Snapshot: Dhabas in the High Himalayas

21 November 2013

The sun dips in the high Himalayas and with it goes any sense of warmth, except for these dhabas that spring up along the fabled Manali-Leh Highway catering to those with a calling to ride in the sky and feel small in grand nature.

The Ibex dhaba here at Sarchu, up high at 4,330m (14,200 ft), provides warm paranthas and noodle soup for the weary rider.

[Shot in June 2013]

The Ethics of Using Cycle Rickshaws in India

19 October 2013

Do you have qualms about paying another human to transport you around town? What about if he had only one good leg?!

I like using cycle rickshaws in Delhi. That was after I got over the “how inhumane is that in today’s world?” and realized that instead of using other noisy, polluting means of transport (auto rickshaws/tuk tuks) I should be supporting the livelihoods of these guys. I got in this rickshaw and as we got moving, I saw that he was using his right hand and a stick tied to the right pedal along with his left leg to propel us forward. Instead of jumping out and feeling sorry for him, I paid Raju double.

India really challenges your ethical constructs and you can’t help but smile at the perseverance of the less well-off.

Snapshot: Life on the Road, Stone Stove in Namibia

13 October 2013

Ahh, Life on the Road… the simple pleasures of cooking dinner on a stone stove fed by glowing charcoal.

This was back in January when I was camping for days on end on my month-long ride across Namibia. I got to Brandberg Mountain, sticking out of the Namib Desert, and setup camp for the night at its base. I gathered firewood that was knocked down by desert elephants and had a roaring fire going in the braai stand. As the coals formed they got pushed into my stone stove and I cooked up some miso rice with salami, peppers and onions. A tasty and filling meal that lead to happy sleep for another day on the road… 😉

Visual Poetry: The Sutlej River Raging in the Fragile Himalayas

21 June 2013

the sutlej rages in the valley of kinnaur
the river is as rough as the landscape
the river is as fragile as the landscape
powerlines bisect in the name of progress
concrete dams attempt to harness nature
but blocking rivers have consequences
flash floods tear down the himalayas
the rivers are aggravated by treeless slopes
precious lives are taken
time to rethink our pact with nature

[photo taken on May 26, 2013 in Himachal Pradesh]

A Walk Down Memory Lane, My Home For Six Years At Kodai School

2 May 2013

A walk down memory lane. Looking on at Phelps Dorm, my home for six years and for the last four I had an awesome lake view. Thinking of my old roomie, Harjoth Singh and all the other guys from Phelps. Good times. I walked through school and happy to see that not much has actually changed but there’s WiFi everywhere now and Phelps has become a girls dorm 🙂 The town itself has gotten a lot busier but Kodai still has that charm.

Snapshot: Twisties of Tanzania’s Southern Highlands

3 February 2012

Beautiful day for riding the wonderful twisties of Tanzania’s Southern Highlands.

After a chilly night in Njombe, a small town surrounded by tea estates at 2,000 m (6,560 ft), I dropped down to the end of the highlands in Songea. The endless hills and curves provided for excellent riding; it felt good to be charging into corners in 3rd gear and then powering through on the exit. Oh, yeah 😀

My last night in Tanzania and East Africa. From here, I’m heading south into the bush for a remote border crossing into Mozambique. It might take a day or three to get to the next sizable town and back online on the other side. I’ve been listening to my Portuguese language tapes from Michel Thomas and excited for a new country and my favorite language 🙂