Namibia Part 1: Germans, taxis and sand dunes

Namibia was my first real taste of Africa and somewhere I’d been wanting to go for a few years. I just wasn’t entirely sure what I wanted to do there. I’d read about Etosha National Park in the north, but other than that I had no idea what there was to see. In Windhoek I found a company that booked excursions and they organised a whole week of activities for me, including Etosha, together with accommodation, transport and some meals. The plan was altered on pretty much a daily basis after this. In fact, on the day I was supposed to leave the plan changed so I would be doing it the opposite way round. For a very German country, organisation is not a strong point.


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A guide to Windhoek

I spent more time in the Namibian capital than I’d have preferred or recommend but that at least allows me to give a decent guide to the place. I landed in Windhoek airport, which is a whole 45km from the actual city, pretty late so didn’t get first look around until the following day. At which point my first task was to find out what there was to do. (more…)

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Travelling Namibia: The Germany of Africa

Namibia had been on my travel list since I met a Belgian girl who’d lived there for 8 months and described it as “Africa for beginners”. With the other continents visited it was time to see some of Africa. Earlier in the year I’d spent a week in Morocco and then a few days in Cape Town. However, the first is more Arabic Africa whereas the other has a very European feel to it. I flew to Windhoek, the capital, and while it’s a big city it also immediately felt more African. And very German! (more…)

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Easter Island: Or how I met stray dogs and tried to lose them

Easter Island. Isla de Pascua. Rapa Nui. One of the most remote places on the planet featuring an unusual mix of Polynesian and Latin American cultures. It’s on a lot of people’s bucket lists and rightly so. Not least because of the mysterious giant stone figures known as Moai. However my memories of the island are somewhat different. (more…)

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Christmas in Thailand

A couple of years ago I was travelling for three and a half months, taking in Australia, New Zealand and my first real experience of Asia. I left at the end of October and wouldn’t be back until around mid-January. This meant I would be away for Christmas for the first time, which is the time I spend most with my friends and family. To be away from the traditional Christmas experience would be a massive difference. But I figured if I was going to be away from the ‘normal’ Christmas, then I might as well go for as big a change as I could get. (more…)

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My Worst Hostel

Despite what I’ve said before about hostels, and they will always be my first choice while I’m travelling, there are exceptions. I have a list of things I look for when searching for a hostel, but sometimes you just don’t have many options to choose from. Either there’s not so many hostels in the town you want to visit or the only decent places are too expensive and you’re left with the bottom end on the quality scale. Sometimes it works out well or at the very least you get an interesting story out of the experience.

I’ve stayed in a whole host of different hostel types; from the top floor of a 15 story building in Ljubljana, a shack on the beach in an isolated Uruguayan community, remote islands and one of my favourite stops was a prison in Canada. You can end up staying in some interesting places, but not always in a good way.  (more…)

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The ‘Horror’ of Hostels

Hostel on a gloomy street
Photo from my friend Kris Rawson, check out his travel experiences

A lot of people have preconceived ideas about staying in a hostel, especially dorm rooms (some of which are justified). However, I’ve spent most of my travelling life sleeping in hostels and they’re the prefect place to stay. People have a lot of different concerns about using hostels. It usually centres around their stuff getting stolen, being used to the comfort of hotels or panicking about having to share with four or five strangers. Having slept in a 20 bed dorm I can tell you it’s not as bad as you’d think. (more…)

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