I’m honoured to be on this great award list! Check it out. Lots of good reads!
Our travels this year took us to ancient sites in Peru and Bolivia! An amazing journey!
We visited the Paracas History Museum and inspected dozens of elongated skulls and other from the Paracas, Nazca, Wari, Cincha, and Inca cultures. I swear some of those skulls looked alien to me.
We flew over the Nazca Lines in a small 12 seater plane and inspected the mysterious ancient geoglyphs in the Nazca Desert in southern Peru. We had a bird’s eye view of hundreds of figures, made of straight lines and geometric shapes etched in the surface of the desert pampa sand. Most clearly visible from the air, our pilot did wing dips, side-to-side, so we could have the best possible views and click some super snapshots. We did.. The best-known geoglyph is “The Astronaut” at 32m in length discovered by Maria Reiche in the 1960s.
We travelled by boat to see the uninhabited Ballestas Islands. Rich in marine life, the islands are home to sea lions, pelicans, Peruvian boobies and Humboldt penguins. On the way our boat captain detoured to give us a closer look at a huge geoglyph in the form of a candelabra that sailors in ancient times used as a coastal reference point. The Candelabro, almost 500 feet high, is a bit of a mystery. Theories abound about who created the figure and why. I was satisfied with the most scientific sounding explanation — aliens.
On July 12th, we flew from Lima (sea level) to Cusco (Elevation: 11,152′) When the doors of the plane opened, I felt as if life got sucked out of me. Most others on the tour also experienced high altitude shock in one form or another. Unfortunately my vision became impaired. Fortunately, with time, it is slowly improving. According to my ophthalmologist, I have a macular pucker in my left eye. Bet the aliens didn’t have that problem.
And the highlight of 2016 for me was climbing to the top of Machu Picchu, Peru.
What is your most memorable moment of 2016?
The 2017 Edition of Travel Stories and Highlights is now available on Amazon. This updated version has 50 stories and 50 highlights selected from the 2015 and 2016 competition entries. Despite almost doubling in size, the Kindle version is still only 99c/99p. Incredible value!
Readers’ Favorite has officially announced the winners of the 2016 Book Awards. I’m delighted to announce that, “Good Morning Diego Garcia” won “Honorable” for Non-fiction—Spiritual/Supernatural.
Check it out:
There’s a place for comments and additional reviews. I invite you to help me create a bit of buzz around “Good Morning Diego Garcia” by adding your comments on the link.
I appreciate your time! Thank you!
2016 Best Book Awards
TITLE: Good Morning Diego Garcia: A Journey of Discovery by Susan Joyce
FINALIST CATEGORY: Narrative Non-Fiction
Good Morning Diego Garcia: A Journey of Discovery is the Book Of The Day!
We witnessed horrendous storms in Uruguay end of October. Our sandy beach became cliffs—impassable for several days. This weekend we visited friends (who have a beach front home closer to the outer shores of the Atlantic Ocean) in Aquas Dulce. Their home got pounded when a powerful cyclone hit and more than 50 homes were destroyed.
Happy to report, no lives were lost because people were warned, shuttered their homes, and moved inland. It was sad to see the loss of so much property. Fortunately for our friends, extra sandbags and rocks brought in before the big one saved their home from destruction. Their neighbor on the left lost the front third of his house. Neighbors, to their right, were not so lucky. They lost everything.
Walking along the beach at low tide, I saw destruction everywhere. I was reminded of the power of nature and how lucky I was to survive so many horrendous storms in the Indian Ocean in monsoon in 1974.
This Thanksgiving, I count my many blessings. I am grateful to be alive and to have a place to call home. Happy Thanksgiving to all!
I would appreciate your vote on my 100 word entry. Lots of great writing here also.
Surrounded by family, my Aunt Wilmoth died peacefully in her sleep, in her home in Gonzales, Texas on May 26, 2016 around 4:30 AM local time. She had suffered a massive heart attack a few days before and was taken by ambulance to a hospital in San Antoine, where doctors operated … but told family members that she wouldn’t last long because the dye used to do the angiogram had adversely affected her kidneys and other organs. Following surgery, knowing life was failing, she requested an ambulance to take her home to die.
I spoke with her the week before she passed. When she answered her telephone, she sounded out of breath but assured me she was fine and had spent hours that day pulling weeds from her beloved yellow rose garden. We talked and laughed about life and death. She told me she was ready to go and longed to see her husband (my uncle), her sons, and other old friends who had passed on over the years. She told me she would tell family members that I was excused from attending her memorial service in Oklahoma (I live in South America.) because we would see each other again—on the other side. I promised to help her cross over and I did.
Over the years, we had talked about our beliefs; God and the hereafter. Knowing that no one knows exactly when they will die and who will die first, we agreed to let the one left behind know if their spiritual beliefs were valid. And we agreed to communicate our findings after death. It was the same agreement I had shared with my friend Michael and my sister Leah before their deaths.
My aunt’s death, and frequent appearances of her in my visions since, have piqued my curiosity. I am busy exploring the importance of coming to terms with life and death; and inviting an exchange of information between souls on earth and in the great beyond.
When I lived in Patzcuaro, Mexico (2006-2009) with my husband Doug and son Jesse, one of my favorite celebrations was “Dia de los Muertos” (Day of the Dead). Dating back to Aztec and pre-Columbian times, it is a joyous tribute to life and loved ones who have passed on. November 1 and November 2 are the observed dates when many Mexicans believe that the gates of the afterlife open and spirits are free to mingle with the living. Loving family and friends clean and decorate graves and visit local cemeteries where they leave offerings of flowers, favorite foods (corn tortillas aplenty), drinks (lots of Tequila), and cherished objects to welcome the deceased.
The living, dressed in colorful masks and skeleton costumes hold candlelight vigils as they await a whisper of wind to blow the spirits back to earth.
The intent of this event is to honor the dead and encourage communication between souls. By engaging the living, this celebration teaches all who observe not to be afraid of death, but to enjoy and take advantage of every living moment on earth.
What comes after death? Who knows? When I helped my aunt cross over, I encouraged her to follow the light and reminded her of our agreement. She is onto another journey. So glad she had a quality life, a good death, and is sharing the beyond with me. She lives on in my heart and soul, and always will because we are connected.
Do you feel a soul connection with family or friends? Do you communicate with those who have gone on before? I would enjoy hearing about your experiences.