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Students encounter the old jimador: A visit to Tres Mujeres Tequila and La Toma Valley

Once again I had the pleasure of spending a day exploring the wonders of Western Mexico with students from the Waldorf School de Guadalajara. This time, the destination was La Toma Balneario where several room-temperature, spring-fed waterfalls cascade into swimming pools overlooking the deep, picturesque canyon alongside the town of Tequila.


Peace Corps volunteer’s passionate tribute to the Primavera Forest

The first book ever published on the geology of the Primavera Forest will be a real eye-opener for most people who live in Jalisco.


Great Balls of Stone! What to expect if you visit Las Piedras Bola in 2013

Naturally formed giant balls of stone are a rare phenomenon in most parts of the world, but not on a mountain top near Ahulaluco, 75 kilometers west of Guadalajara, where hundreds of them lie nestled in a bed of soft volcanic ash. It’s even said that these are the largest megaspherulites (their scientific name) in the world, for which reason I decided to go measure a few of the biggest I could find.


Documentary places origin of Mexican firewater in Colima, makes case for pre-hispanic distilling

A new DVD with excellent sound tracks in English, Spanish and French brings to life fascinating discoveries on the origin of tequila, as well as a surprising new take on who was the first to distill this potent brew in the Americas.


Journey to Thuwal: A Saudi university looks at Arabia’s Caves

In 2009 I heard rumors that a new university had opened its doors in Saudi Arabia. It was said that King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST) was vibrant, dynamic, staffed by the world’s greatest scientists teaching the world’s most brilliant students, a truly international university which its founder, King Abdullah, Arabia’s reigning monarch, envisioned as “a bridge between people and cultures … and a beacon for peace, hope and reconciliation.”


Presa de la Vega’s biodiversity celebrated: The lagoon inches toward cleaner waters and happier otters

University students, teachers and townspeople recently gathered at the Casa de Cultura in Teuchitlán, Jalisco to celebrate World Wetlands Day (February 2) and to learn about the flora and fauna of nearby Laguna La Vega. In addition, they launched a stunning photo exhibit on the lake’s biodiversity by biologist Manfred Meiners.


Local hikes provide perfect training for mad dash through Frankfurt Airport

Dear Readers,

Lest we forget the blessings of living in a nearly perfect climate and having an International Airport so small you can cross the whole thing in two minutes, I offer you the following.


The best places for volcano watching

Colima’s Volcán de Fuego (Volcano of Fire) has been relatively dormant for several years, but a few weeks ago local residents were reminded of the fact that they are living next to a time bomb.


A stroll up El Col: A ‘quick-n-easy’ hike for the ultra fit

“Where shall we go hiking this Sunday?” asked my friend Mario.


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