20 Apr
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 ‘hiking

25 April 2017

Eye-catching La Gomera

When people say “visit the Canary Islands” the stunning mountainscapes of La Gomera probably aren’t the first picture to spring into your head… Related Images:

24 April 2017

First (only?) snow of the year!

2 April 2017 There’s been no snow at all in Cheltenham this year. Or if there was a sprinkle, none of it settled. So the snow-capped Tatra mountains were an irresistable draw. Poor breakfast at Hotel U Leva – we’ll find a cafe tomorrow. And then we were into the car and on our way. » » »

20 January 2017

These mist covered mountains

12 January 2017 It rained in the night. This morning we see a new side of La Gomera’s weather – it’s overcast, with plenty of mist and the occasional drizzle of rain. It’s even cloudy over the south western Valle Gran Rey, which is where we had settled on for today’s hike. We started up » » »

20 January 2017

The owl of Chipude

11 January 2017 Yesterday I really buggered up my knee on the downhill slog, so the plan today was to explore by car and maybe find a short and easy walk along the way to keep us exercised. Hmm… four hours is I suppose not very short, but since it only climbed 450m it certainly » » »

20 January 2017

Downhill all the way

10 January 2017 I enjoy trying to fathom out the history of an area from clues around me. The recent history of La Gomera seems to be depopulation and changing agriculture, from subsistence to cash crops. We’ve passed loads of high mountainous terraces on our walks, tiny slivers of ground, some about the size of » » »

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 » » »

19 January 2017

Rocks and prickly pear

8 January 2017 Our first hike on La Gomera. We picked one that started nearby (a mere 20 minutes twisty turning drive up mountain roads) and concentrated around an area called Los Roques. It was a stunning walk, taking in ancient laurisilva forests with lichen and moss trailing from the branches, huge vistas from the » » »

18 September 2016

Splendid with a side of frustrations

11 September 2016 Villa Hermani is German run and decent lodgings (though, seriously, paying for WiFi?). The one thing we couldn’t do that they specialise in is a visit to a bear hide – just here the wrong day. Still, we hoped to see chamois on our hike today. Breakfast first, and they do put » » »

4 June 2016

Townsend’s long-eared bat attack

5 May 2016 So naturally we had a fairly easy start today. For us, that meant leaving the motel around 9ish. It was a perfectly decent motel, by the way, nothing at all special but nothing wrong; the Hollister Inn. Just in case you ever find yourself in Hollister, California. Which you won’t. We stopped » » »

4 June 2016

Overdone kangaroo rat

4 May 2016 On most mammal watching holidays we hit a day when we overdo it. This was that day. It started really pleasantly, with some early morning sea otter watching from the shore at Elkhorn Slough. There was one dozing on the sand less than five metres from us. Because it was grey and » » »

15 May 2016

Allen’s chipmunk chin-up day

22 April 2016 Well, we finally saw one chipmunk. Out at Hetch Hetchy, a much less visited part of Yosemite National Park in the far north where we had a lovely flower-filled hike alongside the reservoir in the sun. We were a little alarmed to find red newts (or maybe salamanders?) on the path wherever » » »

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, » » »

15 May 2016

Grey fox graduation day

20 April 2016 I do love to hate National Park Rangers. Although I need to be clear: I mean the cheerful and useless tourist-handlers at the information desks, not the dedicated conservation officers out in the field. Whether it’s Yellowstone, Yosemite, Banff or Flinders the conversation is always roughly the same… Me: “We’d like to » » »

16 March 2015

Driving and walking and chestnuts

13th February 2015 More whacky weather. It was astonishingly clear this morning, so we deviated from our plan and drove back up to Pico do Arieiro, where we got magnificent vistas of the whole island in all directions, scarcely a cloud in the sky. Contrast with the soupy whiteness behind Maureen in the photo a » » »

16 March 2015

Still hiking

12th Feburary 2015 We’re still hiking. This morning’s hike was very beautiful, along a levada that runs high up on the southern flanks of the Paul de Serra, so a much more open and moorland landscape than the verdant forests most of our other levadas have meandered through. The hike then dropped down a long » » »

16 March 2015

Hotel breakfast, why?

11th February 2015 Bored with breakfast now. Why, when the guidebook says “Madeirans like to start the day with a short cup of coffee and a pastry,” does our hotel insist on bread, ham, cheese, eggs, fruit, carton juice and a big jug of insipid filter coffee? It’s not them, really. There’s an international standard » » »

16 March 2015

Levada in the mist

9th February 2015 We managed an early start, in spite of the cold, and drove up and up and up onto the Paul de Serra, the high plateau, to a place at the end of the road called Bica de Cana. There was bright sun and patchy cloud, but the thermometer in the car read » » »

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 » » »

30 September 2012

You just missed ’em

16th September 2012 Another pre-dawn start, this time driving in search of wildlife. Our first spot was a gaggle of cars at the roadside, always the most obvious sign that there’s an animal about. It was a family of moose, although we were a little late to the party and could only see them at » » »

30 September 2012

Elk in the smoke

15th September 2012 Oof, but the mornings start cold! It’s only September and the weather is fine, but it’s just below freezing at dawn and the bright sunshine only manages to deliver proper warmth in the afternoon. This is down to altitude; we may be on a flat plain, but we’re perched up around 2400m » » »

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 » » »

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 » » »

16 April 2011

Kiwi adventures

Written by Maureen People come to New Zealand to experience the great outdoors and we were no different. Thanks to Matt’s parents, we were able sample some of the best experiences the country has to offer. We cruised, walked, messed about on kayaks, tottered on a glacier and saw enough cetaceans, pinipeds and avians to » » »

9 April 2011

My poor feets

8th April 2011 There’s very much a fixed list of what is appropriate to eat at breakfast and what is not. It changes around the world of course – I’m unlikely to find the calming rice soups I enjoyed in Thailand popping up in the cafes of London any time soon. So even though we » » »

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 » » »

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 » » »

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 » » »

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 » » »

22 February 2011

Fruitless trek

18th February 2011 If we are unlucky on a wildlife trek and don’t see very many animals, at least there is the pleasure instead of a fine walk in beautiful natural surroundings. Unfortunately in Bali Barat National Park we didn’t see much and the walk was hot and uncomfortable. Our guide Gede was very good, » » »

28 November 2010


We went on a caving trip and visited three caves. There’s only photos from two, because Waterfall Cave involved crawling on our bellies through foot-deep water – even I wasn’t determined enough to try and take a camera there! Related Images:

17 November 2010

Teahouse trekking in Nepal

Written by Maureen We went on two treks in Nepal. The first was a five day Poon Hill trek in the Annapurna region. The second trek was ten days combining Langtang with Gosaikund lake, although we actually snubbed the holy lake and instead spent a day searching for red panda, musk deer and other wildlife » » »

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 » » »

2 November 2010

Poon Hill trek

Photos from our 5-day Poon Hill trek with Ann and John. Related Images:

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 » » »

28 September 2010

Guiding light

Written by Maureen After two weeks in Madagascar looking for wildlife, I am filled with respect for the local guides. In Ankarafantsika, there was Jacqui, a mellow guy who spoke softly and walked quietly. He showed us many birds, including the impressive Madagascar fishing eagle and the cutely named buttonquail. In Matadia, we were guided » » »

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 » » »

3 September 2010

Dragon mountains

We’ve been hiking in the Drakensberg. It’s a stunning landscape! Related Images:

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 » » »

19 July 2010

Devon, archery, hiking and otters

Of course we needed one final holiday before travelling around the world for a year! We went down to Devon for a weekend on Dartmoor with Andy and Stewart. Beginning with a stopover in Bath and great breakfast at Jika Jika on George Street – top tip. The main event of the weekend was Dragon » » »