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South America
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EDWARD JAMES

Edward James is a fascinating character, out of the ordinary. He was born into British aristocracy where he suggested that he could have been the illegitimate child of King Edward VII, of whom we know the many mistresses but to whom we attribute very little bastards. He had the youth of a typical English noble….

THE MISSING ADVENTURER

Ever since my childhood, I have heard of Percy Fawcett. In spring 2017, a wildly promoted movie retracing his life came out on all screens. This English aristocrat from the beginning of the 20th century was, like many of his compatriots, irresistibly drawn to adventure and travelling. Amazonia was his magnet, with its immense and…

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THE DRUNK MINISTER

He was a Secretary of State for the Foreign Affairs in the United Kingdoms. He was one of the most brilliant ministers, one of the most skilled, one of the most efficient, one of the most reliable, but also, out of all the government, the one most prone to drinking. It was because of this…

A GREEK FOR THE CONQUEST PERU

His name was Pedro de Candia and I discovered his existence in a fascinating book “The Royal Commentaries of Peru” written by Inca Garcilaso de la Vega, which my friend Samantha introduced to me. The author is the son of a Spanish conquistador and an Inca Princess. He therefore knows both the Spanish and Inca…

Inca Secrets

During the 1970s, Marina and I took a three-month voyage to Latin America. Our travels brought us to Peru, and in particular to Cusco, the ancient capital of the Inca Empire. Upon arriving, we started our journey by resting in the airport for a few hours to acclimate to the altitude. We then made our…

Family Portrait : Brazil

Brazil was a Portuguese colony at the turn of the 19th century, when the heir prince severed ties with the motherland and his family. He became the first sovereign of an independent Brazil. As much as Pedro I was an adventurer, his son and successor was an intellectual. Emperor Pedro II was close friends with…

The Caste War of Yucatán

While traveling throughout the Yucatán I stopped at the former colonial city of Valladolid. Upon entering the cathedral I was shocked by its magnificence. “How beautiful,” I said aloud to myself. “Yes, but this church is punished,” said a voice. Punished? How strange. I had never heard this word used to describe a church before. Why punished? I…

Mexico, 2012

Mexico is an inexhaustible reservoir of delights. Foremost are its people. I do not know of any other people more sophisticated than the Mexicans. Next are its monuments, in their infinite variety, whether pre-Columbian or Spanish baroque. Then there are the landscapes, the jungles and deserts, the grand plains and inaccessible mountains, and the smoldering…