Spotting wildlife in the Galápagos Islands
For many years I wanted to visit the Galápagos: to walk on these remote islands where unique species thrive, where Darwin first developed the ideas that would change our understanding of nature, and where animals have never learned to fear humankind. In 2012 I realised my dream; and fortunately, it more than lived up to my expectations!
Weird and wonderful: forbidden culture in Cuenca
It isn’t so often that, while out on a city walk with a guide, you are asked if you are easily offended. But that was the question posed by Wilson, who gave us an excellent tour in Cuenca, Ecuador.
The thoughts of a very occasional cruiser
I am very much inclined to agree with Ratty that there is half so much worth doing as simply messing about in boats. And whenever I spot an opportunity while travelling to take to the water, I am eager to set sail. A whale-watching trip; a cruise around a harbour; an afternoon on a city’s river. Count me in for any of those!
Gallery: a Grey Heron at Osterley Park (and friends)
The elegant Georgian house at Osterley Park was once home to the wealthy banking family, the Childs. Queen Elizabeth I visited the manor house that once stood on this site, and the present house, designed by Robert Adam, has seen many other wealthy and important visitors over the years. The view of the house from the far side of the large lake is particularly pretty, even on the November day when we last visited.
Blue feet, red feet, any coloured feet …
There are several species indelibly linked in the mind with the Galápagos Islands, and one of these is certainly the blue-footed booby. The distinctive feet that give it its name, almost turquoise in colour, really are as bright and bizarre-looking as they seem in the photos!
Viva Cuenca: one weekend, three festivals
Why celebrate one festival when you can celebrate three? We hadn’t planned our visit to Cuenca to coincide with this particular weekend, when the city parties, but we were lucky to be here at this special time and to be able to join locals and other visitors in some of the fun.
Wherever I lay my hat … (continued)
What makes a place to stay special? Is it the location? The people? The building itself? Maybe in the best places it is all of these things, plus a small helping of ‘je ne sais quoi’.
The ‘Christmas’ marine iguanas of Española Island
For many of us the colours red and green trigger memories of Christmas. Glossy holly leaves and berries, a beautifully decorated tree, Santa in his red suit, a pile of wrapped presents. But a questionably ugly reptile? Probably not – and yet ...
The waved albatross of Española Island
The trail across Española Island to the cliffs of Puerto Egas requires a little effort. In places it is almost like walking on stepping stones, moving from one lava boulder to the next along the route. But the reward at the end of the path is enormous – and I use that word advisedly.