Kyrgyzstan and our first “Explore” trip

We’re heading to Kyrgyzstan today.  We’ve booked a 15-day Explore “Mountain Kingdoms of the Silk Road” for A$3,140 each. The tour begins in Bishkek (Kyrgyzstan) and finishes in Tashkent (Uzbekistan). The trip pace is listed as “full on” for travellers who like their holidays packed with activities and experiences, moving on quickly from place to …

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Manaus, Sao Paulo, Santiago and Arica

Today we’re off to Manaus, the major departure point for the surrounding Amazon Rainforest. We’re actually heading back to Santiago in Chile, but we can only do it by a series of flights, including the first one to Manaus. Decided it was too good an opportunity to miss, so will spend a couple of nights there. We were there in 1999, when we did boat trips up into the rainforest, so this time we’re just having a look around the city, and especially an Opera House Tour, which we missed last time.       

Guyana, South America

We are now entering Guyana which boasts a remarkably rich ecology, but also has one of South America's poorest economies. Tropical rainforests - filled with distinctive plants and trees, teeming with exotic birds, insects and mammals - are a big draw for eco-tourists. But political troubles, ethnic tension and economic mismanagement have left the former British colony with serious economic problems

Rio and Belem, Brazil

We’re doing a 21-day  Dragoman tour of French Guiana, Suriname and Guyana, the  three countries in South American that we haven’t visited. By the time we worked out how to get to Cayenne in French Guiana, and added a couple of other places we’d missed on previous trips, we suddenly had a 7-week trip. We’re flying into Rio, then flying to Cayenne via Belem, which was a good opportunity to stop and have a look at Belem, at the mouth of the Amazon.