Saturday, 27 September 2014

Back home in Whistler (B.C.)

Quick note to say we are now back home in wonderfully temperate (temperature-wise)  British Columbia. 

Bali (Lovina & Ubud) and Thailand (Hua Hin) provided a wonderful rest after Nepal.

Friday, 19 September 2014

Hurricane Odile hits Baja hard

Hurricane Odile hit Baja hard.  Lectronic Latitude had been posting updates:

The Cape area (including Cabo San Lucas and San Jose del Cabo)  was hard hit with significant damage.  Surprisingly,  little damage to cruising boats in the marinas.

La Paz and Puerto Escondido were also hit hard,  with many anchored or moored cruising boats aground or sunk (at least 25 in La Paz)  and the deaths of at least three cruisers (including the iconic Gunther on SV Princess). Boats in the La Paz marinas did fine. Numerous boats in the Atalanta boatyard were blown over.

The older marina up in Santa Rosalia was swept away and destroyed,  carrying boats with it (no information available yet).

Untold number of Mexicans with lost or damaged property.

Very, very, sad.

Although we are glad Pelagia is "safe" over in Mazatlan,  we realize that Odile (or some later hurricane) could easily have veered East and hit Mazatlan instead -- it is all a bit of a crapshoot.  (In the case of such an event,  we are glad we have removed everything from Pelagia's decks,  including all sails,  dodger,  bimini, and solar panels,  and have a boat management company looking after Pelagia.)

Saturday, 13 September 2014

Watching the weather (in Mexico) while we travel...

We may be off trekking in Nepal or near the beaches in Bali (where we are at present), but our attention is never too far away from the weather in Pacific Mexico: it is hurricane season.

Just a week ago, Hurricane Norbert hit the Cabo area, and, especially, Magdalena Bay area. At the beginning of a tropical cyclone, it is often not clear the direction it will travel. For Norbert, it turns out Pelagia was safe in Mazatlan.

Norbert's track

Now we have Hurricane Odile heading up the coast, packing gusts up to 135 knot (250 km/h). Current projections suggest Odile will miss mainland Mexico (and Mazatlan) and again hit Baja California Sur.


Odile's projected track

Marina Mazatlan is well inside of the estuary; Pelagia has all its sails and canvas off and is well tied down. Importantly, we are relying on Tony's Boat Management to keep Pelagia as safe as possible. 

Fingers crossed!

Saturday, 6 September 2014

Pokhara and Kathmandu

Macchupuchare, from Mountain House

Pokhara was, as usual, very relaxing. Our hotel (Mountain House) very comfortable.  Our favourite restaurant (Sweet Memories) still our favourite.  The monsoon seemed to be abating as there was not much rain.

After 4 days rest, we took the Greenline bus to Kathmandu. A little more expensive than the other tourist busses, it was a comfortable ride with a quite good lunch provided.  Sure not like our recent ground transport experiences....

Kathmandu is, well, Kathmandu (noisy, dirty, crowded... or so it seemed to us after trekking and Pokhara). Our hotel there was very accommodating but continues to have problems with their showers (overwhelming ammonia fumes, due likely to some additive -- "medicine" -- which they have added to their water tanks). They had promised to fix it but they did not; much to our surprise, they became quite unfriendly to us. (After >10 stays there since 1990, we'll not stay there again.) Thamel is starting to fill up with tourists and the smog is getting worse. DEFINITELY time for us to leave!

We fly to Bangkok tomorrow then Bali the next day.

Thursday, 4 September 2014

Monsoon Trekking: Nar-Phu valleys and Annapurna Circuit in August

August is monsoon season in Nepal.  We've been to Nepal many times but never during the monsoon.  Stories abound about torrential rains, heat, and leeches.