Thank you 2017!

Thank you 2017. You have been a very good year!
I’ve travelled to some of the countries and places I’ve wanted to travel to for some time.
I met some amazing people, encountered a great deal of kindness and had the opportunity to do some volunteer work.
I’ve reconnected with some long lost outlaws in HongKong, much to my delight!
I’ve travelled and laughed,a lot, with my daughter and her best friend. I’ve been treated to the love and warmth of my son and his girlfriend.
I’ve succeeded in achieving an important personal goal – skipper certificate.
I’ve finished a couple of comic strips and made a few watercolours as well as a number of drawings.
My typing has not improved and I’m OK with that, I had other goals.
I’ve improved my Spanish vastly although there is much work to be done as evidenced by the many misunderstandings that, in turn, have gifted me with some good cartoons!
I’ve drunk some Champagne!  Not enough! An area  to improve in the coming year!
I’ve retained far more friendships than I’ve lost! I guess from that, that my bubble has expanded rather than shrunk.
À very good 2017 indeed!

Selfie at the Museo de Antropologica


I found a bench to rest a bit. Visiting enormous museums is exhausting!

I was not alone for long. Museum visitors filed by and climbed the steps of the building, then turned and either were photographed or took selfies. I’m pretty sure no one realized they were on the front steps of a tomb, but then , this is Mexico, so perhaps.  Surprisingly everyone took the same angle of photos and pretty much in the same exact spot where you can see me standing.  I thought I may as well do my photo there as well. So here you are.

I did notice, when I was drawing, that one tree looked especially surprised. That made me smile. That tree must have seen thousands of people take their picture right there.  Perhaps the tree saw more: The ghost of the tomb dweller perhaps? Or the lack of changes in the photo line up?

Back to Vientiane


I saw these guys playing checkers on a stone table. The game board already painted on the table. What caught my eye was that they played with bottle caps, some Coke, some Pepsi, long time adversaries anyways!  The bottle caps were left in a small plastic bag on the table when they were done.


Three young girls huddled around a cell phone. I could only surmise on the subject!




Vang Vien

IMG_0803After 4 hours on the VIP bus, I arrived in Vang Vien and set out to look for a hotel.  I’ d read up on the possibilities on the bus on the way up. I rolled my case along sidewalks and streets… it’s actually pretty sturdy for all the abuse it is getting, but holding up in true Eagle Creek fashion!  Domon hotel was at the end of a street and well located along the river. When I entered and faced this view, I knew I’ d found home for a couple of days at least.  The view on the Karsts was breathtaking, this is just a small portion!


The next day the market spread out along the street on whitish tarps covered in fabulous ingredients.  I wished I had a kitchen to sample and try out recipes. Of course Laos cuisine sounds varied and tasty and readily available but as a vegetarian local dishes are restricted.  My choice of course, and who knows if I d be a vegetarian if I lived here, their rapport with their food is so much more human than ours. I doubt anything here comes from western food industry with it’s wasteful, cruel practices.


These last two are from my sketchbook. Street scene. I really liked the mom and kids on their way to the market.


On motorbikes or on bicycles many riders carry umbrellas for shade. I’m not sure I could handle the added  challenge but it’s pretty common here!


IMG_0802 This is the courtyard at Nali Manphu, the hotel where I stayed in Vientiane. The was definitely an air of romance in it’s arches and wicker furniture. It was aging a bit yet very comfortable, friendly and welcoming and offered a lovely breakfast for the price. Nice intro to Laos.

IMG_0800Across the way, I had dinner at Xag Khoo restaurant,  french really, in spite of the name.  That evening there was entertainment. He sang mostly in Laotian and a couple in French. Nice evening for my first day in Laos!