London Town

Dressed in a Cape Cod baseball cap, sunglasses, rugby shirt, shorts and wearing lightweight walking boots I am distinctly aware that I look to all the world like an American tourist – except for that fact that my socks are discreetly pulled down rather than tugged to mid-calf as is the US style. And to be honest I couldn’t care less. Continue reading

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Revolution in the Head

I stood at the intersection of Haight and Ashbury. An old man walked past wearing technicolor surf shorts, a Hendrix T-shirt, flip-flops, large yellow-rimmed sunglasses and a San Francisco baseball cap. It was a vision both appalling and hilarious, a walking spectre, as though a child had been artificially aged. But it made me smile to think that fifty years after The Summer of Love took over this part of the city in 1967 some of that spirit still endures. Continue reading

In the Air

If one had to judge the culture and sophistication of a city by the aroma level of stale urine in the air then Valparaiso in Chile would not rate very highly. It would also fall down on the amounts of rubbish and dog shit littering the cobbled streets. However, that would be to do Valparaiso a disservice. Continue reading

Airport Rant

I’m lying on the industrial grade carpet and looking out the thick plate glass windows of Fort Lauderdale’s Hollywood Airport. Outside it is 75F but here on the inside I am cold and getting colder. A delay in Lima yesterday and we missed our morning connection to San Francisco. The airplane seat was a relic from the 70s and we barely slept. I am in a mood to rant. Continue reading

A Bird in the Hand

I stood at the back of the packed church flanked on one side by a large islander in a multicoloured Tahitian style shirt and on the other by a slighter man in an AC/DC T-shirt and green bandana. As a building it was plain on the interior but made memorable by some truly handsome carving in a light, orange hued wood. The figures were of a familiar religious nature but rendered unusual by the stylised forms and unorthodox paraphernalia. Continue reading

Patagonian Wind

Be Careful with the Patagonian Wind’ read the small label on the inside ledge of the driver side door. I remembered Alejandro’s words and slowly wound down the side window. Wind hissed in as though escaping under pressure and a blast of cold air nearly sucked my sunglasses from my face. Holding both the door handle and the frame I cautiously began to open the door. Stable at first, the door soon became a wild beast of a thing as it began to catch a proportionately larger share of the wind and when it was side on it took off like a greyhound from a trap. I was physically pulled out of the driver’s seat and onto the ground, only just managing to maintain a hold on the door and stop it from being torn from its hinges and blowing into the wild blue yonder. Welcome to Patagonia. Continue reading