This time, I was determined to take the plunge. Due to my unease with being in a swimming costume (or more precisely, being out of one), I’d missed several opportunities to visit thermal pools in the past, including the onsens in Japan and the Blue Lagoon in Iceland. Budapest, famous for its baths, was my third time lucky … More Széchenyi Baths – Taking the plunge
Like many people, I had dreamt of discovering my own tropical paradise; of stumbling upon a deserted beach with soft, white sand and swaying palm trees in some far flung corner of the world. However, I knew it was unrealistic to find a place that was both free from heavy tourism and convenient to reach, so I opted … More Aitutaki – Escaping to Paradise
From my cabin window, I gazed across the river to see an innocuous looking boat in the distance. Eager to catch a glimpse of the locals, I continued to stare at the half dozen men on board. We made eye contact. Then, with sudden, unexpected eagerness, they hastened toward me. Amused (and a little alarmed), I … More Cruising the Nile – Temples and Touts
I’d been looking forward to seeing the Giant Sequoias for a very long time – ever since one first caught my eye in a magazine I bought some ten years ago. There was a picture of a person perched on top of an enormous tree stump, leaning back with their legs comfortably crossed, gazing up at … More In the Shadow of Giants
STOP! CONSIDER TURNING BACK When these words greeted me partway through the trek, I admit I wasn’t inspired with the greatest of confidence. I stared at the bold blue warning sign and asked myself – was I really prepared? Wearing cheap, questionable trainers, I wasn’t convinced I met the criteria for “right equipment and clothing”. However, as several … More Tongariro Alpine Crossing – the best day trek in New Zealand?
Ten thousand Buddhas – how hard could they be to find? More than you might imagine, it transpires, as I became one of the many travellers who mistakenly take the wrong turn toward the neighbouring cemetery. As I climbed the steps snaking up the hillside, I sensed that something was amiss when an outdoor escalator came into … More Ten Thousand Buddha monastery – how not to miss the turn
I was warned, before entering the ice cave, that I would have to crouch. Being on the short side, I smiled at the idea, confident that the advice was aimed at the taller members of our group. Armed an icepick, I felt appropriately adventurous, and excited to be ticking off another dream from my travel wish-list. … More Crystal Caves