As my open-air double-decker tour bus turned the corner our guide pointed out Circuito Mágico del Agua, the Magic Water Circuit in Lima’s Parque de la Reserva. Named the largest fountain complex in the world by the Guinness Book of World Records, the water park features 13 fountains, including one that shoots more than 260 [...]
Can’t view the above video about the Amazon rainforest in Cuyabeno National Park, Ecuador? Click here.
Quito enjoys a fair share of fame. Its elevation of 9,200 feet makes it the second highest administrative capital city (after La Paz, Bolivia) and the highest legal capital in the world. It is also the only capital located directly beneath an active volcano, Pichincha, which erupted as recently as 2006, sprinkling ash over the [...]
While my words may have painted an intriguing picture of the Galapagos Islands in Ecuador, there is nothing like video to get a true feel for a place, so I’ve put together a video of many of the animals I saw during my recent cruise and set it to music. Hope you enjoy. www.youtube.com/watch?v=0lFQ8NBZz64 Can’t [...]
I have always felt an affinity with wild animals and they, likewise, seem inordinately attracted to me. On a visit to the Adirondack Mountains of upstate New York this summer, a black racer snake crawled across my foot. On safari in the Serengeti of Africa we encountered a lion sleeping with his head hidden behind [...]
After checking into the Oro Verde Hotel in Guayaquil, Ecuador I asked for a map of the city center. The concierge hesitated for a moment before unfolding one on the countertop. He marked off the sites of interest: museums; the Malecon 2000, a broad boulevard dotted with gardens, restaurants, playgrounds and theaters that runs for [...]
On my way back to Atlanta to deal with the dreaded taxes (for 2010) I took a slight detour to visit my friends Ruth Barber and Keith Watson, who live near Gatlinburg, Tennessee. Since the city is built on tourism and offers a myriad of Disney-like attractions and rides, I’ve always found it a bit [...]
Faithful readers of Hole In The Donut Cultural Travel know that I am no fan of all-inclusive resorts, so when Iberostar Resorts invited me to be part of a press trip to Mexico’s Riviera Maya, I thought long and hard before accepting. My previous experiences with all-inclusives have left a bad taste in my mouth [...]
I spend most of each year overseas in developing countries where the cost of living is a fraction what it is in the United States. Each return to the States requires a period of adjustment. This time, I almost choked when I had to pay $75 a night for a hotel room in Minneapolis. That [...]
After two weeks in the Adirondacks of upstate New York I began to learn more about the culture of the area. Though the Adirondack Mountains are ancient, the human history within them is relatively young. It is unusual to meet second generation residents and third generation families are a rarity, so it was a rare [...]
Nearly twenty years ago, I met another rockhound who traded crystals with me. I was living in Arizona at the time, so I gave him copper-bearing specimens like azurite, malachite, and turquoise; in turn he presented me with Herkimer Diamonds from upstate New York. Tucked into hollow cavities in the dense gray rock were tiny, [...]
A cocoon of ethereal fog enveloped me as I walked to the end of the dock on Piseco Lake. The hush of dawn was interrupted by the gentle splish-splash of a solitary man walking languidly through calf-high water, far out into the lake. In the distance a white wolf-dog stood motionless in water up to [...]
The weather-rounded mountains of upstate New York undulate between hundreds of lakes that dot Adirondack Park like an enormous sea serpent. Anchoring its dusky blue-black tail on the horizon, the creature dips its shimmering green coils into one cobalt pool of water after another as it slithers down the mountains. I followed its serpentine route [...]
Listen to the bartender explain, in his lovely thick brogue, the history of the Crown Posada Pub and how it got its name. To read more about my round-the-world travels, visit my blog.
Newcastle, in my mind associated with industrial activity and coal mining (probably due to the old saying “like bringing coals to Newcastle”), was a total surprise to me. Instead of smokestacks and grey industrial boxes I found a lovely waterside with soaring bridges, museums, shops and restaurants, and the fascinating mirrored Sage Music Centre, all [...]