17 April 2014

Camping in the desert can be tough.  While you don't often have to worry about rain flooding your tent, in our neck of the woods, or lack there of, it is wind and curious beduins that keep you up at night.  Without trees or much of anything else to stop it, the wind can rattle the tent so strongly that you are sure your will find yourself in Timbuktu come morning.  And if you manage to sleep through the cacophony of thin plastic whipping against itself, headlights and shouting are likely to awaken you.  You can drive off the road, through fields of lava and swear that you are in the middle of freakin' no where, but don't be fooled, other people are not so far off.  So, do not set out into the desert for a good nights' sleep, but do go for the food and fun.  There is nothing like an empty night sky and potatoes roasted on coals.  Conversation with good friends and learning to cooperate in rough conditions.  And most of all, the next day, when you crawl out of your tent and enjoy a barbequed french pastry while enjoying the sunrise and watching the camels off in the distance, you'll know that it was worth it.

The next morning, sleepyheads :)

In pursuit of french pastries.

who was happy I brought eggs :)

11 April 2014

Up and over the lava we went like a little crowd of Teletubbies in our brightly-colored gear.  No doubt every beduin within 100 miles could see us slowly snaking our way up the volcano.  I can only imagine their confusion at our purposeless feat.  But we persevered and when we reached the top, we were quite amazed.  With a strong cold wind blowing and loose rubble under our feet, we inched as close to the precipice as we dared.  In front of us, the ground fell away, hundreds of meters below was all that remained of a once powerful geological phenomena.  There was the summit and then nothing.  Nothing but air and a few birds playing in the breeze.  

So, when we realized that it would be impossible for us to circumnavigate the crater, or descend into her depths, we took our photos, planted a Polish flag, and back down we went.

04 April 2014

Looking back on these photos from last weekend has made me think about several things.

First, I think that I am wearing zip-off pants in at least 80% of the photos on this blog.  That is eh'em a little bit embarrassing.  Though I will say, that if you're gonna be outside and you don't know if its going be hot or cold, go with the convertible pant.  Shorts and full length all in one.  Efficiency at its finest.  I might have a secret crush on utilitarian wear...

Second, I really don't want to live near an active volcano.  The one shown in these photos last went off in (I think) the 1200s.  Over 1,000 years later and there's still hardly a damn thing there.  Liquid hot magma don't lie.

Last, its funny how in just a span of one week, life can be so drastically different.  Where last weekend I was hopping over Earth's ephemeral crust, huffing and puffing and stubbing my toes, today I am lounging, listening to some folk tunes and baking up a storm.  Different days, different adventures.  I've gotta remember that when things seem scary or dull, overwhelming or boring, something new will soon come knockin' on the door.

I hope you enjoy the rest of the week, I sure am!

02 April 2014

Mordor.  No really.

The place looks like Mount Doom, or maybe Mars, and it is certainly many miles from the Shire.  It is formidable both from the areal view and at ground level.  There are hardly any green things growing, just the occasional masochistic daisies, and the ground is crunchy hard lava waiting to collapse on you should you happen to walk over a once forgotten terrestrial lair.  The lava comes in two forms.  Smoothish ribbons that you can picture flowing at thousands of degrees, red hot, covering anything in their path.  And then there is the other stuff.  The sharp knives of pumice that perhaps cooled faster (or is it slower, I don't know my geology that well) and these guys, they are out to get you.  You should avoid them at all costs, walk around these ominous patches, take a detour if you must, sharp rocks are not your friend.  

29 March 2014

First a uni-cat and now camels, I couldn't give you megafauna any more charismatic.  We just got back from a weekend camping in the desert.  Its always good to get out of town for a little while and be reminded of how soft your bed is in comparison to packed sand.  We summited another volcano, though, and managed to find both cold weather, rain, and a standing body of water so it was a pretty successful trip.

Hope you're enjoying the weekend :)

25 March 2014

When you've got a case of the Mondays.  Or, let's be honest, a case of the Monday-Fridays, find yourself a uni-cat.  Bathe in his glory.

21 March 2014

We have just about come to the end of one road and the start of another.  Personal life, professional life, and more or less all I have known of adult life, is soon to change.

This marathon in the desert is nearing completion, just a few more miles to go.  I am trying to keep my eye on the end while not forgetting to enjoy the scenery.  It is not always easy.  Some days I want to rush it, to fly through these remaining 63, and just have it over and done with.  To move back to green spaces, to have that thesis written, to have the "I dos" said.  But, they say, that this time of trapezes, when you are not still here but also yet to arrive there, should be appreciated.  So, I'm going to try to work on that.  But still, I'm ready for June to be here.  Three and a half years seems like enough.

Photo above taken during our recent road trip in Colombia.