U.S. States I’ve not yet visited

Years ago in a New Orleans restaurant, Dave Adlard pointed out the States he had already visited on a huge wall map. Most of them. Today he’s only missing one – Arkansas.

I’d been to only about 15 States at that time.

But today I’m only missing West Virginia, Virginia, South Carolina, North Carolina, Rhode Island, Maryland Connecticut — one road trip visiting Barbecue spots.

Rathtrevor Beach, Vancouver Island at dawn

Most mornings I wake early. Head directly to Tim Hortons to pick up coffee.

Continue on to Rathtrevor Beach Provincial Park, one of the most beautiful beaches I know in the Pacific N.W.

At low tide, it stretches nearly a kilometre out into the Strait of Georgia.

The park is an important stopover area for migratory birds, notably brant geese, which use the beach as a staging area from March 1 to April 15.

Birds stop in the spring for the annual herring spawn … which also attracts large numbers of seals.

There are plenty of friendly, feral rabbits too.

Click PLAY or watch it on YouTube.

 

 

I’m a Whole Foods buffet guy now

Dana always called the snooty grocery chain Whole Paycheque Foods, and I wouldn’t walk in the door.

What?! … No Diet Coke?

But in South Miami Beach where food of any kind costs $10, the best deal I can find is the food court at Whole Foods.

I spend $6-9 dollars for a great, tasty meal. Soups are good too.

Pizza excellent.

For another opinion, read Exposing the dark side of the Whole Foods food court.

For coffee I go to McDonalds.

And Subway is still quite a good alternative for about the same price as my buffet.

 

♫ … going to Kathmandu?

Kathmandu is awful. One of the most polluted cities of the world. Traffic is a nightmare. Drinking water highly risky. The airport is horrid.

UPDATE – the core streets of the tourist area Thamel have been made mostly pedestrian only. That’s a BIG improvement.

On recent trips I’ve flown into Kathmandu — then departed as quickly as possible to Bhaktapur or Pokara.

For one thing, many visitors get sick in Kathmandu within the first couple of days.

In 2019 I ended up staying in Kathmandu two days at the end of my trip as the departure was out of the city.

As always, I visited my favourite attraction — the Monkey Temple.

Swoyambhunath is an ancient religious complex atop a hill in the Kathmandu Valley … It is also known as the Monkey Temple as there are holy monkeys living (there) …

The Swayambhunath complex consists of a stupa, a variety of shrines and temples, some dating back to the Licchavi period. A Tibetan monastery, museum and library are more recent additions. …

The stupa consists of a dome at the base, above which is a cubical structure painted with eyes of Buddha looking in all four directions with the word “unity” in the main Nepali dialect between them …

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The second night I went, as usual, to the Great Stupa. Had dinner on one of the rooftop restaurants.

The ancient Stupa is one of the largest in the world. The influx of large populations of refugees from Tibet has seen the construction of over 50 Tibetan Gompas (Monasteries) around Boudhanath. As of 1979, Boudhanath is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. …

Tibetan merchants have rested and offered prayers here for many centuries. When refugees entered Nepal from Tibet in the 1950s, many decided to live around Boudhanath. …

Here are a few other random photos from my last days in Nepal.

Sizzler at Rum Doodle (new location)

unique and excellent donair Nepali-style

I’ll be back. There’s no better way to hike the Himalayas than from Nepal.

Looking to river valley between two 8000m peaks

farewell Pokhara

After over 3 weeks in-and-out of the (former?) hippy enclave of Lakefront, Pokhara on lake Fewa, I’m finally moving on.

Within 30 kilometres (19 miles), the elevation rises from 1,000 to 7,500 metres (3,300 to 24,600 feet).

My guest house was up high with good vistas.

Pokhara, like Kathmandu, is usually hazy with poor mountain views. But we got one very clear day.

Machapuchare (Fishtail) is my favourite mountain.

Colourful row boats are emblematic of the city.

Fishing is popular with locals and visitors from the subcontinent.

There’s not all that much to do in Pokhara. Most spend their time relaxing meal-to-meal.

My go-to Himalayan dinner is called a Sizzler, for obvious reasons.

Some randoms.

Political Party parade.
Police Force laundry.
Pema Dechan Ling