Cultural Synopsis

Holiday time, even for politicians. Someone asked me the other day if I knew the meaning of POLITICS in Brazil and got the following explanation: POLI = many; TIC = a nasty insect you can’t get rid of once you’ ve got it. (Always keep your words soft and sweet, just in case you have to swallow them ).  

Salar de Uyuni in Bolivia is a 10 square km salt desert which in pre-historic times was a huge lake. What about the Dead Sea, then, which is also going the same way 430m below sea level and as salty as the ocean, it is 304m deep, 50km long and 15km wide. Its main in-flowing river is the Jordan which is also carrying less water. The Dead Sea is shrinking at 1m per year and ground water is disappearing creating sinkholes. A project to link the Red Sea to the Dead Sea is underway, a huge pipeline system to start operating in 2018.

Salar de Uyuni.jpg

Secrets of the Amazon. On the frontier Brazil, Venezuela, Guiana, Andrés Ruzo, a National Geographic explorer found the Mayantuyacu boiling river which runs water at 86°C for 6km,  in a region where there are no volcanoes or any trace of magma . Anything or anybody that falls into it is simply cooked instantly. The Tepui rocky tabletop mountain and its high peaks hiding caves of iron ore and inhabited by people some 10 thousand years ago, is now being explored by Francesco Sauro from the university of Bologna, as reported by the BBC. The stream running through the caves holds red water and the walls are of pinkish quartz and form an eerie picture.

These are some hints for those who enjoy adventurous holidays.


I sit beside the fire and think of people long ago,

and people who will see a world that I shall never know.

But all the while I sit and think of times there were before,

I listen for returning feet and voices at the door.

(Tolkien – the fellowship of the ring – the ring goes south)

Christina Thornton