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 ‘moan

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. » » »

4 January 2020

Are we still having fun?

17 December 2019 Phew! The guided wildlife watching part of our trip is done with! We put in a six hour night drive last night after arriving in Sigiriya, and tonight we put in a seven hour drive (curtailed when the heavens opened at 3:30am and we had to hurridly cover the jeep and chug » » »

4 January 2020

Chital yawn

15 December 2019 Lunch has rectified the food situation. More good daal, but this time with an astonishingly good beetroot curry and a pork curry and an okra curry and a dish of sour stir-fried veg and chunks of roasted river fish. All ace. We went out in the afternoon for another game drive, and » » »

3 September 2017

Bare of bears

28 August 2017 The bears were even more of a wash-out than our lone wolf yesterday. We switched guides today, to Bernardo, who knows less English but clearly knows the mountains and wildlife like the back of his hand. And he took us out at a hideous hour to a very beautiful (very cold and » » »

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. » » »

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 » » »

6 June 2016

Grey whale again

8 May 2016 We’ve given pretty short shrift to breakfasts this holiday. A lot of it is due to mammal watching – when you go out super-early in the morning, you generally miss the opportunity for breakfast at your lodgings. So a lot of our breakfasts have been odd things out of the snack bag. » » »

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 » » »

1 January 2016

Back to the coast

27 December 2015 We took one more shot at finding an otter across the river, but another two hours in the mangroves didn’t show up anything more interesting than whistling ducks and sacred ibis. No otters in The Gambia for us. On the way back to shore we had another fun example of Gambian witlessness. » » »

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

Jinack Island

24 December 2015 The two main export crops of Jinack island are marijuana and oysters. That’s pretty whacky. We learned this while walking with Amadou to the village across the island (his village, as it turned out) for a boat trip into the mangroves. We also discovered that 15 minutes is always an hour, as » » »

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 » » »

28 December 2013

The fine line

27th December 2013 There’s a fine line between a good time and a bad one, just oddities of circumstance and preparation. Today was an example. A day out sailing on a catamaran around the Bocas Islands in search of dolphins sounds fun, yes? Perhaps a couple of days previously, when there was some clouds with » » »

25 December 2013

Rainforest experience? Right.

20th December 2013 We’re back from our two nights in the Corcovado rainforest at Sirena ranger station. We were slightly perturbed by the rustic accommodation, but Corcovado is one of the best places in the Americas to see rainforest wildlife so it would be odd to pass it by. Almost… almost wish we had. The » » »

18 December 2013

Sloth in the rain

16th December 2013 Today we took ourselves for another wander around the jungle trails of La Selva, with very modest success; a squirrel and some more howler monkeys. I get the feeling wildlife doesn’t like rain much either. So in the afternoon we decided on some reconnaissance and jumped in the 4WD to find Heliconia » » »

16 December 2013


14th December 2013 It’s been an exhausting month. Moving into our new house in Cheltenham, workmen everywhere, turning our house in Ludlow into a holiday let, plus loads of stuff going on at work. We really needed a holiday. We didn’t need to run a 1500m race through Miami airport, find that our luggage hadn’t » » »

18 May 2013

The local food problem

16th May 2013 Relaxing final day exploring Dubrovnik old town at leisure, dodging rain showers. Just like in France, the weather is hinting that it’s time to go home. When I travel anywhere in the world I like to try local food. Not just sample specialities, I mean that I prefer to eat my dinners » » »

18 May 2013

Overdone day

15th May 2013 I’m surprised that today is our only overdone day. We’ve tried to cover a lot this week, probably too much (as usual), yet it has worked really well and we’ve been able to enjoy exploring every destination we’ve visited. The clearest sign, to me, that we’ve overdone it on past travels is » » »

5 November 2012

Full circle, full glass

2nd November 2012 Remember that bottle of special Vendanges Tardive wine that got broke back in the Switzerland episode? Well, I’ve got another one. Yes, Alsace was a bit of a detour on our way back to Calais but where’s the point of a completely unplanned holiday if you can’t change your itinerary on a » » »

5 November 2012

Enforced Avignon

29th October 2012 We are now having a short break in the city of Avignon, circumstances having forced a bit of Provencal laissez-faire on us. Yesterday after driving out of Aix towards the pretty villages of the Luberon I briefly wound down the driver’s side window and then found it wouldn’t wind up again. It » » »

5 November 2012

Vive la différence

22nd October 2012 Funny little differences between nations. Every guidebook and piece of travel health advice I’ve read says that after a bout of diarrhoea you should rehydrate yourself, and I always (well, except for this trip) pack a few sachets of rehydration salts just in case. Yet once I’d struggled to explain my need » » »

5 November 2012

Overdidit Sunday

21st October 2012 It has to be said, Épernay is essentially a crummy town. In England it would be Bracknell, or Basildon. It’s surprising really, you would think that the very heart of Champagne country would be an immense tourist draw with plenty of facilities for oodles of international visitors. Mais non. It’s a bland » » »

1 October 2012

A grizzly sight

20th September 2012 This morning we got ourselves out early again, another 6:30am start. We didn’t see anything much in the morning mists until we slowed to a crawl past the place where the ravens were on the deer carcass. Lo and behold, there was a grizzly bear on the kill! We’d never have spotted » » »

1 October 2012

Tasty geyser

17th September 2012 All around the world people who visit tourist destinations are left with a terrible impression of that country’s cuisine. I remember visiting Paris, years before we started dining Michelin-style, and leaving with the impression that French restaurants are horrible places where steak comes as a scrawny piece of leather and hollandaise sauce » » »

24 July 2011

Variable conditions

23rd July 2011 Today was a strange mixture. Up hideously early in the morning birdwatching; a long, weary and immensely frustrating drive all over the middle of Ecuador; and this evening finds us relaxing in our own hot spring pool in the rain and mist. The birdwatching happened by accident, we were asking Julia some » » »

5 July 2011

Valparaiso impressions

4th July 2011 Dodging dog shits. What can I say? We took a walk into the city today and my clearest recollection is the sheer number of dog shits that we needed to avoid on the pavements. Been in a lot of different cities this year, never seen anything close to this amount. There are » » »

29 June 2011


29th June 2011 Would somebody like to leave some comments here in defense of South America? I explain… Our journey to San Pedro de Atacama was in two parts; an overnight bus to the nowhere town of Calama, then a one hour bus to San Pedro. Calama is actually quite unique – I’ve never seen » » »

28 June 2011

Eating Chile

27th June 2011 Well that was a grim dinner. It turns out that on a holiday Monday about the only restaurants open for dinner are Chinese, although rather unexpectedly this one is staffed entirely by Chileans. And they are gloriously crap at producing Chinese food. Although our set menu boasts “Special Chapsui” and “Mongolian chicken” » » »

28 June 2011

Defying expectations

26th June 2011 Please be careful when you set expectations for people, in whatever you do. I’ve probably rattled on about this a few times, but one of the surest ways to cause disappointment is by setting the wrong expectation. If we had known that the alternative route back to Arica took seven hours, we » » »

26 June 2011

Up high again

23rd June 2011 Grr… stupid Hertz. That’s definitely the last time I ever use them. For definite. This time they had our reservation wrong. We went on-line a few days ago, following our Puno delays, and changed the rental dates. But something is obviously squiffy in their systems, because the Arica office only had the » » »

20 June 2011

Birthday irony

18th June 2011 Why ironic? Because a week ago I was cursing the protests in Puno for making us miss Lake Titicaca and fly from La Paz to Cusco. And here I am today looking out over Lake Titicaca because the same protests have stopped our bus going all the way to Arequipa. Why birthday? » » »

20 June 2011

Cusco moochin’

16th June 2011 Free day in Cusco, and with our legs still feeling the burn from Wayna Picchu we weren’t going to be doing anything strenuous. In fact, we really had no plans at all. So we mooched. To try and make the most out of our tourist tickets we stopped at three different museums » » »

16 June 2011

Tourist milking parlour

14th June 2011 That’s what Aguas Calientes is, the town in the valley that is the gateway to Machu Picchu. The local government clearly issued an ordinance stating that all buildings must be high-rise and made of concrete or cheap brick, and that no attempt must be made to cover the raw construction materials with » » »

14 June 2011

Sacred valley day

12th June 2011 Well today didn’t start too promisingly. Another group tour, although this one is part of our Peru itinerary and the main purpose is to get us from Cusco to Ollantaytambo. Nevertheless, I had been looking forward to being given some context into the Inca sites along the way. So imagine my joy » » »

14 June 2011

Bad trip

11th June 2011 Sorry, this blog includes expletives Today we went on a guided tour of the main sites around Cusco and I was able to reinforce all my prejudices against group guided tours. The tour included the Cathedral, the Temple of the Sun (which we had already visited), and three Inca sites near Cusco » » »

9 June 2011

Pear-shaped day

8th June 2011 Oh look, we’re back in La Paz again. Our bus headed off as planned this morning, but simply got snarled in the protest or whatever happening in a town on the route. They’ve piled rubble on the road and no-one is getting through. Determined drivers are taking various alarming dirt roads to » » »

5 June 2011

Islands in the fog

3rd June 2011 Yesterday we drove down to Quellon to meet up with a wildlife guide called Jorge Oyarce who might be able to help us find some of the local dolphins and other animals we haven’t seen. Quellon isn’t a very stunning town. Jorge was really helpful, although it turned out that any boat » » »

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 » » »

16 May 2011

Eating rubbish

14th May 2011 There are only a handful of places to stay in the vast open spaces of the red centre, and boy do they know it. You pay four-star prices and get a room that has all the charm of a bog standard motel but with better bathroom tiling. And the food is both » » »

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 » » »

16 May 2011

Mouse plague

12th May 2011 The Ghan is frankly a waste of time. I heartily recommend anyone to fly to Alice Springs. Our reasons for choosing it were a mixture of nostalgia for our overnight train rides in Thailand, a desire to see the extent of the dusty Outback, and a sense of environmental duty since we’d » » »

15 May 2011

The Ghan

11th May 2011 We’ve just passed Redhill station, so it must be Reigate next. We’re on The Ghan, a train which starts in Adelaide and runs north through the very centre of Australia to Darwin at the top, although we’ll be hopping off in Alice Springs. It takes over 24 hours just to Alice, which » » »

2 May 2011


2nd May 2011 Well, sod the Grampians anyway. To summarise: we arrived on a beautiful sunny Friday evening, looking forward to a weekend of scenic walks and wildlife watching. The weather was grey and rainy for the whole weekend and there was no-one available who knew anything at all about wildlife. We went out spotlighting » » »

1 May 2011

Bitty day

30th April 2011 So, haha. We went to the Park Info Centre for the Grampians and the nice lady there gave us a photocopied list of all the mammals found anywhere in the park, told us that she had no clue where or when to be looking (“they could be anywhere, but I wouldn’t know”) » » »

1 May 2011

Mammal experts

29th April 2011 You’re all mammal experts by now, I’m sure. At least you should be if you’ve been reading this blog avidly. Well, perhaps not. We don’t claim to be experts ourselves and a diet of David Attenborough and whatever we’ve picked up talking to guides and rangers around the world isn’t the same » » »

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 » » »

28 April 2011

Experience the difference

23rd April 2011 One repeated theme of this year is noticing how varied people’s impression of a place can be, based on their own experience of it. Mum and dad visited Melbourne before meeting up with us in Perth, and they enthused about the city and particularly the convenience of “just hopping on a tram » » »

13 April 2011

Hobart is raining

12th 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. Imagine you arrive in a city and get a bus from the airport to your hostel. Through the window opaque with rain and » » »

10 March 2011

Bit tired really

8th March 2011 My haircuts around the world continue to vary. The young stylist in Fremantle has cut it dramatically short and managed to stab my ear into the bargain. It’s shorter than Hong Kong even, though bears no resemblance to Nigel Kennedy. And the cut was not deep. Silver linings, eh? Western Australia has » » »

7 January 2011


6th January 2011 The sea kayak is not like a normal kayak. It’s actually a big air-filled yellow banana with dimples in the top for two bums and four heels. And yet it is surprisingly stable and floats a treat. We went paddling out off the beach to a nearby speck of an island, a » » »

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

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, » » »

5 November 2010

F@!*ing bus

WARNING: this post contains expletives (which I feel are fully justified in the circs) Our bus ride from Bardia to Chitwan was memorable. It included all the cliches: vomiting women, bare-arsed children suckling and roadside wee stops, but those are asides. There were no seats inside, so we began up on the roof which – » » »

3 November 2010

Three months in

Written by Maureen Okay, so it doesn’t feel like a holiday anymore. The last few weeks have left me frazzled and desperately comfort-sick. What with dodging motorbikes in Kathmandu, suffering altitude-sickness in Tibet, the physically demanding trek and always worrying if we’re all going to make it, the ultra-basic and often smelly facilities on the » » »

5 October 2010

City of frowns?

Written by Maureen After meeting such friendly people on our trip so far I found the people of Hong Kong at best… indifferent. Perhaps this is big city syndrome, but I really don’t remember getting that impression from other cities. For example, on our last day a kind Chinese lady explained that we needed exact » » »

12 September 2010


Useless people make angrybird angry! Along with all the great memories of South Africa will be the abiding memory of the uselessness of helpful people. By this I mean people we met whose job is meant to be serving and helping the public; receptionists, tourist info people, etc. A couple of examples: We checked into » » »