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Lost In Latacunga – Exploring Central Ecuador

Central Ecuador - Latacunga, Quilotoa and Saquisili “Not all those who wander are lost." - J.R.R Tolkien We get off the bus and have no idea which way to go. Latacunga looks dirty and uninviting, and the first hotel we check is small and dark. However, once we get our bearings and into the town center, things change. We find a room at a nicer hotel among the cobblestone streets, and sit down for a couple of sandwiches at a bright restaurant around the corner. [...]

By |2018-12-19T04:17:38+00:00November 26th, 2018|Categories: Arts and Culture, Ecuador|Tags: , |0 Comments

Veganism and Vegetarians – Let Your Conscience Be Your Food Guide

Conscience Food Choices - The Case for Veganism “I tried to amend my carnivorous habits.” - Jimmy Buffett We are not vegans, but we have been eating a plant-based diet for nearly twenty years. Our reasons for this have been based on health and moral concerns. Study after study show that meat consumption leads to an increased risk of heart disease, stroke, diabetes, cancer and obesity, among other diseases. And, the horrible treatment of animals in the mass production of meat products is well documented. Thirty years ago, those who cared [...]

Nomads, Gompas and Koras – Buddhist Festivals on the Tibetan Plateau

Pilgrims, Priests and Prayer Flags - Buddhist Monasteries on the Tibetan Plateau “I am confident I will set foot again in Tibet in my lifetime.” - 14th Dalai Lama Despite the altitude, it is stiflingly hot and we have to get out of the city. One week in Lhasa is enough time to see its highlights and the outlying temples accessible as day trips. Most tour operators offer excursions of varying lengths to sites farther afield. So, we hire a 4X4 and driver for a few days to visit several monasteries and [...]

By |2018-11-26T21:11:40+00:00October 22nd, 2018|Categories: Adventure, Tibet|Tags: , , , |0 Comments

Swahili Dhows and Zanzibar Ferries – Tanzanian Island-Hopping

Swahili Coast Island Hopping - Tanga to Dar es Salaam by Dhow and Ferry “It is not worth the while to go round the world to count the cats in Zanzibar.” - Henry David Thoreau A contrast is immediately apparent upon crossing the border from Kenya to Tanzania. The paved road gives way to a dirt track, and concrete buildings with tin tops are replaced by mud huts with thatched caps. We are in Tanga, and decide to island-hop down the Swahili coast Dar es Salaam. We are always looking for adventure and [...]

By |2018-11-06T02:24:01+00:00October 15th, 2018|Categories: Adventure, Tanzania|Tags: , , , |0 Comments

Hold Your Breath – Top Ten La Paz Snorkeling Sites

Top Ten La Paz Snorkeling Sites - Breathtakingly Beautiful “Le plus grand aquarium du monde.” - Jacques Yves Cousteau A quick internet search for La Paz snorkeling will produce pages of excursions offered by local tour operators. But, if you want to hang out at a beach and snorkel on your own, there isn’t a lot of information available. Many tourists (and locals) don’t realize that beautiful beaches with clear and calm turquoise waters - perfect for snorkeling – can be found very close to the city. We have spent several [...]

Ramazan In Turkey – The Fast and the Curious

Dawn Til Dusk - Turkish Travel During Ramazan “Don’t tell me how educated you are, tell me how much you have traveled.” - Muhammad This year, we didn't have turkey for Christmas, so we went to Turkey for Christmas. After all, it is where Saint Nicolas is buried in his tomb near Myrna. We land in Istanbul and spend a week visiting the obligatory sites including Hagia Sofia, Blue Mosque, Topkapi Palace and Grand Bazaar. The city’s skyline is pierced by countless minarets as far as the [...]

By |2018-11-01T16:35:05+00:00September 24th, 2018|Categories: Arts and Culture, Turkey|Tags: , , , |0 Comments

Etosha National Park – Safari Across The Salt Pan

Salt Pan Safari - Namibia's Etosha National Park “I never knew of a morning in Africa when I woke up and was not happy.” - Ernest Hemingway After a two day bus odyssey from Livingston, Zambia and through the Caprivi Strip, we arrive in Tsumeb. We organize ourselves with a rental car, tent and cooking utensils, and set off to explore the various waterholes of Etosha National Park. A Gemsbok (Oryx) joins a herd of Elephants In the vast salt pan in northern [...]

By |2018-11-07T17:16:14+00:00September 10th, 2018|Categories: Adventure, Namibia|Tags: , , |0 Comments

Free And Easy – The Fallacy Of The Free Market

Me, Now - The Absurdity of Advertising “Advertising is based on one thing - happiness. Happiness is the smell of a new car. It’s freedom from fear. It’s a billboard on the side of a road that screams with reassurance that whatever you’re doing is OK. You are OK.” - Don Draper (Mad Men) Unicorns, like free markets, don’t exist. In high-school, we learn about Adam Smith’s free-market economy - an “invisible hand” guiding the “reasonable man”. However, upon closer inspection it becomes evident that the “invisible hand” is nothing more [...]

By |2018-10-30T21:54:58+00:00September 3rd, 2018|Categories: Perspective|Tags: |0 Comments

Following The Herd – Nepal’s Dashain Festival

Flocking to Nepal's Dashain Festival - Herders and the Herded "To my mind, the life of a lamb is no less precious than that of a human being." - Mahatma Gandhi Finally, after hiking for ten days up the lush Marsyangdi Valley, we trudge across the 4516 m Thorung-la. Below, the trail descends into the desert-like Mustang of the Kali Gandaki River – a stark contrast to the way up. Descent to Dashain Our climb down to Tatopani coincides with the preparation of the Hindu sacrificial festival [...]

By |2018-08-09T22:28:47+00:00August 20th, 2018|Categories: Arts and Culture, Nepal|Tags: , |0 Comments

Inca Roads And The Gringo Trail – Hiking To Machu Picchu

Machu Picchu And The Inca Trail - Cusco For Christmas “I have come to take away from them their gold.” - Francisco Pizarro We leave Cuzco at dawn on the summer solstice, along the road that follows the Rio Urubamba to Ollaytaytambo. It is a bumpy and steep descent – too steep for our vehicle. The brakes are inadequate, so we must wait for a replacement bus, presumably with better brakes. A local boy sings a few traditional songs to entertain us, while we take the opportunity to become better acquainted [...]

By |2018-08-09T20:47:43+00:00August 13th, 2018|Categories: Adventure, Peru|Tags: , , |0 Comments