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Aruba’s Beaches: Easy on the Eyes

ARUBA (Kodak Video Trip, 50 minutes, 1993) .

After a colorful introduction using brief montages of beaches, hotels, restaurants, shops and casinos, viewers are given a more leisurely tour of Aruba, one of the Netherlands’ “ABC” islands (Bonaire and Curacao are the others) off the coast of Venezuela.

Not surprising, the major lures of Aruba are the lovely white sand beaches and clear turquoise waters, where visitors wind surf, scuba dive, swim and go boating.

Around the island, viewers visit the desert-like interior where there are more cacti than palm trees. Other popular sites are De Olde Molen, an authentic windmill from Holland; Mt. Haystack, a 541-foot peak on the island with gorgeous, panoramic views; Balashi, a gold-mining ghost town; Spanish Lagoon, an old pirates’ cove; caves with Arawak and Carib hieroglyphics; Casibara and Ayo, with huge diorite boulders, their source still confounding geologists, and Natural Bridge on the rugged windward side.

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Tapes are available from Wood Knapp Video, 5900 Wilshire Blvd., Suite 2700, Los Angeles, 90036; tel. (800) 456-0079. Price: $19.98 (plus tax and postage).

THE RIDE (William Stockdale Productions, 73 minutes, 1993) .

Traveloguer William Stockdale, with his camera mounted behind the front seat of his car, filmed this video as he drove across the United States from New York to San Francisco.

His route bypasses many of America’s major cities and viewers get only brief glimpses of those that Stockdale does go through: New York City; Philadelphia; Gettysburg; the Amish country of Pennsylvania; Canton, Ohio; Fort Wayne, Ind.; Joliet, Ill.; Laramie and the Continental Divide in Wyoming, and San Francisco.

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Between stops there are often miles with no signs of habitation; frequently there’s not even another car in sight.

Tapes are available from William Stockdale Productions, 88 Farrows St., Putnam, Conn. 06260; tel. (203) 928-6819. Price: $29.95 (plus tax and postage).

ALASKA’S DENALI PARK (Alaska Video Postcards, 55 minutes, 1990).

Views of Alaska’s majestic Mt. McKinley, golden in the dawn’s early sunlight, highlighted by the setting sun or reflected in the still, blue lake at its base, are vistas rarely seen by visitors because of the clouds that frequently cover the peak. But in this beautifully photographed video the viewer sees it in all of its splendor.

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Roaming its foothills and vast stretches of undulating tundra is an incredible variety of wildlife, including grizzly bears, caribou, moose, wolves and numerous smaller animals and birds.

Viewers follow their life cycles from spring through summer, fall and into winter’s snows while the narration describes their seasonal routines.

Also shown are park service interpretive sessions, sled-dog demonstrations and hiking trails.

Included on this cassette is “Denali Wilderness,” a park service film, which concentrates on the wildlife and less on the scenery. The film quality is not as fine as the first part but it is equally informative. Combined, they provide a viewer or visitor with an expanded appreciation of one of Alaska’s major tourist attractions.

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Tapes are available from Alaska Video Postcards, P.O. Box 112808, Anchorage, Alaska 99511; tel. (800) 248-2624. Price: $19.95 (plus tax and postage).

Videos appears monthly.


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