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August 11, 2017

The last place Roshan took us was to the tomb of a man who is important in the Sufi tradition of Islam.  People come to visit his tomb, walking around it counter clockwise three times, touching it and praying.  There is a Mosque there as well, and people come to the mo...

August 6, 2017

The sun rose quickly over the Karakoram desert.  There was a rapid lightening of the sky starting around five in the morning,  An hour later the sun was in the sky and the temperatures were rising.  With the growing light came a better understanding of the environment...

August 4, 2017

The Berk Arar is allegedly one of the newest ships to sail the Caspian Sea.  Designed specifically as a ferry, it has amenities the converted cargo ships do not have: cabins with showers, two bars and a restaurant, flat screen tv’s, and even a gift shop!

If only it were...

July 31, 2017

When I was in Middle school, Christa McAuliffe was selected to be the first teacher in space.  She would send letters to her students which were, in turn, printed in weekly readers that we read in our English class.  In one message she wrote about her daily routine.  S...

July 29, 2017

We sat in the bay of an oil change shop drinking tea.  The mechanic and I had driven over in the Rascal.  It was time to meet the translator, get final instructions, and settle the bill.  But of course, none of this could happen until we finished our tea.

“He...

July 26, 2017

A good friend one more once said that, automotively speaking, when things are running smoother than ever before, things are about to fall apart.  That adage holds true for my VW back home, and its appears to be holding true for the Rascal.

I left Erzincan early in the m...

July 24, 2017

Take a moment to do some google image searching of Turkey.  I am willing to bet that one of the first ten images that comes up will be of hot air balloons soaring over an otherworldly landscape.  That is Cappadocia.  These sandstone hills have been home to people for t...

July 24, 2017

I felt Istanbul before I saw it.  No, not in some strange Jedi sense.  I felt it because I had come to a complete stop in the middle of a major highway, still miles from the actual city.  It was well after dark, and there was more traffic than a bad Portland commute....

July 22, 2017

After finally getting out of Serbia I was torn. On the one hand, I really needed to make up some time.  That meant driving late into the night, sleeping a bit, no then putting in another long day of driving.  On the other hand, that is EXACTLY the scenario that got me...

July 22, 2017

I spent the second night tucked in behind a semi on a side-street near a McDonald’s.  My gas gauge was getting very low and I couldn’t find any open gas stations.  The thought of running out of gas on a freeway, in the dark, where people did in excess of 100mph terrifi...

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