Kawah Ijen: Fire on the Mountain

Blue flames everywhere – and not small ones either. We’re talking flames to cover a house, to dwarf a crowd, to light up a forest in flames fit for a gas stove, fit for a steel-cutting torch,  fit for a Bunsen burner. Fit for anything except a huge, stinking pile of rock on top of… Continue reading Kawah Ijen: Fire on the Mountain

Sri Lanka 9: A Drive on the Wild Side

Craziest New Year’s ever? Well, how about the crashing surf roaring through the midnight black, and mosquitoes hounding your haggard face? How about volcano-spicy shrimp peeled apart in ratty lawn furniture and a glassy-eyed chef staring at you over his motorcycle? How about a dingy backpacker dive with lizards and spiders crawling the walls, a… Continue reading Sri Lanka 9: A Drive on the Wild Side

Sri Lanka 5: Kaudulla Crazy Right

Crazy Right My first safari, and we hit the trail in the family car. Crazy, right? Right. Here’s what I remember: Late afternoon, sun washing over Ceylon plains and golden light spilling through humid treetops and I rush to buy park passes. A driveway loaded with jeeps and one family’s compact SUV because we thought… Continue reading Sri Lanka 5: Kaudulla Crazy Right