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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

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

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

Football Frenzy Tico Style – San Jose Soccer

Costa Rica Soccer - Football Frenzy Tico Style “Some people believe football is a matter of life and death. I can assure you it is much, much more important than that.” - Bill Shankly We have a day to kill in Costa Rica’s capital before heading to the coast, so we decide to take in a local football match. There is a game between two of San Jose’s suburbs, Alajuela and Heredia. We take a local bus to the stadium and buy a couple of bleacher tickets. Before entering the gate, [...]

By |2018-07-24T22:29:29+00:00July 2nd, 2018|Categories: Arts and Culture, Costa Rica|Tags: , |0 Comments

Samba In The Rain – Blame It On Rio

Carnaval In Rio De Janiero - Samba In The Rain “Come on, let's go, let's go to Carnaval. It’s time to sing and dance my love. I want the happiness and joy that's found in Carnaval.” - Carlos Sanatana Nestled among the mountains of a rainforest and flanked by the palm-fringed beaches of the Atlantic Ocean, Rio de Janeiro is arguably the most beautiful city in the world. All western cultures celebrate the week before Ash Wednesday and Lent, and Carnaval in Rio is one of the world’s biggest parties. We [...]

By |2018-07-24T22:26:09+00:00May 14th, 2018|Categories: Arts and Culture, Brazil|Tags: , , |0 Comments

Goin’ Down The Road – On Tour With The Grateful Dead

So Many Roads To Shakedown Street - My First Grateful Dead Tour “The bus came by and I got on. That's when it all began.” - Grateful Dead Tour Bus I had no idea. I had seen them twice before, but this was my first tour and my first exposure to life on the road. We don't have a car, so Rick and I “straddled that Greyhound” in Toronto, bound for Alpine Valley – somewhere near Milwaukee. Traveler's cheques seem like a safe option, but I never think about where I [...]

By |2018-05-13T05:18:17+00:00April 30th, 2018|Categories: Arts and Culture, United States|Tags: , , , |0 Comments

Benares Or Bust – Overland Odyssey Through Central India

Overland Travel In India - An Odyssey By Bus And Train “Take me to the station and put me on a train. I've got no expectations to pass through here again.” - Rolling Stones Slow Travel, Whether You Like It Or Not Of the two ways to get overland from Khajuraho to Varanasi, neither is very convenient. So, we opt for both. Overland travel in India is usually pretty slow travel, whether you like it or not. The train doesn’t actually go from Khajuraho, but from the “nearby” town of Mahoba. The [...]

By |2018-05-01T11:15:10+00:00April 16th, 2018|Categories: Arts and Culture, India|Tags: , , , |0 Comments

Stewards and Ambassadors – 10 Rules For Respecting Local Culture

Stewards and Ambassadors - 10 Rules For Respecting Local Culture “When you travel, remember that a foreign country is not designed to make you comfortable. It is designed to make its own people comfortable.” -Clifton Fadiman Responsible Selfishness Most of us travel to make ourselves better or browner, and our time and effort is used to learn, see and experience as much as we can. We travel to exotic places to benefit from the culture and surroundings, but do the local culture and environment benefit from our presence? Although we may [...]

Waxing Spiritual – Ubon Ratchathani Candle Festival

 Waxing Spiritual - Ubon Ratchathani Candle Festival “Just as a candle cannot burn without fire, men cannot live without a spiritual life.” - The Buddha Rebirth and Suffering Life sucks. This is an underlying principle of Buddhism. We are reincarnated in an endless cycle of death and rebirth (samsara) in which we suffer (dukkha) until we become enlightened (nirvana). For anyone interested in Eastern religions, few countries offer greater access to exploring Buddhism than Thailand, where 95% of the population practices Theravada Buddhism. Often, when most people think of Thailand, they [...]

By |2018-04-21T10:57:10+00:00January 22nd, 2018|Categories: Arts and Culture, Thailand|Tags: , |0 Comments