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and destinations covered
Cairns, Great Barrier Reef
Alice Springs, Ayres Rock, The Olgas
Northern Territories, Katherine Gorge, Kakadu National
Ningaloo Reef, Monkey Mia
Perth, Fremantle and the Pinnacles National Park.
Baja California: the desert, a bayside town on the
edge of nowhere, San Ignacio (a desert oasis), La
Paz and crossing to the mainland.
La Barranca del Cobre (the copper canyon) and the
Sierra Tarahumara (home to the Tarahumara Indians)
A train journey from Los Mochis to Chihuahua and
the stops in-between.
Mazatlan, Puerto Vallarta and Acapulco
Guadalajara (Mexico's second largest city) and Guanajuato
(built on a hilltop with streets so narrow that
the city's traffic now travels underground, and
also home to the strange and bizarre Museo de las
Momias (museum of the mummies), 100 mummified bodies
excavated from the nearby graveyard. It includes
children and also the smallest mummy in the world;
a foetus mummified its mother's stomach.
Cristóbal de las Casas. In the heart of Chiapas,
Indian country. Surrounded by a series of Indian
villages, the inhabitants of which can be identified
by their unique style of clothing.
the Mayan ruins most famous for the Lid of Palenque
on the Tomb of Pakal, the only tomb ever found in
a Mayan pyramid; linking them even closer to the
and Cancun on the Caribbean coast.
Chitzen Itza and Puuc Route, a series of ancient
a silver mining town built into a hillside. It sprawls
up the hill like ivy. Its streets are narrow, steep,
cobbled and full of white VW Beetles and Combis
that provide the taxis and minibuses. The architecture
is distinctly colonial and the entire town has been
declared a national historic monument. Local laws
have preserved the town as a colonial antique and
old buildings have been restored and any new buildings
must conform to the old in scale, size and material.
Still a working silver mine, the town in unique
in that it hasn't been surrounded by industrial
factories. Its main source of income is tourism
and the silver industry. It's the best place to
buy cheap silver jewellery.
where many of Hollywood's western movies were filmed.
You can visit the old sites.
Americas: California: LA to Seattle via
San Francisco via the Green Tortoise tour bus. Or
LA to the Grand Canyon via Hoover Dam and Las Vegas
via a small tour booked in LA. Also, Monterrey Bay
area to San Diego via train though the stunning
golden California landscape.
The great lakes, Toronto, Montreal, Niagara Fall
watching on Vancouver Island.
A night hike across the still active Kilauea volcano
on Hawaii's Big Island.
Mauna Kea, the peak of which lies above the clouds
where the air is so thin and clean it is one of
the world's best places from which to view the stars;
which is why some of the world's best observatories
are situated there. Both tours were arranged at
Arnott's Lodge in the town of Hilo, which has known
its share of bad luck over the years: it's been
hit by two devastating tidal waves, and was almost
destroyed by lava flow from Kilauea that stopped
just short of the town.
America: Argentina, Buenos Aires a beautiful
European-style city which much to do.
Tierra del Fuego, the end of the world. Discover
a thriving community at Ushuaia, the southernmost
city in the world. Visit the beautiful mountains
and glaciers at the National Park, or take a 14-day
trip to Antarctica from Ushuaia.
Torres del Paine National Park, Chile. Four granite
towers soar high into the icy mist and form the
centrepiece for the 180,000 hectare national park
abundant with sparkling lakes, hiking trails, waterfalls,
mountains and glaciers. It's also host to a part
of the world's third largest ice field.
Bolivian Altiplano. A four-day tour from San Pedro
de Atacama in Chile to Uyuni in Bolivia, across
miles of stunning wilderness, through volcanic valleys
and across the Salar de Uyuni, a 12,0000 square
kilometre saltpan four kilometres above sea level.
In the middle of this expanse of salt lies a tiny
desert, cacti-laden island.
Lake Titicaca: Copacabana, the Bolivian side of
the lake and also the closest point from which to
take a trip out to Isla del Sol (island of the sun)
whose inhabitants are Aymara Indians who farm the
island totally by hand and foot. There are no machines
or vehicles on the island, and the locals get around
by boat or walking. Feels like going back in time.
Cabo de Gata, Europe's driest spot. It receives
just 100mm of rain per year. It's a gem of places
with wonderful rocky coastal walks and lovely unspoilt
beaches. It's also the only place on the Costa del
Sol that hasn't been developed by the region's voracious
tourist industry. It's only known by the Spanish
and hosts just a few small towns with hostals, pensions
and holiday homes.
Basque country, possibly most famous for being the
home of terrorist group ETA, fighting for independence
from Spain. This area is one of incredible beauty.
San Sebastian is a city of breathtaking architecture
and a vibrant nightlife with the greatest concentration
of bars per square metre to be found anywhere in
Spain. The town is set aside low green hills and
situated in a lovely half-moon bay with one of the
best city beaches in Spain. The coastal drive from
here to Bilbao is among some of the best in the
Santiago de Compostela. Lying in Galicia in Spain's
forgotten corner, this wonderfully historic old
town has become famous due to a rather ridiculous
story. For hundreds of years people have made a
pilgrimage along the Camino de Santiago from the
Pyrenees to Santiago in order to pray at the magnificent
Catedral de Apostol.
Calpe, despite being on Spain's most visited region
is a low-key tourist spot on the Med coast. The
most prominent feature is the Peñon de Ifach,
a towering monolith that juts into the sea. Sheltered
by the mountains, it's the warmest place on the
Med coast there are some wonderful little villages
to visit inland.
Costa Brava, a more rugged and wilder alternative
to the rest of the coast.
West Cork: Blarney, Kinsale, Clonakilty, Skibereeen,
Baltimore, Bantry, Glengarriff and the Beara Peninsula
(a 197-kilometre walking trail that links the entire
County Kerry: Killarney National Park, Ring of Kerry
and the Dingle Peninsula (Fungie the dolphin).
Clare and Galway: Doolin, home to some of the best
music in the West and gateway to Innisheer, the
smallest and most fascinating of the three Aran
Croagh Patrick, and the lovely town of Westport.
the forgotten corner of the Irish republic: From
the lush green Blue Stack Mountains in the south
to the rugged, rocky Derryveagh Mountains in the
north this area is a true wilderness.
Island, lying nine miles off the northern coast
of Donegal. I journeyed to this tiny, wind-beaten
and remote island after learning that it has its
very own King. As well as being the King of Tory,
Patsy Dan Rogers is also a famous painter and musician.
the road where things go backwards. A section of
road a few miles north of Dundalk with a hidden
secret: if you park at the bottom of the hill, put
your car in neutral and release the brake, you car
will roll back up the hill.
magic road in the Comeragh mountains: another section
of road where things go backwards, this time down
south in country Waterford. Also, Powers the Pot
campsite, which boasts the highest house in Ireland.
Wexford in the Sunny Southeast: home to some Ireland
best beaches, and the lovely historical town of
Wexford, made famous when the D-day landings from
Saving Private Ryan were filmed at a nearby beach.
and the Boyne Valley: which is home to three large
ancient burial mounds and littered with 5000 years
of Irish history.
home to the famous Kilkenny beer and also a great
little town with many sights to see, and much craic
to be had in the pubs.
Wicklow Gap: One of Ireland most beautiful regions.
Visit Glendalough (meeting of two lakes) lying deep
in the heart of the Wicklow Mountains.
Bonn, the Rhine Valley, Cologne, Munich, Heidelberg
and Lake Constance.
Paris, Troyes, Reims, Loire Valley, Southwest Coast,