Thursday, July 26, 2012

Chiang Rai, Thailand

The Golden Toilet
The Golden Toilets at Wat Rong Khun are undoubtedly the finest public toilets in the entire nation.  The White Temple is a Buddhist temple created by Chalermchai Kositpipat, an architect that earned a fortune working for the Sultan of Brunei. The White Temple is his gift back to his homeland.

The White Temple

In Thailand, important stuff is covered in gold, so the stark white temple with Gaudi-style architecture can cause more than a little confusion. Plenty of tourists come off the bus and head straight for the gleaming gold toilets with cameras flashing.

Foot Wash

Private Squatters

flip flops provided
 Maybe the architect was trying to teach us something by making the toilet stand out more than the temple.  The guy is an architectural genius; his subliminal messages are pretty clever as well. Things like the groping hands reaching up from below the bridge is kind of creepy.  Water-spewing dragon is pretty impressive as well. Inside the temple was a wax reproduction of one of the dead monks that would have made Madame Tussaud proud.

the architect - so unassuming!

Saturday, July 21, 2012


Getting our hip hop on thanks to free tickets from one of Robyn's fans at work. Fun show and fancy outdoor bathrooms.

Sahara Desert, Morocco

52 days to Timbuktu 

I spent a lot of time in the bathrooms of Morocco . . . taking pictures. This is one of my favorites. Our Sahara 'camping' experience was in the enormous dunes at Erg Chebbi (near Merzouga).  We traveled by 4 x 4 to a remote Berber camp surrounded by cinnamon dunes as far as you can see. It is 30 miles to Algeria and 1000 miles to Timbuktu: but only by camel. The tent encampment was something out of 1001 Arabian Nights, with a blazing fire in the sand surrounded by cushions and Berber carpets.  We had the place to ourselves! SWEET. There were 10 foot walls of hanging tapestries and a ceiling of stars. After being regaled with dancing, music and a feast fit for a sultan, we went for a night hike into the dunes--without doubt the darkest night sky I've ever experienced.

Sahara Sunrise - December 2011

Nobody could expect bathroom facilities like this in each sleeping tent; each had a private toilet and shower.  There had to be about 10 inches of blankets on each of the beds, and you needed them all.  We were up before dawn for a camel caravan to watch the sunrise.

This is a place that can seriously pull you back. I wish our stay had been longer, and that I could have figured out a way to photograph the stars. If your 'bucket list' doesn't contain a sunrise camel train in the Sahara (after a night of 4-alarm gluttony in a tent palace in the middle of nowhere) it needs some modification.  

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Loretto, BCS, Mexico

Big Smile - 2003
In 2003 we made our one-and-only trip to Loreto, the historic capital of Baja California Sur.  It was the annual Brothers In Baja trip which we made with the Thatchers.  In a few words: legendary Dorado fishing at ridiculously low prices (I'll never forget the look of terror on Ty's face when the guy sitting behind him on the Aero Mexico flight lit up a cigarette . . . he thought it was a bomb and that we were all gonners). It was hotter than Hades, which fortunately made the Dorado fishing awesome.  We keep talking about going back . . . some day.  Seeing these old pictures makes me sorry we haven't done it. 

I got a huge kick out of seeing how little the boys were compared to the fish they were catching. It's easy to forgot how vertically challenged they were in the early years until I saw Dallin standing a whole head & shoulder taller than them. Who'd have thunk it given the way they all size up now! Randy is looking svelte, thanks to the chicken tacos at Chilly Willy's (further credence to dictum to never eat the chicken in a 3rd world country). While we were in town it rained--the first time in over a year.  A great trip--even if the pluming wasn't that memorable.

Randy, Dallin, Ty & Tate

Loreto, BCS Capitol

Panga's on the beach

Big Dorado

Loreto Sunrise

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Trek 2012 - Clear Creek, Utah

When Tiff was asked to help cook for Trek this year, she was promised top notch accommodations. She said it was an awesome experience, but the advertising slightly misleading . . . 

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Washrooms, Eh?

A trip back home to Canda is always fun. Seeing Canada and catching up local idioms is a walk down memory lane. Biggests difference: washrooms i/o restrooms or bathrooms. This little washroom homage will catch the spirit I hope. I couldn't help throw in some true Canadiana classics like Poutine Fries, Shreddies, Kraft Dinner, Ginger-fried Beef, and Hot 'n Sour Soup on Sizzling Rice . . . such a pitty they are only in Canada.
Poutine Fries - flat out dangerous
Lethbridge Costco
Maple Leaf

More Poutine

Dragon Pearl Restaurant - GFB & HSS on SR - 9th Ave SE Calgary

Sunday, July 8, 2012

London, England

Checkered floors in restrooms just work for me. Ty reluctantly poses for the obligatory urinal photo in an old English Pub in London.  This is authentic fish & chips and proper bangers and mash.