Thoughts after one journey and before another “Tell me,” she said, “why gringo women wear such ugly shoes.” She said it in Spanish, her tongue forming the precise syllables that I envied and still failed to produce after years of practice. Her name was Viviana, and she was my Spanish teacher. We were practicing my conversation… Continue reading I Need Conversational Practice
Wanderlust is invading my dreams. The pandemic shelved six weeks on the Camino de Santiago, but the other night my mind decided to depart without me… The inn is far enough off the Camino de Santiago to be lightly visited, even at the height of the pilgrimage season, but that is to my advantage, for… Continue reading Why Is There a Denny’s on the Camino de Santiago?
In traveling, as in life, there are some things you simply don’t tell your parents. Going beyond what happens at the hostel stays at the hostel, some things you just keep to yourself. Including things that would keep your mom up at night and lead to a blizzard of reminders about safety and links to… Continue reading Who Reads Warning Signs Crossing the Nile?
Raven Series Part #16 | Jump to Raven # 1 I was surprised to see Pato the next afternoon when I pulled into the lot at Cenote Cardenas. He had parked next to the wooden stairway leading down to the water and was sitting on the open tailgate of his truck, Silver, smoking a cigarette.… Continue reading Never Trust a Nobleman
Raven Series Part #15 | Jump to Raven # 1 “You haven’t met Don Hidalgo,” Don Pedro said to me, “but he hates you.” “Why?” I asked. Don Pedro was pacing again, and he was tapping his machete against his leg. “I should have thought of it sooner,” Don Pedro said, “He wanted to buy… Continue reading The Same Cell Block as El Chapo
Raven Series Part #13 | Jump to Raven # 1 Don Pedro and I zip-tied the unconscious Bonetta to the angle iron supporting the compressor frame. The walls were double thick, but to be sure nobody could hear him, I fired up the compressor. It wouldn’t hurt to top off the high-pressure air reservoir. There’d… Continue reading A Personal Matter
Raven Series #12 | Jump to Raven # 1 All three of us—Bonetta, Don Pedro, and I—heard the knocks at the same time. In the hallway, a voice slurred: “You in there, Baby? Sorry I’m late.” Don Pedro looked at me, the question plain on his face. It was the first time he’d looked away… Continue reading Three Knocks on the Wrong Door
Raven Series #11 | Jump to Raven # 1 The three of us crowded into the single room. “Let me show you this,” El Cangrejo said, handing me a wallet. “My name is Ray Bonetta. El Cangrejo is part of my cover.” Bonetta sat in a wooden chair by the window facing the hostel courtyard.… Continue reading Smoothies and Shrimp Cocktails
Raven Series # 10 | Jump to Raven # 1 His machete gleaming in the moonlight, Don Pedro stepped from behind a tree. He nodded his head toward the far side of the street. I turned. We walked away from the hostel in silence. After a block or two, he leaned toward me and asked, … Continue reading Two Empty Hands
Raven Series #9 | Jump to Raven # 1 The cashier shook his head. No lockers. I would have believed him, but I believed Raven more. She had told me there were lockers at the bus station, so there had to be. For that reason, I pressed the cashier. “There are no lockers? No way… Continue reading Unofficial Lockers