This is a diary of my time on the Peaks of the Balkans. If you’re looking for a blog about practicalities, such as where to get food on the trail, you’ve come to the wrong place! I’m in Montenegro. It’s three days before I’m due to start my long-distance hike of the Peaks of the … Continue reading My eight-day thru-hike of the Peaks of the Balkans
The Madeira Ultra Trail is a short thru-hike that isn’t actually a thru-hike at all. At around 120km long (depending on your route!), the trail is actually an ultra marathon route. But more and more hikers are walking this stunning trail which crosses the island from west to east. The trail took me and my … Continue reading Thru-hiking Madeira’s Ultra Trail
In September 2021, I thru-hiked the GR20 in Corsica. This is a section-by-section account of my experiences. You can read part 1 here. Section 6: Castel de Vergio to Manganu refuge “SHIT!” I scream. “WE NEED TO MOVE! QUICK!!!” We all leap up, half-terrified, half-excited, as a helicopter hovers just metres above our heads, about … Continue reading The time of my life on the GR20: part 2
It’s night in the city of Hebron. Tear gas lingers in the air and my eyes sting. Hidden behind a curtain, I peer down at the group of soldiers. One looks up, scanning the windows. I quickly hide. Did he see me? He turns away.
The soldiers move a few steps, and then crouch down at a street corner. They wait, with their rifles ready to fire at people. Continue reading “Experiences in Palestine”
I hiked in Nepal’s Annapurna range, combining three routes – Mohare Danda, Khopra Danda, and the Annapurna Base Camp – to make one two-week trek. Below I talk about my experiences & include information about costs and time taken for other hikers to make use of. I include information about whether there is phone signal/electricity so that hikers have peace of mind. I hiked in February/March 2018 (ooops – it took me a long while to publish this!!). Continue reading “Hiking in the Annapurna range, Nepal”
** I’d like to acknowledge the First Nations peoples of Australia, their elders and their ancestors: custodians of the land that I have been travelling through.**
Imagine a place where dolphins play amongst surfers in the waves. A place where parrots squawk above you and pelicans sit on shores. A place where kangaroos hop into gardens for their breakfast of grass. A place where koalas sleep in eucalyptus trees. A place with thousands of kilometres of perfect beaches. This is Australia’s east coast. Continue reading “Hitchhiking & wild camping Australia’s east coast”
I’m always a little bit nervous when hitchhiking in a new country, especially where there’s a language barrier. But Japan is great to hitchhike! People know the concept (pronouncing it ‘hitch hike’, emphasising the space between the two syallables). We also saw some Japanese hitchhikers.
To hitchhike, you do the same as you would in western Europe, and stand with your thumb out. Sometimes we used a sign, sometimes we didn’t.
Waiting times were similar to in Europe, ranging from three minutes to three hours.
Japan is a hiker’s paradise, and the Dewa Sanzan (the three mountains of Dewa) is a pilgrimage route of the aesthetic Shugendo religion. Shugendo pilgrims and Japanese hikers can walk all three mountains – Haguro San, Gas San and Yudono San – although many non-religious hikers choose to walk just one or two of the mountains. Each mountain has a Shugendo shrine perched on the top.
The first mountain of the pilgrimage, Haguro San, is an easy walk, involving hundreds of beautiful stone steps.
Tokyo is surely the most capitalist, consumerist city in the world, and is not a good introduction to beautiful Japan. Billboards and lights scream at people to buy stuff. Trains are crammed with adverts whilst people are transfixed with smartphones. Everywhere I turn, there are women who look like film stars. Looking perfect is seemingly important in Tokyo.
The gaudy lights of central Tokyo make no sense to me. They seem out of place in a culture with such beautiful ornate art, shrines and intricate wooden buildings.
We travel from Malaysia to Sumatra, Indonesia, on the Vomit Boat. Its real name is the Star Express. But throughout the four hour journey we listen to everyone on board throw their dinners up into plastic bags (ironically, before this, the staff give everyone a meal of chicken and rice when the boat is still on deceptively calm waters). The boat sways roughly from side to side, and there’s no access to a deck or any fresh air.
If you want to find out how it feels to be famous (and I mean really famous like a Hollywood actor) then head to the town of Tanjungbalai. Everyone we pass says hello to us. Everyone wants photos with us. And this sets the tone for our month hitchhiking through Sumatra and Aceh. Continue reading “One month hitching Sumatra & Aceh”