Monthly Archives: September 2011

Sunday Traveler Photo Essay: Sherry Ott, Driving to Mongolia

Posted by on September 18, 2011

My featured travel this week is Sherry Ott who is an accomplished travel photographer and blogs at Sherry has been travel about as long as I have and I have met her on two continents, most recently in Valencia, Spain. Sherry Ott just completed driving from London to Mongolia in the Mongol Rally. A charitable adventure spanning 8500 miles and two continents.

Sherry is a refugee from corporate IT who is now a long term traveler, blogger, and photographer. She’s a co-founder of Meet, Plan, Go!, a website and national event providing career break and sabbatical travel inspiration and planning advice. The event is held in 17 cities on October 18th, 2011.


Monday’s Links for Curious People: Going to Disneyland edition

Posted by on September 12, 2011

Tomorrow I’m heading off to Anaheim to speak at the North American Travel Journalist Association convention in Anaheim, CA. It turns out the conference is being held next to Disneyland and the conference attendees get a pass to the parks. That means I’m going to visit Disneyland for the first time ever! I’ve been to Disney World a few times but never Disneyland.

I will also be speaking on a pannel at the conference about travel blogging with Johnny Jet, Tim Leffel and Jen Miner.

Next week I’ll be heading to Toronto for the G Adventures annual company meeting in Niagara Falls. On Sept. 27 I’ll be giving at speech at the Future of Tourism event in Toronto. After that I’ll be heading down to South America! (more on that soon) (more…)

UNESCO World Heritage Site #153: Islands and Protected Areas of the Gulf of California

Posted by on September 12, 2011

UNESCO World Heritage Site #153: Islands and Protected Areas of the Gulf of California

UNESCO World Heritage Site #153: Islands and Protected Areas of the Gulf of California

From the World Heritage inscription:

The site comprises 244 islands, islets and coastal areas located in the Gulf of California in north-eastern Mexico. The Sea of Cortez and its islands have been called a natural laboratory for the investigation of speciation. Moreover, almost all major oceanographic processes occurring in the planet’s oceans are present in the property, giving it extraordinary importance for study. The site is one of striking natural beauty in a dramatic setting formed by rugged islands with high cliffs and sandy beaches, which contrast with the brilliant reflection from the desert and the surrounding turquoise waters. The site is home to 695 vascular plant species, more than in any marine and insular property on the World Heritage List. Equally exceptional is the number of fish species: 891, 90 of them endemic. The site, moreover, contains 39% of the world’s total number of species of marine mammals and a third of the world’s marine cetacean species.

The property ranks higher than other marine and insular World Heritage sites as it represents a unique example in which, in a very short distance, there are simultaneously ‘bridge islands’ (populated by land in ocean level decline during glaciations) and oceanic islands (populated by sea and air). Moreover, almost all major oceanographic processes are present, of extraordinary importance for the study of marine and coastal processes. These processes are indeed supporting the high marine productivity and biodiversity richness that characterize the Gulf of California. The diversity and abundance of marine life associated with spectacular submarine forms and high water transparency makes this a diver’s paradise.

In August 2011 I visited the island of Espiritu Santo near La Paz, Mexico. We went out via boat and saw an abundance of marine life including sea lions, dolphins and sea turtles. The arid islands offered a sharp contrast to the deep blue waters of the Gulf of California. It was a great experience and one that I would do again in a heartbeat.

View my complete list of UNESCO World Heritage sites.