Marilyn starts off the day with a bunch of items to get your heart pumping...
My new Bermudian son-in-law-to-be informs me that for an authentically Bermudian good time, you can't beat Cup Match, a two-day cricket competition between the east-end and west-end cricket clubs on the island, commemorating the end of slavery in Bermuda in 1834. At more than 100 years old, the event has become so popular that the government declared it a two-day public holiday, when businesses shut down and families set up tents and camp in parks and on beaches (not allowed at other times). There's a wacky Non-Mariners' Race where participants construct ridiculous and barely seaworthy floats and generally have a good time. This year the event falls on July 31-August 1. Bermuda scores three for sustainability: Those attractive, white, stepped roofs on houses channel rainwater to underground cisterns, gas costs about $7 per gallon, and only one car per family is permitted on the island, so most people ride scooters or take the cute pink-and-blue public buses or high-speed ferries.
Flight of the Platypus
I knew about the knitting bloggers like Lolly, but did you know there's an organization called Motorcycle Bloggers International? One of my favorite members of this group is Flight of the Platypus, which records the author-physicist's motorbike travel escapades in Chile, including some impressive photos of the Chilean alps and an alarming encounter with a cow.
Walking the Basho Walk
Japanese poet Matsuo Basho, the inventor of haiku, took a 1,200-mile hike in 1689, and along the way he composed magical poems that future generations of Japanese schoolchildren would recite by heart. Basho spent five months wandering the mountains, villages, and shores of Japan, carrying nothing but a knapsack, a change of clothing and writing materials. His book, Narrow Road to a Far Province, describes a spiritual journey as much as a physical one, but contains some funny travel commentary about staying in guesthouses:
“Fleas and lice biting; / Awake all night / A horse pissing close to my ear.”
Pilgrims today follow his trail, which has changed a lot in 300 years. In the February issue of National Geographic, novelist Howard Norman embarked on his own journey in Basho’s footsteps, and discovered a a mix of cell phones and temples, sweatshirts and teahouses, pilgrims and Godzilla. Photographer Michael Yamashita relished the challenge of shooting this story, having photographed the trail once before in the 1980s for Nikon. This time around he noticed that “Even in the countryside Japan has prospered so much in the last 20 years it’s unrecognizable between then and now.”
Photo: courtesy Chris Fagg