Travel Report on Lucca, Pisa, and 2nd Visits to Florence and Rome, Italy, Apr. 18, 2019

I last reported on Florence, to which I will again return in this segment. From Florence I took, on April 9, the regional train to Lucca, an ancient walled Tuscany town west of Florence, and famous for its complete set of 16th Century walls built to defend against the threat from the Florence Kingdom which … Click to View Photos & Read More →

Travel Report from Naples and Florence, Italy, Apr. 10, 2019

Italy, during two time periods lasting a couple of centuries each, originated much of what we consider Western Civilization; the first was the height of the Roman Empire (roughly 0 to 200 AD), borrowing heavily on the preceding Greek and Macedonian traditions, and the second was the emergence of the Italian Renaissance (roughly 1350 to … Click to View Photos & Read More →

Travel Report on Southern Italy – Rome – Lecce – Bari – Matera, Mar. 30, 2019

Gastronomically, Italy compares well with other northern Mediterranean locales. Although I again am drinking mostly red wine – wonderful but not as cheap as in Spain – I have found the Italian Birra Moreti La Rossa on tap to be an extremely malty double bock German beer and quite excellent.  Half the restaurants are pizzerias … Click to View Photos & Read More →

Travel Report from Kenya – Kakamega Forest, Masai Mara NR and Ol Kinyei Conservancy, Dec. 11, 2018

I traveled, again by private car and driver, from the Great Rift Valley lakes to the far West of Kenya, where the last remaining tropical forest remains – the Kakamega Forest is equatorial forest which extends from the West of Kenya through Uganda and into the Congos. Here can still be found equatorial bird and … Click to View Photos & Read More →

Travel Report on Samburu, Mount Kenya, Aberdares and Great Rift Valley Parks, Kenya, Nov. 29, 2018

My driver picked me up from the Meridian Hotel in Nairobi on Nov. 21 and we drove the long 6 hours to the north of Mount Kenya to Samburu National Park. There I stayed at the Sopa Lodge, deep inside the wooded grasslands dotted with rocky hills.  Just to the south side was the heavily … Click to View Photos & Read More →

Travel Report on Tsavo West and East National Parks, Shimba Hills Conservancy and Mombasa, Kenya, Nov. 18, 2018

We drove from Amboseli, on the northern flanks of Mt Kilimanjaro, south and east to Tsavo West National Park.  There I stayed in the wonderful Serena Lodge inside the Park.  My room, No. 14, was on the second floor directly overlooking two large water holes where I counted at least 10 different species of mammals … Click to View Photos & Read More →

Travel Report on Amboseli National Park and Selenkay Conservancy, Kenya, Nov. 10, 2018

After an uneventful flight back from Madagascar and 3 nights in Nairobi, I took a bush flight to the dirt airstrip in Amboseli National Park. The small single engine plane carried 8 passengers, and after taxiing to the runway at the Wilson Airport, we were told we had to exit the plane and walk back … Click to View Photos & Read More →

Travel Report on Andasibe National Park and Surrounds, Madagascar, Oct. 28, 2018

Hello all.  My driver/guide Miary and I drove 2 very long days to return from Ifaty, north of Toleara on the southwest coast, to Antananarivo, the capital.  We stopped for one night at the nice Zomatel Hotel in Fianarantsoa, and then I stayed 2 nights at the Petite Flower Guesthouse north of Tana.  Last Monday … Click to View Photos & Read More →

Travel Report on Toleara and Southwest Coastal area, Madagascar, Oct. 18, 2018

One very full day was passed at the lovely bungalow in the Arboretum, outside Toleara, where an amateur Swiss botanist collected and planted almost 1,000 species of exotic plants from southwestern Madagascar.  With dripping water faucets, and surrounded by native dry forest, the site is excellent for birding as well as night walks.  At night … Click to View Photos & Read More →

Travel Report on Ranomafana, Isalo and Zombitse National Parks, Madagascar, Oct. 9, 2018

After leaving Ankarafantsika and reconnecting for 3 days with the capital, Antananarivo, I met with my new driver, Miary, and headed south for the longest loop of my visit to Madagascar.  I was somewhat incapacitated for a couple of days in Tana from a lower intestinal bug (probably virus), but recovered sufficiently to continue my … Click to View Photos & Read More →

Travel Report from Four-Corners Area Utah-Colorado, May 17, 2018

I last reported from the Verde Valley in central Arizona.  From there I traveled north, ascending the Mogollon Rim to Flagstaff and onward through Waputki National Monument, the Navajo Reservation with Navajo National Monument and Monument Valley (all of which I have visited many times), and across the San Juan River to one of my … Click to View Photos & Read More →