James Batty


James Batty

Central America Caribbean August 6th 2013

I started my 3 month adventure of Central America in the gargantuan Mexico City where I met my Canadian friend David who was coincidently in the same city when I arrived (we first met hitchhiking in Albania, then a year after in Moldova - I swear he is following me around the world!). After exploring the city, markets and tequila bars, I headed south to Oaxava, which was in the middle of a huge festival. Every day there was plenty of music, dancing and crazy fireworks - those Mexicans really know how to party! At one fiesta I visited in the pretty town of El Tule, I was honored as the only foreign tourist. I then travelled to the colorful colonial town of San Cristobel de Casus which also had a festival going on, with plenty ... read more
crazy butchers
David, Edit and I
some sort of animal skull

Middle East » Turkey » Marmara » Istanbul October 3rd 2011

From Moldova me and Sean went to Transilvanyia. Although Draculas castle in Bran was actually quite disapointing, Transilvania is a very beautiful Romanian mountianous region with some great quaint medievil looking towns and a peacefull atmosphere. i was quite shocked entering Sigosohara and finding the place crawling with nazis and the German Wehrmacht riding about in troop trucks and sidecars. it took along time trying to convince our German frineds there that we had just inadvertantly walked into a multimilion-pound film set and it wasnt real (they were quite tramatized). From the window of the train to Sibiu we saw the ghostly skeleton of a partly destroyed power plant - blackened shells of buildings surrounding an imposing cooling tower which looked like it could topple over at any miniute. being the curious types, we got off ... read more
Brasov square

Europe » Moldova » Transnistria September 12th 2011

From Moscow i managed to hitch a fast car all the way to Kiev in only 12 hours. i payed a 20p English coin to get through customs quicker - my smallest bribe ever! i felt slightly uncomfortable getting into Kiev when the driver started negotiating with street hookers whilst i was still in the car. i quickly left. Although almost completely destroyed in WWII, Kiev is an incredible city, with plenty of magnificent churches and a huge park at its center. Its strange how all the girls look like beautiful models and all the guys seem to be punching above their weight. As it worked out cheaper to get the train than to hitchhike (as the night train was cheaper than a night at a hostel), i got the train to Ivano Frankivsk then onto ... read more
Cycling in the woods

Europe » Ukraine September 5th 2011

Chernobyl. an infamous word connected with the fateful explosion at reactor no. 4 in Northern Ukraine. now the whole area is abandoned and still radioactive. until i visited i didn't realize the shear scope of the disaster and the true heroics and selflessness of those entrusted to contain the reactor and clean up the area. It took the USSR 2 days to admit the reactor explosion in 1986, in which time many people had already received deadly doses of radiation in the nearby city of Prypyat. Initially firefighters and pilots who flew over the site throwing sand into the fire controlled the fire which nearly caused a second explosion would have been powerful enough to make most of Europe uninhabitable. in the next year over 500,000 people were called up contain the lethal radiation and clean ... read more
30km exclusion zone
Power plant
Reactor no. 4

Europe » Russia August 29th 2011

This summers adventure is an attempt to hitchhike about 2500miles from Estonia to Turkey. i started in the beautiful medievil town of Tallinn in Estonia. aswell as sightseeing i also got a chance to see His Holyness the Dali Lama on his visit here (i was overjoyed as i missed seeing him when i went to his monastary in India 2 years ago). i went to an incredibile prison which was only closed 5 years ago. the quirkey 'meuseum' consisted of an old lady pointing to the door and letting me walk free around the whole eerie complex. it looked and felt like a 1950s lunatic asylam or an old KGB torture dungen. i intended to go to Finland, but all the hostels are booked days in advance, and im just not that organised. i went ... read more
Tallinn 2
Estonian war memorial

Europe » Kosovo October 8th 2010

After visiting the much talked about, yet slightly disappointing lake Orchid in Macedonia, all 4 of us hitchhiked to the massive Tikves winary in the South. for €5 we got a personal tour of the factory, 5 bottles of fine wine and a few shots of lethal 60% local rakkai. Hitchhiking back drunk in the evening was quite a funny experience. I’m not quite sure how I made it back to our hostel, but on our rides I kept on rambling on about how much I love the rakkai here, and somehow 2 different people gave me a 1.5litre bottle of homemade 60-80% brew. most people say threes nothing to do in the capital Skopje, but I found it one of the best cities I’ve been too - a modern part with cafes and random sculptures ... read more
Lake Orchid
random sign
prehaps the reason we were both so ill for so long!

Europe » Montenegro September 27th 2010

From Bosnia and Herzegovina i went once again to Croatia to the much talked about Dubrovnik. an incredible city full of perfectly restored buildings and saturated in history, only slightly spoiled by the hoards of package holiday makers swarming everywhere. i made the narrow winding mountain road into Montenegro in a 16 wheeler lorry - a ride which proved very frightening every time we had to reverse and edge next to the cliff whenever there was an oncoming truck. it was here in the peaceful and non touristic town of Kotor i met Audrey from America, and we ended up hitchhiking together for about a week. we made it through the mountains to a small village where we camped in a secluded spot by the river. it was really scary hearing wolves howling not too far ... read more

Europe » Bosnia & Herzegovina September 8th 2010

For the last year i have had such itchy feet to go traveling again. for this trip i and going to try and hitchhike around the Balkans without a set route, meeting new people and exploring different cultures on the way. I started with a one way flight to Split, Croatia - a beautiful medieval looking town with marble streets and quaint cafes and pizzerias. i also went to Hvar island to see the old fishing village and the rugged coastline which adjoins the crystal clear sea. i felt Croatia was quite expensive and touristy, so i soon got a bus to the small village of Jajce in Bosnia (i chickened out of hitchhiking this time). The beautiful ottoman style town hugs an impressive looking castle which overlooks a gigantic waterfall. here i stayed with a ... read more
local market
alley in Split

Asia » Nepal May 11th 2009

i could talk about the Gompas and temples,or the beautiful scenery, but it is the people of Nepal that interested me most. i have spent much time just talking to people in local food stalls. everyone just seems so friendly and keen to practice their English. Nepal is in the middle of a big coup, and things seem quite uncertain at the moment. ever since the kings brother murdered almost the entire royal family there has been no end of trouble. whilst i was in Kathmandu the president resigned after trying to sack the head of the army. there were big protests and strikes. it seems that now over 70 political parties are fighting for power. i found myself in the middle of a big Maoist (communist) rally, which was pritty surreal. i went to a ... read more
friut sellers
Bandipur #2

Asia » Nepal » Annapurna April 27th 2009

When I entered Nepal, I had one thing on my mind: the Annapurna circuit. A 2-3 week trek in the Himalayas, said to be one of the best in the world. Both physically and mentally it proved very demanding. Usually 6-7 hours hiking daily: through jungle, alpine forests, mountains and barren dessert landscapes, in rain and snow. The landscapes here are just spectacular, with views over vast lands, surrounded by towering mountains. We saw many traditional Nepalese and Tibetan villages, seemly cut off from the rest of the world, looking like something out of the lord of the rings. We came across many convoys of pony’s carrying supplies up steep rocky paths, and many wooly yaks, and eagles and giant 3m long griffins high in the sky. The trail was full of small Nepalese men portering ... read more
all prepared
strange mountian face

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