“Pirates used to hide in these keys,” Carlos, our guide, tells us as our boat swings behind a small, steep-sided island. Numerous forested islets dot the shoreline like floating haystacks. “English and French pirates hid in Samaná Bay to ambush Spanish gold ships leaving Santa Domingo. The 58 cays and inlets made perfect hiding places.”
It turns out that scrambling out of a bouncing Zodiac and climbing 160 sodden, wooden stairs are the easiest challenges of the day. At the crest of the cliff, the trail stretches across the grassy, rolling hilltop of the southernmost inhabited island on the planet.
Le Chemin de St. Jacques, also known as GR 65, is a 440-mile trail in France, leading to the El Camino in Spain. How can you start planning for your walk through SW France?
In this, part two of her series on walking Le Chemin de St. Jacques in France, Danny Bernstein travels the second half of her month-long journey along one of France's national trails. Fall is firmly setting in, painting its colors along the countryside.
Le Chemin de St.Jacques in France, also the Grand Route 65, is a pilgrimage and hike, a segment of the El Camino de Santiago. You walk through forests and villages and past farms. This is part 1 of the 440-mile trail.
Just off shore from Marseille lie two jewels of the French national park system, one a national monument that lives immortally in literature, the other a national park comprised of four islands.
Can you get your head around a national park more than three times the size of 2.2-million-acre Yellowstone National Park? That's the new size of Serrania de Chiribiquete National Park in Columbia.
Prince Edward Island, one of the three Maritime Provinces on Canada's Atlantic coast, includes a lovely landscape that evokes a Grandma Moses painting of rural New England. A prime attraction on the island is Prince Edward Island National Park, where the combination of some serious literary nostalgia and fine natural features create what amounts to two parks in one.
Many Americans aren't familiar with the Fortress of Louisbourg National Historic Site, but in the mid-1700s, this heavily fortified town in present-day Nova Scotia was one of the most important ports and military posts in North America. A visit to the largest historical reconstruction in Canada offers a fun and enlightening glimpse into the past.
If you mention "Canadian National Parks" to travel buffs, that nation's spectacular western sites such as Banff and Jasper National Parks will likely come to mind. There are, however, some worthy candidates for your "gotta plan a trip" list on the opposite side of the county in Canada's Maritime Provinces. One not to miss is Cape Breton Highlands National Park.