Trekking Ladakh: On Top of the World in the Himalayas [360-Degree Panorama]

Ladakh lake

Five days into our Markha Valley Trek in Ladakh, India. We were on our way to Nimiling, a summer hangout for local shepherds (with their flocks of sheep, goats and cattle/yak hybrids called zos) and the overnight base camp for our final ascent to Gongmaru La Pass (5,130 meters/16,800 feet). That morning we endured and enjoyed our share of steep climbs, losing … [Read more...]

Flight 447: We Cannot Penetrate This Weather

Up in the Air Flight

This is a story about how when you hear penguins at 20,000 feet, there’s a good chance you’re in deep sh*t.“Ladies and gentlemen…the weather situation in Srinagar is very bad…flights are being diverted to Delhi…four flights just before us...we will try and see.”I'd absorbed only fragments of the pilot’s announcement as my head was buried in a book. We’d come … [Read more...]

Ladakh: Dumb Luck, Dreams and Visa Kung Fu

Audrey Wins Grand Prize from ANA Airlines - Seattle, Washington

This is a story about the mystery of mountains, a San Francisco swami, a stroke of good luck, a dabbawalla and the fine art of resourcefulness.Long, long ago in the late 1990s, I lived in San Francisco. And next door to me lived a man who would one day become a swami. And he told me of a land called Ladakh.But before I get to that, a photo. … [Read more...]

Masiphumelele Township By Bicycle: Getting Up Close

Mother and Son at Masiphumelele Township - Cape Town, South Africa

This is a story about visiting a South African township by bicycle, where people and life and answers to questions are up close and personal.As we rode to the end of our visit, a big white van, way too clean, rolled passed us in almost slow-motion like you might expect in a movie. From the side windows, faces peered out, their eyes snagging on us. Others pressed … [Read more...]