NZ: Waitomo, Napier and Taupo

Setting out from Auckland with a sense of adventure and a dismally underpowered Toyota Yaris, I headed for the first location on my printed itinerary: Waitomo.  Waitomo is renowned for its network of limestone caves and underground rivers. Thinking this sounded like a good holiday spot, a host of glow worms decided to visit. They…

Montevideo, golf and stuff 

Hola from Montevideo! No, that is not the name of the South American version of Blockbuster, it is the capital of Uruguay. Nestled between the its vast neighbours, Brazil and Argentina, Uruguay is comparatively tiny. In fact, had the direct flights to Lima not been easier from here, I wouldn’t have considered a visit. However,…

The pen IS the sword!

I am a self-confessed “word geek” and am accused by my friends of frequent “grammar nazism”. It’s true. I frequently, shamefully, make judgments about people based on a stray comma, poor syntax, a misspelling. When I attempt to defend my pedantry (which is often indefensible) in debates, the same argument is often used: “The important…

Thoughts on racial descrimination

The West End show “Avenue Q” famously has a song entitled, “Everyone’s a little bit racist”. It pokes subversive fun at our prejudice, our stereotyping and our subconscious biases. Whilst in no way peculiar to this area, during my time in southern Africa I have been privy to numerous conversations which treat the subject of…

Northern Namibia #1

Back on the road again! I am collected from Rivendell hostel and taken to the meeting point in Windhoek to commence my 7-day tour ofnorthern Namibia. I found a similarly convivial crowd to the last tour, mostly slightly older (a 22-year old German girl, a mid-thirties Kenyan girl and I were the the only three…

Of no fixed abode

I’m writing this post standing up. Because there is a sofa-shaped void where my sofa-shaped sofa once stood. I won’t trouble you with another photograph but my bed is similarly absent. “So what?” says Susan, 27, Manchester, who has clicked into a travel blog to read about exotic locations rather than non-existent furniture. And yes,…

Hong Kong

A fragrant harbour: that’s what Hong Kong means A slight misnomer residents agree For putrid smells like winged malicious fiends Assail the nostrils most pugnaciously. The skyscrapers that perforate the clouds Are all that hold the heavy skies in place And far below, like ants, the madding crowd Phone out, heads down, zig-zig at glacial…

Impressions of HK

My take on HK – the point of departure for my round-the-world trip.