More on the recently discovered Roman Road

Roman history

Ferrell's Travel Blog

Less than 3 months ago we reported here on the discovery of a second century Roman road uncovered in the vicinity of Beit Shemesh and the Elah Valley. Recently we came down to the area from Hwy. 60 south of Bethlehem on Hwy. 375. The information in the IAA press release indicated that the newly discovered road was near Beit Natif (Netiv), but we saw no indication of it. We went into the village of Beit Netiv and a gentleman pointed us back toward Bethlehem and told us that we would find a road on the left where he thought some work was being done.

Following the kind gentleman’s instruction we turned successively into two roads, but neither led us to the Roman road. Finally I checked this blog and downloaded the IAA Press Release for a phone number and called the IAA office. A lady there said she did…

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Foggy Predators, Ghostly Ships: Day 3 of the Coastal Trip

Beautiful pictures

Tales for Life

Cannon, Cannon Beach Day 2 080 All photographs by Cynthia Guenther Richardson

That watchful bald eagle on a basalt mound whose photo I posted last time was patiently waiting for a strike at his prey.  Success was not a surprise but the unfolding event was at once thrilling and sobering. Such precision! The crying and diving seagulls tried in vain to retrieve one of their own but the eagle was not even detained.

For humans, there’s something to be said for reasonable proximity to civilization with its conveniences and comforts. Yet we still seek wilder places if we respect, appreciate and even revere nature, as do I. I am quickly released of angst or drear, from any worldly mental detritus as my home city’s buzz and bombast is left behind. A more primitive mind is set in motion as senses are stimulated, satiated. And sometimes roused by a flashes of alarm here and there as rain…

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Day into night at the Palouse Falls

Beautiful photos of falls

Christopher Martin Photography

Before visiting the Palouse for the first time this Easter, I was excited to see and photograph the rolling fields with their colours and patterns.  While researching the location and mapping out places I wanted to visit, my friend Jack told me about the Palouse Falls and that became one of those spots.  Jack and I traveled down to Washington and we both found it to be even better than imagined.

So much so that we went there twice during the four days we were away.  Spending a few hours on separate afternoons there each time.  It is a beautiful place to watch the day slowly go into night.

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The Nasty Aegypti Mosquito

Many of us have heard about the Zika Virus on the news, but might not understand how serious it is, especially those who live in the NW states. I recently took an updated nursing course on the subject and I was amazed at what this little bugger can cause. The potential for a localized outbreak of the Zika Virus in the USA is significant given the level of travel exposure, opportunities of migration, and the prevalence of mosquitoes along the southern rim of the country. As of December 2016, cases of the Zika Virus within the USA have been reported in returning travelers and in women having intimate sexual contact with men infected while traveling to regions with ongoing mosquito transmission. Zika has migrated out of Africa and Asia into the Americas over the past two decades.

Primarily, the Zika Virus is often asymptomatic. However, infection during pregnancy is often complicated by transmission of the virus to the developing fetus. The results are arrested neurological development, microcephaly, and related congenital anomalies. There is also evidence linking the Zika infection with post-infectious Guillain-Barre syndrome. Guillain-Barre is an acute, progressive syndrome characterized by flaccid paralysis and often triggered by infection. Most patients recover after many weeks, but often require respiratory ventilation support and management of complications. Microcephaly is a rare pediatric disorder in which the growth of the fetal brain size is unexpectedly small for a given stage of development. Zika is characterized by headache, conjunctivitis, a pruritic rash, mild weakness, and mild fever, lasting three to six days. In the course of acute infection during pregnancy, the virus can be transmitted across the placenta to the developing fetus.

In the past, the aegypti mosquito thrived on nonhuman hosts. It has adapted to an urban habitat and shows a preference for the human host over mammals. It flourishes in impoverished crowded areas without piped water, inadequate trash disposal, and ineffective barrier protections such as screen doors. A single female deposits its eggs at multiple sites. It takes advantage of stagnant water sources, pet bowls, cemetery vases, and tires. Adult mosquitoes of both sexes feed on nectar and fruit. Females require blood protein to fully develop their eggs. Only the female bites. The aegypti mosquito is an aggressive daytime biting mosquito and feeds in the hours of dawn and dusk. They are stealth feeders and approach their victims from behind and bites on ankles and elbows. This mosquito is a sip feeder in that it bites multiple humans in the course of its blood meal. The female prefers shady areas for rest and is adept at hiding under beds and in closets to later emerge for a nocturnal feed. Of public concern is if this vicious feeder emerges with a second vector with a potential for widespread outbreak in other parts of the country.

The full spectrum by which Zika is transmitted sexually is not yet known. It has been detected in saliva, urine, semen, and breast milk. Studies are underway to determine the incidence, duration, and pattern of virus shedding in men with and without symptomatic Zika infection. For now, the CDC recommends that men diagnosed with Zika consider using condoms or abstaining from sex for six months following the infection. There isn’t any effective antiviral therapy as of yet for the Zika infection. The general recommendations for pregnant women in the USA are:

  • all pregnant women should be assessed for possible Zika Virus exposure at each prenatal visit
  • Advised not to travel to an area active with Zika
  • If the pregnant woman must travel, follow strict steps to avoid mosquito bites and prevent sexual transmission during the trip
  • Have partner use condoms or other barrier methods to prevent infection during the woman’s pregnancy
  • cover exposed areas of skin by wearing long-sleeved shirts and pants
  • use insect repellents registered with the EPA and contains DEET, or oil of lemon eucalyptus. Sleep in screened areas and air-conditioned rooms
  • use mosquito netting over strollers, carriers, and cribs of infants younger than two months of age.

Virologists anticipate it will take several years to bring a Zika vaccine to implementation.


Travels in Spain, Alcoy and the Festival of the Moors and the Christians

Have Bag, Will Travel

I do like Spanish carnivals and I have always been keen to see a Festival of Moors and Christians which take place regularly throughout the year mostly in the province of Valencia in the Levante region of Spain.

Earlier this year I was trawling the airline web sites and reconciling these to suitable events and came across the perfect combination; cheap flights to Alicante and one of the most famous of all these festivals in the nearby town of Alcoy near to Benidorm and with dates that matched perfectly,  I didn’t take a lot of persuading to book the flights.

Finding a hotel was a lot more difficult, Alcoy gets rather busy during the three day festival and the nearest that I could find at a price that suits my skinflint budget was twenty miles away in the village of Confrides near to Guadalest.

The Festival of Moors…

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Sock it to the Airlines

I have to voice a complaint, after listening to the news this morning. First, the airline companies raised the rates and stated it was because of the price of gas. Then they started charging for baggage. Certain airlines now charge for your seat, after you’ve booked your flight. And to top it off, now the leg room will become smaller so that you can’t even cross your legs. What’s next? If the airlines want more business, they should please its customers, instead of stabbing them in their pocket. And what is with them beating up paying customers?  It’s sad that these big companies have gone astray from customer service.


A few weeks ago, there were several bald eagles hunting for prairie dogs in the fields west of the Springbank Airport. I’m not sure if these rodents were just coming out of their holes, the eagles were migrating through or something else was behind this congregation. No matter why, the eagles were making hunting runs […]

via A bald eagle in flight with its prey — Christopher Martin Photography

Have a Little Compassion

I heard a waitress yelling at a person while I was waiting for my meal to arrive. She told the man, “Sir, you can’t come in here.” She forced him outside. She came to my table and apologized for the man stinking up the restaurant.

I paid for my meal and on my way out, she pointed the person out to me. I couldn’t believe her attitude! The person she referred to was an elderly man that could barely walk and had slippers on for a rainy day. It was obvious that he was either homeless or something medically wrong.  The waitress didn’t have any compassion.

Luckily, a young, Latino man bought the elderly man a meal and allowed him to sit in his truck to eat it. Hooray and kudos to the young man that helped another person in hard times.

Hull, UK City of Culture – Kings, Queens, Churches, Public Conveniences and Statues

Have Bag, Will Travel

“... Hull has its own sudden elegancies” – Philip Larkin

In a previous post I told you about my visit to the Museums of Hull and how I have recently become rather a fan of the 2017 United Kingdom City of Culture –  such a fan in fact that I quickly made a return visit to see some of the things that I had missed.

I had missed quite a lot as it happens because on the first visit I was accompanied by my three young grandchildren and as this is rather like herding cats my full attention was not always on the City or its Museums.

I began the visit in the centre of the city in Queen Victoria Square, flanked on all sides by grand Civic buildings and in the centre a grand statue of the stoic figure of Queen Victoria rather like those that I…

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15 Things First Time Visitors Should Know Before Traveling To Armenia

Located in the Caucasus region, Armenia creates a name to tourists and travelers from all over the world because of its beautiful sceneries and historical attractions. Those who intend to visit this country should, at least, know few important things that would help eliminate hasles and troubles.

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