13 Jul
Days adrift.  Click here to see our best and worst experiences so far.
Number of flights.  Click here to go to the itinerary page.
Bus, train and taxi rides.  Click here to see all posts relating to transport. (56 posts)
Miles walked.  Click here to see all posts relating to walking and trekking. (43 posts)
Countries visited.  Click here to see what we think of them. (14 posts)
Number of species spotted.  Click here to go to our wildlife page.
Photos taken.  Click here to go to the photo gallery. (105 posts)
Rainy days.  Click here to find posts relating to the weather. (50 posts)
Number of times scammed.  Click here to read all about it!  (2 posts)
Otters spotted.  Click here to go to our website about otters: amblonyx.com
...two travellers in search of the world's wildlife

Posts Tagged ‘accommodation

4 January 2020

Everything is damp

18 December 2019 Everything is damp. My feet are damp. This table is damp. My laptop is damp. Our clothes are damp. The sheets are damp. So are the pillows. It’s muggy, which is an understatement as clearly it is basically 100% humidity, and we’re staying in an open-walled treehouse in the forest near Sigiriya. » » »

20 January 2017

Gorge and the dragon

9 January 2017 Our room at Casa los Herrera is pretty good. The hotel is an old restored building opposite the little church in what perhaps passes as the centre of Hermigua, which is more like a set of contiguous hamlets winding down the valley bottom than a proper town. The room is handsome with » » »

18 September 2016

Short long day

10 September 2016 Even though we started out of bed at 6am this morning, all we’ve had time to do in Romania is collect our hire car and drive to our first night’s lodging. We paused briefly to admire an astonishing Disney confection of Peles Castle in the woods above Sinaia and to chomp through » » »

29 May 2016

Eastern fox squirrel surprise day

30 April 2016 So now we’ve had two AirBnB experiences, and they’ve both been very different. In San Francisco we had a lovely studio apartment in an old Victorian building that survived the 1906 quake. It was furnished with antique pieces and as fully equipped as you could hope. Indeed, it even came with a » » »

22 May 2016

Superior skunk day

27 April 2016 Well, I’m calling this Superior Skunk Day ‘cos strictly speaking this is the day we got great views of a nifty little skunk. The only other animal likely today was the Sonoma chipmunk at Muir Woods, but although we had a nice walk there and hung around the picnic area a while, » » »

14 May 2016

Antelope squirrel amusement day

18 April 2016 I’m naming our days after the best new mammal we saw that day (unless we didn’t). So we’ll see how we go. Today we were visiting the Carrizo Plain, an essentially wild area of dry grassland and scrub in between two of California’s gigantic agricultural valleys. Bone dry mountains separate the Carrizo » » »

1 January 2016


28 December 2015 Let me tell you about Malta. No, not the quirky Mediterranean island with centuries of complex history, I’m talking about the non-alcoholic soda drink brewed by Gambia’s main beer brewery. As the name implied it has a strongly malty flavour, indeed there is even a pronounced hoppiness to it. You get the » » »

1 January 2016

To Tendaba with Junkung

25 December 2015 We did nothing much in the morning, just lounged about on the beach. Hm. Okay, granted, that would be Entirely Appropriate Holiday Behaviour for many, it’s just very unusual for us! Jinack Island is like a bunch of other places we’ve gone looking for wildlife around the world – without a guide » » »

1 January 2016

Local colour

23 December 2015 Today we transferred from Tanji to Jinack Island, which involved a car ride through the most built-up part of The Gambia to the capital Banjul, and then a boat over the River Gambia and along an empty coast to almost the northernmost point of the country. This gave us a good little » » »

1 January 2016

Tanji Bird Reserve Eco Lodge

22 December 2015 There is a vast difference between roughing it in places like Khao Sok or Amed, and roughing it here at Tanji Bird Reserve. The difference is friendly, useful service. This guy who is looking after us here at Tanji Bird Reserve Eco Lodge – name of Lamin – is a complete idiot. » » »

16 March 2015

Madeira and the weather is freezing

7th February 2015 We seem to be developing a habit of holidays starting on a bum note. Our flight on Norwegian Air (flying from the UK to Madeira… odd) arrived bang on time, but then the process of picking up a rental car was glacially slow. So it was past 7pm and dark when we » » »

2 January 2014

A guide to staying at Sirena ranger station, Corcovado

The vast majority of tourists visit Corcovado on a day tour and are perfectly happy with their experience. Any hotel in Drake bay should be able to arrange this for you. Generally you take a boat at 6:30am, spend 5 hours in the park, and return at 1pm. Even during this short time, you are » » »

25 December 2013

No corkscrew!

24th December 2013 We’ve found an idyll, and a well-equipped one at that. With the notable exception of a corkscrew. Only a problem because I purchased the one bottle of wine in Bocas del Toro that hasn’t got a screw cap. And of course my Leatherman is much more manly than a Swiss Army knife, » » »

25 December 2013

Pizza in San Jose

23rd December 2013 So yesterday afternoon was a blissful unwind at Finca Maresia to shake off the rainforest (just don’t ask about the confusion over the payment to the tour guide company). Juan is a wonderful host. Turns out that in a previous life he was a tax lawyer in Valencia, but now spends four » » »

24 December 2013

Finca Maresia

19th December 2013 We went out early to visit Manuel Antonio park in the hope of spotting some wildlife before it got busy. At 7am the place was quiet, although the usual crowd of pests had already gathered to try and scavenge money from the tourists. Some guy in an official looking vest flagged us » » »

5 November 2012

Rain again

31st October 2012 Arles is as far south as we go. It’s raining. It was raining first thing in the morning when we wandered the town to admire the Roman amphitheatre and find breakfast. We enjoyed pastries in a colourful patisserie with a cheeky and cheerful patissier. Then we squelched back to the car. We » » »

2 October 2012

Last lunch

28th September 2012 Right on the cusp of leaving (I write this on the plane home) we finally had some memorable eats in America. Denver is certainly a big enough city to have a modern restaurant scene, but last night we found the first couple of hot spots we tried to be full and so » » »

2 October 2012

Hitting Denver

27th September 2012 Our journey back to Denver has been through small town America. Very small town America. “Population 135” read the sign on the way into one scattered cluster of tumbledown clap-board shacks and rusting mobile homes, and I’m fairly convinced the sign was over-estimating. Move away from the handful of tourist spots or » » »

1 October 2012


22nd September 2012 Can I get a yee-haw? We left the Yellowstone area for another long drive today, right across Wyoming to the small town of Buffalo. This is the real Wild West, home of wagon trains and cattle round-ups, shoot-outs and indian war parties. And we did flash past a group of gen-u-ine cowboys » » »

1 October 2012


21st September 2012 Last night and tonight we’re staying at Silvergate Cabins, just outside the park. My parents got unlucky; their cabin has mice, who came out at night to eat their hot chocolate and poo on the table. We have a colony of sagebrush voles outside our cabin; they’re sweet little things and don’t » » »

7 April 2012

Copenhagen night 1

So we’re off for a short break to Copenhagen, Denmark. Various bits of today touched off recollections of our year of travelling. Hoisting a backpack onto the shoulders. Disgorging metal objects into a jacket pocket for the airport metal detectors. And yes, sitting down in front of this glowing screen in a little hotel room » » »

10 August 2011

List mania

Who doesn’t like Top Ten lists? Or top five, or top three. We certainly whiled away many quiet moments in our year putting together idle lists of our favourite and least favourite things that we had encountered on the way. I’m putting them in the blog to help us remember all this stuff, and also » » »

3 August 2011

South America budget update

Written by Maureen Chile We spent just over three weeks in Chile. We had heard that Chile was an expensive country to visit compared to the rest of South America and, in our experience, this is probably true. On the other hand, Chile is a developed country with good infrastructure and we felt very safe » » »

3 August 2011

Ecuador nutshell

Ecuador has a handful of really cool things tucked into a small country, although the two main draws – the Galapagos and the Amazon – cannot be visited cheaply. It’s got an attractive capital city, friendly people, half-decent food and lots of scenery. It is also fairly warm, as you’d expect from a country straddling » » »

24 July 2011

One more for the road

21st July 2011 We’re off on one more small adventure before heading home. One more cheap car rental and four days exploring some bits of Ecuador near to Quito. Renting a car and just heading off is definitely my favourite way of exploring. It’s about as independent as you can get. Even those travellers who » » »

20 July 2011

Deluxe in Quito

18th July 2011 Wow. Stuffed again. Our last three course meal was back in Santiago, our first night in South America. Today for lunch we went to Theatrum, a fine restaurant attached to the main theatre in old colonial Quito. I had some lovely grilled octopus tentacles and then some nicely grilled grouper to follow. » » »

20 July 2011

Chile nutshell

Chile wasn’t the most satisfying country to visit. It has some wonderful landscapes, truly breath-taking, but it sometimes feels like you get developing world quality for developed world prices. The Chilean people make up for this by being wonderfully friendly and helpful. For the prices below, exchange rate was 750 pesos to £1 when we » » »

8 July 2011

Kicking around

6th July 2011 So we’ve spent three days kicking around Valparaiso, not really doing very much, mainly recovering our depleted energies and enjoying the relaxation that staying in the same place for four nights brings. We made a mistake in choosing our B&B. It’s a friendly place and the room is warm (hurrah) but we’re » » »

6 June 2011

Australasia Budget Update

“A descent into budget anarchy” or “How not to budget” Written by Maureen, ex-Financial Director of M&M Disclaimer: This budget post-mortem contains explicit despair. So… what went wrong? A: Australia is expensive. B: The exchange rate is lousy. C: It’s a whole continent and we only had a few weeks D: A complete failure in » » »

3 June 2011

Chepu on Chiloe

29th May 2011 Chiloe is a singularly beautiful place. Or at least it is when the sun is shining, which we have been blessed with today. Perhaps that’s why it reminds me a little of Scotland. The first town on the island you find after the ferry crossing is Ancud, and here we stopped for » » »

28 May 2011

Two duff days for the price of one

26th May 2011 – 26th May 2011 Our flight from Auckland to Santiago crossed the dateline, so we get to celebrate our 10 month mark twice. Unfortunately neither of our 26th Mays were very celebratory days. The first 26th May was just kicking around our Auckland motel until the airport minibus whisked us off to » » »

23 May 2011

Australia nutshell

Australia isn’t a country, it’s a continent. On the other hand, vast areas of Australia are pretty much empty. There’s plenty enough to see but it can take a long time to get there. Civilised but expensive is the way to describe travelling through Australia. In fact in most ways its comparable in price with » » »

9 May 2011

Cold comfort farm

3rd May 2011 Kangaroo Island is expensive to visit. Not only is the 45 minute ferry ride a total of roughly £250 return for us in our hire car, but all the accommodation is 30% more expensive than back on the mainland. Which is why we find ourselves in an en-suite backpacker room on a » » »

29 April 2011

Fully equipped

27th April 2011 This is our third day on the Great Ocean Road and I must say it’s a fairly splendid drive. In fact, I reckon it beats other boastful coastal routes such as South Africa’s Garden Route and New Zealand’s Catlins Coast – you get more ocean views for your miles, and there are » » »

29 April 2011

Danger of freezing

26th April 2011 Australians seem very concerned about risk. Perhaps this is due to living in a place where everything is poisonous. Which seems to be a bit of a myth, by the by, as we’ve seen lots of wildlife and none of it dangerous. All the walks we go on here have scary black » » »

28 April 2011

My feet Hertz

25th April 2011 Is it just me that does this kind of thing, or does it happen to everyone (except Maureen)? I went to fetch our rental car this morning, while she finished packing and caught up with email. I thought it was a fifteen minute walk to the address but it turned out to » » »

21 April 2011

Georgian comfort

19th April 2011 My image of Australia, far less Tasmania, didn’t remotely include a rambling old Georgian farmhouse set in rolling green pastures with a perfect cottage garden gently decaying into autumn browns and an old stone-build barnyard along the side. But that’s where we are tonight, in the old buttery which has been converted » » »

16 April 2011

Wine and wallaby

13th April 2011 Rain, rain, rain, rain, rain, rain, rain, rain, rain, rain, rain, rain, rain, rain, rain, rain, rain, rain, rain, rain, rain, rain, rain, rain, rain, rain, rain, rain, rain. It finally gave up raining once we’d settled into our accommodation at about five in the evening. Hilariously, a guy at one of » » »

8 April 2011

New Zealand nutshell

In reality this is a South Island nutshell, as we’re only going to be stopping three days on the North Island. We spent four enjoyable weeks here. New Zealand is a very civilised country, small enough to be manageable, majoring in natural beauty and outdoor activities but with a strong supporting cast of good food » » »

4 April 2011


1st April 2011 Today’s kayaking was much more elemental than yesterday’s. The elements in question being mainly rain and wind. No more blue skies, and the rain quickly soaked us through. When we stopped on a beach to eat out lunchtime sandwiches early, the sea which had felt icy yesterday now seemed warm in comparison » » »

1 April 2011

Seasick but cheerful

31st March 2011 Who knew you could get seasick in a kayak? Today had an unpromising start. We had to get to the kayaking office for 8:30am… only to be told that we wouldn’t actually start our day of kayaking until lunchtime. There would be a briefing first, and some instruction, and then some hanging » » »

1 April 2011

Is it just the sun?

30th March 2011 Today was a surprisingly satisfying day, despite not really doing much. Of course, I write this after a couple of glasses of very good Syrah from one of the wineries we visited a few days ago, but still… All we’ve actually accomplished today is getting from Havelock to Motueka, doing a washload » » »

30 March 2011

A fine day tramping

28th March 2011 Tramping is the kiwi word for hiking. Oh, and kiwi is the New Zealander word for New Zealanders. You probably knew that. Anyway, our day started with a boat trip out to Ship Cove, the place where Captain Cook first moored on his arrival in New Zealand and one end of the » » »

16 March 2011

It ain’t Nepal

16th March 2011 Routeburn Trek, Day 3 There’s little to tell of today’s trekking, under three hours downhill through beech forest. Friendly south island robins hopped out of the undergrowth to peck at our feet for insects. When we hit the bottom and found the car park there was a final treat to finish our » » »

16 March 2011

Squelch, squelch, squelch

14th March 2011 Routeburn Trek, Day 1 We set out upon our great adventure in the pouring Fiordland rain. Indeed, it rained continuously all day. The only respite from relentless vertical rain was in the afternoon when the wind began to blow and it became relentless oblique rain. The howling of the wind through the » » »

8 March 2011

Frozen in the forest

6th March 2011 Okay, actually written on the morning of the 7th. We’re now staying at Dryandra Forest, another nature reserve on the way back to Perth that also has a good reputation for rare marsupials. The cabin we’ve got is great, with an open fire and an old cooking range, wooden floors and probably » » »

8 March 2011

Bali nutshell

We can’t write an Indonesian nutshell, but having spent four weeks in Bali and visited the north, west, east, south and central parts of the island we can probably do a pretty good nutshell here. Bali really is a holiday paradise, with accommodation and food both available for all budgets and of a good quality. » » »

4 March 2011

Generic motel #4

2nd March 2011 Emu Point Hotel has one great feature to mark it out from the other motels we’ve stayed in so far; it comes with two complimentary sachets of real ground coffee and a cafetiere. Nice touch. But in all other regards it is identical to the Karri Forest Motel and the Ocean Drive » » »

26 February 2011

New travel companions

20th February 2011 My parents picked us up from the hotel this morning. I paid the bill before they arrived, and got the first cold wake-up to the fact that Australia is going to be expensive to travel in. The room was about £100. For a characterless no-frills hotel in an uninteresting part of town, » » »

22 February 2011

Hotel ups and downs

15th February 2011 Still trying to decide whether to like our hotel or not. When we arrived yesterday it looked lovely, but my hackles immediately went up when we asked for WiFi and they said it was 50,000rp per hour. That’s £3.50 which would be steep even in London. To my way of thinking, when » » »

2 February 2011

Picture Amed

Our three day trip to the Amed coast was a great glimpse of the beauty on Bali. I honestly have no idea why any tourists would want to stay around the grubby bustle of Kuta, Sanur, Legian and the rest. But I’m very glad that most of them do! Related Images:

1 February 2011


28th January 2011 This is a lovely place. It’s my favourite bit of Bali so far, both the area and the place we’ve stopped to stay. From Padangbai this morning we drove east as far as it’s possible to go without plopping into the deep indigo Indian Ocean. Padangbai is an amiable spot, with a » » »

24 January 2011

Staying with grandma

23nd January 2011 We’re staying for two weeks with Maureen’s grandma, who lives on her own except for a servant in a house in the suburbs of Denpasar, Bali. She is a unique and wonderful old lady, with a lovely sense of humour and a great delicacy about her. It’s very different staying in a » » »

24 January 2011

Journal entry 20/01/2011

20th January 2011 We keep a daily journal of notes, both to cover all the details we might forget and which don’t make it into blogs, and also to remind me of details if it’s a couple of days before I actually put a blog entry together. This is pretty much today’s journal entry (with » » »

17 January 2011

Thailand nutshell

It’s clear why Thailand has such a gravitational pull for travellers of all kinds. The country is full of interest, it’s more modern and accommodating than other Asian nations, and the crucial travelling commodities of food, lodging and transport are all cheap and good quality; you can dwell comfortably in Thailand for £20 per day. » » »

7 January 2011

Protein-rich breakfast

5th January 2011 This morning I drank a mouthful of ants. It wasn’t my intention. We had a glass of water by the bed as always, and in the morning I sleepily took a drink from it. I’d taken a second mouthful before realising that the first swallow was very… bitty. I spat the new » » »

5 January 2011

No redeeming features

4th January 2011 Kuraburi Greenview Resort really is a hotel with no redeeming features. The gala dinner you’ve already heard about. The room itself is comfy enough, but we’ve paid half as much for just as good in Thailand. Dinner last night was rubbish, a peculiar tasting yellow curry and some awfully chewy fried fish. » » »

3 January 2011

Ko Surin

2nd January 2010 Ko Surin lies a 60km jolting speedboat ride out in the Andaman Sea. It’s one of the most renowned places to go snorkelling and diving in Thailand, although it turns out that “coral bleaching” is a dire problem here and even the exhibition at the island HQ rates all but two of » » »

3 January 2011

Happy New Year

31st December 2010 What does £24 per person (the price of three good meals in a Thai restaurant) get you for a New Year’s Eve bash at Kuraburi resort? You get a buffet dinner that includes nothing you’ll remember in a week. You get as much fruit punch and cheap beer as you can drink, » » »

31 December 2010

Khao Sok

28th December 2010 Khao Sok is certainly a beautiful place. Thirty years ago it was an area of steep mountains and deep valleys, but then a dam was built and now there is an enormous lake. Not the typical oval of a natural lake, instead it has hundreds of long winding fingers of water; the » » »

31 December 2010

Cambodia nutshell

I like Cambodia, even though things don’t work quite how they’re meant to, the traffic is chaos and the country is clearly very poor. My warm feelings may in part be due to the nice accommodation we stayed in, but getting an enormous plush villa by a pool for the price of a cosy shoebox » » »

18 December 2010

Bangkok busy

17th December 2010 How lazy is this? A four day gap since the last blog. But it’s easily summarised. On the 14th we made one last (failed) attempt to watch for small-clawed otters, then said farewell to Jan and Tu boarded the train at 2PM. Rattle, rattle, rattle, at 3PM on the 15th we stepped » » »

28 November 2010

Theme of laid-back

It’s night-time at Cave Lodge, the lights are surrounded by swarms of incredibly stupid flying bugs and a huge gecko just jumped from the lampshade to the table with a thud like a dropped bag of sugar. So what have we been up to since Loy Krathong? We spent four days in Chiang Mai eventually, » » »

18 November 2010

Nepal nutshell

The main reason to visit Nepal is for trekking in the Himalayas – even then, you need to be the right kind of person to enjoy it. Nepal does have friendly people, it is cheap, there are some great cultural sights, and compared to most of Asia it is hassle-free. But the squalor and chaos » » »

1 November 2010

Upon Poon Hill

Day One, we start hiking at 10AM through the straggly villages of Nyapul and Birithani. The day soon heats up and it also soon turns out that the heat, climb and pace of the trek are a bit tough on John and Ann. We are sweltering our way up a valley of terraced farmland and » » »

19 October 2010

Festival time!

It’s festival time in Bhaktapur! The festival is Dashain, biggest festival in the Nepali calendar, and this morning we sat on the steps of a temple and watched them chop the heads off of goats and a bullock with a huge kukri knife. One blow – CHOP! Then they drag the body (still twitching, ewww) » » »

11 October 2010

Daddy Mountains

I’m really worried. I’ve got a splitting headache, I’m dizzy, my heartbeat is racing and I can’t sleep at all. These are most of the symptoms for altitude sickness (lucky me, at least I’m not nauseous). I’m not worried about my health, because these are the mild symptoms and the “cure” if they get worse » » »

14 September 2010

South Africa nutshell

South Africa is a stunning country for wildlife and scenery. As though there weren’t enough guidebooks already, here’s our brief lowdown on the country for travellers. For prices below, the exchange rate was about R10 to £1 when we visited. Accommodation You can get a good, comfortable, spacious room in a B&B or guesthouse for » » »

11 September 2010

Big game hunting

In the Kruger, no-one can hear you blog. Not strictly true, as a couple of the camps now have internet cafes, but we didn’t stay there. So that’s why we’ve been quiet. Expect a flurry of blog posts; this one is about the Kruger. We’ve been in three different camps over five days, and seen » » »

24 August 2010

Hello Robbie and Carmen!

Today we drove and drove across the old Transkei region – one of the former black homelands – and stopped in the town of Matatiele. More vast, dry geography peppered with the odd ramshackle town. And truly excellent roads; you can’t cover 300+ miles in 6 hours on bad roads. There’s not much to do » » »

19 August 2010

Rain, cold and whales

Last night it absolutely tipped down with rain, and this morning it is cold. Our B&B room is large and well furnished, but shares with all other South African accommodation a complete disdain for anything as wussy as heating. “It’s only cold for five or six weeks of the year” as our host pointed out. » » »

8 August 2010


I must be a softy, because wading through meadows carpeted in myriad flowers is one of my favourite things so far. It’s hard to do justice to the display in photos, but we took hundreds (but only ten made the gallery!). Namaqua is an arid region, baked to bare sand in the summer but exploding » » »

5 August 2010

Baboons behaving badly

(written by Maureen) Thanks to everyone who has commented on our blog! Since we may not have internet access very much, we have changed the settings so that now comments won’t need to be approved by us and so should appear immediately. We have decided to name every day of our trip. Day one was » » »