the sweet and lowdown

There was a time period at the end of the 70’s, when rock and roll belched up 15 minute ballads sticky with hairspray, and the efficiency of a 2-4 beat and counterculture got lost in the woods and egos of stadium shows. We ended up with “Paradise By The Dashboard Light”. Fortunately punk rock and […]

A lo Cubano – Agua!

I’ve freshly returned from Havana where I spent time as an ordinary traveler. A trip on my own time, on my own dime, of my own curiosity. I boarded the plane wide-eyed, and with dance shoes and dusty Spanish in tow.  I’ve been fascinated by the dance/music of Rumba, Son, Salsa, Casino Rueda for some […]

Verde que te quiero verde

The first stanza of Federico Garcia Lorca’s poem ‘Romance Sonámbulo‘  (‘Sleepwalking Romance’) translates: Green, how I want you green Green wind, green branches The boat out on the sea The horse on the mountain Written by the 20th century Spanish poet, the poem was arguably inspired by a European landscape and context, an azure Mediterranean sea and […]

Life’s a beach

Lately I’ve been on the search for the perfect beach, and not because I particularly love beaches. But because I enjoy travelling with my kids, and a good beach is an ace in the hole. Grab a bucket and shovel, and the sand can bring endless hours of creativity and fun. And swimming in warm […]

The Trembling Highlands of Brazil

Ibitipoca. Tough to pronounce; hard to get to; but well worth the effort. Here goes: Ibitipoca is pronounced “ee-bitch-ee-pokah” (sounds like a palavrão I know). But it actually comes from the indigenous Tupi-guarani language in which “ybytyra” = mountain, and “pok” = burst, a combination of words the natives used to describe the intense roaring […]

On The Chasing Of Whales

The Post Office Essays There is a particular magic we humans get to do. We can have an idea then translate it into a series of symbols which others, years later, can read, so that the idea enters into their mind. We can write and create books and essays and letters, and mark down our […]

Why I Love Armchair Travel

“How to Talk About Places You’ve Never Been” is a book I bought a few years ago when I began teaching in the travel department of the local college. Had my passport been stolen? Was this cheating? Was my professional integrity in tatters? No on all fronts. In fact, despite my initial sense of existential […]

Take Time for Barichara

As the world has been forced to slow down and the future still holds so much uncertainty, I find myself pouring over old photographs, dissecting memories of trips most dear to me, remembering places which I’m glad I’m took the time to visit. Prominent among them is Barichara in Colombia – a place I barely […]

A Second Harvest: Migrating Ingredients from the Americas

You are called papa not ‘patata’, you were not born Castillian: you are dark like our skin, we are Americans, potato, we are Indians. – Pablo Neruda, Ode to the Potato Similar to other fuels on a grand scale, the quest to harness sources of consumable energy has been the cause of migrations, the root of […]

Las Cholitas de Bolivia Versus The Salt Flats

I am not a person who wears a hat well. Top-hat or touk, I’ve never been able to quite pull it off. I envy those boys looking beatific in a beret, languidly posing in a Parisian cafe smoking Gauloises. I am not a milliner’s delight. When behatted, I tend to look a little like a […]

X Marks the Spot

In good news, the world of travel is moving towards a greener, cleaner way of sashaying across the globe.  Trufflepig is right in the scrum on these efforts. We are tickled pink that whatever momentum Al Gore attempted, Greta Thurnberg is striking into a butterfly effect. But this is not an article about environmentalism or […]

A Road Trip Renaissance

If ever there were a time to revel in plans of future road trips, the moment is now. To imagine remote exploration, untethered from the nucleus of a country, an impeccably well planned but impossible to script journey. Driving along the Carretera Austral or Chile’s ‘Southern Route’, has long been a soul dwelling desire of […]

Canoes, Kayaks and Snowshoes – It’s the Getting There

Next week I embark on my annual canoe trip with a group of close friends. We typically stick close to Algonquin Park, as our cottage is located there, making it an easy jumping-off point. Plus the joy of a post-trip ice cold beer in the sun on the dock is hard to pass up. Ontario has […]

Birding is Boresome and Other Myths

Let this be an ode to the non-tactile senses. To the joy of looking and seeing, the richness of listening and hearing. To being still long enough and staying put long enough to enjoy some of the world’s subtleties. About 15 years ago, I had burrowed my way into the professional world of travel. In […]

Ode to the Anteater

Have you ever seen an anteater? They are brilliantly bizarre-looking, with a strange long nose, sticky tongue and giant boisterously bushy tail, almost cartoon-like. On my recent trip to Colombia while staying at the excellent Corocora Camp, with the help of my eagle-eyed local guide, I was able to see one of these bafflingly otherworldly creatures […]

Globe Trotters

We’ve been out on the road this year…. a lot. At half-time on 2019, our trotters are worn smooth, and it’s time to take stock. The pictures above flooded my inbox when I naively wrote to our planning team to ask for a few shots from recent research trips. I was struck by the awesome […]