Posts with the category ‘Africa’


Bead By Bead – Travelers Connect in Kenya

July 17, 2017

Sure, you know about the wildlife and the birds of Kenya and you know about the warriors. You’ve probably seen Out of Africa (a few times). Well, the secret, delightful discovery for first-time visitors to the Maasai-populated areas of this east African country, is that men and women, young and old, the Maasai are profligate jewelry wearers and makers. So, in addition your daily searches for the Big Five, plan to spend some time sitting in the shade with a willing Maasai teacher and learn to make something out of beads. Elephant with baby at Maasai Mara National Reserve Maasai women have some magical connection with… Read More…


My Growing Affection for All That Flies

May 1, 2017

For the past two decades I’ve had a passion for things that fly and that’s as it should be considering writing about aviation is how I make my living. How birds arrived on my radar screen is not so clear, but on a trip to Gulf Shores, Alabama, I took a bike tour of Gulf State Park with Ted Floyd, the editor of the magazine of the American Birding Association. As we pedaled along I was captivated by a beautiful grey blue northern mockingbird and a loggerhead shrike that was perched at the top of a long dead tree. Shortly after that, a bald eagle flew… Read More…


More Than Meets The Eye in Kenya Plane Spotter Arrests

March 31, 2016

There’s something very strange about the news out of Nairobi in which four British men were arrested after taking photos of airplanes at the city’s in-town airport. According to a BBC report, the self-described plane spotters said they had permission to take photos of airplanes at Wilson Airport, but the sight of them with their cameras caused concern among some folk who noticed them, “from the airport bar,” and I’m quoting directly from the BBC report. After the men were picked up, they were taken to Jomo Kenyatta International Airport on the far side of the city and incarcerated there for nine days. Stephen Gibson,… Read More…


A Train Called the Lunatic Express

When I remember Kenya, I will think of trains. Not because I saw so many of them on my recent visit and not because I traveled in one. But the Kenya the world knows today would not exist except for a rail line that, during its design and construction, was considered such a bad idea it was dubbed the Lunatic Line. Maybe it was crazy and maybe it was not. There are arguments on either side. All of which you can explore at Nairobi’s Railway Museum. I was lucky enough to have an interview with the museum curator, Elias Randiga, an excellent storyteller who kept me spellbound as… Read More…


Vacations Just Like Home, Only Better

July 15, 2014

Some travel is a lot of work, and I don’t mean that in a negative way. Having just returned from a five week round-the-world trip that was ninety percent business and involved a lot of on-the fly booking of transportation and accommodations, I returned home exhausted. Times like this are when I crave the vacation that’s like home; but better. For me, that means a stay in a rambling inn in some unique setting where, unlike at my own house, people take care of my needs and leave me with no decision more difficult than what time to get out of bed in the morning. I started thinking about this… Read More…


Hotels that Help Us Say, “Hello Fellow Traveler!”

July 24, 2013

When my kids were little we used to take them to Eastover Estate  & Retreat in the Berkshire Mountains of Western Massachusetts. Ignore the fancy-pants name, this was a home-spun, teeny-bit threadbare mom & pop resort – a place where three meals a day were served in the enormous dining hall, next to which was a equally enormous community space with fire place, game tables and 24/7 hot chocolate. We all loved the place because it was like going to camp. Heck, we could do the same activities at home but throwing darts and dancing to Top 40 tunes in the resort’s wood-paneled rec room was… Read More…


Wildlife from Cape to Cape

June 14, 2013

The only other time my husband, Jim and I saw a whale in the wild, it was an orca that came up to our boat flashing its shiny black tail so close I gasped out loud. We were in, or I should say off the coast of Victoria, British Columbia. It was thrilling, but full disclosure, it was one whale and we’d traveled 90 minutes in very choppy waters to see it. So my expectation when boarding the Dolphin Fleet whale watching boat in Provincetown on Cape Cod last month was for a similarly look-hard-and-don’t blink experience. Wrong. Thirty-five Humpbacks, 9 North Atlantic Right Whales,… Read More…


Train-traveling Musician Transforms Sketchy Trip

June 8, 2013

“Crack House” was the phrase that sprang to mind when I pried open the door to board the Metro Plus commuter train to Simon’s Town in Western Cape, South Africa on Saturday morning. Yep, it looked like a scary place. By the end of the journey, one of my fellow travelers reminded me that first impressions aren’t always correct. Let me explain. First, there were no lights in the car and, as it was sitting in the station, no sunlight either. Not that much light could have permeated the scratched and fogged windows anyway. So I could see very little, but I could smell and… Read More…


Sweet Notes Linger After Cape Town Dinner

June 5, 2013

It would not be entirely accurate to say that I had dinner at the Moyo Restaurant in Cape Town on Tuesday night. I ate there, but in fact, I had bought my meal from a street vendor at the V&A Waterfront, a humungous recreation district of shops, clubs and residences in the middle of the city’s working harbor. Before taking my order, Moses introduced himself to me with a warm handshake and then set out to prepare my quarter chicken and chips. It had been raining off and on all day so I asked if there was a dry table somewhere nearby where I could sit and eat…. Read More…


Helping Fuel a Sustainable Business in Oil

November 4, 2012

The smaller the world gets, the harder it it is to discover something truly unique. So I was excited when on a recent trip to Morocco with Access Trips, I was able to visit the Assous Argan Oil Cooperative about 40 miles east of the coastal city of Essaouira. Previously unknown to me, I learned the Argan tree grows in only a few places in the world and only produces a nut here in Morocco.  The tree drops its fruit in the waning months of summer after which it is roasted and pressed and turned into some really delicious oil. Did I say delicious? I… Read More…


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