THE ARDENT ENTHUSIAST

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I visited Kazakhstan during the summer of 2017, basing myself in the old captital of Almaty. I stayed in a dorm at the Almaty Backpacker’s Hostel, and it was about a twenty minute walk to the center of town. One of my first trips was to the Central Museum to see their collection of Scythian gold. Almaty is the cultural center of the country and it looks like a modern overlay on… Read More

Itoigawa City– Niigata Prefecture – Japan Golden Week; May 3rd-7th gave me five days to go south and hunt for Japanese jadeite. Part 1 of these notes covered my trip to the Oyashirazu Pier, the Jade Museum there and my interaction with the local jade hunters. In Part 2 I shall relate my adventures in the Kotakigawa Gorge and exploring the ancient Jomon village of Chojagahara. In about 2,500 BCE the Jomon… Read More

Itoigawa City– Niigata Prefecture – Japan Golden Week; May 3rd-7th gave me five days to go south and hunt for Japanese jadeite. I’d tried to get down to Itoigawa twice last year, but the weather was against me. I’d planned on camping, and was washed out the previous occasions. This time the weather was sunny, so, after an eight hour drive to the southwest along a quite scenic coast highway, I reached… Read More

I took the Greenline Bus to Pokhara and was there for Holi, which was a bit more laid back than Kathmandu would have been. I like using the Greenline Bus Company for several reasons. First, it leaves an hour later than the cheaper Tourist buses, and second, it includes a buffet lunch in the ticket price. Lunch is always served at a very nice riverside hotel about half-way between Kathmandu and Pokhara…. Read More

This year, due to a scheduling conflict, I couldn’t get to Kathmandu in time for the big Losar party or the Shiva’s Slaves Run, but I did arrive during Losar and got some great shots of the Boudhanath Stupa with it’s new top and strung with colorful lights. READ MORE…