Travel

“One of my favourite poems as a young girl was Simon Armitage’s ‘It ain’t what you do, it’s what it does to you’. Its simple message still resonates with me. I really believe that without opening your mind to other experiences – even if you go to the ends of the earth – you haven’t traveled an inch; whereas someone really can travel, without even moving a step, if they have the right mindset.”

 

salar flamingosSan Pedro de Atacama: Profile

There is nowhere else in the world like San Pedro de Atacama.

It may be the driest desert on the planet, but the Atacama is also home to large white salt flats, steam spitting geyser fields, colorful Altiplano mountains and cactus valleys, extreme volcanoes, and clear, star-filled night skies…

Written for 1756 Magazine, October 2014

 

Screen Shot 2015-02-07 at 16.44.54Why Friend’s Day left me feeling like Bridget Jones

Many countries – not to mention greeting card companies – have tried to establish a ‘friend day’, but no one has managed to do so with quite as much gusto as Argentina. Dia del Amigo falls on July 20 here but that doesn’t limit celebrations to just one day. In Mendoza, where I live, the event stretches into more than a week of gift giving, glass clinking and general backslapping…

The Telegraph, 2014

 

Chile-Easter-Island-Two-Heads-LT-HeaderVisiting Easter Island and the Moai

Chile is a long country – stretching over 4,200kms – and for the most part it is rather skinny, never stretching more than 240kms in width. However if you include its islands, Chile is almost as wide as it is long. Its furthest flung territory is Easter Island, a remarkable 3,760kms away! This relatively small island (163kms2) is sat in the middle of the Pacific Ocean and is one of the most remote places in the world.

The Squeeze Magazine, February 2015

 

clock_2765139bGetting to grips with Argen-time

The first wedding invite is a cardinal moment for every expat. My excitement at opening the envelope was palpable. “You are cordially invited to the happy couple’s wedding party at 01.00 hours.” No, that must be a misprint. Surely that’s a typo for 18.00 hours? Or maybe 21.00? But 1am, really? Welcome to Argentina. Argen-time, as I like to refer to it, is a curious thing for even the most indefatigable expat. You need stamina, a penchant for sleep deprivation and a lot of caffeine to survive it…
The Telegraph, 17 December 2013

Destination Guide Mendoza

The aptly named land of sun and wine, you can’t really go wrong with Argentina’s wine capital. Producing the large majority of Argentina’s wine, Mendoza is a region characterized by its vineyards. There are vines as far as the eye can see and one of the best pastimes here is taking it slow and enjoying a big glass of wine, or three.
The Squeeze Magazine, June 16 2014

Time Out, page 1Heard it through the Grapevine: Time Out guide to Mendoza

“Year-round sunshine, a stunning mountain backdrop and copious amounts of booze make Mendoza city and its surroundings an easy spot to wile away a few days. You can fill your time with mountain activities and adventure sports; feel very small next to the continent’s highest peak, Aconcagua; or soak your bones in hot springs and spas. But the more popular reason for visiting Mendoza is to explore the nearby vineyards and sample the local juice…”
Time Out Buenos Aires, Spring Summer 2012/13

dino-walking-proj-dPinotsaurus: Pinot Noir and Dinosaurs in Neuquen

“I looked at the grey stony structure. Almost the same size as my entire body, this was just a single vertebra of an entire spine – just one piece of the enormous puzzle that makes up one of the largest creatures that ever walked the earth – the 90 million year old fossil of an Argentinosaurus. Imagining it makes you think so hard that the back of your skull itches…”
Wine Republic, August 2012: Page 20

Couchsurfing and chainsaws

A bare-chested 70-year-old man burst into our room, shouting something in Spanish and waving his arms. It was 4am. My boyfriend and I had been asleep: it was our first night couchsurfing in a stranger’s house. His voice boomed around the dark room for a minute and then he slammed the door shut and stormed down the hallway. I turned to my partner in bed, we looked at each other, and having no idea what else to do, we decided to roll over and try to feign sleep. Then the chainsaws started…
Wine Republic, June 2012: Page 16

UNESCO sites in Argentina

UNESCO is an acronym that gets thrown around in guidebooks a lot without many people really knowing what it means. Sure, most UNESCO sites happen to be very pretty but… Did you know that some of the 936 sites include a 1910 shoe factory in Germany, a nuclear test site in the Marshall Islands, a steam pumping station in the Netherlands and a rather ugly and gloomy looking coal-mining factory in Wales? Certainly not the prettiest of places to visit.
Wine Republic, April 2012: Page 8

Pitch Fever – Argentine Football

“I am not sure if those Ancient Greeks, Romans or even the medieval European peasants who starting kicking around a ball (or pigs bladder) ever thought it would become such a big game. Perhaps they did. But I doubt very much that they envisioned the fireworks, riot squads and toilet paper that are apparently essential to a football match here…”
The Mendoza Sun, 26 March 2010

A guide to Rio de Janiero

“I didn’t expect to hear Frank Sinatra in Rio de Janiero, but there he was. “Unforgettable that’s what you are… Unforgettable though near or far…” Frank’s soothing voice seeped through the stocky taxi driver’s CD player as we jerked our way through heavy traffic…
AllWays Traveller, February 2010

Family on bicycles: Interview with family cycling from Alaska to Ushuaia

“Most people like a good bike ride on a sunny afternoon, a couple hours in the countryside, a gentle bit of exercise. But I am quite confident you would be hard stretched to find anyone up for a 22,000 hour (30 month) bike ride, across all of America, facing scorching sun, headwinds strong enough to knock you off your bike and your derrier permanently glued to a saddle. Let alone with a wife and two twin 12-year-olds in tow!”
The Mendoza Sun, December 2010

Winetecture – Architecture of Argentina’s wineries

“One Argentine winery made an unusual discovery while working its way underground: the remains of a dinosaur. Schroeder, in Neuqùen, came across the remains of a 12 metre long, 16 ton, 95 million-year-old Titanosaur – the largest of its species ever known. Paleontologists were then called in…”
Wine Republic, 1 October 2010

Into the Labyrinth

“As my loaded fork approached my mouth, I looked around at the delighted Moroccans crowded around the food stall, with their whole families sat beside them and on their laps, and I figured that there must be a reason why this was the most popular stall in the entire city…”
Contra Magazine, January 2007

The Hague

“Fantastic art museums, great shopping and stroopwaffle – The Hague is a wonderful modern city to visit on a weekend away or holiday break. A quick 45 minute flight from Heathrow landed us in Amsterdam Airport Schipol – the oldest airport in the world and the first airport…”
Alton Post Gazette, 12 January 2009

A crumbling beauty

“Procida is a quaint and colourful island with lots of character. The narrow, winding walled streets of the town cover the expanse of the island and are quietly surrounded by the coastline, which is cloaked in volcanic black sand. The island is very small and can easily be walked…”
http://www.seeitalia.com, September 2005

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