Archive for the ‘Travel’ Category

Taking Separate Trips

July 10th, 2010 at 4:42 pm (AST) by Jake Richter

It’s now a third of the way into July, and Linda and I find ourselves childless. It’s kind of a strange feeling, but liberating as well.

Bas is back in New Hampshire with his maternal grandparents, who have the pleasure of taking him to his first-ever overnight camp – two weeks of learning robotics, designing video games, and exploring his potential.

We just got word from Krystyana that she arrived safe but exhausted in Beijing earlier today. She’s in China for three weeks with 11 other teenagers and a couple of guides as part of National Geographic Student Expeditions. She will be spending her time looking at Chinese culture on a local, intimate level as well as honing her photographic skills. Her group has a blog set-up, and there should be occasional posts about their activities, as well as the ability to get e-mail notification of new posts – look at http://ngsechina2010.wordpress.com.

And Linda and I are presently at San Francisco International Airport awaiting our flight to Hong Kong, having flown in this morning from Los Angeles. We’ll be spending five nights and four days (not a typo) Kowloon-side, then three days in Macau, and another three or so days on the island of Hong Kong itself. Not much in particular is planned other than two dinners at reportedly excellent restaurants and a full day cooking class learning the ins and outs of Hunan and Sichuan/Szechuan cuisine. I will try to report on those experiences over at A Foodie Moment at some point.

No guarantees on regular updates here on the blog, especially if we’re having too much fun as a pair of temporarily childless parents.

http://www.ngstudentexpeditions.com/

 

Another Richter With a Camera

March 25th, 2010 at 12:35 pm (AST) by Jake Richter

One of the pleasures we enjoy during our varied trips is photography – both the act and the art of taking interesting pictures, and then later the reminiscing that occurs as we review and apply our imagery in various ways after our trips.

It appears that the youngest member of The Traveling Richters is now also looking at photography more seriously. While we have tried to engage him with both point and shoot cameras as well as video cameras, his enthusiasm for them waned quickly. He said that the point and shoots were too small and boring, and he didn’t want to deal with editing video after he shot it.

However, when I lent him one of my DSLRs on the very last day of our voyage into the Antarctic and sub-Antarctic, he became captivated with using the camera, and kept at it for a couple of hours, working the angles, the subjects, and lighting.

Bas working the angles while taking photos of moss on a post

Bas working the angles while taking photos of moss on a post

We were on New Island, in the West Falkland Islands area, visiting a rookery featuring Rockhopper penguins, King cormorants, black-browed albatross, as well as caracaras and turkey vultures.

Bas with camera in hand at New Island

Bas with camera in hand at New Island

I helped him sort through his images later in the evening so we could submit three shots to use as part of the cruise slide show. Below are those three final images – all of which are very nice shots.

A rockhopper penguin in the rookery at New Island

A rockhopper penguin in the rookery at New Island

Some of the splendid scenery on New Island in the West Falklands

Some of the splendid scenery on New Island in the West Falklands

A striated caracara sits atop a wreck at New Island

A striated caracara sits atop a wreck at New Island

Bas now says that New Island was the best part of his entire trip, mainly because he had a real camera in hand. I have promised to let him use one of my DSLRs at home so he can practice with it some more. It will be curious to see if his interest remains stronger with the better equipment.

 

A New Antarctica Article

March 22nd, 2010 at 12:02 pm (AST) by Jake Richter

I was asked by Lindblad Expeditions if I could write an article for their blog about our trip on the National Geographic Explorer. I immediately agreed, and only realized later how challenging an effort it was – we just saw and experienced so many wonderful “firsts” on our trip. After a third attempt I finally came up with as good a summary as I possibly could without writing a book.

You can find it at
http://www.expeditions.com/blog/index.asp?Display=336.

 

The Traveling Richters in The Bonaire Reporter

March 18th, 2010 at 9:19 am (AST) by Jake Richter

Our local English-language newspaper on Bonaire, published every two weeks, is The Bonaire Reporter. The paper has a regular feature which shows a photo of a Bonaire Reporter reader holding a copy of the newspaper in an exotic location.

In the current issue (March 19 – April 9, 2010), The Traveling Richters are the featured readers of The Bonaire Reporter.

We’re pretty sure no one else has ever taken a Bonaire Reporter as far south on the globe as we have.

The clip from the newspaper is below:

The Traveling Richters with The Bonaire Reporter on the Antarctic Peninsula

The Traveling Richters with The Bonaire Reporter on the Antarctic Peninsula

 

Back Home Once Again On Bonaire

March 13th, 2010 at 4:59 pm (AST) by Jake Richter

After almost exactly five weeks of travel The Traveling Richters finally made it back home, in a trip that spanned the South American continent twice, touched below the Antarctic circle, and went as far north as Atlanta, Georgia, where we connected from Miami this morning.

It’s going to take a while to get used to the humidity and heat here on Bonaire, but it will be welcome.

Even more welcome will be hooking up with friends visiting Bonaire this week, including new friends Doug and Erin whom we met in Charleston around New Year’s, and old friend Todd with his significant other Jenna (whom we’ve not met in person but corresponded with) when they come in via a cruise ship later this week.

I had hoped to post a GPS track from Miami to Bonaire, but we didn’t have a window seat from Atlanta, and our GPS wouldn’t read satellites from the middle of the plane.

I am still planning on getting more photos from our travels posted here in the coming week. Now that I have a real Internet connection I should be able to get more photos on Flickr too. So please stay tuned.

And for those of you who asked about our next big trip – no idea yet. Krystyana is off to China for most of July with National Geographic, and we’re not sure what we’ll be doing, but if you have suggestions, let us know.

 

The Black Penguin

March 11th, 2010 at 5:48 pm (AST) by Jake Richter

It figures that something remarkable was seen on our trip, but I completely missed it. Fortunately my daughter Krystyana did see it – and she also managed to take several photos of this unusual critter. I’m speaking of the Black Penguin, a flightless bird with unusual coloring that appears to have taken the world by storm.

Black King penguin next to normal King penguin

Black King penguin next to normal King penguin

Fellow traveler and National Geographic Traveler contributing editor Andrew Evans posted a photo of the melanistic penguin on his blog, which led to another post in the Intelligent Travel blog, and from there it seems to have spiraled into a major news story.

So, to help prove that Andrew’s photo was not an anomaly, below are a few more photos of the Black Penguin.

Black Penguin in the foreground with a regular King penguin in the background

Black Penguin in the foreground with a regular King penguin in the background

The Black Penguin

The Black Penguin

Larger versions of the above images, along with additional photos can be found on Krystyana’s Flickr pages.