Nature Walks: The Bucket List

"In every walk with nature one receives far more than he seeks," wrote John Muir, and so it is when you take a walk in the woods, a simple and easy act that connects you with the natural world.

High Force

Seeking the Teesdale Assemblage, County Durham, England

The Durham Dales often take one a tiny step beyond the magic. While their more illustrious southern neighbours, the Yorkshire Dales have their own unarguable beauties, I always feel that Weardale and Teesdale offer just that little bit extra. And Read More

Blue Mountain coffee in bloom.

Getting High in Jamaica’s Blue Mountains

Folks are friendly in the mountains of Jamaica, but in an unpracticed way. They will tell you how to behave and it’s always best to listen for your own sake: They’re almost always right. Then they’ll tell you a funny story. Definitely listen to Read More

Carving at the Trees of Mystery park in Klamath, California (Photo MCArnott)

Pondering Old Growth Forests at the Trees of Mystery in Klamath, California

I am looking at the top of a tree that is so tall, I have to hug it to keep my balance. Let's do the math: It was a seedling around the time Christopher Columbus discovered America. Before the 1800s, the American Northwest was still a dangerous Read More

The entrance through the Passion facade (Ann Burnett)

Awe-struck at the Sagrada Familia Basilica, Barcelona, Spain

Our first view of the Sagrada Familia is from the top of Montjuic Hill at the end of the funicular ride up from the Ave Paral.lel. My eyes sweep over the panorama below Barcelona, and then, rising above it, the unmistakeable shape of Gaudi’s Read More

Lighthouse at Pot du Phare (Photo credit: Roberta Sotonoff ©2012)

Birding the Quebec Maritimes’ Islands near Rivière-du-Loup

The Quebec Maritimes are a haven for people like me who are into nature. This northern part of Quebec along the St. Lawrence River provides both a serene escape from the city and incredible scenery. Jagged rock formations erupt from the water. Birds Read More

Seymour Tower and Intertidal Reef (photo: Anthony Toole)

Crossing Jersey’s Intertidal Reef to the Seymour Tower

Along the south-east coast of Jersey, stretching from St Helier to Gorey, the seabed is so shallow that at low tide an area of 17.5 square kilometres becomes exposed, making this one of the largest intertidal reefs in the world. Because of this, the Read More

The Lone Swimmer

Swimming in Sacred Water: Semuc Champey of Guatemala

As I look down from the heights of El Mirador, the pools of Semuc Champey appear as expanses of turquoise set between limestone ridges. It occurs to me that El Mirador -- it means a viewpoint -- is a name far too common in Central America or, at the Read More

Beautiful tufa towers of Mono Lake. Photo by Yvette Cardozo.

Wandering The Tufa Towers Of Mono Lake

Years ago, I stopped at California’s Mono Lake on a bike trip. I was hot, tired and ready for the day to end. I briefly looked at the lake’s famous tufa mounds, felt the greasy, salt-laden water and left. I’ve always wanted to go back. And Read More

Macaws rescued from illegal trafficking in Bolivia (©Coen Wubbels)

Taking a Break at Biocentro Güembé in Santa Cruz, Bolivia

"Another Inca ruin?" "Again so many hours in a bus?" "Can't we go swimming somewhere?" "More markets? I want to go swimming! Please!" I don't have kids but I can imagine this being a frequent scene between kids and parents on vacation (or Read More

Catwalk to watch the Garganta do Diablo from up close (©Coen Wubbels)

Watching a 360-degree Rainbow in Iguaçu National Park, Brazil

The waterfalls of Iguaçu have been credited with all kinds of superlatives: the best, the highest, the largest, the most spectacular, the deepest, the most impressive. They create expectations and because my partner Coen and I like to get what we Read More

Birds like to use the dead trunks and branches as lookout points (©Coen Wubbels)

Bamboo Rafting in Kerala’s Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary, India

Tiger footprints. We stop in our tracks. Excitement rises. Our guide kneels and studies them, and concludes they are old ones. Disillusion comes with a hidden sense of relief. There is a gun-carrying guard with us, but still. We set off once more Read More