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Southern India Surprises

Southern India is a mysterious and magical place to visit and this trip captivated my inner senses.

The tour started in Mahabalipuram a sacred town on the coast on the Bay of Bengal. Here we found an array of fascinating sites to visit, including the splendid Shore Temple.

This area is rich in temples and you will not fail to be impressed by the architectural splendour of the Shore Temple and bass reliefs.

Leaving the cost we headed into the religious heartland of Tamil Nadu.

Realm of the Maya (RM)

This trip starts with four days in Mexico then moves to Guatamala with a 2 day foray into Honduras to see Copan.  This looked the most interesting itinerary of those on offer in this region with beautiful scenery, plentiful wildlife (especially birds) and interesting Sanish Colonial cities in addition to the tour of the major and some interesting minor Mayan sites and we had a great time.

Moroccan Desert Adventure - Nov 2010

From the native Berber guides, Hassan and Ismail, Asthma the camel, campfire tribal songs, our nut and date stops, races up the sand dunes, counting shooting stars in unpolluted night skies, traditional Tagine dishes, making bread in a sand oven, sharing jokes with the camel drivers... learning to tie and wear your headscarves like a Berber, the amazing villages of flat-roofed pisé houses full of smiling faces, mint tea, the tours, the “discussions” and tipping.

South Africa

Still basking in the post World Cup glory, South Africa is one of the most vibrant and exciting countries. Cape Town is one of the most spectacular cities, situated on the rolling Atlantic Ocean and beneath the impressive Table Mountain. Visit Camps Bay and Clifton for a taste of Cape Tonian life and it's excellent food and wine. From the fruitful winelands of Stellenbosch to the dry arid deserts of the Kalahari. If you’re after the Big Five (Elephant, Lion, Buffalo, Leopard and Black Rhino) , then visit Kruger National Park.


I spent nearly two years living in Ecuador and have a soft spot for the South American republic. There are few places where you will find such diversity.  A country most famous for the UNESCO protected Galapagos islands, it has a rich Andean life, shaped by the high mountains. From Quito, the capital follow the 325km long, Avenue of Volcanoes, where you will find the 9 tallest peaks in Ecuador, ranging from 5000 to 6300m in height. If your feeling really adventurous you could attempt to climb, Cotopaxi, the tallest active volcano on the planet.


The jewel of the Carribean, Cuba is one of the most memorable places I have ever been. A drive in a classic car and a mojito in Ernest Hemingway’s old haunt, La Floridita are almost obligatory. Try travelling on one of the enormous old Russian articulated trucks used as buses and better still spend an afternoon in one of the islands Cigar rolling factories. Hundreds of Cuban’s sit at desks hand rolling the iconic cigars while listing to the Cuban alternative to the Archers or learning from visiting teachers.


The Himalaya mountains must rank amongst the most beautiful in the world, and certainly no visit to this remote kingdom is complete without a trip into the snowy peaks. For the really adventurous, you can trek to Everest base camp or as I did, to Panch Pokhari, at 4050m,  the highest lake in Nepal, but Nepal isn’t just about the mountains. In the South of the country are Chitwan and Bardia National parks which are home to an impressive array of wildlife from Elephants and Rhinos to Tigers.

Costa Rica - a great place for your first adventure holiday

Costa Rica is a great place to experience your first adventure holiday. The country is small enough to explore and packed with unique adventures, from climbing the Arenal Volcano to watching Turtles hatch at the Costa Rica national park.

This blog post is from a visitor who spent a year in Costa Rica, and shares some personal insights into this beautiful country.

Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka has plenty to offer the adventurous traveller, from its rich coast life to its striking archaeology. Colombo is a hub of activity. I’d recommend tea in the Colonnial Galle Face hotel and then a stroll along the promenade where hundreds of children and their families fly kites. Sigiriya, an ancient rock fortress in the middle of the tear drop shaped island is a well worth a climb. Hot and sweaty but mind bogglingly impressive. My favourite place was Kandy and a hotel called Helga’s Folly, run by an eccentric Englishwoman and her pack of dalmations.


The home of the mighty Kilimanjaro, Tanzania is the perfect introduction to Africa for those visiting the continent for the first time. Home to the Serengeti and the Ngororo crater and its rich abundance of spectacular wildlife but also the highest mountain in Africa. My advice for those attempting to climb the 5893m peak is to train properly and give yourself enough time to summit safely. Don’t underestimate Kilimanjaro, but respect it and you will have an experience you will never forget.