Tag Archives: walking

KASBAHS – stay in one before it melts

A fairytale sandcastle, melting into the desert.

A fairytale sandcastle, melting into the desert.

We’ve never been to Morocco before, so everything seems wonderfully exotic. And our first night’s accommodation is extraordinary.
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MULES IN MOROCCAN MOUNTAINS

Chalid leads the way...though I'm ahead of him on this occasion.

Chalid leads the way…though I’m ahead of him on this occasion.

“One of the world’s most famous places that nobody knows about,” says my Dutch hiking friend Bert.

We’re perched on a ridge above a wild canyon that drops several hundred metres to a dry river bed. My stomach is dropping with it; heights are not my strong suit. Away to our right is a patch of bright green, surrounded by clay houses camouflaging themselves by matching the ochre of the surrounding hills.

It is an amazing sight, and we have it all to ourselves. We don’t even know the name of the canyon or the village.

Is there anywhere else in the world to compare to this?

Is there anywhere else in the world anything like this?

That’s the appeal. Spectacular though it is, few people visit this part of Morocco, a six hour drive from Marrakesh. At the height of the trekking season we’ve met only one other group on our five-day adventure. For a combination of scenery, exotic culture and a sense of adventure, this trek in Morocco’s Ouarzazate region is as wild as anything I’ve ever done.

The full story on this blog will have to wait until I’ve made proper efforts to sell it. Meanwhile, here’s an assortment of pictures to whet your appetite. It was hard to choose! Continue reading

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PRESERVING THE POINT – Lake St Clair

Is there a better destination anywhere in the world? We'll be staying at Pumphouse Point. Yes, in that little building at the end of the causeway.

Is there a better destination anywhere in the world? We’ll be staying at Pumphouse Point. Yes, in that little building at the end of the causeway.

Backtracking: My article about our recent trip to Tasmania has now been published in mainstream media, so the full story can now be released on the blog…

There was bound to be opposition. The friendly Wilderness Society volunteers we meet at Hobart’s Salamanca Markets don’t like the idea that a few privileged people can fly into remote Tasmanian lakes in a seaplane and ‘spoil things for everybody else’. Continue reading

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GOING GREEN IN HONG KONG – Lamma Island

Looking down on Sok Kwu Wan fishing village, where a seafood meal awaits.

Looking down on Sok Kwu Wan fishing village, where a seafood meal awaits.

Yes, it is possible to escape the madding crowd in this town.

For one of the most densely populated parts of the planet, Hong Kong has a surprising amount of green space. Most people live literally on top of each other in high rise apartment towers, concentrated along the shore of Hong Kong Island.

Behind them are forests leading up to the Peak, which absolutely must be scaled, by foot or by cable train, by every visitor. Except for us.

We find our Hong Kong green space on one of the outer islands. Continue reading

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WALKING BY TASMANIA’S LAKE ST CLAIR

It's called Platypus Bay, though we're unlikely to spot any in the middle of a clear day, Dusk and dawn are platypus times.

It’s called Platypus Bay, though we’re unlikely to spot any in the middle of a clear day, Dusk and dawn are platypus times.


The weather is changeable and we’re not well equipped for a serious hike.

Fortunately there are short walks from the Lake St Clair Visitor Centre that suit us perfectly.

As more intrepid adventurers stride in, drop their packs and order pizzas, having completed their 7-day trek along the famous Overland Track, we set out for a stroll along the lakeside to Watersmeet, carrying nothing but a camera. Continue reading

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HOW TOUGH IS A WALK ON THE GR5?

St Delmas le Selvage. It looks a long way down.

St Dalmas le Selvage. It looks a long way down from here, but it’s where the nearest cafe is waiting.

It’s hard to describe for non-walkers the experience of hiking one of Europe’s great trails, the GR5 over the French Alps.

Here’s my best effort to compare it to an exercise anyone can try at home… Continue reading

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TEN REASONS TO LOVE THE FRENCH ALPS

The scenery is a knockout.

The scenery is a knockout.

I think I’ve now spent more time walking in the French Alps than any other place in the world, even including the hiking I’ve done in Australia and New Zealand.

This year’s leg was six days hiking the GR5 and its variants between St Paul sur l’Ubaye and St Martin de Vesubie.

It’s still an annual highlight of my life to spend a week in the mountains with my Dutch friends.

Here’s why I keep going back there: Continue reading

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