In February 2011, I visited Curaçao, an island-state in the southern Caribbean Sea, off the coast of Venezuela. Among the highlights was a tour of Dinah’s Botanic & Historic Garden, a short drive from the capital of Willemstad.
The dynamic Dinah is a treasure trove of ancient stories, healing tips and songs, passed down orally over many generations. I loved the guided walk through Den Paradera, her peaceful botanic garden with over 300 wild curative plants.
Respected islandwide as a healer, Dinah said: “These plants tell the story of our culture. My mission is to elevate the knowledge of herbal remedies. I want people to know and understand that the knowledge of our slave elders was important — they knew a lot.”
Posted in Curacao
This was taken in Nicaragua, on a boat ride through Las Isletas, the 365 miniature islands next to Granada, formed 20,000 years ago by an eruption of Volcano Mombacho which still looms over them. In November 2010, I spent a few days on one of these islets in the middle of Lake Nicaragua.
Today, these tiny subtropical landmasses pockmark the lake with their abundance of colorful flowers, native trees and rare birds. I have rarely seen a place as beautiful – and as strange. Luxurious villas perch on private islands owned by some of Nicaragua’s richest families. Next to them sit islets with some of the country’s poorest shacks, homes to families who survive on fishing and agriculture – sustenance living at its purest.
Posted in Nicaragua
It had been my dream to visit South America for years before I finally made it in 2001. It was a three-week jaunt around Peru with a friend. Two days before our flight from Lima back to New York, en route from Aguas Calientes near Machu Picchu to Cusco, our train broke down. So we decamped and waited for hours… and hours…and hours…
The photo above captured the scene. Almost idyllic, if it weren’t for the fact we were stuck. But there was romance in those moments of waiting. It’s the unexpected, sometimes unwanted lingering that makes travel such a beautiful challenge.
It’s no secret I love Portugal. I’ve traveled all around the country from north to south and offshore to the Azores. And I love countless things about it. Among my favorites is the southwest coast of Alentejo and western Algarve, also known as Vicentine coast.
I spent a couple of days there in October 2011, and snapped the picture above just outside the coastal town of Zambujeira do Mar. I wished I was the figure in the distance, sitting on those rocks that edge the Atlantic and pondering the meaning of life and travel.
In winter 2007, I followed a passion and moved to Buenos Aires for three months, to dance tango. I took private classes almost daily, went to milongas (tango salons) several times per week and bought no less than four pairs of tango shoes.
Pictured above is a milonga at Salon Canning, in the chic area of Palermo SoHo. Here, I remember overhearing an Argentine explain to a wide-eyed tourist: “Tango is like being in love. You can’t work to be in love. Either you are or you’re not.”