Author: Malene

The jungle in our back garden

We are HOME… We are still writing stories from our last stops and will post those soon but we wanted to share that we are excited to be back in our own house, starting to see friends and looking forward to a big family Christmas where Willow, Nick’s grand daughter will be the guest of honour. Read more

Island dreaming

We loved the beaches on Evoia, the tavernas on Crete, almost everything on Paros (especially the view from the house and Naoussa’s harbour) and finally Chora, which means town, on Naxos is also just stunning. So what’s left to enjoy on Astypalea which is the little island where we spent our last week in Greece?

As Nick already mentioned, we learnt about the island purely by chance. We dropped Mon at the ferry on her way back to Cyprus and sat in a cafe trying to decide where to go next. I tried to match direct ferry connections with islands that looked pretty to available Airbnb flats but it was tricky!! We wanted to visit somewhere small and less commercial with a pretty town. Somewhere with enough to keep our interest but not big enough to be busy. The answer came out of the blue; Nick started chatting to an old guy at the cafe who predicted that the island of Astypalea would be the place for us. And right he was! Read more

Croissants, sunflowers and foie gras

Guess where? Oui exactement!! For a complete change, we flew to Toulouse to spend 2 weeks in the Southwest of France. We wanted to visit some good friends in Dordogne and we easily settled into a routine of eating a lot of deliciously rich foods, loads of croissants, drinking local red wine and enjoying the beautiful scenery of sunflower fields, vineyards, castles and rolling hills… Read more

Summer in Cyprus

While Nick went off to Perth on his Willowspedition, I stayed in Cyprus and my mum came to visit for 10 days. Although Cyprus is very easy compared to most places we’ve been it was still different without Nick who speaks the lingo and knows his way around. It’s very easy to just follow along but suddenly now I have to pay attention to where we go, how to get places and the names of the food we order. Protaras, sheftalia, tahinopita here we come… Read more

We ❤️ Mexico City

I want to live in Mexico!! All the places we’ve visited from the beaches in the east to the desert in the west have been fantastic and Mexico City is the icing on the cake. We’ve had such a great week here soaking up big city vibes and catching up with old and new friends. It has changed a lot and seems cleaner, friendlier, trendier (and safer!) than when I travelled here a few times for work in 2003-05. Also, I was probably overwhelmed by the chaos and noise back then whereas now we are used to it. But it’s not all big city chic – the first night we donned our masks and went to a Lucha Libra match. Read more

Montezuma’s revenge

I guess it was inevitable that the germs lurking in many corners would get us at some point and we were only just back in Mexico when Montezuma struck! Hence the delay in posting photos from San Cristobal de Las Casas and Oaxaca. Montezuma was an Aztec emperor with a fierce reputation who has given name to what is known in other countries as Delhi Belly or the Cairo Twostep. My attack was not sweet but at least it was short whereas poor Nick has been on & off for the last 3 weeks, possibly suffering multiple attacks. Once you’re affected you are probably more susceptible and he also suffered some ill-advised medicine which only made things worse (PS he is better again). Enough of that… In between days spent indoors we did see some lovely places. Read more

A postcard from Antigua Guatemala (updated)

Guatemala – another place we didn’t know much about… The shuttle was taking us to Antigua Guatemala, a small town located 1500 metres above sea level and surrounded by mountains and 3 volcanoes. It was just getting dark as we arrived and from the car we saw Volcano Fuego erupt and the glow from a bit of lava flow. The town is brochure-pretty with cobblestoned streets and cute little colourful houses and it was love at first sight. Read more

Continuing on the lake and volcano trail

Our next stop was INSIDE a volcano. One that had been extinct for a long time of course… Laguna Apoyo is a large lake which was created when the Apoyo volcano imploded about 20,000 years ago and the crater filled up with water. It’s now protected as a natural reserve and you can swim and kayak in the lake which is 200 metres deep in the middle, making it the lowest point in Central America and thermally heated to 27 degrees. The best news of all – no bull sharks! Read more

Sand, sea and surf in San Juan del Sur

Nicaragua is called the land of volcanoes and lakes but we decided they could all wait a week or so and after Managua we headed straight for the beach… San Juan del Sur is a popular surf spot on the pacific coast, not far from the border with Costa Rica. It’s a bit of a party town for young surfers from the US / Canada and European backbackers. Throw in a few alternative travellers who perform fire dances at night and sell feather earrings on the beach during the day and there you have it.

We decided against the chicken bus (the local buses where you can bring everything including live chickens going to or from the market). We booked a shuttle instead however we feel a bit guilty for chickening out (sorry for the bad joke!). We should try one of these infamous buses while we are here. Read more

Travelling around: Trinidad de Cuba, Santa Clara and Cienfuegos

After a week in Havana we set of for a trip around the central part of Cuba. Taxis (private or shared) and busses are the main transport options. There are trains however most routes only run every 2 days and their reputation is such that we only met one traveller who had tried (unsuccessfully) to travel by train. We left on the five hour journey to Trinidad de Cuba in an old Chevy colectivo (shared taxi) with 3 Belgians and the Cuban wife of one of them. Read more