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Hey all,

Since our last update we´ve hit a few continents and
now we´re on the home stretch of our global tour.
Since leaving Delhi behind (yahoo!), we spent 5 days
luxuriating in the presence of friends in Vienna,
snarfed as much baklava as we could get our hands on
in Turkey and relaxed for week of sailing in the Greek
islands. Life is rough.

Here is the lowdown on this fun-filled update from the
globe trotting duo of Rog and Jen:

1) Vienna – clean hospitals and so much more
2) Turkey – yes, we did buy a carpet
3) The Greek islands with Dad, Laura, the skipper and
Gilligan
4) South America and beyond

Please send us mail. We love spending time with each
other, but we get lonely when our inboxes are empty.
As always, if you would like for us both to receieve
your message, please be sure to send it to us both at
cjenniferjackson@yahoo.com and mountainrog@yahoo.com.

1) Vienna – clean hospitals and so much more

What a shock it was to arrive in this orderly city,
after negotiating the wild streets of Delhi.
Everythings looked so…well, clean. Potable water,
cushy beds, edible raw veggies! The ride from the
airport was a veritable feast for the eyes — green
grass along the roadside, cute little Austrian homes,
and sidewalks. Yes, SIDEWALKS!

We loved India, Nepal and SE Asia. We really did.
But carrying around all that nasty bacteria we picked
up there got old very quickly and we were ready to
leave that all behind and tool around the city where
we met and fell in love many moons ago. Alas, it
wasn’t quite as simple as we’d hoped: we both found
ourselves at Vienna’s big modern hospital and managed
to get a good diagnosis on our persistant infections.
Thankfully, since Vienna, we have not had any
problems. Cross your fingers for us!

Despite our hospital visit, we had a terrific time in
Vienna. Who wouldn’t?! It’s one of the most beautiful
and lovely cities in Europe. Plus we saw several old
friends. Many thanks to Martin and Julia for allowing
us and fellow globetrotters, Tina and Jason, to stay
at their cushy pad just outside the city. We visited
our former campus and dorm, gulped down beer in an
outdoor beer garden, wandered with gelato in-hand
through the cobbled pedestrian zones and gazed up in
awe at Stephsdom (St. Stephans Cathedral) which we
used to rollerblade around. It was also great to see
Bruce Murray, the director of our exchange program in
Vienna, who hasn´t changed a bit.

Although our Wienerdialekt is rusty, we got by, even
with the unintelligable women who work at the bakery
chain Anker. Whew!

2) Turkey – yes, we did buy a carpet

We flew into Istanbul and met our friend Christine
(yay!) from San Francisco with whom we travelled for
the next 10 days. Istanbul is a marvelous city,
modern and convienent like western European cities
like Vienna, but with palpable Islamic feel to it.
Just as in the rest of Turkey, the minnarets of
mosques dot the skyline and most days we woke up to
the early morning call to prayer echoing across the
city. In spite of its strong Muslim majority, Turkey
prides itself on being a secular state and the
separation of church and state is even stronger there
than in the U.S. Although many women and girls wear
headscarves around town, they aren’t allowed to do so
at public schools or at work if they hold government
jobs. Imagine government workers or teachers in the
U.S. not being able to wear a cross or star of David
at work.

We toured the amazing Haya Sofya, a former Byzantine
church now used as a mosque and the Blue Mosque and
palace of the … Then we took a comfortable modern
bus ride on an excellent highway (what a change from
delapidated coachs careening down bad roads!) to
Cappadoccia, which is roughly in the middle of Turkey.
Cappadoccia is a playground of crazy conical rock
towers formed by erosion. It’s reminiscent of the
Badlands in the U.S, or possibly the Flintstones.
During the12th century, Christians moved into the area
and burrowed homes, fresco-decorated churches and
whole underground cities into the soft rock. Rog was
in Seventh Heaven scampering around, climbing into
nooks and crannies, and winding his way through
multi-level caverns. He left Cappadoccia with lots of
scrapes and scratches, and a huge grin on his face.

Next we dashed down to the coast and spent a few days
in Olympos hanging out on the beach and visiting local
ruins. More clamboring around, but this time through
ancient Greek temples and huge open air ampitheaters.
Our driver had lots of fun taking us through thickets
and brush to get to the next ruin, and enjoyed hitting
on Christine all day (why Turkish men think they are
God´s gift to women we haven´t figured out yet). Our
final stop with Christine was Ephesus on the western
Aegean coast. Here we found more impressive Hellenic
ruins with an open air theater still in use for
concerts, and advanced aquaduct and sewer systems.
Until Ephesus, we had managed to avoid the
everpresence of carpet salesmen, until we reached
Ephesus. Somehow we walked into a shop, and it was
all over. Our next home will be an ethnic bonanza
with all the weavings and cloth we have bought around
the world.

3) The Greek islands with Dad, Laura, the skipper and
Gilligan

After bidding Christine and her carpets adieu, we
joined Rog´s father John and his wife Laura for a
terrifc week-long trip on a 42-foot sailboat through
several small, quiet Greek islands. Our crew was
rounded out by our somewhat self-centered Greek
skipper Marco, who was an excellent sailer and took us
to wonderful, secluded destinations. The wind was
with us and we had the sails up for at least a few
hours each day as we wound our way to Kalimnos,
Patmos, Leros, Lipsos, and Pserimos. Imagine towns
with a handful of white-washed buildings overlooking
aquamarine waters, sage and thyme aromas wafting from
the hillsides, and little Greek women serving up
feta-laden Greek salads. Pretty darn nice!

4) South America and beyond…

After some much needed R&R in Europe, we flew to
Santiago de Chile. We spent our two-day layover
touring around this chilly city (c’mon, it IS winter
there), eating more than our share of empanadas, and
looking out at the Andes, which seemed close enough to
touch. Yesterday, we flew to La Paz, Bolivia, the
highest capital city in the world at almost 13,000
feet. We’re still trying to catch our breath as we
walk around the hilly streets. Here, too, the Andes
loom close and beckon us to go trekking, which of
course, we will! While Rog takes a week of Spanish
classes in Cuzco, Jen will do some hiking in the
Cordillera Real and try a summit bid of Huayna Potosi,
at just under 20,000 feet. It will be the first time
in ten months that we have separated for more than a
couple hours. It freaks us co-dependent travellers
out a bit!

But then we hook back up again in Cuzco and join San
Francisco friends Kevin, Alicia and Phil, for a week
of hiking the Inca Trail out of Cuzco. Macchu Picchu
here we come! Afterwards, Jen will depart for the
states to attend her 10th reunion, while Rog and
friends will do some more trekking and mountain
climbing back in Bolivia. In mid-July, Rog will make
his way back stateside.

We both are so looking forward to going home to see
you all! While travelling has been an incredible
experience, we have missed you all so much. You’ll
ease the culture shock of being back in the land of
many comforts. See you soon!

Hugs,
Jen and Rog

Rog and Jen’s travels – some old stuff, some new stuff

This blog has a collection of the travel update emails that Jen and Rog compiled during our 2001-2002 round the world trip. We're off to do a bit more trekking around, and thought it would be nice import those old emails. Enjoy!

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