Travels

Experiencing Niagara Falls

It was reasonably easy to get to the falls (Ontario side) from Buffalo, a Megabus to Niagara Falls, and then a straightforward walk from the bus terminal along the Olympic Torch Trail. We’d been able to leave luggage at the bus terminal, in what felt like a slightly under-the-counter transaction but apparently happens fairly often. The trail ends right around…

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Travels

Currumbin, Mount Warning, and Sydney

I’m fortunate to be sent by my work to places that form new bases for adventure and exploration, places that it might take me longer to get to under my own steam. It’s how I got to Australia this year. I was in Gold Coast for a week, and took advantage of a clear weekend to go surfing, visit Currumbin…

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Hiking, Travels

What do you think when your head’s full?

I made a somewhat desperate impromptu escape from London to one of my favourite parts of England. I grew up not far from the Peak District and continue to love its dramatic landscapes. My favoured destinations are in the Dark Peak, the higher and wilder uninhabited northern part. It may not be everyone’s cup of tea; it’s bleak and windswept,…

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Travels

When a bird sounds like a jet plane

I went for a walk in the jungle at dawn. Alone. Of course I did. Still jet lagged and awake at at 5am, it seemed sensible to be up and ready at the gate of Tikal National Park in time for the 6am opening. With no electricity and not a huge amount to do during that hour, I was early,…

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Travels

A tour of Sri Lanka – Part II

A very very brief stopover in Kandy gave us the opportunity to take in a bustling city. Opting not to spend the hours in line for the busy tourist spots, we took a walk around the lake and through the back streets and markets. The primary reason for visiting Kandy was actually to pick up the train to Ella. This…

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Travels

A tour of Sri Lanka – part I

As with most of my travels, I arrived in Sri Lanka with a cloud of interesting ideas but no real itinerary. This time, a combination of train strikes and weather helped make the initial decision easy. Beach bad, hills good. However, the first part of the journey was going to be the most challenging, and the easiest option seemed to…

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Travels

Sensations and Suggestions of Guatemala

As a contrast to the otherworldly landscapes of my first day in Guatemala, today I take a trip to Antigua. The old capital of Guatemala has many reminders of the Spanish invasion from the Baroque churches to the Moorish arcades. The colours are incredible and though the centre of town is very clearly changing to accommodate the increasing tourist population…

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Hiking, PCT 2015, Travels

Day 34: Heavy Packs

The planned early start fell by the wayside quickly; the prospect of a hotel breakfast and the failure to arrange a ride to the trail yesterday combined to delay our departure from Tehachapi until around 8.30am, which meant hiking after 9am. It’s definitely warmer by then, and the temperatures have been rising as predicted. The stretch from mile 566 where…

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Hiking, PCT 2015, Travels

Day 13: Idyllic Idyllwild

Sleeping in the shadow of mount San Jacinto tonight after a race for the waning light. What a change from this morning! I was in Idyllwild first thing to run some errands: buy more food and ibuprofen, wash socks and recharge batteries (literally and figuratively). The day started on a high with a message from Chug to arrange breakfast. He,…

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