Archive for the ‘Travelogue’ Category

7 Days in Sri Lanka Day 6 – Ella

7 Days in Sri Lanka Day 6 – Ella

I awoke early to go for a morning bird-watching walk with the amiable Keith around the camp.  The electric elephant fence that ringed the camp had been partly destroyed in the night, and we could see elephant tracks and sloth bear tracks….and leopard tracks, fresh ones.   To think just a minute’s walk from our […]

Azores – a week on Sao Miguel Island Day 6 – Furnas, Gorreana Tea Plantation, Ponta Formoso and Moheina beach

Azores – a week on Sao Miguel Island Day 6 – Furnas, Gorreana Tea Plantation, Ponta Formoso and Moheina beach

They say meat cooked under the earth tastes better.  The meat stew (a delicious combination of pigs ears and chicken, with sliced cabbage and carrots thrown in for good measure), cooked underground for 7 hours using the natural heat from the volcanic earth,  tastes slightly sulphurous (boiling pots are wrapped in cloth to keep the […]

Azores – a week on Sao Miguel Island Day 5 – Sete Cidades, Mosteiros, Ferreira

Azores – a week on Sao Miguel Island Day 5 –  Sete Cidades, Mosteiros, Ferreira

We gave in and hired a car today – smart move, SMART car, for 30 euros a day, in a bid to reach one of the 7 Natural Wonders of Portugal – Sete Cidades.  We packed sandwiches, cobbled together from the bland breakfast buffet at the hotel, and headed off into the hills in search […]

Azores – A week on Sao Miguel Island Days 3 and 4 – Whale Watching, Ponta Delgada, and Sao Roque

Azores – A week on Sao Miguel Island Days 3 and 4 – Whale Watching, Ponta Delgada, and Sao Roque

The weather in the Azores is notoriously unpredictable – there are 4 seasons in one day,  and the weather changes all the time, according to the locals.  Unfortunately for us, when it got to rain, the changing stopped.  And so the next 2 days were spent in a kind of limbo, but were certainly not […]

Azores – A Week on Sao Miguel Island Day 2 – Lagoa Do Fogo and Caldeira Velha

Azores – A Week on Sao Miguel Island Day 2 – Lagoa Do Fogo and Caldeira Velha

The local panadarias in Portugal are a delight.  There’s never a need to fork out for a fancy hotel buffet, not when you can have delicious ham and cheese pastries, a bola de arroz (rice cup cake), and a coffee surrounded by locals and local noises – the clattering of coffee cups, the metallic ring […]

Azores – A week on Sao Miguel Island Day 1 – Ponta Delgada

Azores  – A week on Sao Miguel Island Day 1  – Ponta Delgada

The compact archipelago of the Azores, specks of land in the middle of the Atlantic some 1,500km off the coast of Portugal, first appeared on my travelling radar a little over three years ago as I flipped through National Geographic’s ‘100 Journeys of a Lifetime’ coffee table book. There, whale-watching was highlighted, the author claiming […]

Madeira Day 4 – Funchal

Madeira Day 4 – Funchal

With a flight in the early evening, we decided to spend the last day exploring Funchal’s hills.  We strolled through the narrow sun-drenched streets to the sea front, taking photos of the colourful painted doors (some much more tastefully assualted than others), and sat down for a while on the promenade wall taking in the […]

Madeira Day 3 – West Island tour

Madeira Day 3 – West Island tour

Organised tours are generally not my cup of tea…being herded from site to site, crushed under the hoofs of 50 pairs of sandaled feet that people seem to think is quite OK to wear white socks underneath, an expensive lunch stop that is generally a thrown-together buffet of ‘local food’….and repeating that mundane ‘getting to […]

Madeira Day 2 – East Island Tour

Madeira Day 2 – East Island Tour

Luis Suarez, wearing a suit with black bowtie and a chauffeur’s hat, greeted us at the hotel and asked us what we wanted to see on our personalised afternoon tour of the east of the island.  Well, a Louis Suarez lookalike at least, who took his role as private chauffeur very seriously.  He recommended an […]

4 Days in Madeira Day 1 – Around Funchal

4 Days in Madeira Day 1 – Around Funchal

It’s wonderful when a place completely surpasses your expectations.  Every view seems sharper and more colourful, every ice-cream creamier and tastier, every exchange with a local friendlier, and every passion fruit poncha (the strong local cocktail made of rum, honey, sugar and lemon rind) more potent and delicious.  Madeira definitely exceeded our expectations.  The only […]

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