Tinkerbell Legacy - Living with a flying parrot

Bali Lombok and Komodo dragons Part 2 of 2
shanlung
Continued from
Bali Lombok and Komodo dragons Part 1 of 2
http://shanlung.livejournal.com/146090.html


Komodo
More photos in BLK 03 Komodo
https://www.flickr.com/photos/shanlung/sets/72157647361365539/

I signed up with Perama tour. I felt for this trip that I thought about for 30 years, I might
as well go on a bigger boat. In view of the sinking of a smaller boat on a komodo tour, this boat that you can see in photos later got a couple of life rafts, not like that smaller boat without any life rafts. I been in the captain cabin and saw he got echo sounder that the other smaller boat did not have. I did not believe in good and cheap things, as that can either be good or cheap and not both at same time.

17 May 2014
Their bus picked us up from our hotel. And we set off to their jetty on the other side of the island.
Passing through the busy market of Mataram, the main city of Lombok

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And we got onto our boat.

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We unwind and got to know fellow passengers. Not all on same trip. Some would be getting off at Flores to continue on their trips.


Luckily the camera recovered enough to take the next photo.
Me on the boat. The setting on my camera went all wrong and none of the photos taken on Satonda island with an inland extremely salty lake came out with all over exposed. You float in that lake like in Dead Sea. How that lake became so salty despite being so near the sea I could not figure out.

Luckily the camera recovered enough to take the next photo.

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Of me and an island with a rather flat volcano behind me, about 1,800++ meters high.
That volcano was much higher and bigger.
What you see in that photo is the remnants of Mount Tambora. In 1815, that was 4,300 meters high.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mount_Tambora

Mount Tambora (or Tamboro) is an active stratovolcano which is a peninsula of the island of Sumbawa, Indonesia. Sumbawa is flanked both to the north and south by oceanic crust, and Tambora was formed by the active subduction zone beneath it. This raised Mount Tambora as high as 4,300 m (14,100 ft),[4] making it, in the 18th century, one of the tallest peaks in the Indonesian archipelago. After a large magma chamber inside the mountain filled over the course of several decades, volcanic activity reached a historic climax in the eruption of 10 April 1815.[5] This eruption was about a volcanic explosivity index (VEI) of 7, the only eruption unambiguously confirmed of that size since the Lake Taupo eruption in about 180 CE.[6] (The Heaven Lake eruption of Baekdu Mountain around 969 CE may have also been VEI-7.)

With an estimated ejecta volume of 160 km3 (38 cu mi), Tambora's 1815 outburst was the largest volcanic eruption in recorded history. The explosion was heard on Sumatra island more than 2,000 km (1,200 mi) away. Heavy volcanic ash falls were observed as far away as Borneo, Sulawesi, Java, and Maluku Islands. Most deaths from the eruption were from starvation and disease, as the eruptive fallout ruined agricultural productivity in the local region. The death toll was at least 71,000 people, of whom 11,000–12,000 were killed directly by the eruption;[6] the often-cited figure of 92,000 people killed is believed to be overestimated.[7]

The eruption caused global climate anomalies that included the phenomenon known as "volcanic winter": 1816 became known as the "Year Without a Summer" because of the effect on North American and European weather. Crops failed and livestock died in much of the Northern Hemisphere, resulting in the worst famine of the 19th century.[6]

Mount Helen coughed out 1.3 cubic km
Pinantubo vomited out 10 cubic km.
Mighty Krakatoa threw out 18 cubic km
Tambora erupted out 160 cubic km.

On that entire boat, only this gentleman knew of Tambora and was as excited as myself to catch sight of it
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On 19 May 2014 morning, we neared Komodo Island

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And then on Komodo

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The ranger guiding us showed us deers were plentiful on the island. Very important as food for the komodo dragons.

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We saw flocks of sulphur crested cockatoos.
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You might be amused as to how they got their names. Those were very well known birds of Indonesia. And their local name was
Burung (indonesian for bird) kakaktua. Which became cockatoo in English. And the scientific bird family was Cacatuidae.

Land of the Komodo Dragons

More photos in BLK 03 Komodo
https://www.flickr.com/photos/shanlung/sets/72157647361365539/

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And the first of the dragon we saw on that trek

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Good to have telephoto lense so I need not get close to take close up shots
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And then more cockatoos

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We got back to the park HQ and saw more dragons.
The Park HQ shifted away from the village. There used to be staged feeding of goats to dragons but that lead to familarity and very dangerous encounters between dragons and villagers and visitors.


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We then left that Komoda dragons. The boat brought us to a beach further down that Komodo Island

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The water was very cold because of up welling currents. The coral reef was just 15 meters from the shore line.
The corals were the most brilliant and alive that I had seen for a very long time. Later I found out that was one of the best place for corals and diving in all of Indonesia.

We then continued on to Flores, the place where remnants of Hobbits were found. Drop off those who got off there, and picked up those coming back to Lombok

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Next morning, we were at Rinca Island for more dragons

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As we walked into the park from the jetty, a dragon was seen moving fast, luckily not towards us.

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Safety talk from the ranger. The score for 2013 was 4 rangers being bitten, and one for 2014. Dragons got very nasty bites loaded with bacteria to do very very nasty things. On top of that, they recently found they got venom as well.

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In the park HQ, dragons hang out

More photos in BLK 03 Komodo
https://www.flickr.com/photos/shanlung/sets/72157647361365539/

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Then we went on the walkabout.

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Saw this creek

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and in that creek, was this water buffalo. Mighty as the buffalo could be, all that was needed was just a bite from a dragon. And in a day or two, the buffalo will die of blood poisoning to be torn apart by the dragons.

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Land of dragons

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And back to HQ

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And walking towards the jetty and boat

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And the fun started. A big dragon was on the path itself. Please excuse me for not taking photos. I was very busy then trying to get up the cut slope as screamed by the wardens to all of us. I did what I thought I was unable to do and got up the slope in time for the dragon to hurry past me on the path. Only when the dragon went pass that I got down to take the rest of the photos.
I made sure that there were other more juicy tourists and warden between me and that dragon.

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We got back on the mother boat. Note the life rafts in capsule on both sides of boat.
The cheaper tours apparently did not have life rafts. You get what you pay for. Such as on 17 Aug 2014

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2727086/Boat-carrying-20-foreign-tourists-sinks-Indonesia-islands.html



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We passed by this island on 20 May on the way back to Lombok. It was such a huge beautiful eye catching island that I had to take photos of it. Especially as it took about 3-4 hours to sail past it. This was Gunong Sangeang Api.

More photos in BLK 03 Komodo
https://www.flickr.com/photos/shanlung/sets/72157647361365539/

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On 31 May 2014, that Sangeang Api exploded and grounded flights in that region and Australia. I would have taken fabulous shots
if that went up on 20 May instead of waiting until 31 May.



The next morning , 21 May, we reached Moyo Island. Walking through their beautiful village.

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To reach a jungle pool with a rope swing

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And on way back, saw an eel at wrong place and wrong time and ended as dinner for some folks there.

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Got back into Lombok that evening. Never before I endured 5 days without Internet.
I found not only I survived no Internet, but discovered more of life.

Bus brought us to Senggigi where I checked into a nice cheap hotel. Which got Internet. Did not check fine print which said Internet wifi in their restaurant across the road. What the heck! I will not quibble that as I knew I would leave the next morning to stay up the mountain of Lombok, up Mount Riniani.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mount_Rinjani

Folks go there to trek to the top. I just want to go there to chill out.


Lombok & Bali

More in flickr folder BLK 04 LombokBali
https://www.flickr.com/photos/shanlung/sets/72157647370455078/

Via the wonky Internet, I tried to check into Restu By View. Could not check in but retain that name. I got a taxi via my hotel (which I forgot that name) to bring me there. I thought I wanted to chill out a few days before getting back to Bali and flight back to Singapore.

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The fields that reached up the side of the mountain as seen from the hotel.

The side that I stayed in for a couple of nights
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The other side and older side of the hotel.
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Monkeys climbing up the pillar into the hotel
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The monkeys would take anything that was loose so care got to be taken.
The Internet wifi promised in their advert did not exist in reality. Which got me going to sleep early.
And therefore getting up early. Early enough to shoot sunrise and getting some nice crepuscular shots.

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http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Crepuscular_rays

I told the hotel owner I wanted to stay for 4 nights. I was told I need to move to the older section after 2 nights.
I did not care to bust my lungs and legs on the trek to the top. Getting to the waterfalls was about all I felt I wanted to handle

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followed by walking about the area near the hotel looking for wifi Internet. Not that I could find that either

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I shifted over to the older room.

Something was biting me on the bed when I went to sleep. I thought that might be mosquitoes. But I had lighted mosquito coils.
I turned on the light.
To my horror I found the bed had bed bugs

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I had a horror of bedbugs.

I slept on the tile floor after I sprayed a circle of insecticide around me. I was furious but nothing could be done at night other than to call that taxi and told him he was to pick me up the very next morning.
I complained to the hotel owner. He laughed as he thought it was funny.

So remember the Restu by View at Mount Rinjani if you want to be bitten by bedbugs. I am sure by now the bed bugs would be into all the rooms. I seen other hotels also had beautiful views even if they never stated that in their writeup. I am sure other hotels there do not have bed bugs.

I was picked up by the taxi taking me to the ferry point for slow ferry back to Bali. Got to Bali late afternoon and caught a cab telling him to take me to Sanur beach. I told him to recommend me a medium hotel.

I was taken to Swastika Bungalow, a beautiful and inexpensive place that I will happily recommend to anyone.
I took the standard room at about USD50/night. I was shown their superior room for USD80 which was truly superior. But I felt standard was enough for me.
http://www.swastika-bungalows.com/

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More in flickr folder BLK 04 LombokBali
https://www.flickr.com/photos/shanlung/sets/72157647370455078/

Brought all my clothing to the hotel laundry to get that washed. And sprayed insecticide into my bags to kill any bed bugs that might have hitched ride from Restu by View.

Had dinner at the Swastika Restaurant of the most delicious suckling pig dish ever in Bali

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Sanur beach was a better experience than Kuta Beach. I first knew Bali from Kuta Beach except that belong only in the past.
Sanur beach was a better area and more up market than Kuta.
I chilled in Sanur until I flew off noon flight to Singapore on 27th May 2014.

Finished this on 21 Sept 2014 just prior to my planned departure to Nepal , Pokhara and Kagbeni and beyond.



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21 Sept 2014


I have kicked Old Nic for Two years, seven incredible months, three wonderful weeks, two luvly days, 17 bloody hours, 47 misc minutes and 18 odd seconds. of cold turkey after about 45++ years of smoking. 49303 cigarettes not smoked, saving $25,884.49. Life saved: 24 weeks, 3 days, 4 hours, 35 minutes.

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LiBai mash making.
About 300 grams of beef mince, with 200 grams of chicken mince and 150 grams of dried anchovies(for the calcium). That was all done up to the kitty mash formula I wrote about in
Pakistan//Tinkerbell Kitty Mash//Dommie at the beach Ramadhan 2010 //Villa walkabout 2
http://shanlung.livejournal.com/119237.html
Instead of the almond and brazil nuts, about 100 grams of human grade groundnuts(peanuts) were used.

Making of Tinkerbell Mash
Morning with Harry & the decision// Sultan of Oman Palace// Tinkerbell Mash Batch 7
http://shanlung.livejournal.com/109957.html

suri - Read "Conditioning clicker day 3 - and some tips on suris"
http://www.livejournal.com/users/shanlung/30810.html

milli - read "Found the perfect treat and Yingshiong first "step up""
http://www.livejournal.com/users/shanlung/34432.html
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if you forgotten about clicker training

Tinkerbell Legacy - VH parrot and Clicker Training Rant 06
http://shanlung.livejournal.com/3419.html

Some thoughts on clicker - The initial experience with Tinkerbell
http://shanlung.com/clicker-L-somethoughtsonclickera.html

Clicker training and bonding with Tinkerbell
http://shanlung.com/clicker-L-ctbondinga.html

To Shanlung-Charlie and clicker training
http://shanlung.livejournal.com/126461.html

Charlie and clicker training - beyond touch target //LiBai on finger and in slow motion videos —
http://shanlung.livejournal.com/126488.html


Tinkerbell Legacy - - Rant 03 (a flighted parrot mentality) & Understanding the mind of your grey
http://shanlung.livejournal.com/2187.html
Above is probably the most important of all I have written, and the foundation to all that I have done.


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FREE FLIGHT IS LIFE AND DEATH PLEASE DO NOT TRY THIS YOURSELF UNLESS YOU DO KNOW.
NEVER EVER FREE FLY WITHOUT THE KNOWLEDGE AS THIS CAN LEAD TO LOSS AND DEATH OF YOUR BIRD.
&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&
(edited on 4th November 2011 to include below)

To Shanlung - How to do Free Flight Outside
http://shanlung.livejournal.com/129976.html
&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&



If what I wrote help you and you like to help, give a thought
for the wildlife sharing our planet.
Do write that cheque to Gerald Durrell wildlife trust

I am a life member of Durrell Wildlife Conservation Trust. Do join us to do
whatever we can for the wildlife that shared our planet.

Durrell-life member


http://www.durrellwildlife.org/
or to any wildlife conservation body of your choice







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Bali Lombok and Komodo dragons Part 1 of 2
shanlung
.

Bali

More in Flickr folder
BLK 01 Bali (for BaliLombokKomodo)
https://www.flickr.com/photos/shanlung/sets/72157647780505735/

On May 3rd 2014 evening, I was the first one into Bali airport. I waited for Cyrus, Rhordon and his wife who eventually came.
You recalled about 2 years ago, we were supposed to go to see some Komodo dragons. An assignment in Qatar hijacked me which landed Jackie into Cyrus care that time.

We caught a taxi from the airport. Found he was congenial Balinese and we agreed to use him and his taxi for the few days to see Bali. I could not remember how much it was. I recalled being embarrased at how inexpensive it was.

The first time I was in Bali I wrote about here
Some chess memories, hustler foil, Bali
http://shanlung.livejournal.com/104619.html

That was in about 1978 which was a long time ago. When Rothschild mynahs flew overhead in flocks and nubile Balinese girls walked bare breasted to bath in temple pools and lights in evening came almost entirely from oil lamps and ONE USD was about what I paid a night.
I came again in about 1991 with Joy who was my gf then. Bali of 1991 still resembled Bali of 1978 to a large extent.

I lost it the moment the car left the airport. I was in a land utterly different from what I remembered as we made our way to Grand Mega Resort at USD 50/night. http://www.grandmegaresortbali.com/

For a land so steeped in trandition and natural beauty I was stunned to find Grand Mega Resort was designed for Russian Oligarchs in their style so as not to follow the local peasants. Do not take my word, go check out their URL. The rooms were nice though, and when you close your eyes, it would not matter what the decor was like. What was more important was that Cyrus Rhordon and me who knew each other as small boys came together again.

https://www.flickr.com/photos/shanlung/sets/72157647780505735/

Our first day in Bali started with the Burong & kris dance .
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Barong_(mythology)

Our driver Niak told us he was firstly a Balinese and secondarily an Indonesia, And that all Balinese knew the Burong & Kris dance by heart and part of their soul. The dance end with a group of Balinese going into a trance and stabbing themselves with krises but not ever cutting themselves


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Myself at the gamelan after the play ended

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We wandered about the temples.
Part of the entry fee will be compulsory rental of sarongs tied about the waist as sign of respect and is obligatory.

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We were at the Sacred Monkey forest at Ubub
http://www.monkeyforestubud.com/

Needless to say, there were monkeys everywhere there.

More in Flickr folder
BLK 01 Bali (for BaliLombokKomodo)
https://www.flickr.com/photos/shanlung/sets/72157647780505735/

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We were at at Mount Batur. An extinct volcano with a lake inside the caldera and another volcano in it.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mount_Batur

I stayed here in one of the guest house on the rim. A place I no longer can recognise. And I watch cock fights to the death as a temple ritual. And got my arse whacked by the Dutch IM and hopefully my friends at kuta beach avoided him when he went down to search for money.

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On the way down from Mount Batur, we were taken to a coffee plantation.

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Above was a civet cat in cage. Coffee from the coffee seeds excreted in their droppings fetch very very high price as the coffee was supposed to taste good.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kopi_Luwak
Even if that coffee tasted heavenly will be very poor reason to catch civet cats, force feed them with coffee. And when they die, catch more civet cats to stuff them with coffee for their shit until they die.
DO NOT BUY KOPI LUWAK OR CIVET COFFEE. GIVE THOSE POOR ANIMALS A CHANCE

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We were at the Uluwatu Temple. I did not recall coming here.
http://www.uluwatu.org/uluwatu.shtml

This was built in the 11th century, it is one of nine directional temples meant to protect Bali from evil spirits.

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Monkeys were terror here. They do not bite. But they good at stealing your hats and your glasses. Both my hat was stolen from me that I got back after a chase and my glasses. I paid USD2 when a temple keeper gave my glasses back to me.

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Uluwatu was also the place for the Kecak dance performed at sunset and into the night.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kecak

Also known as the Ramayana Monkey Chant, the piece, performed by a circle of at least 150 or more performers wearing checked cloth around their waists, percussively chanting "cak" and moving their hands and arms, depicts a battle from the Ramayana. The monkey-like Vanara helped Prince Rama fight the evil King Ravana. Kecak has roots in sanghyang, a trance-inducing exorcism dance.

More in Flickr folder
BLK 01 Bali (for BaliLombokKomodo)
https://www.flickr.com/photos/shanlung/sets/72157647780505735/

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The next day was one of the best day of Bali trip and in which no photos were taken.
It was a white water rafting and a real wild time. This should be on your hit list when you do Bali

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http://www.rejekiayungrafting.com/index.html

On another day, we were taken to what was told to us as the Basket ceremony. Being in holiday mode, I was game to go anywhere even if the name did not ring any bells. Found ourselves to be in a temple set against a deep cave full of bats (and snakes that eat the bats).
This temple that I could not recall the name now was the ultimate temple in Bali for souls of the dead to be put to rest or Mukur, also known as Nyekah or Mesiwa, is the ceremony held for the final purification of the soul. There is normally one family who hosts the ceremony (usually high caste); nonetheless many souls (perhaps more than one hundred) of any caste may be purified together on this occasion, as such a ceremony is very expensive. The ceremonial area for Mukur is called Piadnyan, derived from the word “yadnya” meaning holy sacrifice.

The ashes are taken to the sea, and prayers said at this temple.

More in Flickr folder
BLK 01 Bali (for BaliLombokKomodo)
https://www.flickr.com/photos/shanlung/sets/72157647780505735/

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At that temple was this swastika, a very holy and deeply spiritual symbol of ancient times.

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We came back to this temple later in that evening to see the bats coming out of the caves behind the temple. And the pythons catching and eating the bats.

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Life and death are but different sides of the same coin.

Ubub that I recalled as a collection of houses and some shops became a city.

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and who must talk and use her iPhone

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And the smoked duck tasted so heavenly.
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Followed by views of the rice terraces of Ubub. Actually rice terraces about everywhere in Bali and not just in Ubub.
But it was unthinkable to be in Ubub and not see the rice terraces

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I did not recall such nice places to sit and order cold drinks or hot drinks in the past. You got to drink from your very
own bottle that you carry in your backpack.

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We were at the Water Palace, Tirta Gangga
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tirta_Gangga

More in Flickr folder
BLK 01 Bali (for BaliLombokKomodo)
https://www.flickr.com/photos/shanlung/sets/72157647780505735/

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In the wonderful golden days of the long ago, those maids and damsels will be frolicking with their perky breasts thrusting proudly out.
If there is a time machine, I know exactly where to go.

Pura Besakih was a place so nearly missed by all of us. I had vague memories of a totally out of the world place without clear memories as that was in 1978. We have had enough of temples too, but I was happy, and so were the rest of them when I forced the issue to be at this place.

The holiest of all temples in Bali, the "Mother Temple" of Pura Besakih is located some 3,000 feet up Gunung Agung in East Bali. This sprawling complex consolidates 23 separate temples, some dating back to the 10th century. The temple's main axis aligns with the peak of Gunung Agung, the tallest mountain and holiest site in all of Bali. I read that later only on writing of this journal.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mother_Temple_of_Besakih

We went there late in the day. And which added to the wonder as evening was setting and low clouds came in hiding part of the complex at times.

More in Flickr folder
BLK 01 Bali (for BaliLombokKomodo)
https://www.flickr.com/photos/shanlung/sets/72157647780505735/

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This person was meditating there on the same spot for the prior 4 weeks, rain or shine, day and night.

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Then we were at another temple prepared for some major festive celebrations.

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The cockfighting arena always part and parcel of any temple complex such as this temple or any other temple. I was sitting
in an arena like this in that temple overlooking Mount Batur where I saw my first cock fight to the death as part of the temple ritual for a major prayer that I wrote about earlier.

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Cockfighting a very major part of the temple ceremonies as blood is currency to invoke the gods.
I am told no more cockfighting. I am sad about that as I do not view that as cruelty.
I saw thousands of fighting cocks. I saw in the evenings , Balinese all holding their fighting cocks in their arms and gently and tenderly and lovingly massaging them. They love their fighting cocks.

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More in Flickr folder
BLK 01 Bali (for BaliLombokKomodo)
https://www.flickr.com/photos/shanlung/sets/72157647780505735/

We were at Tanah Lot temple.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tanah_Lot

Tanah Lot is claimed to be the work of the 16th-century Dang Hyang Nirartha. During his travels along the south coast he saw the rock-island's beautiful setting and rested there. Some fishermen saw him, and bought him gifts. Nirartha then spent the night on the little island. Later he spoke to the fishermen and told them to build a shrine on the rock, for he felt it to be a holy place to worship the Balinese sea gods.[3]

The Tanah Lot temple was built and has been a part of Balinese mythology for centuries. The temple is one of seven sea temples around the Balinese coast. Each of the sea temples was established within eyesight of the next to form a chain along the south-western coast. In addition to Balinese mythology, the temple was significantly influenced by Hinduism.

At the base of the rocky island, poisonous sea snakes are believed to guard the temple from evil spirits and intruders. The temple is purportedly protected by a giant snake, which was created from Nirartha's selendang (a type of sash) when he established the island.

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That was the last of my time with my friends for this trip.
We checked out of Grand Mega Resort, that Russian Oligarch Nirvana in the morning. They were drop off to the airport and I to a little hotel at Kuta Beach.

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Kuta Beach was about 3/4 green fields when I first was there. It was still about 1/2 green fields when I went with my gf Joy in 1991.
Since then, Kuta became another city.

To get to the Kuta Beach, I first got to go through this Balinese gate

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The beach appeared to be unchanged. But then, all beaches will appear as beaches.

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Except there was now this wall , and that gate separating Kuta Beach from Kuta. Which was no longer 3/4 green fields but cheek to jowl full of buildings.
I went to Ground Zero Bali to pay my respects.

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In my wandering, I stumbled on Poppies. A place I knew in 1991 when I was there with Joy. Poppies not only did not change, she gave her name to one of the major street there. Of course, I had to have dinner there.

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I went back the next day to find Poppies as I knew her. I would have stayed here if I known Poppies still existed.

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I headed back to my place. And a dip in my swimming pool before heading to Lombok the next day.
While my 2 friends did not have the time, I did have the time. To check out Lombok and Komodo Island.

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Lombok

More photos in Flickr folder BLK 02 Lombok
https://www.flickr.com/photos/shanlung/sets/72157647760312931/
12th May 2014

I was taking the slow ferry to Lombok from Padang Pai

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Sometime after leaving Bali, we crossed the Wallace Line, that line dividing Asia from Australia.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wallace_Line

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The Wallace Line or Wallace's Line is a faunal boundary line drawn in 1859 by the British naturalist Alfred Russel Wallace that separates the ecozones of Asia and Wallacea, a transitional zone between Asia and Australia. West of the line are found organisms related to Asiatic species; to the east, a mixture of species of Asian and Australian origin is present. The line is named after Alfred Russel Wallace, who noticed this clear division during his travels through the East Indies in the 19th century. The line runs through Indonesia, between Borneo and Sulawesi (Celebes), and through the Lombok Strait between Bali and Lombok. The distance between Bali and Lombok is small, about 35 kilometres (22 mi). The distributions of many bird species observe the line, since many birds do not cross even the smallest stretches of open ocean water. Some bats have distributions that cross the line, but other mammals are generally limited to one side or the other; an exception is the crab-eating macaque. Other groups of plants and animals show differing patterns, but the overall pattern is striking and reasonably consistent.

Of even greater importance to me was that I met Jim on the ferry as he was driving over from Java with some plants. Which sadly precluded me from getting a ride with him. He kind of retired and since I was in search of places to retire, he told me much of life in Lombok inviting me to look at where he stayed.

I was in Lombok as part of my planned trip to see Komodo dragons, which seemed to involve Lombok as part of that journey.
I got off the ferry, and shared a cab with some other travellers going to my part of Lombok at Senggigi. Passed by a merry wedding procession on way there. An interesting aspect of life I yearned for. The society is part of you and you part of them as it seemed all including the bride and bridegroom involved in celebrating that marriage

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I got to Ressa Homestay late in evening. Given a welcome sit by the house kitty.
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And just about to take a simple meal at simple canteen five minutes walk away.

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I noticed tissue paper provided on all tables. Even if dinner was about USD one, you get tissue paper. You never get tissue paper in coffee shop or restaurants of Singapore. People will have to work until 85 or 95 years old even at selling tissue paper. More of begging you to buy their tissue paper. Which is why no tissue paper will be provided so you have greater incentive to buy tissue paper from 75 to 85 year old folks of Singapore. A reason why folks there voted in Gallup Polls that Singapore is the most miserable country on Earth to be. A country where the top 50 highest paid politicians of the world reside in. Which is why I am looking for a country other than Singapore to retire in while looking for komodo dragons. Singapore is a ghastly nightmare against which Beijing will shine as beacon of democracy and human rights in comparison.

The Ressa Homestay where I lived in

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and the little bike that send me around

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A bit of the coast of Lombok as I rode around. Lombok was told to me to have a majority of Muslims against Bali which was largely Hindu.
Some fusion of Hindu/Muslim taken place and the folks here lived in good harmony. But I was told it might not be easy to get pork dishes here.

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I rode and rode the bike, and found I covered only a tiny fraction of the coastal road of Lombok. But I stopped often to take photos and there were roses and other flowers begging to be smelled.

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I was in Matarram and could not find the Chinese Restaurant that I was told had good pork dish. So I stop instead at a typical
Lombok Al Fresco canteen.


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The boss lady, or lauban niang in chinese

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My bag and my table

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Tissue paper provided here gratis unlike Singapore.

I ate good delicious food to my eyeballs. And the bill came to 40,000 rupiahs, or about USD4. In Singapore, if they cannot tax you, they will set a levy on you. Or they make you buy a license or certificate. You must have a Certificate of Entitlement in Singapore that will cost you about USD 100,000 before you can buy and have a car for ten years. And at end of that ten years, you must buy yet another COE. No wonder the top 50 highest paid politicans are in Singapore. The entire G8 countries politicians cost less to maintain than the politicians of Singapore. Denizons of George Orwell Animal Farm will fare better on the Gallup Poll than those living in Singapore.

Jim got in touch with me and I had dinner with him and Joyce. Joyce was yet another who wanted to spend rest of her life in Lombok.
She invited me over to her place the next day.

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The next morning I had my breakfast of fried beehoon and tempe, a kind of Indonesian fermented tofu. Damn delicious!
Pity I could not recall what I paid. Something like USD1.50 or less

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At Joyce house, and where I met Robert. He was with UN working with refugees and decide Lombok would be his little niche of paradise. When they knew I was looking for a place to be with animals, they welcomed me especially. I think my photos of Tinkerbell, Riamfada and kitties walking in ocean help a lot to break ice. Robert invited me to see his place the next day

More photos in Flickr folder BLK 02 Lombok
https://www.flickr.com/photos/shanlung/sets/72157647760312931/

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I was told Joyce place might be worth USD200k. I knew I would have to pay more than USD2,000,000 for something like hers in Singapore.
Apparently if the apartments and houses of Singapore are sold, that will be enough money to buy over the entire US of A.
How much that raised the cost of living in Singapore is something that can only be guessed.
http://mysingaporenews.blogspot.sg/2009/04/top-30-highest-paid-politicians-in.html
That was in 2009. What they get will be a lot more now

Jim gave me kind advice how to find Robert place. That I look for giant geckos on the gate. That was so enigmatic that it went
in one ear and out the other ear. Until I rode on this path and saw that gate.

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Which then opened to

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Big as I thought Joyce place was, Robert place was so much more bigger. He laughed when he told me of the tokay gecko which chased him when he disturbed his nest accidentally up the coconut tree.

He was no stranger to beasties. He kept a pair of very beautiful wild cats.

More photos in Flickr folder BLK 02 Lombok
https://www.flickr.com/photos/shanlung/sets/72157647760312931/


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The female on the right was more laid back and kind of accepted me. The male was less willing and paced up and down. I knew with time he would accept me and it was not fair for me to stay there to make him nervous. Regretfully, I told Robert we leave them alone.

Robert then took me to see his otter

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That otter was kept in the last room next to the rooms where the stray cats that he and his wife rescued when they were living in Jakarta. They brought the cats to Lombok. The otter wanted the company of the cats and broke through his fence to be with the cats.
The otter was his brother-in-law and when his brother in law came, the otter will follow him all over the garden.

Keeping of wild animals was one of the main reason why I felt I could not live in Singapore. Some folks cannot and should not even be allowed to keep dogs or cats or birds. But if one can keep any animals well, and if they are not endangered and needed for breeding, I cannot see reason to disallow keeping of animals other than dogs and cats.

If you keep a tarantula, or a snake or sugar glider you are facing jail time in Singapore.

They do not need to give peasants any reason. Hit them hard enough and often enough and peasants in Singapore will shut up and live in
the gulag of country. As said by Lee Kuan Yew in his memoirs, who volunteered to work for Japanese Kempei Tai in WW2 so he can eat and live better. LKY said he will put on his knuckle duster and meet you in a cul de sac.

Robert brought me around to show me the extent of his property and a building that he fit out as library for the neighbour kids. That was on a separate plot of land that he could sell to me at a price well within what I was prepared to pay.

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I told him I felt sorry I am at the beginning of my search for retirement place.
And many more countries ahead of me to check out such as Nepal and Spain and Central America.

We went back to the wild cats again hoping the male would accept me.

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His pacing about told me he was not accepting me yet.

I thanked Robert for showing me around and his wild animals especially. I probably will not get a place as big as his. He told me domestic help in Lombok was not expensive and cost of living in Lombok was low. I knew that first hand from the meals I had been buying not just in Lombok, but in Bali as well. The locals must thank their lucky stars they were not in thrall to Singapore politician who will live very well.

I went to Jim's place the next day.

Big as I thought Robert property was, that was dwarfed by the extent of Jim.

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More photos in Flickr folder BLK 02 Lombok
https://www.flickr.com/photos/shanlung/sets/72157647760312931/

His own tennis court

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The hills behind all part of his property. He told me he was lucky and got it in late 90s. That was a long time ago and prices were cheap. Indonesia was in turmoil with great uncertainty.

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He told me he was subdividing his land into plots and that I could buy a plot from him. At a price well within what I was prepared to pay.

I told him the same as what I told Robert.
That I felt sorry I am at the beginning of my search for retirement place.
And many more countries ahead of me to check out such as Nepal and Spain, Slovenia, and Central America.

I told him I may yet come back again after checking out those other places

I thanked him for his hospitality showing me his place. And introducing me to his friends giving me a glimpse into their life
in beautiful Lombok
Seeing how they lived and where they lived make me sure that Singapore is not the place for me at all.

I also found the continuation for Komodo dragons and booked myself onto their trip. I decided this was once a lifetime and I rather be on a bigger and more expensive boat.

You seen other photos of locals with birds and cats. They all saw photos of Tinkerbell and Riamfada and kitties in ocean. Nice icebreaker. And to show them an aspect of bird keeping and cat keeping that they can bear in mind.

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Continued in
Bali Lombok and Komodo dragons Part 2 of 2
http://shanlung.livejournal.com/146549.html

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21 Sept 2014


I have kicked Old Nic for Two years, seven incredible months, three wonderful weeks, two luvly days, 17 bloody hours, 47 misc minutes and 18 odd seconds. of cold turkey after about 45++ years of smoking. 49303 cigarettes not smoked, saving $25,884.49. Life saved: 24 weeks, 3 days, 4 hours, 35 minutes.


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LiBai mash making.
About 300 grams of beef mince, with 200 grams of chicken mince and 150 grams of dried anchovies(for the calcium). That was all done up to the kitty mash formula I wrote about in
Pakistan//Tinkerbell Kitty Mash//Dommie at the beach Ramadhan 2010 //Villa walkabout 2
http://shanlung.livejournal.com/119237.html
Instead of the almond and brazil nuts, about 100 grams of human grade groundnuts(peanuts) were used.

Making of Tinkerbell Mash
Morning with Harry & the decision// Sultan of Oman Palace// Tinkerbell Mash Batch 7
http://shanlung.livejournal.com/109957.html

suri - Read "Conditioning clicker day 3 - and some tips on suris"
http://www.livejournal.com/users/shanlung/30810.html

milli - read "Found the perfect treat and Yingshiong first "step up""
http://www.livejournal.com/users/shanlung/34432.html
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if you forgotten about clicker training

Tinkerbell Legacy - VH parrot and Clicker Training Rant 06
http://shanlung.livejournal.com/3419.html

Some thoughts on clicker - The initial experience with Tinkerbell
http://shanlung.com/clicker-L-somethoughtsonclickera.html

Clicker training and bonding with Tinkerbell
http://shanlung.com/clicker-L-ctbondinga.html

To Shanlung-Charlie and clicker training
http://shanlung.livejournal.com/126461.html

Charlie and clicker training - beyond touch target //LiBai on finger and in slow motion videos —
http://shanlung.livejournal.com/126488.html


Tinkerbell Legacy - - Rant 03 (a flighted parrot mentality) & Understanding the mind of your grey
http://shanlung.livejournal.com/2187.html
Above is probably the most important of all I have written, and the foundation to all that I have done.


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FREE FLIGHT IS LIFE AND DEATH PLEASE DO NOT TRY THIS YOURSELF UNLESS YOU DO KNOW.
NEVER EVER FREE FLY WITHOUT THE KNOWLEDGE AS THIS CAN LEAD TO LOSS AND DEATH OF YOUR BIRD.
&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&
(edited on 4th November 2011 to include below)

To Shanlung - How to do Free Flight Outside
http://shanlung.livejournal.com/129976.html
&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&



If what I wrote help you and you like to help, give a thought
for the wildlife sharing our planet.
Do write that cheque to Gerald Durrell wildlife trust

I am a life member of Durrell Wildlife Conservation Trust. Do join us to do
whatever we can for the wildlife that shared our planet.

Durrell-life member


http://www.durrellwildlife.org/
or to any wildlife conservation body of your choice







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Tinkerbell2014
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More in Flickr folder
Tinkerbell2014 Chiayi and earlier
https://www.flickr.com/photos/shanlung/sets/72157644421612204/

1 TWD = 0.0331379 USD 1 USD = 30.1770 TWD


My flight was to touch down in Taipei Airport on 10 Apr 2014 22:25 pm. It was with a bit of trepidition as we flew over the same area that MH370 disappeared and not appeared since. I was happy the lights of TaoYuan International airport beckoned to us that we would land soon, and on time. I thought I be out and into Taipei before midnight , checked into a small hotel near Sungshan railway station and having dinner on Taiwanese snacks in Lor Her Night market.

As usual with plans by mice and men, it all went awry. There was this huge humongous crowd at immigration controls. Consisting of what must be Mainland Chinese on holiday into Taiwan. It was orderly and well organised. The que moved, but as said, it was a huge crowd. I got out my paperback to read in that que. Was about 1 am when I cleared immigration, a process that used to take ten minutes or so on the past. Then at that time, the buses were less frequent. And yet another 30 minutes for bus to Taipei. By the time I reached Taipei at 230am, I knew all the snackie places would have closed. And I was hungry as I used a cheap airline who did not provide food. So I made my way to the only place where I could stay the night, enjoy myself and have a good meal which was one of those Taiwanese san wen nahs. Nothing like in the heydays of early 1990s, but still a wonderful place to stay over and have dinner of very good traditional Taiwanese food at charge similar to good restaurant.

Those that wonder about the san wen nas or sauna in Taiwan can read
what I wrote in 2005
http://shanlung.livejournal.com/11261.html

It was the Tien Lung (Heavenly Dragon) san wen na that I went to. That cost less than a hotel. It seemed that travellers making more use of that. When I turned up with luggage, they gave me a ticket for my luggage to be collected when I left Tien Lung in the morning.

I then checked into my old hotel and found inflation raised the nightly rate to TWD1200 from TWD850 in 2011 and TWD1100 in 2013. I found my old Taiwan SIM card of one year ago could be resurrected for a fee of TWD100. And since I still had TWD300 credit left, all that restored to me.

I was reminded how wonderful spring was in Taiwan. Flowers were all over the round abouts and streets of Taiwan. And it was a nice cool 23C.
I decided to go to Wulai that I love to return to again and again.

I used my phone to get in touch with my Taiwanese friends. To let Mr Yu of Chiayi know I will take the high speed bullet train to see him on Monday 14 May. To find my old American friend Arthur Truman was in town but will be flying off the next day to his new assignment in Turkey.

We arrange to meet somewhere where I used to live in Mingsheng Ser Chi (Mingsheng district). I could hardly recognise that area with so many new buildings.
He drove down to pick me up to have good lunch. We both love good food which would be best enjoyed with good friends. Then the afternoon to his place in Tien Mu to see his wife (I was his Best Man then) and his son. Tien Mu during the time I was first there with quaint restaurants changed in character to elegant restaurants. I think the whole world is changing but I got trapped a few years ago.

I got back early to my hotel with no English name. And it was ritual for me to go over to Lor Her Jia Night Market. Which remained the way it was, serving the food I had known for the last 25 years, with games as I known for 25 years, and little boys and girls netting fishes the way it was 25 years. A very comfortable section of life I had known of Taiwan the last 25 years. And at prices like it was 25 years ago. I did not upload photos of Lor Her Jia night market this time, deliberately. No changes of Lor Her Jia Night Market at all. So refer to those old photos which were unchanged

https://www.flickr.com/photos/shanlung/sets/72157634316602547/

Even to the same fortune teller with his Java bird
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And him in earlier year. Note the price remained the same.
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I decided to go to Wulai the next day that I love to return to again and again.

I picked up my lunch of roast suckling pig and skewers of wild boar meat. Mulberries were in season. I never noticed mulberries before growing that for Riamfada. Scrawny fruits as compared to the large succulent mulberries of Taiwan.

Walked a bit beyond the town and got to a cafe up the slope just before the little train to Wulai.


More in Flickr folder
Tinkerbell2014 Chiayi and earlier
https://www.flickr.com/photos/shanlung/sets/72157644421612204/

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Took the train up to the top of Wulai to look at the waterfall there. Wulai extended way beyond and I spend days and days on my bike in the past going inside and beyond. I then walked down again into Wulai town.

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That day was nice and chilly. Ideal for going to one of the hotsprings of Wulai. A hotspring that I had been to over the last 25 years. And pleased to see it was like the first time I was there 25 years ago. Cameras not allowed but I had to sneak in some shots so you folks known how that was like now, and 25 years ago. On the other side of the glass blocks will be the women section that of course, men not allowed as everyone will be naked. There were also rooms that you could use with your GF or wife and family


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The next day I decided will also be another hotspring day. I went to my old breakfast place at Minsheng road for that wonderful HsiaoLung Tang Pao (meat dumplings is an inadequate description) and the Siang Tou Jiang (salty beancurd)

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The laupan niang (proprietress) and all in that shop greeted me as old friend. Asking politely for my wife and son. They all knew my ritual of seeing Tinkerbell would always start with me in Taipei for a few days first.

I then took the bus up beyond and over YangMingShan and a ten minutes walk down a small road to HuaYiChung

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I had my lunch there first. Of Taiwanese clam chowder that tasted so winey

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And savoury pork vermicelli.

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This hotspring was even more elaborate than the one at Wulai. But I could not find a way to take photos in there.

After a couple of hours I left.
And just outside I saw a family of Taiwanese Blue Magpies. The shot I took were not as good as my friend Nelson. But those shots were taken by me.

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I watched them for a while as they played their games in the branches. Almost as in playing tag with each other. I left only when they flew off and left that area.

On Monday 14 May, I was in Chiayi and Mr Yu picked me up at the High Speed Rail Station. Had a simple lunch. Best lunch is a simple Taiwanese kind of lunch.
During the lunch, Mr Yu told me the plucking problems to point of bleeding he reported to me end Feb was over a couple weeks later. The problem that brought me to Taiwan was thankfully over even if that prompted major changes in my plans to fit a visit to Taiwan this year in between Docenting thingie and checking out countries to retire in.

Then we went to his factory. Tinkerbell was kept there. A logical place as Mr and Mrs Yu were there almost all the time. None of the kids were in Chiayi now.
I felt I aged as I seen them grew up, put through school and taken for tuition classes and now all studying in Universities and staying in campuses. First was the eldest San Siang that you recalled I tried to force into the English world . I just checked back into my livejournal and realised that was in 2005 and he was 13 years old then.
http://shanlung.livejournal.com/14026.html

I was told he would be graduating from the University this year.

My first sight of Tinkerbell in her cage in the factory.

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Mr Yu harnessing Tink

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With so many taking selfies, I thought I should take a selfie too with Tink

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We then went to a little temple. Mr Yu explain this was the temple associated with the shrine in his factory. As distinctive from the main temple that he went to and on the committee. It was very enchanting that all the temples big and small in Taiwan were on excellent relationships with each other and non of them ever claim monopoly on faith with all encouraged to come and go to various temples.

Tinkerbell was on the stand with me holding it on the passenger side as Mr Yu drove to that little temple.
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She was kind of on my lap. I was telling Mr Yu about Yingshiong. Of how I gave him away in 2006 to Jurong Bird Park. And my joy and surprise as he recognised me and flew around me and landed in front of me. More or less what I wrote in Facebook as it occured and wrote again in the last Livejournal. Tinkerbell was pecking away at my fingers holding the rod which I ignored and went on about Yingshiong. I told Tink to stop that pecking and I continued on Yingshiong. The pecking turned to biting me hard and I turned my head to look at Tink. She then stopped the biting and place her head on my belly. Since she stopped biting, I ignored her continued on Yingshiong. Tink then peck my fingers and bite me. I turned my head to look at her and she stopped the biting to place again her head on my stomach. I then saw it was in the I want my head rub position. It then hit me and Mr Yu at the same time. That Tink was getting fed up with me talking about another bird when she was there and why did I not enjoy her but got to yack on and on about another bird?

The fault was all mine. I was lost in the past and gone events and ignore the present there and then with Tinkerbell.
Tink got her head rubs and I kept my mouth shut on Yingshiong and I did not get pecked and bitten as long as I gave her head rubs and beak rubs.

While Mr Yu was doing his ritual thanksgiving in the little temple, Tink was doing her recalls to me


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We then went on to the main temple. With Mr Yu in discussion with the temple committee, I went to road at the back of the temple with Tink
The bald patch on the neck was only slightly bigger than what it was last year.

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Other than that, Tink looked fine. She did her recalls to me.

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In all those recalls, a flight feather came loose and she took it out. That was hardly plucking.

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We then walked about the area behind that big temple. And came across a mulberry bearing fruits. Big juicy mulberries compared to the scrawny berries from my old mulberry bush in Oman. I recalled how Riamfada loved the mulberries and thought Tink would love the mulberries too. Tink refused those wonderful mulberries much to my dismay.

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More in Flickr folder
Tinkerbell2014 Chiayi and earlier
https://www.flickr.com/photos/shanlung/sets/72157644421612204/


I then came to a road that was familiar. I wrote of that in 2008 April
http://shanlung.livejournal.com/76199.html

I extract what I wrote then

We turned into a road and came onto an amazing collection of cactus. They were looked after with tender care by a 80++ year old sweet darling. She was as fascinated by my Tinkerbell as I was with her cacti. She must have had at least 200 cacti of 70 different types. The bulk of those cacti were kept outside her garden. I wondered how long that would have lasted if kept that way in most other parts of the world.

I felt sorry I had to abandon that 80++ sweet darling yesterday and I was going to make it up to her. I had an interest in cactus and succulents with a nice collection which I had given to Mrs Yu who likes plants. I noticed that my sweet darling's big collection lacked the L Williamsi. It so happened that the L Williamsi I had given Mrs Yu had grown and had little buttons. Sweet darling was delighted with the 2 buttons I gave her. She knew what I given to her. She showed me that she had one of that, but that was small and dying.

Her collection had been the awe and inspiration of many living around her. My wife's friend that we visited briefly later was amazed and even more delighted that I could give her neighbour a cactus that she never had before.


The cactus collection was a shadow of what it was. The sweet darling apologised that age caught up with her and she did not have the energy to look after her cactus and much of it was given away.

Here was that sweet darling

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Sweet darling showing me what became of the Lobophora Williamsi I gave her. It was then about the size of the button you see at the base of the plant.

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Tinkerbell was then returned to the factory and her cage. There was going to be a dinner at the temple later that night.


Tuesday saw me and Tink at padi fields before our breakfast.


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Then through the street market of Chiayi

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I told her what would happen if she plucked and plucked

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We then went to our favourite part of Langtang lake. It was under refurbishing the last time we were there in June 2013. It was completed this time around. The side benches were removed and replaced with a table in the center. I think I preferred the past where one could lean against the fence. I am sure others preferred it the new way with a table.

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Bitchy Tink refused the tomatoes I so lovingly cut and laid in front of her.

But she did her recalls to me.

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We rode out to buy lunch to share with Tink.

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And back to lakeside to relax and play about.

More in Flickr folder
Tinkerbell2014 Chiayi and earlier
https://www.flickr.com/photos/shanlung/sets/72157644421612204/


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The harness made by Mr Yu was too tight. I found one of the many harnesses I made for her to use on Tinkerbell the next day.

Padi field first and followed by breakfast

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Then through the Chiayi street market

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And to Langtang Lake

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Camera on timer

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And back through Chiayi city as we were having lunch with Mr and Mrs Yu before going to Kuan tze Ling

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I told them during lunch that the grey harness was the ideal size and should be used as the model for any harness. The red harness was too tight and I seen Tink doing a lot of preening on the red harness. Tink hardly preen at all in the grey harness.

Tink eating noodles from the beef noodles

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More in Flickr folder
Tinkerbell2014 Chiayi and earlier
https://www.flickr.com/photos/shanlung/sets/72157644421612204/

At KuanTzeLing, Mrs Yu was shooting us pretty well. She could follow Tink instead of me and my guessing the flight of Tink.


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When we went back to the factory and Tinkerbell cage, I saw a piece of wood that I inserted as another perch to give Tink a bit more walking space.

I keep my fingers crossed that the wood is not poisonous. I hardly think that wood is poisonous. Mr Yu will keep an eye on that as well.

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There was a perch there before. Tink must have chewed that to pieces. And she was left with that stone perch meant to trim her claws.
Tink love the new perch and moved onto that almost immediately. You can see for yourself Tink much happier with that new perch.


In the Chiayi train station, I noticed free bikes for loan just for the asking. So unlike Singapore where one is conditioned to pay and pay the regime whatever the regime want to charge you, and you then got to thank the regime for their screwing of you. In Singapore, you even got to pay to use public toilets. A junior Minister here will also be paid 5 times what President Obama will be paid. The regime declared that is necessary as otherwise , the Ministers will be corrupt. Which implied all other countries are corrupt since they do not pay their politicians a fraction as much as Singapore.

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I was taking the train on 17 April to the East Coast of Taiwan and Taidong prior to going to Lanyu or Orchid Island on 18 April Friday.
I was staying with Hsiao Ping in her B&B
A delightful place I happily recommend to one and all.
http://3520.taitungbnb.net/about.htm

Hsiao Ping offered me her bike to ride about. But I told her I wanted to go to ChiPeng hotspring which was 20 km or so away and for the afternoon and I needed a better bike. She rented for me a better scooter for TWD 500 for the day.


In Taidong, I noticed lanes dedicated for bicycles and motorbikes

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Or else the motorbike and bicycles lane combined together


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That poor guy forced off the bike/bicycle lane as I was there taking photos.

I went on to ChiPeng. That you might have seen in http://www.shanlung.com/wtink08chipeng.htm and some very iconic photos of Tinkerbell then
https://www.flickr.com/photos/shanlung/sets/678317/

Such as

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and

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and

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I went to that hotspring which looked like what it was before way in the past before Tinkerbell, and the time with Tinkerbell, and on the 17 April 2014.
There were some places which did not seem to change. Even if there was only one of me , and no Joy and no Tinkerbell this time.

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Tinkerbell2014 Lanyu (Orchid Island)

More in Flickr folder
Tinkerbell2014 Lanyu Orchid Island
https://www.flickr.com/photos/shanlung/sets/72157644408824472/

I could not see Tinkerbell and immediately leave Taiwan. I needed a period to resettle my soul. I used that time to revisit old friends or to see and enjoy parts of Taiwan.

Lanyu , 蘭嶼, or Orchid Island, was a place I last went to with my wife in 1993 or 21 years ago. I was working in Siemens then. I could not even remember if we flew or took the ferry to Lanyu with our German friends. I remembered the most delicious chili paste/oil, the most powerful chili paste/oil was in a little restaurant in this island. We bought a small jar for a song and that lasted for a year before I had to leave Taiwan for Guangzhou.

Lanyu was called Lanyu or Orchid Island as it was originally covered with beautiful orchids. The orchids were so beautiful that they were picked to near extinction. A poor reward for being beautiful. But the name Lanyu remained even if no orchids were left now.

Langyu Island

I decided to take the ferry this time. Flying was uncertain as bad weather would postpone or curtail flights. I was to stay at Lanyu from 18 April 2014 friday returning to Taidong 22 April 2014 Tuesday and then taking the train to reach Taipei by evening with my flight out by late evening 24 April.

At Taidong port
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Ferry landed at Lanyu and port of Lanyu.

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A guy with stronger leg muscles then mine and better lungs and more macho on his bicycle to do Lanyu
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I had absolutely no recollection of this port at all. I thought never mind, I surely would find somewhere where it would click together again. I got onto the scooter rented for that few days and rode off. As I rode on, none of the places I seen fitted in my memory. Over 20 years ago, the people in Lanyu were largely the original aboriginal Tao people. Wearing the traditional loin cloth then. And staying in semi subterranean houses to withstand the typhoons that lashed the island. I saw clusters of buildings build in the Taiwanese style and lots and lots of Taiwanese there doing business or visiting. I checked into the motel I booked. I was specially noted as folks normally go for a night or two nights and there I was, booked for 4 nights. On top of that, I was a foreigner who could speak Chinese but not able to read Chinese. The establishment jaws collectively dropped when I told them I was in Lanyu 20 years ago as if I was an Ancient Relic (AR) that came alive. That motel was proud that they were one of the earliest and that was ten years ago. They got even more proud they now got an Ancient Relic (AR) in tow and staying with them.

I then rode off to explore this little island. I was told a couple of hours will be necessary to ride around the island when all you need to do is to twist your wrist to get up the hilly bits. Might take longer on a bicycle even with strong leg muscles and good lungs and fire in the belly.

The fields of taro yam were about all that looked like of what I remembered.

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Eventually I came to a track splitting off the road that lead up to the mountains. You understand that I got to turn off into that track.
Eventually coming to a lady there shooting bugs and lizards with her camera.
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I shot a lizard of Lanyu with her. The name in Chinese was so complex that I could not remember that, with names of bugs and butterflies and birds she was telling me. She was in Lanyu with a group of her friends that I met up with a while later. They all were amazed I was one of the AR. And of course, they saw photos of Tinkerbell, Riamfada and my Dommy in the ocean. I happily accepted their offer to join their explorations about the island as that lady been there 5 times already. Her memories were a lot more intact and coherent then mine.

We all rode up a zigzag track on side of the mountain to near the light house on top. Got off the bikes and onto a foot track.
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I was well aware I possessed an ok right arm among my 4 limbs. I agreed happily with them the view must have been very good for them up there. But the view where I was at was good enough for me and declined to join them. I probably could get up there, but not sure of coming down. 20 years ago, I could have hop and skipped up there or get up there in a leap and a half.

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Later posing at the gate of the lighthouse.
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On the way down with the Lanyu harbour below

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Shot more butterflies and bugs

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Later in the evening, went with them to a place where the famous Scops owls could be found. Sadly no time for me to go back to my motel to get my dazzling super bright 600 lumen head mounted light. Which was probably better for the owls who then did not get their eyes nuked by me. Their calls could be heard and tracked up the tree. Then the flashlight showed them clearly. Human eyes behold those owls a lot better than the photos from my Olympus shot with a tiny flash attachment. I had not brought with me the HUGE flash attachment currently acting as a door stop in my apartment

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One bit of advise for those who want to photo Scops owl to know their camera function very well before hand. Well meaning advise as how to set ISO numbers in the dark cannot work well for the first time. It took me about 10 minutes to comprehend ISO numbers on Olympus can be easily set with a couple of buttons after finding that on the Internet.

Take my word that the Scops owl in those dark photos. You want better photos of Scops owl of Lanyu island, go google for them.

That evening was finished with dinner. I felt embarrased that I became their guest and could not pay. Here was that famous flying fish of Lanyu.
Quite delicious too.
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The next morning, I finally saw a bit of Lanyu that I recognised. That was the airport runway on the edge of the island. Very unique and could not be forgotten. Especially as I tried to teach my girlfriend then (she was not married to me and merely living in sin with me) how to ride a motor scooter. I thought the runway would be safe enough and bigger and wider than the road. She managed to nearly run the scooter off that runway. Access to airport runway was a lot more informal and easier in earlier days. Since then, her riding on bikes remained behind me.

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I rode on slowly around the island

A photo from my ride

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Do yourself a favour and fire up Google Earth and get to Lanyu and check out systematically the street views of this beautiful island.
Or go to my flickr folder to take a look


More in Flickr folder
Tinkerbell2014 Lanyu Orchid Island
https://www.flickr.com/photos/shanlung/sets/72157644408824472/


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What Google Earth will not show you even with their street views would be my lunch of fried rice with flying fish. With that book A BRIGHT SHINING LIE of Vietnam war long borrowed by Arthur Trumen from me and returned back for me to read again.

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Delicious and from this restaurant

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Neither will Google Earth show you the drying fishes of Lanyu

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The marker to the side road leading to the last night Scops owl excursion

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The forest of Scops owl

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The mosquitoes were merciless in the day time and I left after a few minutes and a few pints of blood to them.

A bowl of noodles and flying fish for my lunch. Yes! my last flying fish of Lanyu as I was getting tired of flying fish even if they were iconic of Lanyu

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A free bike you could have to ride on in Lanyu just for the asking. Where the people were treated as people by the government and not subjects to be squeezed of money like in Singapore. Where the top 30 highest paid politicians are all from Singapore. And where the Singapore newspaper rank as 154 in the world by Reporters without Borders and BBC, March 2014, named Singapore as the most expensive country to live in http://www.bbc.com/news/business-26412821 and Gallup Poll named Singapore as the most emotionless and most unhappy country to live in even when compared to basket cases countries like Bangladesh and Phillipines and compared to war torn countries like Syria and Iraq. https://sg.news.yahoo.com/singapore-%E2%80%98least-positive%E2%80%99-country-in-the-world--survey-072026104.html Now you all understand why I cannot wish to retire in Singapore and must find another better country to be part of.

Enjoying my sorbet of pandanus fruit

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And with others that enjoyed it too

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Riding around the island, I came across this place deliberately growing the food plant of one of the most beautiful butterfly of the world, the Magellan Birdwing butterfly

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Photos would not do justice to this butterfly. There was an exquisite shimmering of blue and green from the yellow wings as if flew about.
You cannot get better view by googling as this butterfly must be appreciated in flight.

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After I seen it for the first time, I kept seeing the Magellan Birdwing over the next couple of days. I nearly got into a bad accident as I saw a pair twirling above me in great beauty. I jammed on the brakes to hear a crash behind me as a truck jammed the brakes just avoiding knocking me down because I wanted to take photos not knowing that truck was behind me.

Two ladies on free loan bikes around the Lanyu. I could not imagine they brought their own bikes as all with own bikes looked as if they the state of art bikes. Obviously they got legs of iron, powerful lungs and fire in their bellies.


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In that four days, I could not find that restaurant or that fiery chili paste/oil.

I got back to Taiwan and Taipei by evening of 22 April.

On 23 April I went to the National Museum of Taipei. I had seen an ornate carving done on the Rhinocerous Hornbill that I wanted to take photos of to show my Docent friends. To find the humoungous crowds of Chinese from Mainland China were all there in divisions and battalions. I was elbowed by this old battleax accusing me of trying to sneak into her precious tour group as if I had nothing better to do and as if the National Museum was for only her tour group .

I then found out no cameras allowed. In the past, few people where in the museum and one can quietly take photos provided you did not use flash.
Around each exhibit gathered crowds a dozen deep. After the que of 30 minutes through the door behind 10 battalions of tour groups. I missed where I wanted to go to. I looked at the crowd to reque under, shook my head , and moved to more tranquil places where I knew tourists battalions from Mainland China would not condescend to go to.

Eventually I met up with Chen Hung and wife to have dinner with. My greatest pleasure to pick up the bill this time. I apologise for the shortness of time I gave for this trip because of the fright Mr Yu gave me which happily was over. I was to go to Pokhara in March, check if I could retire there,m organise a 4WD to do Annapurna with him and other Taiwanese friends as what I wrote about in Last Footfall in Nepal http://shanlung.livejournal.com/113583.html

And eventually flying back into Singapore on morning 25 April



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30 April 2014

I have kicked Old Nic balls and told him to fuck off for Two miraculous years, three incredible months, two luvly days, 10 bloody hours, 51 misc minutes and 31 odd seconds. of cold turkey after about 45++ years of smoking. 41996 cigarettes not smoked, saving $22,047.93. Life saved: 20 weeks, 5 days, 19 hours, 40 minutes.
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LiBai mash making.
About 300 grams of beef mince, with 200 grams of chicken mince and 150 grams of dried anchovies(for the calcium). That was all done up to the kitty mash formula I wrote about in
Pakistan//Tinkerbell Kitty Mash//Dommie at the beach Ramadhan 2010 //Villa walkabout 2
http://shanlung.livejournal.com/119237.html
Instead of the almond and brazil nuts, about 100 grams of human grade groundnuts(peanuts) were used.

Making of Tinkerbell Mash
Morning with Harry & the decision// Sultan of Oman Palace// Tinkerbell Mash Batch 7
http://shanlung.livejournal.com/109957.html

suri - Read "Conditioning clicker day 3 - and some tips on suris"
http://www.livejournal.com/users/shanlung/30810.html

milli - read "Found the perfect treat and Yingshiong first "step up""
http://www.livejournal.com/users/shanlung/34432.html
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if you forgotten about clicker training

Tinkerbell Legacy - VH parrot and Clicker Training Rant 06
http://shanlung.livejournal.com/3419.html

Some thoughts on clicker - The initial experience with Tinkerbell
http://shanlung.com/clicker-L-somethoughtsonclickera.html

Clicker training and bonding with Tinkerbell
http://shanlung.com/clicker-L-ctbondinga.html

To Shanlung-Charlie and clicker training
http://shanlung.livejournal.com/126461.html

Charlie and clicker training - beyond touch target //LiBai on finger and in slow motion videos —
http://shanlung.livejournal.com/126488.html


Tinkerbell Legacy - - Rant 03 (a flighted parrot mentality) & Understanding the mind of your grey
http://shanlung.livejournal.com/2187.html
Above is probably the most important of all I have written, and the foundation to all that I have done.


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FREE FLIGHT IS LIFE AND DEATH PLEASE DO NOT TRY THIS YOURSELF UNLESS YOU DO KNOW.
NEVER EVER FREE FLY WITHOUT THE KNOWLEDGE AS THIS CAN LEAD TO LOSS AND DEATH OF YOUR BIRD.
&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&
(edited on 4th November 2011 to include below)

To Shanlung - How to do Free Flight Outside
http://shanlung.livejournal.com/129976.html
&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&



If what I wrote help you and you like to help, give a thought
for the wildlife sharing our planet.
Do write that cheque to Gerald Durrell wildlife trust

I am a life member of Durrell Wildlife Conservation Trust. Do join us to do
whatever we can for the wildlife that shared our planet.

Durrell-life member


http://www.durrellwildlife.org/
or to any wildlife conservation body of your choice







hit counter code

End of Dubai chapter// Colugo again // Yingshiong Reunion & Tinkerbell // Taijichuan at Koh Phagnan
shanlung
.

End of Dubai chapter

First entry of 2014.

Dubai was a tiny chapter.

I was engaged by a contractor who wanted to tender on a big project with very tight dateline. I tried and tried. But it was found that the dateline would be exceeded by a year and with very heavy penalties. I worked myself out of a job in the 2 months there. But that meant I could proceed on checking retirement places. If I am seen by my Livejournal entries, folks might think I am still in Dubai.

I left Dubai in mid November. Not likely to return there.
Here are some photos of Dubai to end that chapter

More of that in Flickr folder
Leaving Dubai
https://www.flickr.com/photos/shanlung/sets/72157643636333785/

Here is what you will see taking the MRT towards the Creek


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My hotel apartment



View from hotel ground level



My apartment










Zoo in Dubai cost 2 dirhams or US 20 cents or so. Beasties kept in tiny cages. A bit heart rending. But you can get close to them












The zoo in Al Ain is much bigger and far better for the beasties.
Cost more to get in, and about a couple of hours away by bus














Boating by water taxis on the Dubai Creek








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Colugo again

You know I love seeing the colugo. I was much more enchanted by the colugo at the zoo that you happen onto by chance then the animals in the zoo.

Colugos always a welcomed bonus to what I see in the zoo. I wrote of that before in

Taiping thoughts //Camera malfunction at NanHwaShi//Combat Taijichuan -some notes
http://shanlung.livejournal.com/141331.html


I extract what I wrote from there


I decided to have a year pass into the Jurong Bird Park and Singapore Zoo. That I could go there as often as I like to be with birdies and beasties. That was what I did on 28th March Thursday. WIth my year pass, I was walking in the Singapore Zoo. I will not bore you with the photos I took of the usual zoo animals.
And was about 545pm after a heavy rain. I was walking pass this tree when from the trunk a head pop out and 2 big eyes looked at me. That was not part of the zoo animals. But a wild beastie who happened to be on the tree trunk.

It was a very beautiful colugo. When I first came across him in the fading dusk light, the shade and folds of the skin became one with the tree trunk. My first sight was literally the head with 2 big eyes looking at me. I was entranced.

People mistakenly called it the flying squirrel.

He was about the size of Ivan. He tolerated me being very close to him. Light was very bad. I tried to hold as still as I could so the compact can gather enough light. I think I really need to get that SLR.

I did not want to use the flash.
But in the end, I did, moving further away from the beautiful creature in my bid to reduce the impact, and using zoom to compensate


x colugo wild in Singapore IMG_6224

x colugo wild in Singapore IMG_6226

x colugo wild in Singapore IMG_6228

x colugo wild in Singapore IMG_6229


x colugo wild in Singapore IMG_6232

I was always looking out for colugos every time I went to the zoo. Never saw them again. One day I went with my wife to the zoo.
She pointed out something like a huge bunch of grapes hanging from a bunch and asked me if that was a flying fox. I looked up and saw with wonder another colugo. I was looking for what I seen before, a head that pop out of a tree trunk. Never thought of looking for a bunch of grapes. Like stupid mankind fighting the next war with what they won in the last war.

See how beautiful the colugo can be

https://www.flickr.com/photos/shanlung/sets/72157643643202864/
New Colugo













https://www.flickr.com/photos/shanlung/sets/72157643643202864/
New Colugo
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Yingshiong Reunion & Tinkerbell

I have not been using much of Facebook in the past. But in the last 3 months, I discovered Facebook could be used in interesting ways such as capturing snippets that I felt too short for Livejournal. Those snippets grew and grew. As you can see from this entry which encapsulate only a bit. I had to leave out the baby bat that my wife discovered and my attempt to keep that insectivore bat alive via kitty mash. And kitty mash became a bloody gourment dish for the kitties. I even had to eat the salmon bits (discards from human sashimi grade salmon)I bought for the kitties when I found that to be more fresh and more tasty than what I bought for myself.

By friending me in Facebook, you will see a lot more.

I had not thought of seeing Tinkerbell this year. But a call with Mr Yu over Chinese New Year told me that Tinkerbell was plucking. My planned retirement checkout of Nepal Pokhara was placed on hold and changed to a visit to Taiwan this year.

With that , I will switch to extracts from my Facebook.
That a tiny 32 grams bird could remember me 7-8 years after less than a year with me. What more for parrots and bigger birds?

Livejournal allows one to have more photos and write more and better organised than Facebook. So I thought I better update my Livejournal as the Taiwan trip will be on in a couple of days. And followed by a month in Bali and Lombok


Extracts from Facebook
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Facebook 26 March 2014

A bit of the background to that. You knew I given up Yingshiong the white rumped shama to the Jurong Bird Park in 2005. I refused blank cheque offers so that he could fly in huge aviaries in JBP.
I went back to see him in 2008
Shama Yingshiong - Final Closure
http://shanlung.livejournal.com/2008/04/10/

Then I was there and wrote of that about a year ago uncertain if I seen Yingshiong
New camera at Jurong Bird Park // Shades of Yingshiong
http://shanlung.livejournal.com/142032.html

I was afraid of asking for Yingshiong as that was so many years ago, even if it seem to me just a short while back. What if I was told Yingshiong died or they at the JBP do not know what I was talking about. After all, they have thousands of birds, bigger and more valuable than a tiny white rumped shama.

I now cut to a recent posting I did in my facebook

[I]You know I do not have birdies now and not have any until I find that place I will retire in where ever that might be. I thought my interactions with birdies will be restricted to what I can shoot in my camera even though I got myself a year pass into Jurong Bird Park. I also got a year pass into Singapore Zoo , and a year pass into Gardens by the Bay. But perhaps my interactions with birds might be more than just looking at them. I accepted an offer to be a Docent of Wildlife Reserves Singapore , an offer made to me I suspect largely because I am a year pass holder and not because of me as Shanlung. That will give me free and unlimited access into the Zoo and JBP. I am still undergoing training to be Docent in the JBP. That depends also on my being able to pass the tests they conduct. And my being in Singapore long enough (remember I am about to go on my walkabout to check out retirement places). In a strange way, I will be having a lot to do with all kinds of parrots from African greys to Hyacinth Macaws, white rumped shamas to green leaf birds, and Hornbills, and raptors and more. See what Jurong Bird Park is about. I strongly suggest that those planning to visit JBP for the first time should allocate an entire day here at the least. You might even see and talk to me as one of your guide into the bird world.
http://www.birdpark.com.sg/

I was assigned to the station of my choice and into the JBP. In last weekend, 22 March 2014, I and others were at the JBP for station training. Part of the training was a guided walk into the South East Asian aviary. When we were there, I saw a white rumped shama flying in the huge walk in aviary and not in the side aviaries of that SEA exhibit. That shama flew in front of me a couple of times.

After that walk and the training session was over, I finally gathered my courage and asked that guide how long he was in JBP. If he told me he was there for 5 years or so, I would not ask if he known Yingshiong. He told me he was there for 15 years.

I then asked if he knew of Yingshiong with my heart in my mouth. To my surprise, he told me yes, he know of Yingshiong. And that he was flying about in that huge walk in aviary. He asked how I knew. I then told him I am the Shanlung who gave him up. He smiled and said that yes, he been to my web pages a long time ago but had not known I was among the latest batch of Docents.

I smiled too. That likely it was Yingshiong that flew a couple of time in front of me.

And since I am a Docent there, I will be seeing a lot more of Yingshiong.

And I bought my ticket to Taiwan , Apr 10-24, where I will be seeing Tinkerbell again.

Next extract from facebook
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Facebook extract 30 March 2014

On the 26 March, I wrote that I might have seen Yingshiong my old shama. Go back to that entry if you have not seen that.
Anyway, today on 30 March, was another of the Docent training at JBP from 1 to 3 pm. When that was over, I walked out of JBP with the others in my group. I was not certain if I want to check if YS was there and if he still knew me. I was a bit of a coward. I then retraced my steps and went back into JBP. I am still a Friend of Birds and a yearly pass holder to walk into JBP and Singapore Zoo.

I was glad not many people were in the South East Asia rain forest exhibit. With a heavily planted over center section walk in aviary and with hundreds of birds of different color and sizes there.

I walked and called “Yingshiong come come come”. Nothing came. I tried that a few times , glad no one was there. I reached the far end and saw a little shama high above me on a branch. I was not even sure if that was Yingshiong as those tiny white rumped shama looked so much alike.



I stood there watching him for ten minutes and decided that could not be Yingshiong. He then dived from his branch down towards me and did a circular flight about me and landed on the ground about 3-4 feet in front of me. He then flew to the side and perched there.








No other birds which were not even as shy as a shama would have done that. He sang very softly to me. I mentioned the very soft singing of YS before in http://www.shanlung.com/shamasong.html ]

I did not have my Olympus EPL5.
That camera gave up the ghost last night when I went with my wife to celebrate Earth hour with Spiderman
https://www.facebook.com/events/1425245187720226/ ]

I was going to take that to Olympus repair center to see if that camera of just one year can be resurrected.

I only had my Nokia state of art phone of 7 years ago. I resisted the arm twisting done by my wife on me to take her Iphone. That old Nokia could not take good photos. I had to be very near YS to take the photos you are seeing.

YS then flew 15 meters away to a branch on high tree. That was near a bench so I went there to sit and see what else that shama would do.



In a while, he flew down nearer to me. I decided I would not even try to get YS to land on me as he needed to be wild.






I remained contended he flew down near me. After another 30 minutes or so, I said my goodbye to him and that we will meet again.

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Next facebook extract Mar 31 2014

I felt like a fool. After all, I could not recognise Yingshiong at first. I wanted to believe that was YS but dared not believe that was YS and therefore thought that was not YS at first.
YS must have seen thousands of humanoids walking there. And to a Caucasian, Chinese all look alike and with Chinese, all Caucasians look alike.

What about to a tiny bird? Wouldnt humans all look the same to the birdie? The last time YS was with me was until early 2006 when I went to Riyadh. And for visit in 2008. Clearly it was YS who recognised me to have done that circling flights around me and landed in front of me, and flew about near me, about 3 feet from me.
YS showed better memory than I had. And when he showed he remembered me, I did not say "Yingshiong come come come" anymore. He was already there. And much as I like the thought of him landing on me, I had to restrain myself and have minimum interactions with YS for his own long term good. I hate the thought that if I got him used to landing on me, he might land on other visitors. But that being said, YS never landed on my wife and friends much as they tried even with bribing YS shamelessly.

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From my facebook 6 April 2014

Last Saturday, 5 April 2014, was another of my docenting thingie at Jurong Bird Park. That was in morning from 10 to 12. You know I had this disquiet mingled with strong desire to see Yingshiong. Part of me already more than satisfied YS still around, and can be seen and heard, and still showed that he remembered me. The other part was to leave him alone and be in his new life. I felt it will not do to keep seeing him daily or even on weekly basis. Then I thought, hang on a moment, I probably will not be able to see him for close to 2 months. You know I be flying off to Taiwan from 10-24 April. Followed by almost the whole of May in Bali and Lombok.
So I thought I say hi to him in his South East Asia Aviary. I walked to the end and place where I last saw him. I called his name but could not see him. In a while, a tiny black and red bird flew to a branch and remained there. Almost like not acknowledging me. I stood there a while and he remained on his branch for that while. I was not unhappy that he did not seem to do more such as flying that circle around me and landing in front of me that he did that first time.
I was happy enough that he was there.
That day was heavily drizzling the entire day. I was under my umbrella. My poor YS might have been under shelter of a leaf and came out into the wet and the rain for me. I told him silently until the next time and I walked off.
aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa
I decided to copy what I wrote of some of my life in martial arts here as well.
I wrote that in some Taoist forum that I since left in disgust, and likely before I got kicked out.
They love to continue in their pretense there.

Kind of continuation of what I wrote in
Taiping thoughts //Camera malfunction at NanHwaShi//Combat Taijichuan -some notes
http://shanlung.livejournal.com/141331.html

Taijichuan at Koh Phagnan

In 1993 when I was about as good as I could be in taijichuan, I was on a walkabout on the island of Koh Phagnan off the Southern coast of Thailand.

I saw posters about on Taijichuan classes being taught by a taichi master. I had to ride on my bike and hunted down that place.

Saw that was a Caucasian in his mid 20s living in a Thai house all ready to teach taijichuan. He married a local thai.

We started chatting. I told him I was interested in taijichuan, leaving out my background as irrelevant. I was there to learn of him and not he to learn of me.

He proudly told me he finished the course of Yang jia taijichuan in Penang with an hour lesson twice week, taking about 6 months. He also showed me a pile of taichi books that he was reading, with another pile of video tapes on taichichuan. I asked him if he did tuishou in Penang and he told me his master there did not know tuishou but he picked that up from books. He told me his master thought he was good enough to open a taijischool after 3-4 more months there with him.

I got an earful of taijichuan and Tao from him. Everything came from the Tao. Roses , cowdung and a host of other things came from the Tao. So why not taijichuan? Even more so when the symbol for taijichuan is the YingYang sign?

Since I also had a glass of cold water from him, I let him go on and on.

Sadly that is about the state of taijichuan. Lots of masters and charlatans teaching more tiny masters and charlatans.
To wave and move arms and legs slowly will magically put you to feel the chi forces of the world and to tap on those energies.

Not knowing taijichuan, they created a world of chi running all over here and there, mixing up with taoism and fantasy and telling that one be at peace in the world and love all (to make sure they got cast in stone excuses that they need never have to show their Immortal Imcomparable Fist)

How to tell him that I was a mere student after years and years and not as elevated as he being a master. Perhaps he was wiser than me, and his twice weekly dose of taijichuan from someone who do not know how to tuishou was a lot better than my daily 6++ hours and with Masters that fajing me all over.

I felt we did not even have a common ground in which I could talk with him. Hands on with me would just embarrased him and I saw no need for me to be a self declared policeman as to purity of taijichuan. Beside, he was a nice chap and did give me a glass of water unasked . Just an interesting education for me as to the other facets of the world of taijichuan.

I thank him for the glass of water, said I think about his classes, and rode off back that road to a place where I knew I could get a nice cold Singha beer and watch the rest of the world go by.


Idiot on the Path
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8 April 2014

I have kicked Old Nic balls and told him to fuck off for Two miraculous years, two incredible months, one wonderful week, four luvly days, 20 bloody hours, 24 misc minutes and 14 odd seconds. of cold turkey after about 45++ years of smoking. 40894 cigarettes not smoked, saving $21,469.54. Life saved: 20 weeks, 1 day, 23 hours, 50 minutes.





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LiBai mash making.
About 300 grams of beef mince, with 200 grams of chicken mince and 150 grams of dried anchovies(for the calcium). That was all done up to the kitty mash formula I wrote about in
Pakistan//Tinkerbell Kitty Mash//Dommie at the beach Ramadhan 2010 //Villa walkabout 2
http://shanlung.livejournal.com/119237.html
Instead of the almond and brazil nuts, about 100 grams of human grade groundnuts(peanuts) were used.

Making of Tinkerbell Mash
Morning with Harry & the decision// Sultan of Oman Palace// Tinkerbell Mash Batch 7
http://shanlung.livejournal.com/109957.html

suri - Read "Conditioning clicker day 3 - and some tips on suris"
http://www.livejournal.com/users/shanlung/30810.html

milli - read "Found the perfect treat and Yingshiong first "step up""
http://www.livejournal.com/users/shanlung/34432.html
aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa

aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa
if you forgotten about clicker training

Tinkerbell Legacy - VH parrot and Clicker Training Rant 06
http://shanlung.livejournal.com/3419.html

Some thoughts on clicker - The initial experience with Tinkerbell
http://shanlung.com/clicker-L-somethoughtsonclickera.html

Clicker training and bonding with Tinkerbell
http://shanlung.com/clicker-L-ctbondinga.html

To Shanlung-Charlie and clicker training
http://shanlung.livejournal.com/126461.html

Charlie and clicker training - beyond touch target //LiBai on finger and in slow motion videos —
http://shanlung.livejournal.com/126488.html


Tinkerbell Legacy - - Rant 03 (a flighted parrot mentality) & Understanding the mind of your grey
http://shanlung.livejournal.com/2187.html
Above is probably the most important of all I have written, and the foundation to all that I have done.


aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa


FREE FLIGHT IS LIFE AND DEATH PLEASE DO NOT TRY THIS YOURSELF UNLESS YOU DO KNOW.
NEVER EVER FREE FLY WITHOUT THE KNOWLEDGE AS THIS CAN LEAD TO LOSS AND DEATH OF YOUR BIRD.
&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&
(edited on 4th November 2011 to include below)

To Shanlung - How to do Free Flight Outside
http://shanlung.livejournal.com/129976.html
&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&



If what I wrote help you and you like to help, give a thought
for the wildlife sharing our planet.
Do write that cheque to Gerald Durrell wildlife trust

I am a life member of Durrell Wildlife Conservation Trust. Do join us to do
whatever we can for the wildlife that shared our planet.

Durrell-life member


http://www.durrellwildlife.org/
or to any wildlife conservation body of your choice







hit counter code

Blues of Billy Blues/ / There was this dog // That breeding Formosan Bluebirds that I missed
shanlung
.


Blues of Billy Blue

I am now writing from a hotel apartment in Dubai. I accepted an offer from a company I worked for before. My hunting for a place and country to retire in was abruptly placed on hold. Sadly I was too tempted by the money even though I felt I had enough. I also enjoyed the work I did and the interactions with other people.

This is the view as I looked out of the floor to ceiling window of my Dubai living room. The fronds of man made peninsula Palm Jumeirah and the buildings on it seen beyond and between those two buildings. If you had not known of the Palm Jumeirah, click below.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Palm_Jumeirah

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And the largest public aquarium in the world in Dubai Mall where fishes and people oggled each other.

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The tallest building in the world, by day, and by night

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View from my 39th floor office

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Yes, that building was twisted and not a fault from my camera lense.

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P9210127

When I first came to Dubai, Middle East in 2008, I stumbled on Billy Blues near the Satwa Roundabout. That was in the Rydges Plaza hotel. That little restaurant had a charm of its own, a bustling bar/restaurant with pool tables and darts, and very good tasty baby back ribs that melted off the ribs when you look and salivate over the plate. I got to like Billy Blues for the food and the atmosphere and went back again and again when I was in Dubai. Then I was in Oman and joined my my wife. On the times we went to Dubai, I brought her to this Billy Blues.

When I left M.E. from time to time, I thought of Billy Blues.

So when I got back to Dubai 2 weeks ago, I had to make a trip to Billy Blues. With the running of the MRT of Dubai, I got to Satwa roundabout by train and bus. I had not decided yet on getting a car. Should I felt my stay in Dubai be more permanent, not only I get a car. I will yank my wife to join me by the roots of her hair. Dont know about the kitties as Ivan too old to go quarantine. And then maybe a birdie join our lives here. I rather make use of the cards in my hand then to wait for an ideal hand.

I felt in a short while, I would be ordering that baby back ribs and a beer. Some changes were made.
I saw the hotel changed hands and name and was called Chelsea Plaza hotel. I took the lift up to where Billy Blues was.

I was wondering why it was quiet. Then I saw a sign on the door of Billy Blues. That it closed on Aug 31, about 3 weeks ago.

I felt it was so unfair. My dreams of those tender meat melting from those delicious ribs remained dreams and memories.

I was really feeling so blue.

=============================================================================================================

There was this dog.
I was sure that was a good dog even if I only recalled it as a creamy off white dog and not even certain of the breed (or breeds that gone into that dog)

I did not even recall that dog with good memories. You understand that after I nearly lost my family jewels because of the presence of that dog, despite the kilometers of open and empty beaches on Oman, that dog came close to me.

Despite the photos of Dommie walking through tide pools to me,
P1080150
Dommie was paranoid of water and the sea at the beginning. It took time even for me to con Dommie that water wading was a pleasure.


That near lost of my family jewels was not even done by that dog, but by Dommie as he tried to scramble up my thighs into my shorts earlier. That the dog came along was more than Dommie could handle that time.

The sordid details written some time ago in
Last Footfall in Nepal// Sharon & kitty advice // Riamfada over weekend 18-19 March
http://shanlung.livejournal.com/113583.html

That was one of Bill White , an Alaskan, dogs.

I did not even know that dog name. And that dog did not even know my name either.
That dog, or his presence then, was a part of my life, existing only in memories now like Billy Blues baby back ribs.

I was told by my wife a few days ago that dog went on to a better world.
He was ran over in Kamchatka Peninsula where he was taken to by Bill.
A Russian who drank too much and not too careful send that dog on.

==========================================================================================
That breeding Formosan Bluebirds that I missed

You recalled in Tinkerbell 2013
http://shanlung.livejournal.com/142489.html

where I went to see Tink in June,

The next day I was at the airport in the departure lounge waiting for my flight. I received a message from Nelson Liu that he discovered a nest of Blue Magpies inviting me to join him. That was a bit sad as I love the blue magpies. That discovery came too late for me. I was consoled later when he send me some shots of those beautiful blue magpies


Nelson did even better and put more photos into his blog.
You need not read Chinese to enjoy those photos of the Blue Magpies and other Taiwanese birds and the landscape.

My last reports on Qinghai plateau was already too thick to include Nelson when he wrote to me late August.
So it is here for all of you.

http://nelsontraveller.blogspot.tw/2013/08/summer-sun-shining-shadow-part-i.html

http://nelsontraveller.blogspot.tw/2013/08/summer-sun-shining-shadow-part-ii-sunset.html
http://nelsontraveller.blogspot.tw/2013/08/summer-sun-shining-shadow-part-iii.html
http://nelsontraveller.blogspot.tw/2013/08/summer-sun-shining-shadow-part-iii_24.html


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27 Sept 2013

I have kicked Old Nic for One miraculous year, seven incredible months, four wonderful weeks, two luvly days, 13 bloody hours, 26 misc minutes and 27 odd seconds. of cold turkey after about 45++ years of smoking. 31036 cigarettes not smoked, saving $16,294.19. Life saved: 15 weeks, 2 days, 18 hours, 20 minutes.


aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa
LiBai mash making.
About 300 grams of beef mince, with 200 grams of chicken mince and 150 grams of dried anchovies(for the calcium). That was all done up to the kitty mash formula I wrote about in
Pakistan//Tinkerbell Kitty Mash//Dommie at the beach Ramadhan 2010 //Villa walkabout 2
http://shanlung.livejournal.com/119237.html
Instead of the almond and brazil nuts, about 100 grams of human grade groundnuts(peanuts) were used.

Making of Tinkerbell Mash
Morning with Harry & the decision// Sultan of Oman Palace// Tinkerbell Mash Batch 7
http://shanlung.livejournal.com/109957.html

suri - Read "Conditioning clicker day 3 - and some tips on suris"
http://www.livejournal.com/users/shanlung/30810.html

milli - read "Found the perfect treat and Yingshiong first "step up""
http://www.livejournal.com/users/shanlung/34432.html
aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa

aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa
if you forgotten about clicker training

Tinkerbell Legacy - VH parrot and Clicker Training Rant 06
http://shanlung.livejournal.com/3419.html

Some thoughts on clicker - The initial experience with Tinkerbell
http://shanlung.com/clicker-L-somethoughtsonclickera.html

Clicker training and bonding with Tinkerbell
http://shanlung.com/clicker-L-ctbondinga.html

To Shanlung-Charlie and clicker training
http://shanlung.livejournal.com/126461.html

Charlie and clicker training - beyond touch target //LiBai on finger and in slow motion videos —
http://shanlung.livejournal.com/126488.html


Tinkerbell Legacy - - Rant 03 (a flighted parrot mentality) & Understanding the mind of your grey
http://shanlung.livejournal.com/2187.html
Above is probably the most important of all I have written, and the foundation to all that I have done.


aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa


FREE FLIGHT IS LIFE AND DEATH PLEASE DO NOT TRY THIS YOURSELF UNLESS YOU DO KNOW.
NEVER EVER FREE FLY WITHOUT THE KNOWLEDGE AS THIS CAN LEAD TO LOSS AND DEATH OF YOUR BIRD.
&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&
(edited on 4th November 2011 to include below)

To Shanlung - How to do Free Flight Outside
http://shanlung.livejournal.com/129976.html
&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&



If what I wrote help you and you like to help, give a thought
for the wildlife sharing our planet.
Do write that cheque to Gerald Durrell wildlife trust

I am a life member of Durrell Wildlife Conservation Trust. Do join us to do
whatever we can for the wildlife that shared our planet.

Durrell-life member


http://www.durrellwildlife.org/
or to any wildlife conservation body of your choice







hit counter code

Running about QingHai Plateau Part 2 of 2
shanlung
Continued from Running about QingHai Plateau Part 1 of 2
http://shanlung.livejournal.com/142996.html

Thursday 22 Aug 2013


More photos in Flickr collection "Running about QingHai Plateau"
http://www.flickr.com/photos/shanlung/sets/72157635405840564/

We had another good local breakfast. We all love eating and ate as well as we could.
And then it was off to the Mogao Grotto 莫高窟 which was inseparable from DunHuang
See what my betters wrote of Mogao Grotto
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mogao_Caves

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With Ms Freiheit Chen at entrance gateway to Mogao Grotto

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Alba Wu about to join heavenly angel up to the sky to play pipa

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The complex was vast. No camera was allowed. I felt the crowd control was very good. Groups of us were allowed and the entry fee included a guide to explain and to mother-hen that group.
What you see above were new walls and walkways to enable easy access and to protect the fragile murals inside the grottos. We all were given headphones receiving the words from the individual guide to maintain the silence of Mogao.

Some of the grottos were sealed off for studies done by experts or too small to allow groups to prevent deteoriation.

About 2 hours was as much as I could absorb what was done by unknown artists over thousand years. Vast as the 300 odd meter complex we were allowed into, it was a fraction of that 300 meter we were guided into. How much murals can you see of Buddhas and their angels dancing topless playing the lute?

Yet the grottoes stretch for about 2 kilometer on the bank of the river. Caves existed on several levels, and some went deep into the bank. If they are lined up in a row, they would be a gallery of 30 kilometers long.

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Without the walkways and stairs, can you hope to get to those places?

Here is a short 3 mins video by UNESCO/NHK of the grotto to give an idea of what we seen.


If you want more, here is an hour long



Horsing about way way way outside the Mogao grottos.

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And I discovered an image so shocking to behold.

You know of the V for Vendetta mask so fondly used by protestors.


David Lloyd was said to design that mask. Except that design was already painted 600 to 900 years ago by an unknown artist in the Mogao grottos. I pointed this out to my friend ChengHung. He was one Taiwanese with a foot on the West and knew of that V for Vendetta Mask. I regret I did not take a photo of that part of the mural. Especially as that was the front cover of a book in the souvenir/books. Or bought that book to reproduce here that image for the world and for David Lloyd to see and explain the quaint coincidence of that image.

Had lunch, but did not take photos of that lunch. I only remembered that was good, as I could not remember any meals which was bad.

Went back to hotel to rest a while and then at 430 pm, we were at the sand dunes of Yueyaquan 月牙泉 National Park.

Yueyaquan 月牙泉 referred to a lake in the shape of a crescent moon.

Photo below by ChengHung energetic to climb to top of dune to take this
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The sand dunes

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I would not care to walk to the top even if they were just hills. But sand! there must be an easier way.

Chosing the camels. The orange cover on the feet to prevent the fine sand from getting into the shoes

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Off we went

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Xieu Feng decided to go on foot to take photos, half walking and half running. She was incredibly fit

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Camels stop halfway up. Camels too clever to go up to the top leaving that to less intelligent humans. Who went up there to slide down a sledge later.

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I was as clever as the camels. And went back down on them with another 4 while the rest went up and over the dunes.

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The above photo was to show how soft the sand was for you to imagine walking and climbing on the dunes.

Yet to my horror, the others decided the dunes to be appealing enough to change their minds to walk up to the others on top and waving at them.

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I decided to go take some photos of the quaint pagoda at the crescent lake instead

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If you like to know how the view was like from up there on top of dunes, and other views of this trip, go see

http://www.flickr.com/photos/57496390@N06/sets/72157635301509418/page4/

Friday 23 Aug 2013



More photos in Flickr collection "Running about QingHai Plateau
http://www.flickr.com/photos/shanlung/sets/72157635405840564/

AQinghai 04 DunHuang JiuQuan city

We left Dunhuang after our usual very good breakfast.

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And almost immediately, hit the desert once more on leaving Dunhuang. Very clearly visible where water was , and where no water was.

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Just to remind us of the birthplace of the incredibly sweet Hami melon, stalls were encountered by the side of the road selling the melons.

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Where there was water, we passed by fields of sunflowers

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or flowers

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or fields of windmills

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And reached the city of Jiu Quan 酒泉 City . Jiu is wine and Quan is spring just to let you know. The city's name came from legendary tale of the young Han general Huo Qubing, who poured a jar of precious wine into a local creek in order to share the taste with his troops, in celebration of their crushing victory against Xiongnu forces. The creek was later named Jiu Quan ("Wine Spring"), which became the name of the Han prefecture established there. It was an active military garrison during the Later Han Dynasty.[1]

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Just across from our hotel

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The flying horse of Gansu is iconic and seen in all cities of Gansu as I found out the next day.
Gansu was known in ancient times as the place where best horses came from.

A bronze from 200AD


Gansu was supposed to be an impoverished inner province. I seen instead people well dressed and looking very well fed and walking about with a hand fingering on their iphones. And the variety of electrci bicycles that I seen on the roads there was mind boggling. As if many companies made many different types of electric bicycles and testing them there. I think a trade war will come about from the electric bicycles made in JiuQuan city and the rest of the world.

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I think the electric bicycle was real compared well with the flying horse which was mythical.

Nearby was the Jiayuguan Pass. Also known as the TienHsiaTiYiXiongGuan 天下第一雄 關, or Under Heaven Number 1 Martial Pass
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jiayuguan_(pass)

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Over the other side, barbarians and demons roam.
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On this side, women, wine and song.

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At the gate

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temple to Guan Kung inside the complex
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Exploits of Guan Kung
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After this, we went to another section of the Great Wall of China

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They went up
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and up
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I let my telephoto lens do the walking
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You all know my leg was wonky. The steps were very steep. I would not take the chance of injury. So I went on down to the fishing pond below to see people fishing there and to watch the pond being stocked with fish for the fishing


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Eventually we all were reunited again by the fishing pond and went back to hotel.

And had a good dinner

Of wonderful braised pork belly
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and good food

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Followed by usual whiskey, wine and fruits in the room
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Alba had this stuff to put on face to take away wrinkles and make one more beautiful
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She had many of those

I also wanted to be beautiful. The old ugly me

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The girsl there promised they would protect me from sweet young things out to snatch me. So I put on one to be more beautiful

QH04 dunhuang to juiquan P8230372

Other guys decided to be more beautiful as well

QH04 dunhuang to juiquan P8231111

Saturday 24 Aug 2013



More photos in Flickr collection "Running about QingHai Plateau
http://www.flickr.com/photos/shanlung/sets/72157635405840564/

AQinghai 05 JiuQuan city to Zhangye town

After breakfast, or course after breakfast, we set off again.
This time to Zhangye city.

We passed by plantations in front of the range of snow cap QianLian 前連山 mountains in the south.

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We passed by fields in front of the range of snow cap QianLian 前連山 mountains in the south.

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And we were into Zhangye city
Passed by banks of public toilets, nothing like what we encountered before Dunhuang a couple days ago.

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We found our hotel and checked in. And as we were still in Gansu, the flying horse of Gansu outside our hotel making me felt a touch of deja vu.

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Gansu very proud of their flying horse. Dunhuang in Gansu also. But Dunhuang got their nubile angels playing lute backwards with proud breasts jutting forward and Dunhuang more proud of their lute playing angels than of flying horses. Dunhuang mayor put up so many lute playing angels that no space left for flying horses.

We had lunch, and then set off to Mati Si 马蹄寺

Passing farms and farmers on the way south

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Mati Si was like an enchanted fairy land, of brilliant emerald green fields and trees. And strange temples behind the trees playing peeka boo with us

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Mati Si will be a place to spend a few days if not weeks in. I had not the energy to explore as it was too much for me to take in and hopeless to try to see it all in the couple of hours allocated. I been on the road for a week already with little rest in between as you have read in this blog. I could not even join the others with my wonky leg and slightly less wonky body as they raced about that 3000 meters altitude.

I had to content myself to taking a few photos.

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See my friends photos as they went higher and further then me in Mati shi
http://www.flickr.com/photos/57496390@N06/sets/72157635301509418/page6/

And this blog written by Adam who spend 8 hours exploring there
http://blog.holachina.net/?p=4657

We then went to Zhanye DanXia landform.

You might even like to click on the URL below to see a different perspective and aerial shots by people who know how to use settings in camera better than mine

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/travel/picturegalleries/9550531/Colourful-rock-formations-in-the-Zhangye-Danxia-Landform-Geological-Park.html?frame=2343145

Here are some of my shots

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Then it got dark and time to go back to Zhangye town. It was our last dinner together.
It was a very good dinner. And back to hotel for a last night of drinking and laughing.
And for you folks to see how the room was like in a small provincial town in China. Very different from when I travelled about 20 years ago.

QH06 Zhangye Xining P8240001

Sunday 25 Aug 2013



More photos in Flickr collection "Running about QingHai Plateau
http://www.flickr.com/photos/shanlung/sets/72157635405840564/

AQinghai 06 Zhangye town to Xining

We had breakfast in a local breakfast place in this street

QH06 Zhangye Xining P8250006

Leaving Zhangye town and scene of Sunday street market

QH06 Zhangye Xining P8250017

Racing to Xining to make it in time for the plane to Taiwan for my friends.
Passing fields and farms and fields and farms

QH06 Zhangye Xining P8250033

QH06 Zhangye Xining P8250043

QH06 Zhangye Xining P8250060

QH06 Zhangye Xining P8250067

Climbing higher and into meadows and herds of yaks

QH06 Zhangye Xining P8250071

QH06 Zhangye Xining P8250078

Passing flocks of sheeps and yaks

QH06 Zhangye Xining P8250115

QH06 Zhangye Xining P8250124

QH06 Zhangye Xining P8250136

QH06 Zhangye Xining P8250146

Stop to stretch legs
QH06 Zhangye Xining P8250162

Another stop, to get water and to stretch legs

Ice cold water
QH06 Zhangye Xining P8250179

QH06 Zhangye Xining P8250193

QH06 Zhangye Xining P8250201

Pretty decent houses everywhere I turned my head. Never seen abject poverty here

QH06 Zhangye Xining P8250225


Lunch stop here

QH06 Zhangye Xining P8250232

Moving on again

QH06 Zhangye Xining P8250241

Farmers selling yogurt and honey
QH06 Zhangye Xining P8250248

Farm house

QH06 Zhangye Xining P8250257

View from lookout point

QH06 Zhangye Xining P8250290

QH06 Zhangye Xining P8250291



Climbing higher

QH06 Zhangye Xining P8250319

Through mountain

QH06 Zhangye Xining P8250335





QH06 Zhangye Xining P8250349

QH06 Zhangye Xining P8250366

QH06 Zhangye Xining P8250376

QH06 Zhangye Xining P8250384

QH06 Zhangye Xining P8250386

QH06 Zhangye Xining P8250397

QH06 Zhangye Xining P8250400

Into Xining city

QH06 Zhangye Xining P8250406

And airport for their flight back that day.

QH06 Zhangye Xining P8250408

I went to Xining city.
Stayed a night over and flew back to Singapore the next day.
All in all, it cost each of us 3300RMB for the share of the chartered bus and hotels and dining and entries to all those sites. And we got memories which were priceless as you have seen.



More photos in Flickr collection "Running about QingHai Plateau
http://www.flickr.com/photos/shanlung/sets/72157635405840564/


aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa
9 Sep 2013
I have kicked Old Nic for One miraculous year, seven incredible months, one wonderful week, five luvly days, 14 bloody hours, 23 misc minutes and 0 odd seconds. of cold turkey after about 45++ years of smoking. 30120 cigarettes not smoked, saving $15,813.30. Life saved: 14 weeks, 6 days, 14 hours, 0 minutes.


aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa
LiBai mash making.
About 300 grams of beef mince, with 200 grams of chicken mince and 150 grams of dried anchovies(for the calcium). That was all done up to the kitty mash formula I wrote about in
Pakistan//Tinkerbell Kitty Mash//Dommie at the beach Ramadhan 2010 //Villa walkabout 2
http://shanlung.livejournal.com/119237.html
Instead of the almond and brazil nuts, about 100 grams of human grade groundnuts(peanuts) were used.

Making of Tinkerbell Mash
Morning with Harry & the decision// Sultan of Oman Palace// Tinkerbell Mash Batch 7
http://shanlung.livejournal.com/109957.html

suri - Read "Conditioning clicker day 3 - and some tips on suris"
http://www.livejournal.com/users/shanlung/30810.html

milli - read "Found the perfect treat and Yingshiong first "step up""
http://www.livejournal.com/users/shanlung/34432.html
aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa

aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa
if you forgotten about clicker training

Tinkerbell Legacy - VH parrot and Clicker Training Rant 06
http://shanlung.livejournal.com/3419.html

Some thoughts on clicker - The initial experience with Tinkerbell
http://shanlung.com/clicker-L-somethoughtsonclickera.html

Clicker training and bonding with Tinkerbell
http://shanlung.com/clicker-L-ctbondinga.html

To Shanlung-Charlie and clicker training
http://shanlung.livejournal.com/126461.html

Charlie and clicker training - beyond touch target //LiBai on finger and in slow motion videos —
http://shanlung.livejournal.com/126488.html


Tinkerbell Legacy - - Rant 03 (a flighted parrot mentality) & Understanding the mind of your grey
http://shanlung.livejournal.com/2187.html
Above is probably the most important of all I have written, and the foundation to all that I have done.


aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa


FREE FLIGHT IS LIFE AND DEATH PLEASE DO NOT TRY THIS YOURSELF UNLESS YOU DO KNOW.
NEVER EVER FREE FLY WITHOUT THE KNOWLEDGE AS THIS CAN LEAD TO LOSS AND DEATH OF YOUR BIRD.
&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&
(edited on 4th November 2011 to include below)

To Shanlung - How to do Free Flight Outside
http://shanlung.livejournal.com/129976.html
&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&



If what I wrote help you and you like to help, give a thought
for the wildlife sharing our planet.
Do write that cheque to Gerald Durrell wildlife trust

I am a life member of Durrell Wildlife Conservation Trust. Do join us to do
whatever we can for the wildlife that shared our planet.

Durrell-life member


http://www.durrellwildlife.org/
or to any wildlife conservation body of your choice







hit counter code

Running about QingHai Plateau Part 1 of 2
shanlung
.

More photos in Flickr collection "Running about QingHai Plateau
http://www.flickr.com/photos/shanlung/sets/72157635405840564/

QingHai Plateau is a very high plateau next to Tibet.
My Taiwanese friends decided on this trip a few months ago. When I met them in Taiwan in June this year, I was told of this pending trip and accepted my request to be included in that trip. I knew roughly a mini bus would be chartered and we be off on a roam about the highlands of China starting from Xining.

AQinghai 00 Overall

Since I was semi retired and with more time then them, I had to tailor my time to their trip. They planned to be in Xining on Sunday 18 Aug 2013 and be flying off on Sunday 25 Aug 2013. So I planned to be into Xining on the 17 Aug and flying off on 26 Aug 2013. It was not possible to match their time as they would be flying into Taiwan and I be flying to Singapore.

So it was on 17 Aug I flew to Beijing and then caught the flight to Xining arriving at about 9 pm.
The last time I was in China was back in 1999. I expected Xining to be a sleepy little town and got a shocked as the bus from the airport took me into a huge city city. 40 to 50 floors of apartment blocks greeted me. They were lighted up as if electricity was free. Bright glowing lights almost as bright as laser lights and hurting my eyes were on the apartment blocks with each screaming out I GOT MONEY TO THROW and answered by yet other developements that I GOT MONEY TO THROW AS WELL.

I eventually got to the hostel, Qinghai Hengyu International Youth Hostel, where we all would meet up at
No.13 Ma Bufang Mansion, Weimin Street.

I was the first there and was given a bunk bed in a room with 10 bunks. The rooms segregated by sex and communal baths and toilets located separately. Luckily the very hot summer was over.
Mosquitoes came. But with others there, I could not light mosquito coil. Eventualy I got to sleep.
Got up the next morning to find the windows were sealed shut which I thought was a bit strange. All in all, this hostel was acceptable and a lot better than the hotels I remembered in China in mid 90s. But then the hotels would cost about 10 to 25 RMB a night and this hostel bunk bed cost me 50 RMB.

QH00xining P8180010

QH00xining P8180019

Weimin street

QH00xining P8180020

Xining was too huge a place to run about given my extra day. I would be contented just to stay in the hostel and wait for my friends.

But I went out for breakfast and found next door was the Ma BuFang Mansion and which was a tourist attraction. I had to go in and found that Ma Bu Fang was one of the Chinese warlords and wiki said this of him
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ma_Bufang

QH00xining P8180022

QH00xining P8180027

QH00xining P8180028

This was kept in the way it was, a Nationalist stronghold which it was.

I then found why the hostel windows could not be opened. The building of the hostel was the armoury of Ma BuFang.

QH00xining P8190099

Understandably, the windows were only to provide light and integral part of the wall itself.
Later in the afternoon, XueFeng and Ms Heng her friend, Taiwanese but living in Shanghai came. I went out with them to buy some supplies needed by the group and got a couple of photos so you can see how Xining downtown was like. This was a huge huge city, much bigger than a couple of photos can show. Do a Google Earth look down at Xining to find out

QH00xining P8180087

QH00xining P8180085

Later in the evening, my very good friends from Taiwan came . There were a couple of stragglers, one caught by visa problem and another by typhoon and who would join us later. We had dinner in Xining on assortment of roasted lamb and then we went back to sleep to be ready for the next day and start

Monday 19 Aug 2013

AQinghai 01 Xining to Chaka Town

QH00xining P8190096

QH00xining P8190100

We had a simple breakfast in the hostel and then set off on our bau cher or charter bus.
To pick up the first straggler, Arthur arriving that morning at Xining railway station after a hard train ride from Sian city.

Then we went to Kumbum monastery of wonderful legends and colorful beginnings
A drop of blood fell from Tsongkhapa’s umbilical cord when it was cut after his birth. From this drop grew a wondrous white sandalwood tree. It has a very broad trunk and 100,000 leaves, which it never sheds. In Tibetan, the number 100,000 merely signifies a very large number, and is not meant literally. On each leaf is an image of the Buddha Sinhanada (Seng-ge sgra). On the bark of the branches and trunk are the designs of the seed syllables and hand implements of this Buddha.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kumbum_Monastery
http://www.berzinarchives.com/web/en/archives/study/history_buddhism/buddhism_tibet/gelug/brief_history_kumbum_monastery.html


QH01kumbum P8190101

QH01kumbum P8190109

QH01kumbum P8190132

QH01kumbum P8190200



I felt the contrast with those monastery I visited in 1987 when in Tibet. Or even more recently as in 1998 in Yunnan. Where most of the people going to the monasteries were pilgrims and camera toting tourists a minority.
On that morning, about 99.6% of the visitors were camera toting tourists. In the temples of the past that I been to, the only light inside came from tiny yak butter burning lamps and wicks. The rest of the temple in the dark and only when you get to the next alcove of worship that you see the icons and tangkas and images lit up in flickering lights.

Electric lights were strung up in the prayer halls casting light on what would be a mystery. I was glad the temple had a policy of forbidding cameras or the flash lights would light up even more.

We had hired a guide to to take us through and to explain to us.
The guide knew his stuff and explained with fervour. But it was an overload on the senses as one temple blend into the next and one Buddha blend into another. What that should be slowly digested maybe over a period of weeks were force fed into us in a couple of hours until I was lurching and reeling and glad it was over.
And we were brought to only a fraction of this Kumbum complex.
http://www.flickr.com/search/?q=kumbum

We got back on our bus. And went past sweeping grasslands and meadows.
With sheeps and yaks.

And at times, yurts and prayer flags.

QH01qinghaihu P8190220

QH01qinghaihu P8190226

QH01qinghaihu P8190235

And in case we all did not know, an archway across the road that read QingHai Hu (QingHai Lake) in Chinese.

QH01qinghaihu P8190242

Along the main road, locals would be waving flag to encourage the motorist to go down their track to the shore of the huge lake and to pay them toll on the track.
Which we did for 50RMB a head

QH01qinghaihu P8190254

QH01qinghaihu P8190256

QH01qinghaihu P8190267

The elevation of Qinghai Hu was 3200 meters.
And we encountered groups after groups after groups of cyclists on the road

QH01qinghaihu P8190270

QH01qinghaihu P8190274


And flocks of yaks and sheeps. We stopped at one of the flock. Instead of cowboys on horses, we saw yakboys on motorbikes looking after their flock.

I cast my mind back to the books I read many years ago of explorers in this region of what was called Lake Kokonor and the herds of wild asses, antelopes, Przewalski’s horses and Tibetan Gazelles. About the only place they can be found will be in those old books. All of them displaced by the yaks and the sheeps and the tourists on buses or on bicycles.

QH01qinghaihu P8190280

QH01qinghaihu P8190284

QH01qinghaihu P8190286

The road rolled on and on. And it became clear why lamb was so much a part of the menu here.

QH01qinghaihu P8190293

QH01qinghaihu P8190298

And then we found we were on top of a pass

QH01qinghaihu P8190312

With a couple of tourist on bicycles threatening to run over me.

QH01qinghaihu P8190313
And it being a pass, traditional prayer wind flags to give thanks to reaching the top of the pass.

We stayed the night over at Chakazen, Chaka town.
This was a one street town. We earlier made a booking at a hotel. But being a small one street town, they all know each other, the small hotel and bigger hotel and the police.
Who decided that we being foreign tourist could not stay at the small hotel and had to stay at the bigger more luxurious hotel, which conveniently had the rooms which otherwise had to go empty.

I was very surprised at the quality of rooms in the hotel which was very good even in a major city and this was a one street town in about middle of nowhere. At about 300RMB a room. You can see this in the phots of breakfast using supplies from Taiwan in one of the room before we set off the next morning

QH02qinghaihuchaka breakfast P8200320

QH02qinghaihuchaka breakfast P8200322

Tuesday 20 Aug 2013


More photos in Flickr collection "Running about QingHai Plateau
http://www.flickr.com/photos/shanlung/sets/72157635405840564/

Prior to setting out in our pau cher

QH02qinghaihuchaka breakfast P8200324

AQinghai 02 Chaka to Da Chai Dan

If you see in the Google Map, Chakazen is next to a white lake. The lake, Chakayan, is white because it is a salt lake. That we went to check out.

Sculpture of salt

QH02Chaka salt flat P8200329

QH02Chaka salt flat P8200348

QH02Chaka salt flat P8200349

And then we were on our way.

QH02Chaka to dachadanP8200356

QH02Chaka to dachadanP8200359

We did not just passed mountains.
We passed ranges of mountains

QH02Chaka to dachadanP8200359

And from time to time, slowed down to the pace of sheeps

QH02Chaka to dachadanP8200363

We passed strange monasteries with stupas in the distance

QH02Chaka to dachadanP8200382

Huge farms of photovoltaic cells

QH02Chaka to dachadanP8200387

Strange Chinese gates in middle of nowhere

QH02Chaka to dachadanP8200383

ans more ranges of mountains

QH02Chaka to dachadanP8200390

I got upset stomach. I had to beg a stop and went behind a bush

Others took the chance to stretch their legs
QH02Chaka to dachadanP8200396

No idea what it was and to whom it was dedicated to
QH02Chaka to dachadanP8200407
Ruins of some village below a range of mountains

The road went on and on and to underline the danger

QH02Chaka to dachadanP8200412

More mountain ranges

QH02Chaka to dachadanP8200425

Entering the city of Haixi. Looks like a dot on a map but was a major city in its own right

We all read China produced photovoltaic cells so cheaply that Europe had a major row.
I read recently in a BBC a city in USA or Europe planning on having photovoltaic cells as street lights. Look as if Haixi probably beat them to it. But being in China, was blissfully ignored by the rest of the world.

QH02Chaka to dachadanP8200431


And on our way to lunch, passed a humongous covered swimming pool for the people to swim in luxury and in depth of bitter winter I guess. I wished I then requested a stop to take photos, but I did not.

Having our lunch

QH02Chaka to dachadanP8200436

More mountains

QH02Chaka to dachadanP8200443

More mountains and farm of photovoltaic cells

QH02Chaka to dachadanP8200446

A couple of hours of driving and we came to a strange memorial to ET
QH02Chaka to dachadanP8200451

And we came to the Dachaidan to stay there for the night

QH02Chaka to dachadanP8200504

We checked into the hotel.

We then asked the desk or anything of interest.

We were told of a open air hot spring up in the nearby mountains.
Our driver had not known of this
Of course, we went there.
Never known of a Taiwanese who do not love hotsprings
And I am an honorary Taiwanese

To hotsprings

QH02dachadan hotspring dinnerPb8200001

QH02dachadan hotspring dinnerPb8200022

The natural open air hotsprings a delightful 42C temperature or so.
With the air at about 20 C we spend a nice time there

QH02dachadan hotspring dinnerPb8200034

QH02dachadan hotspring dinnerPb8200038

And it is important to cool down after a dip in the hotspring

QH02dachadan hotspring dinnerPb8200043

QH02dachadan hotspring dinnerPb8200044


Sadly it was time to go.

QH02dachadan hotspring dinnerPb8200065

Too much surplus energy

QH02dachadan hotspring dinnerPb8200062

Local Bactrian camels

QH02dachadan hotspring dinnerPb8200073

QH02dachadan hotspring dinnerPb8200079

QH02dachadan hotspring dinnerPb8200080

It was a surprisingly nice and comfortable hotel. We told the front desk we ejoyed the hot spring very much.
We decided on a cook out in the foot hills that evening. We came again to that same area later that evening

QH02dachadan hotspring dinnerPb8200084

QH02dachadan hotspring dinnerPb8200087

QH02dachadan hotspring dinnerPb8200092

QH02dachadan hotspring dinnerPb8200097


Wednesday 21 Aug 2013


More photos in Flickr collection "Running about QingHai Plateau
http://www.flickr.com/photos/shanlung/sets/72157635405840564/

AQinghai 03   Da Chai Dan to DunHuang

We had breakfast of meat buns at a typical Chinese breakfast place just next to the hotel
We then loaded up the pau cher ready to reach DunHuang.

QH03 dachadan Pb8210104

The bus went on passing range after range of mountains.

QH03  dachaidan to dunhuang P8210107

And despite the desert about us, rivers swollen with runoffs from the mountains

QH03  dachaidan to dunhuang P8210109

QH03  dachaidan to dunhuang P8210110

And then ranges after ranges of mountains again and again

QH03  dachaidan to dunhuang P8210117

QH03  dachaidan to dunhuang P8210120

QH03  dachaidan to dunhuang P8210122

Or we go through the range of mountains

QH03  dachaidan to dunhuang P8210135

And then running along side the ranges of mountains

QH03  dachaidan to dunhuang P8210139

QH03  dachaidan to dunhuang P8210146

We started to drop from 3000++ meters to 2000++ meters.

We were in a bus on very good roads as can be seen. And yet it was very tiring for us. There were stops every 2 hours to let the driver rest and for us to stretch legs.

I felt humbled to think of Genghis Khan and his Mongols who travelled across the same area into Persia to overthrow and destroy the Sultan and the Caliph after he cut off the heads of Genghis Khan ambassador and Mongol envoys.

We passed farms of wind mills

QH03  dachaidan to dunhuang P8210167

QH03  dachaidan to dunhuang P8210173

QH03  dachaidan to dunhuang P8210178

Went up mountains again and over a 3648 meter pass

QH03  dachaidan to dunhuang P8210183


Below a shot of a deer crossing sign

QH03  dachaidan to dunhuang P8210207

When we stop at a very rare police check point. There were toilets there. The toilets were the type I encountered before 20 years ago when I was roaming about in China. I wished I had taken photos of the toilet.
The floor was about 7 feet above the ground. Other than separation into male and female rooms, the rooms were not divided internally into cubicles. There were open holes on the concrete slap with the ground 7 feet below.
The turds and tissue rose up 4 to 5 feet from the ground below. The flies and maggots were awesome to behold. The back part was thankfully opened to allow clearing and to allow the smell to disperse. After the modern toilets of the past few days, it was great to see again the toilets of the past and to know that they still existed.

This was at the last great range of mountains on the road to DunHuang.

Friends walking back to the bus happy to be done with the toilets.

QH03  dachaidan to dunhuang P8210209

The elevation was 2000 at the foot of the range of mountains and steadily drop to 1500 meters when we stopped at Aksai village for lunch


QH03  dachaidan to dunhuang P8210220

QH03  dachaidan to dunhuang P8210223

To my amazement and dismay, even in such a small restaurant in a tiny town literally in the middle of nowhere, the cups , plates and spoon came in plastic wrap. Which inevitably go to pollute the environment

QH03  dachaidan to dunhuang P8210224

We had our lunch and moved on towards Dunhuang.

But first, we made a stop at the famous YuMeng Guan 玉門關 (Yumen Pass) (Jade Gate Pass). This pass is the most Western of the Chinese Passes. Yumen Guan featured in countless martial arts novels and in history as the last pass to go through in leaving China taken by caravans and travellers on the great Silk Road of the past.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yumen_Pass

QH03  dachaidan to dunhuang P8210237

QH03  dachaidan to dunhuang P8210239

QH03  dachaidan to dunhuang P8210244

We then went into DunHuang city. I had not realised this was a major city. We checked into Dunhuang Carnival Boutique Hotel at about 70USD a night and found ourselves in luxurious rooms and with impeccable services.
We also picked up the last of our lost sheep, Ms Alba Wu, a bubbly girl with maniac laughter and good cheer. She had to delay a day because of business meeting, found a typhoon was approaching Taiwan and flew out by skin of her teeth to touch down in Dunhuang airport.

Walking into Dunhuang Night Market under the sign of Dunhuang Yueh Si
QH03  dachaidan to dunhuang P8210286

Alba the last lost sheep on lower right feasting on other roasted sheep

QH03  dachaidan to dunhuang P8210312


QH03  dachaidan to dunhuang P8210316

QH03  dachaidan to dunhuang P8210323

QH03  dachaidan to dunhuang P821DANCERS

There were so many of these on sale. I was told this was almost an icon of Dunhuang. Conceived by an unknown artist over a thousand years ago and painted on mural of the Mogao Grottos that we be going to the next day.

I wondered how she managed to play the lute upside down and behind her. But then, her lute will not be blocking two of her prime assets.



Continue below
Running about QingHai Plateau Part 2 of 2
http://shanlung.livejournal.com/144810.html


aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa
9 Sept 2013

I have kicked Old Nic for One miraculous year, seven incredible months, one wonderful week, five luvly days, 14 bloody hours, 23 misc minutes and 39 odd seconds. of cold turkey after about 45++ years of smoking. 30120 cigarettes not smoked, saving $15,813.30. Life saved: 14 weeks, 6 days, 14 hours, 0 minutes.


aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa
LiBai mash making.
About 300 grams of beef mince, with 200 grams of chicken mince and 150 grams of dried anchovies(for the calcium). That was all done up to the kitty mash formula I wrote about in
Pakistan//Tinkerbell Kitty Mash//Dommie at the beach Ramadhan 2010 //Villa walkabout 2
http://shanlung.livejournal.com/119237.html
Instead of the almond and brazil nuts, about 100 grams of human grade groundnuts(peanuts) were used.

Making of Tinkerbell Mash
Morning with Harry & the decision// Sultan of Oman Palace// Tinkerbell Mash Batch 7
http://shanlung.livejournal.com/109957.html

suri - Read "Conditioning clicker day 3 - and some tips on suris"
http://www.livejournal.com/users/shanlung/30810.html

milli - read "Found the perfect treat and Yingshiong first "step up""
http://www.livejournal.com/users/shanlung/34432.html
aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa

aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa
if you forgotten about clicker training

Tinkerbell Legacy - VH parrot and Clicker Training Rant 06
http://shanlung.livejournal.com/3419.html

Some thoughts on clicker - The initial experience with Tinkerbell
http://shanlung.com/clicker-L-somethoughtsonclickera.html

Clicker training and bonding with Tinkerbell
http://shanlung.com/clicker-L-ctbondinga.html

To Shanlung-Charlie and clicker training
http://shanlung.livejournal.com/126461.html

Charlie and clicker training - beyond touch target //LiBai on finger and in slow motion videos —
http://shanlung.livejournal.com/126488.html


Tinkerbell Legacy - - Rant 03 (a flighted parrot mentality) & Understanding the mind of your grey
http://shanlung.livejournal.com/2187.html
Above is probably the most important of all I have written, and the foundation to all that I have done.


aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa


FREE FLIGHT IS LIFE AND DEATH PLEASE DO NOT TRY THIS YOURSELF UNLESS YOU DO KNOW.
NEVER EVER FREE FLY WITHOUT THE KNOWLEDGE AS THIS CAN LEAD TO LOSS AND DEATH OF YOUR BIRD.
&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&
(edited on 4th November 2011 to include below)

To Shanlung - How to do Free Flight Outside
http://shanlung.livejournal.com/129976.html
&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&



If what I wrote help you and you like to help, give a thought
for the wildlife sharing our planet.
Do write that cheque to Gerald Durrell wildlife trust

I am a life member of Durrell Wildlife Conservation Trust. Do join us to do
whatever we can for the wildlife that shared our planet.

Durrell-life member


http://www.durrellwildlife.org/
or to any wildlife conservation body of your choice







hit counter code

Penang and Langkawi
shanlung
.

More photos in Flickr collection Penang and Langkawi
http://www.flickr.com/photos/shanlung/sets/72157635067451960/

I continued to check out places in Malaysia to see if they fit my idea of a place to retire into.
So a few days after I got back from Taiwan to see Tinkerbell and my friends there, I made plans to go to Penang and Langkawi, two islands in the Northern part of Malaysia.

I was a bit hesistent. My last retirement recce trip to Pulau Pangkor and Cameron Highland did not augur well. I freaked out of P Pangkor after 3-4 days and was not happy with Cameron Highland either.
Pulau Pangkor // Cameron Highlands
http://shanlung.livejournal.com/142279.html

On top of that, the trip started off with very ill omens. Luckily you know me as one who would act against the advice of gods even such as that telling me yuan feng tse tau tser li , that my karmic affinity with Tinkerbell ended and I should not continue to search for her.
Tinkerbell - Yuan Fen Tse Tau Tser Li
http://shanlung.livejournal.com/71760.html

I was to leave on the evening bus of July 15 reaching Penang on early morning of July 16 with 3 nights booked into Hotel Regal Malaysia, definately not the high end side, and a level off the lowest end.

I normally procrastinate until about the last hour to pack. But for some reason, I decided to pack at noon instead. I travel light and just 5 t shirts and a couple of shorts, enough for me to wear until laundry got my clothing done again.

I started by doing the easy things first such as getting my passport. To my surprise, I could not find that. And after an hour, I was no closer to finding my passport which got me worried. Another half hour later, I got paranoid enough to call my wife and asked her to come back from her office as sometimes I do have blind spot and I did need that passport. She was hesitant to come back, but after another hour of searching on my part, I called her to get back home. I went on looking for that passport even in places where that passport should not be in. Then I noticed a corner sticking out from between two boxes. To my relief, that was the passport. Sieben must have pushed that passport off the table and it landed between two boxes. I quickly called my wife to let her know I finally found it and she need not leave her office. She was going to send me off from the bus station at Beach Road. There was this collection of Thai restaurants there and we would have dinner before my bus leave at 9pm.

So eventually she was there and we had our dinner of Thai food. I then reached for my wallet. To my horror, I found I had not taken my wallet with me from home. No credit card and emergency cash and driving license.
My back pack had enough malaysian currency and enough emergency cash. I thought a bad trip would be coming up with 2 such unfavourable omens. But as said, even gods did not deter me. I kissed my wife goodbye and went on up the bus.

I was going on a trip to the island of Penang, a place that gave me much pleasure in my school days. The focus of many hitchhiking trips done in those innocent times. And focus of trips done with my friends in school days. In present days where young kids will fly halfway around the world, in my time, going 400 miles away was a huge adventure and very enjoyable adventure.

The last time I was in Penang was in early 1980s , for a windsurfing regatta. That time, we thought nothing ofr strapping windsurfers on top of car and rush off a few hundred miles away.

It was early morning , so early that the sun was not out when the bus dropped me in Penang. I was in a bus station Sungai Nibong in middle of nowhere even if my Nexus told me with Google map where I was. Worse was no coffee shop around to get a cup of coffee to wake up my mind. I thought I would get here at 8 am where with dawn light, I would be able to get around. I freaked out and decided I get a cab to my hotel in Georgetown, the old colonial Penang. I was probably hustled when I accepted the demand of 30 MYR . I accepted that almost always at the beginning of a trip, I be hustled as the normal run of things.

I got to my hotel and to my nice surprise, the hotel allowed me to check into my room. I was told by them a traditional coffee shop around the corner. I had my coffee and curry beef and rice. The curry fish ordered by the table next to me looked so good that I ordered curry fish and curry chicken as well. Which came to about 10 MYR, a fraction of what that would be in Singapore. And the curry beef, curry chicken and curry fish were heavenly, and the coffee something to shout home about.

I went back to the hotel

First photo taken from my hotel window. Showing very much the kind of Penang I remembered.

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I asked my hotel where to rent motorbike and was directed towards Chulia Street or Lebuh Chulia which meant the same thing. I saw a book seller cum ticket seller cum renter of motorbike and mountain bikes.

This was in the UNESCO World Heritage part of Georgetown which seemed frozen in time of my earlier years I knew Penang with my friends. The trips I made with them such as John , Cyrus and Lawrence kind of blend into one another. How we rented a cheap room and found we were staying in a brothel with thin wood boardings where plenty of holes were made by others to view others. We made use of those holes with the excitement of 15-16 years old.
We rented another room bargaining down the price and without air condition with the power switch locked up. We then went out to buy a screw driver to open the power point to turn on the air con.

Of meeting local penang people who invited us to stay with them in a bungalow on Penang hill. One of them will remain forever young in my heart. A year or so after that trip that got to know her, heard of her jumping over a tennis net after a game, trip on that net and went to a better world.

(15 hours or so after I wrote this, had an email from Lawrence that girl who remain forever young and never will age like the rest of us is Margie. A week earlier I was talking with John and we could not recall her name. Lawrence with heart of a giant and with memory of an elephant recalled Margie, and her sister Judy who is growing old like the rest of us)

Obviously Penang changed from when I was there. Except Penang was so big, that changes could not be compared. And enough of the early heritage that was Penang

Photos of Chulia street and about it

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I rented a small bike for 25MYR a day for a couple of days as I was not sure how long I would stay in Penang.

I decided to do a round of the island of Penang on that bike. I headed towards Batu Ferringhi. I passed by a very changed Penang. Where there were stately homes like you seen in the first photos, huge beautiful condominiums were now built. Probably a quarter, or a fraction even, of the price in Singapore.

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I recalled Batu Ferringhi when there were just a couple of hotels, Lone Pine and Golden Sands with kilometers of beaches. When I went there, I found Lone Pine was not so lonely now with loads of hotels on both side od the road. I cannot even see the beach unless I park and walked around the hotels there.

A bit pass Batu Ferringhi was Pantai Acheh, their National Park
Towards Pantai Acheh

More photos in Flickr collection Penang and Langkawi
http://www.flickr.com/photos/shanlung/sets/72157635067451960/

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Jetties of Pantai Acheh
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A bit after that was Teluk Bahang, where Penang butterfly farm was at. I loved butterflies and spend many hours in my schooldays in search of and catching butterflies. Unlike now where I used my camera to hunt butterflies, in those days, butterflies were caught, placed in killing jars and pin up.

If you are in Penang, do try to go to the butterfly farm.

chrysalis about to be butterflies
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caterpillars
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tree nymph
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Malay lacewings & clipper

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The quide asked if anyone was from Singapore and I raised my hand. He then told me that the clipper was now extinct in Singapore. I known that together with many other beautiful butterflies. My memories of clippers and other butterflies in Singapre when I was young were poignant.

clippers feeding on pineapple

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A ceramic froggie with a tiny froggie on it. Looked like the froggie of my friend Phillip Little

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A Taiwanese tourist with a newly emerged butterfly
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More photos in Flickr collection Penang and Langkawi
http://www.flickr.com/photos/shanlung/sets/72157635067451960/

People interested in butterflies of Singapore and Malaysia should go
http://butterflycircle.blogspot.sg/2010/11/butterfly-re-introduction-boon-or-bane.html

The road then went behind Penang hill. I came to a place where I could see the Western side of Penang island as a plain below the mountain road.

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The strange part was that was in my mind that I felt was part of a dream or fantasy. Not realising that was real memories of Penang buried somehow in my mind. It was haunting to see that scene again, that it was real and not figment of my imagination. Rain started to fall. I had no raincoat. It was not that cold, and more of a heavy drizzle. The road was windy all the way back until George Town. The rain cleared the air and another photo taken from my room window with the mountains of mainland Malaysia not seen in earlier photo.

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I went about to some other places in Penang. I knew I was at their Botanical Gardens before, except all my memories of this place faded.

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Leaf eating monkey at Botanical garden

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I checked out the wonderful hawker food of Penang. I went to the Internet and found what was recommended and can say the food was absolutely wonderful. In my rambling about there, I also being to hawker centers which were not listed at all. I was happily surprised that the food in those unmentioned places was very good as well. Such as this Penang laksa I had from roadside hawker near the circle before Penang hill.

Very good delicious Penang laksa

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And then to the cable car and up Penang hill

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I was at Air Hitam, where the Kek Lok Si temple complex was. That could be seen a long long way away because of the gigantic 30 meter statue of Kuan Yin and the roof over Kuan Yin

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More photos in Flickr collection Penang and Langkawi
http://www.flickr.com/photos/shanlung/sets/72157635067451960/

Their famous pagoda of 10,000 buddhas paled in comparison.

Before that temple complex is the Air Hitam market. Alongside on the pavement next to the road will be the very famous Penang laksa stand. Absolutely delicious laksa

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More photos in Flickr collection Penang and Langkawi
http://www.flickr.com/photos/shanlung/sets/72157635067451960/


You then pass a row of statues of Buddhist monks and abbots to get into the complex

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More photos in Flickr collection Penang and Langkawi
http://www.flickr.com/photos/shanlung/sets/72157635067451960/

I realised my couple of days in Penang would not be enough. I had thought of getting a couple of nights there first and then changing hotels after that. I decided not to go for the high end hotels as you then be given a dream and I was there to check out if Penang can be considered a place to retire in, not a dream which is not reality. I extended my stay in the hotel for a couple more nights. I would go to different hawker centers to try their food. I also been in a restaurant. I realised my mistake as you could not order different dishes as a single diner.

I found Penang like an enlarged Taiping town, much bigger than Taiping town and with a lot of charm. I stayed in Penang for a week, extending my stay in Regal Malaysia yet again. And extending that rental bike every 2 days. If I decided early enough, I could have the bike even cheaper.

I decided to go to Langkai and got myself a ferry ticket. My friendly hotel sold me that ferry ticket.

Leaving the ferry terminal at George Town 22 July 2013
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It was a long 3 1/2 hour boat ride for the ferry to reach Pulau Langkawi at Kuah Town terminal.
I booked a 2 night stay in Amara Motel. I soon hired a motorbike as well.

Penang was a largely Chinese city. Which meant during the Muslim fasting month, food can always be found regardless of the hour.

Langkawi was a bit different, and I had not known the area well yet.

I rode off on the bike. The country side was beautiful . Very peaceful and little traffic and very green. It was a pleasure to ride the bike there. Until I got hungry. And found most of the villages were muslim and food not readily found until evening.

More photos in Flickr collection Penang and Langkawi
http://www.flickr.com/photos/shanlung/sets/72157635067451960/

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I liked riding the bike on the Langkawi roads.
I saw that there was a mountian Gunung Raya and I decided to ride up that mountain.

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I should have checked my petrol in the tank first. When I was 3/4 up, I saw the needle at E. I was riding on a bike on the fumes and prayers. Just managed to get down to a petrol station where I filled the tank with a vengence, all 5MYR worth of petrol.

I got to understand Langkawi better. Kuah town had a triving chinese community I only found out after a couple of days of near starvation just 2 street corner from where I lived where I could get all the breakfast and lunch that I needed.

Langkawi have this legendary princess Mahsuri, a maiden of outstanding beauty. The village chief wife was a very jealous woman and plotted the death of Mahsuri. Mahsuri was killed not before she swore a curse on Langkawi for 7 generations.
The legend below with lots of details
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mahsuri

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More photos in Flickr collection Penang and Langkawi
http://www.flickr.com/photos/shanlung/sets/72157635067451960/

Langkawi meant a brown eagle in Malay language

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I found Langkawi to be very pleasant to be in. I extended my stay in Amara motel a few times.

I decided to try that high mountain again. I bought a very nice packet lunch for that day and I made sure of a full petrol tank.

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More photos in Flickr collection Penang and Langkawi
http://www.flickr.com/photos/shanlung/sets/72157635067451960/


On that evening, I found a big evening market where delicious muslim food was sold for the muslims to break their fast. I took to buying the food and taking back to my motel for my dinner


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The guy above sold fruit juice and one of the most delicious drink I ever had. Some kind of fermented lime drink brown in color. Every night I was in Kuah town, I would buy and drink 3 baggies of the fermented lime drink at 2 MYR a baggie. I still would have bought that for double the price.

Langkawi has 2 Geoparks listed by UNESCO as World Heritage site.

One of the park had a cable car to bring visitors to the top

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After about a week in Kuah town, I decided to shift to Cenang beach area.
By chance roaming around, I came across a tiny motel with a Japanese name ran by a Japanese lady. I forgot the name of the motel and lost the card I was given. I tried searching on the Internet for an hour. One night was 40MYR, or 25 MYR cheaper then Amara Motel in Kuah Town. Which you all realised was off the horizon in Tripadvisor or Agoda or others and cannot be found. So if my photos ring a bell in you, please let me know the name of this Japanese motel.

(5 hours after I wrote this, I found in Google Earth a photo that I stayed in Shirin Guest house, even with photo here http://www.panoramio.com/photo/42160781)

The price was one minor reason why I decided on the shift. I was not keen on tourist beach ghetto as I was not there to enjoy the beach but finding in retirement there would be plausible.

When I went to that motel, I was struck by the cats in the premise, which decided for me I would stay there.

I was welcomed into my room by a ginger

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My yellow unit

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next to me
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More photos in Flickr collection Penang and Langkawi
http://www.flickr.com/photos/shanlung/sets/72157635067451960/

I signed up for a tour in Langkawi mangrove swamps, another of their UNESCO Heritage Geopark.

Guide and breeder of sugar gliders

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One of the two teachers from China taking that tour
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Archer fishes shooting bits of bread with pellets of water from their mouth

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feeding eagles with bits of chicken skin

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video of eagles feeding



I and the guide sugar glider. If I am settled and not moving about, I would love to have sugar gliders

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More photos in Flickr collection Penang and Langkawi
http://www.flickr.com/photos/shanlung/sets/72157635067451960/

I decided not to subject myself to 3 1/2 hour ferry ride. I took a flight via AirAsia on 30th July Tuesday to Kuala Lumpur. And then took the bus down to Singapore.

I have a flight on 17th Aug 2013 to Xining China to be with Taiwanese friends. It was with regret I could not join Cyrus in Jogjarkarta and Borobudor even if that was before my trip to China. It would have been great to go there with him. I needed some time to recover from Penang and Langkawi and prepare for that China trip mentally.


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14 Aug 2013

I have kicked Old Nic for One miraculous year, six incredible months, two wonderful weeks, three luvly days, 20 bloody hours, 41 misc minutes and 51 odd seconds. of cold turkey after about 45++ years of smoking. 28807 cigarettes not smoked, saving $15,124.18. Life saved: 14 weeks, 2 days, 35 minutes.

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LiBai mash making.
About 300 grams of beef mince, with 200 grams of chicken mince and 150 grams of dried anchovies(for the calcium). That was all done up to the kitty mash formula I wrote about in
Pakistan//Tinkerbell Kitty Mash//Dommie at the beach Ramadhan 2010 //Villa walkabout 2
http://shanlung.livejournal.com/119237.html
Instead of the almond and brazil nuts, about 100 grams of human grade groundnuts(peanuts) were used.

Making of Tinkerbell Mash
Morning with Harry & the decision// Sultan of Oman Palace// Tinkerbell Mash Batch 7
http://shanlung.livejournal.com/109957.html

suri - Read "Conditioning clicker day 3 - and some tips on suris"
http://www.livejournal.com/users/shanlung/30810.html

milli - read "Found the perfect treat and Yingshiong first "step up""
http://www.livejournal.com/users/shanlung/34432.html
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if you forgotten about clicker training

Tinkerbell Legacy - VH parrot and Clicker Training Rant 06
http://shanlung.livejournal.com/3419.html

Some thoughts on clicker - The initial experience with Tinkerbell
http://shanlung.com/clicker-L-somethoughtsonclickera.html

Clicker training and bonding with Tinkerbell
http://shanlung.com/clicker-L-ctbondinga.html

To Shanlung-Charlie and clicker training
http://shanlung.livejournal.com/126461.html

Charlie and clicker training - beyond touch target //LiBai on finger and in slow motion videos —
http://shanlung.livejournal.com/126488.html


Tinkerbell Legacy - - Rant 03 (a flighted parrot mentality) & Understanding the mind of your grey
http://shanlung.livejournal.com/2187.html
Above is probably the most important of all I have written, and the foundation to all that I have done.


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FREE FLIGHT IS LIFE AND DEATH PLEASE DO NOT TRY THIS YOURSELF UNLESS YOU DO KNOW.
NEVER EVER FREE FLY WITHOUT THE KNOWLEDGE AS THIS CAN LEAD TO LOSS AND DEATH OF YOUR BIRD.
&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&
(edited on 4th November 2011 to include below)

To Shanlung - How to do Free Flight Outside
http://shanlung.livejournal.com/129976.html
&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&



If what I wrote help you and you like to help, give a thought
for the wildlife sharing our planet.
Do write that cheque to Gerald Durrell wildlife trust

I am a life member of Durrell Wildlife Conservation Trust. Do join us to do
whatever we can for the wildlife that shared our planet.

Durrell-life member


http://www.durrellwildlife.org/
or to any wildlife conservation body of your choice







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Tinkerbell2013
shanlung
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More photos in Flickr collection Tinkerbell2013
http://www.flickr.com/photos/shanlung/collections/72157634324376034/

Tinkerbell2013 was from 28 May to 17 June 2013. This consisted of 4 parts.

Part 1 A period in and around Taipei from 28 May until I went to Chiayi on 3 June
Part 2 Chiayi with Tinkerbell until 9 June when I went to TaiDong and Green Island
Past 3 TaiDong and Green Island until 14 June when I went to TaiNang
Part 4 Alishan with ChengHung and friends and departing Taiwan on 17th June


First of all, Sieben is still with us. I wrote of perhaps having to give him up before my travelling about.
But he insinuated himself into my wife's heart and she decided not to give him away.

Since my last visit to Tinkerbell, I got myself back into a Taoist forum. Which was why my last report covered some of the Taoist temples in Malaysia. I had not realised I took so much of what I had seen in Taiwan for granted. Not noticing many aspects until this particular trip.

Part 1 Taipei and around Taipei

Tinkerbell2013 01 Taipei
http://www.flickr.com/photos/shanlung/sets/72157634316602547/

I checked into the hotel I used the last time I was here in 2011, a hotel with no English name and cost about 40 USD a night in the vicinity of Sungshan railway station. This was next to Rao Her night market, a place I was fond of walking around and enjoying the various Taiwanese delicaies and looking at the fun and games and the people enjoying the place.

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Wonderful delicious Stinky Tofu of Taiwan

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Above fortune telling using Java sparrows.

Look at the many more photos in Tinkerbell2013 01 Taipei
http://www.flickr.com/photos/shanlung/sets/72157634316602547/

I never had enough of this night market. I was here almost all nights when I was in Taipei. Even if I had dinner elsewhere, I still would cross the street into this night market for supper.

Changes did take place like it or not. Not all changes were bad. I found Taipei to have lots of rental pedal bikes in automated rental station next to all MRT stations. And a lot of bicycle lanes to allow safe riding. The first 30 minutes of bike were free and about 30 US cents for every 30 minutes after that. You can rent from any station and return to any other stations. http://www.youbike.com.tw/about.php

I was on touch with ChengHung my very good Taiwanese friend I met one lonely night in 1990 on a forlorn track in Taroko. And the rest of the plans of this trip in Taiwan fell into place.
After Chiayi and Tinkerbell, I would be going to TaiDong on the East Coast. A couple of our Taiwanese friends , Hsiao Hu and Hsiao Ping, and good friends of mine opened a B&B in Taidong. I would stay with them a couple of days and then take the ferry to Green Island.

In the last weekend in Taiwan, he and a bunch of others that had been to WulingNongChang would be going to ALishan and I was happy to see them again.

The next day, I went to Taipei101, the tallest building in the world for a short while. Before I went to the observation floor, I passed by the LiuLiGongFang show room. You do recall the LiuLiGongFang pieces that I used to hold down paper for LiBai and other birds to shit on. A very undignified usage of those pieces. Here is a couple of those pieces. Used in a more elegant way then the way I used them.
Evil Sieben // Jackie long & winding road to trust // Being a peasant
http://shanlung.livejournal.com/135250.html

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And some shots of Taipei from high above

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I made a visit to Hsin Tien Gong, a temple dedicated to KuanKung, the God of War and God of Literature.
Despite it being on a week day, the temple was packed with followers.

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Those in blue gowns chant Taoist sutras and led the crowd in prayers



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I noticed a lot more than when I was not reporting on the temple such as the chantings, which I had not paid attention to before. It was close to lunch. I was happy to meet Nelson Liu, a Taiwanese very much into wild Taiwanese birds and a real expert on the Taiwanese Blue Magpies and had taken stunning photos of the Blue Magpies and other Taiwanese wild birds.

I went up Mucha Hills. The Mucha hills were south of Taipei city and famous of the tea gardens.
Below are just some of the signs to the tea houses and tea gardens there.

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I went up YangMingshan. In particular, I went to Datun park. The last time I was here was about 22 years ago when this park was first being set up as a nature park. It was kind of barren then. I am pleased with the changes as the park became a lot more lush and matured.

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A pretty tourist from Hongkong

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Tinkerbell2013 01 Taipei
http://www.flickr.com/photos/shanlung/sets/72157634316602547/

Part 2 Chiayi with Tinkerbell

Tinkerbell2013 02 Chiayi A
http://www.flickr.com/photos/shanlung/sets/72157634321574678/

Tinkerbell2013 02 Chiayi B
http://www.flickr.com/photos/shanlung/sets/72157634321424472/

I took the High Speed Rail to Chiayi on 3rd June. I was picked up at the High Speed Rail station by Mr Yu. We had lunch and then went to his factory. Tinkerbell was now kept at the factory and no longer at home. It made more sense as he and his wife were largely at the factory at any rate.

I was delighted as can be imagined to see Tinkerbell again. Your recalled at last meeting 2 years ago, I was a bit worried that her neck showed a small bald patch and I was worried it might have gotten worse. I am please to report the bald patch remained the same small tiny patch.

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First photo of Tink this trip

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Yu's factory behind Tinkerbell

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Bald patch on Tinkerbell neck

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Tink was either on me or on Mr Yu. We have a happy relationship between the 3 of us.

We went to RenYi reservoir.

It was clear Tinkerbell never forgot me. There were only 2 person she would fly to.
Mr Yu and me.

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The next day, I had Tinkerbell all to myself. TinkMobile was for the two of us until end of my trip. I was surprised that the old bike was still functioning very well.
We went to my favourite spot by LangTang reservoir. I was shocked to see my favourite spot by the side of the reservoir was gone. Chiayi was refurbishing that place and the old bamboo clump and trees and platforms were being removed.

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We found other places around LangTang to hang out

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I no longer had the desire to go to BanTienYen area as you all well understood. Neither did I wanted to go to further places like Tsaoling on the scooter. I think when one got older, the less one is prepared to travel about on a bike. I dared not rent a car as Mr Yu would then insist that he would drive me whereever I want to go.

At any rate, it mattered little where I went with Tinkerbell as long as I was with her.
I noticed we were back to the harnesses made by Mr Yu. I felt the harnesses made by me were better and more elegant. I refrained from asking for harnesses made by me as I was very very careful not to hurt Mr Yu in any way.

By padi fields of Chiayi

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By streets of Chiayi market

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Deity Tsai Sun Yeh (God of Wealth).

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Another God of Wealth holding an ancient Chinese ingot of gold


The ladies of the temple were practising sutra chanting

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It made little difference if the sutras were Buddhist and the temple was Taoist. They happily make use of each other seeking what is common which is a lot better. The Shites and Sunnis have more in common that Taoist and Buddhist. Yet sadly, that did not prevent Shites and Sunnis in wanting to blow up and kill each other.

Formal temple chanting

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The days went past too quickly. On waking up, I would ride over to the factory to say hi to Mr Yu and pick up Tinkerbell. They woke up a lot earlier than I do.

Tink and I would go for our traditional Chiayi breakfast of me ger. The proprietress and folks there knew us for a decade now and we both were always welcomed. The story of how I would be back year after year for ten years now and we both became institution in the shops that knew and welcomed us

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And then we would go to the reservior


Tinkerbell2013 02 Chiayi A
http://www.flickr.com/photos/shanlung/sets/72157634321574678/

Tinkerbell2013 02 Chiayi B
http://www.flickr.com/photos/shanlung/sets/72157634321424472/

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Last shots of Tink in padi fields of Chiayi Taiwan and the mountains of Alishan behind

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Tinkerbell2013 02 Chiayi A
http://www.flickr.com/photos/shanlung/sets/72157634321574678/

Tinkerbell2013 02 Chiayi B
http://www.flickr.com/photos/shanlung/sets/72157634321424472/


Past 3 TaiDong and Green Island


Tinkerbell2013 03 TaiDong and GreenIsland
http://www.flickr.com/photos/shanlung/sets/72157634322591322/

On 9th June, I took the train around the Southern Taiwan to reach Taidong railway station. And was picked up and taken for lunch by Hsiao Hao. A source of aggravation in that he refused to let me pick up the tab.

None of my taiwanese friends allowed me to pick up the tab despite pleadings from my part to do so.

We then went to check in at their B&B.
I cannot recommend highly enough of their B&B
Should you be in that part of the world, stay there and enjoy that part of Taiwan and their knowledge of that part of Taiwan

http://3520.taitungbnb.net/about.htm

When I was there, a bunch of folks from HongKong checked in about the same time and they would be staying there for a week. They were great people. Seemed that folks from Hongkong love to visit Taiwan.

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Taidong as seen from my balcony

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Hsiao Ping or Stella

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With Owen, Stella's son.

All too soon, my time with them came to an end and I was to take the ferry to Green Island on 11 June from TaiDong harbour. That was a working harbour with catches from the sea. I was at the harbour early and could see the catches coming in and the fish auctioning taking place

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The guy in the blue t shirt is using an awl to extract the flesh near the tail to see the fat content and so help him to decide how much to bid for the swordfish

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You heard the saying as noisy as a fish market?
Now yuo can hear just how noisy a fish market can be.


Finally I got on the ferry to Green Island. I found myself with 3 Taiwanese going to the same hotel. On that basis, we became good friends. Especially when they found I was on my tenth trip to that island. And Tinkerbell herself been to Green Island .

It was my pleasure to show them the delights of this enchanting island

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Green Island memorial park with Shogun behind

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Names on wall of memorial park Green Island

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My 3 friends with Shogun behind

With Tink there ten years or so ago

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Part 4 Alishan with ChengHung and friends


Tinkerbell2013 04 Alishan
http://www.flickr.com/photos/shanlung/sets/72157634323260432/

On Friday 14th June, I left Green Island and was back at Taidong where I caught the train and reached Tainan early evening.

In above simple sentence, so much were swept aside but which must be mentioned to show how Taiwan and Taiwanese were like. I decided on Tuesday, when I was leaving for Green Island I better booked the train to TaiNan or I might not have seat and had to stand. But I had no time to do that. Hsiao Ping bought the train seat for me, giving that ticket later to the taxi driver to hand to me. That taxi driver was called the first time that Tuesday to send me to the harbour. On Friday when I came back from Green Island, I gave a call to that taxi who drove to the train station to hand me the ticket. He was so surprised when I insisted on giving him 200NT (about 7USD) as token of appreciation of his getting the ticket from my friend and later giving that to me. That is Taiwan for you.

In Tainan, I was met at the station by one of ChengHung friend Chan TsinChi and taken by him to check into a hotel there prior the next morning when we would go to Alishan. I was embarrassed when TsinChi who was organising the weekend meet said he knew me and was in WuLingNongChan a couple years ago. I had no recollection of meeting him and I felt so bad. TsinChi told me he came during the evening for a couple of hours.

I then smiled with relief. The evenings at WulingNongCHong was when wine and beer flowed like water with the good food. He could be sitting next to me and I would not have known it. And I was later told, with photos shot, that he was sitting next to me that evening.

TsinChih was living in Tainan, a city next to Chiayi and he felt he knew Alishan mountain much better than others.

The next morning, he picked me up and we rendezvous with ChengHung and others at the foot of Alishan mountain.
We all drove up and then turned into a side road. I was in Chenghung's car then and I told him I been on that road and that we were going to Danayuegu. He knew I roamed about Alishan but the details kind of surprised him.

Lunch break
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View down the valley of Danayuegu overlooked by the restaurant
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Photos of me and tink at Danayugu ten years or so ago.
That is the valley down below the restaurant as can be seen in photo above.
The 3 monkeys who hear no evil, see no evil and speak no evil were as distinctive as could be.

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After the lunch, we drove to ErYangPing for what they termed as constitutional walk.

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Never be fooled for a moment that when the Taiwanese brought their kids that the walk be easy. Taiwanese would walk rings around anyone and their kids would walk rings around their Taiwanese moms and dads. It was a flight of steps too many for me.

My legs gave up the ghost and I went back to GO and did not collect my 200. I waited there humbly for my friends to finish their walks.

We all got back into the car to drive to where we would be staying for the night. I was more and more amused as we drove on. I was getting into a part of the world where I thought I never be in again. I was in my friend Cheng Hung's car and he was not clear were we were going to other than to follow TsinChih who was leading the way. But I knew the area very well. I told him we were going to the area just above BanTienYen.
The area where Tinkerbell flew away and gave us all a fright. You knew that I had an aversion of going back there with Tinkerbell. But in this case, Tink was not with me. And I mentioned many times before this was a very beautiful part of ALishan mountains.

Ten years ago, tea gardens dotted this place. But many of the farmers opened themselves as B&B and accomodations for eco tourism.

We reached there in the pouring rain

Tinkerbell2013 04 Alishan
http://www.flickr.com/photos/shanlung/sets/72157634323260432/

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Kind of mystical place with clouds rolling in and out again

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We had dinner there. Part of the dinner was a video introduction to the place. That we could expect to see luminous mushrooms , fire flies and the Taiwanese giant flying squirrels active during the night. The last time I saw the giant flying squirrels was during the escape of Tinkerbell at BanTienYen. And a couple of giant flying squirrel running on boughs at tree tops towards Tinkerbell spooking her to a flight across the valley to my sinking heart. Nice to know that night the squirrels were vegetarians eating flowers leaves and fruits. Even if I had known that earlier on, the sight of the huge squirrels bounding on top of tree branches to Tinkerbell would still scare me to a near heart attack.

Video of the place we stayed at, and luminous mushrooms, fireflies and giant flying squirrels with the host and guide. That people pay to see help protect the environment as the locals will take care to protect what is now their bread and butter. Instead of trapping them for the cooking pots as before. It seemed that area was a haven for wild birds watching too. Wild Mikado pheasants photos were on the walls of the house in case you miss actually seeing them outside.



While many of the folks staying there went for the guided tour later on after the dinner.
We stayed to drink tea and Kaoliang liquor.

In time they came back with excited comments on the luminous mushrooms, the fire flies and sightings of the giant flying squirrels. We drank on.

The next morning after breakfast was bird watching. I should have gone on that. Instead I joined my friends on a morning walk having not learned my lessons in walking with them. That even if their kids were not there, they could walk very fast.

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Others who chose the camping option

And the road was steep. Being wet and misty, algae and moss grew on the road making that very slippery.

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I gave up. I felt the slippery road which caused me to slip was dangerous. And if I gotten more tired, the danger would increase. I retreated to a farm house and a friendly elderly farmer to wait their return.

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We left soon after for the final destination of that Sunday. We were back on the main road towards Alishan mountain. And as soon as the car turned left from that road, I knew where we all would be going to. To a place I never thought I would be in again.
I was in Dinghu yet again. The place where I first experimented using the Dyneema fishing line as a leash on Tinkerbell many many years ago. Dinghu was a lot bigger than the 12 odd houses I had known of before.

Testing of fishing line at trip to Dinghu hamlet at Alishan mountain
http://www.shanlung.com/harness6.html

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I was sad to see that they were demolishing that big rock that Tinkerbell flew up on.

Old photos in Dinghu with Tinkerbell

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I excused myself from their walk in this area. I explained I was here before with my wife and Tinkerbell. And I needed to be alone to explore the area with my memories.

Soon after, they returned from the walk and that was the end of the weekend with them.
I was dropped off at a railway station near Taipei and I made my way back to my old hotel near Sungshan railway station.

The next day I was at the airport in the departure lounge waiting for my flight. I received a message from Nelson Liu that he discovered a nest of Blue Magpies inviting me to join him. That was a bit sad as I love the blue magpies. That discovery came too late for me. I was consoled later when he send me some shots of those beautiful blue magpies

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I was also very glad I remained free from Old Nic. I was worried that I might be drawn back into smoking in Taiwan. I have too many friends who smoked especially in Chiayi. I knew of a friend on 15 years quit who reverted back to smoking when he was on holiday in Taiwan. My smoking friends were stunned I stopped smoking. They were happy for me. I never felt I needed to smoke in Taiwan, even when I joined them as they walked outdoors for their ciggies.

I also decided on a trip in 6 weeks time. I will be joining Cheng Hung and friends on a trip in mid August to China, Qinghai Province. I was promised very little walking be done and very little cycling as we would be travelling about in a van. We will see then.

Tinkerbell2013 04 Alishan
http://www.flickr.com/photos/shanlung/sets/72157634323260432/


aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa
28 June 2013
I have kicked Old Nic for One miraculous year, five incredible months, 11 bloody hours, 8 misc minutes and 30 odd seconds. of cold turkey after about 45++ years of smoking. 26390 cigarettes not smoked, saving $13,855.10. Life saved: 13 weeks, 15 hours, 10 minutes.

aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa
LiBai mash making.
About 300 grams of beef mince, with 200 grams of chicken mince and 150 grams of dried anchovies(for the calcium). That was all done up to the kitty mash formula I wrote about in
Pakistan//Tinkerbell Kitty Mash//Dommie at the beach Ramadhan 2010 //Villa walkabout 2
http://shanlung.livejournal.com/119237.html
Instead of the almond and brazil nuts, about 100 grams of human grade groundnuts(peanuts) were used.

Making of Tinkerbell Mash
Morning with Harry & the decision// Sultan of Oman Palace// Tinkerbell Mash Batch 7
http://shanlung.livejournal.com/109957.html

suri - Read "Conditioning clicker day 3 - and some tips on suris"
http://www.livejournal.com/users/shanlung/30810.html

milli - read "Found the perfect treat and Yingshiong first "step up""
http://www.livejournal.com/users/shanlung/34432.html
aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa

aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa
if you forgotten about clicker training

Tinkerbell Legacy - VH parrot and Clicker Training Rant 06
http://shanlung.livejournal.com/3419.html

Some thoughts on clicker - The initial experience with Tinkerbell
http://shanlung.com/clicker-L-somethoughtsonclickera.html

Clicker training and bonding with Tinkerbell
http://shanlung.com/clicker-L-ctbondinga.html

To Shanlung-Charlie and clicker training
http://shanlung.livejournal.com/126461.html

Charlie and clicker training - beyond touch target //LiBai on finger and in slow motion videos —
http://shanlung.livejournal.com/126488.html


Tinkerbell Legacy - - Rant 03 (a flighted parrot mentality) & Understanding the mind of your grey
http://shanlung.livejournal.com/2187.html
Above is probably the most important of all I have written, and the foundation to all that I have done.


aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa


FREE FLIGHT IS LIFE AND DEATH PLEASE DO NOT TRY THIS YOURSELF UNLESS YOU DO KNOW.
NEVER EVER FREE FLY WITHOUT THE KNOWLEDGE AS THIS CAN LEAD TO LOSS AND DEATH OF YOUR BIRD.
&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&
(edited on 4th November 2011 to include below)

To Shanlung - How to do Free Flight Outside
http://shanlung.livejournal.com/129976.html
&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&



If what I wrote help you and you like to help, give a thought
for the wildlife sharing our planet.
Do write that cheque to Gerald Durrell wildlife trust

I am a life member of Durrell Wildlife Conservation Trust. Do join us to do
whatever we can for the wildlife that shared our planet.

Durrell-life member


http://www.durrellwildlife.org/
or to any wildlife conservation body of your choice







hit counter code

Pulau Pangkor // Cameron Highlands and visiting Taiwan & Tinkerbell again
shanlung
.

More photos in Flickr folder Pulau Pangkor and Cameron Highlands
http://www.flickr.com/photos/shanlung/sets/72157633706482149/

So it was on April 21 that I took the night bus to Lumut. Reaching there 530am in the morning when it was still all dark. Made my way to the coffee shop for coffee and early breakfast with a bunch of other people that I presumed was going to the island of Pangkor. Pulau is island in Malay language, and Pulau Pangkor was where I thought I be spending at least a week. Then when light appeared in the sky, a bunch of the other people paid up and walked off to the ferry point. Which I reckoned the ferry was going to be operational. Easy enough to follow other people.

I checked on Internet and booked myself 3 nights in a hotel in town. That was Beststay hotel on the basis of Internet recommendations. I thought that would give me enough time to decide to stay on in the hotel, or to stay in other places in Pangkor.

The ferry brought us to Pulau Pangkor. I always thought of it as a flat island, but I was wrong. It was a hilly island, with forest still on much of it. The ferry landed and it was a short 400 meters walk to that BestStay hotel to check in. I asked a few questions, with a very uncommunicative person behind the desk.

On the Internet, Beststay said they have Wifi. Later found out no wifi in room. Came down to ask and said wifi repeater not working but wifi on ground floor. I asked for the password to set my laptop up. That manager said he will set for me. I asked and asked again for password as I want to set up myself and for my Nexus 7. I made 5 requests before he reluctantly wrote the password for me.

Looking at the hills, I decided to rent a motorbike for about MYR20/day. And decided another breakfast will be good.

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yummy chicken feet noodles

Cost of food about 1/4 of that in Singapore. And much more tasty too. Which was why I am checking out countries to find a place to retire in. I do not wish to die in Singapore. Where Beijing appears like a beacon of democracy and human rights in comparison with.

It was a fine day. I decided to ride around the island. In a short while, I was very glad I rented the scooter. Going up and down hills was a lot easier on a scooter than on a bicycle.

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Malaysia was going into General elections on 5 May which was why all those campaign banners.


I was in no hurry. It was a leisurely 2 hours ride with many stops for me to do an entire circuit around the island. Many times I was glad I was on a scooter and not on a bicycle. I came back into town to see a religious Taoist procession

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I went back to the Western part of Pangkor where the beaches were and hotels etc set up for tourists.
This happened to be where hornbills congregated. I heard that there were hornbills in P Pangkor. I never imagined to see so many hornbills until I came here.

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I smiled when I thought how excited I was to see one single pied hornbill when I was in Taiping.

Later on I went to Sunset View Chalet which had a programe of regularly feeding the hornbills. There might be about 60 or so of those endearing birds then.

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Taking a piece of banana from my hand

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The island was not just all hornbills. There were two places I found interesting.
I was in a Taoist forum where some folks were taking Taoism a bit too seriously. I was in Pangkor then and telling them of a Taoist shrine with Mickey Mouse and Donald Duck at the steps welcoming one and all into the shrine. And a nude mermaid gracing the entrance. I was greeted with disbelief. And so photos had to be produced

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I spend much time here at the foot of the shrine. There was an air of despondent in the tourist area. Many places seemed to be closed and neglected. As if tourists stop coming. I did not find it comfortable in the tourist area

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Village with pink taxis.

There was another Taoist temple on the other side of the island. Much bigger and more elaborate.
Even so, there was a touch of whimsical element with two funky cartoon characters on the ground in a set that seemed to come from Hong Kong movie production. I told those in the Taoist forum that Taoism meant you can laugh and not be so serious

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More photos in Flickr folder Pulau Pangkor and Cameron Highlands
http://www.flickr.com/photos/shanlung/sets/72157633706482149/

I was used to getting into the Internet in the evening to keep up with things and for music at Youtube or radio Internet. My favourite Taiwan was http://www.mediayou.net/web/play.asp?lan=twn&rad_id=20566&listen=Radio
And for English http://www.mediayou.net/web/search.asp?lan=eng&gid=15#

Except no Internet in the room. I had to go to the ground floor to face that guy behind the desk.
He was getting on my nerve. A most unhelpful and surly person, and no aircon below either.

If I had not paid 3 nights, I would have gone off after the 2nd night. I planned to move to another hotel around the beach. The maid there said she could help me do a bit of washing. Which was fine with me as the hotel washing machine had a big draconian sign on it that any guest using that for washing will be fined MYR300
And I came into BestStay hotel because of comments that hotel was friendly.

I thought of the friendly hotels in Taiping that had washing machines for your use except I prefered to use laundry outside for convenience. I came back late on 3rd day to find my washing was not done. That guy eyed me as I came back into his hotel and said the hotel do not do laundry and turned his head down to the table that he had spoken. No big deal to me. Except he was so rude in saying that. And not telling me where I could get laundry done in town either.

That decided for me that I will leave not just his hotel, I would leave Pulau Pangkor. And wrote what I thought of his hotel in Tripadvisor. I would not step into hotel BestStay even if room was given free to me.

I decided to go to Cameron Highlands, a hill resort area started by the British during colonial days for their R&R. Cameron Highlands consisted of Tanah Rata at about 4500 feet and Brinchang , a smaller town at 5000 feet.

I had not been there for 20++ years. But I had fond memories of the delicious coldness of the air in the evenings. I loved to exhale slowly to see my breath condensing. And evening walks under the street lights with thousands of strange insects from the jungle surrounding the town drawn by the street lights.

I took the bus from Lumut to Ipoh. And from there, the bus to Brinchang.

I could not believe my eyes as the bus went up and up. The beautiful jungle that I known were all gone. Farms after farms replaced the jungle. Brinchang grown from a small town of 30 odd buildings to sprawling city.
Evening saw me still in T shirt. Exhaling my breath did not bring about condensation. No strange insects congregate at the street lights. With the forests gone, and farms there, probably with insecticides sprayed all over, insects all vanished.

This chinese Zen temple was by itself. And now a town sprung up between the temple and Brinchang which became a city. Do a Google look at Tanah Rata and see the farms and buildings which used to be forest. If I had done a simple Google at this area, I would have better prepared myself instead of inflicting a shock to me.


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The stream was crystal clear with gravelly bed. The water running in the stream was more mud than water.

All the beautiful things of my past remained in the past.

Since I was there, I had to explore a bit more. Took the bus to Kampong Trinkat beyond. Saw a temple up on a knoll and decided to check that out. It was another Taoist temple, a temple to KuanKung.

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Wall tiles in the temple, of people who made donations to build the temple

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Kuan Kung reading a book. Kuan Kung is the God of War. And yet, he is also the God of Literature. Which you can see him holding a book.

Kuan Kung name is Kuan Yu, or Guan Yu, Kung meant Marquis or Lord.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Guan_Yu.

KuanKung is the God for Policemen. KuangKung is also the God for the Triads and Underworld. He stood for steadfastness and loyalty. I guessed that common to both.

A couple days later, I took a bus to Kampng Raja. And came across yet another Kuan Kung temple. This time , he was the God of War and God of Literature.

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Yes, decapitated heads of his enemies and evil doers with blood dripping down.

I decided I had enough. A mistake for me to go to places of my past as the past remained in the past.
I went back to Singapore on 30 April. Malaysians were having elections on 5th May and indications there might be troubles. Apparently, the ruling party retained control after the elections with a lot of strange things that could not be explained.

I thought I better write this trip. I procrastinated long enough.

I will soon be flying to Taiwan for about 3 weeks to be with friends and Tinkerbell and to revisit some of the places I love such as Green Island.

I will be flying there in a couple of days time, Tuesday 28 May 2013

So Cheng Hung, I will be calling you on Tuesday late afternoon when I get my SIM card at the Taoyuan Airport.
And Nelson Liu, if you are in town, it will be good to see you too.


More photos in Flickr folder Pulau Pangkor and Cameron Highlands
http://www.flickr.com/photos/shanlung/sets/72157633706482149/


aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa
26 May 2013
I have kicked Old Nic for One miraculous year, three incredible months, four wonderful weeks, 20 bloody hours, 52 misc minutes and 32 odd seconds. of cold turkey after about 45++ years of smoking. 24728 cigarettes not smoked, saving $12,982.38. Life saved: 12 weeks, 1 day, 20 hours, 40 minutes.

aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa
LiBai mash making.
About 300 grams of beef mince, with 200 grams of chicken mince and 150 grams of dried anchovies(for the calcium). That was all done up to the kitty mash formula I wrote about in
Pakistan//Tinkerbell Kitty Mash//Dommie at the beach Ramadhan 2010 //Villa walkabout 2
http://shanlung.livejournal.com/119237.html
Instead of the almond and brazil nuts, about 100 grams of human grade groundnuts(peanuts) were used.

Making of Tinkerbell Mash
Morning with Harry & the decision// Sultan of Oman Palace// Tinkerbell Mash Batch 7
http://shanlung.livejournal.com/109957.html

suri - Read "Conditioning clicker day 3 - and some tips on suris"
http://www.livejournal.com/users/shanlung/30810.html

milli - read "Found the perfect treat and Yingshiong first "step up""
http://www.livejournal.com/users/shanlung/34432.html
aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa

aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa
if you forgotten about clicker training

Tinkerbell Legacy - VH parrot and Clicker Training Rant 06
http://shanlung.livejournal.com/3419.html

Some thoughts on clicker - The initial experience with Tinkerbell
http://shanlung.com/clicker-L-somethoughtsonclickera.html

Clicker training and bonding with Tinkerbell
http://shanlung.com/clicker-L-ctbondinga.html

To Shanlung-Charlie and clicker training
http://shanlung.livejournal.com/126461.html

Charlie and clicker training - beyond touch target //LiBai on finger and in slow motion videos —
http://shanlung.livejournal.com/126488.html


Tinkerbell Legacy - - Rant 03 (a flighted parrot mentality) & Understanding the mind of your grey
http://shanlung.livejournal.com/2187.html
Above is probably the most important of all I have written, and the foundation to all that I have done.


aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa


FREE FLIGHT IS LIFE AND DEATH PLEASE DO NOT TRY THIS YOURSELF UNLESS YOU DO KNOW.
NEVER EVER FREE FLY WITHOUT THE KNOWLEDGE AS THIS CAN LEAD TO LOSS AND DEATH OF YOUR BIRD.
&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&
(edited on 4th November 2011 to include below)

To Shanlung - How to do Free Flight Outside
http://shanlung.livejournal.com/129976.html
&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&



If what I wrote help you and you like to help, give a thought
for the wildlife sharing our planet.
Do write that cheque to Gerald Durrell wildlife trust

I am a life member of Durrell Wildlife Conservation Trust. Do join us to do
whatever we can for the wildlife that shared our planet.

Durrell-life member


http://www.durrellwildlife.org/
or to any wildlife conservation body of your choice







hit counter code

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