What’s in your travel bag? My 5 travel essentials

I recently joined Instagram, which is a terrible time-waster   great source of travel inspiration. I love the wanderlust-inducing travel shots, but also the small insights into people’s worlds, halfway around the globe. A morning coffee here, a pet photo there. And I love the little details about travel most of all. I’ve been meaning to…

I left my heart in…Chapada dos Guimaraes

    “Ah, my other son. He’s in some tiny town in the far north, in Piaui state. I’ve never heard of it.” Our laid-back guide rolled the window down and shrugged. There’s many unknown places in Brazil. Take Chapada dos Guimaraes. It may be the official geodesic centre of South America, but until we…

Falling in love with travel again

This isn’t the post I planned to write this morning – I have a whole list of things to share from my recent trip and I will get to them! But I am missing being on the road like crazy today, so here goes. You may have noticed a slight change in the focus of…

Bolivia to Brazil – trip highlights in photos

I’ve just returned from a great trip which took me from Bolivia to Brazil, through stunning landscapes and surprising cities. While I gather my thoughts, here are a few of the best pictures from my trip. Above – with ‘sticker Pope’ in Santa Cruz, Bolivia. We were there during the papal visit, along with an…

Mamiraua – discover the Amazon in a unique place

Many years ago Mamiraua was my first introduction to Brazil and I’ve been in love ever since. Nothing I’ve done before or since has left such an impression as that journey. Below are my original travel diary notes of my first impressions.   Tefe looks pretty relaxed after Manaus, or maybe it’s just the illusion…

Five gorgeous Scottish drives

Scotland is home to some stunning scenic drives – many of which can also be accessed partly by public transport. Although I don’t drive, I’m lucky enough to usually visit with family members who do. Here are some of my favourite drives on the west coast of Scotland. Glen Fruin across to Garelochead Photo credit-…

Explore the Lakshadweep Islands – camping on your own desert island

I never had the Robinson Crusoe fantasy, until I laid eyes on Thinnakara, a tiny coral island in the Lakshadweep islands, 200 kms off the Keralan coast. The Lakshadweep islands are the Maldives without the intensive tourism.  They form the northern tip of the same chain of coral islands and atolls and were known as…

How to uncover Cochin’s secrets (and shop where Prince Charles did)

Cochin is fascinating, if you have time to do more than scratch the surface. Intriguing stories hide behind every door, in overgrown graveyards and Hindu temples, old lighthouses that are now hotels, fishermen’s shacks and tiny art galleries. Sitting in the garden of a hotel way over my budget (some fresh grilled fish in the…

An unexpected love for Budapest (and 5 tips to make your visit shine)

I’m a contrary type. Tell me I’ll love something and I’ll think, really? Love for a place is so personal, one person’s favourite leaves another cold. I was curious about Budapest, but I didn’t expect to love it. It’s in a land-locked country, the buildings I searched Google images for looked solid but uninspiring, a…

I left my heart in…Mexico City

I’m a city girl at heart, but it takes a certain magic combination to win me over. If you asked me to define it I’d say vibrant, colourful cities full of music and culture always have a certain appeal. I like quirky places that have their own soul as well. So I’m starting an occasional…