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Letters | October 2008

It was a thrill to see my beautiful year-round residence, Cape Cod, featured in Travel + Leisure [“The Best of Cape Cod”]. Even though I’ve lived in the vicinity for 11 years, some of your picks were unknown even to me (and I pride myself on knowing all of the hot spots). Thank you for a great article. —Peggie Hunter, Harwichport, Mass.

I just returned from my first trip to Cape Cod and found the August issue of T+L on my doorstep, with Laura Begley’s article on New England’s favorite summer stomping grounds. With only a few days to enjoy the Atlantic waters and quaint towns, I managed to fall in love with the coast. I live near many popular beaches in southern California, but I am already planning my next trip back East, this time with your recent recommendations in hand. —Belen Gallarza-Wilson, Orange, Calif.

Chiapas on the Rise

I read Christopher R. Cox’s story about his adventures in Chiapas, Mexico [“New Adventure Travel in Chiapas, Mexico”], with interest. I visited the region years ago, and one of the most significant events on our tour was a stop in San Juan Chamula. We experienced the same scenes that Cox describes. We weren’t allowed to bring cameras into the church on the main square, and photography was discouraged in the surrounding plaza flea markets. The region was full of contrasts—so strikingly different from the rest of Mexico—and its culture and landscape, equally beautiful. It was a sobering experience, but a memorable one. —Charles Glen, Charleston, S.C.

Tel Aviv’s Time

Israelis say, “In Haifa, we work. In Jerusalem, we pray. In Tel Aviv, we play.” And do they ever. The city never stops, not even to yawn. It really is the world’s best-kept secret, as Michael Z. Wise states in [Tel Aviv Modern”]. Kudos to T+L for showing the region as a travel destination (where my grad-school daughtersays she feels safer than in many U.S. cities), and not as a war-ravaged outpost. Tel Aviv is the place for anyone who wants great, fresh food, a fabulous Mediterranean beach, and beautiful, friendly people. —Natalie Krauss Bivas, Palo Alto, Calif.

U.P. Pride

I enjoyed reading David A. Keeps’s story on the Upper Peninsula [“Driving Michigan’s Upper Peninsula”]. As a resident of Detroit from the 1960’s to the 80’s, I have fond recollections of driving around the U.P. in the fall. Your notes on Pictured Rocks, thimbleberry jam, and those quiet, forested roads brought it all back. I have one question for Mr. Keeps: Is the Devil’s Washtub still there, on the way into Copper Harbor?—Jean Currie Church, Washington, D.C.

David A. Keeps Responds

Yes, indeed. The Devil’s Washtub, a rocky outpost two miles west of Copper Harbor on Lake Superior, gets its name from the bracing waters that slosh around it like a Maytag top-loader. Though the land surrounding the cliffs is now privately owned, you can still take a boat up to the landmark and swim in the cove’s swirling waters.

Reader’s Find
Costa Rica

While the area around Arenal Volcano offers outdoor adventures, spas, and top hotels, I find other parts of Alajuela province, in Costa Rica’s Central Valley, to be noteworthy as well. The central town of Atenas was once a crossroads for coffee caravans—farmers and oxen transporting the beans that grew in the country’s mountainous regions. Today, there are still more than 700 teams of oxen pulling produce in beautifully painted carts. Travelers should also hike up to the aqua-blue lakes on Poas Volcano, and visit the Butterfly Farm (506-2/438-0400; butterflyfarm.co.cr), home to hundreds of Blue Morpho butterflies. —Ethel Hallett, Charlotte, Mich.

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