Kyrgyzstan – the untamed land of nomads

As the sun dropped behind the imposing Tien Shen range to our west, the mercury plummeted. In less than 30 minutes we went from relaxing out on the pasture in T-shirt and shorts, to tightly wrapping up with a hat, gloves and several warm layers to keep out the mountain chill. Kyrgyzstan is a land […]

Belarus – Europe’s last true dictatorship

I have to admit that Belarus is not top of many people’s holiday lists.My trip too, was not made on the pretext of visiting many of the fascinating historic sites of this sleepy corner of eastern Europe. I had come here with eight of my family members to find the village where my father had […]

Port Arthur, Tasmania – where ghosts roam free

I have to admit to finding evening “Ghost Walks” a bit dull – whether it is in York, Edinburgh or London, the stories are pretty much the same, and they are typically from a time so long ago that it is difficult to picture the details of the story in my mind, let alone afford […]

Machu Picchu – The Inca Trail

If you’re going to hike for four days, in my view it’s important to have a grand finale planned at the end of your efforts; something that will drive you on when your legs and body are weary and you feel the muscles aching when you are climbing yet another peak. No hike we have […]

Old Damascus – a place to lose yourself

Damascus is the world’s oldest continuously inhabited city. As you enter the maze of streets that make up the Old City, you might not see evidence of thousands of years of dwelling, but a sense of history in the buildings that surround you is evident around every corner you turn. Unlike many old cities, the […]

Wild California – Channel Islands National Park, CA

For a state that is blessed with many of America’s most spectacular national parks, California does not make much noise about its little islands off the coast of Santa Barbara. But if you take the boat out to Santa Cruz or its smaller neighbour Anacapa, you will enter an environment that is distinctly un-Californian, and […]

Malawi – the warm heart of Africa. And Rod Stewart.

Labels such as these (the first part at least) are created by marketing teams to promote destinations, often in a nice office thousands of miles from the country in question. This one however is certainly apt. The openness, warmth and ubiquitous smiles we encountered in Malawi were a joy to experience. We did indeed experience […]

The Golden Temple of Amritsar – India at its best

What makes our visit to Amritsar the highlight of India for me? Is it the striking golden structure perched as though floating on a serenely peaceful lake? Is it the sight of so many devoted pilgrims quietly absorbing the surroundings at the holiest site for the Sikh religion? Or even the lively hustle and bustle […]

Norfolk Coastal Path: A perfect weekend – 50 miles of coast, no car

4 days of hiking – carrying all that you need on your back, staying in B&Bs and pubs along the route, and the crashing waves a constant companion. If this sounds like your idea of a relaxing break, read on… We completed the Norfolk Coastal Path recently, or a sunny, if not warm, weekend. It […]