The West, Part 1, and Pictures

I’m going to hold back on the best of the pictures… because I didn’t take them. Really. My much more talented (and bold) teammate was snapping some amazing shots, and I will splurge on sharing those at a later date… like when I get my grubby hands on them. For now, here are the cream of my crop.*

Mountains bordering our first city, seen from the plane. They really are as tall as they look. Which is tall… in case you were wondering.

Fancy pantsy restaurant we stepped into for lunch the second day. None of us had any idea it would be like this. Also, amazing food. For two stomach-sick travelers, a delicious salad and perfectly flavored rice pilaf were what the doctor might order for us.

Isn’t this neat? There are apparently walkways like this all over the region, with grape vines growing on them. They had just recently been harvested, but several bunches were still hanging. An intrepid youth was climbing onto the bench and pulling one down for a snack as we walked by. Very cool** and social spot to be in the evenings.

So that was the first city we visited. We were in the second for less than a day, and this is my only nice picture of it:

It looks pretty, but it’s the only water around for miles. I like rain†, so it was a jarring difference. Though the cool weather was nice.††

On a business note, we were able to meet with some connections and also some family, and heard fun stories about trying to start business here. The culture is really neat, but it takes time to get a grasp on it (not even counting language). The side business with guitars I will talk about later, for those who’d like to order a guitar for their muscially inclined love one. The trains were fun, but I didn’t sleep well (altitude changes), so I was grateful to get off the plane in our home city. If you’ve seen ‘The Pacifier’ with Vin Diesel, it was a little like the scene where the girl falls out of the minivan and kisses the ground.†††

– – –

*Along with some necessary editing skills.

*Literally, it provides shade and a breeze-way for those seeking shelter from the hot, dusty days. Again, why do we not have such genius things in America?

†It was pouring down like the flood as we took a taxi home… but I was happy to get wet, and my skin was happy too. My hands alone were starting to look like the ground in Texas.

††Yes, it’s already fall there. I was shocked to arrive in the desert and find it about 20-25 degrees cooler than in my home city.

†††I didn’t kiss the ground, but I would have if I hadn’t been exhausted.

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