At 25-years of age I was unaware what a ‘take me’ moment was let alone realise that several had already passed me by. That was until I found myself swapping travel stories with Brett from Perth in a bar in Indonesia. Continue reading
I recommend a visit to the Museum of Memory and Human Rights to anyone who has an hour or more to spare in Santiago, Chile and an interest in getting their historical perspectives and worldview correctly aligned. Hugely pictorial in design it is highly evocative of the horrific events that stained this country to the core over forty years ago. Continue reading
If one had to judge the culture and sophistication of a city by the aroma level of stale urine in the air then Valparaiso in Chile would not rate very highly. It would also fall down on the amounts of rubbish and dog shit littering the cobbled streets. However, that would be to do Valparaiso a disservice. Continue reading
‘Be Careful with the Patagonian Wind’ read the small label on the inside ledge of the driver side door. I remembered Alejandro’s words and slowly wound down the side window. Wind hissed in as though escaping under pressure and a blast of cold air nearly sucked my sunglasses from my face. Holding both the door handle and the frame I cautiously began to open the door. Stable at first, the door soon became a wild beast of a thing as it began to catch a proportionately larger share of the wind and when it was side on it took off like a greyhound from a trap. I was physically pulled out of the driver’s seat and onto the ground, only just managing to maintain a hold on the door and stop it from being torn from its hinges and blowing into the wild blue yonder. Welcome to Patagonia. Continue reading
Shopping is not, ever has been, nor ever will be, high on my list of priorities. Thus walking around city centres can often leave me a little bored unless I raise my gaze away from the plate glass windows that have been ripped out of the bowels of the buildings and look at what lies above. London, Paris, New York and today Montevideo: the assortment of architecture in an old city can be breathtaking. And today, on rounding a street corner, I was rewarded with a rare treat, a fabulous confection of a building rising 27-floors up and above the Plaza de Independencia. Watched over by Uruguay’s homegrown liberating hero José Artigas astride a massive mount, the Palacio Salvo was the work of Italian immigrant Mario Palanti, a resident of Buenos Aires. Continue reading
The El Tigre bus shuddered to a halt at Platform 9. It looked nothing like the picture above the office where we had booked that morning. This ‘tiger’ was a toothless, slack-striped old growler of a machine. The day suddenly looked like being a lot harder than anticipated. Continue reading
Mention British beaches to many foreigners and they will screw up their faces and tell you that they are all stones and rocks. Well, yes, there are some like that, as there are all over the world, but they are in the minority and the actual diversity of UK beaches is staggering. With over 7,500-miles of coastline the United Kingdom gives you a lot of coastal bang for your buck. But a certain part of that green and pleasant land holds what, to me, are some of the finest beaches in the UK and, I’ll go out on a limb here and say, one of the finest in the world. Continue reading
It wasn’t until our eyes adjusted to the lack of light beneath the thick canopy of jungle that we saw the rifles leaning against the trunk of a palm tree.
“Hola, buenas dias,” we said walking across the clearing, making sure to maintain eye contact with the three men sitting on upturned buckets and not at their armoury.
‘Buenas,” they replied giving us the scantest of looks. Continue reading
They all looked like children and had been chatting animatedly for over half an hour. Two then upped and offed to the bathroom leaving a teenage girl with wispy brown hair sitting in the corner. A hummingbird hovered above her head as it probed the plastic feeder hanging from the gutter for sugar syrup. Continue reading
We met walking. And by that I mean it was when we first really spent time doing something that we both loved to do. The summit of Pen Y Fan in the Brecon Beacons, Wales in late summer of 2003 will always hold a very special place in our collective memories: it was where ‘We’ began. Continue reading