Reports for the US Department of Energy show that, per passenger mile, rail has a lower energy footprint than road and air (despite the diesel locomotives). And with Amtrak declaring a 17% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions since 2010 – and more efficient, high-speed engines on the horizon – Michael, like me, is in favour of supporting rail. But I was curious, too. At some stage, all my American road trips have intercepted a train ploughing off into deep country; I have so often wanted to be aboard. And now, with the lights of Kansas City disappearing into the night, and Elvis’s Mystery Train loud in the headphones, at last I am. … [Read more...] about Views you don’t get on the freeway … across America by train
I spent the remainder of the day visiting viewing points around Grand Canyon Village, all easily reached on the free regular buses. An hour before sunset, I headed over to the excellent Yavapai Geological Museum. Its three-dimensional topographical maps gave me a further sense of awe about the challenge ahead. The next day I would catch a four-hour shuttle taxi from South Rim to the trailhead. The alarm was set for 4am. The 211-mile journey around the far eastern arm of the canyon traverses the rocky plains of the Navajo Indian Reservation before climbing into the golden eagle habitat of the North Rim plateau. … [Read more...] about How to hike the Grand Canyon
On the railway: 'Best days of my working life' Fifty years of Beeching's cuts in Wales TfW rail customers 'among least satisfied in UK' While running services in Wales is a devolved matter, the lines and stations are part of the rail infrastructure, which remains under the control of the UK government and bodies such as Network Rail. … [Read more...] about Train travel: Cash for new rail – but will Wales get on track?
Chinese citizens need permission to travel to Taiwan, a democracy which Beijing considers to be its own territory and has threatened to annex, by force if necessary. Only travellers from the 47 cities, including Beijing, Shanghai and Xiamen are allowed to visit Taiwan independently. … [Read more...] about China stops issuing travel permits for mainlanders visiting Taiwan
For me, part three came when Vivienne sent me some of the photos she took. One photo was half sky and mountains, half below the water – and a body in the distance swimming down. It could be anybody, but it’s me. It’s a wonderful shot and it’s wonderful to be the body. I can relive the experience from a different perspective, I can reflect and share. That clarity! When I look at it, everything is elevated. I won’t come down for a while. … [Read more...] about Swimming in Snowdonia: a time to reflect