26 May
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 ‘beauty

15 May 2016

Coyote cokey

21 April 2016 Ignore yesterday’s grumbles. Yosemite is undisputably one of the loveliest places on the entire planet. And we’ve visited a whole bunch of the planet’s most renowned treasures and wildernesses, so I’m pretty confident with my statement. If I wanted to try and tease out a reasoned explanation for why this is so, » » »

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 » » »

18 May 2013

Slovenia, town and country

If you took a weekend break in Slovenia and didn’t leave Ljubljana you’d be missing out on a beautiful rural country of hills and valleys, meadows and forests, and one charming port town on its very short coastline! Related Images:

18 May 2013

I like

13th May 2013 Something I like, which I suspect nobody other than a gardener would understand, is visiting other countries and finding the wild versions of garden plants. The Himalayas in Nepal might have been the most exotic example, with wild berberis, pieris and azalea, but just today while hiking up Mostnice Gorge in the » » »

18 May 2013

Dipping into Slovenia

13th May 2013 I’m liking Slovenia a lot. Today we squeezed in a visit to the picturesque seaside town of Piran, a real Italianate gem on Solvenia’s tiny stretch of coastline. The main Tartini Square was magical under an impossibly blue sky, presided over by a lively sculpture of the local violinist Tartini himself. This » » »

18 May 2013

Balkan landscapes

12th May 2013 We’ve been through a steadily changing series of Balkan landscapes today, winding north from Split up to Slovenia. This is a part of the world I’m totally unfamiliar with and we keep discovering curiosities that beg further exploration. Our first brief stop was the coastal town of Senj, somewhere I had thought » » »

18 May 2013

Roman city

11th May 2013 Lots of driving today. Left Perast at 9:30am with nowt but an espresso inside me and reached Trogir at 3:30pm with no breaks and a couple of in-car biscuits. One of those things. Didn’t help that Croatians have a habit of putting road signs up before they’ve finished building the road, and » » »

5 November 2012

Les Baux

30th October 2012 Miracle! The car is fixed, on time, and the bill only slightly higher than it would’ve been back home. This was good, as the museum we had earmarked for our amusement today happened to be closed on Tuesdays. Are we perennially unlucky, or does everything in France just close at the most » » »

5 November 2012

Winding and windy

27th October 2012 There’s a gale blowing outside and it’s icy cold on the streets of Aix-en-Provence. It was warmer in the Swiss Alps! Stupid cold front. But at least we’re back in our hotel room and nicely full of a very nose-to-tail dinner. By which I mean that Maureen had a delicious dish of » » »

5 November 2012

Two different days

23rd October 2012 Well, I love Alsace. This is how wine tasting is done. You start in Obernai, near Strasbourg, and you meander along a winding road through vineyards of autumn gold, in the lee of the misty, wooded Vosges, passing through a series of medieval villages and towns of ever-increasing picturesqueness until you reach » » »

1 October 2012

Wall Drug and Badlands

25th September 2012 Today we visited a huge and endless expanse pretty much devoid of any interest, and we also visited the Badlands of South Dakota. Wall Drug is, according to some, the second most famous site in South Dakota (after the presidential noggins). Poor ol’ South Dakota. Wall Drug is a rambling shop that » » »

1 October 2012

Yellowstone trio

18th September 2012 How have I managed to travel for a year around the world, staying in over a hundred different lodgings, and never left a single thing behind in our room? And then I come to America for two weeks and leave my satchel including my wallet in a cabin at Signal Mountain Lodge? » » »

20 July 2011

Galapagos cruise

We visited five islands in four days and saw an absolute wealth of wildlife, many of the species endemic and found nowhere else in the world. These photos cover each day of the cruise in turn. Related Images:

20 July 2011

Wonderful ridiculous

14th July 2011 These wonderful, ridiculous islands are absolutely alive with creatures whose one shared characteristic is a complete lack of any fear of man. We went for a walk this morning and found dozens of big prehistoric land iguanas just basking to either side of the path and oblivious to us getting close enough » » »

3 July 2011


2nd July 2011 Honestly I’ve never been so cold in my life. You see, the attraction of the El Tatio geysers is in the mystical towers of steam they put out. But within an hour or so of dawn the bright altiplano sun has burned the steam away and rendered the spectacle nothing more than » » »

26 June 2011

Santa Catalina

I’m very happy we went to the trouble of extending our stay in Arequipa by a day, despite the rebooking of buses, car hire and hotels required. Not only because we badly needed a day of (mostly) rest, but because we visited the magical Convent of Santa Catalina, one of the most delightful places I’ve » » »

16 June 2011

Was it worth it?

15th June 2011 Yes. It was definitely worth getting up at 4:30 in the morning to wait in line for one of the first coaches to take visitors up the mountain, because only that way do you get to look out over the ruins before they are scattered with roving tour groups. It was worth » » »

16 June 2011


At the same time as the Greeks were scratching satyrs on the sides of their elegant but uninteresting pots, in the Andean region of South America there were ancient cultures producing ceramics that owed a lot more to aesthetics and artistic expression than to religious or ritual symbolism. Up to three thousand years old, and » » »

9 June 2011

Chiloe moods

Chiloe was a beautiful place, notable for its churches, its sea views, and its wildlife. But above all notable for its weather. Look at how it adds mood to some of the pictures in this gallery. Related Images:

5 June 2011

Chepu otters

We came to Chiloe looking for otters, and at Chepu we weren’t disappointed. It also happens to be a stunningly beautiful place (if you are lucky enough to get sun!) which just shows that otters have very good taste. Look at where else they live: the Isle of Skye, Monterey Bay, Okavango Delta, Yellowstone, need » » »

3 June 2011

Otter or not?

30th May 2011 Wow I’m tired. We were ready for breakfast at 7:30, just before dawn. The whole world was sparkling with frost and despite wearing almost every item of clothing we had, it was freezing. Breakfast at least was in the warm, porridge and hot rolls to store up some energy. At 8am down » » »

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 » » »

26 May 2011

Auckland sunshine

23rd May 2011 It’s a beautiful day in Auckland. We’ve got a three-day stopover here before heading on to South America. The sun is shining in a clear blue sky and the burnished red leaves cling to the trees in a cooling breeze or pattern the pavement beneath our feet. Hang on a minute. Trees » » »

23 May 2011

Final outing

20th May 2011 Yesterday evening we tried our final bit of mammal watching for Australia, heading out to Royal National Park for some spotlighting in the forest. We saw a couple of Rusa Deer, no doubt introduced some time last century, and a single Sugar Glider which swooped past us through the air to make » » »

20 May 2011

Heart of Australia

The red centre is the landscape of Australia that you hope to find, huge and astonishing. After the summer rains it is as beautiful as it is uncompromising, and the wildlife in such a vast emptiness is surprising. We like it. Related Images:

20 May 2011

Green Centre

16th May 2011 Thus concludes our loop around the Red Centre of Australia, back in Alice Springs in a comfortable little apartment with a Thai takeaway to take away the taste of all the grimly cooked meat-plus-stuff of the last four evenings. Today we visited various beauty spots along the West MacDonnell Range, a rugged » » »

16 May 2011

Red Centre

15th May 2011 Today was awesome, and I try to use that word sparingly. We’ve already been on some dirt roads in our Toyota Landcruiser already in the red centre, but then again we drove down lots of dirt roads in our tiny Hyundai Getz. Today we drove the bone-shaking Mereenie Loop track which cuts » » »

16 May 2011

The rock

13th May 2011 Today we visited what is indubitably the most famous rock in the world, Uluru. Still referred to in a surprising amount of tourist literature as Ayers Rock. We rolled the remaining 100kms to the Yulara village just outside Uluru and started our day with some brunch. The baguettes we chose would have » » »

15 May 2011

Flinders snaps

Only one whole day in the Flinders Ranges, but definitely my favourite bit of our short time in South Australia. And there really is absolutely nothing up here except landscape and a bit of wildlife. Related Images:

15 May 2011

Flinders hop

7th May 2011 What should you do if you’re driving at 100kph along a dirt road into the sunset in your little red rental Hyundai and you suddenly come upon a herd of emus crossing the road? What you should not do is slam on the brakes, fishtail out of control on the loose gravel, » » »

9 May 2011

Remarkable day

4th May 2011 Three remarkable things, that makes this a remarkable day. I shall elaborate… This morning we visited the Remarkable Rocks, which perch on the cliffs above the Southern Ocean on the south coast of the island. And they truly are remarkable. It looks like a modern artist has created a huge abstract installation » » »

2 May 2011

Great Ocean Road

We enjoyed our trip down the Great Ocean Road. I’d recommend anyone stick it on their itinerary for a long holiday in Australia. It’s got beautiful seascapes, forests full of walking trails, little towns full of good things to eat (it’s long-weekend territory for Melbournites, you see) and lots of wildlife. Including koalas. Fear their » » »

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

Tasmania A to Z

Usually I’m trying to make a narrative or explore a theme with photo galleries, but this is just a ramble through our Tasmania snaps now that we’re looking back a good week or so. Related Images:

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 » » »

12 April 2011

Sydney Opera House

11th April 2011 I’m really delighted by the Sydney Opera House. Every big city should have one. Not exactly the same, obviously. But every big city should have a venue for the arts that is: Central and impressive from afar, providing a focus for the cityscape Unique and ambitious, to astonish the first-time visitor and » » »

7 April 2011

Painting pictures with words

5th April 2011 Yesterday was rained off. If I’m not mistaken, the only day in eight months. We stayed indoors and caught up with various chores, did some reading, and when the rain eventually stopped late afternoon we went for a walk just to get out. However, while it was raining on us it was » » »

4 April 2011

Trek, plonk and splash

The Marlborough Sounds area stands a very good chance of being my favourite bit of New Zealand. We had a magical trek along the Queen Charlotte Track, saw wonderful wildlife in Queen Charlotte Sound, and had very contrasting indulgence in the Marlborough wine country of Wairau valley. Related Images:

30 March 2011

Queen Charlotte march

29th March 2011 Ooo… my legs hurt. Today the track climbed even higher and the views over the Queen Charlotte Sound on one side and the Kenepura Sound on the other side were even more glorious. The track effectively wanders down a long hilly peninsula of land with these long fingers of sea on either » » »

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 » » »

21 March 2011

The Catlins coast

19th-20th March 2011 The Catlins coast is definitely an area for touring and enjoying the scenery; there are no towns to speak of and no big attractions. But the rolling scenic route through farmland, forest and windswept coast is conveniently dotted with a bunch of good things. So let me take you through our leisurely » » »

18 March 2011

Routeburn track

New Zealanders are very lucky to have such a concentration of epic landscape all in a couple of islands no bigger than Great Britain. Of course, they do have to put up with noisy neighbours. Warning: this gallery contains lots of landscape photography. Do not view while driving as it may induce drowsiness. Related Images:

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


15th March 2011 Routeburn Trek, Day 2 We were greeted this morning by a glorious sunrise and a faultless blue sky. There was still a bracing freshness in the air as we set out, but our dry clothes and almost-dry boots made us cheerful and the weather could only improve our mood as we emerged » » »

13 March 2011

Walking and drinking

13th March 2011 Normally I’d tut severely at someone using a single-malt scotch for something as whimsical as a cocktail, but Laphroig is such a rampant and unashamed peat monster that it doesn’t feel much of a sin to try and play with it. The cocktail involved stirring in marachino liqueur and vermouth, and it » » »

13 March 2011

Welcoming Queenstown

12th March 2011 New Zealand has just the same problems as Australia with wildlife conservation. They have oodles of natural wilderness, plenty of pristine habitat, and a population that is dead keen on conservation. But at various times in the brief recent history of the country people have introduced rabbits, red deer, douglas fir, brush-tail » » »

11 March 2011

Choose your fjord

11th March 2011 No doubt anticipating my critical review, it seems that Toni’s Restorante included some bad mussels in Maureen’s dinner yesterday as an act of vengeance. Both she and my dad, who tried one, got sick in the night. Do not give bad reviews to precognitive fake Italians! Anyway, they were both feeling better » » »

10 March 2011

Looks promising…

9th March 2011 As you come into land at Queenstown airport the plane flies down a valley between enormous rugged mountain peaks. They’re much like the Scottish highlands in character, very beautiful. And I do mean between the peaks; when I looked out of the window I could see a little car park above me » » »

8 March 2011

Whole lotta sky

Western Australia has a lot of sky, and lots of it beautiful. We had lots of fun taking photographs and seeing if we could capture the light or the sense of a place. Related Images:

28 February 2011

The smell of adventure

28th February 2011 It’s a shame we don’t have the technology to record smells and include them into internet sites for others to enjoy. The scent of the trees in the mighty jarrah and karri forests of this part of Western Australia is one of the most superb smells of our travels. There’s a strong, » » »

26 February 2011

Life in a volcano

Our daytrip to Gunung Batur was brilliant for photography. There was so much to see in the human and the natural landscape. We did have to fend off a couple of touts and putative guides, and since we were there (a) off-season, (b) with our own transport and (c) away from the main tourist spots » » »

16 February 2011

Bali beauties

9th February 2011 I think there are three beauties in Bali. The first is the sea and the shore, at least in places like Amed where the rampant spread of resorts hasn’t made the scene fit only for sun-worship. Our last stop with Tim and Vanessa will be Permuteran, and I have all fingers and » » »

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 » » »

17 January 2011

I like Langkawi

16th January 2011 We read about Langkawi online, and in the Lonely Planet for Malaysia. Sun, sea, sand, resorts, and a handful of desultory attractions to milk some money from those who tire of the beach; “come for the beaches, there’s nothing else here” was the verdict from pretty much everyone. That’s why our initial » » »

31 December 2010

There are guides and guides

29th December 2010 I’m referring to the guides that we’ve gone with in various places to help us find wildlife – Madagascar, Bardia, Hala Bala, here. You obviously pay a premium for this, and each of these four trips has come out of our “special fun budget”, but a good local guide is crucial for » » »

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 » » »

17 November 2010

Langtang trek

Our trek up the Langtang valley will leave us with lasting impressions. The days of trekking in the majesty of the mountains and the astonishing forests of pine, larch, alder, bamboo, berberis, pieris, azalea and rhododendron couldn’t be better… the nights of endless hands of rummy in freezing cold lodges with the most rudimentary ablutions » » »

1 November 2010


Bhaktapur feels like what Kathmandu may have been 30 years ago. Parts of the city still feel positively mediaeval. We like it. Related Images:

12 September 2010

Great Escarpment

The Great Escarpment is pretty bloody amazing. You’re driving across the vast flat expanse of the low veldt and there is just this almighty wall of mountainous golden cliffs stretching from horizon to horizon, broken only by the Blyde River canyon which emerges from it. Anyone who visits the Kruger and doesn’t take a day » » »

1 September 2010

Dragon’s teeth

Bloody roadworks. They’re doing a lot of work on the roads in South Africa right now, which is great (though personally I find the potholes fun and challenging at 80mph) but they’ve got an annoying habit of working on 5km of road at a time, which means the traffic lights for the roadworks are typically » » »

29 August 2010


Today there was a frost in the morning (as usual we were out for a walk by 6:30), yet by lunchtime the temperature was 30C. Anyway, Tillietudlem looked beautiful and more like a little slice of Scotland than ever. We’ve stayed an extra two days, going for a two hour dawn walk and a two » » »

12 August 2010

Hiking and wine tasting

Today we hiked up Table Mountain, via the Platterklip Gorge route which goes straight up the Cape Town face of it. I guess it underscores our “outdoorsy” nature that we much preferred the knackering hike up to the cablecar trip down with 40 other people. Cape Town is described as a beautiful city, but these » » »

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 » » »