A Travellerspoint blog

FEB13 VIDEO DAY BACK ON PENDER

A Couple of Videos To Share

FERRY HOME
It takes al out as much time to get home from the airport as it does to fly half way round the world. My plane arrives at 7 pm and is just late enough that I cannot catch the last ferry. So it an overnight in Vancouver, and an early rise to get to the ferry terminal to catch a 8:35 am ferry. Another 2 1/2 hours on the ferry and home. Mani to greet me and Ryan and the grandkids coming down later today Finally uploaded a couple of videos last night.

SWIMMING WITH TURTLES THE MALDIVES

CORAL GARDENS ALIFU ATOLL THE MALDIVES

DRIFTING THE DROP OFF

It's been a great trip. I especially liked the people I met and connected with They were so warm and inviting Made for many extraordinary memories.
Caio for now

Posted by RDILL 21:31 Archived in Canada Comments (0)

FEB12 TWELVE HOURS IN SHANGHAI

It's Not over Till It's Over

semi-overcast 22 °C

SHANGHAI IN TWELVE HOURS

STRETCHING THE ADVENTURES TO THE END
My flight lands in Shanghai at 5:15 am almost an hour early. It's really 3:45 am Sri Lanka time. My connecting flight isn't till 11:30 pm at night. Almost 18 hours away. It takes the first couple of hours to clear customs, plan my day, and wait for the day to break. On the flight from Colombo I sat beside a China East Air pilotfrom Shanghai returning from duty overseas. He and his girlfriend share ideas of what to see during my layover. I buy a one way Maglev and a day metro pass. The metro pass costs about $2.75 and allows me to go anywhere. My first stop is the ancient water town of Qibao 18 kilometres out of Shanghai and towards the end of the metro line.

QIBAO
The day starts cool and foggy. It takes me a moment to collect my bearings but soon I join the masses of locals winding through the alleys. Qibao is the smallest Ancient water village but most accessible to Shanghai. It only has two water streets, but is a convenient opportunity to see the ancient architecture. It is Chinese New Year and everyone has the same idea of visiting this site. I am stopped repeatedly by families so they can take pictures with me. I taste wonderful new creations from the street vendors including my favourite - quail eggs fried around a shrimp.

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ANCIENT WATER TOWN QIBAO

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TRADITIONAL BOATS

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I POSE WITH FAMILY THEY POSE FOR ME

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CROWDED ALLEYWAYS

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QUAIL EGG STEAMER

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COLLECTING EGGS FROM STEA ER

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PREPARING EGGS WITH SHRIMP

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A SCRUMPTIOUS APPETIZER

YU GARDENS
I catch the metro and get off close to Yu Gardens. They are a pleasant interlude in a busy city but nothing really special at this time of year - winter in Shanghai. Nothing is in bloom.

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HUANGPU RIVER CRUISE
The next destination is the Bund and I see a cruise boat ready to take off so I buy a ticket and hop on board. A hundred or more locals enjoying the day along with myself. The sun starts to break through the haze and we cruise the river, getting a chance to see the impressive skyline of the city. The oriental pearl tower is particularly striking. The Chinese are photo shutterbugs. Everyone is taking pictures of themselves in the foreground. Soon a young girl approaches me and says her grandpa would like to pose with me for a picture, and soon we are all snapping. Then others want in on the action. Moms wanting me to pose with their young daughters. It's great entertainment for the trip

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ORIENTAL PEARL TOWER

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TWO GRANDPAS

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GRANDDAUGHTERS

WALKING THE BUND
The next couple of hours I walk the Bund, a promenade along the river. It's photo madness and I continue to get snapped by eager enthusiasts and shot a few of them myself. I walk Nanjing road one of the premiere shopping areas but there are no simple little eateries so I catch the metro and head for Tian ZI Fang.

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TIAN ZI FANG
This was our destination on our arrival in January but it was so early the area wasn't really open. Now it is buzzing with life. I try some scrumptious curd with ginger. I feast on Thai noodles and shrimp and finish it off with green tea ice cream. Pure decadence after a month of tuna noodles. It is nice to finally sit for a while after walking and standing all day. Darkness comes and the market comes alive with lights and colour. Finally I have had enough stimulation for the day and catch the metro back to the airport to ready for takeoff back to Canada.

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Posted by RDILL 23:30 Archived in China Tagged in shanghai 12 hours Comments (0)

FEB 9 FEB 10 LAST MINUTES ON HOLIDAYS

NO VIDEOS TILL HOME

overcast 32 °C

NON VIDEO DAY
Don and I spent the last day on the Maldives doing two drift snorkels. Saw my first ray and more reef sharks. Everyday we see a new fish to add to our memories. My plan was to try and upload swimming with turtles and other videos but after 2 hours of trying gave up. I will wait till we have faster internet speed

THE JOURNEY HOME
Said goodbye to everyone and we caught an early high speed ferry back to Male. Got to the airport around 9 am and had a 6 hour wait so hung out at the waterside chatting and reading books that have travelled unread the whole way. Said goodbye to Don and Kathy as they took off for another month in Southern India and soon after caught a flight back to Sri Lanka. Had to convince immigration to give me a free transit visa and caught a tuk tuk to my overnight accomodation. It is quite deluxe with balcony swimming pool and best of all down pillows on the bed. The Internet is really fast and I uploaded a video in record time. Alas can't connect to my email to get the code number so will send out some videos after the fact. Tomorrow off to Vancouver with a 16 hour stopover in Shanghai and the opportunity for more exploring.

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ISHMAEL WAITING WITH FRIENDS SEE US OFF

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ITS MORE THAN JUST OURS

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MORNING SUNRISE

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THE MALE SKYLINE WHERE EVERYONE LIVES

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MY NEW DIGS IN NEGOMBO

Posted by RDILL 20:35 Archived in Sri Lanka Tagged home the journey Comments (0)

FEB 8 HITCHING A RIDE WITH THE DIVE BOAT

Drifting The Reefs

sunny 32 °C

OUT WITH THE DIVE BOAT
Don and I decide to take the dive boat out and snorkel while the divers do their dives. Turns out there is only one diver, a young female teacher from Russia who has limited English. The only tourists here are three couples from Latvia, the Russian diver and older friend, Tom and ourselves. Breakfast and dinners are all served in the outdoor dining area at our accomodation. We do two snorkel drifts while the dive master and diver follow. The first takes us an hour to circle a thila and we return just as the divers ascend. It is a neat drift as the edge drops off 35 meters to the bottom and visibility is good enough that we get a good view of the bottom floor. Lots of fish including a couple of new varieties but not as pristine coral. We then slowly make our way to an area close to where we snorkelled yesterday and drift the south side. It is a rich oasis of healthy corals and fish life and I delight in taking photos. By 1:30 we are back on Omadhoo and ready for lunch.

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CORAL GARDENS

LAZY AFTERNOON
We eat at the only restaurant in town and have their only item they serve - fried noodles and tuna. It hits the spot after 3 hours on the ocean.The restaurant has a table under a thatch hut on a little Island in the centre of a pond. The afternoon is spent wandering the Island, lying in the sun, resting in the shade. It is great. No need for shoes as the beachfront and all streets are sand. Most of the beachfront is deserted, just a few women chatting under the shade of the trees and doing handiwork or guys working on the next boat. The Island is nicely laid out with all houses back from the beach and treed park like areas at both ends of the Island. One has that Robinson Crusoe feeling walking the beaches. Too bad there is just one more day here.

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WALKING THE STREETS OF OMADHOO

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OUR RESTAURANT HUT

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WEAVING PALM FRONDS

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BOAT BUILDING

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PATH TO BEACH THROUGH TREES

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WALKING THE BEACHES

Posted by RDILL 06:38 Archived in Maldives Republic Tagged gardens coral Comments (0)

FEB 7 MORE SNORKELLING

sunny 32 °C

REEF SNORKEL
Don and I team up with a young 26 year old to go drift snorkelling off one of the thilas close by. The thila is an underwater island that rises from the depths but does not break the surface. They can offer some great reefs for snorkelling. Our companion Tom is born in Africa with a British mother and German father, raised in Germany but speaks with a British accent. We get a fisherman to take us out, drop us overboard and then follow us as we drift a few kilometres along the reef. The dropoff is even more dramatic than that at Omadhoo dropping suddenly 30 to 40 meters. We can just see the ocean floor below. The drift is slow and relaxed and we see lots of brightly coloured tropical fishes, a young turtle that we follow for a ways, as well as 2 young reef sharks and a 2 metre adult that I cannot quite keep up with. There are some interesting soft corals and bivalves. I use the Go Pro to snap stills rather than video so I can upload them. Here are some shots of the day.

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MY FOOTBALL TEAM
After returning from snorkelling, and trying out the local restaurant whose menu is limited to fish and noddles or chicken and noodles, I decide to spend the afternoon at the public beach. Modest dress is in order so I put on my bathing suit and snorkel shirt, wrap a sarong around my waist, and head out, but run into some small boys and their smaller sister playing with a soccer ball. I am soon part of the game. Their mothers are sitting in the shade chatting while we play. Gradually my sarong begins to loosen and I have to pull it up and tighten it. The mothers are watching with great delight and the little girl begins to check to see what is under my sarong. The mothers are calling to her to tell her to stop but they seem equally interested and are chuckling away. Here are my new Omadhoo football buddies.

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I finally make it to the beach. In the end I have it all to myself. It is a little bit of paradise.

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Posted by RDILL 10:57 Archived in Maldives Republic Tagged snorkel Comments (0)

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