February 17, 2013

Packed like Kate Moss

This morning I take a trip to the Punta Arenas cemetery to witness the Chilean way of death in all of its splendour.  Mausoleums of the size of provincial town halls are arranged along pine avenues, monuments to several generations […]
February 16, 2013

All points North

Today Punta Arenas is my oyster. Capital of the Magallanes region of Chile it sits on the Magellan Straits, a natural fracture dividing the South American mainland from Tierra del Fuego which provides a rather useful shortcut avoiding Cape Horn.  […]
February 15, 2013

A trip takes us

  A journey is a person in itself; no two are alike. And all plans, safeguards, policing, and coercion are fruitless. We find after years of struggle that we do not take a trip; a trip takes us. John Steinbeck
February 15, 2013

Meteor strike in central Russia

  A meteor strike in Russia has injured over 950 people – reports say the meteor broke up unexpectedly before impact. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-21468116
February 14, 2013

Chilean surprise

Twenty seven hours of travelling later and I am approximately two thirds of the way to my destination having arrived in Santiago – much as I’d like to provide a stunningly informative viewpoint on the Chilean capital my experience so […]
February 13, 2013

Completely bonkers (but in a good way)

I am ridiculously excited to learn that I will be in Antarctica at the same time as Sir Ranulph Fiennes as he sets out to attempt the first trans-Antarctic crossing in winter where he will endure a permanent state of […]
February 11, 2013

OMG, they killed Kenny!

In 1914, on the eve of the first world war, the great adventurer, leader and Irishman, Sir Ernest Shackleton left England to undertake the Imperial Trans-Antarctic expedition.  It was an adventure that nearly ended in disaster when his ship, the […]
April 3, 2011

The perils of Winchmore Hill

A week on and I am still being struck by the ironies – the worst toilet on a 5,500 mile journey was in the arrivals hall at Heathrow; I have consumed strange and exotic foods without incident but somehow manage […]
March 28, 2011

Back in the bubble

The vastness of Beijing airport makes Heathrow Terminal 5 look like a provincial bus station.  Inside I watch the check-in crew line up for their formal morning briefing, standing to attention and holding their schedules in front of them while […]
March 27, 2011

The hairy foreigner

“Can we take your picture please?” She is about seventeen and accompanied by three generations of her family.  Standing in the queue for the cable car at the Great Wall they have been giving me sideways looks and giggling for […]
March 25, 2011

Thanks, but I had bugs for lunch

I am a little stunned to arrive in Beijing; it is quite the largest city I have been in since I left home.  I am not sure what I was expecting but my initial reaction is that it seems like […]
March 25, 2011

The good, the bad and the ugly

My eighth and final train takes me from Ulan Bator to Beijing.  It is by far the most modern and well equipped train I have been on so far – my cabin has a small armchair and an en-suite bathroom; […]