School girl in Panajachel, Guatemala, selling fabrics. She says "Why don't you buy my stuff?" I gave her a little Australian flag.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

"Chill out in Puerto Varas, Chilean Lake District"

Puerto Varas is my favorite town to visit and linger awhile in the Chilean Lake District. It vies in importance with nearby Puerto Montt, the district capital and sea port located about 15 minutes bus ride away. Puerto Varas is a former lake port on the shores of the huge Lago Llanquihue (yankee-way), now devoted to local tourism, whereas Puerto Montt is more industrial being active in sea fishing, aquaculture, export of wood chips and servicing of cruise ships.
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Monday, May 23, 2011

Travel guide: Argentina

Where to go in Argentina can be a problem for the tourist. It all depends on various personal factors which must be delineated.

1. Is this your first visit or have you been before?

2. How much time do you have for a visit? One week or a month or more?

3. How much money do you have to spend? Are you a budget traveler or is money no object?

4. Do you have special interests that might be satisfied, like skiing, fishing, hiking, crafts, painting, history, farming and so on.

Once you have answered these questions you are then able to decide where to go and formulate priorities. Everyone will be different.

Consider a first visit of one week duration. What to do? Normally one flies into the capital Buenos Aires (BA) for first taste of this wonderful country. You could happily stay for the whole week exploring this European style city, a replica of Paris located in South America, but I suggest otherwise, because you can always make a return visit. You have time to split between BA and one other major tourist resort, such as the IguazĂș Falls, or San Carlos de Bariloche in the Argentine Lake District.

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Foto: Approaching Ushuaia in the Beagle Channel, Tierra del Fuego, on the cruise ship Terra Australia.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Victor Harbor, South Australia

Victor Harbor, Fleurieu Peninsula

Victor Harbor is South Australia’s
premier seaside tourist resort town on the Fleurieu Peninsula. It is only 84 kms south of Adelaide city, the State capital, located on the southern surf coastline of Australia. It has a permanent population of about 12,000 residents which during summer and holiday periods more than trebles. It was founded in 1837 as a sealing and whaling station which ceased operation in 1867. Many historical buildings of this period remain preserved. The history buff will enjoy the ambiance of the area. There is so much to see and do at Victor Harbor.

The big attraction is the Great Southern Ocean and its blue waters that disappear on the horizon only to find land again some 4000 kms south on frigid Antarctic shores.
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Wednesday, April 20, 2011

New and rare gemstones from East Africa

The gemstone region of East Africa is exotic and relatively new compared to the long established gemstone regions of South East Asia and Brazil. It extends from the island of Madagascar (Malagasy) in the Indian Ocean to mainland Mozambique then northward through Tanzania and Kenya.

Notable developments have been the discovery and marketing of Tanzanite, a new vivid blue variety of the mineral zoisite, and likewise the promotion of the emerald green variety of grossular garnet, called Tsavorite, from localities in Kenya and Tanzania. Both these new gemstones have limited production and so command high prices. These gems are the icing on the cake. Many more gemstones are available from this little frequented region.
Foto: Watermelon tourmaline crystal
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