Galapagos Islands, May 26 through 30, 2013. My buddy Marty and I take one trip a year together. We started with five of the “Stans” of central Asia. Then it was boating on a Burgundy river. Italy, Greece, Georgia, Azerbaijan, and Armenia followed. Paris was mixed into all three of those. This year it was a Kenyan photo safari. Last year it was Ecuador followed by the Galapagos Islands aboard the Aida Maria, a 16 passenger live-aboard boat. There are cheaper ways to travel the Galapagos and certainly…

Galapagos Islands, May 26 through 30, 2013. Up there, high, very high in the sapphire blue sky is an incredible flying machine. Sleek and aerodynamic, its wings come to a peak half way out along its leading edges and then cut back dramatically. Its tail is split into two long trailing sections, each half of the fork echoing the outline of the wing, widening and closing for stability. For moments this black object hovers like an attack drone designed by a Goth artist. Up there, high, very high…

Galapagos Islands, Republic of Ecuador, May 26 through 30, 2013. Each year I mentor a group of three very sharp kids at a local high school. When I told them I was headed for the Galapagos Islands, they asked what I wanted to see the most. Being teenagers, when I answered “Blue Footed Boobies” they fell over laughing. I really don’t know why the Blue Foot attracts me so. The name comes from the Spanish “bobo” meaning stupid or clownish. Bobo, Dodo, stupid birds. I never thought the…

The Masai Mara, Kenya, February, 2014 Spell it as you will, the Masai, Maasai or Masaai (and I’ve found it spelled two ways in a single document), have the best public relations team ever. From soft drinks to cell phones, we’ve all seen these tall, lanky herdsmen of the Masai Mara and Serengeti standing erect, red robes wrapped round their shoulders, sturdy stave to the side. If the Dallas Cowboys are “America’s Team” then the Masai are Africa’s symbolic tribe. If the Cowboys are “America’s Team” the Masai…

Trekking Patagonia, South America, in November 2013 and a photo safari in Kenya, Africa, February 2014. I travel in many ways. I prefer to travel independently with few, if any, reservations and free to stay or go as I please. Sometimes I travel solo, and at other times my wife or one of my solid “travel buddies” accompanies me. Occasionally, cost factors convince me to join a group. Travel in different ways invites contrast, and there are comparisons between trips as well. This is a tale of two…