Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Next Stop: Sweet Jamaica



I never get tired of traveling to Jamaica but I'm especially excited about visiting a parish I've never experienced: Port Antonio in the Northeastern parish of Portland. Noted for bamboo rafting down the Rio Grande, this rustic transport was once used to ship bananas. The whole process was made famous by Harry Belafonte's  classic 'Day O" tune and I can't wait to see the Rio Grande as well as the rest of the lush region. A highlight of my trip will be a visit to Moore Town, more widely known as Nanny Town, the settlement founded by enslaved Africans called maroons, who fought off the British and lived in the mountains in independent communities. Nanny was the female warrior who led the Portland maroons with highly developed ambush techniques and won a peace treaty from the British in 1739 for tax free lands. Nanny is the only female Jamaican national hero and I am thrilled to visit her second settlement (the original was up in the Blue Mountains) and meet her ancestors. I'll also spend some time in Kingston, where I'll explore Trenchtown and Bob Marley's Tuff Gong studios. My trip is sponsored by the Jamaica Tourist Board. Please stay tuned for posts and pix!

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

A Surprise Yukon River Concert




In Whitehorse, the capitol city of the Yukon, the Yukon River commands much of the city's focus. Running along the town in untamed waves, it really represents why Whitehorse is called "Wilderness City."  I strolled the boardwalk near the river and was excited to see a musician playing his guitar. He had come from Montreal to play for his cousin's wedding that night. He was practicing by the river and the guitar rhythms seemed to flow at the same pace as the waves. Check out my video to hear a portion of  his soothing tune.




Tuesday, September 8, 2015

A Desert in The Arctic Circle



I was prepared to see glaciers and gold during my visit to the Northern Canadian region of the Yukon but I was not prepared to see a desert. In the first of many fascinating surprises that I discovered in the region, the Carcross (Caribou Crossing) desert has been declared the world's smallest desert by the Guinness Book of World  Records. Measuring just one square mile, it looks more like a scenic sandbox than an actual desert but according to Canadian history, 10,000 years ago, this spot was the bottom of a large glacial lake and its connecting sand dunes The retreating glacial ice expanded the dunes,which serve as handy recreation for sand boarders and skiers in the winter. Technically, the climate is too humid to be considered a real desert and the Yukon is actually six degrees south of the Arctic Circle but those facts are just not as fun.