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Report 22: Now this is Borneo

I awake in the jungle to jungle noises. I arrived in Kudat yesterday after a 2+ hour, sometimes prayer-raising drive in a minibus. I have no feel for this town—not even the Ria Hotel where I was to get one last burst of wifi, because Howard comes through the door paging me as my taxi pulls up.

Five Very Short Stories

Before My Piano Lesson Cat Woman, pale and severe, was systematic: first the older daughter; then the little one. She spit in her hankie and rubbed their faces. The girls were compliant. Walking up the stairs for my lesson, I’d pray that Cat Woman would just read her magazine this week. I’d take out my [...]

PHOTOS from Peru, 2015

Here are my pictures from Peru in April 2015. I was there for 2 weeks, following on 3 wonderful weeks in Ecuador. I spent a week in Cusco-a wonderful city and home base for visiting Inca and Pre-Inca archeological sites like Sacsayhuaman, Tambo Machay, Pikillacta, Tipon, Pisac, Ollantaytambo and ultimately Machu Picchu. Then I headed [...]

PHOTOS from Ecuador

As you can imagine I have lots and lots of photos from my trip to South America and I’ve finally gotten them ready to show. Here are pictures from Ecuador–the first three weeks of my trip: Quito–a beautiful colonial city that reminded me of San Francisco, the Galapagos Islands–a nature paradise and Cuyabena jungle reserve. [...]

Lima Peru–Trip Report 9

After silent and kind service, my breakfast man crumbled under the weight of his loquacious nature and, English be damned, he would know my plans for the day.

Arequipa Peru, Trip Report 8

It has a strange effect—knowing I’ll be on a plane soon and home in two days. That and returning to heat and sun, while not being dressed for it, well, I feel as if I’m done in Arequipa. There’s a letdown in energy. That won’t fly for Lima, however, my next mini-visit. I didn’t need [...]

Cusco and Machu Picchu, Trip Report 7

It’s time for the afternoon rain here, so I’ll try and squeeze my Cusco visit into words. This is a lovely town set in a valley at 11,250 feet elevation and surrounded by tall green Andes peaks. People are friendly and kind, meaning that people regularly stop what they’re doing and try to help me [...]

On the bus, South of Cusco, Trip Report 6

We start our conversation with “where am I going and where am I from: The questions come at me in Spanish and I reply in whatever little I can come up with that’s Spanish or Spanishy. That might be English or maybe bad high school french said with sort of a Spanish accent, accompanied by hand waving and the like.

Guyaquil Ecuador, Trip Report 5

Billy Holiday croons over the breakfast room PA system, sounding only slightly like David Sedaris’ imitation of her. This must have been an earlier recording, without quite so much of the heroin warble. OMG! she’s singing the first Sweet Adeline song I learned—For All We Know. I’ve really lucked out in Guyaquil. The Manso Boutique [...]

The Galapagos Islands, Trip Report 4

It’s Thursday on the zodiac for a non-landing/non swimming excursion when we finally see Penguins. LOTS of PENGUINS. I think these are Humboldts. Adorable. Fantastic really. They don’t seem like they’re wearing formal clothes.