The New Silk Road

The Silk Road or Silk Route was an ancient network of trade routes that were central to cultural interaction through regions of the Asian continent connecting the West and East from China to the Mediterranean Sea. So says Professor Wikipedia.

The New Silk Road opens this weekend and runs from Fairbanks, Alaska to Punta Delgada, Chile.

“To be honest we were jealous of all those countries along the traditional silk route,” said Marvin Hernandez, president of New Silk Road Inc. and first cousin of President Eduardo Hernista or Venezuela. He made his comments during a press tour of the route before its grand opening. “We’re thankful to the governments of Canada, the United States, Mexico, Guatemala, Belize, Honduras, Nicaragua, Panama, oh damn I missed out El Salvador, Colombia, Venezuela, Guyana, Suriname, French Guiana, Brazil, Bolivia, Paraguay, Argentina, Uruguay and Chile for their cooperation.”

The New Silk Road is 9,000 miles long as the crow flies but taking in the Hernandez route makes the trek a boot-eroding 18,001 miles.

So what does the tourist see along the way?

Perhaps the most stunning site is the mating ritual of the lesser filigree moose of Guyana, an endangered species by anyone’s reckoning. The color display is as scintillating as a jolly good eclipse but therein lies the problem. In an odd twist of fate, the lesser filigree moose of Guyana are colorblind and so miss the nuances of the rainbow-like effects produced by their would-be partners and as a result, there’s a great spectacle but no real hanky panky.

Another highlight is to gaze into the totally empty night sky above Rio Banano in Costa Rica. Its unique effect is caused by the refraction of the sea into the atmosphere thus canceling the ozone light barrier at 48 degrees, making all stars invisible.

“The only heavenly bodies you’ll find here are on the beach,” reads Rio Banano’s tourist slogan.

You make the journey at your own pace but just factor in weather conditions. We recommend starting in Fairbanks because that way you’re going downhill during the hot and cold periods.

Wear shoes.

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