CHASING DREAMS, YEAR FOUR: AROUND THE WORLD, FROM THE MEKONG RIVER, TO…

 

Happy New Year! Hard to believe that the Chasing Dreams blog has now reached its 4th anniversary.   I want to thank all of you who have been reading my posts and I hope you have been enjoying my adventures, exploits, photos and ”deep thoughts.”

The past year, in addition to local activities I have also visited distant lands, been in a variety of outside my comfort zone experiences and many of those have been downright jaw dropping.   Let me try to highlight some of the most thrilling moments.

CIRCUMNAVIGATING THE MEKONG RIVER – Undoubtedly one of the most fun parts of journeying to  the Southeast Asian countries of Thailand, Cambodia and Vietnam was being exposed to many new methods of transport – you can read about them HERE.  But I never anticipated a most heart-pumping excursion of actually gliding through the dense jungle interior in a rowboat.  Many a frisson of fear was felt along every section of this journey.

First there was the issue of the water.  Although the water appears smooth, there is much to fear in its depths and much of the danger can’t even be seen.  Tiny as they may be, the millions upon millions of microbes and bacteria lurked within, waiting for a chance slip-up to enable them to wreak havoc with our intestines.

To spice this up a bit, getting in and out of the longboat (not really that long – it seats three seated and one standing rower) was not a simple task, for instead of sturdy docks we had to balance on planks and climb rickety rope ladders:

Getting in:

Getting out:

The view and ride were worth every held breath.

 

THE SKY ABOVE – Vietnam is a country of vast contrasts.  Not only was I fortunate enough to float down the Mekong River underneath a shroud of trees and bushes,  I also had the amazing opportunity to climb above the jungle’s tree canopy to see and photograph some very shy families – of herons.  Once again, getting to where I needed to be was not a walk in the park or jungle for that matter.  It was a climb – and in typical fashion for this trip – the stairway to paradise was not very stable – looking much like this rusty spiral from the internet (my camera was safely stowed during my climb):

Once above the trees, under a blazing sun that I totally ignored, I blissfully took photos of these ethereal herons:

Next week, join me as I review not only a return to earth but go below – underwater, to be exact –  during a literally breathtaking encounter.

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