Jubilados (Spanish for retirees) savouring the journey

Chosen carefully, planned well and travelled independently

Stories of global travel adventures from Gloria and Kerry, a.k.a. Spice and Magellan


“Flush it out of the park.”

Harsh words in my diary written after Magellan and I hiked the King’s Throne Trail in Yukon’s Kluane National Park. Followed by this: “A dump of a hike.”

The hike reminded me of a book by a husband-and-wife team, our favourite authors on hiking trails, called Don’t Waste Your Time in the BC Coast Mountains. If Kathy and Craig Copeland were to write a version of this book for Yukon hiking, the King’s Throne Trail would land in the “Don’t Do” section, signified by the imprint of a single hiking boot encircled with a line cutting diagonally through it. Read more

One of the most spectacular festivals in Sicily, the Archi di Pasqua (Easter Arches, also known as Bread Arches) draws thousands of people to the remote town of San Biagio Platani. When we were planning our trip to Sicily, a townswoman Magellan was exchanging emails with wasn’t certain the annual festival would proceed—the EU had cut funding. Days before we left Canada, she reported the townspeople were going ahead on their own.

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Indian Mine stamp mill

Look at this, Magellan says more frequently during COVID, calling me to his computer screen to see the latest camping equipment he’s discovered. Not a better shower or a brighter lantern. It’s big-ticket items. Like a Defender. Pulling a Conqueror UEV-490 trailer, engineered and built in Australia. It is the Swiss Army Knife of off-road trailers. Pretty wow all right. I remind him how well Rove-Inn (mostly) performed on our two-month trip to the southwestern United States. Remember that night in Monarch Canyon Magellan asks, reminding me of being startled awake by Death Valley’s ferocious winds slapping at our canvas Airtop bed in the Funeral Mountains near Hell’s Gate. For half an hour we held down the slats to prevent the wind from whipping our bedroom off to the land of oz. Diverting his dream of a new unit, I remind him we haven’t posted a story on Monarch Canyon and its engineering marvel, an abandoned gold mine.

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O-sa-KA! O(h) we’d like to return. A realization we came to while there. Japan’s culinary capital, the country’s rebel, Osaka is an exclamation of colour, a city calling out, “Stay longer! Come Back!”

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The stave church of Borgund is a paradox. Tarred all-black, dark as a smokehouse, roof tiles overlapping like scales on a mythological dragon, its aura foreboding. At the same time, it appears whimsical, like a fairy-tale castle, a bewitching place, but for a good sorceress. A paradox I’m attributing to when it was built, 1180, an in-between time when a backlash against the newly introduced Christianity created a small revival of Viking paganism. Did we like it, or not? Would you?

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Imagine receiving this invitation. An extravagance of otium (unbelievable self-indulgent luxury), Philosophiana manifested the voracious appetite of a hedonist enthralled with the world of his time. Among the villa’s sixty-three rooms were elaborate baths, winter and summer dining halls for sumptuous feasts, decadent cubiculums (bedrooms)… But most splendid were the 3535 sq metres of exceptional multicoloured floors of mosaics, renowned for their artistic quality and creativity in depicting nature’s seasons, Greek mythology, Homer’s literature, lustful lovers, agricultural wealth and the lavish life of their benefactor, Maximianus, co-emperor of the late Imperial Age. Superlative, right?

Magellan and I didn’t need an invite to see the finest mosaics in situ in the Roman world.

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