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”

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”

Sicily: Landscape, Beach, Archaeology

Sicily—Week One Having a guest really gets you up and going. With my sister Catherine we hit high spots of the region so that she could take away a sense of western Sicily. Three themes emerged, landscape, beaches, and archaeology.Sicily’s landscape is Dramatic. Huge rocky hills emerge from the sea, yet just beyond are broadContinue reading “Sicily: Landscape, Beach, Archaeology”