I headed back down to Switzerland from Bonn over another summer weekend.  I flew in to Zurich and caught a train down to Grindelwald with my Swedish friend Carolin Olsson, who has lived in Switzerland for the past few years. On Saturday we caught the cable car up to First (2168m) and then hiked, Read More

Over the summer I’d kept in touch with Alex Jeffers, a friend from the year above me at Haas.  In between graduation and starting work in New York he’d been backpacking around Africa and Europe, and we organized to meet up in Chamonix for the weekend. I flew in to Geneva on Friday evening, Read More

On our second weekend we took the chance to go way off the beaten track to Mole National Park, a large park in north-western Ghana known for its wild elephant population.  To get there it was a bumpy and looooong drive along terrible roads with our Ghana Health Service driver Donku at the wheel., Read More

My friend Jolien Blankestijn visited me from the Netherlands over Spring Break, and we decided to do a 9-day road trip through Nevada, Utah, Arizona and southern California.      A fantastic sunset looking west from the Berkeley hills up above campus. Our first day on the road was a long one, driving all, Read More

I left Alex and Laura in Antigua and flew down to Nicaragua to catch up with Jolien.  I flew into the capital Managua and caught a bus down to the old town of Granada. I’d describe Granada as "having potential" – it’s like a run-down Antigua, with some beautiful colonial-style buildings, restaurants and hotels. , Read More

The bus ride from Copan in Honduras to Antigua in Guatemala took some time, and it was dark by the time we arrived in the city.  We had some luck finding a good deal at a beautiful colonial-era hotel near the market, and as Poff and Earner had one last day before flying home, Read More

Dawn light touches Half Dome (at left). Looking further up the valley – typical Yosemite!  Granite and fir trees.   The cable section near the summit.  I saw many people with grossly inadequate footwear slipping and sliding on the steep granite.  It’s no wonder there are a few fatalities each year… Fantastic views at, Read More

While back in Australia, I took the chance to visit my aunt Karen up in Townsville, in far north Queensland.  I hadn’t seen Karen in years and I thought this would be my last chance to catch up with her for the next few years.  Also, being winter, it was a great chance to, Read More

After leaving Switzerland and completing my Nepal/India trip, I was back in Australia for about six weeks over winter before I had to head to San Francisco for business school.  I took the chance to do something I always wanted to do and planned a week snow shoeing and camping up in the Australian, Read More

The final stop on our South American vacation was Ecuador.  We flew into Quito – the 2nd highest capital city in the world! – and while it’s at 3000m we didn’t have any problems acclimatizing to the altitude as we’d just come from Bogota which is also pretty high. Fascinating Quito!      We, Read More