Amazon to Yucay – Day4

Monday. After breakfast we joined a party of departing guests for the upriver cruise to the port at Puerto Maldonado and the short drive to the airport. Whether it was the oppressive humidity or simple tiredness, there was little chatter among the nearly departed. A two-hour wait culminated in the arrival of the plane and we were once again flying above…

Lima to the Peruvian Amazon – Day2

Saturday. With our pickup and airport transfer scheduled for 0630, we lingered over a buffet breakfast and wandered the hotel admiring its examples of  pre-Columbian relics and replica statuary. Outside the atmosphere was typically Lima-heavy. The all-pervading mist from the cool Pacific trapped over the flat urban landscape by the distant Andes mountain range. The airport drive seemed much longer…

Lima – Day1

Friday. The arrival in Lima was a mildly disorienting experience. It was the culmination of a six hour flight from Mexico City and occurred just  short of midnight. Collected by our driver-guide for the short visit we were ferried through the fog to our hotel in the beachside district of Miraflores, sleep deprivation and the pervasive mist casting the initial…

Saigon

Sipping a chilled 333 in the window of a buzzy bar on Saigon’s renowned Dong Khoi Street I was taken by the faith and trust complete strangers place in others. The spark of this reverie was the nonchalant way many visitors stepped off the footpath into the path of a tsunami of motorbikes and purposefully strode across the road as…

Beijing

A chilly, foggy Friday morning and we made the 2 hour flight to Beijing. I know it’s 2 hours because we made that flight twice. Turned back just prior to landing in Beijing we returned to Xian airport for a long and frustrating wait in the terminal where we made deletions to our Beijing itinerary to compensate for the lost time.…

Xi’an

The first experience of Xian is an airport very similar in design to Pudong International, if not quite the same scale. We’re collected by our local guide Cynthia, and led to our people mover for the hour-long drive into Xian. On a vast plain, bisected by a number of lowflowing rivers, Xian presents as an unremarkable and quite unattractive metropolis…

Shanghai

The first-time visitor to Shanghai can be overwhelmed by the sheer scale and energy of China’s largest city, also one of the world’s ten largest. With a population touching 14 million occupying an area roughly twice the size of greater Melbourne, the inner urban core is a network of highrise apartments, shopping malls and parks inter-connected by a labyrinth of…

The Moki Dugway from halfway up, or down

The Moki Dugway

We cheerfully bailed out of the disappointing Monument Valley Hotel early in the morning, with a drive along Utah’s Scenic Byways to Bryce Canyon City planned for the day ahead. I’d planned the route originally on Google maps, intending to capture as much of the spectacular Colorado Plateau scenery as possible. As the cellular reception was virtually non-existent, and SatNav…