Say "the tropics" these days, and history comes to mind. Kipling. Pith helmets. Somerset Maughm and gin tonics. Or, if not history, Club Med... Blue water. Travel brochures. Palmy beaches. The belly of the planet has booming industry; warming, rising seas; war and tsunamis.
But "the tropics" brings to mind a timeless zone of hammocks and equatorial sun and heat. A "torrid zone," in the words of British travel writer Alexander Frater. He was born in the Pacific islands, the son and grandson of missionaries. He's spent his life going back, to island and jungle and steamy coast.
This hour On Point: following the equator, then and now, with Alexander Frater.
Quotes from the Show:
"Why do I write about the tropics? Because I am a creature of the tropics." Alexander Frater
"For me and people of my generation, the tropics will always be Gauguin-tinged." Alexander Frater
Alexander Frater, former chief travel correspondent for the Observer, author of "Tales from the Torrid Zone: Travels in the Deep Tropics."
This program aired on March 19, 2007.