I’m staring out the window of a 737 as we clear the coast of Borneo. Down below me is a sea of palm trees, one of the many palm oil plantations which have taken over the island in recent years, causing untold damage to the ecosystem. But from up here they are a beautiful sight, extending in pleasingly uniform rows across the landscape.… Keep readingRead more
When they think of Cambodia, most people think of two things. There is the splendour of the temple complex of Angkor Wat, glowing golden in the sunset at the jungle’s edge; and then there is the regime of Pol Pot and the Khmer Rouge, the reign of terror which I still clearly remember seeing on the news in my late childhood and teenage years.… Keep readingRead more
Now, if you’re anything like me, you grew up thinking that monkeys were cute. I mean, what’s not to like? They’re fluffy, with long tails to swing from trees, plus they have tiny hands just like ours on their feet. They tick every box.
Then I started travelling. To be fair to monkeys, they probably are cute, deep down.… Keep readingRead more
Evening is falling, and I am in a boat on the Ganges. We are in Varanasi, and have made our way downtown by cycle rickshaw, two of us ladies squeezed into a seat which was surely made for narrower hips than ours, pedalled through slums and down busy city streets to the river’s edge.… Keep readingRead more
I went to Moldova in March 2016.
It was a fluke, really. I was in Bucharest for work, and having already spent some free time in Romania on a previous trip, I was keen to go somewhere different. Moldova is one of those places which have fascinated me for years, in part because I was never sure if I would ever get there.… Keep readingRead more
So I’m vegetarian. Or not really; I eat fish, which makes me a pescatarian, but that always sounds pretentious so I usually go with “vegetarian who eats fish”. Which normally either (a) confuses people or (b) prompts them to say “don’t you mean pescatarian”? But I digress.
Anyway, I have recently returned from a wonderful New Year trip to Poland, where we stayed in a spa town on the southern border with Slovakia, ate and drank far too much, went on wintery hikes, and memorably tried snowshoeing (which is much more fun downhill than uphill… at least until you go the wrong way, reach a bit which is steeper than you meant to attempt, fall over when you try it anyway, and have to shuffle the rest of the way down on your bottom because you can’t stand up again in snowshoes on a steep hill.… Keep readingRead more
Trinidad de Cuba, 23 October 2014
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The following are notes I made during a memorably rainy night in Cuba, October 2014. My attempts to miss the wet season on this trip failed miserably, but it made it more of an adventure. The notes below have not been edited since I scribbled them at the time, determined to capture the feeling for posterity.
The year is 2009. I’m in Africa for the first time in my life – specifically, in the Namibia “panhandle” which extends along the top of Botswana, close to the border with Angola. In short, it’s one of the most exotic places I’ve been in my life so far.
We are staying at the most backpacker-y place we have stayed yet: Ngepi Camp.… Keep readingRead more
(Photo taken in Anakao, Madagascar, September 2015)
“The world is a book, and those who do not travel read only a page”.
Or so (apparently) said St. Augustine, if you believe the idea that someone just so happened to record the moment for posterity.
Anyway, I’ve always rather liked the expression.… Keep readingRead more
I’ve been lucky enough, over the last 10 years or so, to visit some truly incredible places.
In fact, I’ve been dreaming about travel for as long as I can remember. As a little girl, I remember playing for hours with my doll, daydreaming about a life somewhere exotic and far from home.… Keep readingRead more