Categories
Romania

Are We Going Fast or Slow?

HE THINKS we are going slow because we stop stop and park when it is dark.

I SAY we are going fast because I can’t see many stars because of the overhead lights at the truck stop.

HE THINKS thinks we are going slow because he sleeps in late in the morning.

I SAY we are going fast because we wake up to the sound of speeding traffic.

HE THINKS we are going slow because we take the “green road” through the mountains rather than the “blue road” on the flats.

I SAY we are going fast because we are driving at the fastest speed our old truck will take us on the “green road”.

Cartandtruck

HE THINKS we are going slow because he drives with his camera in his lap and snaps quick photos of the horse and cart on the side of the road and the minarets above the village square.

I SAY we are going fast because we didn’t stop to take a photo of a meaningful encounter with a local or walk through the door beneath the minarets.

HE THINKS he is going slow because it took us 4 whole days to drive across just one country.

I SAY we are going fast because we aren’t still there.

HE THINKS he is going slow if he is not in a plane riding on top of the clouds.

I SAY I am going fast because I am not walking, or listening.

HE IS MAN.

I AM WOMAN.

Categories
USA

Big Road Adventures in the Western U.S.

So, now safely in Oregon. Oh, the sights that we saw.

We were quite well looked after with our full-service pit stop crew.

We were well motivated with our dashboard mascot. Isn’t she photogenic.

We had interesting diversions along the road. We saw lots of cotton harvesting into huge cotton cakes. We felt motivated and went into one of the fields for a bit of an after harvest activity.

We found snow in Colorado!!!! Just a bit. Enough for some artwork

and a very small snowman with spiky hair. I think we shall call him…. spike!

We found a great, interesting C.S.Lewis fan. They are called “Lewisans”. She might help us with our roadschooling english. She has some great ideas.

We also found an American Diner heaven. Like a mirage, an oasis, on the eve of the blizzard. Real people, real food, hotel attached and a quiet, understated celebration of family. As if to state, “It is hard to travel with a family these days. Why wouldn’t we supply a few distractions and some discounts for family?”

ALSO: We got stuck in a blizzard.

We found a unicycle rider going down the other side of the highway closed post-blizzard.

And, the icing on the cake. The prize: Whipped cream on the pumpkin pie. FAMILY!!!

Categories
Bosnia/Herzegovnia Croatia France Monaco Spain

Thru the Western Europe South edge

Went thru Western Europe.

After the Dali Museum we dropped off Alana in Italy. We miss giggly, colourful Alana. Now we are only 5. Such a small group. So much less than the 9 we were just a short time ago.

We stopped off in Venice. Dad took lots of touristy pictures of the younger girls feeding the pigeons.

I took the girls to the Leonardo Da Vinci. There were all sorts of machines created from his drawings. We got to touch them and crank them and go inside some of them. Quite fun. We expected Hannah to be in heaven. TJ looked for bones, again, and found them on the wall in some of the paintings. We told her about how DaVinci opened up dead bodies to see how peoples bodies worked on the inside. She thot that was great and would like to do that as well if they let her keep the bones.


We saw some amazing masks in Venice. We bought some plain ones and painted them ourselves.


Andrew has been working on the car electrics. Mixed success.


Abigail got my attention at the grocery store. “Mom”, she said, “That guy is named Jesus”. I told her how that is a reasonably popular name in Spain and Italy. One night in Italy we were parked in one of the  really small and overcrowded rest areas in Italy and this truck driver told us a much better, hidden place to park. Later, we looked at his truck, It said Jesus on the side of it. Thot that was funny so took a photo.

We are now in Croatia. We love Croatia. Not much internet. Sorry for the sparse blog entries. We were last here before TJ was born. We have made it down to Dubrovnik this time. It is a great old city but way too many tourists. We kinda like the hidden fishing villages and the deserted areas best. We found one campground, north of Split, that only cost us 13 euros, no passports needed, no electricity, no trash. Just a couple of clean toilets and a solar shower. An old olive grove. Nice people. We liked that place. Took our blow up Canoe out into the crystal clear water.

We head for places beyond tomorrow. Getting closer and closer to Macedonia. We need to be there by the 9th.

So this is where we have been on this last leg – Spain, France, Monaco, Italy, Croatia and Bosnia/Herzegovnia.

Highlights.

Spain – Dali Museum, Beneficio, Salami.

France – great picnic areas to stop at for the night, Motorhome shops, FOOD.

Monaco – well, didn’t see much of it, couldn’t find where to park our big truck – but we went through this tiny country.

Italy – Lasagna, Pizza, Pizza, Pizza – always great pizza – we love pizza – Venice – ice cream – food – downside, can they make their rest areas any smaller. We had to stop so early in the day just to get a spot to park at the rest areas for the nite – poor truck drivers.

Croatia – bakeries, small cheap campgrounds, crystal clear water.

Bosnia/Herzegovnia – we only went through about 7 km of it but it was quite thrilling it being in the news and all. We saw gunshots in a sign. Ooooooh! We saw a bolder in the road and the car that hit it. Ooooooh! What excitement!

What fun. Bit tired. lLots of driving. Looking forward to staying put some when we get to Macedonia. Also, looking forward to seeing some friends.

Categories
Morocco

Lost in Rif

When we were considering coming to Morocco. I had but one limitation. Let’s not go to the Rif mountains. Worse than going through the Rif mountains, of course, would be getting lost in them. Now, the Rif mountains are probably one of the most stunningly scenic areas we have seen so far. High mountains, terraced gardens, crystal clear water cascading down the hillsides. The problem is what they grow in the beautiful terraced garden.

Time to back up. We decided to miss Meknes. Something about having experienced enough cities and wanting to save a beautiful jewel to ensure a return to Morocco. We opted for the eastern route to Tanger. Mistake number 1. Mistake number 2 was putting 2 gitty teenage girls in the front to navigate. They had a great time in the front, singing energetic songs and telling animated stories, however, there was a deviation in the route that brought us up a tiny mountain pass. The first day of our detour wasn’t so bad. Small village roads.

Andrew getting us to snap lots of photos of the crumbling roads and sharp turns

and more crumbling roads

as we wound our way through the mountain pass. So beautiful! Villagers applauding our efforts as we passed. Dogs and other animals slowly moving off the road. We wild camped, under the full moon, in an amazing place next to the river for the night. The next morning, as Andrew was driving and me and Abi were desperately looking at the map trying to figure out where we were. We were asking locals for directions. Nobody could tell us where we were on the map, as they were not familiar with maps, but they told us how to get to Chefchauen. I came to a realization that we might indeed be in the Rif mountains. We wouldn’t be in THOSE Rif mountains. We wouldn’t be LOST IN THOSE Rif mountains. What Rif mountains? Only, the marajuana capital of the world Rif mountains! Just as the reality was still sinking in a man on the side of the road held up a small pouch and yelled “HASHISH”. Another man on the other side of the road made a smoking jesture and smiled real big. OH NO!

The rest of the day was just a bit stressful. Still, crumbling roads and men everywhere offering Hashish. One man kept passing us up in his green mercedes with a free-range 2 year old in the passenger seat. He would pull over in front of us and offer us Hashish again. Andrew would swerve to miss him and continue on. When the kids couldn’t hold it in any more we pulled over by an isolated bit of woods to relieve ourselves. Another green mercedes pulled over behind us. Moments later, a red mercedes pulled over in front of us to make another offer. Just for the record I would like to say. No, we did not buy any Hashish. We value our freedom and travel too much. I longingly looked at a bunch of bananas on the roadside, at one point, until men started running up to our truck and I played out a scenario in my mind, “A little hashish with your bananas?” This is how are day continued. At first it was all fun. Andrew continued to make light of it all but it was starting to get to him.

Exhausted, we pulled into Chefchauen for a rest and a Hamam from a building that looked like a puffy blue marshmallow house. Some of us opted for a massage (an energetic scraping off of the top layer of skin). We finished off the day at a petrol station as we couldn’t find a good place in town. Karim taught us how to make Harira, his mum would be so proud. Andrew was asleep by the time the Harira was cooked. An exhausting day.