The Wonders of Perito Moreno Glacier

GlacViewI saw a lot of natural wonders on my recent jaunt around South America including roiling lava in the crater of an active volcano, a collection of ferocious waterfalls and innumerable snow-capped mountain peaks. For me, however, the most astonishing of them all was Perito Moreno Glacier situated in Argentinian Patagonia where you can while away hours listening to the creaks and groans of the ever expanding ice and watch enormous chunks of it crash into the beautiful azure waters of Lake Argentino. Continue reading

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The Long Hard Road to Machu Picchu

MacPicLongDIstGetting to Machu Picchu on a budget is not as straightforward as you might think – the journey to this wonderful site can be a real challenge and, at times, is certainly not for the faint-hearted! If you want to visit while spending as little cash as possible be prepared for arduous walks, nerve-shredding drives and times of overwhelming exhaustion. Read on to find out how I sorted tickets and travel arrangements before I made my way from Lima to the mountain citadel via Cusco and Aguas Calientes. Continue reading

Buenos Aires: Boca and River Stadium Tours

BocaExtBuenos Aires is a football fan’s dream. The Argentine capital is home to a great many football teams and offers the chance of catching any number of games with electric atmospheres if you are willing to pay enough to see them. Those in Buenos Aires outside of football season or between games need not worry as two of the country’s biggest teams, Boca Juniors and River Plate, offer stadium tours to any fan who wants to catch a glimpse of what goes on in the background at these two famous clubs. Continue reading

Q&A: Is Bhutan for me?

dscn4925Thinking about a trip to Bhutan but unsure if it will be worth it? Getting to the last Shangri-La is admittedly pricey and, owing to the manner in which you have to pay, it can be a chore to arrange. However, you are guaranteed to come away with lasting memories from one of the world’s most unique and untouched cultures. I have put this Q&A together to better help people decide if a visit to the Kingdom of the Thunder Dragon is truly for them. Continue reading

Bhutan: Arriving in the Kingdom of the Thunder Dragon

planeviewBhutan. The land of the thunder dragon. A tiny country nestled between China and India, directly atop the Himalayas. All of the research I did on the place before I headed there promised that the mountain views, rolling valleys and endless terraced rice fields would be spectacular. Boy did Bhutan deliver on this front, starting with arguably the most incredible airport descent on the globe. Continue reading

Paro: In and About Town

dscn5074Paro, although not a must visit destination in Bhutan, still has a number of interesting places worth a look. There are a number of dzongs in the vicinity of the tourism-oriented town, including one of the oldest temples in Bhutan, and it also claims ownership of the country’s National Museum, International Airport and the valley that houses Bhutan’s most wondrous treasure, the Tiger’s Nest. Continue reading

Thimphu: A Jaunt Around Bhutan’s Capital

dscn4795Thimphu is Bhutan’s capital and most densely populated city with roughly 91,000 citizens residing there. It is the base for the country’s government and houses the palace of the current king and queen. When you arrive you will get your first chance to see the traditional design of Bhutanese homes, all of which must follow a certain theme as set by royal decree. Sights here include the impressive Tashichhoe Dzong and the Buddha Dordenma statue which offers some glorious bird’s-eye views of the capital nestled in the valleys below. Continue reading

Punakha: aka the Place with all the Penises

dscn4864Our second day in Bhutan involved a long and arduous drive to the district of Punakha. Although the distance between Thimphu and Punakha is only 70km or so, the drive took us well over three hours due to the terrible state of Bhutan’s mountainous road network. Punakha is famous for its picturesque dzong which is situated between the meeting point of two raging rivers and Chimi Lhakhang otherwise known as the Temple of the Divine Madman. There was, however, a far more juvenile reason for my excitement for this leg of the trip… Continue reading

Tiger’s Nest: The Jewel in Bhutan’s Crown

dscn5023Tiger’s Nest is likely to be the main factor in most visitors’ decisions to come to Bhutan. Despite being a country of almost unrivalled beauty, Taktsang is by far and away the jewel in the crown of this tiny Himalayan kingdom. Perched precariously at the very edge of a sheer mountain face, the location of the monastery almost defies belief and the views from the hike on the way up are unparalleled in their splendour. A visit to Bhutan would not be complete without stopping at this amazing landmark. Continue reading

Auschwitz: A Harrowing and Moving Experience

DSCN1436There has been a lot of debate about so-called dark tourism and Auschwitz certainly falls into that category. Is it acceptable to visit a place where so many suffered so miserably and died so pitifully? I’ve long been of the thinking that it is important for people to visit such places as we should never forget the unfortunate souls who toiled and died within them. Donations from tourists also help to keep the sites properly maintained and it would be nothing short of a disaster if places like Auschwitz were allowed to fall into disrepair. Dark tourism might not appeal to everyone and visits might sound morbid, but places such as this death camp serve as a reminder of past atrocities and a warning against repeating those mistakes in the future. Visiting Auschwitz is a difficult, powerful experience. Is it pleasant? Not at all. Is it worthwhile? Absolutely. Continue reading