My second post on Cuba!

Don’t know how I managed it, but I got the second post on Cuba up today, this one on the Valley of Vinales. What a gorgeous place! Visit it at saystravelogue.com

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Viva la Cuba! We Begin in Havana!

My first post on my one month’s trip to Cuba is finally up on my new website, saystravelogue.com. If you haven’t subscribed to that new blogsite yet, you might want to. It’s where I’ll be posting all my future travels.

Wonderful Holiday Wishes to each and every one of you, and may you have a Bountifully Blessed New Year!

Sayward

 

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Follow my New BlogSite!

Hello, Friends, Followers and Family!

I’m off to see a lot of different parts of the world in the next ten years (at least, that’s the plan) before I get too old and tired to be bothered with it all anymore 🙂

I’m in Mexico now, and my first big adventure is to Cuba for a month! Then later this winter I’m headed to Argentina for 3 months. Hopefully, next summer will include Portugal, Spain and maybe Italy if I haven’t run out of steam by then. As the years progress I plan to see lots more of Europe, England, Scotland, Ireland, Wales, Iceland, South Africa, more of South America, Indonesia, maybe New Zealand, hopefully China, Mongolia, Russia….okay, I’m worn out now thinking about it all.

But YOU don’t have to get worn out…just subscribe to my new blogsite and you can travel vicariously with me for free! And it would be fun to stay in touch and hear from you as I go along.

Visit my new blogsite and subscribe there to join me in these adventures!

www.saystravelogue.com

Blessings to you and yours!

Sayward

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Preparing for the next adventure!

Hello, Friends!

It’s been awhile since I’ve posted any adventures, so it’s about time!

This winter I’m planning to visit Mexico and Argentina. If you have any suggestions as to great places you’ve been to in either of those countries, I’d love to hear. Otherwise, I’ll travel using my tried and trusted method, which is to purchase three different travel guides – usually either DK Eyewitness Travel, Moon, Lonely Planet, or Rough Guide – and determine my route through their combined information.

I’m also wanting to start carrying advertisements of things that relate to my blog posts. For example, since I’ve already mentioned certain guide books, those guide books would have an ad link on my blogsite. But I will never charge you, dear reader and vicarious travel companion, for reading my journey’s notes.

Lots of learning to do…Better get started!

Blessings!

 

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Amazing Revelations…

Hello Friends-at-Large,

The last 24 hours have provided an astounding awakening for me…probably I should have known it before, but I’m just so damn trusting that others are as honest as I am. Here’s what I learned…

While doing an internet search under my name, just to see what is out there on the Wild Wild Web, I came across several websites that offered my books for FREE!!! Same cover, my name, all the content…for FREE! With THOUSANDS of 5-star reviews! Enough to have earned the money needed to have a well drilled on my property had the readers paid the meager few dollars I ask for those books on Amazon and Kindle!

So, I send a message to Kindle…so far, no response. Next, I drown in despair for a few hours about how the whole world seems to be going to Hell in a hand cart. Next, I sleep, or try to. Maybe I finally slept in the early hours of the morning. And then this morning I take my ritual wake-up walk. On that meander I begin to have pity for all those peeps (or perps) out there that have absolutely nothing more creative or better to do in their lives than to steal other peoples hard-worked-for accomplishments. I mean, REALLY, what kind of valuable life are they living? “What do you do for work?” “Oh, I pilfer and pirate other people’s products!”

After making up a yummy golden potato salad this morning (with organic mayo, red pepper, lots of dill, sea salt, onion and celery) I undertook an online search on whether Kindle had ever been sued, and lo and behold….the light flashed before my face! I should have known, I should have known….Amazon has been making a boat load of money from a ton of rotten practices through side-publishing private author’s works for a very long time! I had THOUGHT there would be laws that would not have allowed them to do this….but then, what else is new in the world of today??? The corrupt have been in power for a long time, but the curtains that hid them are finally falling…

So, my NEXT books will have to be published through real publishers. Which presents a challenge, but hey! What else is life about? One challenge after another :)) And growth through it all!

Thank you so much to all of you, my friends. It’s wonderful to know there are still real people on board this beautiful planet!

Bountiful Blessings to all of you!

Sayward

 

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Good-bye, Brazil! Hello, Hurricanes!

Waiting for the Bus in Paraty

May 24th, 2011 – Took a last walk through parts of Paraty I’d not seen before. There was a lot of construction going on in the building of a stone path out to the jetty. It will be an attractive addition to the town when it is done.

Back at the Hostel I savored my last Brazilian breakfast and coffee – how I will miss the coffee! There is nothing like it in the U.S.! Paid my Hostel bill and headed to the bus station, where I asked a young man to take my picture.

The bus was very comfortable – nicely padded seats and leg cushions! The route runs along the coast and turns inland at Ubatuba to climb over the mountain range and drop back down onto an interior freeway system. The coastline was stunning and lush with eucalyptus forests, pines, bamboo, banana trees, and large flowering plants that were almost trees themselves!

At Sao Jose dos Campos I exchanged buses, and caught one at 3:30 p.m. going directly to the Guarulos International Airport. It arrived at the bus stop right on schedule and had only 10 people on it! The ride to the airport was calm and beautiful in the late afternoon sun on the fast, lightly trafficked toll highway.  This was decidedly the best way to have gotten to the Airport – the other idea of going into Sao Paulo itself and catching a subway from there to the Airport would have been much more difficult – it was a suggestion that had been made to me by one fellow I had asked a few days back.

Wandering through the Airport I spied a great little Japanese restaurant tucked back away from the heavily walked areas. I ordered the combination plate – 17 pieces of fresh salmon, tuna, octopus and rolls – Yum! Plus a beer! This was the capper to my last travel day in Brazil, and a preparation meal for the long flights ahead.

My flight departed Sao Paulo on time. It was an American Airlines Airbus, and served a good dinner and an alright breakfast. I might have gotten 3 hours of sleep. When we landed in Dallas, the weather was gorgeous. It was astonishing to learn that there had just been a series of three tornados that had ripped through the city during the time I was flying from Sao Paulo. There had been golf-ball sized hail, extremely high winds, over 100 flights had been cancelled, and over 1000 people had slept overnight in the Airport on cots! What a disaster!

My on-going flight had been cancelled, of course, so I spent the entire day in the Airport watching CNN report on the tornados that had ripped through Kansas, Oklahoma and Missouri. Unbelievable destruction and loss of life.

The shuttle service that was to pick me up in Los Angeles and deliver me to Palm Springs, accepted my cancellation. Amazingly, American Airlines was able to re-route me directly into Palm Springs on an evening flight. During my day at Dallas/Ft. Worth Airport, I heard numerous stories regarding the flight delays the hurricanes had caused. One woman told me that some folks she knows had been waiting since Monday to catch a flight, as there were storms here on Monday, too, that caused canceled flights. That’s 3 days living at an Airport! I overheard another woman say that there were over 85 people on stand-by waiting to get on one flight! What a mess! But, to the credit of all the folks everywhere, all was calm and under control. There was a sense of peace in the Airport, and I took it with me on my flight back to Palm Springs.

The travels in Brazil were a big eye-opener for me. Learning the history was a revelation – it helped me understand the larger picture of how the current world became developed. Would I go back to Brazil? In a heartbeat! And next time, I’d definitely spend more time in Paraty!

My Last Meal in Brazil With My Journal

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Last Day in Paradise – er, Paraty!

Early Morning Beach Walk in Paraty

May 23rd, 2011 – This was to be my last full day in Brazil. Breakfast was a little late being served at Hostel Che Legaro, but finally it was all on the table by 8:30 or so. After breakfast I set out for a walk in a contemplative mood – this would be my last relaxing day, as the following day would be all about traveling back to the U.S. I would be leaving Paraty in the morning, taking several buses to get to the Airport in Sao Paulo, and catching a flight at 9 p.m. for Dallas, where I would connect through to Los Angeles, and be picked up by a shuttle service to arrive back in Palm Springs. I decided not to think about it, and to focus on my last day in Paraty.

Paddling to a Small Island

I crossed over the waterway footbridge and walked up the beach to a kayak rental shop where I checked on the price. He didn’t have the type of kayak I was looking for, so he suggested I try the shops over the hill along the beach to the north. It was a short walk up the cobblestone street over the hill – stunning views – that descended down on to beach town of Jabaquara. The beach was quiet – no one out on it yet. The main street running along the beach was lined with many Hostels, Hotels and Pousadas.

On a Private Beach

The Hostel that rented the kayaks had the style of kayak I was looking for, and I rented it for 2 hours. I paddled out to and around an island where I watched fishermen setting out their nets, cormorants drying their wings, and a large heron eyeing me closely. From there I paddled a long stretch of water to a distant, privately owned beach. Leaving the kayak above the wave break, I explored the beach front a little, then ate lunch – apple and nuts. On the property just back from the water was a stone home, driveways and paths that spoke of an era my grandparents would have known. It was idyllically serene.

Above the Private Beach

From there I paddled back to the beach I had launched from at Jabaquara, and returned the kayak. Oozing with calm and peace, I spread myself out on the blond sand beach and baked in the sun awhile.

As I lay there I was thinking how pictures cannot capture the texture of the sand, the scent in

Fisherman Setting Nets

the air, the sensuousness of the breeze on the skin, the warmth of the sun penetrating to the bone, the brilliant green of the hills, the vibrant abundance and euphoria emanating from all the surrounding plants, trees and flowers. No picture I could take could capture what I was experiencing – you will simply have to come to Paraty!

Birds of Paradise

Later in the afternoon I walked back into Paraty, checked my bus ticket for the next day to see if there wasn’t a later bus I could take that would still connect me on to the Airport in time – there wasn’t – and back to the Hostel Che Legaro for a shower and later on, another evening walk before bed. It had been the biggest gift of the trip, to have spent those last two days in Paraty. I could not think of any other place in Brazil I’d been to that I’d rather have been for my last days. The trip to Brazil had turned out better than I could have dreamed. Now I just had to make all the proper bus connections to get back the States.

Paraty in the Evening Sun

An Old Canon Still Defending the Fort of Paraty

A Section of the Fort at Paraty

Inside the Fort on One of the Cobblestone Streets

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