Squamous Toes

I couldn’t come to New Zealand for two months and not attempt a long tramp (Kiwis – people not birds, assume people from now on, ok? – refer to long walks as tramps, which can cause misunderstandings, as in the poster at a YHA headed ‘Going for a tramp?’ under which some wit had written ‘Make sure […]

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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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Designed by Martin Reed


  • The Dutch boat’s pretty nippy - and apparently the have Amstel on tap on board ,
  • Heading for the finish line! ,
  • Party trawlers, heading out... ,
  • ... and this morning Brixham is full of blokes striding purposely down to the moored trawlers carrying multi-packs of booze. The Co-op has just run out of cider.,
  • Boats festooned for the annual Brixham Trawler Race. Yesterday the town the full of crews in team t-shirts (and matching wellies) out looking for a good time, like multiple fishy stag dos. ,