Page 2 of WorldWideWanderers Travel Blog Posts

Asia » China November 3rd 2016

We wandered around China, from Beijing to Shanghai, on a small group tour in November 2016. Due to a combination of generally very poor & slow WiFi together with a hectic schedule I was unable to do a travel blog. So somewhat belatedly, this is going to be a short summarised version of the whole three week tour together with a selection of the best photographs. We arrived in China, tired but excited to be visiting another country with a totally different culture and many wonderful sights to see. In Beijing, prior to joining our tour, we visited the Forbidden City Palace Museum, the Lama Temple - a colourful Tibetan-style Buddhist Temple and the Olympic Park. Travelling was relatively easy around the city using the modern Metro System. We enjoyed a Peking Duck dinner and also ... read more
Lama Temple
Sichuan Hot Pot - Hot Pot Restaurant Chengdu Sichuan China
Locals enjoying a night out

South America » Peru June 24th 2016

We started our exploration of the Sacred Valley of the Incas visiting the Incan Fortress of Ollantaytambo. A climb up several hundred steep rocky steps brought us to the top of the fortress and the Temple of the Sun. Large stone slabs aligned with the sun with prefect symmetry and joints, all carved and smoothed by hand, and transported from a quarry on the opposite side of the valley - an unbelievable achievement. On to the small Incan town of Urubamba where we visited the colourful local market, full of unusual fruit and vegetables - especially the wide variety of potatoes and corn. The small streets surrounding the market were full of local characters reminding us of times gone by in the western world. Next morning we boarded the Vistadome train - otherwise known as "the ... read more
Saffron-headed Tanager - Inkaterra Hotel Grounds
Street scene - Urubamba
 Incan Fortress - Ollantaytambo Sacred Valley

South America » Peru » Puno June 21st 2016

Arriving in Puno after a long road journey across the altiplano we have our first glimpse of Lake Titicaca - what an evocative sight it was! Even better, when we check into our hotel room we found we had a wonderful panorama across the lake including the Uros Reed islands!! We were somewhat apprehensive as we would be spending two nights and a full day at the continuous highest altitude of the tour, 12500ft, but we had acclimatised well in the previous few days and apart from being slightly short of breath when climbing stairs or walking uphill we were absolutely fine with no significant altitude sickness symptoms. The following morning we watched a dramatic sunrise, from the comfort of our room, which was a bonus as the outside temperature was below zero!! Later we boarded ... read more
Colourful Uros ladies on the floating reed islands of Lake Titicaca
Andean Explorer Train
View across Lake Titicaca

South America » Peru » Arequipa June 17th 2016

Leaving Arequipa we drove up and up and up onto the Peruvian high altiplano eventually reaching a high point of 15917ft. We passed through many small villages on the way, dusty and poor-looking houses and huts. Work is difficult to find - although there are gold & silver mines, a cement factory and farming. The landscape changes as we ascend from dry bushes & tall grasses to cacti and finally on the altiplano rocks, dust and small clumps of dry grass which extends into the far distance in all directions. There were several volcanos in the distance, many covered with snow while Mount Sabancaya, the active volcano in the area, billows smoke day and night. The air was thin, it was cool but the sky was blue and the sun burningly strong. We headed slightly downhill ... read more
Soaring adult Andean Condor - Condor's Cross Colca Canyon Peru
Small poor villages
Village in the high Andes

South America » Peru » Lima June 15th 2016

An overnight flight via Bogota sees us arrive in Peru - the land of the Incas, Alpacas & Pisco sours! Our hotel is situated in Miraflores which is a wealthy district and also the main tourist area of Lima. We walked along a busy shopping street down to LarcoMar - a new waterfront development - overlooking the Pacific Ocean. Very much as we have recently been experiencing at home - the clouds rolled in from the sea and we were shrouded in a cool swirling mist. We had pre-booked a Peruvian tasting meal at one of the up and coming 'new wave' gastronomic restaurants. What an experience it turned out to be - small tasting courses of Peruvian influenced food using ingredients from the Pacific, Amazon & desert with paired wines and drinks!! A night to ... read more
Lady in Traditional dress - Arequipa
LargoMar Lima - the mist rolls in from the Pacific
Alpaca Tartare with corn

Asia » Sri Lanka » Southern Province » Yala NP March 5th 2016

We drove south from the cooler hill country into the very hot and humid conditions on the south coast of the island. This area and the adjacent east coast were the worst affected regions in the 2004 tsunami. In fact the hotel we were staying in had been totally washed away, sadly with all staff and guests being killed. The island seems to have recovered well and tourism has increased over the last few years. This area is famous for the Yala National Park. We enjoyed an afternoon safari, travelling deep into the park on bumpy rough roads. We were lucky to see an elephant family "playing" in a small lake and even luckier to see a leopard, albeit in the distance. Colourful birds were very abundant and our "trip bird list" reached it's half century!! ... read more
Sri Lankan breakfast curry - Egg hopper, red string hopper, Chicken curry, Dhal curry, coconut sambol, tempered onion & mango chutney.
Chestnut-headed Bee-eater
Painted Stork

Asia » Sri Lanka » Central Province » Nuwara Eliya February 29th 2016

We drove on to the next main tourist area in the Central Province - "the hill country". Kandy, a busy small town, set around a beautiful lake, which was constructed by the British. We visited the Botanical Gardens - full of exotic trees and colourful flowers - a haven of peace amongst the bustle of the surrounding town. Large trees, down by the river, were festooned with vast numbers of hanging fruit bats, a few also seen flying around even in daylight. An early evening visit to the Tooth Relic Buddhist Temple to witness a ritual procession & ceremony was packed with worshippers carrying offerings of lotus flowers & noisy with drummers. A visit to the Kandy Cultural Show followed - energetic twirling dancers, masks, and even more incessant drumming. The show ending with a dramatic ... read more
A cup of "BOP" - Broken Orange Pekoe at Mackwoods tea factory
Kandy Botanic Gardens

Asia » Sri Lanka » Central Province » Dambulla February 27th 2016

After a long drive from the coast to Dambulla, in the Central Province, we started our small group tour of the "Cultural Triangle". We visited the ancient capitals of Sri Lanka, Polonnaruwa and Anuradhapura, dating from the 9th to the 12th centuries. There were well preserved temples, dagobas, pools and ruined palaces. All proved to be interesting, colourful and provided a vivid insight into life in Sri Lanka prior to any European influences. We moved on to Sigiriya Rock, also known as "Lion Rock" a vast granite monolith, 656 ft high, with an ancient citadel on the summit. There were also wonderful frescos dating from the 5th century. The afternoon tour provided a welcome respite from ancient ruins when we visited a nature reserve. We drove through verdant grassland, dotted with palm, teak and many other ... read more
Lotus leaves for sale - Dambulla Market.
Across the lake to Sigiriya Rock
Sigiriya Rock

Asia » Sri Lanka » Western Province » Negombo February 21st 2016

Relaxing, resting, recovering from the jet-lag, acclimatising to the hot (34c) & humid weather and generally having a good time is the order of the day, at a beach hotel in Negombo on the West coast of Sri Lanka, prior to setting off on a "round the island tour". Colombo was an interesting city - we were slightly surprised by the numerous well maintained old colonial buildings, wide tree-lined streets and busy but not chaotic traffic. On a day trip to Colombo we chanced upon a noisy colourful ceremony in a Hindu Temple - chanting, banging of drums and smoke - while, in comparison, the Buddhist Temple was quiet with many Buddha statues and praying monks. Old Colombo, down by the port, was a maze of busy narrow colourful streets, small shops and a lively atmosphere. ... read more
Net-fishing at sunset
Small local shop in Negombo
Street scene Negombo

Asia » Uzbekistan » Fergana October 7th 2015

We drive out of the large city of Tashkent, on a well-maintained dual carriageway, passing large Soviet-style buildings, modern factories and extensive newly built apartment blocks. We are soon gradually increasing in altitude as we head towards the distant mountains, and the Kamchik Pass, which winds its way through a section of the Tian Shan Mountains. The temperature starts to fall, the road narrows, the views become more extensive as we see snow covered peaks in the distance. We stop for a break at some roadside stalls, but decide against buying any of the white balls of dried goats cheese, which the locals are encouraging us to try!! The road is partially blocked by great flocks of sheep, leaving the hills before the start of winter weather, hastened along by shepherds, as the black sheep swarm ... read more
Fergana Valley watermelons
Stallholder selling balls of dried goats cheese
Views across the Tian Shen Mountains from the Katchim Mountain Pass

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