Bolivia – Part 2 – Sucre, Potosi & Salar de Uyuni

Bolivia – Part 2 – Sucre, Potosi & Salar de Uyuni

Introduction We crept through the dark, damp  and dusty tunnels in Cerro Rico, the biggest silver producing mountain in the history of the world. We took a break, while a veteran miner named Eduardo chewed coca leaves. In between bites, he told us most miners do not live until their sixties like him, because of accidents and silicosis. We bent and twisted as walked further in the cramp passages. We were directed to a short tunnel to meet Tio (Uncle). Tio is the god of this mine. He had a cigarette in his…continue reading →
Bolivia – Part 1 – La Paz

Bolivia – Part 1 – La Paz

Introduction La Paz is a place to get high, constantly high. I am not referring to ingesting mind-altering drugs. Rather I am talking about being closer to the sun. Before I arrived, I knew La Paz is the highest capital city in the world at approximately 12,000 feet (3650 meters). I did not know that most walking there would be on steep slopes. I did not know that there are cable cars crisscrossing between the surrounding mountains that are another 1,000 feet about the ground. I did not know that the surrounding snowcapped…continue reading →
Tracking Gorillas in Uganda and Rwanda

Tracking Gorillas in Uganda and Rwanda

Part 1 - Overview   I have been quite fortunate in my life, having been on several African safaris in eastern and southern Africa. In the wild, I have seen elephants, lions, cougars, leopards, wild dogs, jackals, hyenas, hippos, giraffes, warthogs, buffalos, wildebeests, and several species of antelopes, lizards, frogs and birds. The one animal that had eluded me is the wild gorilla, especially the endangered highland (or mountain) ones in the rainforest of Uganda, Rwanda, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). I was in south Uganda in 1992, but my…continue reading →
Somalia & Somaliland – Even Intrepid Travelers Avoid, But Shouldn’t

Somalia & Somaliland – Even Intrepid Travelers Avoid, But Shouldn’t

Travel Essentials   Overview I am willing to travel anywhere, and the more remote and different, the better. But I draw the line at de facto civil war with widespread and unpredictable violence. Now that would include most of Afghanistan, Yemen, Syria and Venezuela. The list should also include Somalia, which has been unstable for the last quarter-century, but Somaliland (the northern part of Somalia) makes it an exception. Somaliland was once a British colony, while the southern part of Somalia was Italian. When they both gained independence in 1960, the people of…continue reading →
Seychelles – Balancing Tourism with Conservation

Seychelles – Balancing Tourism with Conservation

Part 1 – Travel Essentials Overview Seychelles is a long way from New York City, so I never thought much about traveling there. However, I was arranging a trip to several countries in East Africa for August 2017, looked at the map and noticed Seychelles was not a far flight from Kenya. I reasoned that a country with world famous beaches in a tropical setting would be a good place to chill out after weeks of exhausting travel. What my wife, Khadija, and I found was a country of over a hundred islands…continue reading →