Peru Times Two

Peru Times Two   Prior to arriving in Lima, I had read and listened to many assumptions and preconceived notions about the culture of Peru. I was warned about poverty, illiteracy, unlawfulness, and the economic desperation of the underclass. I was warned to buy locks for the zippers on my suitcase; to always be vigilant of criminals lurking around each corner; to mistrust those who offer services unsolicited; and to always concern myself with the purity of food and water. It sounded like the same bullshit that is directed towards poor, brown skinned people everywhere. Peru is no more dangerous, unhealthy, or dishonest than any other place that I have been. When I cleared customs, I was approached by man in a pressed, white shirt, wearing a necktie and an ID on a lanyard around his neck. He offered me taxi service to my hotel in Miraflores. In spite of myself, the first inclination was to be mistrustful. Is this man going to take my belongings, beat me to pulp and leave me in an abandon

Steaming, Bubbling, Rumbling, and Erupting in Iceland

 7/6/23 If there is another place like Iceland on earth, I am unaware of it. The landscape is made from multiple layers of geothermal and geological disturbances that display a history of raucous events leaving dramatic evidence across the landscape over many millennia. There are jagged mountains that turn a vivid green in the summer. Steam rises from underground, geothermal water sources. Iceland is rumbling, bubbling, and rising. As climate change increases temperatures, the surface of the Earth rebounds upward as the weight of the melting ice decreases. Lava is everywhere. Ancient lava, covered with delicate moss, strewn over millions of square miles; more recent lava flows that look like rivers frozen in time, and red-hot molten lava spewing from active volcanos. Volcanoes are one of the main geographic features of Iceland. Iceland is the home to one-third of the lava that ever flowed on Earth. As much as 25% of the Icelandic land surface is covered with volcanoes. There are 32 vol

Canary Islands in late January

Seeking an escape from the numbing dreariness of late January 2023, I took a trip to the Canary Islands. I’ve never heard anybody I know talk about them. A lot of folks will guess that they’re somewhere in the South Pacific. In fact, they are just off the coast of Morocco. Americans don’t go there much. As it turns out, the place is swarming with winter vacationers, seeking refuge from the damp, gray climates of Germany, Sweden, Finland, Norway, and northern sections of the UK. The largest island in the chain of seven is Tenerife, where the beach-going party animals coexist with the denizens slower-paced retirement communities. There are boardwalks filled with restaurants, bars, and funky stores where you can buy corny beach stuff. Volleyball in conspicuously played by strapping young men and bikini clad young women. Wake from the ferry to La Gomera Higher up into the mountainous interior however, you will encounter a whole different kind tourist. These are the tree hugging lovers