Festival in the Ryukyu Islands (Japan)


For once I woke up and it wasn’t raining. I had a wash in the stream and cursed myself for over sleeping and missing the early morning waves. I was so tired the night before I had forgotten to set my alarm. The beach I was camping on was wild with corral that hurt your feet. Rocks and shells strewn all over [...]



The drive up from the city had been both disorientating and familiar. It is strange to see in the same panorama both the turquoise ripples of the Mediterranean and mountains heavily laden with flashing snow, petering out to a light dusting of castor sugar lower down. Familiarity emanated from the solid traditional houses of creamy stone and orange roof brick, windswept Grecian [...]

An American goes to Iran – by Dr Rick Nierenberg


I have recently returned from an incredible tour of the Islamic Republic of Iran, arranged by YellowWood Adventures, and lead by an outstanding local guide, Daryoosh Minoui, fluent in English, German and Spanish (and I mean fluent!). Everyone had a remarkable, exciting and eye opening experience. But more interesting, surprising, even shocking, was that the Iranian people I met, greeting an American [...]

Steamed vegetable momos in Ladakh – by Caroline McCann


“Steamed veg momos please!” said Gary to the waiter, followed by “trust me” and a wink. This was my first taste of Tibetan food, and momos remain a firm favourite. The small steamed dumplings are filled with chopped vegetables, looking like mini bleached cornish pasties, with a tomato, chilli and garlic sauce for dipping. They come with meat too, and are sometimes [...]

Autumn in Mongolia


“Lunch!” and the heavy clumping of boots over crisp sun-dried grass woke me from a deep sleep. I was in my sleeping bag on a simple wooden bed and the book I had been reading had fallen face down onto my chest. I was in a large ger, the traditional round felt tents used for thousands of years by nomadic peoples. As [...]

The problem and solution for solo travellers


When I was eighteen I was mad about Kung Fu. As soon as I left school and had saved up enough money I embarked on my first solo adventure – to China. After living in and travelling around China for five months I had well and truly caught the travel bug, and I extended my trip down into Southeast Asia, culminating in [...]

Ethiopia: The Origin of Coffee


Ethiopia is the origin of all coffee. The famous story is that a goat shepherd many moons ago in the lush jungles of the south saw his flock acting strangely after having eaten some red berries from a bush he had never seen before. He collected some of the mysterious berries and took them home to his wife. His wife experimented with [...]

What’s it like travelling in Iran?


I had just been refused entry onto a flight into Jeddah, the closest international airport to the holy city of Mecca in Saudi Arabia from Dubai. It was 08:00AM in the morning and I had just got off a connecting flight from London. I was tired. It was August, ten days before the Hajj begins; the annual religious holiday when over two [...]

Travelling through Kyrgyzstan


After two stressful days in Bishkek juggling multiple jobs and an angry Chinese accountant in London from my hotel room, I switched on the out of office on my email and got on a local bus to the countryside in the south. After two hours or so I woke up as we had stopped at one of the local fast food stops along [...]

Three impressions of Iran


Skiing in the Alborz Mountains The artificial twinkling of the cut glass of the Shah’s palace, however dazzling, was a mere foretaste for the majesty of the sun-drenched white-capped peaks of the Alborz Mountains. Rising up to the north of the capital Tehran, the high powder glistened with a bright white flashing beauty. I thought of when the man dreams he is flying [...]