Did you know that Colombia has not one, not two, but 7 – SEVEN – glaciers?? Another surprise from Colombia. We visited one on a fun day tour from Manizales, and it was amazing to go from the lush green coffee region to a barren, moon-like world at 4800 meters – that’s 15,748 feet – in just a couple of hours. Above is a mossy patch fed by melting glacial ice. We stopped to take a drink of the pure, ancient water, whose source is the glacier below.
When you picture penguins, do you picture beaches, rocks, and icy shores? Yea, me too. But here they are in Simon’s Town, South Africa, where they like to roost and chill out in a forest near Boulder’s Beach.
Just over a year ago, a friend organized a group beach camping trip in northern Malibu for her birthday. I couldn’t believe it took 7 years of living in LA for one of our friends to have this brilliant plan and execute it. We talked and played games around a bonfire late into the night, and awoke to seals playing in the waters just offshore. Who’s going to set it up this year?
One thing that struck me about the world famous Angkor Wat is that much of it is still a living, breathing temple. Little nooks and alcoves and platforms tucked deep in center chambers, or in between trees, or on tops of the structures, are actively used by locals and pilgrims as sacred sites, with freshly lit incense, offerings and bright cloth wrappings given to their Buddhas. Here a caretaker sweeps the ground near one of the outdoor Buddhas, this one in better condition than many.
Angkor Wat was crowded when we visited around the Christmas holiday, but worth the trip, immense, unbelievable, ancient, but still alive.
I had to share this photo more for comedic value than for compositional beauty or greatness. We stayed at a gorgeous coffee plantation in Colombia’s Zona Cafeteria, and decided to take a walk on the grounds. In order to get anywhere we had to cross a river which was deceptively deep and fast-running. One way, we decided to forge through it, but on the return we came across this manned bulldozer moving dirt around near the river. He offered to drive us the few meters across the water, which was awesome for so many reasons, not least of which that we got to add “bulldozer” to our list of methods of transport taken on the world trip.
What this picture doesn’t tell you is how beautiful this area of Colombia is, and how delicious the coffee tastes, and how crazy our accommodations were that night (guesthouse + pool + all the coffee we could drink, all to ourselves, no staff or anyone?!). Tales for another post!
This week was our 2-year wedding anniversary, so naturally I wanted to share a scene from the day. This photo is by the talented Sarah Prikyl of Incito Photography. We wed at Asilomar in Pacific Grove, next to Monterey, CA. I love the mixture of trees, sand, and sea in that part of California. The +4 refers to the fact that we were together for 4 years before we got married. How do people normally count that?
We celebrated with dinner at Mozza. It lived up to the hype and every bite was delectable, from the first taste of fresh burrata down to the last drop of gelato. Mmm.
This heat wave in LA reminds me of the last time I was this hot… one year ago, in Cartagena, Colombia. It was here I learned the true value of the siesta: a physical necessity in order to get through a steamy tropical day; a chance to recharge for the evening, for salsa dancing and mojito drinking and ceviche snacking.
Cartagena is like walking through the set of a pirate movie, except you get to taste and smell and dance and laugh and experience it all first hand. I highly recommend visiting Cartagena. I highly recommend NOT going in the summer, unless you love humid, heavy, tropical heat. I never figured out how the locals could stand wearing jeans in that weather, while I was melting in a lightweight skirt and tank top. It’s the only place where I’ve gone swimming and wished the ocean were cooler.