The Perils of Paradise – Koh Rong

The Perils of Paradise – Koh Rong

What makes a "paradise island"? A beautiful, white sandy beach? Warm, perfectly clear sea, complete with shoals of playful tropical fish? Wooden bungalows that look out over long stretches of unspoilt and virtually uninhabited coastline? A bit of jungle in ...

Luang Prabang

Luang Prabang

It's still the mid-nineteenth century in the Old Town in Luang Prabang. At least that's what they like you to think. One of the more upmarket bars even advertises itself as taking you "back to the elegant good old days, ...

Gliding Through Jewels and Jade – Halong Bay

Gliding Through Jewels and Jade – Halong Bay

We'd been warned, but the weather was a bit of a suprise, to be honest. From the warm stickiness of Saigon and the Mekong Delta, arriving in Hanoi in Northern Vietnam was a little like arriving to a late Autumn ...

Faces of Tet – A Vietnamese Lunar New Year

Faces of Tet – A Vietnamese Lunar New Year

For the last week, Saigon has been filling with flowers. As the numbers of Westerners diminish and the hotels and restaurants become crowded with revisiting expat Vietnamese and those taking an early holiday, the signs have been abound that the ...

New Friends – Allambie

New Friends – Allambie

Never ones to over sell things, 'amazing' is a word we try not to use too casually. However, our time in Saigon has truly been 'amazing', thanks to our new friends from Allambie Orphanage [caption id="attachment_1001" align="aligncenter" width="640" caption="Clockwise ...

Satays-faction – Bali Asli Cookery School

Satays-faction – Bali Asli Cookery School

Since we were joined for New Year in Bali by some of our family and friends, we've been eating, drinking and generally making merry in the Seminak area. Our retreat, which was refreshing in so many ways, is over and ...

Rain and Rest With Friends – Melbourne

Rain and Rest With Friends – Melbourne

One aspect of long-term travelling that we perhaps hadn't anticipated, but which makes total sense when you consider it, is the fact that when you get to a place of comfort, you feel a magnetic pull just to stay there ...

Whales And Wales – Puerto Madryn

Whales And Wales – Puerto Madryn

For a nineteenth century Welsh immigrant arriving in Puerto Madryn after two months on a boat, the landscape of their new Patagonian home must have been quite a disappointment. The miles and miles of flat and featureless shrubland would surely ...

Perito Moreno Glacier – It´s Cracking!

Perito Moreno Glacier – It´s Cracking!

Perito Moreno Glacier in Southern Argentina is like nothing I´ve ever seen. Nestled in the snow-capped mountains of Patagonia, near the town of El Calafate, it´s one of only a few glaciers that are actually growing. This means the sounds ...

Portraits of Uruguay

Portraits of Uruguay

Montevideo, Uruguay... Colonia, Uruguay... Oh, and we went to the Museo del Fútbol at the Estadio Centenario in Montevideo - the home of the very first world cup...

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There was a painfully recognisable fact in the departures lounge at Salta Airport in Argentina: the number if people on our flight to Puerto Iguazu totalled exactly 18 – the number of passengers needed to fill a plane the same size as that of our nightmare flight to Rurrenabaque in Bolivia last month. Out of the window we could see […]

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The further we go,the more extremes we find in South America. Setting off from Uyuni at 6am last Sunday we shivered our way towards Tupiza in freezing temperatures. Typically Bolivian, the bus ran late and the windows were jammed open, necessitating hats, scarfs and hoods. After an hour and a half’s unexplained and unnecessary break in the less than enchanting […]

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Bolivia can make you dizzy. The speed with which you can be spun around from despair at the infrastructure, facilities, occasional attitudes and cleanliness, to sheer awe at the scenery and natural wonder, can leave even the most hardy traveller reeling somewhat. Just over a week earlier, we had been in a warm, sticky jungle environment, teeming with life. In […]

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Oruro seems to have a reputation for two things – folkloria and strikes. We have seen both here in our two rather long days with little to do except wait for the train to Uyuni. When we turned up on Sunday, a Carnival was in full flow, undampened by the rain and impending thunderstorm. These parades seem to happen rather […]

Howler monkeys in the trees of the Madidi

  Rurrenabaque is full of travel agencies offering tours to the Bolivian jungle in the relatively untouched and pristine Parque Nacional Madidi. Of course, just getting to Rurrenabaque had been a crazy and terrifying experience in itself, but we knew that when we arrived we wanted to visit the jungle with help from a community based eco-lodge. After some shopping around, we […]

Helen Machete

I´m no expert but there are certain things you don´t want to hear from your guide in the jungle – for example ‘uh oh…can you climb trees?‘ (as he draws his machete)… Our morning trek had started well enough – we´d spotted a couple of macaws, a capybara and were well on the way to finding a monkey or two. […]

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We nearly didn´t get back on. A short flight had seemed far more preferable than a 21-hour pothole-fest of a bus from La Paz to our jungle jump-off point of Rurrenabaque. But it was, in short, one of the most terrifying experiences either of us have ever had. All had gone smoothly at first: picked up from our hostel, driven […]

La Paz By Night

We like La Paz. It’s hard work walking anywhere for more than a couple of minutes, given that we’re at over 13,300 feet, but the hustle and bustle of the high life here is worth getting out of breath for. Not that it started that well. Our first hostel (rated número uno on Trip Advisor, mind you) was pretty poor. […]

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We waved adios to Peru on a three-hour bus from Puno. Tracing the edge of the vast Lake Titicaca we crossed the Bolivian border, walking through the no-man’s land populated with yet more stalls attended to by bowler-hatted ladies and money exchanges reminding us that the days of the Peruvian Sole were over, and that thinking in Bolivianos was now […]

Football - no blender

Friday night was a big(ish) night for football in Peru – the Copa America semi-finalists vs neighbouring Bolivia. So we thought we´d head to a local Pizzaria to watch. Only one problemo – Peruvian wiring is almost as dodgy as the plumbing, meaning that every time the blender was used, it looked like the match was snowed off. This wouldn´t […]

Ceviche - amazing

Let’s talk about food. It’s about time. Enough of this running up and down mountains and canyons. Enough of this getting on never-ending buses. We need sustenance! So as we prepare to leave Peru, it’s time we had it out about Peruvian food. For Peruvians too, it seems that food is very important. Here we have consistently been informed that […]

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“Avoid the ones who employ the pretty girls,” was the advice from Alexandra, the talkative Dutch lady owner of our hostel, “they don’t know what they’re talking about and you’ll end up on a bus for a day with people who don’t know better.” She was, of course, talking about tour operators, of which Arequipa is awash, and tours which […]

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August 30th is a day of celebration in Peru. We’re not too sure why, but we know it’s something to do with Santa Rosa de Lima. Google it (we haven’t).   What we do know is that in Arequipa, where we’re staying at the moment, this celebration causes otherwise serious military policemen to launch fireworks across the street without so […]

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  En Peru: The scenery is spectacular. Hot water is hard to come by. At night, any water is hard to come by . The people are lovely and very patient with our Spanglish. People drive cars as though they have no fear of death. You can get a fashion show on a train. You can play Bingo on a […]

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Saturday was Machu Picchu day and after a 5am start with breakfast in Aguas Calientes we were still at the back of the queue for the bus. This is pretty much all that Aguas exists for, letting Machu Picchu bound tourists sleep (briefly), eat (warily) and climb aboard the bus to the site. It’s a shame, because, nestled as it is in between some spectacular mountains, […]

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After leaving our excellent host family and week of school behind in Cusco, we have ventured out into the world of shared taxis (collectivos), the Sacred Valley and the superb small town of Ollantaytambo. We arrived here after a fairly hairy journey along the mountain roads, packed into a car alongside old ladies in traditional dress (one of whom comfortably […]

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Meet our new friend, Ruben, or Señor Seguridad as we prefer to call him. At first we thought he was the local crazy, walking up and down our street blowing his whistle every few minutes. However it turns out he’s one of 3 private security guards who keep the area safe 24 hours a day. He always has a ‘heylo’ […]

Worshiping the Lens God at Sacsayhuaman

As we near the end of a week of Spanish classes – we may not be fluent yet, but we have at least received praise for our advancements from many of the numerous visitors to our host family – we decided to take up the offer of a ´City Tour´from the Spanish School here in Cusco. Apparently there is no Spanish translation […]

Cusco Kites

After a week on the road, we´re finding our feet and catching our breath in Cuzco – a gorgeous old city (capital of the Inca empire) which is about 11 thousand feet above sea level.  It is seriously quite hard to catch your breath at first, but we now have lungs of steel!     We´re managing to make ourselves […]

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Many years ago I used to go on day trips to that magnificent Yorkshire theme park, Lightwater Valley. Aside from the Death Slide and The Ultimate, one of the biggest draws there was, for a while, The Rat. This ride basically consisted of an hour or so of queuing, followed by a couple of minutes of a fairly speedy roller […]

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