Death usually comes with a jingle. The jingle of a breaking news alert from the BBC, Guardian, Washington Post or Sky News apps on my phone. I’ve not monitored this enough to make a scientifically based assertion, but I sense that the BBC is the quickest at bringing bad tidings. News flashes are almost always bad news. Today, the news was that Anthony Bourdain had died. Tragically, at his own hand. I imagine you would know who Anthony Bourdain is. If not, he’s a chef, a writer and a travel/food show presenter. I’ve never had the pleasure of feasting on a meal served up by the great man, so I cannot speak for the quality of his cooking. But I love his writing. His television shows even more so.
I always feel a bit short changed by the interactive travel maps you can fill out on the internet. I’ve spent weeks travelling through exotic locations such as Sri Lanka and Malaysia, with just the faintest of splashes of colour to show for my efforts. My mate goes to St Petersburg for the weekend, and he’s half way done to completing the entire thing. At least the US, Mexico and India added a decent amount of green to my globe.
Today, my photo takes us back exactly 15 years, to March 2003. I had not long turned 30, still worked at Texaco, and was enjoying the wonders of travelling as a single guy. There’s an awful lot to be said of travelling solo, all positive. I loved the ability to roam, dine and generally spend my time without compromise. Did I ever get lonely? Not once. You always meet people on the trail. On the odd occasion that it is just you, then there is always a good book waiting to be read.
I’m ever so British when it comes to complaining. I could sit through the most dreadful meal in a restaurant, with the most appalling service, and yet when asked if everything is alright, I will likely smile and nod. I’ll pay my bill. I’ll leave quietly. But I most certainly will ‘express my dissatisfaction’. My expression of dissatisfaction typically takes one of three forms. In its most mild form, I simply take my business elsewhere. If I am seriously irked, then I move on to stage two and leave a review on social media. This is a pretty effective tool, especially when the type of business has plenty of competition Continue reading
It transpired that it was quicker and cheaper to get home via Faro than by returning to Malaga. We like quick and cheap, so that’s what we did. What can I tell you about Faro? It’s small. We toured the main sites in an afternoon, marvelling at the Chapel of Bones and taking a leisurely stroll through the cobbled streets of the old town. The regional museum is not something that one would describe as one the world’s must sees. But it was still a pleasant way to spend a half hour. Mrs P and her mother took a little boat trip out into a nature reserve, which they enjoyed. I preferred to stay warm. Continue reading
Southern Spain, and Andalucia in particular, has obvious appeal as a destination for a British traveller. It’s both easy and cheap to get to. It’s warm all year round. It’s sufficiently different, with touches of the exotic, but with enough that is familiar to help the more unadventurous holiday-maker feel comfortable. For Mrs P and myself, it’s also a cheap and easy substitute to Mexico. She, of course, enjoys the ability to speak her native language for a few days. This was our second trip in less than a year, flying into Malaga airport from Bournemouth. Continue reading
In all of my trusty travel guides, mostly Lonely Planet books, there is a handy section about how to get around the town, city or country of your choice. Handy information about the bus service, metro system and rail network. Where they go, how often and what it costs. Handy info that has proven to be invaluable to me time and again, around the world. Handy info that, thanks to technology, is becoming increasingly redundant. Guides of the future will just need to let the traveller know which app based taxi service operates in that part of the world. And the link to the right place in the applicable App Store. Continue reading
I found one of the few photos from India featuring both myself and Mrs P. There aren’t many of them, for obvious reasons. Someone has to hold the camera, and that’s usually me. But I clearly must have trusted someone here. Enough to let them hold my Fuji for just a few moments. It’s a nice shot. Nicer now that I’ve processed it with a little more care. But maybe it’s a little over saturated. Or else I had a better tan than I remember.
It would have been nice to have had a day or two at each stop to just wander off by myself with my camera looking for interesting this to photograph. I do enjoy a good urban stroll, losing myself in backstreets and stumbling across treasures the usually remain hidden from the normal tourist gaggles. But we didn’t have the time for such luxuries. Mrs P would also have been most displeased if I had abandoned her to her own devices. Continue reading
I described India a couple of weeks ago as challenging. And suggested that such a description is polite. I don’t think many people who have been to India would consider such a description to be controversial. India is challenging, on so many levels. Your senses will be assaulted. Your ears through the constant, deafening noise. Your nose and lungs through the often Continue reading
A whirlwind two week tour sounds like a great idea when you plan it. Heck, it is a great idea. You’ve got to factor a few easy days into the planning, though. One needs a little rest and recuperation on one’s holiday. And that especially applies to the final stretch. By the time we got to Udaipur, we were beginning to flag. Frankly, the same applies Continue reading
By the time we arrived in Jaipur, we’d learned how to do India. Make sure you’ve got a nice hotel as a sanctuary from the rougher edges of Indian life. And arrange the easiest, most comfortable transport to get to where you want to go. Attempt to block out everything in between. Alas, our ‘hotel’ in Jaipur was the worst of our trip. But it was bearable, and there was a nice roof top restaurant just round the corner that we made good use of for breakfast and dinner. Continue reading
Travelling through India is an experience. You learn along the way, no matter how much research and preparation you do beforehand. Although a few up to date tips from recent travellers certainly helps. Having done my two weeks, I have a few. Let’s start at the beginning of the trip, shall we?
We’ve been back from our trip to India for more than a week. Seven days to gather my thoughts and put them into appropriately organised bits and bytes on my blog for you to read. But where does one even begin? India is a truly extraordinary place. Specifically, Delhi. Agra, Ranthambore, Jaipur and Udaipur – the destinations we visited. Words cannot do them justice. But I will try. Perhaps a little brainstorming would help, to try and come up with the right adjectives?