Monday, August 29, 2005


Found a nice travel quote the other day:

"Travel makes one modest, you see what a tiny place you occupy in the world."
-Gustave Flaubert

All I have to say is, How awesome am I for finding this quote! I'm the MAN!

Monday, August 22, 2005

Guilt in developing nations

(Wycliffe and family)
Sometimes a fella just can't help but feel guilty when traveling in a developing nation. This happened to me in Puerto Cabezas, Nicaragua, walking back from the beach past the local university with my friend Wycliffe.
KT: Is university expensive?
Wyciffe: Yes, $15 a month.
I said no more. I was paying $9 a night at my hotel. Hell, most CD's cost more than $15.

Wednesday, August 17, 2005


I think half of my photos from my recent trip are of little kids. They loved getting their picture taken and then seeing themselves on my camera. It was funny watching them pose with random objects: a frisbee, "Here I am playing frisbee," a water bottle, "Look how cool I am drinking this water."

This photo is my favorite kid photo. Smiley here lives in Mocoron, Honduras, he put on my glasses and flashed one of the best smiles I have ever seen.

Monday, August 15, 2005

Back to reality

(Sunrise. Leaving Key West, bound for Dayton)

The decision to go to Key West was a quick one, but one I am glad I made. 24 hrs after I made it, I was somewhere between Miami and Key West in a shiny red rental car, the shiniest thing I had seen in months.

For some reason I hate the word surreal, but there is no better word to describe my 3 hr drive to Key West for a funeral. It was a sort of reverse culture shock. At the dock in Puerto Cabezas the previous day, amid the sailors and hookers, I was concerned with nothing more than getting on a boat. On US 1 in the Keys I joined the pilgrammage of speeding tourists, zipping along through waves of sunshine and showers. Where, trying to locate and regulate the wipers on my rental car, deciding to stop at Arby's or McDonald's, recalling the words to "Old Black Water," and trying to come to terms with the "real" world, were my concerns.

I decided on McDonald's. I nearly thanked the smiling face behind the counter with a "gracias." In the restroom I hovered nervously before throwing toilet paper in the toilet (In Central America the plumbling can't handle paper and must be discarded in the trash).

In Key West the surreality (I hope that is not actually a word because I really hate it) continued. KW is a place where I am used to riding my bike around looking for hidden restaurants and giving dive briefings. On this trip I searched for funeral homes and gave a eulogy.

Despite the strangeness and the shock of it all, I had a pleasant time in Key West. I spent the week sharing stories about Ralph, whose ashes we scattered at sea as the sun set, catching up with old friends, spearfishing, and eating loads of food that were not beans and rice.

I flew into Dayton, Ohio on Wednesday and am currently visiting my brother in Lafayette, Indiana. I still have a flight going from Panama City to Dayton Ohio. I checked into getting a one way ticket back down to Central America to finish out my trip, but the prices are a bit outrageous so it looks like the return ticket will go unused. I plan on spending the next few months contacting syndicates with proposals for my column, working on a book proposal, writing, and throwing whatever other hooks I can think of into the publishing waters. I fear a part time job looms in my near future.

I will continue to update Touron Talk with my writing progress, hopefully there is progess, and I also plan on posting photos from my recent trip every few days.

Keep visiting. Don't be shy, posts some messages.

Tuesday, August 02, 2005


A good friend of mine in Key West, Capt. Ralph Chiaro, was killed in a boating accident at the end of last week and I have decided to cut the trip short and attend his funeral and party. Manana, I am heading to Miami and Thursday I am catching a ride with some friends down to Key West.

It will be good to see some of my friends from the Keys and swap stories about Ralph. There´s a lot of stories too. The Key West Citizen said it best, ¨Ralph Chiaro (is) known locally for his diminutive size (and) huge personality¨

So for now the remainder of the trip is on hold. I may finish it sometime this fall.

If you were wondering about the boat sitution...

I had been waiting on a different boat to leave, the Spanish Lady. It was supposed to leave Saturday, it is now Monday. I was told it was a sure thing that it would leave today at 5. As my plane flew out of Puerto Cabezas and headed for Managua at around 4:30, there wasn´t a soul around it. The sailors always talk about movement to predict the boats departure, ¨I don´t know man. I see no movement...maybe manana.

Sometimes manana never comes.