Tuesday, March 9, 2010

The Journey Continues...

We've unpacked our backpacks. We now shower and change clothes on a more regular basis. We know where we're sleeping each night. And we speak the language of those around us.

In those ways Syrupsun is over but here, thankfully, Syrupsun lives on.

If regular life ever gets too boring we can jump in Devil's Pool, float down the Amazon, Nile, or Zambezi Rivers, get up close and personal with lions, elephants, camels, and monkeys, hang out with the kids of Rift Valley Children's Village, walk among the ruins of past civilizations, or just sit and relax on the world's most beautiful beaches.

We can't summarize what this journey has meant for us. But we can thank everyone we met that helped us along our way. Some picked us up on the side of the road, some helped us find a place to sleep, some took us places we would never have seen. We would like to especially thank, Pato, Jorge, Suzanna, Linda, Catarina, Camilla, and Zack all of whom welcomed us into their lives and led us on great adventures.

More than just individuals we'd like to thank the Earth and all its citizens. The world rewarded our trust, curiosity, and sense of adventure every day on Syrupsun. And, given the chance, it'll reward yours too.

View Syrupsun ¿donde estamos? in a larger map

Good luck on your adventure.

It's hard to believe that this is the last Syrupsun post.

Thank you for coming along,

Temple and Clay

Wednesday, March 3, 2010


We eased back into America in San Francisco with brother Hudson, who offered us his insanely comfy bed to rest our weary bones. I can't imagine a better place or better person to welcome us back from world travel and show us that the adventures weren't over. After a long rest, we explored Hudson's San Francisco from chilling in their amazing garden to visiting the Janet Pomeroy Center, and biking through Golden Gate Park and over the bridge with Hudson's bicycle sound system booming.

The next stop on our ReEntry tour was Denver to see "Syrupsun Sammy" (along with brother Tommy & Tiffany). Sammy was born just before we left and he showed us how long we'd been gone. Walking around and climbing stairs, just being a little explorer, maybe one day a world traveler.

We went skiing with the Moores in Breckenridge. The snowy Rockies were another wonder to grateful to explore. On the slopes, Temple looked graceful and Clay looked out of control.

The tour continued when Clay got to see cousin Anna Belle and Ty in Boulder and his old friend Zandman. There were more friends and family awaiting in Atlanta. So we boarded the last red-eye flight of Syrupsun, landing Atlanta at 6:00 am.

Everyone was thrilled for our safe return. The welcome home party began.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Fushimi Inari-taisha

From the base of Inari Mountain, tunnels of torii gates climb to the inner shrine of Inari, the Shinto god of success and wealth. The hope of striking it rich makes the shrine a must visit for businessmen and entrepreneurs setting out on a new venture or going through hard times. The shrine has been successful itself, as you can tell by the torii gates. Each one has been donated by businesses or families thanking Fushimi Inari-taisha for bringing them great prosperity.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Philosopher's Path

After reuniting with Zack in Kyoto, we set off on the Philosopher's Path. The route was made famous by Nishida Kitaro, a famous Japanese philosopher who walked along the canal during his daily meditations. The path links Ginkakuji, the Silver Pavilion, with smaller temples and gardens. We walked alone, thanks to the cold rain, discussing the meaning of life and other light subjects.

Our peaceful walk was beautiful and full of laughter.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Himeji Castle

During our karaoke extravaganza in Tokyo, Zack's friends told us to visit Himeji Castle, one of the most popular and well preserved castles in Japan. Shoguns and samurais patrolled its walls and it even survived fire bombing during World War II. We arrived on an overcast day. The hilltop fortress appeared to be floating in the clouds.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Hakone Shrine

From the shores of Lake Ashi, we walk through the vermilion tori gates past the towering Sugi trees that lead to the wooded shrine of Hakone. After the customary washing of hands, we walk to the altar where an offertory wooden box sits. Four large ropes attached to copper bells hang before us. We follow the prayer cycle of fellow worshipers: after tossing some yen into the box, we clap twice, shake the rope, then bow.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Onsen: Hadaka No Tsukiai

Bathing in an onsen, a Japanese hot spring, is a traditional way to stay healthy and unwind. Businessmen soak together to relax after a stressful week in Tokyo. When Zack was teaching in Niigata, he bonded with his coworkers at an onsen.

We say goodbye to Temple who will have to have a solo naked adventure in the female onsen.

Zack and I walk into the locker room and get naked. We walk outside. In the corner are a few rounded stone stools with a bucket next to them. We sit and begin our bucket showers which are mandatory before entering the onsen. When we are clean, it is time to test the waters. There are six small pools to choose from, some are carved out of the mountain and others are wooden like jacuzzis. Each on is a different temperature ranging from ice cold to boiling hot.

We decide to begin in the largest and most popular. We relax and soak. During the next hour, we try out all the different pools and take a sauna. Once our relaxation is complete we towel off and go to hear about Temple's solo adventure.

Onsen by ClayBolton