The Breathtaking Beauty of Bolivia’s Eduardo Avaroa National Reserve

Bolivia is often overlooked in favour of its more accessible neighbours Peru and Chile, but to bypass it is to miss out on one of the most captivating countries on Earth. With Amazonian jungle, Andean plains, colonial cities and the incredible Salar de Uyuni salt flats, the diversity of this landlocked nation deserves to be appreciated. And it was to one of Bolivia’s most striking landscapes that I was most drawn during my South American...

Impressions of India Part 2 – A Brief Stopover in Bangalore

A few months ago, I introduced you to my former colleague David Bader (and his unique way of seeing things), as he visited India on a work familiarisation trip. We now join David on days 3 and 4 of his visit. As with the first article, (I recommend you read it first if you haven’t already done so!) it’s a collection of his thoughts and observations, told as only he can tell them. Here is the second instalment of ‘Impressions of India’.

The Rare Ecosystem and Alien Landscapes of Paracas National Reserve in Peru

With the gold and russet dunes folding into each other in the distance, I stepped straight out onto the arid Martian landscape. Or so it seemed. If it wasn’t for the bold blue of our earthly sky, I could have sworn I’d just set foot on our neighbouring planet. That, and the fact I wasn’t wearing a spacesuit or breathing apparatus! It certainly wasn’t the panorama I was expecting to be met by when I booked...

Lilla Torg – medieval Malmö’s little square, in pictures

  ‘If you’re short on time, you’ve got to visit Lilla Torg first’, my fellow hotel guest advised, without hesitation, ‘it’s a beautiful little medieval square less than 15 minutes from here’. And I was indeed short on time. I had just a few hours – a tiny window during a hectic weekend celebrating my best friend’s son’s wedding, where I could explore Malmö, Sweden’s gateway city from across the Øresund Bridge, which connects the country...

7 reasons to feel the love on Valentine’s Day

Love is in the air… Well… for some, perhaps – certainly there’s some love from the retail sector, as cash registers go ker-ching across the western world. This is because we’re all rushing out to buy the perfect (i.e. not too gushing/rude/cutesy) Valentine card, frantically trying to book a half-decent restaurant (because, quite frankly, you’ve left it too late), or choosing the least-cheap-looking bunch of flowers we can afford (seriously, how much can a dozen...

How to Enjoy Discovering Wine on a Wine Tasting Discovery Day

I’ve never won anything in my life. Unless you count the work Christmas raffle, where everybody gets something, but that ‘something’ is usually the last of those awful soap samples gifted by a client 7 months previously. So, when a friend tagged me on a Facebook wine-tasting course competition, I nonchalantly followed the liking/sharing instructions and entered my name. Obviously, I won – otherwise this wouldn’t be much of a post. Not only was I...

Tea Gardens & Tolstoy, at Tuckton in Dorset

Along the river Stour estuary in Dorset, it’s not unusual to see a flurry of activity at any given time. It could be a synchronicity of oars from Christchurch Rowing Club on a Saturday morning, or a chorus of quacks and cackles from a medley of local wildfowl at Stanpit Marsh at sundown. Or perhaps ramblers taking in the views from the Stour Valley Way, the long-distance footpath that runs along almost all the river’s...

Back to the future: 10 places I have to revisit…and why!

As is customary for most people at this time of year, including travel writers, thoughts turn to the year to come and travel wish lists are drawn up. 12 months ago saw me being oh-so-ambitious about my travel plans, only to have most of them scuppered for one reason or another. This got me thinking about travel wishes in a different light. Rather than always hankering after new destinations for the coming year, my thoughts...

Top Winter Solstice Celebrations in the Northern Hemisphere

The December solstice, often misleadingly called just the ‘winter’ solstice, is a phenomenon which marks the point of midwinter in the northern hemisphere (and conversely, midsummer in the southern hemisphere). It occurs around the 21st December (it can vary slightly) on the longest night of the year – or of course, the longest day if you’re in Australia or Patagonia, for example! In simple terms, we experience the solstices because the Earth is tipped at...

Memorable Moments from a Round-the-World Trip Bid

The one time I attempted a round-the-world trip, a few years back, I spectacularly failed to complete it. When I say ‘spectacularly failed’, I mean circumstances outside my control forced me to reluctantly head home after just 4 months. And yet, almost every time I talk about that particular trip, I seem to skim past the months of adventure leading up to the moment when it all went wrong, focussing instead on the tale of...