Travelers' Intercom

According to a Brazilian legend, a rich land owner’s favorite boi (ox) was slain by a farmer whose pregnant wife had a craving for beef tongue. This led to a feud between families rich and poor, and the farmer was to be sent to jail, but a pajé (shaman) revived the boi and the farmer was forgiven, leading to a celebration.

Various versions of that story are manifested by sets of dancers every last weekend in June at the 3-day Boi Bumbá Festival, held in Parintins, northern...


My son, Bret (then 54), and I (82) took the tour “Highlights of Madagascar,” Sept. 1-13, 2018, run by G Adventures (Toronto, Ont., Canada;

Our group stayed at nine hotels and one guest house and, at one location, in separate dormitories for men and women. Other than at the dormitories, Bret and I shared rooms.

Our accommodations were awful. Depending on the hotel, we had no elevator, and our room would have no hot water (lukewarm if it ran for...

Reflections (including Al and Emily Moore’s) in Leisee Lake at Sunnegga. Photo by Ken Sanner

So you’d like to visit Switzerland and experience those towering Alps, but health problems make it seem unlikely. You can’t walk a great distance and never uphill. Your energy is limited and your balance is a bit of a problem. Well, take heart. You can still see those Alps.

My husband, Al, and I have traveled extensively, including to all seven continents, but we’ve been to Switzerland 12 times, last in August 2015 (June ’17, pg. 50). It’s our...


The subscriber’s letter titled “An Assessment of Costsaver’s ‘Cossack Explorer’” (July ’19, pg. 24) reminded me of a practice from which I’ve never deviated during my years of international travel.

Some tour companies have two categories of tours, including one that ostensibly has a considerably lower price tag. (In the editor’s note following the above-mentioned letter, a Costsaver representative noted that “Costsaver is a...


In the article “Spectacular Scotland (June ’19, pg. 6), the author referred to the St. Ola Hotel in Kirkwall, Orkney, Scotland, and wrote, “I would not recommend this hotel,” but I would have to strongly disagree. I would recommend this hotel, which was in a great location and had a great staff.

My wife and I stayed in the St. Ola Hotel for three nights (Sunday-Tuesday), Sept. 30-Oct. 2, 2018. Our room — on the second floor, toward the front of the...


In his letter titled “Protecting a Bank Account from Theft” (July ’19, pg. 38), Stanley Mui wrote about precautions he uses when traveling with both debit and credit cards. We use a Bank of America Travel Rewards credit card as well as a Bank of America debit card. Bank of America has a couple of excellent security protections for their cards.

The debit card can be “locked” via an app on your cell phone after use and “unlocked” before you use...


I was in India with a group on a surgical mission in May 2019. We would catch a flight from New Delhi’s airport at 3 a.m., meanwhile we were dropped off at Connaught Place to shop and then to eat dinner at the Punjab Grill (, located across the street from lots of tourist shops and a big open area with stands and shops.

To reach the restaurant, we had to cross a road with a median strip. Five of us began crossing the street, weaving in between vehicles, and I...

The main plaza in Sibiu, Romania. Photos by Kitty Chen Dean

A Balkan tour that we took in September 2018 covered several countries, each one fascinating in its own way, but our final 3-day stop in Romania had a personal dimension: a quest to find authentic pastrami, said to have started in Romania as “pastrama.”

History tells us that when Romanian Jews fled repression in the 19th and early 20th centuries, they brought little more than traditions with them, one of which was the age-old method of preserving meat with a brine...