Hong Kong has shopping and sights to fit everyone’s budget.


IMG_9397.tif2

We recently spent a week in Hong Kong. With a population of over 7 million, Hong Kong is densely populated, but you can still find great areas on the islands for beaches, tropical hikes.

IMG_9377

Shopping is the big tourist treat here. We visited the Jade Market, Temple Street Night Market, the Gold fish Market, the Ladies Market, and Stanley Market. Bargaining is the norm here, and some good deals can be had, but you do get what you pay for…. For a real Rolex, visit one of the 29 official Rolex stores in the area!…Just an example of the number of high-end shopping malls and stores. Even Victoria Peak has a mall on top now. After visiting the viewing tower, you can walk a few feet and head to a mall.

IMG_9433

Jade Market

 

IMG_9446

Broccoli and Bras

Getting around town is a breeze, if you buy an Octopus Card. It’s good on all buses, trains, ferries and even some shopping at 7 -11, etc.  Just swipe and go! Saves having to buy individual tickets each time.

Highlights were a visit to Ocean Park, which is similar to Sea World, except they have panda bears! Neat to see them along with some other animals and sea life in the aquariums, along with the dolphin show and tram ride.

IMG_9621_2_3hdr-Edit

Visiting the Tian Tan Buddha is a treat. It’s the largest bronze Buddha in the world, at 112 feet high and weighing 280 tons. The Po Lin Monastery at the base serves up a great vegetarian lunch. It’s an easy trip from Hong Kong, taking the train to the Tung Chung end of the line stop on Lantau Island. From there board the bus to the Buddha.

Another fun day trip is the hydrofoil ferry 40 miles west to Macau, China. Under Portuguese control from the 1500’s until 1999, it is now known for its casinos and luxury hotels. Walking the old city with beautiful cobblestone streets in black and white stripes and seeing the ruins including Monte Fort and Ruins of St. Paul is a great way to stay out of the casinos for a while. The same casinos in Las Vegas are here such as the Venetian, the Wynn, MGM, along with others. We used the casino free shuttles to and from the ferry docks as our transport to town. Rather than spend our time gambling, after seeing the old town we headed to a park and nature walk along the ocean.

img_9710

268 steps up to the Bronze Buddha

IMG_9489

Hong Kong harbor at night

IMG_0054

Panda at Ocean Park

IMG_0015

IMG_0027

red panda

IMG_0264-HDR-Edit

View from Victoria Peak

IMG_0613_4_5hdr

Font Monte in Macau

IMG_1249_50_51hdr

Yick Fat building Hong Kong

IMG_1244_5_6hdr

IMG_0714_5hdr

Macau fisherman and casinos

IMG_9420

Peninsula Hotel, Kowloon

IMG_0387-HDR-Edit

Tiled old town Macau

IMG_0372

Cobblestone street, Macau

IMG_0426_7_8hdr

St Paul ruins, Macau

IMG_9563_4_5hdrIMG_0171_2_3hdr

IMG_0112

Man Mo Temple

IMG_9952

Jelly fish at Ocean Park

Posted in homeopathy, Photography, Travel | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Desert Fish


DCIM116GOPRO

The Desert Hole Pupfish is a rare breed, actually on the endangered species list. It has been described as the world’s rarest fish, with a population of fewer than 200 since 2005.Genetic analysis indicates that the species evolved at the same time the cavern opened up to the surface, about 60,000 years ago. We visited the warm waters where it lives, just east of Death Valley National Park. The warm spring water is 93 degrees, and this fish lives in water up to 110 degrees! It is amazing to be traveling in the desert, and find a marsh with warm water, and then to visit the famous Desert Hole. The Devils Hole pupfish have been isolated 10,000 to 20,000 years, longer than any other in the Death Valley system.img_8170 Devils Hole itself is a water-filled cavern cut into the side of a hill. The cavern is over 500 feet  deep and the bottom has never been mapped. It is completely fenced in, and you view it from a walkway observation. To see pupfish up close, there is nice boardwalk in Ash Meadows National Wildlife Refuge that lets you get up close to the warm waters. The water is crystal clear, the the little male pupfish turn blue during mating time. Usually they are a silvery color and full-size is 2.5 inches, and their average lifespan is about 9 months.  Here is a short video I filmed with a gopro underwater.

img_8211

Devil’s Hole is completely fenced in.

img_8215

img_8203-hdr

Walkway to the hole.

img_8190-hdr

Devil’s Hole. Dust collection study in progress.

img_8169

img_8163

The windy whitecaps on this desert pond.

img_8133

Beautiful clear warm water

img_8121

Water in the desert

img_8134

Beautiful blue waters.

img_8139

img_8141

There is a very nice visitor center, with the boardwalk leading out to the warm spring.

 

 

 

Posted in homeopathy | 1 Comment

Blythe Intaglios


img_6195

I have already tracked down the Intaglios near Bouse, Arizona and got some aerial photos with my drone. See pictures in prior post. So after reading about the desert markings near Blythe, I was itching to fly my drone over them for some photos. Here is some info about them from the internet:

These intaglios are about 15 miles north of Blythe, California, just off highway 95. There is a sign there, and not far down a dirt road the fenced-in etchings can easily be seen. They aren’t very impressive from the ground level… the drone comes in handy here. The largest human figure is 171 feet long.

img_6190

not that impressive from  ground level

They were discovered in 1931.  In 1952, the National Geographic Society and Smithsonian Institution sent a team of archaeologists to explore the intaglios, and an article appeared in the September issue of National Geographic with aerial photos.  It would take another five years for the geoglyphs to be restored and fences erected in order to protect them from vandalism and damage.  It should be noted that there is visible tire damage on some of the geoglyphs due to the area being used for desert training during WWII by General George S. Patton.  Now they are  protected by fences and open to the public at all times as State Historic Monument No 101.

Since geoglyphs are difficult to date, it is impossible to know the age of when they were made, but they are estimated to be between 450 to 2,000 years old. In support of the latter, some of the giant figures are archaeologically associated with 2,000-year-old cliff dwellings.  However, newer research by the University of California, Berkeley has dated them to around 900 AD.

dji_0060-hdr

You can see my car parked at the end of the path on the main road.

dji_0028-hdr

The need for the fence is evident from from above.

DCIM100MEDIADJI_0023.JPG

DCIM100MEDIADJI_0022.JPG

dji_0017-hdr

Posted in homeopathy | Leave a comment

Learning from a Master


India1021

I recently returned from a homeopathy seminar with Farokh Master, MD in Bir, India – located near Dharamshala in the foothills of the Himalayas. It was a fairly intensive program of daily morning live cases at a clinic, followed by afternoon lectures with a total of 52 hours contact time.

The small one-room homeopathy clinic run by Spero Latchis Dhom had to be adapted to accommodate the 20 homeopaths attending from all over the world (USA, New Zealand, Austrailia, Egypt, Turkey, Austria, India…). So, the household above the clinic allowed us to use their space for the case-taking, tea breaks, and lunch. Patients would come with their medical records, sit by Dr. Master, and then he would interview the patient as we all sat taking notes, and worked on repetorizing the case. Sometimes a case would be done in 15 min, sometimes 30 min, with discussion after (and often during the case) as to remedies, posology, repetorizing, etc.

India0694

Make-shift clinic…at least covered from sun and rain.

India0771

Dr. Master and Dr. Barbara discuss while patient and her parents sit by.

India0768

The clinic is open and the students are ready.

After a taxi ride or a short hike down the mountain to the “resort” the afternoons were filled with lectures and discussions with Dr. Master in the dining area, using power point presentations. He encouraged questions, and fielded topics and discussions from all areas of homeopathy, gave detailed descriptions of some common remedies, and  gave some suggestions in our difficult cases. He practices classical homeopathy using mostly 150 of the most common remedies and is well-read in all of the classical homeopathy texts by other masters  in the field. He also has excellent knowledge of Freudian and Jung psychology, and often applies it to the evaluation of mental/emotional symptoms in the patients, even if only has underlying basis for understanding.

The patients were varied: Ptosis of the left eye, depression, fever for 2 months without diagnosis, knee pain, psoriasis, chronic cough, etc.  The three students that he mentors were with him from 6:30 a.m. to 10 pm at night every day…discussing cases, and getting some individual attention and teaching even beyond the long daily schedule. Overall it was a great experience, and inspired continuing study in the art and science of homeopathy.

India0794-Edit

Posted in Energy medicine, Health, homeopathy | Tagged , , , , | 2 Comments

McLeod Ganj


India0135-Pano

View from my room- the monastery is lit up on the mountainside.

In the foothills of the Himalayas the town Dharamshala is the current home to the Dali Lama since being exiled from Tibet in 1959.  The suburb of Mcleod Ganj is where the monastery known as Namgyal is located and currently houses about 200 Tibetan monks. I stayed in a hotel that was a 5 minute walk away. This area is one of the most visited places in the area and tourists from all over the world can be seen here, wandering the streets for Tibetan items, taking yoga classes, or class in Tibetan culture. The monastery itself is not that ornate, compared to some others in the area. Just the same, the feeling of spirituality is in the air as one makes the walk to spin the prayer wheels along with monks and visitors from all over. Devoted Buddhists prostrate themselves amid butter lamps and chanting monks.

 

India0490_1_2_fused

India0392

Spinning the prayer wheels at Namgyal.

India0096

Full body prostration prayer at Namgyal. 

India0384_5_6_tonemapped

Monk giving respect at Namgyal Monastery.

About 2 hours away in Chauntra I visited a monastery known Dzongsar Khyentse Chökyi Lodrö College of Dialectics. A few of us with a private guide (who is monk of high ranking) had a tour of the main temple. As dusk fell monks outside were in “debate”. As part of their teaching, they take turns questioning each other about Buddhist teachings (sometimes one-on-one, other times in groups). This goes on for 3 hours every evening, as they yell questions to a seated student, engaging him to answer as they slap their hands and point at him.

 

India1685India1745

India1061-Pano

Inside the beautiful monastery at Chauntra.

India1178India1190

India0600_1_2_tonemapped

India1124

Trekking is very popular here, and I hiked the most popular route to the destination of Triund. After a crazy taxi ride on a rocky dirt road switch-backing for 45 minutes I was soon hiking with my guide ($8 for 5 hours) by 8 a.m. By 10 a.m.  and 3 miles later we were arriving at the destination with a gain of 3,000 ft.  (he said I broke the tourist record! –most people take 4 hours). Along the way there are a couple snack shops with tea, and even at the top there is a small store with hot chai. Some people camp out here and the views are spectacular- with snow-capped peaks in the distance, cool clean air, and weather that can change in minutes.  The hike back down took 1 hr 45 min and the rocky trail can be hard on the knees. The rhododendrons trees were in full bloom, and locals were picking the flowers to make herbal drinks. It was a great to reach the bottom without a fall, and then it was time for a massage.

India0297

Rhododendrons…the state tree.

India0258

Summit at Truind Hill.

India0281

India0228-Pano

The army after a hike to Triund Hill.

 

Posted in Hiking, Travel | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Puerto Vallarta – not so small little town.


IMG_6190-Pano

Our Lady of Guadalupe – downtown Vallarta

I have visited Puerto Vallarta several times. It’s always great and here are some things we did this time. You can always do the usual tourist things, and there is no shortage of websites and companies to lure you to join them.

Money: good exchange rate now, currently 18 pesos/$1. You can use ATM’s anywhere to change your money. Credit cards widely accepted at major tours and restaurants.

 

IMG_6177

Family taco stand caters to vegetarians.

IMG_6174

Fresh and safe to eat: 5 de Diciembre and Paraguay streets

Food: being vegetarian is no problem. Besides the vegetarian options at most restaurants, there are some fantastic vegetarian buffets. Planeta Vegetariano, which near the main church downtown has some of the best food ever. Great interesting salads, and soup, rice, black beans daily with a change of main course every day. Cost is 105 pesos, ($5.75 today) for all you can eat buffet, drinks, and desert. Similar fare is at Mary Restuarant Vegetariano. Also down the street from Mary’s, about a block from the beach (5 de Diciembre and Paraguay) is a family  taco stand on the street that serves up vegetarian options, the only one in town like this.

IMG_6981

Good Veggie fare in Sayulita.

IMG_6779

Above is one of the many unique places in Sayulita: Here you can sit with your feet in a fish tank and let the fish nibble your dead skin away-for a dollar a minute.

IMG_6801

Lots’s of shops on the street to the beach in Sayulita.

 

IMG_6875-Edit

Sayulita: about 25 North of Vallarta is a famous little surf town. We took a taxi there in 30 minutes for $500 pesos, but you can catch a bus near the VIP restaurant, near the Walmart for 30 pesos for an 1 1/2 hr trip. Good place to take surf lessons, lots of unique shops, touristy, but fun. Good vegetarian-option restaurant called Naty’s for tacos, quesadillas, etc. order and eat on the street. the streets leading to the beach is closed to vehicles.

 

IMG_7206

a little boulder hopping along the river

IMG_7236

Brisk waterfalls

IMG_7258

inviting pools

El Eden: lot of tours will take you here, south of town. Known for ziplines, and the place where they filmed scenes from the Predator movie.  We went with friends, skipped all that and went for a hike up the river. There is a resturant straddling the river, but beyond that is an easy trail along the river. Lots of greenery, jungle and swimming pools and waterfalls with crisp cool water.

IMG_6395

rented a boat out of the Marina, heading south to Los Arcos.

IMG_6491

Arrived at Los Arcos, ready for some snorkeling.

DCIM113GOPRO

Snorkeling sights at Los Arcos

DCIM113GOPRO

Bring your Gopro for easy shots.

Snorkeling: lots of boats taking people daily in small or larger groups. We were strolling around the marina, and met an older guy that offered their boat for fishing, snorkeling, or whatever. Since it was a Sunday and they hadn’t been booked out yet, and no other customers to share with, I just booked it for the two of us for 4 hours . $200 after some bargaining. They had snacks and drinks, and we brought some of our own. Snorkel gear supplied. They plugged in our Ipod into their sound system for us and off  we went to Los Arcos, in the southern part of the bay, where other boats had gathered.  Along the way we were close to the coastline, and the captain (or “gordito” as I called him), pointed out the sights, the famous places, homes, hotels, restaurants, etc.   Later the crew loved it when I told them to put on some mariachi tunes. On arrival at the islands, they chummed the water by breaking up a loaf of bread…lots of fish. After an hour of snorkeling we headed back to the marina, and had a brief sighting of a whale along our path and some dolphins.

2012Feb03_8626_7_8_tonemapped

2012Feb03_8614

The Subtle Rock Eater, by Jonas Gutierrez. One of many unique sculptures on the Malecon.

 

Malecon: The boardwalk (no boards). Everyone goes here, even the locals stroll in the evening. Free entertainment with performers in the small amphitheater in the afternoons/evenings, lots of venders for souvenirs, and foods. Stop mid-way and venture up to the church for a look in side, about 2 blocks away. Our Lady of Guadelupe is one of the most recognizable buildings in town, with it’s crown on top, and chiming church bells.

 

IMG_7139

IMG_6170-Edit

Vallarta at night. Plenty of music clubs crank it up on the Malecon.

Sunsets: are free, and the sun always sets over the ocean here. At 9 pm every night the Pirates of the Bay tour boat  swings in front of the Malecon area and fires off a few fireworks. If you are on the boat it’s $85/4 hr tour, if you are watching from shore….the fireworks are free.

IMG_7163_4_5_fused

 

 

Posted in Food, Photography, Travel | Tagged , | 1 Comment

There’s Nothing in Arizona


IMG_2880

That’s right, Nothing, AZ. And there isn’t anything there. There is also Hope, Valentine, and Bouse. All spots on the state map. In 3 days we drove from Phoenix, and checked out some of these unique places : Nothing, Wikieup, Hackberry, Valentine, Kingman, Chloride, Oatman, Hualapai County Park, London Bridge, Desert Bar, Intaglio Fisherman, Bouse, Hope. Here is a map showing locations. Here a few pictures of the trip:

The Murals of Chloride, AZ. About 3 miles out-of-town on a rough road are some random murals painted by Roy Purcell in 1996, repainted in 2006.

IMG_2792_3_4_tonemapped

IMG_2848 IMG_2838-HDR IMG_2842_3_4_fused

The London Bridge, Lake Havasu, AZ:

IMG_3001 IMG_3005_6_7_tonemapped

The Desert Bar, East of Parker, AZ. Truly a desert bar, solar panels, live band and only open noon to 6 pm on the weekends. closed completely during summer months.Even has it’s on solid steel “chapel” :

IMG_3097

Oasis in a rugged landscape.

IMG_3162-HDR IMG_3107 DJI_0077

The burros of Oatman, AZ. They are technically wild, but used to people feeding them:

IMG_2956 IMG_2970 IMG_2964 IMG_2944 IMG_2914

Nothing – (I think the 4 people have moved out):

IMG_2574 IMG_2575

Bagdad, AZ. No wars here, but there is a great diner:

IMG_2551

Great diner in town.

IMG_2548

Wikieup has some funky metal art:

IMG_2604 IMG_2584

 

 

 

 

 

IMG_2579 IMG_2585 IMG_2595

Valentine:

IMG_2617

Bouse, AZ, a few miles outside of town, if you know where to look:

DJI_0084

Drone shot of the image from above…barely able to make out the fish and water.

IMG_3170

Hope, blink and you’ll miss it. Famous for the misspelled sign, still funny:

IMG_3188 IMG_3182 IMG_3186

Posted in homeopathy, Travel | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments