sun  at Macchu Piccu
M.P. as seen from the Caretaker's Hut

South America » Peru » Cusco April 14th 2016

The Sacred valley in Peru is an area north of Cusco that roughly follows the Rio Urubamba. It is loaded with archaeological sites, quaint villages with local weavers, markets and stunning views. We started out from our overnight bus trip in Cusco and caught a collectivo which took about 1 1/2 hours to reach Ollantaytambo. A collectivo is a mini van - collectivos for different locations wait at specific spots until there are enough people to fill the van, then take off. At first we were a bit nervous about finding and riding on the collectivos, but now is so easy - we feel like old hands at it. Every place that we go becomes my new favourite place, but this one will be hard to beat. Our small hotel was very new, but in the ... read more
Plaza de  Armas restaurant
Ollantaytambo Ruins
Storage units in the Inca times  (Qollqas)

South America April 10th 2016

It's hard to believe that we have only been in this beautiful country of Peru for only a week. It took us a long time to get here (boring details) but left Canada on April 4 and arrived in Arequipa on April 6. Not an impressive start and the taxi driver asking for directions 3 times, but worth it when we finally got to our lovely B&B hostel. It is not in the busy historical centre where all the backpacker hostels are, but a quiet neighbourhood, close enough to walk (like 3 times a day!) to the centre. The hostel is the home of the owner and they were so kind to us. First day, we went to the main square to catch a free walking tour, but in fact were in the wrong square, so ... read more
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Plaza des  Armas
Hostal Cleoffe

North America » Canada » British Columbia » Qualicum Beach October 23rd 2012

A New Phase Qualicum Beach- another big change in our lives - and the last of the travel blogs for a while (so sad!!). The end of our China odyssey was so busy with packing, end of school, crates, and planning for one last holiday, that I feel like I need the closure of one last blog. Saying goodbye to China was especially difficult. We were so fortunate though to have had one last trip with my brother Bob, his wife Nancy and daughters Catherine and Zoe. They joined us in Beijing for a two nights to adjust to time zones before heading off to Xi An to see the Terra Cotta Warriors. Even though we had seen them before, they are well worth a second visit. From there we went to Chengdu to visit the ... read more
Bob on the Xian City wall
Chengdu Panda Reserve
Wen shu temple

Asia » China » Liaoning » Dalian » Jinshitan July 1st 2012

Months slide into weeks, weeks fly into days and days zip by – before you know it, our time in Jinshitan is over and the end is here! Such mixed feelings- it is hard to put into words how we feel about leaving this fabulous community that has been home for three years. Today, Sunday July 1 is not only Canada Day, and our first day of summer holiday, but also the first official day of retirement for both of us. Although we are having a lovely time as at a 5 star hotel in Dalian, both Rick and I are pretty nervous about that and already wondering what and where our next jobs and adventures will be. Everything seems like limbo right now, but things will sort themselves out and we are both looking forward ... read more
grad ceremony june 9, 2012 010
Fresh Produce
Day on Ryan's Farm

Asia » China » Liaoning » Dalian » Jinshitan February 22nd 2012

Hi all – The last few months here have been very busy; seems like a long time since I have written to anyone, so hope this will catch us up. This is a real marathon blog with so many pictures! Rick is enjoying his role as vice principal and surprisingly has really enjoyed being on the boys campus. It was a real concern for him about how he would leave the girls that he enjoyed so much. But aside from the cold building and smelly bathrooms, he finds the job interesting and the boys really great. Working with the Les, the principal, Ryan and Brad has been a good admin team. We now have almost 3000 students so there are always issues to deal with. My job as Director for the Language Elective program has been ... read more
Boy's Campus
The Champions
Christmas Eve

Asia » China » Dongbei » Dalian November 12th 2011

Heading into the month of November, we are thinking of snow, wind, long underwear and heavy coats. Oh for the bliss of first year when we didn’t know what faced us in winter! But, compared to current temperatures of places that the people we love, we are in a heat wave in the low teens. Blizzards in the Maritimes, frigid temperatures in Peace River and skiing in Whistler makes us grateful for the prolonged fall that we seem to be having. On top of that, there is actually heat in the apartments! Heat is a relative thing though; with no control over thermostats, we take what they give us and have our own heaters going most of the day and night. Geoff’s place on the girl's campus seems to be nice and toasty without heaters still. ... read more
PingYao
Tai Yuan Kui Guesthouse
China Cowboy

Asia » China » Liaoning » Dalian » Jinshitan September 4th 2011

Well, I guess our two year adventure in China is now officially three years- who would have thought! It’s a big surprise to us that we are still here too, but doing well and enjoying it. Summer was great and really recharged our batteries, which we needed. One really great thing about our new life is how much more time we actually spend with family. Funny that being away has brought us so much closer to the people that we love. My only regret is not having my camera closer at hand with all the visits that we had with Rick's family! Thanks Fred and Dianne for the trip to Canada that you made. Our summer started out with a few days in Whistler with Chris, plus a day trip to Qualicum to check out the ... read more
Halifax - Lower Deck
K Country with Pat and Dale
Bob and the girls

Asia » China » Liaoning » Dalian » Jinshitan June 11th 2011

Our second year in China is quickly coming to a close- time has just flown and when we see friends and colleagues packing boxes and crates, we have mixed feelings. With the education system cutbacks in both BC and AB, not much chance of working there; so we might as well take advantage of the opportunities here. Therefore, as most of you know, we have signed another contract, with different positions in the school. It will be a real challenge for both of us and neither of us will in the classroom - Rick as vice principal and me 2nd in charge of the ESL. But Jim and Carrie, Peter and Dianne, Linda and Lynn - we will miss you so much - our potlucks, singing, going out for dinner, card playing group! It won't be ... read more
Mary and Rick
All Better!
The Reservoir




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