Wednesday, September 5, 2018

Promotion Bridesmaid

I'm a bridesmaid. You can add that term to other odd Foreign Service terms like the "air kiss" used during the assignment process. Obviously it isn't official terminology. However, many people use it to mean a person selected for promotion but not actually promoted because there aren't enough to go around.

Saturday, August 25, 2018

Pack Out Phases

I wrote about several categories for sorting stuff during the last move in Sorting Stuff - 60 Days to Departure. In retrospect, nothing was done 60 days out and it was more like flailing around wildly a couple of weeks before pack out. I'm tackling my sorting in more distinct phases this time and started the process 3 weeks prior. Eventually I'll have this down to a science or at least a semi-organized art.

Monday, August 13, 2018

Tomorrow's New Country

It's almost time to go!  It's been terrific to know you / But we really can't stay / Tomorrow's new country / Calls us home…for the day. All of these Marillion songs are great but skip ahead to the 6:35 mark in this composite video to hear Tomorrow's New Country. This is the only video I could find with this song in it.
Marillion - Fear (for tomorrow's scary sky) from Thony Thorn on Vimeo.

Wednesday, July 25, 2018

Choroní and Chuao

We spent a long holiday weekend at Cacaoni Lodge in Choroní with a beach day and a day trip to nearby Chuao. What holiday? Oh, doesn't everyone celebrate the birthday of Simón José Antonio de la Santísima Trinidad Bolívar Palacios Ponte y Blanco? Simón Bolívar is da man! Well, as long as I get a day off for him.

Choroní is about 3 hours from Caracas with the last good bit of it over curvy mountain roads from Maracay through a beautiful National Park area. Playa Grande is near town but the lodge took us and half a dozen other guests to an exclusive beach by boat. We also toured the cacao/cocoa plantation in nearby Chuao which is a town accessible by boat. Choroní has a mountain road but Chuao is completely blocked off by the mountains.

Monday, June 25, 2018

Salto Ángel Overview

We finally visited the natural crown jewel of Venezuela about 2 months prior to departure. That's Salto Ángel, Angel Falls, or Kerepakupai Meru in the native Pemon language. It's also the inspiration for Paradise Falls in the Disney Pixar movie Up. This post will serve as an overview for the other blog posts about the trip. I took so many pictures and it's such a big experience that it needs more coverage. It's really worth digging into this trip as an amazing bucket list experience.

Sunday, June 24, 2018

Ara Merú Lodge

Our last night in Canaima was spent in Ara Merú Lodge because Waku Lodge didn't have room for us. Ara Merú had the opposite problem. We were told we hit them on a Monday between tour groups so we were actually the only guests. This allowed them to treat us to breakfast on the top of their observation deck to see the Canaima Lagoon and falls. Waku Lodge is right on the water so they have better views but this place does their best to make up for their location. It's a really nice and new place. They even have their own waterfall covering their vehicle entrance (above). We didn't spend much time at either lodge with all of the excursions so this place is worth consideration.

Kavak Gorge Waterfall

The fly over for Angel Falls is a flight to Kavak or Kavac. We were so focused on the bigger parts of the trip and getting to fly over Angel Falls that we actually didn't know what we were going to do there. We were told to wear bathing suits for another waterfall but we didn't know the setting for it. Spanish Wikipedia translates it to the Caves of Kavac but it's more of a gorge and grottos thing. We had to swim in this tight gorge to get to the waterfall pictured above. Most of these pics are blurry because once again the waterproof camera kept fogging up and couldn't handle taking pictures in the heavy mist. It was waterproof but not great for taking pics in that environment.