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Thursday, December 5, 2019

Our Quantas Plane Blows its Engine into the Wing

Qantas grounds A380s after Singapore emergency landing

We have just been watching the footage of the Quantas Airbus A380 on QF32 Singapore to Sydney had one of its engines blow apart in mid air dropping the cowling on Batam Island in Indonesia and apparently putting a hole in the wing and causing it to make an emergency landing back in Singapore still leaking fuel after dumping its load in mid air. Quantas has grounded its 6 A380s but Singapore Airlines, with 11, has said it has no plans to do so, despite apparently having a similar event in one of its A380s in 2009. Lufthansa and Singapore Airlines, the other airlines that fly A380s fitted with Trent 900 engines, also briefly grounded their planes last week but resumed services after completing checks. Some airlines use different engines so only some other airlines using A380s have been affected. Qantas has also said three other of its Rolls-Royce engines in A380s in different places on the planet have problems, including oil leaking and issues with the intermediate compressor bearings, on inspection so the fleet may be out of action for a while. Rolls Royce now claim to have 'made progress' in their engine probe and note the Qantas jets have a different version of their engine designed for higher temperatures and greater altitude.

Just watch out with the A380, although it's a great plane to fly in for comfort, until Rolls-Royce and Airbus have sorted out why there have been two engine failures, at least one violent, before you take your next flight.

Plan of the Journey

(click to enlarge) OneWorld (red) links - air, (magenta), sea (yellow), overland(purple)

Here's our proposed 24 country world circuit in 90 days using a 16 stop One World ticket. We are posting it as a blog so that, as the planning and eventual travel experiences take place, other people, including our friends, can gain the benefit of both the tactical information and the adventures.

We have two other travel blogs:
2006 10 Countries of Asia
2007 Japan

The aim is to make a chaotic orbit of planet Earth skittering around the edge of places I/we have been on other trips (such as my circuit of the Bolivian burning season and trip down the Amazon from Peru to Brazil in 1999) to take in many countries we either haven't seen or haven't seen for a couple of decades or so. The 90 days is a rather mad constraint to keep within the limits of our Platinum VISA travel insurance cover, which is limited to an overseas trip of no more than 90 days inclusive of departure and return dates.

The world circuit is stretched sideways so that we can travel straight to Southern South America without having to connect through the US first, something that seems to be possible on a round the world ticket only with One World, because it has as partners at least two Latin American carriers, LAN (Chile) and Aero Mexicana, with other stops later, such as Jordan a chance spin-off of Royal Jordanian being a partner.

Here is a developing itinerary which we will fill out further as the details become more precise. The journey is not about volcanoes although the pictures might suggest otherwise.

South America

I have previously been twice to South America, in 1980 traveling from Colombia down the coast through Ecuador to Peru and over the Andes to Pucallpa to take ayahuasca the vine of the soul. The second journey was a circuit of the burning season in Bolivia in 1999, followed by a transit of the Andes from Machu Picchu to Quilabamba and then by dugout canoe down the Urubamba through the Pongo de Manique, on the Ucayali by banana boat to Pucallpa, and by river boat down the Amazon and via Iquitos and Letecia to Manaus, and back up the Madiera to Porto Vehlo then passing through the Pantanal en route to Rio. This trip is to compensate, by visiting the Andes further south and taking in more of Ecuador than I previously had a chance to.

Initially we plan to fly out of Auckland for Chile, where we spend seven days, starting out with the arrival day in Santiago at midday 4.5 hours before we left New Zealand, but 11.5 overnight hours later in real time. We arrive in Santiago, where we sped an afternoon and evening recuperating and if the weather is right ascending the Cerro de San Cristobal with sweeping views of the city from our nearby accommodation at Hostal Froestal in Bellavista. We then plan to do a loop of the lake district spanning Andean Chile and Argentina.

The next day we fly in the morning Sky airlines to Puerto Montt (~2 hr) and stay in Puerto Varas (30 min) visiting and Ensenada (1 hr) round the lakeside. From there we plan to take a bus across Andes Cardinal Samore Pass and the Puyehue National Park to Villa de Angostura in the Argentinian lake district (5 hr). From there we travel a short distance north to San Martin de los Andes (2.5 hr) on another lake hoping to cross back across the Andes to the Chilean Queenstown-like lakeside town of Pucon over the Tromen pass (5 hr) or if this is not possible on the Hua-hum Pass by bus and ferry to Panguipulli one lake further south in Chile. Some of these passes may be closed by winter snows, but there are six passes, some crossing via lakes, so there should be a way through and back. We then fly back from Temuco (1 hr from Pucon) to Santiago airport (2 hr) and bus to Valparaiso (1.5 hr) for the night.

Next afternoon we fly from the winter and possibly snow clad Southern Andes to equatorial Ecuador. Here we will spend about a week doing a circuit from Quito down to the upper Amazon Basin towns of Tena (5 hr) maybe with a side trip down river to Misahualli (1 hr) and on to Puyo (3 hr) before circuiting back up the Andes through the mountain town of Banos (1.5 hr) and North again through the central highlands and the regional market towns of Ambato (1 hr) (and perhaps Saquisili) to Quito(2 hr), and on to Otavalo (2.25 hr), the high country market centre for textiles.

After finding the flights from Ecuador to Panama are all pretty expensive (~$450 US all up), we have decided to then travel north up to Cali and fly out from the to Panama for $280 US on COPA. So we will head there in staggered stages firstly to Pasto (6 hr) then to Popayan (6 hr) finally arriving in Cali (3 hr) in time for an evening flight.

Central America

The last time I was in central America, apart from a stop passing through the Panama Canal in 1966, was a transit from Mexico to Guatemala City on the 1980 trip, so this is a revisit intended to traverse more of the region South to North.

From Colombia, we begin a four week overland journey through Central America. From Panama City we plan to bus up to the mountain town of el Valle (2.5 hr). We then set out passing through back roads through the cigar town of Penonome and on up the Pan-Americana to David (4.5 hr) and a second famous touristic mountain town Boquete (1hr).

From Boquete we will head for the border with Costa Rica and to San Jose (8 hr 8.30 am), possibly with an overnight stop en-route. Here we may visit the Volcan Poas National Park then on to Volcan Arenal and the town of La Fortuna (4.5 hr 6.15, 8.40, 11.30 am San Carlos Terminal) with the little neighbouring village of El Castillo overlooking the volcano. From there we travel further North-West to the twin Tico and Quaker villages of Monteverde and Santa Elena (3 hr jeep-boat-jeep) traveling across a lake to get there. From there we go to Liberia (3 hr) which is a centre for several national parks, volcanic Rincon de la Vieja with hot springs and coastal Santa Rosa.

la Fortuna Costa Rica and Lago de Atitlan Guatemala

We then head again for the border with Nicaragua, stopping at Rivas (6.5 hr from Monteverde) and exploring Isla de Ometepe, a little double cone island in Lago de Nicaragua. From there it is on to Granada a Nicaraguan cultural center (which can be reached either directly in a 4 hr ferry ride or indirectly in a return 1 hr ferry and a 1.5 hr bus), with charming architecture, and possibly the university town of Leon and/or the Sandinista mountain stronghold of Matagalpa before flying out to Guatemala, or possibly the alternative three day bus connection to Tegucigalpa (8 hr), Copan (7 hr), with a rest day there, and Guatemala City (5.5 hr) if the flights are too expensive.

From Guatemala City we head to another cultural center, Antigua (1.25 hr) and on to make a circuit through the villages surrounding the volcano clad Lago de Atitlan famous for its textiles Panajachel (2.5 hr), and to Chichicastenango (1.5 hr) the highland market and textile center, Quetzaltenango (2.5 hr), Huehuetanango (2 hr 3.5 ex Atitlan) and to the Southern border of Mexico (2 hr) and San Cristobal (3.5 hr).

In Mexico, we will focus on Chiapas, Oaxaca and a little of Yucatan, visiting San Cristobal de las Casas, with its nearby Tzotzi community of San Juan Chamula (10 k) with mixed Mayan and Catholic practices, passing through Ocosingo (2.25 hr). to Palenque (2.75 hr). From there we go to Oaxaca City either by air (11.15>Mexico City>3.25), or in a two day bus trip from Villahermosa (2 hr) via Veracruz (8 hr) visiting Oaxaca City (7 hr) and surrounding villages, El Tule with its ancient tree (10 k), Teotitlan del Valle (25 k), and Santa Anna del Valle north of Tlacolula (31+4 k) with their weaving, before heading for Mexico City (6-7 hr), where we fly out to San Francisco.

US and Ireland

Here we have a three day recuperation with friends in Los Gatos, visiting Davis to hopefully pick up the Machiguenga hunting kit I collected in 1999 on the Rio Urubamba near the Pongo de Manique, before flying to Chicago, where we will spend a day in the city and a second day in a hire car driving along the shores of Lake Michigan, possibly camping in one of the small lakeside fishing towns such as Benton Harbor, or South Haven.

From there, we fly to Dublin, provided the Icelandic volcano is behaving, where we plan to do a five day rental-car circuit South-West through Galway and Shannon to the Dingle Peninsula and back up the East side, probably staying in camp sites, as we will try to do wherever possible in Europe to avoid spiraling costs.

Iberia and Mediterranean

We have made many visits to Europe, so this traverse is concentrating on the North Mediterranean, from Iberia, through Southern Italy to Greece and some of its culturally significant islands.

We fly into Lisbon in the morning and begin a three week traverse of the Northern Mediterranean, with three days in Portugal, venturing on a short circuit through Sintra and around Lisbon. We then plan to drive to Evora and then south to the coast at the south west tip of Portugal stopping a coule of nights camping and then on to Faro in the morning, with a couple of hours there before linking by an afternoon bus (Eva or Eurolines ) to Seville in Spain.

From Seville we will make a short rental car circuit of some of Andalucia, taking in Cordoba and surrounding towns (conceivably Granada) and some of the small hilltop towns on the way, before flying Spanair (1.5 hr Euro 65) 16.55 > 18.25 to Barcelona, where we have another One World link to Rome, via Madrid (9.30 > 14.10).

In Italy, we will again hire a car and, having explored Rome, will travel South to Naples and then over the boot of Italy working our way through some of the smaller mountain towns and possibly the peninsula of Gargano, and on south through the Murgia to Brindisi.

Vesuvius from Pompeii and the central volcanic crater area Gunung Batur

In Brindisi we will board a day ferry deck class to Igoumenitsa (11.00 > 21.00) visiting Corfu and then make our way by deck class day ferry to Patra (12.00 > 20.00) on the Peloponnese, Delphi, Athens and on to Crete by boat (11.00 > 17.00) where we scored a cheap (E98) Agean air flight out from the Eastern town of Sitia to Athens and on to Istanbul (7.20 > 8.10, 14.00 > 15.15).

Middle and Far East

From Istanbul we fly to Amman, where we may try to cross for a day to Jerusalem to take stock of the situation, and maybe give a talk there, before doing a circuit South in Jordan to Petra via the King's Highway (235 km 2.5 hrs on the desert highway but longer with stops on the King's) and back up via the Eastern shore of the Dead Sea taking in the mosaic town of Madaba.

We then fly on to Mumbai where we recuperate before carrying on to Singapore where we have a return link flight to Bali for a recreational break in and around the artistic center of Ubud, where we originally went together around 1972 and probably rent motor bikes to go back to Gunung Batur.

We then fly on to Sydney, where we stay a night with friends, before flying back into New Zealand.

Of course this whole escapade depends on being able to fly into Dublin and on to Lisbon, which over the last few weeks has been impossible, due to the eruption of huge ash clouds over Europe, from the Icelandic volcano Eyjafjallajokull ...

Tuesday, December 3, 2019

Riding the Rolling Green Hills of the Ecuador Highlands

We left Quito by Taxis Lagos for Otavalo - a far better option than having to take a taxi to the northern bus station and then a bus because it provides door to door service for the very reasonable fee of $8 per passenger plus $2 a bag, particuarly since I am only 5 days out of a hip operation.

Mountains near Quito

But it is still no panacea. It turned up a bit late and proceeded to drive all over Quito's gridlock picking up passengers until there was no room to move. Overshadowing us everywhere we drove were the tall green hills of the tropical Andes.

Quito ascending to the green hills

The Andes in Ecuador are perched right on the equator, so what can appear as just rolling green hills can be very high mountains and the road crossing valleys can snake around on a simply vast scale. For example a couple of hills near Otavalo, where we are now staying are nearly 5,000 m high or over 16,000 feet.

A view of the hills above Quito as we left for Otavalo

When we finally got going we cut off at a wild pace trying to overtake everything in sight, which is difficult on the Pan-American because it is full of heavily-laden fuel tankers. Actually the driver was careful although impatient The strata - hills, valleys and table lands are on imply huge scale you can only appreciate by seeing them.

In this season some of the views are absolutely verdant.

The route turned off the Pan-American to a short-cut by Lago San Pablo.

Even the huge volcanoes further south in Ecuador, such as recently erupting 16,000 foot Tungurahua or throat of fire are shaded with tropical green, although in some seasons they may become snow capped.

Banos, which we missed, because of my operation for the broken hip, is nestled between green hills below the throat of fire. The eruption has scared off most of the tourists, so the tourist trade is currently struggling to stay alive, according to a girl we met in Otavalo, because the tourists have been frightened by the news reports even though the volcano has died down again, just as led to the Banos 'rebellion' in the compulsory evacuation of 1999 (see earlier blog) when they led tourists back despite warnings from vulcanologists. Certainly the backpacker we booked with was absolutely insistent all was fine in Banos although the mountain was rumbling above.

Dec 2010 Tungurahua has just re-erupted. When we were there it had been erupting but had settled down somewhat in the week before we arrived.

Tungurahua re-erupting from the high country, with Banos glowing below.
Banos is one of the towns being evacuated. In 1999, its 15,000 inhabitants
were forced to evacuate when the Tungurahua had its last major eruption.
Residents were not able to return to their homes for a year.

We had planned to make a loop from Quito over the Andes to Tena and then south to Puyo ( both small muddy Amazonian towns with some nature walks and river views) before heading west to Banos and back up to Quito in the highlands via Ambato. Here are a few images of these places from the internet, so you can see the contrasts.

Views of the mountains on the road over to Tena

The Amazon basin near Tena

A view of the throat of fire from near Puyo

Banos church
Banos does have a variety of tourist diversions, from the quaint thermal mineral baths to nature and mountain walks and the volcano itself.

We are let out of our shared taxi at Otavalo

Finally we are released from our confinement in Otavalo where we have had a delightful stay to recuperate which will be the subject of the next blog.

Here is the green mountain looking over Otavalo from the rooftop of our Hostel.

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Andes Amazon Millennium

Join and enjoy the Andes Amazon Millennium journey the just completed a blog of our Millennial trip from the Andes down the Amazon to Rio to document the destruction of biodiversity.

Friday, October 1, 2010

Gaia Moves to Intrepid Asia

A Javanese volcano protrudes from the clouds on the return journey to Sydney

We completed the journey uneventfully in an airbus A380 which three weeks later blew an engine on the same run causing a major grounding and service replacement on a number of 380s. As of 2014, we are about to set off back to Asia which you can follow in our Intrepid Asia with Flashbacks blog.

Being the only 65 year old in the planet that did an overland through Latin America within a week of getting mugged and hit and run and having a broken hip paid off okay in medical terms as despite the rigours of the journey it had just healed enough by our return to be able to walk carefully unaided and four years in is causing no trouble at all. The broken leg is 6-8 mm shorter (it looks a bit shorter even from the post-operation x-ray although the implant does allow for further compaction to ensure the bones knit), and my shoe needs a rubber pad, but I was out of crutches from the day I returned and could do things like climbing on the roof to repair winter leaks. Had we flown back, we would have likely lost $10,000 US in air and other bookings and ended up doing nothing for three winter months. Continuing was difficult and risky, but it paid off in terms of a great experience and an exciting way to convalesce.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Jerusalem Millennium

The Dome of the Rock from the Mount of Olives

Now here's a time travel time warp chapter back 10 years from this year's visit recounted in Twelve Gates to the City to a time before the current intifada, the schizm between Fatah and Hamas and the building of the wall - a hopeful time when you could traverse Israel and the West Bank without undue hindrance.

My previous visit to Jerusalem was during the millennium, to participate in a 12 day teach-in about religion, gender and the future of biodiversity, as an invited speaker participating in millennium celebrations there, so this posting is not just about a tourist visit, but about time spent giving a workshop and performing some subterranean rites of passage designed to set an example of how the apocalyptic quest could lead to an ecosystemic paradisiacal outcome for us all and our descendants, rather than scorched-Earth tumult and religion driven warfare.

In the event, partly because the whole idea of the Millennium is a Christian notion, the big funding fell through and we ended up having a much smaller celebration, which was nevertheless both charming and provocative.

The Russian Orthodox Magdalen Church

The two together from the Mount of Olives

For most of the time I participated in a series of discussion groups at the Academy of Jerusalem invited by Yitzhak Hayut-man, centered on restoring the sacred feminine and engendering a sustainable ecosystemic future for the Earth and its generations, in the face of the violent scorched Earth apocalypses of traditional patriarchal monotheistic religion.

Many of these discussions, with a variety of liberal Rabbis and Jewish female spokespeople, involved the presence of the feminine in Jewish beliefs and traditions, centering on the Kabbalistic notion of the Shekinah as the feminine aspect of the divine, celebrated in matrimonial concord - the abstract remnant of the Goddess known by various names, from ancient Asherah who was thrown out of the temple by Josiah and her sacred tree burned in the Vale of Kidron, through Hochmah or Wisdom of Proverbs, to Sophia of the Early Christians.

Snow falling on the Wailing Wall

Snow on the temple compound and environs

The Academy was a small apartment complex in the Jewish Quarter of the Old City set on a bridge overlooking Chain Street - the main souk running down to the entrance of Al-Aqsa, providing almost 24-hour coverage of the life of the Old City and its diverse inhabitants. You can see several bridge house like this one in the 2010 blog "Twelve gates to the City".

A series of images of the souks

The Gates of Mercy closed with rubble by the Muslims
to prevent the return of the Mashiach

Opening the gates as in Ezekiel

The Muslims have kept the Gates of Mercy closed and filled with rubble for centuries for fear that someone posing as the mashiach, or messiah, might pass through the gates because of a passage in Ezekiel 46. This is because Muslims want to claim that Muhammad is the final seal of the prophets, hence Muslims persecute and kill Bahais and Ahmadis because they claim their prophets conveyed a newer, fresher vision. This failure to let the world and humanity evolve and progress is counterproductive, so I spent some time documenting pronouncing the liberation of this impediment.

Here is one at night outside the Gates:

"This is a piece of bread. This is the bread of life if you like. Now I'm sitting at the portico. There is no exact portico here. There's a small iron wicket fence with some of the grave stones inside. I'm not intruding here. I'm inviting. I'm not transgressing. I am offering. The way of healing for Islam and for the whole world lies in reconciliation. In Ezekiel it says the prince will eat bread in the porch of the gate and come in and go out, pass through by the gate. This passing through is the release of humanity from bondage in liberation."

Now let's follow our way into the centre of the cyclone and have a look inside the old temple compound and the Dome of the Rock.

Muslim worshipers heading down the souk to Al Aqsa for Friday prayers
Up to 250,000 attend. This is substantially a political initiative for Palestine.

A completely veiled niqab-clad woman among the throng

The Dome of the Rock from the temple compound

A young Muslim dude giving a religious diatribe to a crowd of veiled women

The garden of the temple compound is filled with olive trees

Chris with the Gates of Mercy in the background

A series of images of the Dome of the Rock and its interior
made in the arboreal paradigm of paradise by Sufi craftsmen.

The rock itself

Worshipers unroll Torah scrolls at the Wailing Wall

Ultra-orthodox Jewish men and boys dancing in a circle by the Wailing Wall

Machine guns for protection

Images of the Sanctuaries of the flagellation of Jesus

Images of the Church of the Holy Sepulchre

Images of the Russian Orthodox Magdalen Church on the Mount of Olives

Portrait of Magdalen holding the egg, which had turned red, before the Romans,
supposedly an omen of Jesus' blood.

Images of the all night celebration above the Mount of Olives on Millennium Eve

On the night during which Millennium Eve began at midnight, Yitzhak Hayutman, Devorah Brous and others organized a beautiful all-night celebration with Hebrew folk music and recitations from each of the assembled circle, culminating in blowing the shofar at dawn, and releasing balloons with peace messages over the Old City. Again the theme was the sacred feminine, Shekhinah and the perrennial reflowering of the Tree of Life for Earths future.

I sang the Hymn to the Epoch, which was recut in Jerusalem, with the addition of Tania Suskind on violin and Jane King and Sarah Tov on background vocals.

The Gates of Compassion, temple compound and Dome from the celebration site

Spontaneous incantations. Top Right: Devorah Brous on unity "1+1=1 One is to one as one".
Bottom left: Eliyahu's blessing of the collective mashiach. Bottom right: The anointing reading.

Jane and I made a poetic scriptural incantation, transforming the Isaiah 61 passage which Jesus read in his first sermon at Nazareth into a sacred marriage rite, whose theme, in the shadow of Isaiah's own words is the ecosystemic restoration of the old wastes and the renewal of the perennial garden of paradise:

The anointing reading set to the "Gaia Suite" by Rohan King in mp3

The spirit of God is upon us
the spirit of Gaia is within us
because they hath anointed us
to sing good tidings unto the meek
they hath sent us to bind up the brokenhearted
to proclaim liberty to the captives
and the opening of prison to them that are bound
to proclaim the acceptable year
to comfort all that mourn
to appoint unto them that mourn in Zion
in Palestine, in Sidon, in Syria, Arabia and the world
to give unto them beauty for ashes
the oil of joy for mourning
the garments of love for the spirit of heaviness
that they might be called trees of compassion
the planting of the divine
that all might be glorified
in the abundance of wisdom
and we shall renew the old wastes
and we shall restore the former desolations
and we shall repair the waste cities
the desolations of many generations
they hath clothed us with the garments of salvation
and I as a bridegroom decketh myself with ornaments
and I as a bride adorneth myself with jewels
for as the Earth bringeth forth her bud
and as the garden causeth the things that are sewn in it to spring forth
so shall harmony and fulfillment spring forth
among all the nations
this day is this scripture fulfilled in your ears.
Amen Ah woman!

Eliyahu McLean, before blowing the shofar at dawn, pronounced the collective Mashiach in all of us:

“We are here together the collective mashiach and our vision here tonight will spread peace in our hearts and peace on the City of Peace below Yeru-shalom Jerusalem and bisrata shem in Jah Allah we’ll be as a light and a source for peace in the whole world and in the whole universe”

Three audio tracks from the Celebration:
Hymn to the Epoch with Incantations and Eiyahu's blessing

Fire Juggling

Candles for the dawn

Millennium Eve sunrise

Yitzhak Hayut-man greeting the new dawn

Chris at a dance party Millennium Eve night

Palestinian children giving the V on the Mount of Olives millennium night

One small rocket flash over the Old City at Midnight
viewed from the Mount of Olives hypothetical 'ascension site'.

Wild celebration in Bethlehem including, releasing 1000 doves who were
smashing into the buildings to avoid the fireworks
and were summarily feathered and eaten by the residents.

The Garden of Gethsemane (left) on the Mount of Olives

Making our procession to declare the Gates of Mercy open

On the Epiphany, Yitzhak, Jane and I, together with a small party of 13 others pronounced the conceptual opening of the Gates of Mercy below the blocked portico:

'And your gates shall be open continually
they shall not be closed day or night
the glory of Lebanon shall come to you
the juniper the box tree and the cypress together’ (Isa 60)

Jane and I pronouncing the sacred marriage at the Wailing Wall

We then proceeded through the souks to the Wailing Wall where we pronounced the sacred union in the words of the Song of Songs:

I sleep but my heart waketh : it is the voice of of my beloved that knocketh,
saying open to me my sister, my love, my dove, my undefiled :
for my head is filled with dew, and my locks with the drops of the night.
I have put off my coat; how shall I put it on? I have washed my feet; how shall I defile them?
My beloved put his hand in the hole of the door, and my bowels were moved for him.
I rose up to open to my beloved and my hands dropped with myrrh,
and my fingers with sweet-smelling myrrh, upon the handles of the lock.

Set me as a seal upon thine heart, as a seal upon thine arm:
for love is strong as death; jealousy is cruel as the grave:
the coals thereof are coals of fire, which hath a most vehement flame.
Many waters cannot quench love, neither can the floods drown it.

Giving a talk on the sacred marriage and the future of biodiversity at the Academy of Jerusalem

In the evening I gave a seminar on the future of biodiversity and the paradigm of the tree of life.

You can see a version of the scientific gist of this talk in the Biocosmology seminar on YouTube.

There is a natural progression from this to the Cosmology of Sexual Paradox talk in Jerusalem 2010.

In the evening I gave a talk about the evolutionary future of the planet's biodiversity, the threat to it from scorched Earth religion and business as usual exploitation, and its relationship to restoring the mutual sovereignty in sexual, and social relationships between women and men.

The environs of Miriam's well with wildlife

Later Hanna-Elise took us to the environs of Miriam's well on the outskirts of Jerusalem where there was abundant wildlife, including a mongoose and hence snakes, crocuses, wild asparagus, hawthorn, cyclamen and other plants.

A 1000 fold women's celebration of Ella the Goddess which Jane attended while we were there.

Jane attended a 1000 strong celebration of Ella - the ancient word for Goddess just as El stands for "God".