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 […]

Spain Without a Map: The Matarranya

I pull the car to a screeching halt, and hop out to take in this moment. After an hour or so of fairly uneventful driving from Valencia heading north, the landscapes begin to reveal the first of many medieval hilltop villages and I capture a few shots with my camera before continuing on. A short […]

May The Cork Be With You

Olive oil, wine, and cork.  Lots of cork.  I know of few places whose story can be so thoroughly woven together by and distilled down to such spare components. Portugal’s Alentejo region is these things and more. But trying to describe this region beyond these finite products is for me a futile exercise. As with […]

Research, Rowing & Reawakening

Sometimes, when doing research you can kinda get lost in the prosaic, asking the same questions at each hotel you encounter on a site visit–how many rooms does the hotel have? Do you have interconnecting suites? Is there a 24hr gym? Is wifi included in the rate? It is important to shake free of these […]

Between the Grime & Sublime in Morocco’s Sahara

“I don’t think this guy is coming.” My watch marks a quarter to eleven, as we stand atop a rocky plateau and a series of crumbling stairs that lead down to a crude wooden pier. Below us, the lagoon of Naila, and beyond it, a sea of pink sand dunes. And beyond that, the tumultuous […]

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 […]

The Pig Side of the Moon

July 21, 1969. My parents were traveling to Spain on their honeymoon, racing their tiny, overpacked Fiat 500 convertible beyond the laws of physics. They pulled over at a cafe in Tossa de Mar, a Medieval town in Catalonia, hastily parking the car on the sidewalk. It was very early in the morning (or very […]

The Weber Wonderland of Arctic Watch

[This article was originally published 27 November 2019] As I sit here writing this, winter has just begun to take hold in Southern Ontario. Meanwhile, on Somerset Island, 3400 kilometres as the crow flies from where I sit, the tundra and the northwest passage have been in winter’s grip for months. Way up in Northern Nunavut, perched […]

Get Back – 15 ways my heart aches for Andalucia

Something’s afoot in Andalucía, Spain’s deep south.  First it started with the discovery of an Almohad-era Muslim Hammam in one of Sevilla’s most iconic tapas bars.  Then, just last week in the nearby town of Utrera, reports came in that archeologists had unearthed one of the largest and best preserved medieval Jewish synagogues in the […]

1 Elephant, 2 Elephant, 3 Elephant

My idea of a fabulous time on safari is exploring by mobile tented camp, going from place to place, deep in the bush. To make that experience even better, add the possibility of tracking and counting herds of wild elephants in Botswana. No, I am not daydreaming of my own perfect little world – the […]

What I Learned Travelling Morocco During the Pandemic

For most of us travel this year has meant moving about locally, if at all.  I’m lucky then to live in such a wonderfully diverse country as Morocco with plenty of opportunity to explore. Morocco did surprisingly well in the initial months of home confinement, achievements that sadly, as with many other places around the […]

HASHTAG CHEFCHAOUEN, #NOFILTER

You may know Chefchaouen already, but under a different name: Xauen or Chaouen among others. Or perhaps you’ve seen any one of the millions of photos of it on Instagram, “The Blue City” or “The Blue Pearl” being some of the confoundingly inaccurate nicknames for Chefchaouen that I suppose sounded good to some PR folks […]

Finding My Way North – the Camino de Santiago

I’ve found that the old dictum “hindsight is 20/20” has taken on new meaning this year. My realization has been that for much of my adult life, travel has defined my most significant moments. I don’t want to come off sounding like some Instagram travel influencer racing around the globe to collect passport stamps for the […]

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 […]

All Hail the Himalayas

There is much discussion in the shell-shocked world of the travel ‘industry’. What’s lost, what’s coming back, what’s never to return. Goodbye to the city break? Good riddance mass tourism! Farewell fly-and-flop. Well, I don’t know the answer to all that, but I do know that there is one journey I currently cannot get out […]

An Expedition to the Stars

The story I have to tell begins in Portugal in 1881. A team of scientists from the Lisbon Geographic Society gather to undertake an expedition to the Serra da Estrela mountains some 300km away. The Serra, the highest point in continental Portugal (the peak at Torre clocks in just shy of 2,000 meters) acquired its main […]