When we arrived in Thailand last year we were faced with the same problem many tourists find themselves faced with when planning a trip to Thailand. We wanted a relaxing beach to go to that wasn’t too far away from Bangkok, that wasn’t too touristy (you can cross Pattaya off your list straight away) and not too expensive (that cancels out Koh Samet too!) Where could we go?
Our trip to Myanmar in March was an interesting one. It was not a country I immediately fell in love with, nor do I love it wholly and completely like I do most other countries in south east Asia. The reasons for this will become clear throughout this article, but I wouldn’t want any of them to deter you from travelling there. Being prepared and planning your trip well will reward you with a unique experience that you’re sure to want to repeat, and learning from our mistakes and understanding the country a bit before you travel will certainly temper your expectations.
We arrived in Bogota, Colombia to an overcast sky as the sun was setting. There was just enough light when we were landing to see the twinkling lights sprawling far wider than I expected. This was the first of many expectations that would be surpassed on our 5 month trip across South America, the intrepid land where backpackers go to find themselves or have an adventure in a place so completely different to what we know. It seemed in fact, that this capital city that I’d never heard of before booking the flights was just like any other. I was full of hope that it wouldn’t be a dangerous country full of drug barons and anarchists, waiting to make a quick buck by kidnapping the first affluent westerner they saw. That all changed when we stepped out of our hotel.
Travelling from Peru to Bolivia presented us with one of the most picturesque border crossings on our round the world trip via Lake Titicaca, the highest navigable body of water in the world at just over 3,800 metres above sea level. Nestled high up in the Andes, many people believe this to be the birth place of the Incas, not hard to believe when you consider how tough Machu Pichu was to find. They sure do love secret hideaways, and this lake is in many ways just as mysterious as it’s more famous counterpart. On the Peruvian side you can find intriguing colonies of indigenous people living on man made reed islands, in Bolivia a rural island full of Inca ruins and agricultural communities that are yet to receive any form of transport or wifi. It’s a real back to basics trekking experience not to be missed if you’re feeling intrepid. We ventured forth to find out more.
Barcelona is one of my favourite cities in the world but each year that I visit, this is the 5th, it gets more and more crowded. This year I was fortunate enough to be visiting local friends, so I was able to get a taste of the real Barcelona, away from the crowded tourist traps. The highlights are undoubtedly worth seeing, as described in my last post about Barcelona. However if you’re in the mood for something different or you’ve been to Barcelona before, I’d like to share the love and let you in on the secrets!