Friday, March 20, 2020

I love these Walking Guides

The best thing you can do for yourself now is Get Outdoors! Cicerone Press offers wonderful collection of walking guides for fantastic tracks around the globe.  I ordered Walking in The Cotswolds and in Walking in Cornwall in England as I hope one fine day to get back to the UK and take a much more up close and personal look. These books provide rich detail of the region, history, geology, and footpath difficulty. Informative, compact print with color images help the reader know what they are getting into.  Each of the books are written by locals with in depth knowledge of the nuances of the places they call home. They share specific instructions on how to get to the trailheads with detailed maps.  In addition, they give you information on the nearest transport, if it is wise to rent a car or to take public transport.  Suggestions for accommodations near the footpaths listed in the books are extremely helpful for the traveler.

With these pocket books that fit easily into my back pack, I feel confident to tackle hiking in the storybook footpaths of the Cotswolds, or the coastal cliff walks of Cornwall on my own. There is information about local guides if I arrive and feel uncertain. However, it looks like it will be a bit like following a buried treasure map with posted landmarks to my daily destination. It is recommended that you stay in a village close to many walking paths and explore a region in depth rather than rushing through all the walks  listed in the books trying to tick off as many as you can in a short time.
Go to the and select you next adventure. Planning your next trip can be as stimulating as the travel itself. If you live in one of the many countries listed in their catalogue you will learn new ways to get out and explore in your own back yard.

P.S. in the U.S. they cover The Grand Canyon, Pacific Crest Trail and the John Muir Trail 
For walks along the Coast of California check out my book Lost Angel in Paradise. 
For more about my articles and books go to

Tuesday, March 10, 2020

Travel Tips for 2020

The ability to speed through immigration and customs after landing from an international flight without wasting time waiting in line is perhaps one of the greatest modern improvements to travel.” -- AFAR Magazine

Global Entry, long touted as the fastest way to skirt custom lines requires you to check in on a kiosk and charges an annual fee. The mobile passport app allows you to go directly to the exit door security officer, and it is free.  No more standing in a customs conga line for an hour after an exhausting flight. You should set up the app before leaving home to speed up the process when you re-enter the U.S. available on Google Play and in the Apple Store.

Jared Kamrowski, owner of, says that Google Flights is the best source for tracking down the cheapest airfares. Google is intent on making their app better than other third party sites like Expedia and You enter your desired dates of travel and destination, and you will receive alerts as to the best fares for your itinerary. When you decide to purchase, the site will deliver you directly to the airline.  You should always make your flight reservations directly with the airline without third party commissions and the most complete inventory of flight offerings. Download the app for the airline you use so that you get up to date notifications about flight or gate changes. Sign up on his site for more $$ saving tips.

P.S. Southwest Airlines does not participate in Google Flights. Their fairs are always low and that don’t charge baggage fees.

Tips from travel gurus at the  Los Angeles Adventure travel Show. Happy Travels in 2020
Adventure Travel Writer Linda Ballou

Sunday, March 8, 2020

March is Women's History Month.-I salute Ka'ahumanu.

Brave, athletic, strong, passionate, caring and centered in herself, I saw her as a forerunner of the modern woman. It was a tremendous gift to be given the opportunity to visit the cave where she was born. It took the entire crew of six members of the Hana Canoe Club to paddle me to her birthplace.  We pointed the tip of the outrigger into the oncoming waves that sloshed over the bow and paddled through the foaming surf to the protected shallow waters lapping at the lava rocks beneath  the cave where she was born. I climbed the jagged black lava to a path that led to a large opening with two indentations big enough to accommodate a human.  Her mother enjoyed a lovely view of Hana Bay and the green mountains floating on the horizon. Offerings of flowers were placed in front of the openings. Before leaving I floated in the waters at the foot of her cave considered to be healing by those who come here for sacred ceremonies.
Chiefess Ka’ahumanu

. While Ka’ahumanu was still a baby her parents fled from Hana to Hawai’i to the Big Island where they lived in royal comfort. Wai-nani,A Voice from old Hawai’i my historical novel (1750-1819) is inspired by the life of the precocious Chiefess Ka’ahumanu. To some she is remembered as the” loving mother of the people” and to others she is the “flaw that brought down the chiefdom.”

Written With Warm Aloha In the Name of Ka’ahumanu-Linda Ballou