Archive for July, 2009

Climbing Mount Kilimanjaro

July 28, 2009 12:59 pm
Yay!Our wonderful adventure-travel friend, Pasquale Scaturro, is starring in a current History Channel series, Expedition Africa. Unfortunately, we don’t get the History Channel here in France, but we did manage to see four exciting episodes while we were in England earlier this month. The series is about four adventure travelers retracing H.M. Stanley’s renowned search for Dr. Livingstone deep in the interior of Tanzania. The 970 mile journey took only 30 days to complete, and the group had to rely on only what was available to Stanley in 1871, even for navigation.

We’ve been lucky to accompany Pasquale on several adventures in Africa (see our photos of tribal people – including ones sporting plate lips – from the Omo River Expedition in Ethiopia in 2006). I have finally gotten around to finishing tweaking our Mt. Kilimanjaro photos, so I’m adding them with this post. We actually made it all the way to the tippy-top – 19,340 feet high. We climbed the Machame Route which, over the course of 5 days, took us through several distinct ecological zones: tropical forest, moorlands to the Shira Plain, semi-desert, Alpine, and arctic. On our final ascent starting at midnight, our camel-back tubes froze almost immediately. We arrived at the summit after 6 grueling hours of climbing a distance of only about 2 and a half miles. Seeing sunrise that morning is seared in my memory. Truly the most magnificent hike of my life.


Henley Hat Time

July 16, 2009 10:21 am

Henley Hat

The beginning of July is Henley Royal Regatta time and off we went to England for the event – my 7th year in a row! (Kevin estimates he’s been more than 30 times.) This year, I found my favorite Henley hat of them all. First prize goes to this lovely woman whose entire outfit was stunning, although unfortunately we only have a photo of her hat. And Best Runner Up goes to the Lady in Red in the background. Her hat was enormous! How these two manage to travel to Henley with these hats is beyond me. The few times I’ve taken my hat boxes on a plane, I’ve felt conspicuously like Zsa Zsa Gabor …

Another big first at this Henley: it didn’t rain once while we were there. In fact, believe it or not, it was scorching (although the G & T’s helped me cope.) I had brought my Wellies (Wellingtons to the uninitiated – knee-high green rubber English gardening boots) all the way from France but I didn’t have to wear them with my fancy outfits even once. Hurray!

Le Quatorze Juillet

July 15, 2009 11:37 am
Moules Frites en Centre-ville

Moules Frites en Centre-ville

One of my favorite things about living in Provence is the social life that takes place outdoors. Whether it’s celebrating holidays, dining, or picnicking, it’s so pleasurable to sit in warm air with friends, often under the canopy of giant plane trees or in pine forests, and to eat fabulous food. For this year’s Bastille Day, our village offered Moules Frites with a cabaret. Our French friends told us the moules (mussels) had a “Sailor Sauce” (haha!) – that is, “Mariner,” which consisted of mustard, cream, and Provencal herbs. We sat at long tables set up in centre-ville and servers brought large trays filled with the steaming hot mussels. As we finished eat tray, the server set down another one. The moules were delicious, especially with the frites (how and why did Americans ever start calling them French Fries?), and so was soaking up the sauce with bits of baquette, and washing it all down with vin rouge or chilled rosé. The meal concluded with a cheese course, then ice cream. Parfait.

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