Travel Letters

The Yangtze: Three Gorges Passage

Hubei Province
People's Republic of China

June 25, 2010

My Dear Cruise Aficionados,

After the Nile and the Amazon, the Yangtze is the third longest river in the world.

The Yangtze or Chang Jiang is also the longest river in Asia. That really is saying something when you consider that the Yellow River #2 is 5464 km (3395 mi), the Mekong #3 is 4909 km (3035 mi), and the Indus #9 and Brahmaputra #10 are each 2909 km (1808 mi). Numbers 4-8 are rivers in Russia that run from south to north in Siberia and flow into the Arctic Ocean.

The Yangtze rises in the west from the glaciers on the Tibetan Plateau and empties into the East China Sea  The river flows 6300 kilometers (3915 miles) while draining eleven provinces from Qinghai to Shanghai.

Folks Chatter

Grand Anse


January 17, 2018


One of the best features of Grenada is that people love to chat and joke, even if the chatter is self-deprecating.  Quite different from my experience in Asia where amusing insult, irony and sarcasm are unknown.  Here I can have a good laugh with everyone I meet.

(The local brew and funny cigarettes surely contribute to the easy chatter.)

Grand Anse Tours

Grand Anse


Windward Islands

West Indies

January 15, 2018



On this perennially warm, hilly, flora drenched island, dotted with lakes and surrounded by lovely beaches, where relaxation is the national pastime, can anyone please explain why everyone drives so fast?  

Furiously fast?  Surprising and frightening.

Mardi Gras


St. James District

Port of Spain

Trinidad and Tobago (pop 1.4 million)

West Indies

February 13, 2018

Tuesday - Mardi Gras


My guest house called Heart of Carnival is a taxi ride to most of the important Carnival events.  (Unless you count hanging out with the party-goers at the local restaurants and pubs.)

Today, Heart of Carnival is the appropriate name.  Hundreds of marchers and the fleet of trucks with their cargo of enormous sound equipment pass just up the street in this otherwise quiet residential neighborhood.

Barrel-chested men and bikini-clad, feather-festooned, half naked women strut their stuff as they keep pace with the beat of the ever-present piercing music.  

Carnival: Queen's Park Savannah

Queen’s Park Savannah

Port of Spain

Trinidad and Tobago


February 12, 2018


The Children’s Carnival parades lasted two days.  

Now it’s the time for the Big Kids to show their stuff.

Large groups of masqueraders dance and prance across the stage of the Savannah stadium.  

Individuals strut about in outrageous and gigantic costumes.

To take a break from the festivities I wandered around town to visit the Magnificent Seven and other lovely homes and mansions.

"The morning after the night before" I shared a beer with a few of the very smashed celebrants at the local pub..

Carnival: Teens and Toddlers

Queens Park Savanna

260 acres (110 ha) of level land.  The distance around the perimeter is 2.2 mi (3.5 km).

Port of Spain

Trinidad and Tobago

February 10, 2018


Day 2 of the Junior Carnival:

Teenagers and Toddlers wait patiently in the tropical sun.

Group leaders adjust costumes and makeup.

Kids march and dance.

Big kids in Big costumes.

Little kids in Little costumes.

Tiny tots in diapers.