NZ Wildlife part 2 (trip to bird island)

Whilst there’s still plenty of unique natural wonders in New Zealand, thanks to a thousand years or so of human intervention the wildlife is a shadow of its former self, so I wanted to go somewhere as close as it’s possible to get to the way this land was we before humans arrived. Kapiti is a small, […]

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Great Steaming Holes

Broadly speaking, our plan is to start at the top of New Zealand and work our way down. So, after a brief stop-over in Auckland, we went up to the Bay of Islands in the ”winterless north” (remember, winter is summer and north is south). Lovely crinkly coasts with sandy beaches, rocky offshore islands and bush-covered […]

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NZ Wildlife, part 1 (Belching at Tuis)

My postings to this blog are liable to get less frequent now, despite the improved internet access in New Zealand. This is because we’re gone from spending short periods in each place and going on lots of tours to longer, more laid back stopovers with not much formal planned. We’re still managing to fill our days, but in […]

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The NZ Effect

The journey from Easter Island to New Zealand was as grim as I’d feared. The first leg, Easter Island back to Santiago, gave me a third chance to watch ‘Charlie and the Chocolate Factory’, which I’d only watched the first time because of Mr Depp. It also provided a meal (‘probably lunch’) which consisted of tepid […]

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Sun, Sea and Giant Stone Heads

Turns out Easter Island does have fast internet access, just one of my assumptions about this place I´ve had challenged. I wasn´t convinced about coming here. Firstly, for reasons our travel agent will be asked to explain on our return, we have to go on to New Zealand via South America (check an atlas – this […]

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Interlude at St James

Santiago is a very different city to Lima, more western, more secular, more affluent. No shanty suburbs here, no lethal drivers in barely roadworthy vehicles; but also no suave mestizo urbanites, no sense of heritage and no decent food. In Peru, a western power conquered but never outnumbered a complex ancient culture (the Inca/Quechua  just being the […]

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Llama Sex in the Sacred City

The main thing which brings people to Peru is the Inca heritage. This meant that once we got to Cusco we were on the tourist treadmill with all the crowds and chaos that implies. Yet despite being trapped on sweltering coaches with stupid Americans (‘No I’m not Australian’; ‘It´s the Andes, not a mountain called […]

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Over the Andes by Frog

All right, it wasn´t a frog. It was a luxury train. But before I tell you about the train, I´m going to tell you about the lake. I wanted to go to Lake Titicaca not because it has an amusing name (though it does if you have that sort of mind) but because the area is […]

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Massage at 7,500ft

Until we arrived here yesterday morning, all I knew about Arequipa was that it had a volcano, was built of white stone, and, at 7,500ft was a good place to start acclimatising the Andean altitudes. From what little I´ve seen in our short stay here, it is a very different place to Lima. It feels more […]

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Big Gate, no Roof

Perhaps the best place to get over jet-lag is a resort in what these days passes for paradise. On my last (and only other) trip round the world, we spent a few days in Fiji at just such a resort, surrounded by other jet-lagged tourists, waited on by staff trained to deal with jet-lagged tourists. The […]

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Designed by Martin Reed

@JaineFenn

  • Getting ready to come up to London for this: Maybe see some of you there?,
  • Considering which hat to wear for tomorrow's signing at FP, and I checked the weather forecast, which answered my question: a warm one.,
  • If anyone's curious, one of the games I've been writing for came out today: And there's a 'which great general are you?' test here: (I came out as the general whose script I most enjoyed writing, which pleased me),
  • There was this brief moment, earlier this week, when I thought the Giant Orange Manbaby had shown a rare moment of sense, making it slightly harder to increase the bodycount when loonies in the US go on shooting sprees. But no... ,
  • Good work sir. Loved the first so I'm looking forward to this one... ,