The Devil’s Churn, Spouting Horn, Thor’s Well: Splashing our way south

About halfway down the Oregon coast, the beaches become fewer in number, the headlands become higher, and the offshore rocks more frequent. The highway clings to the headlands and crosses inlets and rivers on a series of bridges built in the 1920s and 30s. Driving along, we’re barely aware of how difficult it was toContinue reading “The Devil’s Churn, Spouting Horn, Thor’s Well: Splashing our way south”

The Great Ocean Road

Chatting with the man next to me at last week’s concert, I heard about the Surf Capital of Australia–Torquay. We were told about the wonderful beaches and gorgeous coastal drive. Much as we enjoy Melbourne’s gigantic bay, we had wanted to get out to the ocean, and were convinced. My new friend admitted he wasContinue reading “The Great Ocean Road”

Visiting Christchurch and the Banks Peninsula

My mental map of Christchurch is a triangle. The city center is near the top. The lower right corner is the Banks Peninsula, an ancient volcano that on the map looks like a huge pinwheel. The lower left corner is Lake Ellesmere, a very large, shallow lagoon that is barely connected to the sea throughContinue reading “Visiting Christchurch and the Banks Peninsula”

North Island Highlights

This week we moved from the North Island of New Zealand to the South. During the past month we walked on beaches, collected glass, shells, and driftwood, drank coffee at a wonderful local cafe, visited museums and wineries, strolled in parks and botanical gardens, climbed hills, and watched birds. Every day held vivid and memorableContinue reading “North Island Highlights”

Northland, New Zealand

We wanted to see the far north of New Zealand. We didn’t get to Cape Reinga, the tip of a long finger of land that points north from the rest of the island, but we got to the knuckles, around Doubtless Bay. One long sandy bay after another stretches along the north end of NewContinue reading “Northland, New Zealand”

Cruising the Galapagos

Boarding a ship in the Galapagos puts you in a different world. Your cabin is compact, the windows and decks reveal water everywhere, the ship rolls, and you rapidly become accustomed to constant movement underfoot. I didn’t get seasick, and enjoyed most of the motion. Being surrounded by water was a pleasure. Any free timeContinue reading “Cruising the Galapagos”

Wonders of the Galapagos

What makes the Galapagos strange is not the variety of birds and animals. Most are familiar. Pelicans, cormorants, and other seabirds are in the air, sea lions and iguanas on the beach, turtles in the water. We’ve seen these before, on beaches and in documentaries about the Galapagos. It’s their indifference to us. We rideContinue reading “Wonders of the Galapagos”

Tumbes to the north, Cabo Blanco to the south

We went to Tumbes because it was there. We said we were going to northern Peru and that’s as north as it gets. The Plaza de Armas has two elaborate monuments facing each other, a condor and llama on one side and a giant band shell filled with faces and figures on the other.  Continue reading “Tumbes to the north, Cabo Blanco to the south”