Day 18 – Adventuring in the deserts and seas of Oman.
Wow, Oman is a secret treasure in the world!
Everyone was warm, kind, and inviting. The landscapes are like nothing I’ve ever seen, from curious canyons to sharp-ridged mountains, to huge epic mountain ranges, and everything in between. Parts are green and other parts are 150km of nonstop desert where it takes 6 days by camel to cross.
We did a ton of stuff just in our short time here… enjoy the video!
A beautiful sunset.
A beautiful sunset along the beach in Muscat.
About to board two catamarans for a sunset sail.
Hardcore Souk Shopping.
Beautiful colors in the mosque.
Inside the lobby of the Ritz-Carlton Al Bustan Palace.
Ladies walking on the beach.
My friend in the desert.
My new friends exchange Instagram information at the mosque.
The family visits the Grand Mosque.
Scarlett is constantly throwing sand for no reason I can discern.
Here’s the chandelier in the Grand Mosque from below.
The Girls Take a Rest after a long walk in the desert.
The end of the Mosque where the colors glowed.
The Grand Mosque around midnight.
Visiting the Bedouin home.
The girls walk through the massive desert — if you look in the middle, you can see a group of people about 5km away.
Daily Photo – The incredible interior of the Grand Mosque
Day 16 – Quadcopter Crashing in Kerala and Farewell India
A lot of Quadcopter drama as we leave India! But I’ll get to that. BTW, check out my DJI Phantom 3 Review here on the site to see more about what I fly.
We started out in Kerala, a beautiful area of India that has thousands of little canals. We stayed on a houseboat for a while, drifting around like houseboat people. This is where Quada, which Scarlet calls the Quadacopter, had its last journey. We had countless successful flights with it… and you can see how Ethan launches it from the front of the boat… no problems there. But one time, a rotor would not turn. We got a “Rotor Obstructed” error message. Strange, because I couldn’t see anything. I did notice one rotor would make strange noises at startup, but when it started spinning, it was fine. Then it asked me to do the old 10-minute IMU calibration, which I did and was successful. We had 2 great flights, launching from the front of the boat and Ethan catching it on landing… no problems and we were smooth as silk. Then, on the next flight, It got up to about 40 meters and was only 20 meters from us and I saw the rotor lock up in the air! It tumbled down into the water for a major splashdown right by the boat. Everyone screamed and it was very dramatic! There was no recovery… it sank to the bitter depths… and all that awesome footage is lost foreva! It’s okay… the universe decided it was time for Quada to move on… So that meant I had to go to the camera store to buy another one… I just hope they let me take it to Oman next!
Okay, well, what else happened towards the end of our India trip. You can see more in the video here of course, but here’s a few things. We ended our train trip and went into the India Asha Niketan foundation, a special place here built for people with intellectual disabilities. The whole family spent some time here with the team helping out. It was especially great for the kids! Ethan played the guitar and we spent some time there together.
After that, we went back to Rivas at The Ritz-Carlton in Bangalore for an Indian cooking class from a Michelin star chef. Amazing! And not only that, but then we ate everything that we cooked… we are eating so much it is crazy… but Ethan and Isabella have really gotten into Indian food, which is great. Scarlett, not so much.
And then it was time to cap off our India experience by going full Bollywood! I actually love Bollywood movies from the first one I saw in Mumbai about 8 years ago when I saw Om Shanti Om! I had a small crush on the gal that was in that movie, and it turns out she’s in the hot new movie everyone demanded that we go see, Bajiao Mastani — so we headed off to the shopping mall in Bangalore to see if we could find it… we did and it was great, even though the whole thing was in Hindi. Scarlett and Isabella loved it. Ethan, not so much.
Anyway, a fantastic trip to India… the whole family is now boarding the plane to spend time in Oman and Qatar!
A strange sight to see these two symbols side by side.
A Final dinner on the coast of India.
Beautiful colors in Cochin.
A woman washes herself in a canal in Karela.
Five Indian Dudes that may have been a boy band.
Communist Propoganda can still be seen all over Kerala India.
Indian Beach from Above.
Houseboats in Kerala.
Last day to be on the Golden Chariot.
The awesome bar on top of the Ritz-Carlton in Bangalore called Bang.
Pulling into the Ritz-Carlton in Bangalore.
Visiting the West End hote.
Daily Photo – One of the last nights on our moving hotel
Day 14 – Sunrise at the Southern Tip of India where three seas meet and Madurai with the Meenakshi Amman Temple
It started with a 4 AM Wake-up in our train car, now parked in Kerala, then loading up for a trip down to the beach. But this wasn’t just any beach, this was at the Kanyakumari, the meeting place of three seas: The Bay of Bengal, the Indian Ocean, and the Arabian Sea. I thought I might be the only one there at 5 AM, but boy, was I wrong! See more on the video!
And another amazing set of temples at Madurai, one of the oldest cities in the world. These temples at Meenakshi Amman are INSANE. I was not allowed to bring my regular cameras or Osmo (see Osmo Review), so I only had my Android Nexus 6P for photos and videos, which is mega-fine. I loved these temples so much… I’ve never seen anything quite like them. There are 14 colorful goporums (gateway towers), all brightly colored with Dravidian-style Hindu gods.
Then you can join me on a little train tour before ending up at a confusing night-show at Tamil Nadu. I was sitting by a woman who is an oral surgeon in Detroit. Halfway through the show, I asked her if she had any nitrous oxide.
The Sea Smashing Before the Game of Thornes scene.
A Pilgramage of Red.
An Eerie Light Show that still confuses me.
Our Train Pulls into the Station.
Assembling at the Temple.
Painted Ladies Walking.
This train had all kinds of people on it from all walks of life. Here’s me with the Greek Ambassador Tassos Kriekoukis exploring a Hundu temple..
Daily Photo – Sunrise on the southern tip of India where the three seas meet
Every week, they make me a new playlist to discover called, intrepidly, “Discover Weekly.” They put songs in there I’ve never heard of but usually enjoy. I have strange tastes in music… so how-do-it-know?
Daily Photo – The Volcanoes in Bali from Above
Here's a cool photo I got with the Inspire on a surprise flight. I didn't expect to fly at this exact spot… we kind of randomly pulled over in the middle of the island and decided to take a flight. This was one of the only volcano views I got while there… I didn't get too close to them at all, and there weren't a lot of views I got from the roadside. So it was really cool to get up above the trees and get to see them like this.
Believe it or not, I was too busy to get back in here with my wide-angle lens to get a full shot, so I had to settle for this one, which isn't so bad. Maybe next time when I go back we can make that happen! It's such a cool place inside, and the only way to get its true glory is with a wide-angle lens.
I’m still on the hunt for the perfect pair of photography gloves! My favorite so far are the fingerless ones with the mitten-covering that you can flap over the front. I have a few pairs of those, but none of them are quite perfect yet!
Daily Photo – The Smoothness of Antarctica
I realize now that most of the photos I've shared from Antarctica have been a bit severe in terms of the rockiness or ice-sharpness and things like this. Really, a lot of it is smooth… a lot of smooth, snowy, rolling hills of ice and things like this. It's a little scary because it feels like you can walk anywhere, but then you never know when you might slip through the ice or fall into a crevasse!
I was thinking maybe Europe or Asia for the next set of photo walks… I’m not sure because we still missed a lot of cities in the USA I wanted to visit, especially in the Pacific Northwest. Decisions, decisions… Well, in the meantime, check out our USA Tour Highlights Page!
Daily Photo – A hot night in Dallas!
It was another crazy photo walk where unexpected things happened. At the end of the photo walk, we all gathered here when suddenly all these fire dancers appeared by surprise… with hundreds of photographers, we decided to have a huge field day with it!
Don’t forget to check out our workshops page to see stuff that may magically appear there!
Daily Photo – Hiking in Queenstown
Every day at Aro-Ha we went on a different hike. This photo is a pretty big pano taken about halfway through our trek. Who's that guy? That's Mostafa! He came all the way to New Zealand to participate in our workshop from Saudi Arabia. I really enjoyed hanging out with him and talking… some of these hikes went on for hours, so it gave us plenty of time to get to know one another!
I don’t do yoga and meditation every single day, but I did make sure to have time for it here in Bali. I was on holiday, after all… the least I could do, while doing nothing, was squeeze in a bit of time for that! But I find it’s actually hard to do NOTHING all day long. I am a bit of a busy-body, I guess… yeah but my day would just get filled up with all kinds of nothing-business for some reason, so I found I needed to pre-schedule time for yoga & meditation… otherwise it would never get done!
Daily Photo – Walking into another paradise
This is the view I saw as I walked into the Mandapa Reserve Bali (a Ritz-Carlton property) at night. There was about a 1-hour car ride here through a magical sunset… and it was all dusky and moody when I arrived. I was totally gobsmacked when I walked in here… So many textures and lights and things to look at, all while being completely calming and relaxing. You can imagine how many hundreds of photos I got of this place, just roaming around and listening to music. Amazing!