Posts Tagged ‘ecospiritual psychology’

Traveling Safely in Peruvian Cities

15/05/2009

Traveling in Lima and other Peruvian Cities

Friendly Lima, Peru

Friendly Lima, Peru

The below commentaries come from entries on virtualtourist.com, which I thought was useful information that mirrors my own perspective of traveling in Lima. I remember my boss, Willie Prittie of Alpine Ascents International cursing Lima for the time he lost a bags of climbing gear at the Airport, when it was stolen from him.  From his horror story, I came to Peru armed to the hilt with mace, chicken wire around my backpack and yes, even a machete. I was traveling south on the Pan American Highway and was still a little uneducated about travel in South America. Within minutes of entering Peru, and catching a ride I realized I could throw away all the armaments. I’ve been in love with Peru ever since.
Hints on Traveling in Lima
Of course, no crime is petty when it happens to you, so take precautions against (more…)

Family Cari on Amantani Island, Peru

15/05/2009

MSI and Family Cari
A Son Helps Build a Family Lodge on a Remote Island

There are times in my life when I’ve  returned to a wonderful place in the world that I’m still getting to know, and by chance, I’ve end up camping in the same field or returning to the same hostel. Only when I  walked into the place, do I remember having stayed there before.

Richard Cari with a Kantuta, National Flower of Peru

Richard Cari with a Kantuta, National Flower of Peru

Richard Cari’s home and the Kantuta Lodge is one of those places. Since I’m on the subject of “chance travel”, the reader might be interested my entry on a similar instance where I was hitch hiking across France and ended up sleeping in the same field I had slept in 15 years prior. But for now, more on Amantani Island on Lake Titicaca.

I’d come to Amantani Island a few times during my travels in Peru. The place and people drew me in. No cars, electricity only a few hours a day, not even cats or dogs, which made the place seem  peaceful. There is hardship on Amantani. The small population living on the 3 mile by 1.5 mile island on Lake Titicaca live at 13000 feet in stunning but somewhat harsh environment. There sustainable crops of Quinoa, potatoes and herbs are rain dependent. There is no irrigation of the crops. People do go hungry, despite the tourism dollars that trickle in from visitors taking boats from the nearby (4 hours!) harbor or Puno, Peru.  Most visitors stay at family homes on the island’s west side, who have formed a cooperative rotating schedule that spreads the wealth and visitor’s dollars so no one family is reaping the homestays.

At Outward Bound we learned as instructors the metaphors of community, and here on Amantani, the population, because of its environment is a clear example of community. The island people work together with the resources they have to create the best possible outcome for all.

Segundino & Marcelina Cari of Amantani Island

Segundino & Marcelina Cari of Amantani Island

Segundino, the island’s vice-Shaman, if you will,  and his wife Marcelina have what was once a small home like the other villagers near the boat docks. But their son Richard went to University in Puno and majored in Tourism. He has come back with a plethora of “tools” and ideas he learned at school, that have transformed their home into the Kantuta Lodge, complete a separate building dining room, with longer beds for Gringos and Gringas and the only hot shower on the island.

Amantani Island, Lake Titicaca

Amantani Island, Lake Titicaca

Richard has done a spectacular job with his new skills making a better life for his family. He is creating a market. I told him I would submit the family lodge Lonely Planet, and even though I’ve not followed through I suspect the word has already gotten out about his good work.

The last time I visited Family Cari, I enjoyed the stay thoroughly. I got to help Richard’s sister Wilma do some cooking and plant potatoes by digging trenches in the garden below the house. I didn’t do very well by the way. Wilma, showing me the digging technique with a short handled hoe, giggled as I’d dig for a few feet before feeling breathless from the altitude. Her mother and father looked on from the house with a wry smile. (more…)

Hitchhiking Near Paris, x2

14/05/2009

Chance Encounters with Campsites

The most likely scene of the tresspass

The most likely scene of the tresspass

I was hitching through France on my way to Brittany from Chamonix. I vaguely remembered being in a similar situation before as the day progressed.  My ride was approaching the southern outskirts of Paris, and I had to make a decision on where to get dropped off. It was getting late in the afternoon, I had a sleeping bag and a bivy sack, and decided to get out at the next major motorway intersection near Paris. Maybe I’d find a youth hostel, or even a field to throw my sleeping bag on. When we arrived at the interchange, it was a busy place, but it looked a good spot from which to start hitching in the morning for Western France. After hopping the guardrail, I found a an unused grassy path that took off from the motorway, that led to a small field. (more…)

Judge Dismisses Land Developer’s lawsuit

23/04/2009

Concord, NH, USA
“A judge has dismissed a lawsuit filed against the state of New Hampshire  by the owners of Mount Sunapee Resort, who had lobbied for years to expand and develop condominiums. Judge Diane Nicolosi made her ruling late Friday, several weeks after canceling a trial between Tim and Diane Mueller and the state.” Read more via Judge dismisses Mt. Sunapee lawsuit.

fomslogopan“This is a major victory in our efforts to protect Mount Sunapee State Park,” said conservationist and public land advocate Tom Elliott.

Elliott is also an organizer for Friends of Mount Sunapee, a watch-guard group that steadfastly opposed the Mueller’s leasehold expansion plan.

Article: Courtesy of Sunapeenews.com

Editor’s Note: I’m a founding board member of Friends of Mount Sunapee, and although not as active while abroad, am warmed, not only by this decision but by the thought of how far we’ve come with with a shift in land preservation awareness in Sullivan County, NH. When we first considered raising our hands in opposition to (more…)

MSI Launches New Zealand Website

23/04/2009
R Richards, MSI's Founder, Ex. Director

R Richards, MSI's Founder, Director

Due to MSI Director, R. Richards’  plans to spend “a bit” more time in New Zealand, he is seeking concession/commercial use permits in order to lead programs in Mt. Aspiring National Park and other areas on the South Island. Department of Conservation, (D.O.C.), (a combination of Forest Service, and Park Service), have given a nod that the permit process could be a go for the organization, given all needed documents are presented and the prerequisites and qualifications are there to apply.  A concurrent step is to investigate either setting up a New Zealand non-profit organization, or to continue under MSI’s U.S. status.
True to form, Richards has launched the New Zealand MSI website in preparation of launching the NZ programs, “to get the word out.”   Says Richards, “We’re getting some good signs, responses from the public and D.O.C.”  He adds, ” There seems to

Glacier & Mountain Experiences on the Horizon

Glacier & Mountain Experiences on the Horizon

be a strong interest and market for Peru. I can see MSI running trips in both directions, Kiwis to Peru, Utah, Alaska and New Hampshire, Chimu Inka Peruvian  Music to New Zealand and Yankees to the South Island to see what Mt. Aspiring is all about.” One particular interest that Richards sees on the horizon is targeting youth in Auckland and Wellington who suffer from Nature Deficit Disorder. “There’s a strong need to get our youth connected to the mountains again.” Richards says, ” New Zealand is not immune to technology taking over young people’s concept of reality. I think we can help.”

Starting the Day Right

18/04/2009
Governour's Bay, Picton, NZ

Governor's Bay, Picton, NZ

Early Bird Catches the Shot
We were to catch the ferry from New Zealand’s South Island to the North island. The Ferry first weaves its way from Picton Harbor, through a long sound, before opening out into the open water between north and south islands. The passage is seen in the image at right. The crossing takes about 3.5 hours,  which departed at 8am. We encamped on the Queen Charlotte Drive just west of Picton, and this early morning sunrise of the sound started our day.

Town runs Recycle Store, You Can Too

18/04/2009
Wanaka ReStart Store

Wanaka ReStart Store

A group of women in Wanaka, New Zealand saw a need for a better way to recycle perfectly good items that were going to the landfill.  That’s when they decided to do something about it and started the “ReStore” a number of years ago.  The store is a success story in that it serves a vital function in reducing the landfill flow, allows a source for people to purchase used items, and allows the community to re-think their priorities on what happens in the use-cycle of their stuff.  The ReStore is actually called Wanaka Wastebusters (www.wanakawastebusters.co.nz) and their store is a feast for the eyes.
(Image: Dan Robertson, an employee of Wanaka Recycling, exits the ReStore to tend the recycle bins)

Wanaka Wastebusters Glass

Wanaka Waste-busters Glass

There’s a cult following in Salt Lake City Utah of Deseret Industries stores, operated by the Mormons.  Most of the author’s wardrobe comes from high quality used clothes from Deseret Industries.  Talking to others who frequent the Deseret Industries stores is like sharing a rock-climbing or alpine adventure story.  And all of my favorite clothes are those from “D.I.” as it’s affectionately called amongst  Utah locals.
(Image: The glass recycle bin and containers for household items and building materials at Wanaka Wastebusters)

In Wanaka, the ReStore looks like any other thrift store but it’s part of an in the center of the town recycle center. They’ve got recycling down to a fine art. A huge percentage of New Zealanders recycle and it can be seen in the activities at Wanaka Wastebusters.

Wanaka's Angus Ho at "ReStore"

Wanaka's Angus Ho at "ReStore"

Project Team Member, Angus Ho is soft spoken but talks intensely about his project, Get Real.org.nz which aims at educating people and government in reducing and  eventually eliminating plastic bag use at stores throughout the country. Ho has set up an info board and laptop where citizens can sign a petition for legislation on the subject.    The following are a few Q&A from the Wastebusters newsletter, (Yes, they have a newsletter):
Angus, what do you do in your job?
Angus Ho: I promote and design projects and campaigns. I set up the green Christmas Presents Campaign and the Recycled Envelope Campaign. I’m also doing waste check-ups for households and businesses. (more…)

Preserving Lakefront, Not Dominating It

18/04/2009
Lake Outlet Campground, Wanaka NZ

Lake Outlet Campground, Wanaka NZ

Lake Outlet Campground in Wanaka, New Zealand  might look like your every-day campground in a stunning setting, tucked in amongst the low windswept trees alongside the shores of Lake Wanaka, but I assure this is no ordinary campground. Owners Glenn Tattersall and Tracy Addison happened to be at the right place at the right time a few years ago when they expressed interest in taking over the campground from landowner and operator Liam Urquhart.  According to campground employee Joshua, Urquhart no longer was interested in running the campground, apparently the land developers caught word of his intentions and offered him millions for the lakefront property.  ( Private lakefront property ownership doesn’t exist in New Zealand due to a national law called the Queen’s Chain that declares all land, starting from the high water line at the shore and going  40 meters (120 feet) back are public property and right of way. This also goes for rivers. The public is allowed to use this land for recreation and fishing access.)
About that time, enters Tattersall and Addison.  The owner had no interest in selling to developers and with a lot of work was able to come up with a thirty-five year lease which not only provided Glenn and Tracy with a way in which to operate the campground, but put the land in protection during the next 35 year lease.
The author’s father once owned a lakefront campground near Fisher’s Bay in Sunapee New Hampshire, USA, in the mid 1960’s. The tents eventually gave way to million dollar homes in the form of a “funnel development “ called Oakledge. (The term “funnel development” is used for subdivisions which use a small amount of lake frontage to sell and support a large number of home lots away from the lakefront. This shared access allows many homeowners access to boat docks, beaches, launching ramps etc. Funnel developments were no longer allowed in the early 1970’s in New Hampshire, USA)
In the free market , it was an obvious course of events, as tents wouldn’t pay the bills as much as a subdivision.  So I had personal experience of the value of what Mr. Urquhart and Tattersall and Ms. Addison had accomplished at Lake Outlet.
And Lakeside is no mere campground. Tattersall states his goals in running the operation – “We are making this operation as green as possible. Through our improvements and renovations we will be installing energy efficient appliances in the renovated green building of the main shower and kitchen complex.

Tentsite: Working with nature, not dominating it.

Tentsite: Working with nature, not dominating it.

We are also working with the landscape rather than dominating it. Our tent and RV sites are interspersed around the existing trees and we intend to plant more trees.” He concluded, “This land is locked up in preservation for the next 35 years, and we’re proud to have had a part in that.”  Of course none of this would have been possible without the stalwart vision and forward thinking of the landowner.

Peru Program Almost full for ’09

08/04/2009
Guillermo Seminario

Guillermo Seminario

We have one or two more spots for our July 12th trip to Peru.
MSI starting running programs to Peru in 1998 and R. Richards had been high altitude guiding for some years prior to that on Aconcogua and Huascaran and Ecuador’s volcanoes for Alpine Ascents International. Although there are some mountaineering and glacier experience programs on the books, (keep an eye out for New Zealand and Peru), this trip will be a cultural exploration and connection with the local people and areas of Cusco, Machu Picchu, Lake Titicaca and Nazca.

Family Cari - Amantani

Family Cari - Amantani

We will be staying with Richard Cari and his folks on the Island of Amantani at the Kantuta Lodge. Guillermo Seminario will be our host for most of the trip. This will be our tenth year in Peru, and are grateful of all the wonderful friends and family we now have in this soulful country. Says R. Richards, “I’m also looking forward to getting back to Huaraz to visit with my godchild and his family at Restaurant Salud Y Vida.

Antartic Ice Bridge Collapses

08/04/2009
Ice Bridge Collapse

Ice Bridge Collapse

By Alister Doyle, (Reuters) – An ice bridge which had held a vast Antarctic ice shelf in place for hundreds of years at least shattered on Saturday and may herald a wider collapse linked to global warming, a leading scientist said. “It’s amazing how the ice has ruptured. Two days ago it was intact,” David Vaughan, a glaciologist with the British Antarctic Survey, told Reuters of a satellite image of the Wilkins Ice Shelf. “We’ve waited a long time to see this.” The satellite picture, by the European Space Agency (ESA), showed that a 40-km (25 mile) long strip of ice believed to pin the Wilkins Ice Shelf in place had snapped at its narrowest point of about 500 meters wide off the Antarctic Peninsula.
(more…)