"A first walk in any new country is one of the things which make life on this planet worth being grateful for' - Charles William Beebe

"The purpose of life is to live it, to taste experience to the utmost, to reach out eagerly and without fear for newer and richer experience. "- Eleanor Roosevelt

"Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.” - Mark Twain

"Not all those who wander are lost" - JRR Tolkien

“There is nothing to writing. All you do is sit down at a typewriter and bleed” - Hemingway

Asia » Sri Lanka » Southern Province » Unawatuna February 2nd 2018

"Don't tell me how educated you are, tell me how much you have travelled." — The prophet Mohammed 18thJanuary The journey down to the alluring coconut fringed sandy beaches of the South Coast was a long and vomitus one. However, the day started with a fascinating tour around Halpe Tea Plantation and Factory in Ella. Built in 1940, during the British rule, the factory is perched 1,230 meters above sea level in the cool climes of the Uva region. It was set up in 1971 producing 20,000 Kilograms of tea a month, powered by 15 workers and 2 Lorries and has since grown to become one of the largest producers of tea in Sri Lanka turning out a phenomenal 150,000 Kilograms per month with over 35 lorries collecting tea per day and staff of 300 workers. ... read more

Asia » Sri Lanka » Central Province » Ella January 27th 2018

“To travel is to live.” ― Hans Christian Andersen, The Fairy Tale of My Life: An Autobiography 17th January Over and over again on this trip I am impressed with my daughter’s ability to go at it like a kid double her age. This morning, after a minor tantrum (her) about me not wanting her to fill her pockets with pebbles from the gardens of the hotel, we all set off to follow the track which winds its way on the side of the mountain softly up and up, through tea plantations, eventually culminating in – you guessed it - some steep climbing to the top of what is known as Little Adam’s Peak at 3743feet. The gentle little brother to the sacred and mighty Adam’s Peak at over 7000ft. I carried her for a while ... read more

Asia » Sri Lanka » Central Province » Dambulla January 26th 2018

“Life is either a daring adventure or nothing.” - Helen Keller 14th January There is nothing worse than your alarm clock not going off. The panic when you realise you slept in – whether you’ve got to catch a train, plane or be somewhere at a certain time. With an 8am departure scheduled for today to head into Dambulla to visit the Dambulla cave temples, a loud thudding at my door at 810am woke me from my slumber. My alarm had failed and everyone was waiting for me….. Rather impressively (even if I do say so myself, it took me 12 mins exactly to be ready and on the bus with Ella. That’s right – from both of us asleep to ready to climb another mountain in 12 minutes). Carlie had kindly got the hotel to ... read more

Asia » Sri Lanka » Central Province » Sigiriya January 19th 2018

"“Adventure is worthwhile.” – Aesop 12th January 2018 So it was in at the deep end today with a long drive from Negombo on the West Coast through to Sigyria, a small town in the Central Province – some 4ish hours. The children have already bonded after an afternoon of pool fun so no colouring books/dot to dots/ stickering was required on the ride on our mini-bus, complete with a/c and even wifi, that will accompany us throughout the two weeks. By now all feelings of “WTF have I done” have vanished. Travel Hannah is back with a vengeance! Triangular mountains, clad in palms and bamboo rose up out of the paddy fields as we cut northwards inland. Arriving for a BBQ lunch at The Hideout https://www.sigiriyahideout.com/ , we sated ourselves on an extensive selection of ... read more

Asia » Sri Lanka » Western Province » Colombo January 17th 2018

“Travelling – it leaves you speechless, then turns you into a storyteller.” – Ibn Battuta So its been about 6 years since my last blog entry. It’s good to be back! I’ve done my fair share of travelling since then from European countries to the Caribbean to Asia but all much shorter trips to fit in around work and parenthood. I’ve ticked another few countries off my bucket list taking my total number now to 68 (as Easter Island and The Galapagos don't count as separate)! But to date, Sri Lanka has eluded me. Now I find myself in the middle of Sri Lanka as part of the Mumpack Travel Club – a group of mainly Mum’s (although there are a couple of Dad’s in families) who have come together under the organisation of one ballsy ... read more

Central America Caribbean » Panama » Kuna Yala April 29th 2012

“Man travels the world in search of what he needs and returns home to find it” George Moore, English Analytic Philosopher "Travel only with thy equals or thy betters; if there are none, travel alone." The Dhammapada So this is it. The End. My final Central America blog. The journey started 3 months ago in Mexico and now finishes in Panama – a country I will remember for all the time I have spent on its beautiful islands – be it on Bocas del Toro, Isla Coiba or the archipelago of San Blas. In fact come to think of it, I don’t seem to have spent much time on the mainland at all… I left you last from the beaches of Isla Bastiamentos (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bastimentos_Island) and the blue waters of deserted Turtle Beach... read more

"It is good to have an end to journey towards, but it is the journey that matters in the end." ~ Ursula K. LeGuin, Novelist Fact: Costa Rica is one of the most bio-diverse countries on this planet. Fact: Costa Rica is a literal rainbow of green. Fact: Costa Rica is hot, humid and horrifically expensive. So much so, that I have nicknamed it Costa Lotta. In fact, it strikes me from my somewhat limited 8 days in this beautiful place that it is very much used as an adventure playground by rich Americans. Activities are prohibitively expensive ($50 minimum for anything be it zip lining, volcano visiting, rafting) and so what we have actually managed to ‘do’ here has been very selective. Costa Rica is the ecological equivalent of a multiple orgasm such is its ... read more

“The great difference between voyages rests not with the ships, but with the people you meet on them” Amelia E Barr, Writer & Journalist I have arrived in Costa Rica, the penultimate country on this Central American odyssey and it’s hot. My god, it is hot. But not a comfortable dry heat like northern Nicaragua where it felt like a warm hairdryer was constantly blowing in your face because of the Pacific winds. Nope. Here in La Fortuna in the shadow of Volcan Arenal it’s hot and humid and wet. No matter how many showers a day you have, you feel like your body is coated in a fine layer of sweat at all times. It drips off you even if you are standing still – the backs of your knees, under your chest, the back ... read more

“Travel makes one modest. You see what a tiny place you occupy in the world.” – Gustave Flaubert From Antarctica to Zambia….. From 21,486 feet above sea level (on the Bolivian Altiplano) to 131 feet below the surface of the ocean (diving off the coast of Easter Island), from leaping out of a plane over the Namibian desert to cage diving with Great White Sharks in South Africa, from eating guinea pig (Peru), dog (Vietnam), and insects (Thailand) to staring into the jaws of a 100kg anaconda in Venezuela, from camping with hippos and lions in Botswana and Tanzania to camping high in the Andes or trekking the Karakoram Highway and the more you do, see, taste, try, experience and assimilate, the harder it is to get the same ‘fix’. I guess it’s like being addicted ... read more

“Make voyages! Attempt them… there’s nothing else” Tennessee Williams. The idyll of Belize seems a lot time ago now. We are now in Nicaragua, on the Pacific Coast where the ocean waves thunder down onto the black sands, enraged and tumultuous. Woe betide any surfer who wipes out in these foaming tempestuous waters. Leaving Tobacco Caye, the waters of the Caribbean were pretty turbulent. A Westerley wind had picked up shaking the coconut palms and causing waves to break on the peaceful side of the island. Munch, our boat captain was prepared to take us (hope he wasn’t stoned) back to the mainland and we navigated the crossing back to Dandriga in his little plastic boat bouncing and vaulting the swell. Reaching dry land was a relief as I don’t think our backs and butts could ... read more

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