Sunday, February 24, 2013

Travel and Living in Colombia: Honey, Look What's Crossing the Road

Danger: Gecarcinus ruricola Ahead

"What's that?" I asked my wife.


"Look ahead there. Can you see that?"

"I see it. What are they?" She asked staring more closely at the crawling masses in front of us.

Hordes of something moving littered the road. I realized what they were and hit the brakes.

The SUV had an anti-skid braking system. So when I slammed on the brakes in disbelief of what we saw in front of us, I didn't lose control. There were hundreds of them. They crawled slowly, almost in unison, in their annual migration across the main coast road to the waiting waves of the sea. Many would meet the jaws of hungry predators. Whether to lay eggs or to escape rain-flooded burrows, they swarmed across the blacktop en masse. In places, it's a mere forty yards or so which must be traversed by the migratory decapods. The annual crossing is both a blessing and curse for residents of the San Andres Islands of Colombia. The three islands, San Andres, Providence and Santa Catalina, experience a similar inundation of the Black land crab known as Gecarcinus ruricola each year. During the April to June migration period, if a heavy rain falls, the affected streets and roads may become impassible for days due to the sheer numbers of crustaceans blanketing the asphalt in their tirade to the Caribbean Sea.

Travel and Living in Colombia

There are many facets to travel and living in Colombia. Among those is a grand variety of foods based on regional tastes. What Colombians eat in one region of the country may be vastly different to local fare in other regions. Even adjoining regions may have few commonalities. But when you travel from the Colombian mainland halfway across the Caribbean, you should expect a completely new venue of foods and staples. Luckily, you won't be disappointed. The archipelago of San Andres, with its cadre of three islands lies about 200 kilometers off the coast of Nicaragua in the Caribbean Sea. As one might expect, local fare is based on seafood of many types which is available cheaply year-round. While a plethora of salt water species abound as table fare, it's the annual migration of land crabs which precipitate a regional specialty - Black Crab Soup. You can get Black crabs for the soup almost all year except for the banned egg-laying period from April first to June first when harvesting them is prohibited. "Other times of year they're really cheap and lots of families make crab soup" says Sonia Harrington, a local cook known for her crab soup among numerous other island specialty dishes.

Friday, February 22, 2013

The Most Useful Language When Traveling to Asia

From personal experience the most useful language when traveling in Asia is Japanese. When I was visiting South Korea, I was denied entry at a restaurant by a nervous waitress who told me that she wasn't able to serve me for fear of a lack of communication, and that if my only language was English she would not be able to serve me.

It was because I was able to speak, read, and write in Japanese that she allowed me to be seated and served. I was able to read, understand, and order off the menu smoothly and without any problems. In fact the service they provided to me was excellent, as well as the food. I dined alone, but enjoyed myself immensely and was treated royally.

Nine hundred million people from all over the world speak, or have some command of the English language. English is the language of business and commerce in Asia, it is also the language of Hollywood with its movies and music. English is versatile, dynamic, and cool. In Asia, Asian businessmen and merchants want to be seen and heard using English. It's a social status issue. If you are able to speak English fluently, you are seen as highly educated, refined, and modern thinking.

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

A Rain Forest Adventure on St Lucia

St. Lucia, located in the Windward Islands of the Caribbean, offers a tropical escape unlike any other. A yacht charter to the island will almost certainly result in exciting adventures with memories to last a lifetime. One attraction that is drawing quite a response from the more daring crowd is Rainforest Adventures. You've seen St. Lucia from the viewpoint of the Caribbean, as it rises out of the blue to the peak of Mount Gimie, now you can gain a whole new perspective as you journey into the rainforest canopy and witness the color and life of St. Lucia from an aerial vantage point.

Rainforest Adventures St. Lucia offer a variety of tours to meet everyone's level of interest and excitement, including zip lines, birding tours, hiking trails, and a unique rainforest aerial tram. The open-air gondolas carry guests out of the lowlands and into the ecological park of the island's forest reserve. The views of flora and fauna will astound you and a trained guide will point out wonders and answer questions. Bird watching tours are ideal for wildlife enthusiasts and serious birders alike. The tour begins at the break of dawn and nature guides will help you recognize native and migratory birds by sound and sight.