Happy Wanderer: Central Coast includes stewardship with vacations

photoMERCURYNEWS.COM: July 9, 2016

From my lookout over the San Simeon coast, the elephant seals looked like cigars — their long, brown bodies splayed side-by-side on the beach below. I strained to see past the blubber and protruding proboscises for a green scar on the neck of one male — a mammal called “Green Tie” because of the mark left from a deeply embedded packing strap. Continue reading

Happy Wanderer: Cuba remains charming trip back to 1950s

http://christopherpbaker.com/CONTRACOSTATIMES.COM: July 3, 2015

To quote a lyric from Johnny Cash, Cuba is suddenly “hotter than a pepper sprout” on the world travel stage with U.S. travel to Cuba jumping 39 percent this year. But is this island — frozen in time for more than five decades — a must-see destination? Christopher P. Baker, who helped found the Bay Area Travel Writers (www.batw.org) in the mid-1980s, is the premier authority on tourism to Cuba. “Mi Moto Fidel: Motorcycling Through Castro’s Cuba,” is one of six books and dozens of articles Baker has penned on the island nation. Continue reading