Cruise Diary: April 29

Spring                                                                                          Waning Bee Hiving Moon

October 16th.  That’s, let’s see, 5 and 1/2 months from now.  On that day, Kate and I will set out, from the port of New York, for Rio de Janerio by way of Colombia, the Panama Canal, Ecuador, Peru, Chile, the Falklands, Uruguay and Argentina.  We arrive at Rio on November 22nd, flying home from there.  My idea of preparation for a trip of this kind is to read, as I already have, a book about the Andes and one about Patagonia,  a book about Chilean glaciers and an environmental history of South America.  I have also read concise reports about each country we will visit, trying to get a feel for their contemporary politics.  There are, too, websites giving cruising tips, reviews of ships, information about ports of call and, of course, more information about countries and destinations.  There, is, as well, that fat Oxford History of South America, in which I will read essays about certain aspects of South America that seem interesting to me.  That’s all now.

Before the cruise, and probably as soon as I’ve finished The Monkey King’s Journey to The West (which will be a while, it’s one of the four Chinese classics, all characterized by being very long), I’ll start reading South American novelists.  On the cruise itself I have the Voyage of the Beagle and the Origin of the Species already downloaded to my kindle.  This preparation is one of the things I love about travel.  Kate says she doesn’t need to do it, because she’s got me.

My attention to a trip waxes and wanes over the time before departure, but it’s never entirely gone.  I suppose many of you must be similar, hoovering up information, not sure what’s of use, but allowing it all to seep in, coagulate into a whole somehow.

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