climate change

Patagonia: Wild, rugged nature via urban gateways

Patagonia: Wild, rugged nature via urban gateways

by Betsy Herbert

To venture into the wild, rugged, beautiful and remote Patagonia (the southern tip of South America), most travelers start out from either Santiago, Chile or Buenos Aires, Argentina.

Typical travel photos of Santiago are taken on those rare clear days when deep blue skies contrast sharply with snow-capped peaks of the Andes. But most likely, what you'll find when you arrive in Santiago is smog so thick that those glorious Andes fade out from view in a yellow blur.

I approached Patagonia from Easter Island, 2,400 miles off Chile's Pacific coast. My flight was delayed twice for mechanical reasons. So I arrived in Santiago, the capital city of Chile, three hours late on January 28.

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Moorea: A writer's respite in the South Pacific

Moorea: A writer's respite in the South Pacific

by Betsy Herbert

In month nine of my yearlong trip around the world, it was time for a break. I took a 5-hour flight from Auckland, New Zealand to Papeete, Tahiti and then took the ferry to the island of Moorea. After an hour long ferry ride, I hopped on a public bus in Moorea that took me directly to my hotel. The buses run with the ferry schedule, so it's really easy, and it cost me only $2.00.

My beach bungalow at the laid-back Kaveka Hotel was an idyllic retreat with “Bali Hai” views of Cooks Bay and the coral reef that separates it from the Pacific Ocean. Since I was here during the off season, things were quiet and there were very few other guests at the hotel.

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