• Adventure Island!

    Vanuatu…today turned into an adventure day! Climbing a waterfall was just the beginning of my action packed day in the South Pacific!

    I told my driver I wanted to go somewhere unique and not so overrun with tourists! He suggested we go to other side of the island of Efate to Turtle Bay and Eton…

    Vanuatu is renowned for it’s natural environment and boasts coral seas abundantly full of marine life! Snorkeling and Scuba Diving are world class and very special here. I am not a scuba diver, but I am game today for some sort of “soft adventure”!

    Turtle Bay is a marine sanctuary that is teaming with incredible sea life in a coral reef that appears like a bright blue spot of heaven from ashore. There is a community here that lives in grass huts along the shore who help care for the sea’s fragile creatures. That includes raising delicate sea turtles.

    One part of the beach has a sheltered coral swimming hole teaming with shark and large turtles! I am encouraged to dive in to swim amongst these small friendly sharks and feed and ride the large turtles! What?!?!

    I am handed some fruit and in I go…these grand turtles race toward me ready to feast! I hold the fruit slices out and the turtles go for it….I hear a scream “watch your fingers!” from one of the natives watching me! I get more comfortable until I can go actually go full on swimming amongst these magnificent creatures…the shark couldn’t be bothered, but the turtle allow me to ride their shells! What a rush!

    Afterward I head out to snorkel with bread in hand to feed the fish! I get out in the water and I am swarmed with a huge school of every imaginable color of fish! I panic, throw the bread into the sea, fish are literally jumping to grab the pieces, and I race back to shore, heart pounding! Oh my god…I practically hyperventilate! A group of locals are laughing in the sand at me…

    Well I tried but I guess I am not too brave…but I will remember this the rest of my life! What a cool experience on this remote island a world away from home!





  • Doing my best Hemingway!

    The Encierro (running of the bulls) in Pamplona…

    Every once in awhile you have a “moment”, today I had one of those “moments”! I didn’t love waking up at 5 am and I definitely didn’t look cute in my white outfit with red scarf & sash (maybe I needed to channel Ernest Hemingway with his signature Panama hat!) but it was totally worth it.

    Arriving in the center of town at 6 am to find it already mobbed with bull-run eager participants, I needed to hurry before they starting closing the path to my balcony. I arrived and was greeted by the apartment owner and shown to my viewing spot only to discover I scored this balcony all to myself, maybe this was turning out to be a VIP trip afterall!

    I was one floor above the Calle Estefeta right where the action happens and the location was directly after the first treacherous curve of the route in which the bulls head towards the red doors of the stadium for tonight’s bull fight. I stood there in awe, watching the runners stretch and get ready to outrun the bulls while shopkeepers board up their storefronts.

    The crowd chants and sings, the street is swept for trash, and the formalities begin; Runners are pushed back by police, men in green polos arrive carrying sticks they use to direct the bulls if needed, local politicians walk and inspect the route, and this collective community in white & red is ready and anxious!

    At 8 am, you hear the gunshot and they are off! In a flash, the bulls appear and you see men tumbling, runners literally loosing their espadrilles, and even a few unlucky souls getting run over!
    I see one poor guy ‘s t shirt is literally speared by the bulls horn and he is being pulled the entire way into the stadium!

    What a rush! What a thrill! What a total “moment” I will never forget!