Travel Tales: I will survive

How to survive a television reality show

Travel Tales Shell FishingShell fishing can keep you starving. PHOTO COURTESY OF LEW AND SUSAN TOULMIN  Last month we discussed what gear you need to survive and win one of the many current, popular TV survival shows set in overseas jungles and deserts, such as Naked and Afraid (NAA), Alone, Ultimate Survival, The Island, Build to Survive, Dual Survival, Man-WomanWild, Marooned, Survivorman, Dude: You’re Screwed, Out of the Wild, the various Bear Grylls and Ray Mears shows. Don’t forget the show with the best title of all: Fat Guys in the Woods! This month and next we will outline what actions to take, in order to win.

Note that all this info on gear and actions might save you from becoming a Zombie’s lunch, if you believe in prepping for an impending Zombie Apocalypse or other disaster. Here are actions you need to take, in either event:


The exotic life and death of Thailand's 'Silk King'

Moonlight bungalow todayDoubtless you have heard about the two tragic Malaysian aviation mysteries in the last fourteen months. But you may not recall the original mystery of all mysteries in Malaysian (and Thai) history – the disappearance of Jim Thompson, the “Silk King of Thailand,” in the Cameron Highlands of central Malaysia in March, 1967. This led to the biggest land search in Malaysian (and perhaps south-east Asian) history.  


Residents vow to rebuild paradise after Cyclone Pam

5. child surveys remains of her village home after Pam BohaneFriday, March 13, 2015 was the unluckiest day in the history of the 45-year-old South Pacific island nation of Vanuatu.  Twice rated as the “happiest country on Earth,” on that unhappy day Vanuatu was struck by the worst Pacific storm in living memory, Cyclone Pam.  This killer Category 5 hurricane packed winds of up to 180 miles per hour, with gusts up to 200 mph. 


Take the last postcard from Nakhchivan again

C. A cave outside the city of Nakhchivan where ten children nappedThanks for putting down your mesmerizing smart phone and picking up a real live print newspaper.  Today I will continue last month’s story about the little-known exclave of Azerbaijan known as Nakhchivan, which is southwest of Armenia, east of Turkey, and north of Iran. 


The last postcard from little Nakhchivan

5. Snake Mountain where the Ark groundedToday I’ll tell you a true story about a sort-of country that I bet you never heard of.  What do you want to bet?   

I am talking about Nakhchivan (or Nax?ivan, or about ten other similar names), and it is just east of Turkey, northeast of Iran, and southwest of Armenia.  I’ll bet I won our bet! 


Tall ship sailing from Malaga to the Canaries

D. Passengers relax in bowsprit nettingLast month we began describing a cruise on the tall ship Star Flyer from Malaga, Spain to Grand Canary island in the Atlantic.  This month we will discuss climbing the mast, the food on board, ship’s tours, and a minor accident that affected the ship’s schedule.

Climbing the mast was popular with many passengers, including some in their 70s and 80s. This involved putting on a harness with a safety line, and climbing up the windward ratlines on the foremast, as high as the foretop, about 38 feet above the deck.  


Filling the bucket list with a romantic tall ship

5. Horseman at Royal Equestrian SchoolFor years a major item on our “dream trip bucket list” has been a voyage to the romantic island groups scattered across the eastern North Atlantic.  A cruise from Malaga in Spain in October 2014 aboard the tall sailing cruise ship Star Flyer filled part of the bill.  Scheduled ports were Malaga, Tangier, Cadiz, Funchal (Madiera), and Las Palmas (Grand Canary).   


The end of the world is upon us thanks to Lew!

1. LT and Chief at muralMany travelers have heard about the so-called John Frum cargo cult tribe in Vanuatu, which supposedly believes that a huge American soldier named John Frum is coming soon to save them.  Wrong, wrong and kinda wrong.

As usual, you have to come to “Travel Tales” to get the real truth.  Unfortunately, the bad news is that these may be the last words you ever read.


The afterlife of Prince Philip - Duke of Edinburg

E. LT w chiefsLast month we learned from Chief Linlin Jack Naiua of Yaohnanen village on Tanna island in the South Pacific country of Vanuatu, that Prince Philip of Britain is really from Tanna, not Greece, and that he paddled in a canoe from Vanuatu to Britain to marry Princess Elizabeth.