Posts Tagged With: snakes

TRAIN AND BUS TO KHAJURAHO

It’s hard to look at people with elephantiasis. Both feet are affected. This man lives by begging. His hangout is the train station and I suspect he does well. Another man here had swollen  thighs that looked as though his flesh was made of stacked rubber tires the size of a kids wagon wheels. The Jhansi station was very dirty.

I was glad to load into a bus for the five hour drive to Khajuraho to visit the Bundela civilization.

This is what we call “out in the boondocks” at home. People we pass seem to be poorer in these small towns and villages.

The little girl in the back is blind. She fends for herself. Probably attached to the family waiting on the edge of the street.

We are not accustomed to the idea that where you live is where you sleep and keep your belongings. All business is on the street. You eat, get your hair fixed, buy food, clothes, paper,  tools, whatever you need is on the street. This barber shop has a mirror. Most have only a hand mirror.

Fresh chickens for sale.

Or a ready made meal.  These dumplings in our hotel restaurants, are quite tasty. Some are rice, some lentil.

On the side of the road, we saw a young couple making bricks. Ranvir stopped the bus and we watched. It takes around five 5 seconds to make a brick. They said they each make about 300 bricks a day. At the end of the season they will sell them for three cents each.

If you need iron work done, you have to wait for the gypsies to come to town.

Ranvir gives a standard warning. Thieves. They steal everything and you have to be watchful until they leave.

Heavy loads are standard everywhere in India, it seems.

At first I thought this was a woman. He plays a homemade instrument for his rupees but he has a ring and leather shoes.

We stop for lunch at a local restaurant. Cobra handlers seem quite at ease with their snakes.

After watching a Youtube video called Cleaning The Cobra Pit some years back, my impression is they are not an aggressive snake. But they are still deadly.

My oldest son kept snakes and they don’t frighten me, but Ranvir didn’t want us to get close.

Lunch here was some of the best food I’ve tasted in India. Not overly salty. Really fresh tasting. After we praised it, Ranvir told us his two nieces,  run the restaurant.

Theo is still not feeling well. It seems to be a respiratory ailment that hangs on.

When we left the restaurant, one handler was educating the bus driver’s apprentice about his snake.

We arrive at our hotel. I’ve forgotten what hotel had monkey security guards. We were cautioned to lock our balcony doors because the monkeys have learned how to open them.

This hotel had live music and wonderful art work.

In the morning, we will visit the park of the Chandela civilization. There were many sects from the area that believed the act of sex was a God sent pleasure of all living creatures to be encouraged in all of its forms. Be warned that the next blog will contain erotic carvings from the Khajuraho monuments.

 

 

 

 

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Lake Charles, Louisiana – Day 9

The motorhome is parked at the 1,086 acre Sam Houston Jones State Park about 12 miles north of the city. We have been here enjoying Mardi Gras which ended Tuesday. We will move along later this morning.

Yesterday we rested from our Mardi Gras exoeriences…fun but tiring. Among the things we did was take a nice walk alongside a small Cypress Swamp directly across the road from where we are parked. You can read about this park by clicking this Wikipedia link…
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sam_Houston_Jones_State_Park

Here are some photos that I  took…

As always you may left click upon an image to see an enlarged view and then click once again to see an even larger view…

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Despite several signs telling us not to feed the Alligators…we saw none.

Enjoying a Louisiana Swamp is another joy in the life of a full-time RVer!

The red dot on the below map shows our approximate location in the State of Louisiana. You may double left-click the map to make it larger…

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Enjoying 65-75 degree temperatures most of the year is a primary joy in the RVing lifestyle!

“Life is like riding a bicycle. To keep your balance you must keep moving”…Albert Einstein

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If you have not checked out my Ramblin Man’s Photos Blog, you can do so by clicking this link…
http://ramblinmanphotos.wordpress.com/

All original material Copyright – Jim Jaillet 2013
For more information about my three books, click this link:
http://www.lulu.com/spotlight/panamaorbust

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BEARDS HOLLOW AT SEAVIEW,WASHINGTON

Overlooking Beards Hollow, the place where William Clark explored, very close to where we are parked. This area must have impressed him as it does me. It’s a northern rain forest. We hiked down to the landing and took pictures up and back.

Spring is evident, though its been cold and wet, even for this area.

Cottonwood seeding, and blowing about, covers sections of water like snow flakes.

People here enjoy riding horses and cars on the beach. They are wide, long and easily assessable.

The surf is tinged with a dirty brown from an oil spill. But the air was clean and invigorating.

Rock here is definitely a souvenir of  old volcanic activity.

Harp rock, was named for its shape. Easy to climb about and explore. Lewis and Clark named obvious rocks so they could have reference points to give others and help their own navigation in new territory.

Volcanic Harp rock  plays host to numerous small plants,vines, and trees.

Ferns unfurling resemble plants from the age of dinosaurs.

Without my Western Garden  Book,  with some consultation on the walk with others, we decided this huge leaved plant is angels lace. A new leaf and blossom extrude from the same sheath at the same time.

I spotted this little snake trying to get some sun on a dead tree.

The area we hiked through is also a wetlands. At one time, it was covered by ocean. In this pond full of giant water lilies, a lightweight  bird, didn’t even dent its floating perch. This plant reminded me of edible greens. We returned home for lunch, refreshed and hungry.

We visited this beach in 2009 without the awful residue of oil. Hopefully we can return someday to find it clean again.

I took 37 pictures if you’d like to see them visit my link:https://picasaweb.google.com/106530979158681190260/2011530BeardSPt#

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BRIDGE OVER THE RIVER KWAI

Today is a travel day, heading north for Kanchanaburi through lush river country. Our goal the famous bridge over the River Kwai. But, traveling with OAT (Overseas Adventure Travel) is so much more. Panu points out the salt flats, where ocean water is piped into clay pads. Salt is made only in summer. With the intense hot sun, ten inches of water can evaporate in one day. The farmer uses the salt for pit toilets, house use, preservative and to put in the soil to sweeten the mangosteens and coconuts. When the rains come, the same flats are used to raise fish and shrimp. They produce fish sauce for sale. Thais have used windmills for years to pump water and are now experimenting with wind power.
Panu stops at a fruit stand and buys for our tasting pleasure, Longan, Mangosteen, Pomelos, lychee, and tangerines.
Our second stop is this amazing woodcarving company that ships beautiful pieces all over the world. Oh, how I wanted the bench above with its bird arm rest and pheasant back piece. Gorgeous. The pieces are drawn on paper and deeply chiseled to produce a dimensional work of art. The piece is drawn on a paper and pasted to the wood. The carver below is nearly finished.
Next stop a coconut processing plant. Its a family affair, not for export. People in the region produce for their own use and barter with neighbors. Transportation was made easy by the canals built by the king before good roads were built.

It was absolutely fascinating to realize this wok is boiling coconut milk into a syrup using the coconut shells to fuel the stove. The foaming sugar boils up but instead of boiling over onto the stove, it seeps through the bamboo slats and drips back down into the wok again. So clever.
This photo shows ground coconut meat fried until it releases its oil. Then the oil floats and is separated. A tool called a rabbit is used to remove the fresh meat from the shell easily. We tasted, fresh, juicy and delicious. I learned that coconut milk is plentiful in a green coconut. When the coconut ripens, the meat gets thick and is taken for oil and food. This family allowed us to traipse through their house and see how a typical,middle class Thai farm house looks inside. People here live simply and spend much time out of doors. Can you imagine us allowing 10 people to roam through our houses?

Our next stop was the floating market, kind of carnival in atmosphere. This farmer augments his income by bringing his elephant to town. People pay him to have their picture taken with the elephant. It is against the law to have an elephant in town, but in this country place, the people seem to ignore the law. Most Thais have no refrigeration, or traditionally had no refrigeration and they bought their daily food fresh from the market. Everything transpires here on the canal. Goods brought to town from outlying farms, they cook on the boats, eat, sleep and socialize. At one time they threw all their garbage in the canal. The king beseeched them not to do that and a market place on land as well as on the canal developed. Toilets and washing places and garbage containers helped take the stink away and what is left is a fascinating, wonderful place.

This woman is cooking and arranging her wares on banana leaves.
Fruits and flowers of all types are available as well as dry goods like hats and pots and tools. In recent years, souveniers as well.

When your shopping is done you can sit in the Gossip Cafe for a sip and a treat.
Or, have your picture taken with a snake.
We finally reach Kanchanaburi. Above is one of the original Japanese steam engines used on the rail over the River Kwai.

At lunch, we view the new Bridge over the river Kwai. We walked the bridge and could see a small remnant of the original bamboo bridge that was blown up by the Brits.
Later we visit the War Museum and War cemetery with graphic pictures of the Allied POWs and the Asian conscripts forced to work themselves to death on the infamous railway.

200,000 Asian laborers and 61,000 Allied POWs built a 260 mile stretch of rail in abominable conditions. For every half-mile of track, 38 POWs died, 700 Americans, 13,000 Aussies, 18,000 Dutch, 30,000 Brits. If a prinsoner had no solid feces, they were made to catch 2000 flies a day before they died. They actually counted the flies.

The Chinese cemetery.
Flat Stanly managed to hook a ride on a wooden elephant at the market before we got to our hotel and dinner.
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