I arrived in Arequipa at 5am, tired and bleary eyed after a long and cold bus journey from the sunny sand dunes of Huacachina. As with many overnight journeys that I’ve had on the trip, I wanted nothing more than a hot shower and a bed on arrival, but once again it wasn’t to be. Instead I asked for a blanket and resigned myself to snuggling up on the couch at my B & B until the sun rose and I could find somewhere that would serve me coffee and eggs. Continue reading
Before I knew it, my two days in cold and grey Lima were over and I was on my way down the coast in search of bluer skies. I had booked a bus ticket with a company called Peru Hop which would take me all the way through to Arequipa, with various stops and optional tours along the way. The first stop was Paracas, a small seaside town that was a short boat ride away from the Ballestas Islands, dubbed the poor mans Galapagos, which is home to sea lions, Humboldt penguins and a rather awkwardly named bird, the Peruvian booby. After that was Huacachina, a small backpackers haven nestled in the middle of the sand dunes just outside of the town of Ica. Continue reading
Flying over the Gulf of Mexico towards Cuba, I couldn’t help but marvel at how blue the water was. When there weren’t islands intermittently dotting the water it was difficult to tell just where on the horizon the earth ended and the sky began. I was excited to get out of the sky and down onto this tropical island I had been waiting so long to visit! My sister and I had booked an 8 day small group tour with a company called Cuban adventures which specialises in Cuban tours, and only uses local guides and casa particulares (home stays) on their tours. We were set to visit the capital Havana; the home of cigar production, Vinales; and the beachside town of Trinidad. Continue reading
While the South-West of Western Australia in the summer is undeniably amazing, with no shortage of white sandy beaches to stretch out on and trails to explore, there is also something attractive about jumping in the car and heading down south in the cooler months. Lush green landscapes, clear cool days and red wine by the fire make for a fine weekend away, and that’s exactly what Ollie and I jumped in the car to experience this winter. Our destination of choice was Denmark, a small town resplendent with natural beauty right in the middle of WA’s rainbow coast.
After a short stop in the Czech Republic, there we were jumping on a train to what would be our last country on our trip – Germany. We had a couple of weeks here though, and a number of exciting things planned out for our time including birthday celebrations, a football game in the famed Dortmund stadium and of course, the largest celebration of beer in the entire world – Oktoberfest! I had also heard a lot of good things about the Berlin food scene so I was looking forward to eating my way around the city. With so many events, so many people to see and so much good food expected in Germany, we arrived with our game faces on ready to knock the next couple of weeks right out of the park. Continue reading
So we had finished up with our trip around Austria, dropped the car back with a small sigh of relief that we hadn’t crashed it and made our way up to the Czech Republic for the second last country of our Euro adventure. Although it was a relatively short stop, there was one big reason I was looking forward to the Czech Republic – beer. Nicknamed the liquid bread of the nation, the Czechs are great fans of the stuff, and rank amongst the top nations for consumption per capita (as if I hadn’t drunk enough on this trip already!). Beer wasn’t the only exciting thing about the country though, the Czech Republic promised a number of cultural gems from the UNESCO listed Cesky Krumlov to the capital Prague so read on – I promise it’s not all about the amber liquid!
Austria. The country of Mozart, of the Sound of Music, of spectacular mountains, rolling hills, of jaw dropping buildings in the capital and beyond. We arrived in Vienna on a Monday afternoon, a bit worse for wear after our last minute dash to the train at the other end of the line in Budapest. With only the challenge of navigating yet another public transport system standing between us and a shower and a change of clothes, we jumped off the train and joined the crowds of people heading towards the U-Bahn and managed to get to our air BnB apartment with minimal fuss. After freshening up, we were ready for the start of our Austrian adventure which was going to involve some time in the cities, some time driving on the autobahn and hopefully a lot of alpine scenery, schnitzels and sausages.