When I first went travelling to Tanzania 12 years ago, I used to go to the post office each day to check for letters. There was one computer with internet in the local town of Lushoto, and my uncle was one of the only people I knew who had an email address. When I sent him an email, it would take at least an hour to put together over the rickety modem connection. This cabin, on Isla del Sol in Lake Titicaca, made me think back to those days. It exists in one of the most remote locations on Earth yet I was barely surprised to see it. Perhaps I sound like a Grandma, but my how things have changed.
Back in July, I received an email from Kate McCulley, better known as Adventurous Kate. She was replying to an email I’d sent, and in it she mentioned an event she and a group of other experienced bloggers were running in September. They were offering a group of new bloggers the chance to stay with them in a villa in Spain and pick their brains on everything blogging. It was an amazing opportunity with one glaring pitfall: I was in Argentina and it was in Europe. Read more
My relationship with alcohol is complicated. I drink it but I couldn’t say I like it. Alcoholism runs in the family. There have been deaths, and it caused me terror in childhood. I once thought I’d steer clear of it for life, but it didn’t work out like that. I became a teenager in England; I joined the herds, I mixed horrendous concoctions, I binged and I was sick.
If you’re not English, perhaps this sounds outrageous Read more
The witches market in La Paz is one of the most popular sights for tourists. We were staying right next to it so walked past the women selling their wares every day. The most disturbing thing was the preponderance of llama fetuses hanging from every stall. People bury them under their homes for luck and prosperity. Despite her displeased expression, I promise I did ask the woman in the photo if I could take her picture!
“She doesn’t know”, “I don’t know”, “She really doesn’t know?”. My friends were shocked, on arrival in Porto, to find that I, their reliably prepared friend, had no idea what to do that weekend. I am that person – the one who finds the flights, fusses over hotels, and researches what to do. I’m the organiser – but this time, in Porto, between preparing for TBU and being at TBU, I just hadn’t done it. I’d got as far as finding a hostel, but beyond that all I knew was that there was port to drink and the stunning Lello bookstore to be visited.
Most surprising of all, I didn’t care that I didn’t know. Read more
We journeyed to San Pedro de Atacama partly in search of its promised cosmic vistas of our local neighbourhood galaxy. One night we took a guided ‘star tour’ out of the town to gaze through a dozen telescopes( ranging from the modest to the elaborate) at star clusters, nebulae, breathtakingly bright binary stars and saturn, rings and all. We set the camera on the ground and left it for the longest possible exposure to capture this picture of the Milky Way above us. This is our home.