Page 2 of Riz7 Travel Blog Posts

Africa » Tanzania » North » Tarangire National Park September 15th 2018

From Zanzibar we’ve made our way by ferry to Dar es Salaam and then by bus (a very long day!) to Arusha where we begin a 6 day Tanzania camping safari. Two of our friends from England join us here and we will travel together for this safari and afterwards for 12 days in Uganda. Tarangire National Park is our 1st stop out of Arusha. It’s not one of the better known game parks so I’m unsure of what we’ll see here, but I shouldn’t have been worried, the game viewing here is excellent. It’s been almost 30 years since we were last in East Africa (and that was in Kenya) but I’m aware of a number of high profile stories about the problems of poaching and threats to animal numbers such as elephant, but it ... read more
More wildebeest

Africa » Tanzania » Zanzibar » Nungwi September 10th 2018

From Zanzibar city we bus it to the very north of the island to Nungwi. This is a good beach area and has several dive schools - I have arranged for us to do a couple of days diving with Spanish Dancers dive centre and we have a room only a hundred metres away so it’s all very convenient and a good place to relax for a few days. The diving is a little mixed. The first day we dive off the west coast near to Nungwi and though the fish life is good the visibility is only about 10m – so it’s a little disappointing. The 2nd day we go to Mnemba Atoll, on the east coast and a 40min speedboat ride away and have a superb couple of dives, excellent vis and great diversity ... read more

Africa » Tanzania » Zanzibar » Zanzibar City September 6th 2018

After Europe we’ve planned 6 weeks or so in East Africa, starting with a few days in what we hope will be a reasonably relaxing spot – Zanzibar. Zanzibar is perhaps best known historically for being the hub of the slave trade, and though the slave market was closed in 1876 (after pressure from the British) you can still see the old slave chambers where there is an excellent and very informative museum about the slave trade. One other interesting sight in Stone Town is Freddie Mercury’s old home where his family lived until moving to the UK in 1964. It turns out to be only metres from where we are staying, but the Mercury bar which plays non-stop Queen songs is overlooking the harbour 10 minutes walk away. I like the feel of Stone Town ... read more

Europe » Greece » South Aegean » Amorgos August 31st 2018

We’ve flown to Greece to spend a few days sailing with our friends from Melbourne who live on a yacht here. They have spent most of this summer in Turkey but we join them just as they start their sail back across the Aegean to Greece. We fly into Kos and meet them there. We have some good days sailing, first north to Leros and then a long day sail across to Amorgos. Although we originally planned to sail further, either to Naxos or Paros, but the weather forecast isn’t great so we decide to sail north from Amorgos anchor for the night and then sail back to Amorgos from where there is a regular ferry we can take to Pireaus. Amorgos isn’t one of the better known Cyclades islands but is a lovely spot. The ... read more

Europe » Iceland » Southwest » Reykjavík July 26th 2018

Although mid July is a few weeks past high summer in Iceland (64 degrees north) the sun doesn’t really ever set at this time of year. The most darkness you seem to get is a sort of twilight at 1am or so, so for light sleepers heavy curtains are a good idea. We have 8 days here on a stopover between Central America and the UK and our friend Jackie joins us for 6 of these. We have hired a car to get around (you really do need to do this) and by a stroke of good fortune have been upgraded to a vehicle that we are permitted to drive on the unsealed highland roads, known as “F” roads. Unusually for us we have booked all of our accommodation in advance, partly to try to keep ... read more

The only thing we want to do in Panama is see the canal and fortunately that’s pretty easy to do from Panama City as it’s only 5km from the main bus station to the Miraflores lock visitor centre. In order to see something interesting we need to hang around for a couple of hours, but are then rewarded by the bulk carrier “Pretty Sight” and the car transporter “Courageous Ace” heading south through the locks towards the Pacific. The viewing platform is next to the original locks built in 1913, but there are now a new and larger set about 1km west of where we are built to take longer and wider vessels. Panama City is quite unlike anywhere else we have been in Central America with an impressive skyline of modern tower blocks. There is ... read more

Having read that the Osa peninsular is one of the last great jungle destinations in Costa Rica (and maybe the whole of Central America) we thought we ought to visit. However we need to compromise, so can just go to Drake Bay for a couple of days. To really experience the area we would need to travel into the national park here, but we don’t have the time to do this (and it is not cheap once you add in the cost of park fees, park lodges and guides). We have a good room in the main village, but it’s unfortunately close to the local karaoke bar so we are kept entertained by singing until about 1:30am. There is an excellent walk we do from the village and though it does not go into the park ... read more

San Gerardo is the base for hiking Chirripo, at 3820m Costa Rica’s highest mountain, though that’s not the only reason we’ve come here. Our guidebook makes it sounds like a scenic small village nestled in the hills with a few good accommodation options, and while we’re here I’ll see if I can be tempted to climb the mountain The decision on Chirripo turns to be easy. J isn’t interested in the hike and I’m not keen to do this by myself as it is a fairly tough walk, but there aren’t any permits to stay in the park available for the next 4 days (a Dutch girl at our hostel gets the last one). It seems quite odd given this is low season and the village is all but deserted. Instead we find that there is ... read more

Tortuguero means “turtle hunter” but there’s very little of that happening in the town (more of a village) of the same name these days. Tortuguero is THE place in the Western hemisphere to see nesting turtles and the people here are wise to the tourism opportunities that this brings – virtually everyone here is involved in the turtle tourism business. There are however still some turtle hunters around, but these aren’t human. There is a decent jaguar population in the surrounding area and according to estimates we saw about 100 turtles are killed each year by them. There is a national park in Tortuguero, but it’s tough to access much of it as the area is thick jungle by the coast and there are no roads. Just to get here you need to take a 1 ... read more

People don’t really come to Santa Elena/Monteverde to see bats, but it turns out there is an excellent live bat display just outside town. The connection is that there are plenty of bats native to the Monteverde area, there’s not a huge amount to see, but it’s the sheer enthusiasm of the folk who run it that makes this a great place to visit. I’m surprised but we can take pictures of the bats, though it is very hard to get good ones as the bats aren’t keen to stay still for too long. The main attraction here though (excluding the adventure parks which might well be the main reason for some to come) are the cloud forest reserves. There are actually 3 separate reserves you can visit, we do 2 of them, both on self-guided ... read more

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