Atlantic Explorations III: The Elements of the Algarve (Photographic Essay)

Lashed by winds, cursed with salt, pummelled by wave and current, the Alentejo and Vincentine Coast is the archetype of an Atlantic environment. Marking continental Europe’s western-most extreme, this natural park in Portugal’s Algarve offers the traveller one hundred and twenty kilometres of immense beaches backed by towering dune systems, of lonely headlands receiving the brunt of the ocean’s energy Continue reading “Atlantic Explorations III: The Elements of the Algarve (Photographic Essay)”

Atlantic Island Explorations II: The Ons Oasis

At the northern extreme of the Playa As Dornas there stands a lone bagpiper. He looks out to the sea and plays a lively tune, his fingers creeping over the pipe and his arms pressing on the bladder. The wind occasionally carries his notes out of earshot, and the sound of the waves constantly crashes over his melody. He is one of the few inhabitants of this Atlantic island, the Illa de Ons. Continue reading “Atlantic Island Explorations II: The Ons Oasis”

With his Head in the Clouds: Jules Verne Visiting Vigo

Anything one person can imagine, others can make real”, said the old author of adventure and science. Today, much of what Jules Verne imagined others have made real, from space travel to telecommunications and transport. Drinking from all the sources of science, Jules Verne created other worlds of possibility in his novels, reminding us of and personifying Einstein’s dictum that the imagination is more important than knowledge. Continue reading “With his Head in the Clouds: Jules Verne Visiting Vigo”

Journey on the Mandovi Express – A Travel Log

Sleeper number six” the mustachioed train conductor tells me, “…but run!” he commands. Sprinting across the platform an old man calls “fast!”, and another elderly woman yells from the carriage “get on!” just as the Mandovi Express releases her breaks and starts rolling forward through the sprawling expanse of Mumbai, through the hills of Maharashtra state and the flats of Goa, through eighteen provincial stations and on into the her last stop at Margao, nearly six hundred kilometres south of the megacity of Bombai. Continue reading “Journey on the Mandovi Express – A Travel Log”

The Resurrection of the Cob: The Millo Corvo (The Black Corn)

Brilliant black, shiny like a crows feathers, a black deep as azabache, the Millo Corvo lies locked away in a stone grain store, an horreo, drying through the wet Atlantic winter. This black corn is an ancient strain of maize, brought to Galicia countless centuries ago from the New World, and lost not so long ago to the Old World,  disappearing against the march of sterilised and genetically modified strains of corn. Continue reading “The Resurrection of the Cob: The Millo Corvo (The Black Corn)”

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