One of Africa’s largest countries, Ethiopia retains the regrettable image of poverty and famine planted in our minds in the 80’s and beyond. Climate, terrain and structural problems still affect Ethiopia more than many other countries. Read more . .
One thing I had not really expected was the vastness of the Puszta, the plain which starts in Hungary, stretches through the Ukraine and southern Russia, skirting the Urals and continuing into the Steppes of Central Asia. Read more . .
Adventure travel by its nature has a Pandora’s box full of things that can go wrong or at least very differently to what you might be expecting. You might be doing things not usually in mainstream holidays, in countries and locations off the beaten track, accommodation that might leave a lot to be desired, but often only overnight and it means you get somewhere really hard to get to, to see or do something worth the telling. Read more . .
Train to the Afghan border. The big adventure, the first of 1985, began the next day, on Weds 2nd. We’d had the idea to go to Chaman, a small village about 70 miles away, very close to the Afghan border.
Podcast version here -see also written content of Bob’s story
What was the worst thing…. A very common question people seem to ask, whether a customer on tour, or an acquaintance who finds out the work you do is what’s the worst thing that happened to you ? Read more . .
Hotel Sarfaraz, Madyan, Swat, Pakistan. Well, after all the humming and haaring over where to go we’ve ended up in Swat – the accommodation in Gilgit, we found out, would be too expensive, coupled with the cost of getting there – and back, probably by plane, which is highly dependent on local weather and we might be stuck for many days, eventually put us off.
Also, although the mountain scenery would be spectacular, the valley floors would be very bare at this time of year, and very, very cold. The alternative we came up with was to take the bus to Swat, costing a mere 80 Rupees (about £4.50) for a pretty interesting journey of some five hours or so from Rawalpindi.
Podcast version here
Quetta, New Years day walk, Chiltan Hill, – Bob’s story. Ah, yes, as I was saying, our New Year’s day walk. This involved getting a bus out along Brewery (pronounced Biroori) Rd for perhaps 5 miles or so, 1½ Rupees in a bus we unexpectedly found was divided by a curtain hung across the middle, one end for women, one for men. Read more . .
New Year’s day walk to Chiltan Hill, Quetta – Ceri’s story. Diary entry 3 January. The people at the PTDC (Pakistan Tourism Development Corporation have all been very nice and helpful to us. We go there every day, have tea and talk and generally disrupt the smooth flow of business, although i don’t think they’re rushed off their feet at any time. Read more . .
We arrived at Saidu Sharif which was the terminus, because it was the local office of the PTDC – (Pakistan Tourism Development Corporation), also the poshest hotel in Swat. Despite the manager offering us discounts, saying breakfast and heating free, it was still Rs 220 – three times the price we wanted to pay. Read more . .