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Friday, November 17, 2017

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It is often said that quantity is not quality, but if you can mesh the two terms together, the result can be memorable. Our first day in Lima was one of those “fill in every minute with experiences”-type days, and allowed us to totally immerse ourselves in the destination, which is exactly what we wanted to do.Technically, aside from landing at Jorge Chavez International Airport at 6:30 am, we spent the day in the Lima suburbs of San Isidro, Miraflores and Barranco. After an all night flight from New York, with little sleep, we landed on time, went through passport control quickly, and despite... Read More

I first visited Sri Lanka in 2005 and when I returned in 2011, I found that it's still a wonderful experience of smiling people, culture, history, tastes, smells, sights and discovery. While every one of my seven days in the country was packed with experiences and activities, the two days in Habarana were possibly the most impressive.Habarana lies in the centre of Sri Lanka’s cultural triangle where a number of fascinating attractions can be reached by car, usually within an hour, including Anuradhapura, Polonnaruwa, Sigiriya, Dambulla and Minneriya National Park. While we did not see Anuradhapura... Read More

In 1990 I had the opportunity to spend three weeks in Turkey, travelling from Istanbul in the west to Diyarbakir in the East and down to Bodrum in the South. Through all this one of the more impressive sites was the blue hot water spring terraces of Pamukkale (pronounced Pa-moo-ka-le) in Denizli Province, in the south western part of the country. The brochures showed tourists flocking to bathe in the small pools that cascaded down the slope of a landscape that resembled a snow field—and this in the middle of July. These calcium carbonate deposits are what inspired the Romans to name... Read More

It was Sunday morning and we were in the town of Urgup, in Cappadocia Turkey. After a 10 hour direct flight from Toronto, we made a brief touch down in Istanbul on the Friday night, enough time to throw our bags in our room, check out the pedestrian mall by Taksim Square, enjoy a great meal at Haci-Baba Restaurant, have the hotel fix our air conditioning at 2:00 am, and even manage a few hours of sleep. By 5:15 am, we were in a taxi headed back to the airport for the 70 minute flight to Keyseri airport, about 45 minutes from the Cappadocia area.Saturday was spent touring some less touristy areas... Read More

Dramatic place names are attractive to travellers, especially to those looking for status and the prestige of saying “I visited ____ on my last trip”. And there is no shortage. Just a quick Google reveals such places as Heavens Door (UK), Hell (Cayman Islands), Hell (Michigan), Hell (Norway), Hell (Texas), Hell for Sertain (Kentucky) Hells Gate (New York), Hellhole Canyon (California) and of course there is Intercourse (Pennsylvania), Crotch Lake (Ontario) and Blow Me Down (Newfoundland). But I actually did spend some time in Hell’s Valley in Japan, locally known as Jigokudani. This is the... Read More

The oft-repeated expression when it comes to Adventure Travel is "Take nothing but photographs…leave nothing but footprints”. Whether the journey is to Kitimat or Kathmandu, Montreal or Machu Picchu, Truro or Tibet, there is so much more you can get out of travel.It is a truism that in general, in life, you get ‘out’ what you put ‘in’. The eco-sustainable-nature-tourism mantra about taking nothing and leaving nothing sounds so deliciously motherhoody, and as a primer for litterbugs, exotic souvenir seekers, and people who like to bring their inconsiderate attitude toward nature with them... Read More

With the recent news of the political landscape in Myanmar changing, albeit slowly, and Aung San Suu Kyi winning a voice in Parliament, I think back to my travels in Myanmar in 1993. This was in my Nike-inspired-‘Just-do-it’ years when, if no one could travel with me, I just went off on my own adventure. In this case, I flew from Bangkok to Yangon, spent two days exploring the city, then flew north to Pagan to see the ruined temples and Mt. Popa, and then flew to Mandalay. While I would not hesitate to revisit Yangon and Pagan, it was the day in Mandalay that impressed me the most.The early... Read More

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