Category Archives: General

Articles of a general nature with no country relevance

A million things to do before you die

Go to any bookstore and head for the travel section, there you will find numerous tomes offering advice on where to go, what to see, how to travel and of course things to do before you die. I don’t know about you, but for me I would rather look at a list of things to do while I am alive and kicking; my preferred way of looking at things.


The idea that you need to cram in these must-see destinations before you fall off your mortal coil or go pining for the fjords misses the point of travel for me. A bucket-list and the hurried end of the world mind-set seem somehow to diminish the intrinsic value of the very places that are lauded as worthy. Rush through these destinations, tick them off and move onto the next one. Africa…done, Asia…done.


Humans are by nature curious and adventurous, on the whole we strive to learn about our world revelling in the fascinating variety of flora, fauna and its dramatic natural wonders. Throughout the ages courageous explorers have been the pathfinders for generations of following tourists and travellers, opening up new destinations and crafting bonds with the indigenous local populations.

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Five tropical diseases you really do not want to catch

As travellers we are exposed to many disease risks and quite often there is not much that we can do about it. Whether you are off backpacking through India or struggling through mosquito infested jungles you can only do so much to keep the bad guys away and often the prevention is nasty in itself with clothing rotting chemicals and mind bending pills.

Travelling on a budget puts us more at risk because we are often at the lower end of the hygiene scale sometimes sacrificing standards to meet a meagre daily allowance where at other times it can be just the environment in which we travel which is out to get us, either way the short list that follows is but a few of the many bugs you really do not want to catch.

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Seven Things I hate about travellers

I ramble on quite often about the great times on the road, the wonderful people I have met and the stunning scenery. There is a downside to travel; frustration and annoyance are unwelcome bedfellows on this wonderful journey and sometimes you just want to scream! Phew I feel better already. So here is my short list of pet peeves, I am sure you have your own so feel free to let me know.

Too Cool

Yes I know it’s hip to be travelling, where everything is fresh and you feel that you and your group/buddies are the coolest but for heaven’s sake lighten up! Talk to other travellers that are not in your little world and experience the beauty of conversation with a different mindset. How many times do I see backpackers in hostels ignore others that do not fit their stereotypes? Not all young travellers are drugged up ravers (well quite a lot) and not every grey haired knobbly kneed are senile. We are all on this journey together so smile more and enjoy the ride.
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Borders, bribes and bloody hurricanes!

It’s been a proper season for getting caught in storms, mudslides closing the only road to my destination and border guards getting right up my nose!

Let me dial it back a few days to a calm trip down from Cancun to the Cayes is Belize. The weather was looking good, Hurricane Paula had closed the bars overnight but now things were back to normal. A small set of rainstorms off of Panama looked problematic but only the weather channel seemed mildly concerned about another tropical cyclone.

The buses to Belize are currently not allowed to come into Chetumal ADO station (Oct 2010) so to pick one up you must take a taxi to the new market. This is due to the taxi union complaining about not getting enough fares out of the connecting passengers, all normal there then.

I usually have a local guy, George from Get Transfers in Corozal just over the border, pick me up and run me to the small airport for my short flight to San Pedro on Ambergris Caye. The Tropic Air flight only takes twenty minutes and it is such great fun flying so low that it is worth the $47.50 USD for that alone.

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