Archive for the ‘Traveling’ Category

Crusted Butte


I continued on to Crested Butte. It looks like a German village – houses in a beautiful lush valley with surrounding mountains. It really is one of the most pastoral places I’ve seen. Unfortunately I wasn’t in the mood for photography, so you’ll have to go there yourself to find out…
I also thought a lot about photography on this trip. The perception of space and color is very different between a human’s and a camera’s. But that’s only the first problem – the second is the difference between how a picture comes out, and how a person interprets what’s in the picture. That’s why it’s so difficult to take a great landscape picture – that’s where the biggest transformation occurs between what a person who is in the place the picture is being taken feels, and what a person watching the picture perceives.
But enough of that – what’s probably the last picture from this trip is that of a dam in an amazing valley, after sunset.

Black Canyon of Gunnison


I continued on to the Black Canyon. Unfortunately I took the North-Rim way, which turned out to be a dirt road – not a good idea in a rented Pontiac G6. I made it to the rim, although it was almost sunset. The Canyon is amazing – gave me vertigo just looking down. It’s a straight fall down some 2000 feet.. It was an almost scary place, especially since there was no-one around for miles and I was 14 miles of dirt road away from anywhere..
I couldn’t get a good shot of the Canyon, but here’s something I captured on my way to Gunnison – I eventually arrived late, when the roads were dark and it was quite hard to drive through the mountainside. I was just happy to get off the road…

National Monument state park

I spent the night in Glenwood Springs and in the morning headed out towards the National Monument state park.
The views along the way reminded me of Clint Eastwood’s westerns – which is probably because he must have filmed them nearby. Hugh canyons on both sides of the roads, with the Colorado river alongside the road much of the way.
The National Monument state park is essentially a road running up and down a canyon ridge, with trails going off the road every so often. The views were very nice, the rock formations formed by eroded mountain side are the main attraction.

Just a picture..

An interesting picture I managed to take at the RMNP…

Rockie Mountain national park


I drove from Boulder up to Estes Park. It was very packed due to it being Sunday before Labor Day. I couldn’t find a room, so I drove through RMNP to Grand Lake, a village where I did manage to find a place to stay.
I went back to the park the next day, and did a nice hike from Milner Pass to the visitor’s center – finishing at around 12,000 feet. I’m now at Glenwood Springs – the way here was really nice, driving through a deep canyon. I’m staying at Hotel Colorado which has been here since 1893 – I can’t decide whether the furniture is old or old-styled, but the ceilings are very high 🙂
In the picture is a bellowing elk from RMNP.. I saw a large group of elks the first night I was there.

Dinosaur Ridge


I spent my first day traveling by driving to Red Rocks and Dinosaur Ridge.
Red Rocks has amazing hugh red rocks, with an open-air music amphitheater.
Dinosaur Ridge is where many dinosaur bones were discovered. Among other things, there are dinosaur tracks which got preserved in the rocks – these are really quite amazing, seeing the footprints made hundreds of millions of years ago by an extinct species.

Boulder, Colorado

I spent the next two nights in Boulder. This is a nice little town – I was lucky to arrive in time for the Farmer’s Market, which is a pretty big event, especially as it was on a long weekend because of Labor Day.
I spent the 2nd night at Rena’s place – first time I was hosted through CouchSurfing. It was really nice, we had a great evening and wondered around the campus the next day. In the picture are me, Rena (on right) and her roommate, Andy (on left), on Boulder university campus.

Colorado Springs – winter


It’s been a long time ago, and this is my second time in Colorado since… But I decided to put up a picture of Colorado in winter, since it’s now summer and I’m here again 🙂
This is the Garden of the Gods, in Colorado Springs.

Verkala beach

My next-to-last stop in Kerela (and India): Verkala beach is a really nice place to relax.
It’s not the right season and I’ve had 12-hour rain showers, but when it’s sunny the beach is nice.
At night there are lots of fresh fish fished during the day; I’ve had a good Tuna steak and some other good fish.. Too bad I don’t like seafood, because there’s lots of it here.
Nevertheless, I have to leave today.. Starting to make my way back home. I’ll leave to Trivandrum today, taking a flight tomorrow to Mombai, and try to find a way to spend 8 hours there until my 23:00 flight back to Israel.
It’s not easy thinking about going back, especially in a nice place like Verkala…

Kalaripayattu in Kochi

As I said, the state of Kerela has a lot of culture of its own.
Kalaripayattu is believed to be the oldest martial art, from which spawned both Chinese (Kong-fu) and Japanese martial arts. Its origins are from Kerela, and it’s almost the only place in the world where it is taught and practiced.
I went to see a show in the local Kalaripayattu school. I was the only audience member but they still put it on. Bare-hand fighting, sword and shield, two-edged sword and belt-sword techniques were demonstrated, as well and single and double long-stick, and short-stick techniques.
I asked to join one lesson and the teacher, which looks around 55 but turned out to be 76 years old, accepted…
The next day I joined the class and trained with the local students. They train every day, usually from an early age (they say 7 years old is the best age to start). They say the total training, if one trains hard, should take 12 years. I first had to present the teacher with a coconut and leaf for a short ceremony to be accepted as student…
We first did a ceremonious ‘kata’ which was hard on the legs, since in Kalaripayattu one stays very low, almost horizontal to the ground, to keep the vital parts safe. Then some kicking exercises which improve flexibility.
We mainly worked on bare-hands techniques. They have many interesting (and complicated) locks, I hope to remember at least a few of them. Much of the art also uses vital-point striking, of which there are around 108 along the body.
After a while they asked me, and I showed them some Aikido and Kong-fu techniques which they tried… It was really fun. I was invited to return today, but my legs really hurt and I didn’t feel I was up to it. Still, it was really nice; it’s too bad this is not taught much outside India, as it appears to be a very diverse and complete martial art, as well as healing and massage system.