Big Sur, USA

The Coast of All Refuges

Nice view
A woman admires a sandy cove from a Big Sur viewpoint.
bixby bridge
The Bixby Bridge, which continues Highway One over a deep canyon.
Big Sur Inn
Entrance to Big Sur Inn, an inn on Highway 1, California
peaceful but little
Rough seas shake a Big Sur inlet.
the usual conflict
Conflicting sea lions on a beach in Big Sur.
the ideal vehicle
A mobile home parked in a dune area of ​​Big Sur.
white ocean
Mist covers the entire ocean scene off Big Sur.
rodent life
A squirrel analyzes opportunities.
sweet add
A stream of fresh water plunges into a cove bathed by the Pacific Ocean.
ocean of mist
Characteristic fog from the Big Sur region fills the inlets above the Pacific Ocean.
organized herd
Herd of cows roam a bare, hot slope at the tops of Big Sur.
Mail Inn
Big Sur Inn mailboxes on the edge of Highway One.
white tide
Mist above the Pacific Ocean fills successive inlets along Highway One.
marine comfort
An elephant seal leaning on the cold sands of Big Sur.
Bixby Bridge 1932
The Bixby Bridge, added to Highway One in 1932.
random sunset
Sun almost setting over the Pacific Ocean to the west of the American continent.
Over 150km, the Californian coast is subjected to a vastness of mountains, ocean and fog. In this epic setting, hundreds of tormented souls follow in the footsteps of Jack Kerouac and Henri Miller.

Los Angeles was long ago to the south, like San Simeon, the last town worth mentioning, only because press magnate William Hearst built an impressive 165-room mansion there that his eponymous corporation later donated to the state of California.

Gradually, Highway 1 surrenders to the concerted encirclement between the Santa Lucia mountain range and the Pacific Ocean.

It starts to zigzag up and down slopes and valleys that spill out onto a prehistoric and wild coast, “the greatest meeting of land and water in the world”, as the vast community of artists who admire the place has become accustomed to classifying it. .

Cove, Big Sur, California, United States

Rough seas shake a Big Sur inlet.

The Natural Magnetism of Big Sur

Every year, more than three million visitors cross each other on the whimsical curves of the route or on the arched bridges that cross the various gorges.

After sunset, there are no lights on electric poles or even houses. Only the distant tracks left by the cars that still circulate stain that domain, almost entirely uncolonized.

Viewpoint visitor, Big Sur, California, United States

A woman admires a sandy cove from a Big Sur viewpoint.

Remote, isolated and deeply natural, Big Sur emanates a strong geo-spirituality that does not go unnoticed. Some monasteries were installed on its elevations so that the resident communities of religious could take communion.

Faith or not, the feeling of being in a sanctuary prevails slope after slope, reinforced whenever the endless blanket of fog veils the frigid Pacific and strokes the warmer tongues of earth like a meteorological incense.

Hovering fog, Big Sur, California, United States

Mist above the Pacific Ocean fills successive inlets along Highway One.

A few thousand outlaws or hermits also spread over 400 km2 of those parts in the hope of benefiting from the purification. Some remain for the rest of their lives. Others bend under the weight of loneliness and, sooner or later, give up their vows of recollection.

Jack Kerouac's Trip of Refuge

In the 60s, Jack Kerouac became the most famous personality to respond to the appeal of the coast of all retreats. In the autobiographical novel “Big Sur” – which he will have written in just ten days – Kerouac takes on the role of Jack Duluouz and narrates his physical and mental degradation, aggravated by the growing pressure from fans that he seeks to abstract by consuming alcohol in proportionate amounts.

In the book, at some point, Duluouz gives in to his weakness and a first refuge from the devouring Beat scene of San Francisco in the hut of Kerouac's poet friend Lawrence Ferlinghetti in Bixby Canyon.

Bixby Bridge, Big Sur, California, United States

The Bixby Bridge, which continues Highway One over a deep canyon.

But Duluouz handles the demands of Frisco's libertine society as badly as he does the heartbreaking isolation of the seafront or the death of his cat Tyke.

As suddenly as he had arrived, he returns to the city. But he continues to seek Big Sur's blessing, later tormented by Billie's demand for love – the character of the mistress of Neal Cassady, another influential Beat poet – who demands Jack to marry her.

The Dead End Escape from Kerouac

Duluouz, or Kerouac, as we prefer, rejects the commitment and returns to the call of bohemian drinking and life. Neither Big Sur nor fate saves him.

Mist, Big Sur, California, United States

Mist covers the entire ocean scene off Big Sur.

Thereafter, the real Jack enters a spiral of decline that only ends, in October 1969, with his death, caused by hemorrhage following aggravated cirrhosis.

From the top of one of so many frightening cliffs, we have yet another of the sights Kerouac both admired and feared, for some reason often dubbed Puerta del Diablo, others Devils Canyon and with similar obscure names.

Waterfall, Big Sur, California, United States

A stream of fresh water plunges into a cove bathed by the Pacific Ocean.

The raw abyss of prehistoric rock, the distorted branches of cypresses, the subtle beauty of sage and other shrubs, and spontaneous floral arrangements anticipating long waterfalls that merge with a relentless surf.

Inebriated, paranoid and fearful, Jack felt in these dizzying Big Sur scenarios a threat similar to that of the realities and people that haunted him.

The Inspiration Unveiled by Kerouac from Big Sur

However, just as otters, seals, and elephant seals swim among strangling colonies of slime and algae and manipulate the overwhelming power of the waves, so other Beat Generation authors were inspired by the constant harassment of admirers and thrived on terms creative despite the hypocrisy that had begun to rage at the heart of their newly spawned movement.

Sea Lions, Big Sur, California, United States

Conflicting sea lions on a beach in Big Sur.

Kerouac has not stopped producing. His creations, however, show the intensification of a feeling of intimidation and smallness towards the world. Back in Big Sur, impressed by the brooding and permanent explosion of the ocean against the American continent, the writer arrived at “Mar”, a 22-page poem in which he noted its variations and contrasts.

The Natural and Literary Reality of Big Sur

The sea water of Big Sur is icy and no bather ventures into it. Offshore, neither sailboats nor the expected oil tanker or freighter ply the wild sea, only, from time to time, the occasional migrating whale.

Inland, in the most remote valleys of the mountain range, the temperature can drop by 10º in a few minutes. In winter, it reaches negative values, a cold that the strong humidity enhances. In the hottest months of summer, fires caused by lightning assume Dantesque proportions and generate an opposite effect.

Cows, Big Sur, California, United States

Herd of cows roam a bare, hot slope at the tops of Big Sur.

This contrast and the harshness of life in the Cordillera de Santa Lucia was well known by the forerunners of Kerouac, the first artists who moved and based their daily lives on the reliability of oil lamps and stoves.

Robinson Jeffers, in the 20s, was the first. His poetry gave rise to the romantic imagery of Big Sur that attracted followers. Henry Miller lived in the mountain range from 1944 until nearly the time Jack Kerouac visited it.

His essay/novel “Big Sur and the Oranges of Hieronimous Bosch” deals with the pleasures and suffering arising from “escape the air conditioning nightmare” of modern life.

Henri Miller, Orson Wells and the Others

Miller also made it known that, on one occasion, a traveler knocked on his door looking for “the cult of sex and anarchy” and that he returned home, disillusioned, for not having found anything he was looking for.

Miller's presence is also referenced in Richard Brautigan's work “A Confederate General of Big Sur” in which a pair of young men there try the idyllic life that other authors had promoted, erecting small tents in which they are molested by plagues of flies and other insects, the low ceilings, the visit of businessmen in nervous breakdown and the croak of thousands of frogs that prevented them from catching up on sleep.

Taken by literature and conversation in the bars and cafes of haight, Castro and other neighborhoods of San Francisco, Big Sur ended up also arriving in Los Angeles and Hollywood.

Big Sur inn-Big Sur, California, United States

Entrance to Big Sur Inn, an inn on Highway 1, California

In 1944, during a tour of the area, Orson Wells and his wife Rita Hayworth were so impressed with the landscape that, on impulse, they bought a cabin. They never got to spend a night there.

Later, the house gave way to a restaurant, Nepenthe, ironically, the Greek name for an ancestral medicine for heartbreak, a sort of classical-Hellenic anti-depressant.

In 1965, Richard Burton and Elisabeth Taylor starred in the classic "The Sandpiper", one of the few films shot in Big Sur and taking on its panoramas as real sets.

The film crews arrived and soon departed. Big Sur played on movie and TV screens but little or nothing changed.

Henry Miller's ashes still lie there and, as the writer summed up in connection with fidelity to that magical place, the only people who are so fond of staying as "ingenious and self-sufficient souls" and this is a rare combination .

It is found among the painters and poets of the new generations. Even these, in greater numbers, live more and more with each other to avoid being crushed by the superiority of the sky, land and sea, of the eternal forces in dispute in the great Big Sur.

Sunset, Big Sur, California, United States

Sun almost setting over the Pacific Ocean to the west of the American continent.

Key West, United States

Hemingway's Caribbean Playground

Effusive as ever, Ernest Hemingway called Key West "the best place I've ever been...". In the tropical depths of the contiguous US, he found evasion and crazy, drunken fun. And the inspiration to write with intensity to match.
Saint Petersburg e Mikhaylovkoe, Russia

The Writer Who Succumbed to His Own Plot

Alexander Pushkin is hailed by many as the greatest Russian poet and the founder of modern Russian literature. But Pushkin also dictated an almost tragicomic epilogue to his prolific life.
Key West, USA

The Tropical Wild West of the USA

We've come to the end of the Overseas Highway and the ultimate stronghold of propagandism Florida Keys. The continental United States here they surrender to a dazzling turquoise emerald marine vastness. And to a southern reverie fueled by a kind of Caribbean spell.
Around the World - Part 1

Traveling Brings Wisdom. Find out how to travel around the world.

The Earth turns on itself every day. In this series of articles, you will find indispensable clarifications and advice for those who make a point of going around it at least once in their life.
Florida Keys, USA

The Caribbean Stepping Stone of the USA

Os United States continental islands seem to close to the south in its capricious peninsula of Florida. Don't stop there. More than a hundred islands of coral, sand and mangroves form an eccentric tropical expanse that has long seduced American vacationers.
Saint Petersburg, Russia

On the track of "Crime and Punishment"

In St. Petersburg, we cannot resist investigating the inspiration for the base characters in Fyodor Dostoevsky's most famous novel: his own pities and the miseries of certain fellow citizens.
Upolu, Samoa

Stevenson's Treasure Island

At age 30, the Scottish writer began looking for a place to save him from his cursed body. In Upolu and the Samoans, he found a welcoming refuge to which he gave his heart and soul.
Anchorage to Homer, USA

Journey to the End of the Alaskan Road

If Anchorage became the great city of the 49th US state, Homer, 350km away, is its most famous dead end. Veterans of these parts consider this strange tongue of land sacred ground. They also venerate the fact that, from there, they cannot continue anywhere.
unmissable roads

Great Routes, Great Trips

With pompous names or mere road codes, certain roads run through really sublime scenarios. From Road 66 to the Great Ocean Road, they are all unmissable adventures behind the wheel.
Great Ocean Road, Australia

Ocean Out, along the Great Australian South

One of the favorite escapes of the Australian state of Victoria, via B100 unveils a sublime coastline that the ocean has shaped. We only needed a few kilometers to understand why it was named The Great Ocean Road.
San Francisco, USA

San Francisco Cable Cars: A Life of Highs and Lows

A macabre wagon accident inspired the San Francisco cable car saga. Today, these relics work as a charm operation in the city of fog, but they also have their risks.
The Haight, San Francisco, USA

Orphans of the Summer of Love

Nonconformity and creativity are still present in the old Flower Power district. But almost 50 years later, the hippie generation has given way to a homeless, uncontrolled and even aggressive youth.
Miami, USA

A Masterpiece of Urban Rehabilitation

At the turn of the 25st century, the Wynwood neighbourhood remained filled with abandoned factories and warehouses and graffiti. Tony Goldman, a shrewd real estate investor, bought more than XNUMX properties and founded a mural park. Much more than honoring graffiti there, Goldman founded the Wynwood Arts District, the great bastion of creativity in Miami.
tombstone, USA

Tombstone: the City Too Hard to Die

Silver veins discovered at the end of the XNUMXth century made Tombstone a prosperous and conflictive mining center on the frontier of the United States to Mexico. Lawrence Kasdan, Kurt Russell, Kevin Costner and other Hollywood directors and actors made famous the Earp brothers and the bloodthirsty duel of “OK Corral”. The Tombstone, which, over time, has claimed so many lives, is about to last.
Miami beach, USA

The Beach of All Vanities

Few coasts concentrate, at the same time, so much heat and displays of fame, wealth and glory. Located in the extreme southeast of the USA, Miami Beach is accessible via six bridges that connect it to the rest of Florida. It is meager for the number of souls who desire it.
Little Havana, USA

Little Havana of the Nonconformists

Over the decades and until today, thousands of Cubans have crossed the Florida Straits in search of the land of freedom and opportunity. With the US a mere 145 km away, many have gone no further. His Little Havana in Miami is today the most emblematic neighborhood of the Cuban diaspora.
Grand Canyon, USA

Journey through the Abysmal North America

The Colorado River and tributaries began flowing into the plateau of the same name 17 million years ago and exposed half of Earth's geological past. They also carved one of its most stunning entrails.
Mount Denali, Alaska

The Sacred Ceiling of North America

The Athabascan Indians called him Denali, or the Great, and they revered his haughtiness. This stunning mountain has aroused the greed of climbers and a long succession of record-breaking climbs.
Juneau, Alaska

The Little Capital of Greater Alaska

From June to August, Juneau disappears behind cruise ships that dock at its dockside. Even so, it is in this small capital that the fate of the 49th American state is decided.
Monument Valley, USA

Indians or Cowboys?

Iconic Western filmmakers like John Ford immortalized what is the largest Indian territory in the United States. Today, in the Navajo Nation, the Navajo also live in the shoes of their old enemies.
Esteros del Iberá, Pantanal Argentina, Alligator
Iberá Wetlands, Argentina

The Pantanal of the Pampas

On the world map, south of the famous brazilian wetland, a little-known flooded region appears, but almost as vast and rich in biodiversity. the Guarani expression Y bera defines it as “shining waters”. The adjective fits more than its strong luminance.
Faithful light candles, Milarepa Grotto temple, Annapurna Circuit, Nepal
Annapurna (circuit)
Annapurna Circuit: 9th Manang to Milarepa Cave, Nepal

A Walk between Acclimatization and Pilgrimage

In full Annapurna Circuit, we finally arrived in Manang (3519m). we still need acclimatize to the higher stretches that followed, we inaugurated an equally spiritual journey to a Nepalese cave of Milarepa (4000m), the refuge of a siddha (sage) and Buddhist saint.
The Little-Big Senglea II
Architecture & Design
Senglea, Malta

An Overcrowded Malta

At the turn of the 8.000th century, Senglea housed 0.2 inhabitants in 2 km3.000, a European record, today, it has “only” XNUMX neighborhood Christians. It is the smallest, most overcrowded and genuine of the Maltese cities.
The small lighthouse at Kallur, highlighted in the capricious northern relief of the island of Kalsoy.
Kalsoy, Faroe Islands

A Lighthouse at the End of the Faroese World

Kalsoy is one of the most isolated islands in the Faroe archipelago. Also known as “the flute” due to its long shape and the many tunnels that serve it, a mere 75 inhabitants inhabit it. Much less than the outsiders who visit it every year, attracted by the boreal wonder of its Kallur lighthouse.
4th of July Fireworks-Seward, Alaska, United States
Ceremonies and Festivities
Seward, Alaska

The Longest 4th of July

The independence of the United States is celebrated, in Seward, Alaska, in a modest way. Even so, the 4th of July and its celebration seem to have no end.
St. Augustine, City of Florida, USA, the Bridge of Lions
Saint Augustine, Florida, USA

Back to the Beginnings of Hispanic Florida

The dissemination of tourist attractions of questionable taste becomes superficial if we take into account the historical depth in question. This is the longest inhabited city in the contiguous US. Ever since Spanish explorers founded it in 1565, St. Augustine resists almost anything.

A Market Economy

The law of supply and demand dictates their proliferation. Generic or specific, covered or open air, these spaces dedicated to buying, selling and exchanging are expressions of life and financial health.
Parade and Pomp
Saint Petersburg, Russia

When the Russian Navy Stations in Saint Petersburg

Russia dedicates the last Sunday of July to its naval forces. On that day, a crowd visits large boats moored on the Neva River as alcohol-drenched sailors seize the city.
Reindeer Racing, Kings Cup, Inari, Finland
Inari, Finland

The Wackiest Race on the Top of the World

Finland's Lapps have been competing in the tow of their reindeer for centuries. In the final of the Kings Cup - Porokuninkuusajot - , they face each other at great speed, well above the Arctic Circle and well below zero.
jet lag avoid flight, jetlag, turbulence
Jet Lag (Part 1)

Avoid Post-Flight Turbulence

When we fly across more than 3 time zones, the internal clock that regulates our body gets confused. The most we can do is alleviate the discomfort we feel until it gets right again.
Elalab, aerial view, Guinea Bissau
Elalab, Guinea Bissau

A Tabanca in the Guinea of ​​Endless Meanders

There are countless tributaries and channels that, to the north of the great Cacheu River, wind through mangroves and soak up dry land. Against all odds, Felupe people settled there and maintain prolific villages surrounded by rice fields. Elalab, one of those villages, has become one of the most natural and exuberant tabancas in Guinea Bissau.
Sunset, Avenue of Baobabs, Madagascar
Got2Globe Photo Portfolio

days like so many others

USS Arizona, Pearl Harbour, Hawaii
pearl harbor, Hawaii

The Day Japan Went Too Far

On December 7, 1941, Japan attacked the Pearl Harbor military base. Today, parts of Hawaii look like Japanese colonies but the US will never forget the outrage.
Fuerteventura Canary Island Weather, PN Corralejo, Playa del Pozo
Fuerteventura, Canary Islands

Fuerteventura: Canary Island and Time Raft

A short ferry crossing and we disembark in Corralejo, at the top northeast of Fuerteventura. With Morocco and Africa a mere 100km away, we get lost in the wonders of unique desert, volcanic and post-colonial sceneries.
Northern Lights, Laponia, Rovaniemi, Finland, Fire Fox
Winter White
Lapland, Finland

In Search of the Fire Fox

Unique to the heights of the Earth are the northern or southern auroras, light phenomena generated by solar explosions. You Sami natives from Lapland they believed it to be a fiery fox that spread sparkles in the sky. Whatever they are, not even the nearly 30 degrees below zero that were felt in the far north of Finland could deter us from admiring them.
Lake Manyara, National Park, Ernest Hemingway, Giraffes
Lake Manyara NP, Tanzania

Hemingway's Favorite Africa

Situated on the western edge of the Rift Valley, Lake Manyara National Park is one of the smallest but charming and richest in Europe. wild life of Tanzania. In 1933, between hunting and literary discussions, Ernest Hemingway dedicated a month of his troubled life to him. He narrated those adventurous safari days in “The Green Hills of Africa".
Boat and helmsman, Cayo Los Pájaros, Los Haitises, Dominican Republic
Samaná PeninsulaLos Haitises National Park Dominican Republic

From the Samaná Peninsula to the Dominican Haitises

In the northeast corner of the Dominican Republic, where Caribbean nature still triumphs, we face an Atlantic much more vigorous than expected in these parts. There we ride on a communal basis to the famous Limón waterfall, cross the bay of Samaná and penetrate the remote and exuberant “land of the mountains” that encloses it.
Sheki, Autumn in the Caucasus, Azerbaijan, Autumn Homes
Sheki, Azerbaijan

autumn in the caucasus

Lost among the snowy mountains that separate Europe from Asia, Sheki is one of Azerbaijan's most iconic towns. Its largely silky history includes periods of great harshness. When we visited it, autumn pastels added color to a peculiar post-Soviet and Muslim life.
Natural Parks

icy blue planet

They form at high latitudes and/or altitudes. In Alaska or New Zealand, Argentina or Chile, rivers of ice are always stunning visions of an Earth as frigid as it is inhospitable.
Mahé Ilhas das Seychelles, friends of the beach
UNESCO World Heritage
Mahé, Seychelles

The Big Island of the Small Seychelles

Mahé is the largest of the islands of the smallest country in Africa. It's home to the nation's capital and most of the Seychellois. But not only. In its relative smallness, it hides a stunning tropical world, made of mountainous jungle that merges with the Indian Ocean in coves of all sea tones.
Ooty, Tamil Nadu, Bollywood Scenery, Heartthrob's Eye
Ooty, India

In Bollywood's Nearly Ideal Setting

The conflict with Pakistan and the threat of terrorism made filming in Kashmir and Uttar Pradesh a drama. In Ooty, we see how this former British colonial station took the lead.
Princess Yasawa Cruise, Maldives

Cruise the Maldives, among Islands and Atolls

Brought from Fiji to sail in the Maldives, Princess Yasawa has adapted well to new seas. As a rule, a day or two of itinerary is enough for the genuineness and delight of life on board to surface.
Candia, Tooth of Buddha, Ceylon, lake
Kandy, Sri Lanka

The Dental Root of Sinhalese Buddhism

Located in the mountainous heart of Sri Lanka, at the end of the XNUMXth century, Kandy became the capital of the last kingdom of old Ceylon and resisted successive colonial conquest attempts. The city also preserved and exhibited a sacred tooth of the Buddha and, thus, became Ceylon's Buddhist center.
white pass yukon train, Skagway, Gold Route, Alaska, USA
On Rails
Skagway, Alaska

A Klondike's Gold Fever Variant

The last great American gold rush is long over. These days, hundreds of cruise ships each summer pour thousands of well-heeled visitors into the shop-lined streets of Skagway.
Weddings in Jaffa, Israel,
Jaffa, Israel

Where Tel Aviv Settles Always in Party

Tel Aviv is famous for the most intense night in the Middle East. But, if its youngsters are having fun until exhaustion in the clubs along the Mediterranean, it is more and more in the nearby Old Jaffa that they tie the knot.
Fruit sellers, Swarm, Mozambique
Daily life
Enxame Mozambique

Mozambican Fashion Service Area

It is repeated at almost all stops in towns of Mozambique worthy of appearing on maps. The machimbombo (bus) stops and is surrounded by a crowd of eager "businessmen". The products offered can be universal such as water or biscuits or typical of the area. In this region, a few kilometers from Nampula, fruit sales suceeded, in each and every case, quite intense.
Newborn turtle, PN Tortuguero, Costa Rica
Tortuguero NP, Costa Rica

A Night at the Nursery of Tortuguero

The name of the Tortuguero region has an obvious and ancient reason. Turtles from the Atlantic and the Caribbean Sea have long flocked to the black sand beaches of its narrow coastline to spawn. On one of the nights we spent in Tortuguero we watched their frenzied births.
The Sounds, Fiordland National Park, New Zealand
Scenic Flights
Fiordland, New Zealand

The Fjords of the Antipodes

A geological quirk made the Fiordland region the rawest and most imposing in New Zealand. Year after year, many thousands of visitors worship the sub-domain slashed between Te Anau and Milford Sound.