Saturday, February 23, 2008

Vietnam Adventure part1

Pine Mountain

Hello from Pine Mountain. Winter is now late winter and the latest storm left more rain than snow. Only in the middle of the night did it become cold enough to actually snow. The rest of the time it was rain then sleet and finally snow. Both our wind generators are running well. Our vertical generator from starts running first at 6 mph winds. Our horizontal from starts at 8 mph. Pine mountain is a very windy place with average wind of 17 mph. At that speed between the 2 wind turbines we are producing almost 9 KW. At 25 mph winds we are up to 18 KW. At 25 mph our pacwind is at full 10 KW rating. Our Bergey needs almost 30 mph to get to its full 10 KW rating. Our water turbine from produces a steady 2.5 KW year round.
Well enough about power generation. This week and next week we have a special treat. A friend of mine has been traveling in the far east and wrote me a long letter about her adventures. She said I could put her story in this newsletter so here is Roxana and her travels.

Vietnam Adventure

It was a pleasant interesting trip. I began my journey with the capital of this south Asian country - Hanoi. After a five-hour flight we have landed in Hanoi and my first impression was: Oh god-when we left the plane such a sensation as though you came into a sauna! It was evening and the temperature was still 40 degrees Centigrade which is 104 degrees Fahrenheit and was very humid and stuffy. We arrived at our hotel called Galaxi 3. The next day after only a small walk we greeted our air conditioned room with much pleasure. Hanoi has typically east-west narrow streets with small houses that are pressing close to each other. There are lots of mopeds which whisk here and there and apparently in general without any traffic regulation. You have to be brave and not afraid to drive on the roads, just go easy , and the main thing slowly, and they will go around you. The best city to buy clothes in is Hanoi. The prices are small.
Nha Trang
The city of Nha Trang, the second city on our tour, is a good choice to buy souvenirs and the well-known sea pearls. The prices are much less and a real bargain! During lunchtime the plane flew from Nha Trang and in an hour forty minutes we have arrived at the airport in Kamrana our next city.
After 30 minutes we have transferred to our hotel. Kamrana is a city with a population 350,000. The city, is in a valley protected on the one hand by mountains, and on the other by islands, therefore there are no cyclones. Because there is no open ocean they are not threatened by tsunamis. December and January is the wet season with long hard tropical rains and is not a good time for a vacation. All the rest of the year it is sunny. The temperature of the air is 30 degrees centigrade, The air is good and there is no closeness. The hottest most humid part of the day is from 11 AM until 3 PM.
Da Lat
The city of Da Lat – the next destination is even better. The air is surprisingly pure and is not like the eastern Vietnamese cities. It reminds us of Europe. When the French ran Vietnam it was there base of operations. The city is at height of 1800 meters above sea level and is exclusively Beautiful. The trees range from pine to rare palms with many tropical colors. The impression that is created is unique. The temperature of the air in the shade is not above 25 degrees Centigrade. In the center of the city is a very picturesque lake, a very beautiful pagoda, and the color of the park is very fine. On the outskirts of the city are extensive coffee plantations and the mountain stream along the road to it simply bewitches. The Islands to the north - it is possible to ride on ostriches and to take pictures sitting on Elephants. You can visit the island of monkeys or an interesting and exotic beach. The southern Islands have an oceanarium with fine wonderful fishes. You can survey the sea-bottom with an aqualung. It is very beautiful with a fine beach. They have many diving instructors.. The guys are super there and very attentive. Be afraid of nothing the instructors have everything under total control. Just relax and enjoy the very beautiful fishes and a huge variety of corals.
Cham's Towers
Cham's towers – a very beautiful ancient Budda temple is 15 minutes drive from the city. They have mud baths that I very much recommend. You start with a mud bath then a shower sharko, and finally a bath with hot mineral water. Then you can have a massage. It feels like you are flying on wings.
Pine Mountain Evening

Well I know most of you have limited time so we will have to continue Roxana's adventures next week. It has been a long day on the mountain and I am relaxing by the fire with this week's coffee flavor from This weeks coffee is chocolate raspberry. It is a very interesting taste and just right to relax by the fire. Squeekers our African grey parrot is enjoying himself chomping away on peanuts on his perch by the fire. I finish reading my Discover magazine and take my last swallow of chocolate raspberry coffee and I am ready to end the day. I close the fireplace, put squeekers in his cage and head upstairs to bed. Good night all until next week.