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Travel News

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By Judy Newell

 

Mexico Travel News

Stolen Skeleton Was One of Americas’ Oldest

A stolen skeleton, which was first discovered in an underwater Mexican cave in the 2010, may be one of the oldest-known human remains in the Americas.

In a study published in the journal PLOS One, archaeologists found that the skeleton, dubbed “Young Man of Chan Hol II,” which was looted from an underwater cave on the Yucatán Peninsula in 2012, dates back more than 13,000 years, making it one of the oldest-known human remains on the continent.

The underwater caves of the Yucatán Peninsula preserve some of the earliest years of human settlement in North America. During the Late Pleistocene, the first people to occupy what is now the Caribbean coast of Mexico wandered into these caves, where some ultimately met their demise. As the polar ice caps melted, the sea levels rose worldwide. The caves of the Yucatan Peninsula filled with water and the first Americans were hidden for millennia.

In 2010, a promising skeleton was discovered in Chan Hol by divers, who posted about the thrilling discovery on social media. But when archaeologists arrived at the site, they found that the posts had also attracted looters, who stole the skeleton from its millennia-old place of rest. About 10 percent of the skeleton was left behind in the cave, likely because it was embedded into the rock and too difficult for the looters to extract. The scientists are now working to extract DNA from the remaining bones of the skeleton, and despite the passage of five years since the theft, they are still holding out hope for the ancient remains’ safe return.

 

International News

Missed the Eclipse?

If you didn’t plan ahead for totality on August 21, or if you find yourself addicted after experiencing it, you’re in luck. The next solar eclipse is less than two years out, and another chance comes to the United States in seven years.

 

July 2, 2019, and December 14, 2020

The next possible opportunity to see a total solar eclipse is in Chile and Argentina is in 2019, but the air might be a little brisk and clouds could get in the way—July is winter in the Southern Hemisphere. But the 2020 eclipse passes over the same countries during the summer.

 

April 8, 2024

It’s unusual for the same region to experience two eclipses in close succession, but the United States will have another total eclipse soon, this time from Texas up to the Great Lakes. Mexico and Canada will catch totality, too. The path of totality for this eclipse even crosses the August 21 path, so some places will get to see two in less than a decade. And this time around, totality will last nearly twice as long as for the 2017 eclipse.

 

2020 Oberammergau

An opportunity that arises once every 10 years is an opportunity not to be missed. A theatrical tradition since 1634, the world-famous Oberammergau Passion Play is a much-anticipated reenactment of the crucifixion of Christ—from His entry into Jerusalem to the Resurrection—performed only once a decade in the quaint Bavarian village of Oberammergau. In addition to the faith-based vacations, Globus will offer eight secular tour vacations to enjoy this once in a decade experience.

 

• The European Reformation with Oberammergau, 11-day tour from Berlin to Munich, prices from $3239*.

• Catholic Central Europe with Oberammergau, 9-day tour Munich to Frankfurt, prices from $3139.

• Grand Catholic Italy with Oberammergau, 13-day tour from Rome to Munich, prices from $3989.

• Shrines of Alpine Europe & Oberammergau, 7-day tour from Zurich to Vienna, prices from $1709.

 

*Prices are in US dollars, per person, based on double occupancy and do not include airfare.

 

 

Cruise News

Vegans Eat Well with Oceania

Vegans who set sail on Oceania Cruises can happily bypass the prime rib and salmon entrees on their next cruise. That’s because the line’s six ships now serve an extensive vegan menu and also offer vegan smoothie bars with cold-pressed raw juices.

Oceania’s new vegan menu, with more than 250 dishes, is featured in the ships’ main dining rooms and includes appetizers, soups, salads, entrees, and desserts. In addition, Oceania ships offer vegetarian, gluten-free, and kosher meals too.

The line has also featured a spa cuisine menu for nearly a decade that coordinates with its Canyon Ranch SpaClub at sea concept. The program focuses on life balance, fitness, and wellness.

 

Words of the Wise and Well-Travelled

“You go away for a long time and return a different person—you never come all the way back.” Paul Theroux

 

Deal of the Week

New Air Pass along the Route of the Maya

Visiting the Mayan masterpieces of Mexico has just become easier with the introduction of the AeroMayan Pass, opening up creative itineraries through southern Mexico, specifically to the distinctive Mayan cities located near Cancun, Merida, Oaxaca, Tuxtla and Villa Hermosa, and Mexico City.

The state of Yucatan boasts an enormous concentration of city states of the ancient Maya, whose golden classical period of sacred pyramids and palaces reigned from roughly 300 to 900 AD. Many sites, such as well-known Chichen Itza and Uxmal, are designated UNESCO World Heritage sites, while others, including Mayapan, Dzibilchaltun, Sayil, Labna, and Kabah, offer new discovery sites for visitors along the Yucatan’s Ruta Maya.

 

The AeroMayan Pass is packaged into five flight segments for USD$425, 10 flight segments for USD$800, and 15 flight segments for USD$1,125, permitting flexibility for custom-designed itineraries. Pass-holders may also book flights up to 24-hours before flight times at no additional charge, and the AeroMayan Pass is valid for seven to 45 days from the first day of use.

 

Judy Newell, an international travel consultant for over 40 years, heads Perfect Journeys and specializes in unique travel experiences to destinations around the world. She designs journeys that are tailored to suit your interests, abilities and budget. Please contact Judy for reservations or further information on Travel News topics; cell phone 415 111 8765; Vonage 949 300 3682; email judynewell@perfectjourneys.net. Her office is in Rancho Los Labradores, Car. a Dolores Hidalgo. View the latest travel specials on the website perfectjourneys.net.

 

Sources: Smithsonian.com, Atlas Obscura, Globus and Cosmos, Oceania Cruises, Recommend

 

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