Thursday, August 22, 2019

Photo mining...

Still mining my stash of photos from years of travel.
Kind of got the bug, there are so many moments I remember and loved... so continuing to look for them and bring them out.
I had a picture from a different tour of the chairs but this is the moment when I realized I loved them- 2013, it was, or what often happens at them.
I am sure I have other pictures of different tours too, as I keep looking :)

These are my favourite chairs to sit and take a minute, look around and people watch. 

Have fun.
They are in the Alhambra, one of the many Moorish Delights of Andalusia and Morocco Tour. They invite you to sit down, soak up the magical atmosphere and let your hair down. Haha, each trip has left a smile at that location.
Interesting all the people visiting a place like the Alhambra leave their feelings behind in a way. In the Nazrid Palaces people wonder and wander and it invites you to, somewhere like Charles V Palace just outside, has none of the love of detail and design, was never finished and when you walk in you go "Oh what is this all about?" like I guess millions of others have. It feels empty as you walk in.
Sightseeing is not just about the eyes, it engages other senses as well.
The Gardens of the Generife and Courtyards of the Alhambra are full of the tinkling of fountains, aromas of the Gardens as well as a visual delight, and that aura of admiration of generations.
We are so lucky it is still here after its turbulent history and it is a pleasure to see the love and care being bestowed upon it in this age.
It is world Heritage and a privilege to experience it.

You realize I am peppering lots of links to our website, trying to build up its presence on the net. 
Crikies what a job!!
I do like the looking for images, though.

Wednesday, August 21, 2019

Romanian Ramble- welcome

The sun is finally showing its face a bit, life seems so much brighter,
last week's internet and website disasters are starting to fade from memory and the stressing all night in frustration over them stopping.
Unbelievable what we worry over these days,  I am starting to get like my Great Grandmother being able to remember when they was no internet. As a kid, she would  tell us stories of reading in the newspaper that Queen Victoria talked on a telephone for the first time.
That dates me, doesn't it??

Visiting Romania, especially as I headed north, I had a feeling of travelling back through time, the pace seemed to slow, summer was coming and long warm days meant lots of work for the farming community but also glorious sunshine and the opportunity to socialize.
Winters mean snow drifts way up high and days inside.
My mind is full of plots and plans and where to Ramble.... here is just a few glimpses of some of the many things I fell in love with.
Truly a very special corner of the world, 
full of relaxed pace, hard working rural people, stunning landscapes and amazing built environments- churches, little houses, well covers... long winters give the opportunity to create stunning textiles, woven rugs and embroidery so fine and intricate.

 Muramures is famed for its beautiful carved wooden gates.... what a welcome coming through one of them.
 You might think for a moment I made a detour to outer-space, this is deep under ground and a stunning [oops getting a bit heavy on that word] space. An old Salt mine has become an attraction and the opportunity to just be in there and feel the chill air and the glowing spaces will long stay with me.
 Romania is full of quirky, sometimes even kitsch statues and garden ornaments....
 The textiles is what a mate mentioned, and every Sunday in the north you just need to wander down the lane to the village church and drool. 
What I loved, loved, loved was to meet a group of women in Bucharest who by day might inhabit the business world and then in the evening, each week gather together to keep Romanian embroidery alive in their hands.
Oana was telling me how her Grandmother used to make all the family clothes by necessity but she grew up in an era where she did not learn to stitch, she studied instead.... and now for the last 6 years she has been meeting with her mates each week to help each other and learn. They have contact with one or two people who still weave cloth, they have invited skilled embroiderers from across the country to teach them skills. We hope to have a social day with the group during our tour. The women really look forward to seeing what our visitors like to do back home and share what they have learned of The Romanian Blouse.
Such a vibrant energy when they speak of their learning and keeping Romanian Tradition alive.
 A very common site- horse and cart.
Oh my gosh, the food is great.... bakeries abound and are brilliant. Typical Romanian food is robust and so comforting and yummy.  If I had a lunch though, it was impossible to have a dinner as well, just cheese and bread for one of those meals or I would have burst. 
Cheese is great, wines very nice, fresh fruit literally falling off the trees along the way. Cherry season whilst I was there.
 Thinkers form 5000 BC, part of the National Treasure Hoard. Romania has a long and complex history, rich country at a crossroads between Europe and the Orient. Layers of history and stories to uncover. I have found a few great story tellers to start the process during our first days in Bucharest.
Simple Cemetery... somewhere. I said it felt like we stepped back in time EVEN Mrs Google did not know where we were some days. I was poking along a back way heading to Suceava and she could not line up with where we were at all. I had to go to pre-GPS times and stop and ask someone directions!! Haha
Textiles- oohhhh just wonderful. 
Traditional Dolls everyone used to make for the kids during the long winter.... I plan for us to do a workshop. 
My first of the Wooden Churches the north of famed for and my favourite. Small and intimate inside and completely covered with murals. The most wonderful space imaginable. 
World Heritage listed and a World Treasure for sure
 OK ... flights of fantasy or what? many times I thought I could be in Middle Earth.
 Met up with some mates and poked around  village markets, old textiles are hard to come by because they tend to be handed down through families but we were lucky and played dress-ups.
The lace on the sleeves and bodice is all hand stitched.

That cute little hat is actually a man's hat.... seen old fellows walking down the road in them, Very suave.

Only a small taste of the delights I found.... stay tuned we will be able to offer you a full itinerary very soon.
It is high summer in Romania now and the whole country goes on holidays or back to the family farm to help with harvest or preserves making or soon wine making and so I am waiting on a few confirmations.
Drop us a note and join us.

Saturday, August 17, 2019

Rain, rain go away..... enough already!!

 One of those weeks I can't wait for it to pass.
The amount of rain we have had is really freaky and there does not seem any end to it either.
WE live in the desert, we get a rain shower that might last and hour or 2 and then it stops.... maybe a week or so later it happens again... if we are really lucky this happens 5 or 6 times over about 4 to 7 weeks and that is our rain for the year.

This year we have had no sunshine and almost no dry days for nearly a month!!!
Our back paddock is elevated and hardly ever holds water... you could swim out there and the neighbour behind has about 6 inches across his fields.

That bowl with weeds is full of water, after sitting out over night, that amount of rain you would expect for the whole season or even year not just one night. Perhaps not the most technichal rain gauge but it tells a story.
So sick of the rain, personally
and worry, the damage to peoples homes and livelihood, 75% of our gang could not get into work today,
many have been sick in last few weeks. Ambient temperature is warm but if you get caught in the rain you freeze.... leads to a lot of fevers and chills.
Sick kids and women stay home.... washed out roads and everyone stays home.

Have been working really hard on our Creative Arts Safaris website
Why? I love to travel and am very happy to take a group along with me,
love what we can do through our travels interest and fair sales really boosts Developing world economy... maybe only a small way but they are good interactions for both sides.
The world is a beautiful place, full of good people.... interacting with them, telling the stories helps develop understanding and appreciation.
Love this sign I saw out in the middle of nowhere Gujarat.

Tourism unites!!

For years my blogging and social media presence has been enough to bring in a steady stream of guests and we still have our loyal followers but I notice interactions for FB, Instagram and the website are dropping like crazy and the notices I get to pay for ads increases.
I have tried to stay clear of ads, it ads to our costs and I have always wanted to spend our funds on the groups and people we visit not some big company's profits through ad revenue.

Please help us, share our posts around on any media, make an interaction... look us up on Google via a Google search and review our page, add photos of your trips with us...

Have a happy weekend, 
I pray for dry to happen :)

Monday, August 12, 2019

Mind Boggling

we all say we know not everything you see on TV is true...and vaguely apply that to the internet and social media too....

but how much do we question what we see and hear, how deep do we apply the questioning.

Just having a week of all levels of understanding being breached.

This TED Talk is unbelievable and yet I believe it... I am just struggling to set some ads on FB for Creative Arts Safaris, it has been 7 or 8 years since I thought of FB ads and wow now you need a degree just to try and sign up.
I was asked if I was political because they could give me a whole other range of options, NOT political so followed through on the questions
I can choose country, area of country, age, sex, interests to direct the ads to.... whilst I can see it helps me get more bang for my buck it does make me feel a little creepy, how do THEY know all this??

anyway one level of creepy for the week....

This TED talk really freaks me out -Democracy is dead??? 

why is there not an enormous hue and cry???? How can someone be standing in front of a sign saying this amazing sports centre was built with EU Funds and say EU does nothing for us, all because of fearful ads on FB.
India uses What'sApp to spread gossip, unsubstantiated, not open to critical questioning and easy to swing uneducated or poorly educated people.
Take a look at this book I was a Troll
The amount of hateful stories that come through WhatsApp is appalling here in India, although something I read recently is that they are refining their techniques. Now they look at electricity usage in poorer areas [ means little education- govt schools only do rote learning, no critical things or analysis of facts or researching projects, just rote learning] if higher electricity usage, probably has an AC, and so a smart phone and so look for number to add to WhatsApp channels to send propaganda too.
Same thing as the FB use in Brexit but even less obvious. 

World over it is happening- use critical thinking!!! Ask questions- is it real or an opinion to hoodwink me.

I've started on a new book written 170 years ago by John Lang
In the Court of The Ranee of Jhansi
She was a hero of the First War of Independence [ the name from The Indian side] 
or more loudly called The Indian Mutiny [ name from Colonial British side, still widely used today in school books]
That was the 1850's and dodgy Big Brother behaviour…. and still not corrected in history books until this day.

The I discovered this link in a reputable paper by a reputable writer- how much did the British Raj take from India?
It happened a long time ago … maybe can't change a lot of it but the first step to making sure it doesn't happen again is acknowledging it and examining it and telling the truth because I would be pretty sure the same things is still happening today but rather than countries being the major perpetrators it is big business and just as much misinformation and sneakiness as ever.

Climate Change.... how much MISinformation has there been in the media? how much do we need to do? who does not want to loose profits if we use less oil/petrol/coal, try alternatives....
we had so much rain, for weeks and weeks that things are moulding not growing....usually not enough rain- Weird

one of those weeks- lots of information BUT important not to close down, try to learn, talk about it, make choices and changes to help in little ways of big ways.


Saturday, August 10, 2019


I was daydreaming probably, best way to escape mountains of office work

I like to read and I enjoy a good story and I kind of have stories I associate with places- helps me gain more insight into places I am visiting….

Anyway I thought of you guys, interested in our Bengal trip, perhaps you would like to know about some of the stories that stirred me.

Long before I ever thought of a Bengal trip I was mesmerised by

The Hungry Tide by Amitav Ghosh

There is a fabulous group of Indian origin writers, who write in English, have a wonderful use of the language [ I say this in the sense that they choose words masterfully and with reverence for the tale being told, not just as a vehicle to get an idea across- hope that doesn’t seem barmy?? You know bung in a bit of a poetic feel]  and weave beautiful tales.

Amitav Ghosh is one of my favourites, reading this book years ago created a feel in my for the Sundarbans that I could recognize on my first visit and since. The morning light is mysterious, there is a peaceful air and yet the King of Beasts lurks in the mangroves and he is all powerful, be respectful.

Again a wonderful yarn and an insight into Britain as an empire builder and the way she worked…. This story is very much part of the history of Bengal.

Tuesday, August 06, 2019

websites and library update

Monsoon continues,
this year, first in about 10 years it does not want to stop weeping.... no sunshine seen for weeks.

SOOOOOOOO Humid I am moulding.

Lots of roads and builds washed out.
Hope we get sunshine soon so our farmers here in the desert can get a good crop happening.

Yep, not a wet weather person.... I love my desert, even the heat is better than humid.

Oh well this too will pass,
Wow isn't the green amazing though?

Website building is just about done, been running around like a blue-arsed fly tweaking, adding stuff to google this and that places to try and get it firing.

Take a look for me- let me know about my typos.... Yep typo queen.
Been reading lots of other sites to see how things are pitched.

what is it with authentic? EVERYWHERE I see it. it means REAL.... I worry if I have to point out our tours are real, does it make me look like I am trying to pull a fast one? you know, me thinks he protests too much? type thing

What to say??

we research like crazy, we meet people we like and keep going back to them for years and years, we look after our guests and some of them come back to us many, many times and keep asking for more.

Quietly trying to make a list of guests and which tours they have been on. I suspect maximum tours has been 4 or 5. Does that mean we are authentic or our tours are?
Certainly real fun.

Grrr- weird speak and jargon gets to me.

OK please look at my website  Ulterior motive- the more people who go to our website, the better it will come up on search engines.

If you have been out and about with us- perhaps you would like to leave a review ?
pretty please

We have bought the little old place next door, needs a bit of fixing and we can start working on a library.!!!!!

Wow hard to believe after all these years.
trying to get all my workshop and tour obligations up to date so I can put energy into it.
Accountant already working on registration
looking for someone to employ to run things for me... library, spoken English, women's issues? long list of possibilities.
exciting but OHH Goodness.

Saturday, July 20, 2019


Just quietly....
Super excited....
We might have bought the little old house next to the workshop....
And we will have a space for a library.

Fingers crossed

Toes crossed....
Anything else that is good luck.

We hope

We hope