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Archive for the ‘vacation’ Category

giraffe thumb, originally uploaded by Mic2006.

Admittedly, the speed limit is 40 k in the reserve, but I was in a bit of a hurry to get back to the town and it was late afternoon. Coming around a corner in the bush I came up really fast against several giraffes that were grazing upon acacia trees in the middle of the road.

see video on giraffes in Hluhluwe here

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Cenotes in Tulum, originally uploaded by Mic2006.

In case you were wondering why I stopped posting, I’ve been in Tulum for the last little while – exploring cenotes and just generally enjoying the culture of the Yucatan.

Check out this video on some cenotes near Tulum here.

we stayed in our usual hotel, the Punta Posada Piedra, spent time learning Spanish from Santiago, the night watchman, watched turtles crawling up on the beach to lay eggs – and one that changed its mind. We visited the Sian Ka’an Biosphere Reserve and to me, most significantly visited several local cenotes and snorkled in them.

Cenotes that I have documented on the video link above are Gran Cenote, Cenote Calavara (Temple of Doom), Manati Cenote and Dos Ojos. Of course there are plenty of others, but those are the ones that are most easily reached from Tulum.

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IMGP0250, originally uploaded by Mic2006.

Along the outer edges of the Dos Ojos Cenote divers leave the light and enter into the unforgiving world of cave diving. Following a line into the Mayan spirit-world it is traditional for a shaman to offer a blessing with a bowl of smoking copal. there was no such practice here, divers suit up in their scores to explore the Yucatan from beneath.

Dos Ojos is considered a beginner cave dive location, but there are plenty of other nearby underwater tunnels. Sac Aktun is situated within a short drive of this system and it is to date the longest explored underwater tunnel system in the world. Other local cave dive locations are Yaax-Mul which is just south of Dos Ojos and Chac-Mool which is close as well.

I took this picture with my new waterproof camera that I had bought to photograph our newly discovered Ontario cave – “Wasteland waterway” – sadly it’s hard to keep still and the picture was a little blurry.  JC and I will probably be back to Wasteland Waterway by next weekend – weather permitting.

Admittedly I have another book in progress on Ontario caves and their exploration, but check out Tamarindo; Crooked times in Costa Rica – it was my last book – a work of fiction with some pretty weird characters.

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Cenote diving in Mexico

Cenote diving in Mexico

The surface of the Yucatan – especially the more northern area along the edges of an ancient meteor impact crater is dotted with deep blue pools of water. They were both of physical and cultural value to the Mayans. As there is little surface running water on the Yucatan, towns grew up around these wells. Culturally, the cenote and its accompanying underground tunnels represented the entrance to Xibalba (shi-bal-ba) the Mayan underworld from where life was both taken and delivered. This past week I had the fortune to visit several underground destinations in the Yucatan and so the next few posts will be along the lines of relating something of that journey.

The above picture is of Dos Ojos near Tulum. Maggie and I went snorkeling there and traveled above the water, beneath the rock between the two eyes (Ojos). It was a fantastic experience – more to follow.

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Las Ruinas, Cartago –  It was once the old  Costa Rican capital – read more  in the book Tamarindo; Crooked Times in Costa Rica

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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Before and After Tree Planting

Looks a bit like before and after crack!

It seems that there is a lot of controversy and speculation about the worth of a summer tree planting experience, I believe it did me good. I refer you to the above two pictures as evidence.

A friend of mine sent me a video on the worth of a tree planting experience.I believe there is one especially truthful part. In suggesting the worth of a tree planting experience the counter-point argument goes something like  this; “In seeing your crew, you will initially wonder who let the freaks out of the circus, but after spending months in the bush with the same filthy degenerates while being shunned by the rest of society your brain will trick you into thinking that everyone looks like Brad Pitt in “Legends of the Fall”.

See tree planting video here … Tree planting video

In many respects it is quite accurate, but I do argue the point about the ability to make money. The video suggests that in your first year you end up owing the company money, that is possible, but if you have a decent straight-up company I can’t see that happening. Reputation is important – ensure you get references from many other planters who have worked for the same company that you intend to plant for.

YOU CAN MAKE MONEY IF YOU WORK HARD, BUT AS IN LIFE YOU DON’T GET MONEY FOR FREE, YOU GOTTA WORK FOR IT!

See my post on how tree planting works  here … Tree planting in Northern Ontario

See what happens when things go wrong here …  Lighten up a bit won’t you

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Behave Yourself! – Rockwatching Blogging Protocal

 

scan0001, originally uploaded by Mic2006.

Well, Rockwatching has been up and running for a number of years now (5 to be exact) and I believe it has contributed significantly to the interest of people like myself who like caving, rocks, the outdoors, gems and minerals in Ontario.

We are just a few short days from 2011 and I believe it’s high time we made some resolutions -all of us  (you my loyal fellow bloggers as well).

So in the interests of all involved a few ground rules to follow on Rockwatching from now on

1) Lets not carry a personal vendetta onto this site which is meant to be a forum where like minded enthusiasts can interact in a positive way.
2) Lets respect each other and try not to get personal when we are frustrated.
3) Lets respect the basics of conservation and eco-minded thought.
4) Lets not assume stuff we don’t know for sure (hence the survey at the bottom of the post).
5) Lets keep in mind that this is all about enjoyment.
6) Lets keep in mind that just because the topic is on the table, every single aspect that pertains to it is not an open book.
7) Lets respect people who are not on the site, private property, reputations etc. Just because there is discussion of a site or feature does not mean permission has been granted to go there.

8) Lets not get petty, self righteous or important. Stop correcting my grammar, spelling or use of terms. I am a writer at heart and so I believe I can use the language as I please (providing it’s in good taste, or if I choose, not in good taste).

9) Lets not waste my time by having to re-direct you to one of the above rules.

Happy and prosperous 2011 – Mick

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