Deep in the Lacondon forest
Apr 20th, 2010 by robert

Chambo stopped every fifty meters to talk about specific trees or customs of his people. He carried himself with dignity and a sophisticated charm that encouraged his audience to ask many questions. I listened while lagging behind to keep an eye out for birds. It quickly became apparent that birding was going to be no more successful than on any other portion of the tour, and that led to further disappointment. But gradually it dissipated as I began to realize that when I relaxed my expectations, I could appreciate other dimensions of the experience. Read the rest of this entry »

Apr 8th, 2010 by robert

I awoke when the bus stopped. It was pouring rain and first light was having trouble breaking through the thick clouds. It was 6 AM and the overnight bus had arrived in Palenque, and I was slightly disoriented from a cold, poor night’s sleep during the trip. Looking out at the sheets of warm rain, I was happy when a Swiss woman called Tuli asked if I wanted to split a taxi to El Panchán, an enclave in the rainforest that contains a few hostels and a couple of restaurants, just outside of the Palenque park.

The taxi dropped us amidst the hostels, all tucked into the forest, but nobody was stirring yet. Read the rest of this entry »

Mérida to Calakmul to Bacalar
Mar 26th, 2010 by robert

One of my goals for the eleven days in Yucatan with the boys was adventure beyond sitting on beaches. I had read about an enormous Mayan ruin site deep in the tropical forest, Calakmul, which had only been discovered in the 1980s. It did not diminish the allure to also read about the incredible bird diversity in the huge biosphere reserve encompassing the site. Read the rest of this entry »

Decibel Challenges
Mar 22nd, 2010 by robert

The balcony shakes slightly from the throbbing bass of the music that fills the plaza. We are in the  Hostel Zocalo on the central plaza of Mérida. Read the rest of this entry »

Spring Migration
Mar 13th, 2010 by robert

Spring, or at least the month of April, is a good time to vacate southcentral Alaska, when both snow and roads decompose, and inevitable snowstorms dash the hopes of everyone who believes that spring has arrived. Leaving in March means missing rapidly increasing, unbelievably warm sunshine, and perfect snow conditions for skiing and snow-biking. It may be the nicest month of all. . . Read the rest of this entry »

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