Brazil to Canada? Overland? Check!

Gray whales approaching tourists in Baja © Craig Fast

It’s over. Mission accomplished. As planned, we have travelled from Brazil to Canada, via Argentina, Chile, Bolivia, Peru, Ecuador, Colombia, Panama, Costa Rica, Nicaragua, Honduras, Guatemala, Belize, Mexico and the USA, without, I repeat, without boarding an aeroplane.

The importance of accommodation to the experience of a place, or, How Salento nearly sucked

Now that I’m more flashpacker than backpacker, I’m starting to realise the importance of good accommodation when it comes to travel. Salento, in Colombia’s Zona Cafetera, could have been a big fat let down…

Review: Hostel Natura, Iguazu Falls, Brazil

Review of the best hostel on the Brazilian side of Iguazu Falls.

Review: Hostel Ecological Expeditions, Bonito

Review of Ecological Expeditions Hostel, Bonito. Excellently located fro trips into the Pantanal, swimming excursions to Bonito’s famous rivers, and friendly too.

A Guide to Ipanema Beach, Rio de Janeiro

Iconic Ipanema Beach is home to Rio de Janeiro’s elite. The sweep of soft, white sand is backed by skyscrapers, exclusive hotels and designer shops. Christ the Redeemer looms between gaps in the architecture and mountains surround the beach on three sides. Out to sea, precipitous green islands lurch from the waves. Base yourself in … Continue reading

A hostel in Ipanema, Rio de Janeiro

The advantages of staying in two very different areas of Rio – Santa Teresa and Ipanema – in two very different types of accommodation. And hang gliding!

Elephants and dolphins in Dibru-Saikhowa National Park, Assam

The Dibru-Saikhowa National Park was awarded national park status in 1999. Since then its population of river dolphins has grown and the park guides haven’t lost any elephants to poachers recently. In fact, their job is as much about protecting tourists from rampaging animals as it is protecting animals from greedy poachers. One guide told us they only ever fire warning shots, and they do this so infrequently they only change their bullet cartridge once a year, due to rust. The biggest problem is illegal logging.

Assam: Digboi and Ledo and Mother Nature’s womb

I think I have found Mother Nature’s womb. It is in Assam. Today we drove to Digboi to see the Oil Museum and Allied WWII cemetery, and then on to Ledo to see the start of the WWII-built Stilwell Road that leads to Kunming, China. The scenery we passed through was so verdant and fertile I swear I could see the earth heaving in great lungfuls of carbon dioxide.