Chilling in Chefchaouen

November 28th, 2008

Photo: Plaza Uta el-Hammam Photo: Blue door Photo: Chefchaouen Photo: Colorful powders

After working in Fes for a week I caught a bus to Chefchaouen way up north in the Rif Mountains. It’s one of the prettiest towns I have ever visited: all the buildings are whitewashed and painted various shades of blue, and its medina is full of narrow winding streets that are fun to explore.

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Wandering around Erg Chebbi

November 14th, 2008

Photo: Sand dunes Photo: Shadow Photo: Ascending Photo: Camel silhouettes

One of the things I was most looking forward to about visiting Morocco was the chance to get some really cool landscape pictures in the desert. So after spending a day working in Rissani I went back to Merzouga to spend some more time wandering around the sand dunes.

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Camel trekking at Erg Chebbi

November 13th, 2008

Photo: Camel trek Photo: Camel trek Photo: Camel silhouettes Photo: Berber drummers

Erg Chebbi are a set of sand dunes at the northern tip of the Sahara desert, 30km long and up to 250m high. We did a sunset camel trek to a camp set up in the dunes and spent the night in Berber tents before trekking back out in the morning.

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Ait Benhaddou, valleys and gorges

November 11th, 2008

Photo: Bijoux Fatima Berbere Photo: Ait Benhaddou Photo: Todra Gorge Photo: Snake eye

After Marrakesh I planned to visit Essaouira on the coast but with nothing but rain in the forecast I decided to head for the desert instead, and joined a 4-day sightseeing trip that was leaving from my riad the next day. Our first couple days took us through Ourika Valley, up and over the High Atlas mountains, through Dades Valley and Todra Gorge.

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Marrakesh, Morocco

November 7th, 2008

Photo: Zellij Photo: Snake charmer Photo: Spice shop Photo: Red walls

Marrakesh is a pretty intense place to start my first trip to Morocco. In addition to the basic culture shock, it always takes me a few days to get used to a new country’s language, currency, food, etc. Marrakesh’s confusing maze of markets and non-stop fake guides trying to take you places you don’t want to go make this process even more tiring than usual.

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Roundabout route to Boston

November 4th, 2007

Whistler isn’t much fun in October and November — too cold and wet to mountain bike, and too warm and dry to ski. I had a week of meetings in Boston in early November so I decided to make a few stops on the way there, and it turned into a month-long trip.

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The Gibbon Experience, Bokeo, Laos

April 25th, 2007

Photo: Hiking out Photo: Zipping through Photo: View from treehouse #3 Photo: Gerald ziplining

The Gibbon Experience is an innovative forest conservation project in northwestern Laos, where visitors spend three days living in treehouses built 40 meters above the ground, reachable only by a network of ziplines and a few short hikes. The lucky ones get to catch glimpses of Black Gibbon apes who live in the forest.

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Buses, boats and treks in Northern Laos

April 24th, 2007

Photo: Trekking trip Photo: Sneaking a peek Photo: Rice field Photo: Boys posing

After Luang Prabang I spent 10 days travelling around Northern Laos by slow boat and bus. I took a scenic boat ride up to Nong Khiaw, another to Muang Ngoi and back, then a series of buses to Huay Xai on the Thai border with a stop in Luang Nam Tha.

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Luang Prabang, Laos

April 20th, 2007

Photo: Luang Prabang Photo: Monks Photo: Luang Prabang Photo: Buddha with rice

I flew from Siem Reap to Vientiane, Laos, and spent just one night there before continuing north to Luang Prabang, one of Southeast Asia’s most beautiful and well-preserved cities, a UNESCO world heritage site.

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Temples of Angkor, Cambodia

March 28th, 2007

Photo: Angkor Wat Photo: Monks Photo: Apsaras Photo: Face

I spent six days exploring the amazing temples of Angkor near Siem Reap, including Angkor Wat, The Bayon, Ta Phrom, Banteay Srei, and several others. I was going to write about each of them as a separate post but that would take forever so this is just a quick summary.

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