August 8th 2012
“I’m sorry your tour guide got drunk last night so your tour has been cancelled.” Natalie looks at me defeated by the situation.
She is exhausted.
Exhausted with having to work seven days a week, deal with tourists all day long and local tour guides getting drunk and not showing up for their shifts.
“That’s Ok” I reply.
“How about a horse riding tour around the island?” I ask.
“Horse riding tour?” Mum chimes in realising what’s about to happen.
“I’ve never been horse riding. Lets go for no more the 2 hours.”
Two hours I think to myself, that’s nothing on a horse.
Like a small trail ride.
“Ok mum will go for 2 hours the rest of us are happy to go all day.” I say,and I note that Ange and two other Russians that are tourless are nodding in approval.
“Well I’ll call and book you all in” begins Natalie as she’s dialing the horse riding company on her phone.
Mum realizes that she is the only one that’s going for 2 hours and that the rest of the day will be spent doing who knows what.
In a quiet, surrendered voice she tells Natasha she will join the whole day tour. And that’s how we make our way to Shar-Nur Lake.
Riding in Russia, at least in Siberia is much like riding in many Asian countries. Provided you can stay on the horse you can ride as you wish, walking, trotting, galloping and jumping. The guides aren’t to bothered in telling you what you can and cannot do whilst on the horse, preferring to talk amongst themselves and smoke cigarettes.
On our tour is a couple from Khabarovsk and Ange speaks to them about how much she enjoyed their city.
Shar-Nur means “yellow lake” in Buryati. The lake is famous due to its location. It’s situated 150 meters above the steppe and surrounded in all directions by forest and hills. This protects it from the strong winds that occasionally battle the island if Olkhon. It’s a bit cold today but usually visitors bathe in the lake and rub mud all over themselves which is said to cure different ailments, especially those related to cartilage.
We stop off at the lake for a hike nd some lunch.
Whilst enjoying our lunch
we notice the horses get more and more restless. Turning around we spot what has the horses so agitated.
Three, male horses, around the age of 3 (the age when horses reach sexual maturity) have surrounded the guides very female, chestnut horse.
My young steed, being the only non castrated male horse tied up is not enjoying this and is whinning and kicking profusely. This does not deter the bandits.
We watch as they surround the only eligible female around.
Mums horse, a grey castrated male, seems to be friends with mums horse and tries to protect her horse. In vain however, as they give him a good walloping before proceeding for their prey.
Our guides finally come to her rescue and shoo away the young males on the prowl.
Before you know it they are back, sneaking around bushes for their target.
The guides figure it will be easier to get us out of hear quickly, so smoking quickly and cussing frequently they saddle up our horses.
We’re off in no time, trotting with the bandits in tow.
My horse, having a sense
of freedom has no problem cantering to his woman and I realise I have to be in complete control.
Soon we’ve lost the bandits and we slow to a quick walk back to the stables to finish our tour.
I finish the afternoon with a solo tour of the local church on the island.
Image by Stuck in Customs
Renting a D3S from BorrowLenses
I have a Nikon D3S Review coming soon, but, in the meantime, I am renting the lens while waiting to buy one! I’m going to use it as a second camera to my D3X, since it is often a good idea to have a second camera around. I haven’t written the full review yet, but I started it a bit, so you can see why I made this decision.
The team from Borrowlenses told me they have a short promotion going on — 10% off rental with the code 2010. It’s like Netflix for camera stuff! I have a review up on the Lens Rental page here.
My Music Playlist
The other night while I was editing photos in front of the class for "bonus time", I turned on some of my music that I have collected from around the world. People always ask me for that playlist! Well, I have a lot… I think I am going to put them together here soon so you can see too. I’ll get that up and going within the next few days!
Daily Post – La Cremaillere
Ahh, the streets of France. If I could stroll them every night and find a new place to eat, I think I would be forever happy.
Anyone want to go with me? Looks like there are a bunch of seats there. We can just hang out and talk and munch on all kinds of things. But, I warn you, I simply can’t travel with picky eaters. I need adventurous eaters that aren’t easily scared of the unfamiliar. Not that anything in France is too strange… compared my Asian dalliances with live goldfish, durian, fried insects, live octopi, and live flounder. Okay, maybe I don’t need you to be as extreme as me, but I get drained when people around me only want burgers. Maybe this is just me!
Image by shapeshift
The library of Celsus was built for Tiberius Julius Celsus Polemaeanus and completed in AD 135 in Ephesus, Asia Minor (Anatolia) (now Turkey). Celsus’ son, Gaius Julius Aquila (consul AD 110), built the library in honor of his father who was consul in AD 92, former governor of Asia in AD 115, and a wealthy and popular local citizen. The library was built to store 12,000 scrolls and to serve as a monumental tomb for Celsus. It was unusual to be buried within a library or even within city limits, so this was a special honor for Celsus.
Though the building itself does not have much historical significance, it is important today because it is one of the few remaining examples of an ancient Roman influenced library. It also shows how public libraries were not only built in Rome itself, but also all throughout the empire. After a massive restoration project, which is considered to be very true to the historical building, the front facade of the building was rebuilt and now serves as a prime example of Roman architecture on public buildings. More at wikipedia.
Blogged at shapeshift.net:
In The Footsteps of Alexander the Great (48 min in 8 video segments)
In this BBC award winning adventure Micheal Wood embarks on a 2000 mile journey in the foot steps of Alexander’s triumphal march from Greece to India. Travelling with Lebanese traders, Iranian pilgrims and Afghan guerillas, by jeep, train, boat, camel and on foot, he interweaves the momentous events of the past with present day reality.
‘Sandcastle in the Desert’, India, Jaisalmer, Sunset
Image by WanderingtheWorld (www.LostManProject.com)
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Below is an excerpt from my travel blog. Cheers.
Like a sandcastle in the Thar desert, the old and decaying fort of Jaisalmer still stands proud over its people. Rightfully nicknamed the ‘golden city’, this desert outpost is within 30 km of the India/Pakistan border. Over the centuries this fort has seen many battles as the Hindi kingdoms to the east fought to secure this important city from Islamic threat from Pakistan and the Persian areas.
Jaisalmer is hot and muggy city. From the hours of 11AM to 4PM very little can be done. The heat rises to 110-115 degrees and most people run for cover. Evidence of India’s strained infrastructure is very present here. Electricity is interrupted daily and most establishments are forced to have generators as a result. This is true in most Indian cities. It’s not easy to find a cool spot around midday when the electricity goes out. This breezy hill, pictured here provides some relief from the heat. The ‘golden city’ becomes a fairy tale city around sunset capturing the sun’s golden rays.