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Monthly Archives: June 2017

All about Adventures in Bolivia

La Paz is nestled in a series of steep valleys that are eroded in a jagged, blasted moonscape of sun-baked volcanic rock. One of the city parks is called “Valle de la Lunas” or Valley of the Moon. The city has sprawled up the valley slopes onto the Altiplano, or high desert. As my taxi drove from the airport over the lip of the high desert, the city was spread out below, partially obscured through a haze of heavy smog. After finding the company office, a driver took me to a hotel in the old part of the city, popular with young, dominantly British and Spanish backpackers. Left to my own devices for several days, I taught myself the phrases and words to order breakfast and dinner, and wandered through the open-air market to practice my nascent Spanish skills on vendors of flashlights, jeans, and trilobite fossils. I found Bolivians to be the friendliest of people, who seemed to delight in talking to a Norteamericano. At first, I felt no ill effects from climbing the steep streets in what has been described as the World’s highest-altitude capitol city. After several days, altitude sickness left me with a feeling of exhaustion and constant headache in spite of six weeks of hiking in the Colorado Rockies.

At last I was to depart for the exploration camp in southern Bolivia, as the pickup laden with fuel drums and survey stakes arrived to collect me. My driver, Nicco, guided the pickup through the bustling, chaotic streets of La Paz and we rolled south on a two-lane, newly paved highway toward Oruro, a hot, dusty, windblown town that represents the end of pavement. There, the sun-baked main street was covered in a one-inch layer of dust that was excited into whirling vortexes as lines of Volvo flatbed trucks trundled through. Gray, windblown silt covered the cobblestone street, sidewalks, building facades, and withered decorative trees to produce a desolate dreamscape devoid of color. We rolled through a featureless landscape beneath an endless expanse of blue sky and mercilessly bright sun. As the daylight began to wane, the highway degenerated into a pair of deep ruts across the featureless desert, passing desolate adobe towns. We forded streams of frigid meltwater from the Cordillera Oriental, often breaking a thin film of ice. Night fell and still we rolled south, now across the Salar de Uyuni salt flat. Despite the heater in the Mazda 4×4, the cold crept in, and in the ghostly play of the headlights, the shimmering white deposits of salt might have been snow drifts. Time dragged, with only the constant rumble of the tires on hardpan marking a cadence in the darkness that surrounded the small, heated compartment of the pickup. At last we reached a town, a sign of human habitation in what seemed increasingly like a harsh wilderness. Not a single light bulb was evident as we thumped slowly over the cobbled streets. Dark shapes shuffled along the sidewalks, and the shadows of adobe buildings rose and fell, capering in the glare of the headlights. Stars, bright and brilliant as diamonds, but equally as cold, seemed to provide the only other light. Amidst this scene of harsh desolation, the corpses of dogs littered the streets, frozen stiff where they had ultimately succumbed to the uncaring elements.

Some Advantages of Luxury Villa Vacation

Changed perspective on life

With a villa vacation, you can unwind and spend time in an environment where you can ease in a luxurious environment. When you are in a new environment, your mind questions your old ideas and encourages you to think outside the box. You will look at the life with a new perspective. As a matter of fact, appreciating different cultures is a great way of look at things in a different way. This changes your perspective on life.

Better career

According to some people, spending day and night working is the only way of increasing your income. However, the reality is that if you take some time off, get some rest and sleep, your productivity level will go up. Apart from this, travel is also a great way of networking and exploring various approaches to work and life.

With organization and a break from work, you can streamline your workload and become a lot more efficient.

Enhanced relationship

If you create and share vacation memories, you can bring your family together. As a matter of fact, a holiday helps you change the facets of your personality so you can be more expressive and appreciative.

Luxurious villas offer a great setting to create a vacation lifestyle instead of just finding a hotel to stay during your vacation.

Mental Health

According to research studies, a vacation can help you reduce your depression level and improve health. The fact of the matter is that holidays help your mind get rest. As soon as you have started looking at a vacation as a way of leading a balanced life, you can open the gateways to your real happiness. So, if you book a luxurious villa, you can boost your physical and mental health.

Costa Rican Beach

o Ask around for information about riptides, before you find them yourself.

o Also, check the time schedule for the local tide. The change in sea level is great and you can be pulled out to sea.

o Remember that the bottom end places to stay are cheap for a reason. Never leave valuable things behind.

o Mid to high end hotels can be of good quality, but check for ceiling fans or ac as well as warm or cold water.

o Remember that the way of cooking will not be the same as in a good restaurant and you may feel the urge to test many local delicatessens when on the beach. This may come as a surprise to your stomach!

o Get bottled water on your way to the beach. To make sure you will not stand there with the salt from the sea in your month, and no place, where you can find something to drink.

Vacation in Jamaica

Although in my early career I specialized in adventure travel, and also the Asia/Pacific region, during the past 15 years I have specialized in the Caribbean, with a particular focus on and fondness for Cuba. My love affair with Cuba began with publication of my Moon Handbooks Cuba and Moon Handbooks Havana.

I’ve since written National Geographic Traveler Cuba and Mi Moto Fidel: Motorcycling Through Castro’s Cuba, a literary travelog that won both the Lowell Thomas Award as Travel Book of the Year and the North American Travel Journalists Association’s Grand Prize. My most recent book is Cuba Classics: A Celebration of Vintage American Automobiles (Interlink Books, 2004), a lavishly illustrated coffee-table book.

I’ve authored numerous other books, including Lonely Planet’s guidebooks to Jamaica and The Bahamas and Turk & Caicos Islands, plus the Passport Illustrated Guide to Jamaica. I’ve also written about Jamaica (and other Caribbean islands and international destinations) for dozens of leading magazines and newspaper travel sections, including as a regular contributor to SkyWritings (Air Jamaica’s inflight magazine) and Caribbean Travel & Life.

My other main expertise is in regard to Costa Rica. My first guidebook was the Moon Handbook Costa Rica (first published as the Costa Rica Handbook in 1992), now in its fifth edition, with almost 100,000 copies sold. I’ve since authored National Geographic Traveler Costa Rica and the soon-to-be-released Eyewitness Travel Guide to Costa Rica (Dorling Kindersley), and have acted as a consultant to INTEL, which recently opened a fabrication plant in Costa Rica.

I love public speaking and have been interviewed on numerous national television and radio shows. I’m particularly honoured to have been addressed the National Press Club and the National Geographic Society (as a member of the Live from& faculty), and to have been a faculty member of the lecturing staff of Cunard Cruise Lines. In January, and again in May, I’ll be lecturing about old cars in Cuba aboard Holland America Cruise Line’s M/V Maasdam.