Posted in "map of Costa Rica", accident, bizzare, Buy The Book, central America, cities, Costa Rica, crazy things, culture, cultures, eco tourism in Costa Rica, geography, guelph, Hamilton, holiday in Costa Rica, Interesting, Life, My Book, my life, people in Costa Rica, Personal, Photography, photos, picture of, sports, strange places, surfing, Tamarindo, tours in Costa Rica, Travel, Uncategorized, tagged "Costa Rican map", "Costa Rican roads", "Directions in Costa Rica", "driving in Costa Rica", "Map of Costa Rica", "surfing in Tamarindo", "Tamarindo and Liberia", Guanacaste, Tamarindo on March 1, 2011|
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A map of Costa Rica will be confusing in the maze of convoluted roads along the Guanacaste shoreline. Here we are, several world class beaches within about 20 minutes drive. But where to surf in Tamarindo?
A simple map of Costa Rica with some broad destinations plotted relative to each other might sometimes be the way to go. Follow road signs and ask the locals and providing time is not an issue you will get there.
As they say in Costa Rica – Pura Vida!
Check my simple map of Costa Rica here.
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Posted in Adventures, bizzare, books, Buy The Book, cities, culture, cultures, Education, entertainment, geography, guelph, Hamilton, history, Interesting, Life, My Book, my life, people in Costa Rica, Personal, Photography, photos, picture of, strange places, tours in Costa Rica, Travel, travel writing, Uncategorized, urban exploration, vacation, visiting Costa Rica, wierd, tagged "Costa Rica capital", "Costa Rican capital", Cartago, Cartago basillica, Cartago church, Carthago, Costa Rica, earthquake damage in Costa Rica, Las Ruinas in Cartago, Michael Gordon and Costa Rica, Michael Gordon and Tamarindo, ruined buildings in Costa Rica, Tamarindo; Crooked Times in Costa Rica, vacation in Costa Rica on February 24, 2011|
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This cracked old bell hangs in a ruined cathedral in the earthquake shaken city of Cartago. It appears in the telling of my story – Tamarindo; Crooked Times in Costa Rica. The book is selling on the lulu website at $26.99
As the story goes …
The last Simone saw she was thrashing a flinching Nicaraguan who’d come to pray for the health of his fellow workers.
“Good on you old lady,” Simone shouted approvingly. “I bet he friends with that red hair monkey.”
Simone found Talbot at Las Ruinas, skulking beneath its bell.
Symbolically both the ruined cathedral and the bell are representative of something other than their actual physical presence. Cartago was the old Costa Rican capital before San Jose captured the title in a battle in a nearby mountain pass.
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Posted in accident, adventure in Ontario, bizzare, books, Buy The Book, Canada, Caves, culture, cultures, entertainment, environment, exploration, extreme sports, geography, humor, Interesting, Life, motocross, my life, ontario, people, Personal, philosophy, Photography, photos, picture of, sports, strange places, theater, Travel, Uncategorized, wierd, tagged 4 wheeling, Arbag, arbag near Parry sound, Arbeg, burning neon, crash in the bush, neon, neon accident, off roading, off roading in Ontario, off roading near Parry Sound, off roading with a neon, offroading, offroading in the north, Parry sound on February 5, 2011|
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Arbag – Fuel line burst, hot gas on the engine 10K into the bush (Tom’s picture – unknown photographer)
Aside from the hum of the mosquitoes under a grey, cloud-laden sky the northern forest is quiet. It is as though man had never touched this raw and rugged land. From somewhere there arises a faint revving sound, it intrudes into the otherwise pristine morning growing louder over a period of about 15 minutes. Bone jarring thumps reverberate through the trees and soon human voices can also be heard. Now visible, a convoy of several vehicles jolts into view. It looks like something out of a northern version of a Mad Max movie. Mud spattered vehicles with various oddments of human survival strapped atop. Whooping, shouting and cheering the off roaders do their stuff.
A green Neon is of particular interest, why is it out here? The convoy is several miles from the nearest passable road, this is dense bush, its crazy! Tom is the driver. Blond hair, pony tail and ragged beard, he is in his mid 20’s, dressed as per normal in his trademark color, “baby blue.” The sunroof is open, the road is crap and Tom is in his element. As he explained, “My intention is to do a few rock pitches, get the car dirty, I’m a bit of an off road groupie.” The vehicles enter a clearing, it is just a huge expanse of rock, polished by the glaciers, its deeper hollows filled by mud and bog grass.
As I’m sure you can imagine it can be very expensive. Tom has had his neon for two years and as he says, “It looks like xxxx” “I have been my cars own worst enemy.” He confesses. “All the damage is because of me,” he whispers. People say it looks like garbage and regrettably there are a few mechanical problems. I have no power steering and the ball joints are gone, it makes a horrible grinding noise when it goes around a corner, it has no starter so I put it in first and roll it along till the engine kicks in. The car always overheats and it has to be stopped sometimes on the way to work. If you ride in my car most people want to get out quickly because they think it is unsafe but it is not, there are just a lot of little things. (I will clarify this for the reader, it is Tom’s driving style that concerns his passengers.) I have tape on the lights, the mirror is missing, no hubcaps, some of the door handles are off and as Najeeb pointed out, “It smells like weed.” Tom corrects him, “most of that smell is the burning from the engine.”
Off roading is not for everyone, as you can see there are consequences but both Tom and Pablo say, it’s a great way to see the outdoors. They explore any little trail they can find and were most excited when I told them of the lost settlers roads that span the province, overgrown by trees and forgotten to all but the most aged historian. If you find a battered green neon far out in the forest you will know where it came from and you will know that Tom and Pablo have probably graduated to a farmer auto.
While on the topic of misfortunes and accidents, check out this incident when the rope broke in Dewdney’s Cave … Here
Or more to the point, the accident with the Leopard tank … Here
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Posted in abandoned, abandoned mines, abandoned mines in Ontario, adventure in Ontario, Adventures, Bancroft, Bancroft gemboree, bizzare, Buy The Book, collecting rocks near Bancroft, crazy things, exploration, gemology, gems, gemstones, geography, geology, history, industrial archeology, Interesting, Life, mine, mines in northern Ontario, My Book, my life, Nature/Outdoors, ontario, Ontario geography, Ontario Underground, Ontario's geography, Ontario's geology, Personal, Photography, photos, picture of, rock collecting, rockhounding, rockhounding in Ontario, Rocks & Gems, rocks and minerals, rocks in Ontario, rockwatching, sapphires, strange places, Travel, tunnels, Uncategorized, underground, underground Ontario, urban exploration, tagged abandoned mines in Northern Ontario, Boulter road near Bancroft, collecting minerals near Bancroft, collecting minerals near Craigmont, corundum, corundum in Northern Ontario, Corundum in Ontario, corundum near bancroft, Craigmont, nepheline syenites, old mine tunnels, Ontario rockhound, rock Hounding, rockhound, rockhounding, Rocks & Gems, rocks and minerals, sapphires in Ontario, Syenite, syenite in Ontario, Syenite under Robillard Mountain on January 29, 2011|
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Beneath Robillard Mountain
Craigmont is about as distant from the reach of the modern world as you are likely to get in the “near north”. Indeed it appears on the map as a substantial settlement but as you cruise up Boulter road you become aware of how far you really are, both geographically and culturally from the bustle of Southern Ontario.
Coasting over hills that stretch off greenish-blue into the summer haze it seems as though you are crossing into a time warp. Meadows are saturated with intense colour and high pastoral fields line the road, strewn with orange and yellow flowers. Beyond this lies the valley of the “Little Mississippi River”. Spike-topped conifers wander unbroken to the horizon and in hillside fields lazy cows watch disinterestedly at the crumbling demise of old log barns.
As a collecting locale, Craigmont is remarkable. Not only is the beauty unsurpassed but its minerals are spectacular. Corundum here is found in large euhedral (perfectly formed) specimens; lapidaries have been known to cut them into cabochons. In their book, “Rocks and Minerals of Ontario” the Ontario Department of Mines say that there are unusual curved mica crystals. Garnets, molybdenite, allanite, uranite, euxenite, magnetite, pyrite and hornblende also appear from time to time.
Blink and you just might glide past Craigmont. The inhabited part is now a private town. It exists as a cluster of houses, barns and sheds and around it the vegetables flourish in earthy rows.
Robillard Mountain is situated within sight of the present habitation; an impressive upheaval of rugged red rock. Some twenty separate excavations scar its slopes.
As a general rule most corundum is found in pegmatites and structures associated with nepheline syenites. In this area north of Bancroft the most abundant deposits (corundum) are said to be sandwiched between scapolite, nepheline andesine and a band of alkaline syenite.
I took a hike beneath the mountain to see the syenite from below.
More on corundum in Craigmont here …
Check out this abandoned mine in Cobalt ... Here
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Posted in adventure in Ontario, Adventures, Bancroft gemboree, Buy The Book, Canada, Cobalt, collecting rocks near Bancroft, Education, environment, gemstones, geography, geology, history, Interesting, Life, looking for gems, My Book, my life, mystery, nature, ontario, Ontario geography, Ontario Underground, Ontario's geography, Ontario's geology, Photography, photos, picture of, rock collecting, rockhounding, rockhounding in Ontario, Rocks & Gems, rocks and minerals, rocks in Ontario, rockwatching, Uncategorized, tagged blood diamonds, Canadian diamonds, Cobalt Ontario, Cobold, Cobolt, Diamond, diamond bearing breccia, diamond breccia in Ontario, diamond mine in Ontario, Diamond mining, diamond mining in Ontario, diamond rock, Diamonds, diamonds in Canada, diamonds in Ontario, finding diamonds in Ontario, kimberlites in Ontario, rock in which diamonds are found on January 23, 2011|
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James examines the diamond bearing Breccia – Cobalt
Ontario’s first really big diamond was discovered in 1906. Father Paradis, a missionary in the Nipissing district, reported that he had found a 101 carat yellow diamond in glacial overburden; the stone was said to have a rough exterior and be about the size of a hen’s egg. Most surmise that the gem had been picked up somewhere near the father’s mission along the shores of Lake Timiskaming; it was auctioned at Tiffanies and has since disappeared below the radar.
Few should be surprised at the discovery of gems in Canada. For over thirty years now geologists have known that diamonds are associated with continental cratons. The Canadian Shield is but one of several cratons in the north; it is the largest such structure in the world.
The discovery and subsequent mining of diamonds just outside Yellowknife precipitated a wholesale mineralogical scramble. In recent years the search has moved in a southerly direction and it will continue right across the Shield until its rock dips down under the soil about an hour’s drive just north-east of Toronto.
Just recently there have been some astounding discoveries outside New Liskeard. Several kimberlite pipes were found and at least half of them are diamondiferous. Though diamonds are typically found in kimberlite these New Liskeard diamonds are embedded in the breccia along the side of highway 11 (above photo).
Ralph Schroetter, a local gemologist hunts for New Liskeard’s illusive crystals at night, in a nearby stream bed; he uses ultra violet light. As he explained, “Some diamonds fluoresce when exposed to that kind of stimulation. It makes them easier to spot”.
Check out the big chunk of raw silver that I found on the mine dumps in Cobalt – here (raw silver)
Check out the dirty world of blood diamonds here ….
And on the other hand as Shirley Bassey sees it – out of the mud and on to the finger … Diamonds are Forever
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Posted in abandoned, abandoned mines, abandoned mines in Ontario, adventure in Ontario, Adventures, Bancroft, Bancroft gemboree, Caves, collecting rocks near Bancroft, crazy things, Education, environment, exploration, gemology, gems, gemstones, geography, geology, health and safety, industrial archeology, Life, mine, mines in northern Ontario, my life, mystery, nature, Nature/Outdoors, ontario, Ontario geography, Ontario Underground, Ontario's geography, Ontario's geology, Photography, photos, picture of, rock collecting, rockhounding, rockhounding in Ontario, Rocks & Gems, rocks and minerals, rocks in Ontario, rockwatching, strange places, tunnels, Uncategorized, underground, underground Ontario, urban exploration, wierd, tagged abandoned mine in Northern Ontario, abandoned mine near Bancroft, abandoned Ontario Mine, abandoned Ontario Uranium mine, abandoned uranium mine, adit, adit in Ontario, adit near Bancroft, Coe Hill, Croft Mine, garnet bearing pegmatite, head frame, industrial relics, mining head frame, old mine buildings, Ralph Schroetter on January 16, 2011|
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Abandoned Ontario Mine – Croft Mine
My purpose for visiting the Croft Mine had been was to photograph the fabled head frame – Ralph Schroetter, my guide at Coe Hill had said that it was one of the last such relics in the area. I soon came to realize that finding the abandoned structure would be no easy task. The forest was so thick that I could barely see twenty feet ahead.
I attempted to piece together the most likely location for a mining structure from the location of the dumps, adit, and the many overgrown tracks. Along one old bramble covered path I found a shelf system that had held the drill cores, along another track I found a collection of rusty old barrels. I spent some brief amount of time on the dumps looking for traces of the garnet bearing pegmatite. Mysterious, moss-covered beams were strewn everywhere. Might one of these heaps be the head frame that Ralph had spoken of?
Climbing the hill above the adit, I hoped to sight my goal, but I soon realized that I was out of luck. A yellow carpet stretched off bewilderingly in every direction. Breaking through the canopy was impossible. It was like I was drowning in an endless rain of sticky wet leaves. If it were not for the contour of the hillside, a factor that helped maintain my orientation, I doubt that I would have found my way back to the access track.
The water in the adit was knee-deep and crystal clear. I could see corrugations in the sand from big knobby tires. It seemed that somebody had driven an ATV into tunnel. Touching the wall I got an immediate whiff of the earth – it was that mouldering fungus smell you get when you dig in rotting leaves. Unlike the Richardson adit, there is no air movement here; it is absolutely still – like a mausoleum. Knowing the dangers of such an exploration I only stood in the entrance and though I had to fight my curiosity, I turned back for the fresher air of the forest outside.
Check out this rare earth mine near Bancroft – the shaft drops down to a depth of over 400 feet …. Here We found it in the bush by following the surface clues – a mine dump and old beams and tin.
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