Author Archives: cowbell

Love at Last Light

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Lisbon, Portugal When Nina and I got to the lookout point in Alfama, I was not prepared for the sight ahead. A full moon right above the horizon. The town alit with the glow of a setting winter sun. And just like that, between one breath and the next, I fell in love with Lisbon. Because how could you not? How could you not be enchanted by this port city, with ... Read More »

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The Whirling Dervishes

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Istanbul, Turkey While in Turkey last year I was lucky enough to, on two occasions, witness the famed Dervish Dance, a form of active meditation practiced by Sufis (a branch of Islam) as part of a worship ceremony where practitioners abandon nafs (personal desires) to focus their minds on the music and on God. It’s hard to describe the experience, except to say that there is something deeply meditative about the tunes, the dance, ... Read More »

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Post-Desert Blues

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[They say SpaceX has to first build a rocket before we can go to Mars, but from this vantage it looks like there’s a shortcut there.] And so, inevitably, the withdrawal symptoms begin. Deserts are terribly difficult places to mentally leave behind; it has always been this way for me. Towards the end, I tried to hang on to every image of the Atacama for as long as possible – ... Read More »

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Fiji Shark Dive: Trip Report

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Sharks. It’s hard to think of a more misunderstood marine creature on the planet than sharks. Mention the idea of being in the water with one to a non-diver and the typical response is a mixture of apprehension and fear. But ask a scuba diver what are his or her favourite creatures to see underwater, and 9 times out of 10 sharks will be among them. Why Dive With Sharks? So why do divers go out of ... Read More »

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Dunes of Death Valley

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Death Valley, California, USA The glowing dunes of Death Valley as wind passes across the plains Camera Equipment Canon 7D with Canon 24-105mm f/4 IS L Read More »

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Harlequin Shrimp

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I said wanted to see a harlequin shrimp, and my eagle-eyed dive guide/ genie in a bottle Darma Dive Guide – Freelancer found one for me right as we descended. I love the name and appearance of these little shrimps. The underwater world is just full of unimaginably beautiful critters. Read More »

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