The seaside colonial town of Paraty, Brazil revolves around el centro historico, where one can wander down endless cobblestone streets and easily be tempted by one of its many restaurants. Bartholomeu, a reasonably priced restaurant that doubles as a Pousada, offers fresh seafood complimented by Brazil's exotic flavors. In the age of contemporary, over-fussed cuisine, a nice plate of fresh seafood enhanced by a simple coconut and banana curry is easy to delight in.
I could reach out and touch the giant steel cords supporting the very ground beneath my feet. I had admired the Golden Gate Bridge from a distance and even driven across it countless times, but when I started my walk across its two-mile span, the bridge seemed larger than life—sand dollar-sized bolts, cables as thick as my forearm, and support posts 54 feet wide. The view from the bridge is just as awe-inspiring as the view of it. I watched dolphins playing in the surf below, sailboats dancing in the distance, and a giant cargo ship passing slowly beneath us. Most intriguing, however, was a portable toilet bolted to the bridge’s railing and camouflaged with the same orange vermillion paint that coats every inch of the structure. The sidewalk that runs the length of the bridge can be accessed from the parking lots and bus stops at each end. Despite the wind, which whips across the bridge on most days, it’s worth an intimate look at this San Francisco icon.
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At the end of April I took my family of five camping on Baja California Sur’s Magdalena Bay. We joined the good folks at Grupo Tortuguero in their community and sea turtle conservation project – the information gathered provides data on health, migration patterns and habitat use of sea turtles in Magdalena Bay. Fourteen hours into our monitoring the area experts and project partners, local fishermen Carlos & Jorge, arrived at our beachfront campsite with a Black Sea Turtle. We placed it gingerly on the beach (as gingerly as one can carrying a 128 kilo sea turtle). My 7-year-old Samuel, a naturalist in the making, was ready with his notebook and quickly scribbled pictures and stats: weight, sex, shell measurements and the locations of a few pesky barnacles. Following Jorge’s lead, Samuel kept the turtle comfortable by pouring salt water over its head and shell and tried to make conversation, asking the turtle things like, "Where do you sleep in the ocean?" and "Can you wag your tail?" This turtle was new to the program - a new capture - so it needed tracking tags. Tag numbers 2454 and 2455 were added to the notebook. The turtle also needed a new name. Samuel decided on Jack and the turtle seemed to approve. So did the pod of dolphins that ceremoniously swam by as Jack disappeared back into the bay.
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