Zebras Cuddling

Insights

A Hell of a place to lose a cow

The wind rattles through my clothes, lifting the hat off my head and spitting dust at my legs. My empty water bottle clinks against my backpack, lungs gasping in the thin air. The vista below is a fairyland of multi-coloured stone spires stretching as far as the eye can see, shimmering in hues of orange, pink and red in the changing sunlight.

Standing on the edge of Bryce Canyon’s Sunset Point, Utah was living up to its advertising slogan: ‘Life Elevated’.

Highs & Lows: Off-Roading in Croatia

Following two excellent trips to Dubrovnik and the enchanting islands of the Dalmatian Coast, Croatia sits in top spot on my list of favourite European destinations. This laid-back country, steeped in medieval history and lapped by turquoise waters, is home to smooth tarmac roads that would make for a very pleasant road ride... if that had been what I was looking for!

The sour oranges of Barcelona

Plastic scrapes along the coarse river bed, ripples lapping at the shore. The chipped wooden oars come to rest in the shallow water beneath us. On a grassy mound in the distance I am distracted by two men standing knee deep in the River Toa, casting and reeling for fish as they laugh with each other. A large steady hand stretches out, helping me find my footing on the slippery bank.

In the footsteps of a Legend

Nepal, Kathmandu and Everest – a few names I became aware of early in life having spent my formative years on a certain little Southern Hemisphere island. Down there you learn about the mystical kingdom of Nepal even if you fail to pay attention at school! All thanks to one man – one unassuming Kiwi who made it to the top of the world and, more importantly, back down again in 1953. Sir Edmund Hillary. He is even on the NZ$5 note.

Joyce's story

Joyce is a little eight-year-old girl who lives 100 yards away from our school in Kasalu, Zambia. I met her last December and discovered she was not attending school.

She was a very quiet, softly spoken kid with a downtrodden demeanour and a sad face. Her life had been pretty tough so far. Her mother had died, her father abandoned her and she was living with an aunt. An aunt not overly keen on her presence, an aunt that made her work all day, threw in the odd beating and refused to let her attend school as it cost too much.

A first taste of India

“Did you get ill then?” seems to be the first question that comes to mind when you tell people you’ve just come back from India. It may not be an actual medical condition but it seems as if everyone knows about the dreaded Delhi Belly. It was with that in my mind that I made the decision to avoid meat (and Delhi) on my first trip to the country.

Mirror, Signal, "Mush"

Mirror, signal, manoeuvre. Basics we learn, but perhaps soon forget (or choose to ignore) on the road to becoming qualified drivers.  In the dogsledding world if you get anchor, handbrake and “mush” in the wrong order you will end up on your own, watching as your team of dogs speed off into the pristine distance without you. I found out to my cost whilst trying a mitten removal operation, at speed, hoping to get a quick snap on my camera of the approaching reindeer.  Of course I dropped my mitten and it was quickly out of reach.

Antarctic reflections

Antarctica is so much more than the sum of its parts. It took a second visit to really appreciate this. As with all travel experiences, memories are dictated by the pictures taken, the diaries kept and the anecdotes relayed upon return. As months turn to years, what is left are fragments of the experience: isolated incidents and frozen images of time spent away. This is unavoidable and as reflective of life itself as it is of travel.

A Feast of Wild Places: Patagonia

Charred and smoking, piles of red hot coal formed a line of fire, dividing the town’s main square. Plumes of ash flew into the air as a local parrillero braved the searing heat to tend to the burning coals; an iron rod clenched in one hand, he wiped the soot from his face with the other. Raised above the flames were 12 metal spits, each containing a lamb, splayed open to slowly and evenly roast in the heat of the open pit.

Culinary Odyssey (part 4): La Paella, Spain

Like this recipe? Check out loads more from all over the world in our new Exodus cookbook!

The paella I like to make at home is an all singing, all dancing affair laden with seafood and meat, although regional Spanish variations abound. Let's just say this is the champion's version, and in this supposed gloomy economic climate making this lavish but simple dish will bring a smile to your face and a content fullness to your stomach.

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