Baja California’s Off Road Warriors

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http://ireport.cnn.com/docs/DOC-628753

Along the Baja California Peninsula, people live and breath off roading. Here, off roading is not merely a sport. It IS life. And this time of year, check any local’s calender and there’s sure to be an off road even penciled in almost every week!

It’s hardly surprising then that the first recorded, organized off road event was held here in 1955 — in the La Paz / Cabo San Lucas area. With sponsors and cash prizes, it basically laid the path for the hundreds of off road races occurring around the world today. The sport is so big that some people spend nearly 1 million dollars on their race cars! But it’s not only a rich man’s sport, I’m told. Nearly everyone along the Baja has some type of car, truck or bike for off roading fun.

Hearing about the bone jiggling good times these guys are having in the backroads of Cabo San Lucas, I quickly bored with my Jeep when I was driving around paved Cabo during a recent trip!! So, I searched out “the man” on the Baja off road scene, Norman Cesena. He has his hands in almost every off road event. With a little shameless begging on my part, I convinced these hard-core off roaders to let me hit the dirt with them…

Get buckled in and watch this!

El Pato Rojo Off Road
elpatorojo.com

Happy Father’s Day from the Land of the Neck Tie!!

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Father’s Day 2011 and many a father will likely be getting a tie as a gift…

Do you know where the necktie was invented? If you think it’s France, you’d be wrong… Better watch this fun report to get to the truth of the matter!

http://ireport.cnn.com/docs/DOC-620466

One Fine Lady: The World’s Oldest Grape Vine in Slovenia!!

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At possibly 450 plus years old, she has seen more changes than the relatively young former Yugoslav country. Tended regularly by Tone Zafosnik for more than 30 years, the vine flourishes today and is a major tourist attraction in this town of 110,000. The vine produces about 60 kilos of grapes per year which is a enough for a few hundred 250 dcl. of souvenir bottles of the red wine (but it is only given to dignitaries like the Pope).

I was met by the Director of Tourism for the town and we shared a few minutes of the vine’s incredible history for CNN.

http://ireport.cnn.com/docs/DOC-616884

Slovenia is a tiny European Union country situated just below Austria about half the size of Switzerland with a population of about 2 million. Wine growing is a major industry there.

Produced and Hosted by: Percy von Lipinski

Associate Producer and Editor: Tracy Bymoen

Special thanks to Maribor Tourism, Old Vine House and Slovenia Tourism

“Bodyflying” in Switzerland!

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Percy’s at the high adrenalin adventures again — this time in Switzerland:

http://ireport.cnn.com/docs/DOC-614923

DUBROVNIK, CROATIA TOPS MY LIST

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Prague, Czech Republic versus Dubrovnik, Croatia

Both incredibly “storybook” places and settings. Both very filled with narrow alleyways, ancient walls, hillsides and castles…

The defining difference? That which makes me favour Dubrovnik over Prague?
The Adriatic Sea. I think that has to be it. The sea breezes, the beautiful colours, the boats drifting just off shore… I’m a sucker for the sea.

A bit more about my experience in each place.

PRAGUE (a couple years ago):

I rose very early — shortly after sunrise, leaving my hotel around 6.30am — to wander. Non-stop. That’s saying a lot, because I am not by nature a morning person. At all. But this place inspired me. I wanted to be the first to hit the city’s streets in the morning so that I could watch the city wake up.

I discovered new and beautiful vistas around every corner, and took a record number of photos. One of my favorite photos EVER was taken in Prague, under the Charles Bridge. You would be shocked if I told you how many photos I took in just one day in Prague. Prague is a fantastically beautiful city — so fantastic, in fact, it is hard for me to put into words just how fantastic. In fact, I decided to call it Prague-tastic. It is its own level of fantastic! And I’ve been comparing all places to it, considering it an 11 on the wow meter, and metering my assessments of all other cities in the world against it.

Until now.

DUBROVNIK, CROATIA

I was wowed from the air, before I even landed. Looking out of the airplane window, foggy from far too many hours travel to get here, I wasn’t sure I could believe me eyes. The city already emanated a fairytale quality, and that was with me only seeing dark, torch-lit fragments of it. But I think that’s what did it. The torches, I mean. I thought it was just flickering lights at first, but they really were torches, as I discovered the following evening.  Dubrovnik’s Old Town is almost entirely lit with small torches — radiating brilliant light into the night sky and in many places reflecting it unto the sea — rather than actual lights! Even outside of Dubrovnik’s Old Town, the city has an incredible ancient appeal to it. The city has narrow winding streets, its homes are tiered along the hillsides and it feels more like a big village than a city.

I hadn’t even seen the city in daylight, and I was already sold on the place by the time my driver transported me to my hotel.

As I awoke the next morning to the beautiful sound of the Adriatic Sea lapping just below my patio and the views of its turquoise waters against the backdrop of the Old Town walls, my suspicion was officially confirmed.  I’d found somewhere even more fantastical than Prague. I have yet to come up with a word to sum it up though. And I guess I have to drop Prague-tastic from my travel vocabulary now?

I spent the day wandering the Old Town streets. Every alleyway, every corner, every torch-lit entrance set Dubrovnik’s fate in my mind. At dusk, I settled into a torch lit street-side cafe in Old Town, for a dinner of deliciously fresh calimari, to contemplate my Croatian discovery.

Dubrovnik just has that “it” factor. I think it’s the combination of the Adriatic and the fairytale like Old Town coastline that does it. Now I just have to invent a new word to sum up Dubrovnik…

This photo from my iPhone just doesn’t do it justice.

World’s TOP 25 Hotels

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I do agree with much of Travel and Leisure’s World’s TOP 25 Hotels list…there are certainly some outstanding hotels on that list. Their list is heavily dominated by Africa and the U.S though. I’d like to see a bit more diversity on their list. I did like that they included a Mexico City property. Mexico City is an incredible city, and is heavily underrated!

Of course, any list is highly subjective. So, here’s MY personal TOP 5 WORLD HOTELS list:
http://thepercyblog.com/percys-travel-picks/top-5-places-to-sleep/

An interesting Energy Consciousness comparison!

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These pictures say it all and really make you re-think things!
(not that I want to be giving up my car to pile onto a stack like in the second photo, but still…makes you think about how we define things, doesn’t it?!)

Energy consciousness Contrast these two images, and tell me which society is more serious about energy efficiency: … Read More

via The Pigs Sty

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