Everything for the weaver, spinner, knitter, felter and dyer...

Everything for the weaver, spinner, knitter, felter and dyer...

Monday, April 30, 2012

Victoria Falls

Victoria Falls is like Niagara Falls on steroids. It's massive. There are numerous areas of adjacent falls like the one pictured above. The last one will dry up in October-November.

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Sunday, April 29, 2012


We arrived at Victoria Falls in Zimbabwe and had a relaxing afternoon on the back deck of our room looking out towards the Zambezi River. Several kudu, a warthog, and Maribou storks were visited while we sat there.

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Friday, April 27, 2012

Awkward moments

I love this photo of a giraffe drinking. They take turns drinking while the rest of the group, called a tower, stand guard.

We have arrived back in Johannesburg for the evening and leave tomorrow for Victoria Falls in Zimbabwe.

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Thursday, April 26, 2012

Road rhino

We have seen an amazing number of animals, birds, and plants here at Kapama. Our ranger is very knowledgeable and eager to share all that he knows. Before becoming a ranger he was a tracker for many years. This mother white rhino and her baby were foraging in the tall grass just moments before wandering towards us on the road. They only absorb about 40% of what they eat, so they eat frequently and a lot.

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Tuesday, April 24, 2012


We flew to Hoedspruit on a small propeller plane and were met by Collin, our ranger while here on safari. On our 30 minute drive to the camp, we saw zebras, water buffalo, warthogs, and impalas. How great is this?

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We arrived in South Africa after an all night flight from India. Our hotel is located in Nelson Mandela Square and here is his statue. We leave in about a half hour for safari.

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Monday, April 23, 2012


Among the many sights that we visited in Delhi this was one of the best. It's a Hindu temple. According to our guide, Hinduism is a way of life rather than a religion. There are 3 major gods and then there are their wives who are also gods. Then there are millions more. Yes, I said millions.

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Saturday, April 21, 2012

Taj Mahal

Our driver and guide picked us up at 5:30am so we could see the Taj Mahal just after sunrise. What an amazing place. It is as spectacular as you imagine.

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Friday, April 20, 2012

Sharing the road

Here in India one has to share the road with cars, trucks, buses, tuk tuks (3 wheeled vehicles), bicycles, motorbikes, goats, cows, horses, donkeys, wild dogs, camels, and people. Luckily we've had some excellent drivers as there are no rules of the road that we can discern!

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Painting in Jaipur

We had the opportunity to visit an art studio where they make there own paints by grinding up stone and adding oils. The father/son business has a number of men that have been training with them since they were children. They use a paintbrush made of squirrel hair and their stroke is so fine that they were able to write each of our names on grains of rice.

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Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Juhu Beach

Amid the decay and poverty of Mumbai there are a few real jewels, one of which is just a few short blocks from our hotel. This is Juhu Beach. We took a walk here this morning after breakfast but by 9am it was already so hot we had to return to our hotel and cool off a bit. We fly to Jaipur later today.

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Gandhi and spinning

Arrived in Mumbai this morning and immediately left for an afternoon tour of the city which included a visit to the home Mahatma Gandhi stayed in while here in this part of India. His room has been left untouched and includes the upright charkha spinning wheels he used plus a more modern folding box one. You can see cotton punis in the foreground.

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Monday, April 16, 2012

War Arun and Wat Po

In Thai, Wat means temple and today we visited 2 temples. Wat Arun means temple of the dawn. Wat Po is the oldest and largest temple and has the Reclining Buddha.

The Buddhist monk is wearing a saffron silk robe and, in this photo, is splashing holy water on a visitor to the the temple. Today is the last day of the water festival for the new year. Getting splashed with water is good luck and washes away your sins of the past year. All of our sins have been washed away quite a few times over the past few days!

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Sunday, April 15, 2012

Floating market

Took a ride out into the Thai countryside to the floating market. There's a little of everything here including snakes. We bartered and bought dresses for us to wear in India which will be our next stop. Also rode an elephant today. A little rocky especially when she went wading. :)

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Saturday, April 14, 2012


We are here in Bangkok over their New Years celebration. People douse each other with water at every turn whether by the cupful or with water guns. We visited the palace and Buddhist temple this morning after catching a few hours of sleep after our 2am arrival from China to our hotel. Our guide set up 2 hour Thai massages for us in the afternoon. Rather than feeling like a limp noodle, we're more like pretzels from all the work with elbows and feet.

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Thursday, April 12, 2012


Traditional clothing

More silk

We toured Shanghai yesterday from the Expo Center to the Museum to the French Concession to Chinatown (yes there is a Chinatown in China). We went to a factory that weaves silk carpets and though we were sorely tempted to get one we talked them into selling us some silk thread instead. I'm sure this was the first time they had been asked to do this as it caused quite a commotion. They were eager to please however and we came away with an unknown quantity of spun and indigo dyed silk.

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Wednesday, April 11, 2012


We spent the day touring Suzhou. The city is about 1 hour from Shanghai and known for its beautiful gardens and canals and embroidery. We took a few minutes before a canal boat ride to watch this young woman doing her embroidery.

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Tuesday, April 10, 2012

The silk road

Xi'an is best known for the 8th wonder of the world, the Terracotta Soldiers. They were made in 221BC to protect the tomb of the first Chinese Emperor Qin.

Xi'an is also the beginning of the Silk Road. In the photo above a young woman is weaving a silk rug.

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Monday, April 9, 2012


The characters on the sign above read "exit" and today we exit from Beijing. We are off to Xi'an for more adventures.

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Sunday, April 8, 2012

The Great Wall

Standing on the Great Wall with many miles of it visible behind me. Keeping the invaders out, you can see why they call it the Great Wall.

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Saturday, April 7, 2012


These are visitors to the Forbidden City dressing up in costumes to have their photos taken. We've had an incredibly busy tour day. We went to Tianenman Square, the Forbidden City, a fresh water pearl business, the Dragon Lady's Summer Palace, a tea ceremony were we experienced 4 different teas, and a Beijing Duck feast. Bring on the diet!

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Friday, April 6, 2012


Bunnies at the mall in Beijing. Tomorrow we're touring Tianenman Square and the Palace with our guide.

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Thursday, April 5, 2012

More about flax

I can only post one photo at a time when I blog from my phone so just wanted to show what the flax skirts look like when done. This is a child's skirt.

Sitting in the airport waiting to board for Beijing. I don't know how available wi-fi will be in China but we'll see how it goes.

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Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Glow little glow worm

We are slowly making our way back to Auckland. Today we stopped at the Waitomo Caves and saw glow worms on the ceilings of the caves. The worms make a chemical that combines with oxygen to produce the glow. That attracts other insects which they feed on for 8-10 months. After forming their chrysalis they emerge as flying insects, mate and lay 120 eggs of which only five will survive, and die within 2 days. It's not easy being a glow worm.

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Black sand beaches

Yesterday we were in New Plymouth along the west coast of the north island. They have a 10km promenade along the rocky coast and volcanic black sand beaches. I found my first yarn store of the trip in this town too and had to purchase some NZ merino/nylon hand painted sock yarn!

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I've been wi-fi challenged for the past couple of days so I will try to catch you up when I can. We were in Rotorua which is a thermal area of the north island of NZ. It has the smell of sulphur from the mud pools, spouting geysers, and a Maori (pronounced mar-ee) village where our guide showed us how to process flax for their traditional skirts.

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Sunday, April 1, 2012

Heading south on the north island

Finally SHEEP! We really didn't see much in the way of sheep in Australia and definitely didn't in Auckland. Here at Mt. Maunganui the sheep graze to keep the fire danger down. We had a wonderful walk around the mountain then continued on to Rotorua. There are geysers and sulphur lakes and all the buildings are heated geothermally.

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