With a circumference of only 2.15 kilometers, Yubu Jima is the smallest island in the Yaeyama Archipelago, Okinawa. The entire island is a subtropical garden, with more than 100 varieties of trees!
On the island are 43 water buffaloes, 23 carts, 23 people and 17 households (2010, yubujima.com).
The island is accessible by water buffalo cart from Iriomote Jima.
One of the harshest and coldest winters in Canada was the winter of 2013/14 – with a Christmas ice storm that downed trees and hydro lines, cutting power to half million people – and a series of polar vortexes. The polar vortex from the beginning of January froze the Niagara River and the two smaller waterfalls, creating an unusual winter landscape.
“Tokyo’s hidden erotic wonderland is open for business.” – National Geographic
When I arrived first time at the Shinjuku Station in Tokyo, I was lost. 3.64 million passengers pass through the world’s busiest transport hub each day, more than the population of Toronto! Once you find your way out (from over 200 exits), you may head to the famous red light district of Tokyo, Kabukichō – the “Sleepless Town”.
Your first clue that you are in the area is when you are seeing well dressed young Japanese men with very long hair. You will find them at the main entrances to the Kabukichō red light district, every day and night.
Galleone(s): sailing ship in use (especially by Spain) from the 15th through 17th centuries, originally as a warship, later for trade.
Brisa(s): A gentle to moderate wind.
Brisas Los Galeones is an intimate, adults-only all-inclusive resort set on top of a hill, overlooking the Carribean Sea and Sierra Maestra Mountains (two hours drive from Santiago de Cuba). With only 32 rooms and most of the guests being retired Canadians, the place is pretty quiet – except for the occasional goat bleats during the day and the beautiful Cuban music – performed by local jazz and salsa bands during the dinner time.
“Christmas waves a magic wand over this world, and behold, everything is softer and more beautiful.” – Norman Vincent Peale
It is the time for Christmas – a time for joy, celebration and reflection, a time to look back to the year that has passed and prepare for the year ahead.
Looking back many years, the Christmas caught me in some unusual places such as in the airplane flying from Toronto to Bucharest, in a deserted lounge of the Lagos airport, near the bridge over the river Kwai in Thailand, on the top of Carpathian Mountains or at a cabaret show in Havana.
The Ban-Tod-Ja-Roen School in the Aranyaprathet District is a small school in the Thai countryside, few hours drive from Bangkok. I visited the school with my Thai friends to bring donations to the school children.
We bought school requisites, a water cooler, toys and other items. The women from our group prepared Thai food for children. And we even had ice cream!
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Enjoy my favorite travel quotes coupled with stories I lived and photos I took during my travels.
“To awaken quite alone in a strange town is one of the pleasantest sensations in the world. You are surrounded by adventure. You have no idea of what is in store for you, but you will, if you are wise and know the art of travel, let yourself go on the stream of the unknown and accept whatever comes in the spirit in which the gods may offer it.” – Freya Stark, Baghdad Sketches