Spirits of America
Toledoâ€™s Heart + Soul Adventure in Laos
of sibling travel
Petra, a new seven wonder Leisure & Wellness
Religion & Faith
History & Culture
Eco & Adventure
Anas Ruhman, studioMETHOD.com
Simply Authentic To receive a free DVD and more information, please contact the Jordan Tourism Board N.A. 1-703-243-7404 â€˘ contactus@VisitJordan.com http://www.VisitJordan.com
/contents/ Fall 2009
70 80 86
SPIRITS OF AMERICA Regions making history through libations. TOLEDO - ARTISAN PAST AND PRESENT A look at the artistry that still thrives in the streets of Toledo. THE PESCADORES - GEMS IN THE TAIWAN STRAIT Asiaâ€™s best kept secret, a little talked about archipelago known in Taiwan as Penghu.
80 ON THE COVER: 70 Horse country in Kentucky
faces of travel
22 26 28 30
THE INNOVATIVE HOTELIER Peggy Engh Ward, owner of Riad Amirat Al Jamal in Marrakech, shares her journey from traveler to hotelier. INSIDE THE AUTHOR’S STUDIO Q & A with author Thomas Kohnstamm of the popular novel, “Do Travel Writers Go to Hell?” TRAVELER MAKING A DIFFERENCE Scott Harrison, founder of charity:water, explains his mission to help bring clean water to those in need.
CELEB IN THE AIR We catch up with celebrity make-up artist Carmindy of “What Not To Wear” and find out how she travels.
32 34 38 40
CANINE CORRESPONDENT Our pint-sized correspondent sheds light on the pet-friendly side of the Riviera Maya in Mexico. GREEN REPORT Although it may not seem green at first, Buenos Aires has a green underground. MOMMIE FILES Tips on how to tackle Kona’s coffee trail with toddler in tow. 24 HOURS HERE AND THERE In this issue we explore Cheyenne, Wyoming and Guadalajara, Mexico to show you what is hot and not to be missed.
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ADVENTURE LIFE vs SPA LIFE Adventuring in Laos vs Asian spa treatments you can tackle at home. TICKET TO ROMANCE vs SOLO FLYER Two islands done two different ways, Anguilla on a babymoon and Tahiti on a solo retreat. MANFRIENDS vs GIRLFRIENDS Tips on traveling as sisters and brothers.
48 in every issue
6 EDITOR’S NOTE 8 CONTRIBUTORS 10 TRAVEL WEB
FRUGAL FOODIE vs GREGARIOUS GOURMET A look at the foodie culture of Portland, Maine.
12 THE GOODS 20 DEBUTS 14 DR. FEELGOOD 98 TRAVELING EYE 18 FLIGHT CREW TALES 100 KNOWLEDGE COMPASS 3
Fall 2009, Volume I, Issue 3
Michelle RODRIGUEZ Publisher + Editor-in-Chief LAUREN ashley Merrick Copy Editor
Loli Studios Design
Jack Azar Director of Photography
You CAN afford private travel "Luxury without the high price tag" Editors, National Geographic Adventure
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HipCompass Escapes (ISSN 1947-6205) is published bi-monthly (Dec/Jan, Feb/Mar, Apr/May, Jun/Jul, Aug/Sept, Oct/Nov) by HipCompass, Inc., 3463 State St. #404, Santa Barbara, CA, 93105; 1-800-609-4011. HipCompass is a trademark of HipCompass, Inc. All contents of this publication © copyright 2009 HipCompass, Inc. and is protected by international copyright law. All rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or in part without permission is prohibited. The magazine accepts no responsibility for unsolicited manuscripts, artwork or photographs.
Traveling Photo Essentials For those that have graduated from the point-and-shoot camera to the world of the SLR…here are a few must-have bags and accessories…
Lowepro Fastpack 250
Our pick for the best carryon bag as it holds a laptop, camera, and multiple lenses, while leaving enough room for other items. The bag is comfortable to wear and provides strong padding, so there is no reason to worry about the equipment inside. $119.99 www.lowepro.com
National Geographic’s Walkabout Tote Bag
An alternative to a backpack but still made to hold a camera, lens and a laptop. Includes a padded case for a camera and one lens. Additional side pockets help keep you organized on the road. $90 www.bogenimaging.us
Kata Digital Rucksack DR466 More compact than
the Fastpack but still holds a laptop and camera/lenses. Added features include a waterproof cover and strap that attaches it to your carryon luggage. $85 www.bogenimaging.us
National Geographic’s Backpack NG5162
Another laptop/ camera/lens combo backpack, but what stood out about this bag was the fact that it does not look anything like a camera bag ideal for the low-profile traveler. $175 www.bogenimaging.us
Lowepro Lens Case When you
want to sightsee and not lug your lenses, this handy case can safely hold a lens and conveniently attaches to bag straps or a belt. $18.99 www.lowepro.com
Lowepro Voyager S Strap The most
comfortable and versatile strap we found. The nylon webbing helps against slipping, and there is also a detachable memory card wallet for easy access to your cards. $29.99 www.lowepro.com
Shootsac If you travel with a carryall backpack on the
plane, but don’t feel like lugging all your equipment around while out for the day, then the Shootsac is a must. Created as a solution for photographers to have easy access to their lenses, the fact that it becomes flat when empty makes it easy to pack and takes up little room in your suitcase. Shootsac also sells interchangeable covers, making it look less like a camera bag. $179 www.shootsac.com
National Geographic Tundra Tripod
Weighing only 2.2 lbs and found at a low-price point, this is the perfect entry-level travel tripod. Easy to use and works for both video and still cameras. $80 www.bogenimaging.us
Gitzo Traveler Tripod GT1550T The crème
de la crème of traveling tripods. Made of carbon so it is lightweight but strong, it folds down to a measly 14 inches and weighs 2.2 lbs. This tripod was the fastest to set up and shoot with, which is necessary when on the go. Its compact size and weight allows it to fit in your carry-on. Includes a built-in compact head. $737 www.bogenimaging.us 7
Faces of Travel |
the innovative hotelier
a El a m e Je home h t n i w ping her ne p o for y sh Pegg square Fna
Have you ever wished to escape the pace of modern American life? Do you dream of a place where strangers greet each other politely when they pass, where families eat together at meals, a place where conversation is not hurried and elders are revered, where a day of rest is observed and shops close, or where stores offer unique handmade items because they are not corporate owned? I have found such a place, and I live there half of each year. I have moved to Morocco, an ancient fairytale kingdom
Californians are accustomed. After a lifetime of visiting wonderful locations, such as Nepal, India, Egypt, Belize, Guatemala and the Sinai, my husband and I visited Morocco. I had read every guidebook I could lay my hands on, and I was filled with pre-conceived notions about Morocco, Islam, and the Arabs and Berbers who lived there. By the end of our three weeks in Morocco, I was amazed at how much I did not know or understand. Morocco had definitely piqued my interest. On that tour, I had an amazing guide, Rachid Izemreten:
all photos courtesy of amirat al jamal
While in Morocco I came across Amirat Al Jamal, a beautiful riad that had a peculiar twist, it was owned by a blonde Californian woman, Peggy Ward Engh. Intrigued by how she ended North Africa, the only African country that possesses up owning an inn so far from inshores on both the Atlantic Ocean and the Mediterranean Sea. The country has been blessed with 2200 miles of four mountain ranges (some with snow!), areas home, I asked her to share her coastline, of fertile growth resembling Italyâ€™s Tuscan region, and, of intro by Michelle Rodriguez course, a vast desert. Though Morocco has many of the storyâ€Ś story by Peggy Ward Engh physical characteristics and climate conditions of California, it is certainly far removed from the fast-paced life to which
the inner courtyard at Amirat Al Jamal
highly educated and fluent in English, French, German, Spanish, Arabic, and his own native tongue, Berber. He was enthusiastic about the history of his country, patient with my questions, and remarkably clear when explaining the complexities of Islam. A firm friendship was born on that tour. Rachid belongs to the Ait Ouarayne Berber tribe. In Morocco, the Berbers are the indigenous peoples who have lived across Africa for thousands of years. In the 7th century, the Arabs and Islam came to Morocco, and these new people and their religion gradually took hold. In Morocco, there are three main Berber tribes and at least 600 sub-tribes. Some Berbers are now integrated into the large cities, such as Casablanca and Marrakech, while others still live in remote areas of the desert or by one of the mountain ranges, living lives virtually unchanged for hundreds of years. When I returned home, I could not forget about Morocco and what I had seen and heard: I felt supercharged
and alive with new ideas and information, and longed to go back as soon as possible. Three months later, I did return, and Rachid and I became partners in our own travel company, Morocco Custom Travel. We utilized his vast experience as a government-certified guide with over 20 years of experience, as well as his university and postgraduate education. I brought my modern-age skills with the computer and publishing, and an overwhelming curiosity about Morocco, its history and its people. Once I had a travel business there, I knew that I would need to find someplace to live, and so my search for a home began. Though this sounds suitably exotic, finding a home within the medina and living in a foreign country can be difficult. I was lucky enough to have Moroccan friends who helped me by translating, explaining customs and procedures, and arranging meetings. After eight months of searching, I finally
the innovative hotelier
found the “home of my dreams” in the old medina: a 350 year old, four-story riad, part of an Alaouite Dynasty palace. My home, Riad Amirat Al Jamal (Arabic for the Princess of Beauty) had a clear title which was something of a minor miracle, for in the medina the land descriptions and titles did not seem to be the most important thing to the owner, and, therefore, while visiting prospective homes, I constantly heard that while there was no title in hand, one could be obtained “in a few months.” Many times I left a pretty riad very disappointed to discover that the owner did not have a clear title. Also, I was surprised at the wretched condition in which I found some dars and riads. Called “fixer-uppers” by the realtors, they more resembled chicken coops, with dirt floors and no plumbing or electricity! And some riads were buried so deep within the medina that it would have been hard for anyone to find them in the maze of compass_knomo_final streets. 2/9/09 09:28 Page 2 The area where I live in Marrakech in the ancient walled
medina (old town) is almost 1000 years old. Marrakech’s medina is the largest in Morocco, a mix of crooked alleyways (like Venice), crumbling and restored dars (smaller traditional homes) and riads (Arabic for garden: a traditional Moroccan home with courtyard gardens), tiny shops, and friendly (sometimes too friendly!) salesmen. The medina always pulses with life: pass a small bakery and the delicious scent of warm khobz (bread) will greet you. Everywhere people are scurrying from one place to another: men in donkey carts rushing with their bananas, apples, and tangerines; leatherworkers grasping in their thin arms A workman removing the vast leather skins of sheep or damaged limestone to cows; or women laden with reveal the ancient original their own bread stacked high, brick wall underneath headed to the community ovens. The medina has districts, and I live in Laksour, or the Palace District. However, all was not idyllic: my home, while in an excellent location and structurally sound, needed restoration. Overall, it was filthy. Some of the limestone walls were cracked or unfinished; the pool was an uninviting continued on page 94
MIND THE GAP. We live in London. We know all about the bus chase, squeezing into the tube, getting caught in the occasional London downpour. That’s why the bag we carry to work everyday has to work as hard as we do. It must protect our laptop, store cables and paraphernalia, be comfortable and most importantly look the part. Our travel bags have to work just as hard; what with airport size restrictions, weight issues and ease of use through multiple train stations. A big ask.
TOKYO Slim Brief 15.4” $149 Green, Dark Brown, Blue
So when we came to designing the new Brixton Range, every stitch, design detail and function was considered and re-considered. Then we took it onto the streets and airways to test it with our high-tech varnished canvas in dry finish Blue, Dark Brown, Green & wet finish Black.
SAXBY Courier 15.4” $199 Black Wet,Blue, Dark Brown, Green
LISBON C/ON Trolley 22” $299 Blue,Dark Brown
ROCHA Flap Brief 15.4” $199 Dark Brown, Blue, Green
all photos courtesy of amirat al jamal
Faces of Travel |
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