A Double-edged Sword

They say that too many cooks can spoil the broth What would one say if there is too much broth – does that spoil the cook? SO, I find myself with half-cooked posts not only on all the back-burners but there are some fairly hefty ones simmering on the front burners as well. Continue reading

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Finding Shangrilala

I write from the ‘Valley of Longevity’ – marketing hype if ever there was. Truth be told most of the, supposedly, old timers round here in Vilcabamba, Ecuador cannot remember their exact date of birth with great accuracy and therefore claims that the climate, soil and way of life will put off the inevitable are a little stretched. Continue reading

A Chance in a Million

It stretched away on all sides: a shiny black crust many metres thick that snaked and cracked across the face of the earth like some revolting sore. It radiated the sun’s heat with ferocious efficiency and one felt totally basted in warm air, like a piece of meat in a convector oven. I felt my core temperature peaking as sweat ran from each and every pore, eyes stinging from the salty rivulets and the diamond-bright sunlight overhead that this cursed rock seemed to reflect upwards thwarting my wide-brimmed hat. It was hellish in its assault on the human frame, hellish in aspect and hellish in its total abnegation of life. Or so it seemed. Continue reading

Welcome to a New World

The passenger compartment in the boat, although open to the elements at the rear, was stiflingly hot and airless. We were all arranged along either side on padded benches with the hard upright walls as support and a pile of luggage on the floor in between. The roar from the three Mercury 200 outboard engines was horrendous and together they raised an impressive ‘rooster tail’ of wake almost as high as the boat itself. The only saving grace on this infernal journey was that the sea was smooth apart from a very long-interval swell which came at us exactly side on and thus did not cause any stomach unsettling motion. Continue reading