Posts Tagged ‘oceans’

Paul Watson’s life purpose was crystallized when he looked into the eye of a dying whale. Founder and leader of the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society, and one of the original founders of Greenpeace, he is regarded as a radical environmentalist. Some even call him a terrorist. He is a doer, a man of action, and in the film, Eco-Pirate: The Story of Paul Watson, he compares his life and mission to Homer’s Odyssey. He certainly does seem to resemble the leaders in ancient mythologies, which explains his dismissal of Greenpeace’s “Avon lady” tactics. For Paul Watson the battle to protect whales from short-term profits requires direct action and interference. For him, it is about the whales; however, he does point out that without oceans and marine life there can be no human life.

Trish Dolman’s documentary is a remarkable story of the man and his quest. We learn much about Paul Watson and his crusade. The film is interspersed with older footage and photographs and interviews and comments with current and former colleagues, supporters and family members. Amid the blood and slaughter we also witness great beauty.

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(Late January 2009)

I arrived in Lima late in the evening and the taxi ride from the airport to Miraflores, an upscale suburb, was expensive. I had reserved a dorm at the Flying Dog Hostel near Parque Kennedy. The park was alive with people – parents and kids in the playground, people walking and sitting about, restaurant patios full – all in all it had a welcoming vibe. The weather was amazing, too! I had gone from mostly springlike temperatures to hot and humid and I embraced this heat. After finding the hostel, there are three Flying Dog locations in Miraflores and the taxi driver let me off at the wrong one, and checking in, I ventured back out into the square for a refreshment and some people watching. I also noticed a lot of cats – the first I had seen in my travels.

The next day I wanted to explore the centre and asked for bus directions. I was told a bus is too dangerous and advised to take a cab. The woman at the hostel also told me what the fare should be. I flagged down a taxi and the price the driver quoted was higher than what she had specified so I flagged another only to get a higher quote and tried again with the same result. I decided to pass on it and checked out the tourbus. I ended up taking two tours – one of Miraflores, which was great for getting my bearings, and one of Central Lima, which included a tour of the San Francisco Catacombs. It’s estimated that 25,000 people are buried there under the cathedral. Walking through the catacombs and viewing so many bones is a reminder that life is short and fragile.

Lima is a large city and has a metropolitan population of about 8.5 million. I’m glad I took the tourbus as it would have been difficult to get around on foot. The trade-off is that I didn’t get the same sense of place I experienced in other towns and cities. The city has some beautiful architecture, both historic and modern, the streets are bustling, and there are many contrasts between wealth and poverty.

I spent the evening in the park. There was a dance and some of the participants were very good dancers. My eyes kept going back to this one couple who were a joy to watch – they epitomized grace, skill, and passion!

I stayed in Lima for a couple more days. I didn’t get back to the city centre and missed out on the country’s best museums as the allure of Miraflores with its shops, parks and the Pacific won out. From small souvenir pieces to the large Lovers sculpture in the park overlooking the ocean Peruvian culture is very sexually explicit. I did something very uncharacteristic and went into the mall – well, it is built into the cliff! I sat on a restaurant terrace with a beer and light lunch watching the surfers and paragliders.IMG_3819limactrtrainIMG_3866limapacific Summertime in Lima is satisfying!

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