Why have a section on travel? Simple! The need to travel and experience the whole world has always been one of the most significant aims of my life! Preferring to go down the DIY route, we avoid travel agencies and their guides with horror. Over the years we have explored many countries close to home: Scotland, France, Italy, Spain; with just a little bit of planning ahead, taking along our own or a hire car, and always, but always, accompanied with a rudimentary guide of cheap places to stay and an up-to-date map-book. We apply the same ideals to countries further afield, though with a bit more care to booking ahead, searching out that one place to stay that is off the beaten track, a place that can often be out of the ordinary and even sometimes slightly bizarre!

 

 
 

 

 
 

 

Kenya

 

 

Kenya is where I first learnt to scuba-dive, discovering submerged coral reefs off the shores of unspoilt, pure white beaches. Mid holiday we flew in a tiny light aircraft to ‘go on safari’ staying at Taita Hills Lodge, a group of huts on stilts above the game reserve. Rising at daybreak we took a magical trip to the skies in a hot air balloon, discovering the diversity of wildlife from a spectacular viewpoint.

 

 
   
 

 

India

 

 

Goa is my first, and hopefully not my last, excursion to India, as I have since been informed, by I expect quite jealous friends, that Goa is a paradise and not the true India. (And what an amazing paradise!)

 

 
 

 

 
 

 

Egypt

 

 

We did the whole thing! From visiting pyramids, temples and the Valley of the Kings to sailing down the Nile on a dhow, riding camels in the desert, traversing the market in Cairo and snorkelling in the Red Sea. Cairo Museum has to be the most magnificent in the world – absolutely stuffed full of antiquities! And the golden treasures of Tutankhamun – awe-inspiring! All viewed while dragging around our eldest doing his teenage ‘Kevin’ bit, complaining bitterly how boring it all was!

 

 
 

 

 
 

 

Italy

 

 

After a sweaty tour of the cities, visiting the magnificent architecture of Rome, Florence and Sienna, to name but a few, we topped off our holiday with a relaxing week amongst the stunning landscape of Tuscany.

 

 
 

 
 

 

Maldives

 

 

Staying in a luxurious beach hut on the tiny island of Vakarufalhi, one of the Maldives, was an extra special 25 years Valentine anniversary treat. Overall life moves at a slower, relaxing pace in these islands of dreams. The main highlight was snorkelling with majestic, giant manta rays – a once in a lifetime experience!

 

 
 

 

 
 

 

Morocco

 

 

A country to fill the senses! Our first week was spent in the walled town of Taroudant where we found a local guide to take us trekking through the High Atlas Mountains, visiting mud built villages and their friendly inhabitants. After a long taxi drive to Marrakech we stayed in a beautiful traditionally decorated ‘palace’ that belonged to the author Miranda Innes. Riad Maisie is a secret oasis tucked away down narrow, diverging alleyways situated in the heart of the bustling Medina.

 

 
 

 

 

 
 

 

Turkey

 

 

We spent our first week in Turkey on the coast – in a treehouse! Hiring a car we explored some amazing archaeological sites often tumbling from sandy beaches into the sea! Feeling like characters from ‘Raiders of the Lost Ark’ we were left totally to our own devices to discover ruins in amongst overgrown vegetation. Second week we travelled inland staying overnight in Konya, the birthplace of the ‘Whirling Dervishes’, then on to Cappadocia, where we inhabited a room hewn out of the soft rock, in other words, a cave. Cappadocia’s landscape is totally awe-inspiring, with gigantic, penis-like rock formations that have formed over millions of years from the soft volcanic rock.

 

 

 

All works © Karen van de Bospoort 2017