Candace Rose Rardon is an American writer, photographer and artist who recently returned to the United States after ten months living and traveling in Asia. She sketches as she travels, and these sketches, combined with the stories behind them, charmingly capture those fleeting, layered moments that are the stepping stones of travel. Recce will be presenting her on-the-road sketches-and-stories -- her sketchbook of serendipities -- in the months to come.
SHODOSHIMA, JAPAN -- I have only begun to round a curve on the west coast of Shodoshima when he walks towards me – a workman whose name I’ll learn is Sakamoto-san, a printed scarf tied several times around his neck, almost touching his well-groomed, gray-haired beard.
As soon as he’d seen my pilgrim’s white kimono jacket, he’d gone straight to the passenger seat of his little blue work van....
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It was no more than twelve hours after my noon arrival in Burma, at Rangoon airport, when I began to wonder what in the hell I was doing there.
The arrival itself and my first hours in the country had gone off without a hitch. I’d waltzed through a swarm of immigration officials, who filled an entire page of my passport with the florid stamps and scribbled initials needed for the maximum seven-day stay. In the taxi to town, practically under the nose of a traffic cop, I’d made a black market sale of one bottle of Johnnie Walker Red and one carton of 555 cigarettes, reaping enough local currency to last the entire week. I’d found the tourist office with no problem, bought the last ticket for the 5:15 train to Mandalay, and had time left over to walk the precincts of Rangoon’s most important temple, Shwedagon Pagoda, in the eyeball-numbing heat of the equatorial afternoon. I felt I had Burma pretty...
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My recent journey to Namibia reminded me of a two-week safari I took five summers ago to East Africa. Below is the second in a series of dispatches I wrote on that trip.
AMBOSELI NATIONAL RESERVE -- We’ve just stepped off an 18-seat Air Kenya propeller plane onto the airstrip at Amboseli National Reserve. Vast brown savannah surrounds us. A nearby herd of ungainly, big-horned wildebeest stares at the noisy, propeller-beaked bird that just disrupted their grazing. Beyond them sleek-striped zebra munch, flanks twitching, on the grass. To their distant left a trio of Thompsen’s gazelles leap toward the green foothills of Mount Kilimanjaro, whose flanks disappear into masses of gray clouds.
I look at the three others on my safari and blurt out the only words that come to mind: “This is so – Africa!”
We climb into our minivan and set off for the tented camp where we will spend the next two...
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My recent journey to Namibia reminded me of a two-week safari I took five summers ago to East Africa. Below is the first in a series of dispatches I wrote on that trip.
NAIROBI -- My introduction to the wildlife of East Africa was a kiss from a giraffe. No, this isn’t a metaphor. We’re talking about a real wet lip-smacker here, a come-here-big-boy-and-let-me-give-you-a-taste-of-my-long-black-tongue kiss.
But let’s back up a bit.
I arrived in Africa from London at about 8:45 on a humid Nairobi night. Almost immediately on exiting the plane, I was greeted by a smiling woman from the safari company that had organized my tour, and whisked through Immigration to the baggage claim area, where she introduced me to two fellow safari-mates who just happened to be on the same flight: Jennifer and Benjie, exuberant 30-somethings who, she explained, were celebrating their new marriage with a safari honeymoon. Ah, romance!...
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I just returned from a week in Namibia. I spent five nights sleeping in the bush, sometimes in simple tents on the ground, sometimes in permanent tented camps. When you sleep in the bush, your ears become keenly attuned to the sounds of the night.
Two nights ago, an hour or two after midnight, I heard a progressive crunch-crackle-scuffle, crunch-crackle-scuffle as a herd of something – hartebeest, wildebeest? – filed nonchalantly by, a stone’s throw from my sleeping bag. The night before that, I was transported by baboons babooning away in the blackness of the valley below. Two nights before, I awoke to lions to the left of me, lions to the right of me.
Last night I was sleeping in my own Northern California bed for the first time in a week.
My neighbor has an elderly dog that sleeps outside every night. The dog has a habit of waking up in the middle of the night and making a kind of snuffling, scruffling, wheezing...
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