Slot Canyons of Arizona

Just over an hour’s drive from the Grand Canyon, far from the crazy chaos of the South Rim, is a natural wonder that for me rivals the beauty of the Grand Canyon, yet attracts a fraction of the visitors. It looks like nothing from ground level. A crack in the desert floor, giving no clue […]

Europe by train – not just for teenage backpackers!

As a student I spent many nights sleeping in European stations, on benches, in dark corners, fearing the moment when the sadistic cleaner would fire up his waterhose – usually around 3am. It was part of the adventure, and the only way a hard-up youngster could see the continent. For many of us it became […]

Churchill, Manitoba – the land of the polar bear

Coming face to face with a polar bear certainly sets the heart racing – even if the window of the vehicle is seperating us. After many such encounters during our three days on the frozen shores of Hudson Bay, it was tempting to be lulled into a false sense of comfort with these giant creatures. […]

Uganda, and a close shave with military justice

No.1 rule – NEVER photograph military parades, miliary exercise, military installations… in fact anything with the M word. No.2 rule – No.1 rule especially applies in Uganda. This photograph was taken in 1993, in the north western town of Masindi. We had been conducting eye camps in the area as part of a Vision Aid […]

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 […]