Cruising Down the Rhone River in France

November 6th, 2017

FranceThey Said

Don Mankin was hosted by AmaWaterways on a 7-day, wine-themed cruise down the Rhone River in France, all opinions are his own.Wine, Wine and More Wine One of the main attractions of this AmaWaterways trip was the wine-tastings, pairings, and seminars led by Freddy Arredondo, winemaker and co-owner of Cave B Estate Winery in Eastern Washington. A … Continued

The polar bear sauntered down the beach toward us. My heart pounded as he squinted in our direction, no doubt weighing the nutritional value of the 20 or so tasty morsels wrapped in fleece, down and Gore Tex just 40 yards away. I hurriedly took several photos, then looked around and figured I could probably … Continued

  What’s worse than hiking with a bum knee? Not hiking. Not doing much of anything for that matter, other than obsessing about growing old. That’s the prospect I faced the day before the start of a recent week-long hiking trip in the Czech Republic. After two days of walking around Vienna, the starting point … Continued

The chanting of the two boys sitting under the tree reminded me of my Bar Mitzvah class over 60 years ago. The language was different – Amharic, not Hebrew – as was the religion – Ethiopian Orthodox, not Jewish — and the boys bore little resemblance to the pudgy, pasty, pre-adolescent friends of my youth, … Continued

A lone, untethered horse wandered down the dusty main drag in the light of the full moon, munching on tufts of grass by the side of the road. There was no other traffic on the road, no one else in sight. The serenity of the scene belied the bloody history of this historic place. I … Continued

Hiking the Kumano Kodo Trail in Southeastern Japan is no walk in the park. The Kumano Kodo Trail is actually a network of trails in the remote, mountainous Kii Peninsula, southeast of Osaka and Kyoto. The trails, which were established as Buddhist pilgrimage routes in the 10th Century, connect several sacred sites, collectively designated a … Continued

The kayak in front of us climbed up the face of a steep six foot swell and disappeared down the other side. My heart pounded, my stomach churned, and I couldn’t help but think of the movie, The Perfect Storm. Remember that fateful scene with the fishing boat, the Andrea Gail, trying to make it … Continued

The humpback whale shot into the air a few feet off the side of the boat, so close I could see the barnacles on his nose, drops of water roll off his skin, and the hint of a smile on his face. The breaching whale marked the end of our recent ten-day visit to Alaska, … Continued