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Peru

Feb 29, 2012

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Running from landslides on the Inca Trail

I stood in the middle of the famous Inca Jungle Trail and felt only nauseating fear. Every two minutes for two hours straight, someone would yell, "Lights up!"and ten small torch lights would point to the mountain towering straight above us. The sound of rocks falling had started again, but luckily they were still twenty meters behind us.

Freelance journalist Kimberley Granger writes: I stood in the middle of the famous Inca Jungle Trail and felt only nauseating fear. Every two minutes for two hours straight, someone would yell, “Lights up!”and ten small torch lights would point to the mountain towering straight above us. The sound of rocks falling had started again, but luckily they were still twenty metres behind us.

The ordeal began earlier in the day, when crossing a raging river turned into a nightmare. Fernando, an Argentinian boy, had to be rescued after slipping in. Antonio, one of our guides, ran down the bank of the river, lifted a log from the water, and brought it slightly upstream to try and reach Fernando. Someone came running with the rope, and they were able to pull him in. Neyser, another guide, took back a small group who decided not to cross.

Continue reading “Running from landslides on the Inca Trail”

Crikey intern Freya Cole writes: I had no idea what I was getting myself in to when I applied to be a nanny for six months. I had romanticised the idea in my head, thinking that a nanny would look after polite little children and take them to the local park, where they would meet other nannies over a picnic.

Oh, how wrong was I.

Flying out of 45 degrees heat at Tullamarine and flying in to minus 4 degrees at Heathrow was just the first surprise.

Continue reading “The Nanny Diaries: from sunshine to snow, from dream to nightmare”

Freelance journalist Carla Pratt writes: I’ve seen people hail cabs in all the movies set in New York City. Carrie Bradshaw can hail them with just a whistle, it surely can’t be that hard. Out went my hand in the air.

Zoom…….straight past me.

There are 4.5 million residents in NYC and 50 000,cabs. I didn’t pass maths in high school, but that ratio doesn’t seem great.

“Alright, maybe he didn’t see me … although he did have his light on,” I thought.

Continue reading “Stuck in deep sh*t in the Big Apple”

Argentina

Feb 16, 2012

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Spending three weeks in Argentina was a great way to start 2012: sun, steak and lots of vino. Since it was our first trip to South America I was clichédly cautious about security.

Before arriving into the Buenos Aires airport, I memorised the Lonely Planet’s advice on getting a cab into town and the best way to avoid getting scammed by cab drivers. I speak Spanish and am usually a sceptical traveller, so figured it wouldn’t be too bad — but 24 hours of flight makes you a little ripe for ripping off.

Continue reading “Take the money and run: the most popular travel scams”

An Expat Opinion

Feb 9, 2012

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Claudia List writes: “Wear jeans, you’ll end up in a field afterward.”

Not something I’d usually consider when going to a wedding, but I found this interesting piece of advice on an expat forum when I was wondering what to wear to my very first Swiss wedding.

The comment thread continued, with several expats agreeing they had attended weddings in high heels only to find themselves in a paddock, stuck in the mud (and cow pats).

Continue reading “The Swiss wedding survival guide”

There are worse ways to spend Christmas then zip lining in the southern jungles of Laos.

We began our journey in the small dusty village of Ban Nongluang, two hours drive from Pakse. Dust covered everything; our van, foliage, food stalls, cattle, sleepy domestic pets — everything. Brushing away the dust we headed on foot into the thick humid jungle stopping at a delightful waterfall for Christmas lunch comprising of traditional Laotian food served on banana leaf. There is something very intimate about scooping your fingers into a shared dish with strangers.

From here it was a short stroll to the first of eight zip lines we’d be taking for the day.

Continue reading “Zipping through the jungles of Laos”