Places That I Have Been To That You Might Want To Go To Someday

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 Places That I Have Been To That You Might  Want To Go To Someday

“Rover did not know in the least where the moon’s path led to, and at present he was much too frightened and excited to ask, and anyway he was beginning to get used to extraordinary things happening to him.” J.R.R. Tolkien

I always have a list of places in the world that I want to go to which may or may not become reality.  But sometimes when I’m looking for a photograph, I see all the amazing places that I have already been. Hope you get to visit some of these someday!!!

 Iguazu Falls  Argentina 

Great Barrier Reef, Australia

Amazon, Brazil

Angor Wat and Ta Phrom, Cambodia

Easter Island Chile

Maktesh Ramón, Israel

Naoshima , Japan

Petra, Jordan

Rotorua, New Zealand

Machu Picchu, Peru

Safari in Kruger National Park, South Africa

Ayuttheta, Thailand

Cappodocia, Turkey

Halong Bay, Viet Nam

Fly safe,

JAZ

Travel Pinch Me Moments

“You have to travel to see new light, find new hope, renew the mind and revitalize the soul.” Lailah Gifty Akita

It was summer in January on a beach in Napier, New Zealand.  The weather was hot and the sun was setting at 930 PM. The moon was out at the same time.  My new friend pinched the fingers of both her hands together and said, “This is a pinch me moment”.  I had heard of pinch me moments when someone wins an Academy Award or accomplishes a dream but I had never heard of it standing on a beach watching a sunset.  She explained that, “You pinch your fingers to save the moment. When I am sitting in my kitchen in England and I look out the window at the dreary weather, I will remember this moment.” 

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 As I watched the moon that night, it made sense that it is also the small moments that resonate in our minds. They are part of the story making events of our lives. Here are some of my travel pinch me moments. (photo by Cordula Reins)

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Looking out at the balloons in the air over Cappadocia, Turkey.

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Watching the sun set over the Sydney Opera House, Sydney, Australia

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Rainbow over Iguazu Falls, Missiones, Argentina

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Angor Wat, Cambodia

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Walking on the beach in Varadero, Cuba

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 Sailing on the Mekong Delta, Viet Nam

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Machu Picchu .

Seeing the elephants up close in Kruger National Park, South Africa

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The Tori Gates on Myajima, JapanIMG_1074

The view of the volcano in Santorini, Greece

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Fly safe,

JAZ

UNESCO World Heritage Sites

Unesco World Heritage Sites. (photo above  by Emilio White, Iguazu Falls, Argentina)

“The list could surely go on, and there is nothing more wonderful than a list, instrument of wondrous hypotyposis ”  Umberto Eco

“And this is a Unesco World Heritage Site”, says the Tour guide proudly at Quebrada de Humahuaca, Iguazu Falls, Dubrovnik, Machu Picchu, Selim Mosque,etc.  ( Dubrovnik, Croatia )

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I finally did it. I looked it up. I knew it had something to do with the United Nations. I know it was a part of UNESCO. (the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization) (Machu Picchu, Peru)

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In case you don’t know what UNESCO  is I took this from the website. “The main objective of UNESCO is to contribute to peace and security in the world by promoting collaboration among nations through education, science, culture and communication in order to further universal respect for justice and the rule of law and for the human rights and fundamental freedoms which are affirmed for the peoples of the world, without distinction of race, sex, language or religion. “ (Great Wall, China)

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In my head I check off the places. Oh good another World Heritage Site, I must be near the end of the list. (Ayutthaya, Thailand)

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What is it about us and lists?  Lists make us feel better.  There is a finite number of things to do. There is less time for our brains to process our choices. We know a Unesco World Heritage Site is an important thing to see  and we do it. Everyone agrees to do it. Lists help us make sense of the world. ( Venice, Italy)

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The World Heritage List includes 981 properties which the  World Heritage Committee considers as having outstanding universal value. It is ongoing. (Mt. Fuji, Japan)

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To be included on the World Heritage List, sites must be of outstanding universal value and meet at least one out of ten selection criteria. (Cappadocia, Turkey)

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(If you are interested in reading the requirements,  this part it is from their website)

“(ii)  to exhibit an important interchange of human values, over a span of time or within a cultural area of the world, on developments in architecture or technology, monumental arts, town-planning or landscape design;

(iii) to bear a unique or at least exceptional testimony to a cultural tradition or to a civilization which is living or which has disappeared;

(iv) to be an outstanding example of a type of building, architectural or technological ensemble or landscape which illustrates (a) significant stage(s) in human history;

(v)  to be an outstanding example of a traditional human settlement, land-use, or sea-use which is representative of a culture (or cultures), or human interaction with the environment especially when it has become vulnerable under the impact of irreversible change;

(vi)  to be directly or tangibly associated with events or living traditions, with ideas, or with beliefs, with artistic and literary works of outstanding universal significance. (The Committee considers that this criterion should preferably be used in conjunction with other criteria);

(vii) to contain superlative natural phenomena or areas of exceptional natural beauty and aesthetic importance;

(viii) to be outstanding examples representing major stages of earth’s history, including the record of life, significant on-going geological processes in the development of landforms, or significant geomorphic or physiographic features;

(ix) to be outstanding examples representing significant on-going ecological and biological processes in the evolution and development of terrestrial, fresh water, coastal and marine ecosystems and communities of plants and animals;

(x) to contain the most important and significant natural habitats for in-situ conservation of biological diversity, including those containing threatened species of outstanding universal value from the point of view of science or conservation.

The protection, management, authenticity and integrity of properties are also important considerations.

Since 1992 significant interactions between people and the natural environment have been recognized as  cultural landscapes.

Only countries that have signed the World Heritage Convention, pledging to protect their natural and cultural heritage, can submit nomination proposals for properties on their territory to be considered for inclusion in UNESCO’s World Heritage List.

Like other lists, it requires an extensive nomination process. (St. Ignacio Mission, Argentina)

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The World Heritage committee is represented by 21 countries and the elections are held at the General Assembly meeting annually.  . Each country can hold a place for six years but some step down voluntary after four to give other countries a chance. (Hiroshima Dome, Japan)

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The  current 21 Committee Members are: Algeria,Colombia, Croatia, Finland, Germany, India, Jamaica, Japan, Kazakhstan, Korea, Republic Of Lebanon, Malaysia, Peru, Philippines, Poland,  Portugal, Qatar, Senegal, Serbia, Turkey and Viet Nam  with a third of them leaving this year. (Uluru, Australia)

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In my last trip I’ve knocked off the Great Barrier Reef, Uluru, The Daintree Rainforest, Tasmania Parklands, Port Arthur and the Sydney Opera House. I only have several hundred more to go …… but they keep adding them, so I will keep traveling. 

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Fly Safe,

JAZ

Things I Have Learned In Misiones, Argentina (Iguazu Falls)

Things I Have  Learned In Misiones, Argentina (Iguazu Falls)

“They say that people who live near waterfalls, don’t hear the water.”

Jonathan Safran Foer

Misiones is a province in Northeast Argentina. It is surrounded by Paraguay, Brazil and Corrientes Province.  It was part of Paraguay in the 1800’s.

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The land is mostly covered in a subtropical forest. (Emilio White – photographer)

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The rocks and soil have a high iron content giving the ground a red color.

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Paraguay is the largest producer of marijuana in the world. (no it is not, it is yerba maté which is also grown here)

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Yerba Mate is grown in Misiones and Corrientes provinces of Northeast Argentina. It was originally cultivated by the Guarani people. it called mate after the gourd it is drunk from. It is a stimulant but has less caffeine than coffee or tea.

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You can get to Paraguay in ten minutes by  rowboat.

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San Ignacio Mission was one of the many missions founded in 1632 by the Jesuits in what the Spanish called the Province of Paraguay in the Americas during the Spanish Colonial Period.

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This is an odd admission fee price breakdown.

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The history of these ruins will be familiar to anyone who has seen the movie “The Mission” with Robert De Niro and Jeremy Irons. It is one of the most beautiful musical scores by Ennio Morricone  from a movie and the themes go around in my head as I walk through the ruins. (Play music)

It was designated a world heritage site by Unesco and World Monument site.San Ignacio Miní was included in the inaugural 1996 Monuments Watch by the World Monuments Fund.

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The impressive well-preserved  ruins are “ Guarani Baroque style” .  The mission guides explain how the missions were maintained and run.  Originally the Guarani joined the missions to escape slavery by Paraquay and Brazil.   Eventually the Spaniards got rid of the Jesuits to enslave the Guarani themselves,

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The Guarani are a group of indigenous people who live in Paraguay, Brazil and Misiones.(Guarani selling orchids on the side of the road)

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There is 1 per cent left of the Atlantic Rainforest in Missiones. Conservationists are working very hard to save what is left. There are many endangered animals birds and fish and amphibians – including the giant otter, anteater, jaguar and tiger, Brazilian merganser and harpy eagle and crocodiles. (Emilio White- photographer)

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Iguazu Falls are the waterfalls of the Iguazu River located on the border of the Brazilian state of Parana and the Argentine province of Misiones. The falls divide the river into the upper and lower Iguazu.

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The waterfall system consists of 275 falls along 1.67 miles of the Iguazu River.  (Emilio White photographer)

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Alvar Nunez Cabeza de Vaca (head of cow) was the first European to find the falls in 1541. One of the falls on the Argentine side is named after him. The falls were rediscovered by Boselli at the end of the nineteenth century and another Argentine fall is named after him. (Emilio White -photographer)

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No, I am not on this boat. Yes, that is a real rainbow.

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Iguazu Falls has the greatest annual flow of any waterfall in the world. The water falling over Iguazu in peak rainy season has a surface of about 40 hectare (1.3 million ft.).  They are taller and twice as wide as Niagara Falls. IMG_1522

 Do not feed the Coati. The photos will explain.

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The Devil’s Throat (Gargantuan Del Diablo), a U-shaped, 82 meter high (269 feet), 150 meter wide and 700 meter long (490 by 2300 ft) cataract, is the most impressive of all marking the border between Argentina and Brazil.

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Two thirds of the falls are in Argentine territory.

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The water from the lower Iguazu collects in a canyon that drains the Parana River in Argentina, shortly downstream form the Itaipu Dam.

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How is the water?

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Iguazu Falls are the result of a volcanic eruption which left a large crack in the earth.

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The best time to see the falls are in Spring and Autumn. Summer is intensely hot and humid and in winter the water level is much lower.

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Seeing Iguazu Falls, I stand in awed wonder. They are my first important waterfalls. You know that man can never create anything this perfect. It will always be a favorite place for me. They will be my reminder of beauty and power in nature and life,

Special thanks to my guide, wildlife photographer Emilio White, for sharing Misiones and the rainforest with me. It is always best to see something for the first time with someone who is as passionate about the rainforest as Emilio is. He is currently working on a book about the Atlantic Rainforest and Iguazu Falls, I can’t wait to see it.

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Buen Dia and Fly Safe,

JAZ

 

Things I Have Learned In Argentina

Things I Have Learned In Argentina

“I am not sure that I exist, actually. I am all the writers that I have read, all the people that I have met, all the women that I have loved; all the cities I have visited.”

―Jorges Luis Borges (Argentine writer)

An asado in Argentina is every carnivore’s dream. Gather  your friends, drink wine and coca cola and stuff yourself with meat.

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Futbol (soccer) is a passion of the Argentine people. Every pueblo has at least one soccer field.  When you fly into Buenos Aires you will see many.

Carlos Gardel is to tango what  Elvis Presley is to rock and roll.

Art Graffiti is not exactly illegal in Argentina. You can paint on street walls in broad daylight. Graffiti artists from all over the world come here to paint.

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Cristina Kirchner  (Presidente of Argentina) takes a helicopter to work everyday from her house in the suburbs of Buenos Aires. You can see the Argentine tax dollars at work.

Argentina is considered to be the most literate country in South America. They were the first to publish Gabriel Garcia Marquez’s One Hundred Years Of Solitude when others turned him down. (It is one of my favorite books so I thought I would mention it)

In Peru, I learned about what the Spanish did to the Incas. In Argentina I learned about what the Incas did to the tribes living there. Conquerors are never all that innocent. (Pucara of Tilcara- pre Inca fortification)

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Driving on unpaved roads for hours in Jujuy-not so much fun; seeing the salt flats in Salinas Grandes -priceless.

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A mechanical saint will come out of a door in the town  hall of Humahuaca  at 12:00 pm. He will wave his arms, music will play and you will be blessed. Sometimes religion is that easy.

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Birds eat the parasites off animals. When you see a bird on a horse, he is working.

There are at least twenty-four legal holidays in Argentina. There is Flag Day.. There is the day to celebrate the person who made the flag. There is Friend’s Day. There is the day to celebrate the moon landing. I get the feeling Argentines’ don’t like to work so much.

Ruta 40 goes throughout Argentina like Route 66 goes through the United States.

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Chile and Argentina have their problems but things are better in the last few years. It is usually about borders and waters.

Most of the tobacco grown here. Is for export to the US and China.

Argentina charges an entry fee of one hundred and sixty dollars to all visitors from the  U.S.  It must be paid online before the date of entry or they may not let you in when you get there.  According  to Argentines,  this is because of all the Argentines who have paid visa fees and been denied visas. i don’t know if this is true but it sounded good.

Argentina is the largest producer and consumer of Yerba Mate. (mate cups – number one Argentine souvenir)

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Eating kidneys (rimones),intestines (chinchulines), ribs, testicles, black sausage, any glands and sweetbreads is delicious to someone other than me. (intestines, etc)

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It is mandatory to vote in Argentina.

Many Argentines did not like Eva Peron.

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Argentines have an amazing ability to mobilize a protest. They will stand up for what they think is right or wrong and let it be heard. Late November to early January is protest high season where many of the unions will demand raises due to the out of hand inflation that takes place here every year. Drop by Plaza de Mayo or Plaza Congreso. I was there on May 25th  Argentine Independence Day. They were protesting.

Paraguay is the largest producer of Marijuana.  Canada is the largest exporter to the United States.

Argentine Polo players are among the best in the world. Serious polo tournaments are held here. From September to December the best polo players play in Argentina.

An altitude of 4170 meters means 13,682 feet above sea level and a headache.

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An estancia is a ranch or farm with a big hacienda. They are usually many hectares. We visited many estancias for lunch. They all served asado.

Anything can be made from salt. (like this table)

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Llamas and alpacas are domestic animals. Vicunas and guanacos are wild and usually cannot mate in activity. ( wild vicunas)

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There are exceptions. (Coquenos, el refugio de las vicunas )

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Vicunas are the Princes and Princesses of the Andes.

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The Argentine government has a list of names for new babies.  If the name you choose is not on the list, you cannot legally use it. Today,  people can petition the government to add more names.

Gay marriage has been legal here for about year. Recently they have had their first gay divorce.

The new Pope is from Argentina.

Argentina has close affection for cinema. They have the highest rates of movie viewing in the world. They like watching both locally made movies and Hollywood flicks.

For all those who love animated films – The world’s first animated films were created and released in Argentina, by a person named Quirino Cristiani in 1917.

Argentines pronounce the LL as a soft G. They say Ja-ma for llama and pa–ree-ja  for Parilla. In Salta they sometimes pronounce their R as a soft G and say peh-jo for perro.  It sounds a littler Portuguese sometimes.

Argentines can smoke and own Marijuana but they cannot buy it or sell it.

Argentines can chew and posess Coca Leaves but it is illegal to buy and sell them. (Look for the Bolivian women in the square in Humahuaca, the leaves help with altitude sickness).

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Condors mate in the air and mate for life. if the female dies, the male commits suicide. If the male dies, the female takes another mate for the procreation of the species. There is a lesson here.  I am not sure  what it is.

If a person in Argentina is carrying an iPad or IPhone, he probably bought it on the black market or he is not an Argentine.

Argentines have a coffee and a sweet around 6:00pm. Dulce De Leche is always a good choice. As I have gained a few kilos on this trip , I wish I had chosen it less.

Restaurants do not open  for dinner until nine o clock. Most people eat dinner after ten. I did not understand that until  I had been here for a week and eaten that huge lunch every day around two o clock. I did not get hungry  till ten.   You can be like the Argentines and eat meat again or be like the Americans and have soup, bread and cheese.   I also completely now understand the need for the siesta till five. Having wine, meat and potatoes at  lunch makes you sleepy in the afternoon.

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Most public schools go from eight to twelve or one to five. They have  less hours of school than we do. Their literacy rate is 97.5 per cent. Some people feel it is ok and others feel that it is too little and save for private school. Their school uniform is a white lab coat.

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A dog’s best friend is his llama (pronounced jama).

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Police in Argentina are known to be corrupt.

In Argentina you can dry your own red chilies in the sun.

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They say that Argentina got the Iguazu Falls and Brazil got the view. I don’t know about that. They are pretty spectacular in Argentina. (complete with a real rainbow)

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It takes ten minutes by rowboat to get to Paraguay from Misiones, Argentina. (view of Paraguay across the Parana River from our house)

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Argentina is one of the largest producers of wines since the 16th century and has around 1800 wineries. Malbec is their most planted grape. The irrigation system was started centuries ago by Indians. It is the fifth largest wine-producing country.

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Studies have shown that red wines are much better than white wines in preventing heart disease. Scientists believe that the polyphenols in red wine seeds and skins are the reason for this.  High altitude wines are particularly rich in polyphenols. This is because UV radiation increases at higher elevations and results in a greater concentration of polyphenols in these wines. We visited many high altitude vineyards in Salta province.(Colome)

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Torrontes is a white Argentine wine grape which produces a  wine with moderate acidity and a smooth texture. I like it.

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Cars have the right of way on the road. (from front of van – goats running to the side of the road – big deal for the city kid.)

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Cows move slower.

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Everything can be made out of cactus.

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If you are planning to change pesos back into dollars at the Argentine airport as I was, don’t. Christina doesn’t allow you to give back pesos at the airport. What you change in Argentina, stays in Argentina.

Buen Dia and Fly Safe

Jayne