I am very pleased to announce that I won both Bronze and Gold awards in the Society of American Travel Writers annual Bill Muster Photo Competition. The Muster Awards honor the very best in travel photography, and I’m happy to be a winner again this year. Laceleaf Maple tree in Autumn This photo of a Laceleaf Maple tree in brilliant fall color won the Gold Award in the Natural Scenic category of the Muster contest. The photograph was taken in [read more …]
As a kid, my favorite stories were from books like Dr. Doolittle and Kipling’s Jungle Books, and ever since then I’ve wanted to ride an elephant. Finally had the opportunity to cross that one off my bucket list when I got to spend a day at Patara Elephant Farm in rural Chiang Mai, Thailand. Patara Elephant Farm is not one of the many tourist operations in northern Thailand, but a center for rehabilitation of injured elephants and a breeding program [read more …]
Home again after ten wonderful days in Mexico, and now I have hundreds of photos to edit, process, caption, keyword and upload. Visiting the city of Guanajuato in central Mexico was my favorite part of the trip. The downtown area or Zona Centro and surrounding neighborhoods are filled with ornate churches, theatres and colorful buildings that are a photographer’s delight. Guanajuato is also a very historic city. There are gold and silver mines dating back to the 1500’s, and there [read more …]
Mariachi music is one of the great traditions of Mexico, and Marachi bands are one of the instantly recognizable images of this wonderful country. The musicians play a variety of string and percussion instruments, and typically dress in fancy charro outfits. This unique style of music originated in Mexican colonial times in what is now the state of Jalisco, and is especially popular in Guadalajara. The musician in this photo was part of a band serenading a local couple at [read more …]
To see more photos from my recent trip to Mexico, go to this gallery of photographs of Cosala. This historic mining town in Mexico’s Sierra Madre Mountains has been designated as a “Pueblo Magico” by the Mexican tourism authorities. It makes a nice side trip from Mazatlan, or a great destination in itself if you just want to kick back and enjoy a typical village in the state of Sinaloa. More impressions of Cosala are in a previous post below.
Most of my travel-writing friends studiously avoid calling a town “picturesque” because the term has become an over-used cliché, but it aptly describes Cosalá, a historic mining town in the Sierra Madre range northeast of Mazatlan. Founded in 1562, it’s a city of cobblestone streets, colonial style buildings and very friendly people. What it doesn’t have is junky souvenir stands, rowdy bars and timeshare salesmen. In fact, visitors are hard-pressed to find an authentic local momento, and if you want [read more …]
The last time I was in Mazatlan, Penelope and I camped right on the beach, and just across the road was a mosquito-infested wetland swamp. A big hotel was going up at that time, but other than that, there wasn’t much happening in Mazatlan, and the old central part of the city was rather rundown. Needless to say, there’ve been a few changes since that memory-laden trip in 1972. This time I stayed in that big hotel, the El Cid, [read more …]