Although Mark and I did a certain amount of traveling before we moved to Pasadena—a cross-country rail trip, for instance—we decided in early 2004 that we should get some serious travel done. I had had a health scare a year or so earlier, and we agreed that we should get as much travel in while I was still capable of it. Mark had been on the mailing list of Country Walkers for a while, and we started looking seriously at their brochures then, in 2004. The various special trips that we’ve taken are listed below in reverse chronological order: the most recent at the top, and the first, to Chile, at the bottom.
Angkor! Vietnamese and Cambodian
cuisine! The possibility of going to Indochina
on a Country Walkers tour was too tempting
to miss. It surprised us to find that Laos
was the one of the three countries that
grabbed us the hardest, but you’ll have
to read all about that in the accounts that
Mark and I have written about the trip
we took in early November of 2016.
My site has my pictures, or at least some
of them, along with excerpts from my
journal and more narrative besides.
You’ll find links there to Mark’s account.
We were rather planning for 2014 to go
on a Country Walkers tour involving a
cruise on the Upper Amazon, when the
much better offer from Mike and Cindy
came. So Wait Till Next Year, we thought.
But there was no such tour the Next Year.
Instead, Mark did all the arranging, and
we found ourselves in Lima on 13 April of
2015. Read all about it.
As a graduation present to Mason, Cindy and
Mike decided on a trip to Japan, where Mike
has five years’ experience. They kindly offered
Mark and me the opportunity to tag along,
and we jumped to accept. Two weeks, every
day laid out carefully by Mike in a tour-de-force
of planning. My pages are now up, see them here.
Mark, of course, finished long before I did; here
are his pages.
In the ordinary course of events, we
might have been expected to take
another trip later in 2012, but didn’t.
The delay was due to Mark’s uncertainty
about his job, but even before he found
the new job, we had contracted to take a
“VIP Tour” to the Isle of Skye in May of
2013, which would include two nights
aboard the “Royal Scotsman”, a luxury
train going from the North-east of
Scotland down to Edinburgh. I’ve finally
finished my pages describing the trip,
and Mark’s have been done for quite
Our trip to Hawai‘i in March 2012 was not under
the auspices of Country Walkers, and was not
strictly speaking a walking tour. When I got an
invitation to give a talk at a professional meeting
in Honolulu, I was informed that if I was flying
off to a Tropical Island Paradise, I would not be
going alone, and I would not be going for only the
one-weekend duration of the meeting. As usual,
Mark made all the arrangements, and they
worked out very well indeed. Read about the
trip in my pages and in Mark’s.
I’d been to Iceland in June of 1969,
Mark told me about the Country Walkers
prototype walk there, with some saving on the
cost, and fewer than the standard eighteen
walkers, my reaction was hardly enthusiastic.
Beautiful and exciting yes, but my recollections
of the cuisine there were not positive. Nonetheless,
I relented, and I am so glad that I did! We went
to different places than I had in those days forty-
one years ago, and the cooking has grown up.
In fact, I had some of the best meals of my life
there, as you’ll see when you read my pages,
Everyone’s heard of the fantastic biological
diversity of Costa Rica. We thought we
should take advantage of Country Walkers’
tour there before too long. And we did this
in December 2009, with great pleasure. We
did not choose to do anything in the country
beyond what was part of the tour, though,
so we arrived two days before the start of
the walk, and left a day after it ended. Mark
has his Costa Rica pages and I have my pages,
too. Enjoy them!
Our original idea of a walking tour was
“Classic Tuscany”, one of the first that
Country Walkers ever set up. But in 2004,
the Chile trip was so attractive that we
put Tuscany off. And put it off again and
again. In late 2007, though, we decided
to stop delaying. Venice and Ravenna
would be two of our other travel targets,
since Mark had never been to Venice,
and both of us were eager to see the
famous mosaics of Ravenna. Mark’s
page, with his pictures and narrative,
is now up on the web in the final version,
and so is mine.
In November of 2007, our walking trip was
to the South Island of New Zealand, and as
I’ve reviewed the pictures I took during this
marvelous excursion, I don’t think I’ve found
a better one than this snap of Mark walking
along the shore of Lake Wakatipu, to serve
as a hint of what lovely countryside we walked
through. Naturally, Mark has his pages, too.
From his central page you will be able to get
to his day-by-day descriptions of the trip.
Mark thought that I should use a
picture of the Grand Mosque of
Córdoba as representative of the
glories of Andalucía, but I think this
picture from the Lion Court in the
Alhambra does just as well, maybe
even better. But no matter: in
October of 2006, we flew to Paris
and took an overnight train from
there to Madrid, thence to Granada,
where we picked up the Country
Walkers tour of Southern Spain. It
was truly wonderful. As with the
other trips, Mark has a web page
devoted to pictures and I do, too.
In August of 2005, we went on a nice
long driving trip, ultimate target being
the Country Walkers tour in the
Olympic National Park, both the
rain-forest and the shore sections.
Again, you can see the web pages for
my pictures, and for Mark’s.
In our first trip, we left Halloween
night of 2004 for a long triple of flights
to Puerto Montt, Chile, and from
there we went walking for six days in
the Lakes District, already farther
south than any of the world’s cities,
except for Christchurch and Dunedin.
Then an 800-mile flight southwards
took us to Punta Arenas, from which
we bussed to the Torres del Paine
National Park. Both Mark and I
have web pages, each showing only
a fraction of the pictures we took
in this spectacular country.
Return to the central page.
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