When were last in Dubai and Oman, back in 2003, we were told that the Musandam Peninsula, an enclave in the north of Oman, was wonderful. We always planned to come back and see it, so we’re about to head there. We’re flying to Dubai, and will then head to Ras Al Khaimah, another of the United Arab Emirates, which we haven’t visited before. We'll then continue on to Muscat by boat, and back to Dubai by bus, if all goes to plan.
We had some reservations about going to Ethiopia, but various friends have been there recently, and had favourable reports, so we decided it was now or never as we’re not getting any younger. We’ve booked two back to back trips with Intrepid Travel – one week in the less-visited Lower Omo Valley with its various ethnic groups, and twelve days in Northern Ethiopia
We're off to explore Ethiopia for 3 weeks, so decided on a couple of easy days in Singapore beforehand
We decided we may as well go to Astana while we were in the area, seeing it was the capital, as we probably won’t be back in the ‘Stans for a third time. We had no expectations, so were blown away by the incredible architecture, street art and night lighting. We also visited some more of China - around Chengdu and Chongqing
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 …
We were waiting for inspiration for where to go for our next trip, when we came across an “Explore” trip from Bishkek in Kyrgyzstan to Tashkent in Uzbekistan. In 2008 we had done a 6-week Dragoman trip from Istanbul to Tashkent, so this was a good chance to fill in some “gaps”. We booked this …
We’re heading to Arequipa in Peru today by public transport. It’s about 425kms by road, but we’re expecting to take all day to get there. It is still dark, due to Chile’s weird time zone, when our taxi picks us up just after 8am to head for the Terminal Terrestrial for the first leg of our journey.
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.
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
We knew very little about Suriname, but after some reading find that it is the smallest sovereign state in South America with an estimated 2018 population of 568,301, half of whom live in the capital Paramaribo, and 90% live in the capital or the coast. The first permanent European settlement in Suriname was established by …