A sunset by a lake.
It started as any nice weekend might with a stroll by the lake after work to unwind. While overcast, the following day was warm and dry and so I did a little exploring.
Dharmachakrapravartana Buddha… teaching from the heart.
While I am no Buddha, Buddhist, or mudra expert, my interpretation of the the wheel of dharma is “teaching from the heart”. I may be wrong but I found it heartwarming to discover this statue.
Evidently, I had found Wat Pah Samarkki.
Hmmm, trails by a lake, wats… I know its suspicious but I haven’t returned to Thailand. My next find did lead me to wonder…
Does the gruffalo exist? Was this the creature that inspired H.R. Giger? Do aliens live in my backyard? Where am I?
I don’t own the house just plan to live in it for the next 15 weeks.
Top 5 things to remember now that I’m not in Thailand.
5. Don’t wait for an attendant to pump your gas.
4. Don’t buy XXL.
3. Don’t leave your keys in the ignition for safekeeping.
2. Don’t scoot someone’s else ride aside to make room to park your own.
1. Don’t drive on the left!
As usual, I started my trip with a few essentials, money and street food.
I generally enjoy walking about a city to learn its layout but Ho Chi Minh was an exception. The grime on the awning is indicative of the soot I had to wash off my exposed skin later. Luckily, the area I stayed in, district 7, wasn’t congested with scooters so a stroll to a convenience store or cart was fine. It also had lots of Korean goodies.
The Notre-Dame Basilica was closed for renovations but the post office and Independence Palace were open to visitors.
View from Independence Palace.
While not terribly convenient, I couldn’t pass up a tour of the Củ Chi tunnels. It gets rather cramped and very dark. Our crawling about was rewarded with cassava root with crushed peanuts and tea, supposedly staples of the Vietcong.
One of my favorite things to do is visit art museums. Unfortunately, I haven’t had much luck in my recent travels. Last month, the Western Australia Museum in Perth was closed for renovations… for 4 years.
So, I should not have been surprised to learn that the Hong Kong Museum of Art was closed for renovations… for 4 years.
That reminded of something else that takes 4 years… getting a niche for your loved one’s cremated remains in Hong Kong.
One way to reach the Dragon’s Back trailhead is to walk up all the stairs at Cape Collinson Catholic Cemetery. That happened to be the way I went so I learned this odd fact.
The hillside cemeteries of Hong Kong are quite a sight. I could have used a guide to answer a few questions, though. Such as… why are there occasional brick ovens? Or… do the pictures on the markers have to be near death or least flattering?
I don’t have a way to tie this junk boat into the 4 year theme except to say that 4 years ago, Hong Kong set new goals to combat air pollution… you can see how effective that has been.
The Chainsmokers, Closer, was playing at the dim sum stand where I bought these awesome treats… 4 years…
A very vertical vista.
Having enjoyed Hong Kong-style waffles in many cities, I decided it was time for the original. After securing a few essentials,
I made my way to the Temple Street Night Market and Mammy Pancake for one that would be sure not to disappoint.
Feeling the need to work off the wonderfully yummy and filling delicacies, I followed up with another popular HK favorite… a hike on the Dragon’s Back.
Despite the fog and haze, there were beautiful views of the islands from the trail.
Other less arduous walks included a stroll along the Avenue of Comic Stars
and a descent from The Peak along Lugard Road.
For lack of anything better to do, I decided to join Helpx and find a productive way to spend my remaining time in Australia. My first gig was helping on a farm in Hay located near Denmark. That entailed riding back from Albany but a long lunchbreak at Lowlands Beach made it worthwhile.
All mine for a few hours.
It was a beautiful day so I was fortunate to have the opportunity to enjoy the trail this time.
When I arrived at the farm, the lawnmowers were hard at work.
One of my “jobs” was to bottle feed the temporary residents, Sissy, Ivy and Tilly. The unfortunate thing about Hay is hayfever. Despite loving the “work”, I had to move on.
Currently, I’m in Perth making the rounds to Kings Park, Freemantle, and Cottesloe. It’s a very bicycle-friendly city so I may just hang out here for the duration.
On Wednesday, October 18th, I arrived at the port city of Albany.
Had there not been rain and wind on my final day, I’m sure the ride would not have felt complete.
I was disappointed that I’d only spent 2 of the 26 days sightseeing (off-trail) in the region but the cold and rain just didn’t make it very appealing.
Fortunately, the sun came out as I toured the area the following day. A view of Albany from Torndirrup.
The view from Sharp Point offers both the harbor and the coast.
Natural Bridge and Dog Rock are just two of the many local attractions. Now that I’ve completed the Munda Biddi, I’m not entirely sure what comes next. I look forward to whatever tomorrow brings.