Trekking Day 2: The little king of the mountain

Hille to Ghorepani: (9 hours, 1800 m total elevation gain) There are moments as a parent when your child surprises you with such immense amounts of resilience and taps into depths of the human psyche that you can’t believe you’re speaking to a 6 year old. Your precious offspring cries glitter tears and shits rainbows on an average day. However, there is nothing that can prepare you for the heart bursting amount of pride you feel when your child reaches into the strength of mind they usually reserve for mealtimes, and push themselves through exhaustion, through four hours of unrelenting […]

Annapurna trekking day one: Just getting started

 (4 hours, 400m elevation gain) Today, the first steps I took across that rickety bridge with prayer flags flying in the wind, were the realisation of a long-term dream. As I sit here in our first tea house with my luscious Masala tea, looking up as the mist rolls down the steep green hills over the brightly coloured collection of tea houses in Hille, I can finally breathe out and appreciate the work that went in to this moment. Every book I’ve ever read about Nepal and the Himalaya, the countless people I’ve quizzed about their experiences in Nepal, devouring […]

Annapurna Trekking

I have dreamed about trekking in Nepal since about the time I started reading Kerouac, Borroughs and Ginsberg. Nobody reads the Beats until they hit their first existential crisis somewhere around their mid-twenties, which means I’ve been dreaming of trekking the Annapurnas for at least 15 years. A lot has passed in that 15 years. I figured myself out — at least somewhat — I met an Australian, moved with him to London, created a fireball of a child, and found a home in my career. By all appearances, I’m more settled than I was back then, but on the […]

Nepal: Kathmandu

We arrived in Kathmandu during a power outage, a regular occurrence since the earthquake in 2015 that killed over 8500 people.  The country is still rebuilding and recovering, and that includes the power grid, which cuts out occasionally to help manage the load – particularly at night. While the airport was on generator power, the rest of the city was dark – no streetlights and very few lights coming from the surrounding houses. As our taxi wound down narrow dirt streets, past shadowy buildings, I couldn’t help wondering just what we had gotten ourselves in to.  Was I really ready […]

Travelling as a family: Participating

Let’s travel the world. With our kid. How awesome will that be?? He’s well travelled and travels well. It’s a low risk proposition. Turns out our kid is a right arsehole. Or possibly a better way of putting it is that he’s not adapting well to the change and is taking it out on mom and dad. Those who know Austin know that he is energetic, strong minded and has no issue with sharing every thought that crosses through his mind with every man, woman and child in his path. He is a highly spirited child, and despite our best […]

“The Eye of Sofia” also known as the Ayasofya, aka Hagia Sophia)

Istanbul has more than 2000 mosques, and its skyline, with all of its domes and minarets, resembles a humped hill punctured by upright spears up and down its seven hills.  Some, like the little one directly across from our hotel window was a little local mosque. Modest and made of rough brick and mortar. The muezzin who perform the call to prayer over loudspeakers for all to hear, each have their own style and certainly quality of singing voice. I had grown to like hearing the soothing voices singing out over the countryside. It was peaceful and comforting to know […]

Road Tripping Turkey

After our beach holiday in Antalya and Cirali, we set off cross country up to Gallipoli on the North Coast along the Dardanelles, a long strait running between the Asian and European continents. We knew we had a long drive ahead of us, and weren’t entirely sure what to expect of the roads. Much to our surprise, the roads were fantastic – certainly the best we had driven in Europe, and better than most roads in the US and Australia as well. We had two options for our route – the first was the scenic coast road that would take […]

Cirali: Bohemian beach living

“Why are the chickens still b-gaa-ing….chickening? It’s already past morning!” From Antalya, we moved up the coast to a little village between the mountains and the sea called Cirali. We turned off the main road and basically drove straight down a cliff for 7 km to get to the one and only tiny little village at the bottom. It was just the sort of bohemian paradise I’ve always dreamed about settling in to stay for a while. The village itself has a couple of shops and a line of outdoor restaurants ready for what must be a swarm of vacationers […]

Antalya – in with both feet

At one time, Antalya was the southern-most outpost of the Roman Empire.  At that time it stretched from more or less the border between England and Scotland all the way down and across Europe and into Asia, on this Western coast of modern day Turkey.   Hadrian built a wall in the North to keep out the Scots, Danes and Vikings, and in the South, well, there’s a gate.  It was built to celebrate Hadrian’s visit to the city in 130 AD, and it still stands today, separating the Old Town within the old city walls from modern Antalya.  That […]

Antalya – Holiday life on the Turkish Med

We spent two nights in gorgeous Antalya in a little hotel in the Old Town, Kaleici. Our first task was to unload a pillowcase full of excess baggage that we immediately deemed unnecessary for our continued travels.   From a distance, Antalya is a gleaming white city that sprawls from the blue Mediterranean sea up the hills in the East and thinning out into the steep and craggy mountains to the West.  The Med is a deep deep blue that gently slides into a rocky coast line, with the city high above on a cliff.   The old town itself […]