Pulpology: Mark & Sonia's Intercontinental Absurdities!

<< November, 2009 >>
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Re: Wanderfood Wednesday: Epicurean despot (by mark at 5/09 2:16 PM)
Re: Photo Friday: the kids are all right (by sonia at 1/03 11:20 AM)
Re: Photo Friday: the kids are all right (by krakestraw at 12/21 2:30 PM)
Re: Africa Always Wins (by lacyemartini at 11/05 3:01 PM)
Re: Africa Always Wins (by mark at 11/05 12:01 PM)
Re: WanderFood Wednesday: foxy overindulgence in Middleburg (by sonia at 7/18 11:27 AM)
Re: WanderFood Wednesday: foxy overindulgence in Middleburg (by cbheller at 7/18 11:23 AM)
Re: Top of the Loaf, Ma! (by sonia at 5/11 8:30 AM)
Re: Top of the Loaf, Ma! (by mark at 5/10 11:40 AM)
Re: Sugarloaf smooches (by wanderinglaura at 4/25 11:24 AM)
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30 November 2009
Passports with Purpose
warm fuzzies and cool prizes

I'm excited to announce the return of Passports with Purpose, an ambitious project started last year by a handful of travel bloggers. It's essentially a fundraiser raffle with some amazing prizes. This year the funds raised will benefit American Assistance for Cambodia, an NGO that builds schools in Cambodia. As you can see in the widget to the right, PwP is off to a roaring start, and the event has only just kicked off!

Here's how to participate:

* Browse the list of prizes and enter a donation for a chance to win that prize. Each $10 donation to AAfC equals one drawing entry.

* Spread the word! Tell your friends, shout it from the rooftops, mention it at your next holiday party. 'Tis the season for generosity and goodwill, after all. If you have a blog or site, promote PwP to your readers. Tweet about it using hashtag #PwP. There's also a Facebook Fan Page.

* If you've been naughty this year and need to obtain a few extra good-karma points to avoid getting coal in your stocking, consider donating a prize or becoming a sponsor.

Don't delay! The raffle closes December 21, and winners will be announced January 5.


* Passports with Purpose
* American Assistance for Cambodia
* Beth Whitman's poignant account of her travels in Cambodia
* Nicholas Kristof's firsthand experience with AAfC in Cambodia

Posted by sonia at 12:30 PM | Link | 0 comments

20 November 2009
Photo Friday: Murano

Murano has lots of shiny edges
Murano has lots of shiny edges

A short vaporetto ride away from the hustle and bustle of Venice is the island of Murano. It's known for its glass artistry, and you can certainly find all manner of shiny glass objects for sale. We had a great time wandering through Murano's quiet side streets, soaking in the chill vibe of Venice's more mellow neighbor.

Murano: a chiller version of Venice
Murano: a chiller version of Venice

glass workshop
glass workshop in a side alley


* browse the rest of our Murano pics
* check out more fabulous travel photos at Delicious Baby's Photo Friday


If you enjoyed this post, please help us spread the word!

Posted by sonia at 12:00 AM | Link | 0 comments

13 November 2009
Guest Post: Arenal Volcano

This is our first guest post, by our friend Marina Villatoro of Travel Experta (her bio is below). If you're interested in contributing a guest post to Pulpology, drop us a line!

The Arenal volcano is a 1,633 meter high mountain with a perfect conic shape and a crater of 140 meters. It is geologically considered a young volcano and its age is estimated to be less than 3,000 years. The locals also know it as "Arenal Peak,"  "Pan de Azúcar," "The Canaste Volcano," "The Costa Rica," "Río Frío Volcano" or "The Guatusos Peak". It is located in the northern region.

arenal volcano

It was asleep for hundreds of years and had a single crater with minor fumaroles covered by dense vegetation. In 1968 it had an eruption that created three more craters on the western flanks but only one of them exists today. Arenal is considered to be Costa Rica's most active volcano and almost every night the crater offers a spectacular show of lights with its explosive eruptions, creating the most amazing views. Although the main attraction is the Arenal Volcano, the area offers much more:

Arenal Volcano National Park

Arenal Volcano National Park
Arenal Volcano is actually part of this national park. There is also a second volcano called Cerro Chato, which has been inactive for around 3500 years. The park is part of the Arenal Tilaran Conservation Area that protects 16 protected reserves in the region between the Guanacaste and Tilarán mountain ranges including Lake Arenal.

Lake Arenal

Lake Arenal
Lake Arenal was originally a small lagoon, but in 1973 the Costa Rican Institute of Electricity built a dam and within three years, this became the biggest lake in Costa Rica with a surface of 88 square kilometers. It is a wonderful place to windsurf or do some sport fishing.

La Fortuna Waterfall

La Fortuna Waterfall
This is the most popular excursion in the area, after Arenal Volcano and Lake Arenal. The waterfall is reached by a 5.5 kilometer gravel road. On foot it takes about an hour to get there, but you can also visit it by horse or by car. Bird watching is also very popular in this area. Once you have reached the waterfall, you can take a trail that will lead you to a natural pool where you can go for a swim.

Arenal Hanging Bridges

The Arenal Hanging Bridges
Here you will find eight bridges measuring between 8 and 22 meters and six hanging bridges that vary between 48 and 98 meters. From there you will have a great view of both the Arenal Volcano and the lake. Some of the most popular activities here are the natural history walk, early morning tour, bird watching and night walks.

Venado Caves

The Venado Caves
The Venado Caves are located in the village with the same name, about an hour by car from La Fortuna, to the north of Arenal Volcano. Water is what formed the caves many million years ago. Presently, the caves consist of limestone rocks, stalactites, stalagmites and corals. It has a total length of approximately 2.5 kilometer with 10 large quarters. During the rainy season the tunnels can get filled with water. This is the reason access by visitors is forbidden in this season.

Cano Negro

Caño Negro Wildlife Refuge
The 10,000-hectare reserve of Caño Negro has the most biological diversity in Costa Rica. There are trails and paths, but the easiest way to access it is by boat. The Rio Frio flows through it and during the wet season it becomes an 800 hectare lake. The reserve is especially popular among birdwatchers and sport fishers.

Penas Blancas

Peñas Blancas Wildlife Refuge
This 2400-hectare refuge was created to protect plant species and the watershed of the rivers Ciruelas and Barranca. The river canyons were formed million years ago when Central America was covered by the sea, by unicellular algae that built up deposits and transformed into chalk like stone.

Marina VillatoroAbout the author: Marina has been living in Central America for over 7 years and her site Travel Experta is all about traveling in Central America. Marina loves to help people plan the perfect vacation to this amazing part of the world! You can sign up for her RSS feed and join the fun on her Facebook fan page and follow her on Twitter at @MarinaVillatoro.



Related posts:
Spelunk! tales from the Venado Caves
* Waterfalls and volcanoes and hot springs, oh my!
* Adios PSE, and on to La Fortuna!


If you enjoyed this post, please help us spread the word!

Posted by sonia at 12:00 AM | Link | 0 comments

09 November 2009
WanderWomen Travel Writing Contest

oktapodi wants to win some prizes... we just don't know which gender he/she is...The good folks at Wanderlust and Lipstick are conducting their second annual WanderWomen Travel Writing Contest for budding and experienced female travel writers. Participants can enter original travel stories in five different categories, for a chance to win some very cool prizes. This is a women-only contest (sorry boyz!) and is meant to encourage women in both their writing AND their travels.

The Grand Prize is a 12-day "Health and Harmony" tour through Vietnam. There are also great category prizes including a daybag from Overland Adventure and a travel pillow and blanket from Cocoon. Sweet!

So, ladies, I encourage you to submit your best stuff, and please spread the word to other travel grrlies in your network. The contest ends November 30, so don't dawdle.

* WanderWomen Travel Writing Contest
* about Wanderlust and Lipstick
Wanderlust and Lipstick

Posted by sonia at 12:00 AM | Link | 1 comment
06 November 2009
Photo Friday: Furlo Gorge
nature and nunneries and nipples, oh my!

Furlo Gorge

Furlo Gorge is a natural marvel just off the Via Flaminia, the original Roman Road that connects Rome with the Adriatic Coast. It's a resplendent drive through narrow canyons of towering limestone cliffs on either side, the Candigliano River softly meandering by below. Popular spot for bike rides, too. At one point you pass through a one-lane tunnel carved through the rock, which in its day was the height of Roman civil engineering. Furlo Gorge has a sense of timelessness and tranquility that merits a pause for contemplation.

things that make ya go hmmmmmm
things that make ya go hmmmmmm

oktapodi penses, too
even oktapodi is pensive

To get there from our agriturismo we drove past the Abbey of San Vincenzo. It's a fairly nondescript little white chapel from the outside, and we might not otherwise have bothered except Ashley recommended a look inside. Worth it! Creepy! It's one of the oldest Benedictine monasteries in the region, but one can almost picture more primitive goings-on in its shadowy underbelly.

Abbey of San Vincenzo, shadowy underbelly
Abbey of San Vincenzo... creepy!

There are several preternatural restored paintings on the walls, including one of the Virgin Mary breastfeeding what appears to be about a three-year-old Jesus. Nipple clearly visible. Well now, that's something you don't see everyday.

Santa Maria!
Holy Nipple, Batman!

These photos hold an even more special place in my heart, as they are part of the batch that was successfully restored after our catastrophic hard drive failure. Woot!

For more great travel photos, be sure to check out Delicious Baby's Photo Friday.


And if you enjoyed this post, please help us spread the word!


Posted by sonia at 12:00 AM | Link | 0 comments
04 November 2009
Catching up

It feels like it's taking forever, but poco a poco I'm getting caught up with blog entries and photos from our month in Italy. If you're signed up to get email notifications when a new entry is posted, or have subscribed to our RSS feed, you're probably catching these new pieces as they get added. But for the rest of ya, here's a rundown of what's been posted lately...

Photo collections:
La Tavola Marche
San Sisto Mushroom Festival
Frontone Castle

Keep an eye on the main Pics page to see other collections as they get filled in.

Here are some stories I've added recently:

Frontone CastleCan you smell what the Rocca's cooking?
Castello di Frontone & Taverna della Rocca

Cooking class at LTMThese guys can even make fish guts fun!
cooking class at La Tavola Marche

San Sisto Mushroom FestivalGet down get funghi
Festa di Fungo in San Sisto

A Le Marche FairytaleA Le Marche fairytale

all blog entries from Italy


Posted by sonia at 12:00 AM | Link | 0 comments