Author: Kymri (Page 1 of 29)

Hold This Space! Hiatus is Over!

Overlooking the Bay of Les Saintes, Guadeloupe, in the Caribbean. Photo credit: Kymri Wilt

Dear friends and followers of Mira Terra Travels,

Hello again! I’m back for an update.

When my blog turned 10 years old in 2016, I decided to take a one-year hiatus. I discovered that I had a “knock off” copycat blogger based in China, who bought a domain name which was one letter off (minus the “s”), and much of my traffic was being re-directed there. No, that single webpage you might have found advertising a camera/brand is not ME! Don’t even go there.

Though I stepped back from my own blog, I continued to write, blog and photograph for other websites (check out A Girls Guide to Cars) and print publications:

Published photography in Outside Magazine (above), World Wildlife Fund catalog (below)

Essentially, this post you are looking at now is a placeholder, keeping my space and presence on the web. While you’re here, dive in and explore my archives of travel features. You might find a treasure!

Now this year (2018), I have begun the process of re-branding and re-designing my travel/photography blog for a whole new look and feel, and will be migrating select content over to a new host, along with plenty of beautiful new photos and exciting travel features. So stay tuned!

Grizzly sow and cubs at Brooks Falls, Katmai National Park, Alaska. Photo credit: Kymri Wilt

Meanwhile, please feel free to connect and follow me at the following:

Mira Terra Images – Travel Stock Photography sorted by destination galleries. Images available online for license and download!

Mira Terra on Facebook

Kymri on Twitter

Kymri on Instagram

Kymri on YouTube

Kymri on Vine – Yes, my video content is still there, and it’s worth exploring over 450 of my 6-second clips. When Vine terminated, I closed out with 191,900 organic followers! I was also the featured #Vinecations writer for the Orbitz Travel Blog. So DO check it out.

I’ve got some exciting travels coming up soon (Fiji! Chicago! Yellowstone National Park! ), and I look forward to sharing all about them with you when my new blog debuts!

Peace & Pleasant Journeys,

Kymri

Colorful India

Since 2012 began, I’ve spent more weeks away from home than home, and I’ve had little time to post and share photos along the way. What better reason than this week’s #frifotos theme being “colorful”   to share brand new images of one of the extremely colorful places I’ve had the pleasure to travel this year: India.

This post is also shared with Budget Traveler’s Sandbox Travel Photo Thursday and Delicious Baby’s Photo Friday.

Mystical Varanasi – the heart of India

There’s nothing else like it anywhere in the world. Varanasi is not a place so much as it is an experience of complete immersion into the heart and soul of India. It is an encounter that defies definition. Varanasi simply must be experienced.

Varanasi is called the heart of India because of it’s geographical location on a map. But I think there’s a more anatomical and literal reason for it. Varanasi lies on the holy Ganges river, and the river pumps through Varanasi like blood circulating through the chambers of the heart. People move along the streets to and from the ghats like blood flowing through veins and arteries. The pulse of activity along the ghats of Varanasi seems to throb like the pounding pulse of a heartbeat. It is a place of recurring disposal, purification and renewal. Day after day, night after night, the rituals continue without missing a beat. Just as they have for centuries, and will continue to do so for years to come. The moment activity would come to a halt in Varanasi, it’s as if India herself would die.

 So it goes on.

 Nothing can prepare you for a visit to Varanasi. No matter how many photos seen, videos watched, or words read, when you arrive at Varanasi for the first time, it is like being born all over again – learning everything by being flung into complete and utter immersion. All senses are on overdrive. You are no longer reading about it or watching it, you are right there living it, breathing it, feeling it. You are an integral part of life and death itself.

 Those are my words, written in my journal of my most recent visit. That’s all I had to say. To describe every part of the experience would detract from the whole of it, so I left it at that. The same goes for photos. Sure, I’ve taken massive amounts of photos during my immersions in Varanasi. But they are just scenes, just parts, pieces of a whole, and really don’t do justice to the entire sensual experience that is Varanasi.

During my first visit, over 12 years ago, I wrote a lot more in my journal, and I took a lot more photos. When I return to a place, I see it again with fresh eyes, a “new camera” in my mind. Then, when I get home, I like to compare notes and images with previous visits. Has the place changed? Or more to the point, have I?

Following are the words I wrote about Varanasi 12 years ago, transcribed from the pages of my journal, which at the time, I never imagined would be read by any eyes other than my own:

 This morning’s event was the highlight of the whole India experience for me – a float trip down the most scared of rivers, the Ganges.

The sun shone pink, beautifully lighting the steps of the ghats in the early morning. All the colors were a treat for the eyes. Somehow, the grime and poverty faded away….somehow, being on the river just calms the senses and the soul, and everything appears tranquil and idyllic.

 There is all the activity at the river’s edge –

The laundry being beat and flogged on stone slabs, and colorfully laid out to dry in the sun…

The locals who come to bathe and cleanse themselves in the Ganges river….

scrubbing themselves vigorously and getting all white with suds…

and then plunging fully into the water, which somehow didn’t seem so polluted or filthy at all in that moment.

 There are those who walk down the steps of the ghats daily to meditate in the morning sun…

And there are those who come to the holy river to live out their final days in rented bungalows so they can die on the Ganges – the ill, the weak…the dying….and eventually the dead, whose bodies are burned by the river and then washed out into it. The men’s bodies are ignited and burned at the chest, and the women’s at the pelvis. Whatever remains after the flames burn out is simply left to sink or drift off down the river, following a trail of candles and marigolds….

The building closest to the crematorium ghats have gone all black with smoke, but the rest of the river’s edge along the ghats is colorful and alive, very much alive, yet all at once, serene.

It was a transcendent experience, to have those quiet moments of floating along the peaceful river without any touts or beggars or crowds.

 While there was plenty to see that shocked the senses, perhaps most surprising was the sighting of river dolphins. Yes, river dolphins. Right there in the Ganges, right smack in the midst of activity – bathing and cleansing, cremation and pollution – the dolphins broke the water’s surface surrounding our boat. I couldn’t believe I was really seeing dolphins, wild animals, amidst this hub of human activity that has been happening in the same place for centuries. Yet there they were, river dolphins. They could swim anywhere(!), but they chose to be right there at Varanasi, and at that moment, right where we were. Unbelievable. To see these “enlightened” and highly-evolved creatures choosing to be here led me to conclude that the Ganges is indeed a holy river and a truly mystical experience. In those brief moments, watching corpses burn and dolphins play…it all made sense. Everything made perfect sense.

But once back ashore and climbing the steps of the ghat, my senses were again slammed with the filth, the touts, the lepers, the beggars, the unpleasant smells, the reality of humanity…and all that is India…

Something changed inside me that day.

And 12 years later, something changed inside me again. This last time, I watched and listened as my companions tried to describe the first-time experience they had just had. A conversation took place over dinner by a fire, under the stars, during which each person reflected upon and processed their experience of Varanasi, trying to make sense of it all and fit it into context with their own respective faiths. One thing was apparent. No matter what they felt or not, what they understood or not, they are forever changed.

I suppose being pumped full-throttle through the chambers of a heart will have that effect on anyone. Varanasi is more than a spiritual place, it’s a pure experience of the heart.

You may also enjoy these related posts on India:
India in Detail
Calcutta the Beautiful
A Taste of Darjeeling
Published in the Rough Guide to India
Gallery of India Images

Mystical Varanasi – the heart of India

There’s nothing else like it anywhere in the world. Varanasi is not a place so much as it is an experience of complete immersion into the heart and soul of India. It is an encounter that defies definition. Varanasi simply must be experienced.

Varanasi is called the heart of India because of it’s geographical location on a map. But I think there’s a more anatomical and literal reason for it. Varanasi lies on the holy Ganges river, and the river pumps through Varanasi like blood circulating through the chambers of the heart. People move along the streets to and from the ghats like blood flowing through veins and arteries. The pulse of activity along the ghats of Varanasi seems to throb like the pounding pulse of a heartbeat. It is a place of recurring disposal, purification and renewal. Day after day, night after night, the rituals continue without missing a beat. Just as they have for centuries, and will continue to do so for years to come. The moment activity would come to a halt in Varanasi, it’s as if India herself would die.

 So it goes on.

 Nothing can prepare you for a visit to Varanasi. No matter how many photos seen, videos watched, or words read, when you arrive at Varanasi for the first time, it is like being born all over again – learning everything by being flung into complete and utter immersion. All senses are on overdrive. You are no longer reading about it or watching it, you are right there living it, breathing it, feeling it. You are an integral part of life and death itself.

 Those are my words, written in my journal of my most recent visit. That’s all I had to say. To describe every part of the experience would detract from the whole of it, so I left it at that. The same goes for photos. Sure, I’ve taken massive amounts of photos during my immersions in Varanasi. But they are just scenes, just parts, pieces of a whole, and really don’t do justice to the entire sensual experience that is Varanasi.

During my first visit, over 12 years ago, I wrote a lot more in my journal, and I took a lot more photos. When I return to a place, I see it again with fresh eyes, a “new camera” in my mind. Then, when I get home, I like to compare notes and images with previous visits. Has the place changed? Or more to the point, have I?

Following are the words I wrote about Varanasi 12 years ago, transcribed from the pages of my journal, which at the time, I never imagined would be read by any eyes other than my own:

 This morning’s event was the highlight of the whole India experience for me – a float trip down the most scared of rivers, the Ganges.

The sun shone pink, beautifully lighting the steps of the ghats in the early morning. All the colors were a treat for the eyes. Somehow, the grime and poverty faded away….somehow, being on the river just calms the senses and the soul, and everything appears tranquil and idyllic.

 There is all the activity at the river’s edge –

The laundry being beat and flogged on stone slabs, and colorfully laid out to dry in the sun…

The locals who come to bathe and cleanse themselves in the Ganges river….

scrubbing themselves vigorously and getting all white with suds…

and then plunging fully into the water, which somehow didn’t seem so polluted or filthy at all in that moment.

 There are those who walk down the steps of the ghats daily to meditate in the morning sun…

And there are those who come to the holy river to live out their final days in rented bungalows so they can die on the Ganges – the ill, the weak…the dying….and eventually the dead, whose bodies are burned by the river and then washed out into it. The men’s bodies are ignited and burned at the chest, and the women’s at the pelvis. Whatever remains after the flames burn out is simply left to sink or drift off down the river, following a trail of candles and marigolds….

The building closest to the crematorium ghats have gone all black with smoke, but the rest of the river’s edge along the ghats is colorful and alive, very much alive, yet all at once, serene.

It was a transcendent experience, to have those quiet moments of floating along the peaceful river without any touts or beggars or crowds.

 While there was plenty to see that shocked the senses, perhaps most surprising was the sighting of river dolphins. Yes, river dolphins. Right there in the Ganges, right smack in the midst of activity – bathing and cleansing, cremation and pollution – the dolphins broke the water’s surface surrounding our boat. I couldn’t believe I was really seeing dolphins, wild animals, amidst this hub of human activity that has been happening in the same place for centuries. Yet there they were, river dolphins. They could swim anywhere(!), but they chose to be right there at Varanasi, and at that moment, right where we were. Unbelievable. To see these “enlightened” and highly-evolved creatures choosing to be here led me to conclude that the Ganges is indeed a holy river and a truly mystical experience. In those brief moments, watching corpses burn and dolphins play…it all made sense. Everything made perfect sense.

But once back ashore and climbing the steps of the ghat, my senses were again slammed with the filth, the touts, the lepers, the beggars, the unpleasant smells, the reality of humanity…and all that is India…

Something changed inside me that day.

And 12 years later, something changed inside me again. This last time, I watched and listened as my companions tried to describe the first-time experience they had just had. A conversation took place over dinner by a fire, under the stars, during which each person reflected upon and processed their experience of Varanasi, trying to make sense of it all and fit it into context with their own respective faiths. One thing was apparent. No matter what they felt or not, what they understood or not, they are forever changed.

I suppose being pumped full-throttle through the chambers of a heart will have that effect on anyone. Varanasi is more than a spiritual place, it’s a pure experience of the heart.

You may also enjoy these related posts on India:
India in Detail
Calcutta the Beautiful
A Taste of Darjeeling
Published in the Rough Guide to India
Gallery of India Images

India in Detail

As I write this, I’m on a plane heading to India, where I will be working for the next couple of weeks. Since I will likely be too busy to post to my blog, I’ve scheduled this post to keep you, and my blog, company while I am away.  Enjoy.

India is incredibly photogenic, however, this is not a post where you’re going to find scenic postcard shots of the Taj Mahal or crowded market scenes.  Rather, I’m going to focus on a few ingredients, a few details, and present them together to give you a taste of… the full flavor….of India.

When I enjoy an Indian meal, I take no spice for granted. I taste every one of them.  It’s like a full-blown symphony plays in my mouth, and each instrument gets a solo at some point during the show.  I become captivated with guessing…”what is that hint of something…that flavor which I would not have expected…”.  I savor it, and appreciate that the dish would be incomplete without it.

The same may be exemplified with a traditional Indian textile:

Each bit is an abstract part that makes up the whole fabric.  Look close and discover various stitches, colors, textures, patterns, and even some mirrors!  As with Indian cuisine, many layers of flavors and spices (scraps and threads) come together to form the perfect masala (or bedspread, in this example).  And there’s always a bit of the unexpected in all of it.

The whole of India is like that, too. 

I’ve scoured the cupboards of my India photo archives to toss together some flavorful ingredients, many of which have never before been published, and present to you a recipe for my visual “Masala of India.”

Incarnations of Vishnu (Khajuraho)

Indian Textiles (Jaipur)

 Mosaic Inlay (Agra)

 Clay Sculpture Faces (Calcutta)

Waters of the Ganges (Varanasi)

Marigolds (Calcutta)

Carved Erotic Temples (Khajuraho)


Carved Floral Relief (Taj Mahal, Agra)

Himalayan Berries (Darjeeling)

Astronomical Map (Observatory, Jaipur)

Ceramic Tiles (Delhi)

Marble Lattice (Amber Palace)

Rounded Stucco Corner (Agra)

Floral Garlands (Calcutta)

Indian Tea Leaves (Darjeeling)

Mix well,  and add enlightenment as needed!

You may also enjoy these related posts on India:


Calcutta the Beautiful

Published in the Rough Guide to India

A Taste of Darjeeling

Gallery of India Images

India in Detail

As I write this, I’m on a plane heading to India, where I will be working for the next couple of weeks. Since I will likely be too busy to post to my blog, I’ve scheduled this post to keep you, and my blog, company while I am away.  Enjoy.

India is incredibly photogenic, however, this is not a post where you’re going to find scenic postcard shots of the Taj Mahal or crowded market scenes.  Rather, I’m going to focus on a few ingredients, a few details, and present them together to give you a taste of… the full flavor….of India.

When I enjoy an Indian meal, I take no spice for granted. I taste every one of them.  It’s like a full-blown symphony plays in my mouth, and each instrument gets a solo at some point during the show.  I become captivated with guessing…”what is that hint of something…that flavor which I would not have expected…”.  I savor it, and appreciate that the dish would be incomplete without it.

The same may be exemplified with a traditional Indian textile:

Each bit is an abstract part that makes up the whole fabric.  Look close and discover various stitches, colors, textures, patterns, and even some mirrors!  As with Indian cuisine, many layers of flavors and spices (scraps and threads) come together to form the perfect masala (or bedspread, in this example).  And there’s always a bit of the unexpected in all of it.

The whole of India is like that, too. 

I’ve scoured the cupboards of my India photo archives to toss together some flavorful ingredients, many of which have never before been published, and present to you a recipe for my visual “Masala of India.”

Incarnations of Vishnu (Khajuraho)

Indian Textiles (Jaipur)

 Mosaic Inlay (Agra)

 Clay Sculpture Faces (Calcutta)

Waters of the Ganges (Varanasi)

Marigolds (Calcutta)

Carved Erotic Temples (Khajuraho)


Carved Floral Relief (Taj Mahal, Agra)

Himalayan Berries (Darjeeling)

Astronomical Map (Observatory, Jaipur)

Ceramic Tiles (Delhi)

Marble Lattice (Amber Palace)

Rounded Stucco Corner (Agra)

Floral Garlands (Calcutta)

Indian Tea Leaves (Darjeeling)

Mix well,  and add enlightenment as needed!

You may also enjoy these related posts on India:


Calcutta the Beautiful

Published in the Rough Guide to India

A Taste of Darjeeling

Gallery of India Images

Happy Chinese New Year! Year of the Dragon 2012

The Chinese New Year is upon us, and 2012 is the Year of the Dragon in Chinese Astrology. The dragon is the only mythical animal in the Chinese zodiac, and is a symbol of good fortune and power.

According to legend, the dragon body is made up of nine other animals. Since I don’t have any photos of a living dragon, then I thought that it might make for an interesting photo-post to show all the living animals from which the mythical dragon is formed.

Head of a Camel:

Neck of a Snake:

Scales of a Fish:

Horns of a Deer:

Ears of a Bull:

Stomach of a Clam:

Paws of a Tiger:

Claws of an Eagle:

Eyes of a Rabbit:

Happy Chinese New Year!

Happy Chinese New Year! Year of the Dragon 2012

The Chinese New Year is upon us, and 2012 is the Year of the Dragon in Chinese Astrology. The dragon is the only mythical animal in the Chinese zodiac, and is a symbol of good fortune and power.

According to legend, the dragon body is made up of nine other animals. Since I don’t have any photos of a living dragon, then I thought that it might make for an interesting photo-post to show all the living animals from which the mythical dragon is formed.

Head of a Camel:

Neck of a Snake:

Scales of a Fish:

Horns of a Deer:

Ears of a Bull:

Stomach of a Clam:

Paws of a Tiger:

Claws of an Eagle:

Eyes of a Rabbit:

Happy Chinese New Year!

Dogs Around the World

First, a big wag of the tail for this week’s team of #frifotos hosts who came up with the (travel-related) theme of DOGS, giving me a great excuse to finally post these dogs shots from all over the world in one place. Question is….where to begin on a Round-the-World photo journey of dogs? Since all journeys start at home, we’ll start here, then we’ll continue throughout the US and on to Latin America, Europe, Africa, Asia, and back home again.

One man’s travel destination is another’s backyard – the same may be said for dogs, of course. So I will begin with one of my Surf Dawgs photo series taken at a favorite local beach right here in my (dog’s) own “backyard”, Del Mar Dog Beach, California:

Moving out geographically, and back in evolution, coyotes and wolves are great examples of canine wildlife. These beautiful “dogs” were photographed in Arizona:

Coyotes of the American Southwest

  Mexican Gray Wolves
 
Still in the southwest, I will always love this moment when these pueblo dogs came to greet me in New Mexico, making for a truly iconic capture of Native American pueblo life:

Dogs of San Ildefonso Pueblo

Now I’m not going to drag you through every state via dog pictures, but there is one more state deserving mention, as it is well known for hosting the annual Iditarod sled-dog race. A few years back I had the pleasure of taking my daughter Dog-Sledding on a Glacier in Alaska,  and gave her the video camera (listen to the interview/commentary!):

Getting to visit all the sled-dogs and puppies in training after the ride resulted in plenty of wonderful photos, this one being my favorite:

Blue-eyed girl and blue-eyed husky 

And on the subject of girls and puppies, let’s travel to Guatemala, where this woman was selling a basket full at the Chichicastenango Market:

Chichicastenango Market: Puppies for sale

Next stop, Peru, where this dog and his buddies enjoy the scenery:

Dog & Donkeys overlooking the Sacred Valley and Andes of Peru

Some of the happiest dogs I’ve ever seen during my travels are found in Chile:

Pair of dogs and pair of lovers in Puerto Varas

….where they also have jobs that they love, such as this….

Little guard dog with big attitude in Puerto Natales

or this…

Rancher and his dog herding sheep in Patagonia

Ah yes, the sheep herders. What better segway to hop over to Europe?  Landing first in Ireland:

 
Satisfied Border Collie watches his flock

Then on to London, UK, for this canine appearance in the Lord Mayor’s Parade:

Dogs on Parade

And to Spain, where these dogs enjoy shopping the avenues of Barcelona:

Dogs and Shoppers in Barcelona

Enough of the domesticated dogs for a bit, let’s head down to South Africa, and to my personal favorite wild animal to spot in the wild, the African Wild Dog:

African Painted Wild Dog

African Wild Dog of Madikwe

It is such a thrill to watch them in the wild, and to get them in good light, I even shot a video and blogged about the Wild Dogs here: Madikwe is for the Dogs.  A must read for dog/wildlife lovers! Oh what the heck, here’s the video too:

Before we leave Africa, Here’s a shot from Namibia which illustrates the difference a dog makes – without the dog, this scene would be, well, depressing.

Scene of daily life in Katatura Township

Now, from a land where few children have shoes, to a land where few dogs don’t.  I’m talking about Japan, where the dog is a fashion accessory and Tokyo department stores have entire floors dedicated to canine fashions. I’ve blogged about how these little dogs are Big in Japan, but here are a couple of the more blatant four-legged fashion victims:

Proud owner poses her fashionable toy dogs

The men in Japan are not immune to dogs as fashion accessories


Little Dog, Big Attitude. Kyoto, Japan.

Finally, Asia is home to what I consider to be the happiest dogs anywhere in the world, living an even better life than their human counterparts. They reside in the tranquil Himalayan kingdom of Bhutan.

Dog enjoying best view in the world, Tiger’s Nest Monastery in Bhutan

Dog Amongst Prayer Flags, Punakha Bhutan

Of course, this is a case where a picture speaks a thousand words. I’ve seen plenty of happy dogs, and plenty of sleeping dogs, but this blissful dog was truly in an elevated state of consciousness:


The ultimate meditative state – doggie nirvana

When it comes to travel, truly, the most important dogs anywhere are the ones who wait at the door and greet me with enthusiastic wags and slobbery kisses when I return home from my travels.  It’s not so easy for my older dog, Jambo, to jump up and rush to the door anymore, but bless his heart, he always makes the effort when I come home, always. And there’s the younger dog, Java, who jumps like a circus act and whose tail never stops spinning.  They bring so much joy and love and laughter, and home would never be home without them.

Jambo
Java

And thus ends my Round the World adventure by dog photos.  Hope you have enjoyed, and if you are on twitter, be sure to share your own dog pics and follow the hashtag #frifotos!

Dogs Around the World

First, a big wag of the tail for this week’s team of #frifotos hosts who came up with the (travel-related) theme of DOGS, giving me a great excuse to finally post these dogs shots from all over the world in one place. Question is….where to begin on a Round-the-World photo journey of dogs? Since all journeys start at home, we’ll start here, then we’ll continue throughout the US and on to Latin America, Europe, Africa, Asia, and back home again.

One man’s travel destination is another’s backyard – the same may be said for dogs, of course. So I will begin with one of my Surf Dawgs photo series taken at a favorite local beach right here in my (dog’s) own “backyard”, Del Mar Dog Beach, California:

Moving out geographically, and back in evolution, coyotes and wolves are great examples of canine wildlife. These beautiful “dogs” were photographed in Arizona:

Coyotes of the American Southwest

  Mexican Gray Wolves
 
Still in the southwest, I will always love this moment when these pueblo dogs came to greet me in New Mexico, making for a truly iconic capture of Native American pueblo life:

Dogs of San Ildefonso Pueblo

Now I’m not going to drag you through every state via dog pictures, but there is one more state deserving mention, as it is well known for hosting the annual Iditarod sled-dog race. A few years back I had the pleasure of taking my daughter Dog-Sledding on a Glacier in Alaska,  and gave her the video camera (listen to the interview/commentary!):

Getting to visit all the sled-dogs and puppies in training after the ride resulted in plenty of wonderful photos, this one being my favorite:

Blue-eyed girl and blue-eyed husky 

And on the subject of girls and puppies, let’s travel to Guatemala, where this woman was selling a basket full at the Chichicastenango Market:

Chichicastenango Market: Puppies for sale

Next stop, Peru, where this dog and his buddies enjoy the scenery:

Dog & Donkeys overlooking the Sacred Valley and Andes of Peru

Some of the happiest dogs I’ve ever seen during my travels are found in Chile:

Pair of dogs and pair of lovers in Puerto Varas

….where they also have jobs that they love, such as this….

Little guard dog with big attitude in Puerto Natales

or this…

Rancher and his dog herding sheep in Patagonia

Ah yes, the sheep herders. What better segway to hop over to Europe?  Landing first in Ireland:

 
Satisfied Border Collie watches his flock

Then on to London, UK, for this canine appearance in the Lord Mayor’s Parade:


Dogs on Parade

And to Spain, where these dogs enjoy shopping the avenues of Barcelona:

Dogs and Shoppers in Barcelona

Enough of the domesticated dogs for a bit, let’s head down to South Africa, and to my personal favorite wild animal to spot in the wild, the African Wild Dog:

African Painted Wild Dog


African Wild Dog of Madikwe

It is such a thrill to watch them in the wild, and to get them in good light, I even shot a video and blogged about the Wild Dogs here: Madikwe is for the Dogs.  A must read for dog/wildlife lovers! Oh what the heck, here’s the video too:

Before we leave Africa, Here’s a shot from Namibia which illustrates the difference a dog makes – without the dog, this scene would be, well, depressing.

Scene of daily life in Katatura Township

Now, from a land where few children have shoes, to a land where few dogs don’t.  I’m talking about Japan, where the dog is a fashion accessory and Tokyo department stores have entire floors dedicated to canine fashions. I’ve blogged about how these little dogs are Big in Japan, but here are a couple of the more blatant four-legged fashion victims:

Proud owner poses her fashionable toy dogs


The men in Japan are not immune to dogs as fashion accessories


Little Dog, Big Attitude. Kyoto, Japan.

Finally, Asia is home to what I consider to be the happiest dogs anywhere in the world, living an even better life than their human counterparts. They reside in the tranquil Himalayan kingdom of Bhutan.

Dog enjoying best view in the world, Tiger’s Nest Monastery in Bhutan

Dog Amongst Prayer Flags, Punakha Bhutan

Of course, this is a case where a picture speaks a thousand words. I’ve seen plenty of happy dogs, and plenty of sleeping dogs, but this blissful dog was truly in an elevated state of consciousness:

The ultimate meditative state – doggie nirvana

When it comes to travel, truly, the most important dogs anywhere are the ones who wait at the door and greet me with enthusiastic wags and slobbery kisses when I return home from my travels.  It’s not so easy for my older dog, Jambo, to jump up and rush to the door anymore, but bless his heart, he always makes the effort when I come home, always. And there’s the younger dog, Java, who jumps like a circus act and whose tail never stops spinning.  They bring so much joy and love and laughter, and home would never be home without them.

Jambo
Java

And thus ends my Round the World adventure by dog photos.  Hope you have enjoyed, and if you are on twitter, be sure to share your own dog pics and follow the hashtag #frifotos!

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