Showing posts from September, 2013

SF Bay Trail Series 2: Lands End

W here can you find a place where you can get a good workout, a place to relax and meditate, commune with Mother Nature, take beautiful photos, and have an unobstructed view of the most photographed bridge in the world? Il y aura dans nos yeux tout le ciel bleu (Photo by the author) A Place for Workout We started our walk from the opposite end of the trail, by Sutro Heights, which was literally behind my brother’s backyard. There was a marker at the beginning of the trail: To Overlook 0.3 mi., To Eagle’s Point 1.4 mi., To USS SF 0.2 mi., To Mile Rock Beach 0.8 mi. Added together, the mileage totaled 2.7 and seemed to be a very easy walk, a little over five miles back and forth.  However, a few minutes after walking the packed dirt walkway, we took a detour to descend the stairway that led to the rocky beach. At the bottom of the first stairway, we cut into another stairway where I noticed the ancient cypress trees with the trunks bending into different directions,

SF Bay Trail Series 1: Walking the San Francisco Bay Bridge

Today was a beautiful day in the San Francisco Bay Area and perfect for walking the new addition to the Bay Trails: the bicycle/pedestrian path on the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge new east span. The trail is paved (asphalt walkway) up until we get on the bridge where the path widens to a 15.5 foot-wide pedestrian and two-way bicycle path. The pedestrian side is a soft and flat surface while the cyclist side is of the road surface. The trail goes for 4.25 miles from our starting point at Shellmound Street in Emeryville to the top of the bridge. Photo by the author Photo by the author I have scaled Mission Peak, hiked the Dipsea and walked across the Golden Gate Bridge, and even blogged about my walking experiences, but it was not until walking parts of the Bay Trail to train for the upcoming "Nike Women's Marathon" that I realized how lucky we are to live in this part of California. In an effort to encourage my neighbors and the visitors to experience

Photo Essay: The Exotic Flowers

1.  The Sensuous Bromeliad - Aguas Calientes, Peru I'm not quite sure whether this flower belongs to the pineapple or Heliconia plant. What's amazing about this picture is the rich nectar that gives it a very sensuous look. Rich Nectar (Photo by the author) 2. The Mysterious Heliconias - The Peruvian Amazon " Don't be misled by our appearance.  We are not flowers, but colorful leaves." The Most Colorful Leaves (Photo by the author) 3. The Snaky Ginger Flower - Puntarenas, Costa Rica I took this picture from a Costa Rican National Rainforest Reserve where flora and fauna co-exist. I walked through the park and saw many brightly colored tropical flowers - heliconias, ferns, cacti, gingers and bromeliads. After walking through the Serpentarium, everything seemed to take on the shape of a snake even this ginger flower. Snake Flower (Photo by the author) 4. The Epicurean Cactus - Puntarenas, Costa Rica Different colors and layers in this

Amazing Cultural Dances

Sad events made me cancel my travel plans and volunteering at the Yosemite National Park this summer, but gave me the opportunity to play back all that I had experienced from my trips earlier this year, and page reflectively through the photos and videos I took.    In the process of these reflections , I began to realize that I took a bit of every place with me.   It affirms the answer to the question that somehow I already knew.    O ne of my favorite travel writers, Freya Stark wrote, “Travel does what good novelists also do to the life of everyday, placing it like a picture in a frame or a gem in its setting, so that the intrinsic qualities are made more clear.   Travel does this with the very stuff that everyday life is made of, giving to it the sharp contour and meaning of art.”  I could write a novel about one of the dancers , the little girl from Burma. She has a sad life story . While the other kids were playing , I saw her alone in the cor