Have you ever played the game, where you check the weather report for the place you're going to visit, and it says one thing but you hope for something totally different? I played that game with China recently. And I won. November, it turns out, is an awesome time to visit. The sun shone not only in Shanghai, and Jiuzhaigou in Sichuan, but it even outmuscled the infamous smog in Beijing. It would, therefore, have been wildly ill mannered not to seize upon the opportunity for a visit at the even more famous, Great Wall of China.>> Keep reading >>
By the time we pulled up at the Basin on day 1, we were pretty tired. Hiking around the desert and scrabbling up and down rocks in 35 degree heat is no joke. We hadn't exactly trained for this. So the idea of hiking another 800 steps up to the Monastery, having been told by any donkey handler worth their salt in business dealings that it would take 2 hours by donkey-back, was not one that thrilled us.
Fresh legs and 6 hours sleep later though, and it was a different story altogether. 800 steps? Easy. Doing it with sunscreen in your eyes? Not so much. Turns out you should really listen to the warnings on the sides of bottles - they're there for your own good. A solid two hours later, as we began our descent, only then did the burning sting of sunscreen chemicals wear off - and only with regular helpings of water flushing via bottle cap. Ironically, sunscreen makes your eyes more susceptible to the sun. Funny that.>> Keep reading >>
Have you ever been to a place where you're welcomed like royalty? Where people talk to you out of a genuine interest to meet you, to know how you are, how your day was? Where lightly fragrant shisha is enjoyed on roof terraces overlooking two thousand year old civilisations, under starry Arabian skies? This is Petra. And the first three hours of landing in the proud desert kingdom of Jordan.>> Keep reading >>