I walked in solitude as the cold winter sun cast long shadows of crosses and stars on this solemn ground. I could hear voices whispering their modesty in thanks for my sojourn to Normandy from Paris to visit with them in silence. I came to offer my deepest gratitude and prayers for souls that sacrificed it all on the shores beneath the cliffs just meters away. And also to offer the same for all the US and allied soldiers who have fought upon foreign shores and lands for the spread of freedom and liberation of the oppressed.
I love sunsets.
My best friend Cecil can definitely attest to this. We have experienced many a setting sun together (and an equal amount of sunrises also) in a few different countries. The sunsets with Cecil I will always remember are the Taj Mahal in India, on the beaches in Koh Samet and Pattaya, Thailand, at Yosemite National Park with our dogs, on the ferry from Sausalito with the Golden Gate between us and the sun and all the ones from our race across northern India in the Rickshaw Run. Other memorable sunsets for me were in Bali on the beach, Lombok watching the sunset drop into the crater of a volcano making it seem as if it were erupting, at the Shangri-La Resort in Boracay, the beach in Arrifana, Portugal, and the Icelandic Horse sunset in Iceland. Not to mention countless ones in Santa Monica and Chicago where I resided over the past 19 years (see my photos from sunsets around the world here). The most beautiful one I have witnessed occurred two months ago in Granada, Spain, and you can read that blog post here.
Two weekends ago I was invited to travel south of Agadir for a gathering at a cave home. I had seen lived in caves along the rocky cliffs north of Taghazout where fisherman, daily, meander down to the shore line to cast their lines. But I never realized that there are regular people who purchase these caves and redevelop them into a home or weekend home. Some more elaborate and larger than others. Our friend, Gorka, had purchased one in Doura to redevelop and serve as his weekend home. He was very kind to open it up to a large group of us, many seeing it for the first time.
March 6th – I sit now beneath the balcony where my Yuneec Breeze lies after an unfortunate crash that most likely ended it’s all too brief life. Roughly 48 hours ago I planned one last flying mission for my drone here in Sevilla before departing to Cordoba, where I wanted to capture some great aerial shots of the famous Mezquita and Cathedral there. The missions we accomplished the night before the crash of the Catedral de Sevilla (uploaded later that night at the hostel) and earlier on Saturday were fantastic. From my viewing screen I had captured excellent footage of Plaza de Espana as the clouds had just broken and the sun was shining brightly onto its impressive tiles and towers. Our second mission of the day, well, it did not go, at all, as planned.
The morning started like most all others have the past four months. Hostel rooms seem designed for vampires and my reluctance to get out of bed is powerful each morning. Light barely creeps in and with the cool weather and no heat in the room, your desire to stay warm and cozy usually wins out. But knowing I was needing to be in the queue at the Palace of the Alhambra by 09:00 and still needing to book a flight or train to my next destination, I was out of bed by 06:45. Taking a seat on the couch in the reception area and powering up my Dell laptop I quickly, but thoughtfully, planned my next adventure’s locale. I honestly did not yet know where I would go next in Spain. Looking at prices for transportation and weather reports I had made up my mind. Destination? Barcelona!
Friends and Wine. Is there a better combination?
To me, the best thing about traveling, isn’t the site seeing, exploring the architecture of a city or the beautiful countryside, nor is it experiencing the local culture and its culinary specialties. Please don’t misunderstand me, those are all fantastic and I cherish each one. When I reflect back on any adventure or journey, what I most fondly recall are the encounters with locals and other travelers that blossom quickly into friendships. God directed my journey, controlling the decisions I made of where to stop and how long to stay, so He could bring me to this exact spot at this exact time.
Let me repeat, I HATE RUNNING! Now that that is enforced, unfortunately I am at its mercy while I travel the world. It’s the only exercise that you can do really in any climate and that is free. Aside from the shoes you wear down and the toll it takes on your body. And, of course, it makes you have to clean your clothes more often, as you bathe. A luxury only those who backpack or camp for extended periods of time can truly understand. Cleaning your underwear, shorts, socks and shirts while you shower is a necessity just make sure you will have time for them to dry.
Most of my 18 months traveling the world will be in my designated choice of country(s) ‘low season’ where the weather will be cool and likely wet. Sometimes downright cold. But on a day like today here in Malaga, where I’m blessed with a spring day bathed in bright sunshine that showers down 25°C temps and only a slight breeze, I took to the streets, happily, to shed some of my past couple weeks of bad diet and myriad bottles of wine. Not to mention too many now empty glasses of beer.