As almost everyone has heard over the past couple days, South Carolina’s Republican Governor Mark Sanford went AWOL several days last week, ostensibly hiking the Appalachian Trail, before being met at Atlanta’s Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport by an inquiring reporter from the Columbia daily The State. In reality, Sanford had just returned from a spontaneous trip to “exotic” Argentina where, he said, he drove the coastline alone.

Many observers have suggested, some with great hilarity, that to reach that coastline, the governor would first have had to drive at least four or five hours through hundreds of miles of pasturelands, on short mid-winter days, before reaching the scenic coast of southern Buenos Aires province. If not, his best alternative was the Avenida Costanera (pictured here), which runs past the Buenos Aires city airport Aeroparque before dead-ending a few miles north.

For more details please go to Southern Cone Travel.

Leave a Comment | Filed Under Argentina, Buenos Aires

Who doesn’t love a good cupcake, those perfect hand held mini/maxi treats. Growing up in New York, in winter, my best friend and I used to wear earmuffs. I’ll never forget when one, somewhat inebriated “bum” (as we used to call them) asked me “What’s up cupcake?” I knew I looked like a cupcake wearing the big furry cupcake-like muffs. I also liked the reference.

Now, as a mom I have become somewhat of a cupcake connoisseur, both as a baker and a consumer. My older son was such a cupcake fan I would make them for each birthday. We have a picture of him just about to bite one at his party for practically each year of his life. They are displayed in frames on our fridge to this day.

Every time I go home to visit my mom in NYC, I have to hit Magnolia Bakery on Bleecker Street in the West Village. I often claim the kids really would LOVE to go, but in truth, I look forward to the pilgrimage and I am not alone. Usually there is a line around the block. Since it opened in 1996, Magnolia has been featured in Sex in the City, The Devil Wears Prada and Saturday Night Live mock rap which is hilarious, among other shows and films shot in the Village. Continue reading »

1 Comment | Filed Under Budget Travel, Family Travel, Food, Greenwich Village, New York

There may be no animal more impressive to see in the wild than the tiger. These regal creatures that once prowled the forests of Asia in the hundreds of thousands are now down to a few thousand, with human encroachment on their habitat putting more pressure on them.

Yet there are wildlife sanctuaries in India and Nepal where tourists can see them despite their dwindling numbers. Tourism brings money into local economies and can contribute to conservation efforts in and around the parks, and can provide a financial incentive to local residents for protecting the animals. But not everyone thinks tourists looking for tigers in wildlife preserves is a good idea. Continue reading »

Leave a Comment | Filed Under Adventure Travel, Asia, Feature, India, Nepal, Travel, wildlife

I used to get upgraded to Business or even First Class when flying abroad with video crews for Preview Travel, the company that helped inspire Triporati. It was amazing! Massages in-flight, champagne, full beds, fresh and well rested upon arrival, I even felt like I got more oxygen! I never tired of the groovy toiletries kits and I still have some of the products these many years later. Would I ever pay for it…no. Would I ever use my frequent flyer miles to upgrade…maybe for a long haul flight.

As coach service has become worse and worse, the lure of Business and First Class seems more appealing. Yet with the cost so high, one feels like a kid looking at candy or toys through a shop window: it’s there but so out of reach. I chuckled recently when I read about how the downturn in the economy has hit business and first class travelers hardest…seems we are all flying cattle car coach these days.

Triporati Producer Gwynn Gacosta recently returned from a trip to the Philippines and has this take on the issue of “Class” travel.

Slumming It in Business Class

I tend to hate air travel and lately, there’d been little to like about it.  The food, or lack thereof, is terrible; the service rude or indifferent.  I hate that we in coach class aren’t allowed to use the bathrooms in business class, even if those are the ones we are seated closest to.  That there is no comfortable way to sit in order to avoid the people directly in front of us, behind us, next to us.  Certainly not with the leg room provided.

For my recent trip to the Philippines, I had to mentally prepare for an over 12-hour flight each way.  And really, there’s really no other way to prepare for that except to accept that it’s going to be uncomfortable and hellish.  I always wondered what first class and business class would be like, but I never thought I’d be so lucky to experience it.

When I arrived at the airport, a Cathay Pacific customer service rep informed me that my flight had been overbooked.  “Would you mind switching to a Japan Airlines flight, which leaves at around the same time, but arrives in Manila earlier?  And for your inconvenience, might we also offer you $200 spending cash as well as a coupon voucher for a free business class upgrade and access to our business class lounge for your next Cathay Pacific flight?”

Uh…is this a trick question? Continue reading »

2 Comments | Filed Under Air Travel, Asia, Feature, Luxury Travel, Philippines, Travel

Triporati’s Chile and Argentina expert Wayne Bernhardson reports that the future is uncertain for the national park comprising the Juan Fernández Archipelago, which includes Robinson Crusoe Island. The report on his blog for Moon Guides says that the government is considering building a road from the airstrip to the village of San Juan Bautista.

Is a road from an airstrip to town such a transgression? Well, maybe if it’s through landscape Wayne describes as “one of the most scenic and solitary [walks] I’ve ever done.” Right now to go from the village to the airstrip requires a four-hour walk or a one-hour sail, but isn’t that what you’d expect on an island where castaway Alexander Selkirk lived alone for four years to become the inspiration for Daniel Defoe’s famous novel, Robinson Crusoe? Continue reading »

Leave a Comment | Filed Under Adventure Travel, Chile, Feature, Robinson Crusoe Island, San Juan Fernández Archipelago, Travel

Perhaps it won’t be long before the U.S. embargo of Cuba is over and Americans of any stripe can freely visit the island. Until then, Triporati’s Conner Gorry will keep us abreast of developments on her new blog, Here Is Havana, whether cultural, political, or just plain fun.

Here are a few of the many things she loves about Cuba:

  • The way the palm trees smell after it rains
  • 5 cent cigars
  • Drinking little cups of sweet, black coffee around the kitchen table with friends
  • Yucca with mojo
  • The music – from Pancho Amat to Pancho Terry, Los Van Van to Los López-Nussas.1
  • How anything under the sun can be fixed and rendered functional

There’s more, so check it out.

Conner has covered many Latin American destinations for us, including Belize, Guatemala, Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula, and Panama.

Leave a Comment | Filed Under Caribbean, Cuba, Feature, Travel