sights uncovered
Travel with Tessa

Top 10
Memorable Travel Moments

  1. Morocco – The Sahara Desert
    Climbing a 2-story high sand dune before dawn and watching the sun creep slowly above the horizon.  Just Stan and I and our teenage guide.  The silence unbroken by the slightest sound.
  2. Udaipur – India
    Joining a wedding procession in the narrow streets of Udaipur, India.  The groom-attired in a fitted, double breasted white jacket with shining brass buttons, a red turban and red sash – rode an equally elegantly dressed white stallion.
  3. Turkey – Cappadocia
    Walking into what appeared to me to be a ‘pension’ housed in one of the tufa ‘Fairy Chimneys’ in the fairytale snow covered landscape, only to discover that it was someone’s home.  We were invited in for tea by the dapper owner and spent the next hour esconced in the cozy living room sipping hot tea, chatting and learning about the rich history of generations of Ismail’s family in Pigeon Valley.
  4. Isla del Sol – Bolivia
    Late afternoon on Isla del Sol.  We were out hiking along the terraces with our friend Antonio, when we heard music coming from high above us.  We scrambled up the hillside and were greeted by the most extraordinary sight.  Women clothed in cerise colored flared skirts with layers of petticoats, black bowler hats and cerise shawls, were twirling and spinning with their male dance partners to the music of a band of five musicians.  Around their necks they all wore wreaths festooned with circles of bread like giant flat bagels, fruits and vegetables.  They were celebrating the end of the planting season and praying for a   bountiful harvest.

    The Sahara at sunrise.

    Fairy Chimneys- Cappadocia.

    Isla del Sol- Bolivia.
  5. South Africa – Kruger Park Safari
    A night ride under a black velvet, star-studded sky in an open-sided jeep.  As we were heading back to camp rather disappointed that we had not seen much game, we came upon a lion and lioness lying side by side in the middle of the road.  I’ll never forget the sight of the male’s mane, his amber eyes, and his powerful paws, as he circled the jeep so close to us that we could have reached out and touched him.
  6. Lao-Luang Prabang
    Creeping quietly down the wooden steps of our little river front hotel before dawn to purchase rice, bananas, and cookies from the local women who give alms to the Buddhist monks at dawn.  The sound of a gong reverberating through the town – then silence.  Finally,  the sight of a long line of monks swathed in their tangerine robes and carrying wooden baskets, winding their way silently from the Wat (monastery) towards us.  They pause for the briefest moment before the kneeling attendees to allow them to place a small portion of food into their baskets.  This tradition is called ‘tak bat’.
  7. Costa Rica – Arenal
    An after dinner hike on Arenal Volcano led by a Belgian ‘hippie’ who had made his home in Costa Rica.  The volcano hissed, rumbled and tossed orange fire and rocks into the sky, while our hippie friend assured us that it didn’t ever fall in the area where we were walking.
  8. Ecuador – The Galapagos
    A half hour swim beside a giant turtle, my hand resting on his shell and his gentle eyes watching me.  The outside world didn’t exist.  I never wanted to leave his side.
  9. Morocco – The Atlas Mountains
    Mustafa stopped at a weekly local market in Agdz – where nomads and villagers come to trade their camels, goats, sheep, freshly dyed wool, potions and herbs.  I was invited into the space of a merchant who sold antique Moroccan jewelry.  He seated me on a pile of hand-woven carpets and proceeded to dress me up in the headgear and jeweled turban of a Moroccan bride.
  10. Bali – Lovina
    We are out on a Balinese fishing boat as the sky turns pink and blue announcing the dawn.  The South China Sea is like a flat sheet of glass, then all of a sudden they are there!  Hundreds of dolphins as far as the eye can see, leaping, twirling, whilsling and clicking.  The calm waters churn with their lively activity and then – as suddenly as they appeared  they disappeared – leaving us speechless and in awe.