October, 2012

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Red Ink Run: Twenty-three and a half hours in Transnistria

, Oct 05, 2012

3
Transistria, a breakaway republic located between Moldova and Ukraine, only allows a 24-hour tourist visa. K Johnson spends his 24 hours wondering how such a eerie country can be so well-off compared to its neighbours.
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Red Ink Run: an uncomfortable adventure in couch surfing

, Aug 02, 2012

2
I considered it a glaring omission from an otherwise comprehensive travel CV that I had never been couch surfing.
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Red Ink Run: the last GULAG in Russia

, Jul 12, 2012

3
Perm-36 is a relic, the last camp of its kind from the Soviet GULAG system to remain anything other than rubble. Its continued existence is owed to both the failure of authorities to successfully bulldoze it in the dying days of the Soviet regime and efforts by local historians to restore it.
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Red Ink Run: land of the lumpy green sheet

, Jul 05, 2012

First get a bed sheet; green if you have it but don’t worry if you don’t. Now get ten to twelve shoes of various sizes and arrange them randomly on the floor. Shake out the bed sheet and let it fall, resting over the shoes. Kneel down and lower your head as close to the floor as possible, looking out over the lumpy bedsheet. See that? Welcome to Mongolia.
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Red Ink Run: Sichuan hot pot is the bomb

, Jun 13, 2012

2
The nineteen hour overnight train from Guilin to Chongqing had been a multisensory experience. My new collection of horsefly bites, angry red welts, braided around my legs and itched like mad. The squat toilet next door gave off extravagant wafts, which roamed the hard-sleeper carriage hassling its occupants like a drunk. Opened windows, thanks to […]
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Red Ink Run: Tulou or not Tulou?

, Jun 07, 2012

Ask anyone who has seen the 1959 movie Ben Hur which is the best scene and most will instantly reply “the Chariot race”. The sense of speed achieved by the camera, set on the ground, angled up, at close range tracking the horses as they tear around the track is profound. It was this scene that […]
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Red Ink Run: Chinese training impressions

, May 29, 2012

1
According to Lonely Planet China, the Han Chinese especially love their children. Me, I'm not so hot on them. At least not while one of them is kicking the back of my chair while his mother looks on adoringly and his grandmother pats his head.
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Red Ink Run: scammed in Shanghai

, May 16, 2012

4
They say the best scams are when you're not sure you've been scammed. But you do have to decide and the options aren't great: you're either a sucker or a cynic. Marty and I, after extensive deliberation, decided that anything is better than being a sucker.
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Red Ink Run: ‘Can we cross Azerbaijan and back in 72 hours?’

, May 08, 2012

1
Travel plans are like children, conceive them when you're tipsy then leave the details until later. Dutch courage is necessary to hit the points on the map boldly, with enough conviction that the ink stains the paper and there’s no turning back.
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A very capitalist thanksgiving

, Nov 28, 2011

During my first Thanksgiving in the US, I set aside my usual cynicism about retailers using the holidays to boost revenue.
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Gangsta grandma on the subway, loco at the White House

, Nov 21, 2011

Caroline Regidor writes: “I’m packing lead in here,” the elderly woman said to the younger one, her face set in a snarl. Gangsta grandma rummaged through her handbag as if she were looking for a gun. She had plopped down next to me. I couldn’t help myself. Curiouser and curiouser, I peered down. All I could […]
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Colour me Brooklyn

, Nov 03, 2011

Living in diverse Brooklyn is like traversing through different worlds and the whole colour spectrum.
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Breathless in Oregon rivers

, Sep 02, 2011

2
Dictionaries should define 'breathtaking' as 'Oregon rivers', an obvious double entendre for the initiated.
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Be-Utah-ful

, Aug 23, 2011

When Brigham Young stopped in the Salt Lake Valley in 1847 and said ‘This is the place’ to his Mormon followers, thank goodness he was too worn out to head south. For the quite beautiful but heavily populated valley in northern Utah, home to the largest community of Mormons in the US, pales in comparison […]
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High Adventure from Taos to Mesa Verde

, Aug 12, 2011

1
If intense colours, imposing mountains and rich indigenous histories are your travel must-haves, then the 260-mile stretch between Taos, New Mexico and Cortez, Colorado will deliver your dreams in spades.
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Swimming across Texas

, Jul 28, 2011

3
To really experience Texas, you have to drive across it without air-conditioning in the middle of July. No, not really. But Tammi Jonas did.
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Road Trip USA from New Orleans to the Bayou

, Jul 12, 2011

1
Although we crossed our first bayous before we left Mississippi, as soon as we hit Louisiana we started scouring them for our first glimpse of alligators.
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The Appalachians: highs, lows and barbecue

, Jul 04, 2011

5
The Rockies may have the high altitude, but the southern Appalachians are strong on good attitude.
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Processed pig bits, Civil War sadness and meeting the Amish

, Jun 21, 2011

1
North Fork, Big Bend, Tygart Lake, Cowans Gap, Ohiopyle — to most foreign travellers in the US, these names mean very little as they hop from New York to San Francisco, perhaps visiting an ‘out of the way’ destination such as New Orleans, Chicago or Austin. But to us these tongue-curling names signify the series […]
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Andong, Cambodia: how Friends can help a displaced community

, Jun 14, 2011

2
When I ask Sitrin if I can ride with the Wisebird team to the Andong community a wide grin explodes across his face. He grasps at my hand and shouts “Yes! Of course Allan, of course!” Sitrin talks loudly and laughs even louder. He is confident, intelligent and has gentleness in his manner that makes […]