Tag Archives | nature

A Burst of Birds in the British Countryside

“Ooh, look! A partridge!” “… A pheasant, you mean?” Gill looked at me quizzically from the driver’s seat. On the grassy kerb beside my window, the long-tail-feathered bird twitched his bright red head once, twice, and hopped ungainly into the bushes to disappear from view. “You really are a city girl, aren’t you!” She said, […]

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The Spanish Challenge: a Surprise Return to Paracas, Peru

Men scurry along either side of the barrier which divides the congested highway in two. They carry paper-covered boxes of snacks to sell to car drivers through their windows: small biscuits, wafers, hot peanuts. Boys with stacks of newspapers pass women wearing tracksuits and pushing supermarket trolleys, who yawn as they delve inside their bumbags filled with loose change. The […]

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The Day I Walked to the End of the World

Arriving in Santiago didn’t feel the way I expected. The Spaniards I had been walking with for the last seven days had tears in their eyes as we walked through the city’s winding streets and emerged in the central plaza. The famous cathedral towered above us, its facade draped in netting and scaffolds. My friends began […]

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Clearing My Head in the Winds of Whitstable

“Are there any good pubs in Whitstable?” The train conductor mutters something indecipherable as he hands a ticket back to the man asking questions. I’ve spent the last half hour trying my best to ignore the loud conversation of this questioner and his girlfriend from the safety of my seat a few rows back, but […]

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Kindness and Community on the Camino

Kindness and Community on the Camino

They say the Camino brings out the best in people. I didn’t believe them at first, but it’s true. Becoming a pilgrim means talking to, befriending and helping out others just for the sake of it. Walking the Camino turns individual people from strangers into a community – and a special one, at that. Where else would you […]

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Foraging in Forests: A Latvian Love for Mushrooms

“I really want a garden.” Lelde steps carefully between the brambles and blueberry bushes, a red handled knife in her hand. She is looking for mushrooms. I don’t know the layout of this forest, but Lelde seemingly does. She follows an invisible path between fir trees and pines, tracking her way across springy mounds of bright […]

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The Romanian Radiologist who Lives at the Top of the World

At the top of the world sits a little red house. There is a garden just outside the front door, fenced in by a wooden gate, which looks out across a valley of mountains covered in trees. In the house lives a radiologist. For seven days at a time, he spends his days shuffling from room […]

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From Farm to Factory: the Truth Behind Cuban Cigars

The first cigar I ever smoked was when I was studying abroad in Florence. My friend Kath had been given one as a present: we lit it up along with a lot of giggling, took turns with a puff each – and suddenly I felt horribly sick. No one had ever told me not to […]

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Don Elias and the Coffee Culture of Colombia

I've been battling an obsession with coffee for a long time. Despite adoring the taste, the caffeine buzz, and the resulting burst of productivity, coffee also makes my skin break out, gives me the shakes occasionally, and sometimes causes a buzz that's a bit too much for me to handle. So after a few too […]

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The Dark Side of the Galapagos

The Galápagos Islands are infamous for their scenery and wildlife. They’re a dream destination for thousands of people around the world who crave the crystal clear waters, the multitudes of colourful fish, the diving and snorkelling opportunities, the bizarre plethora of confident sealions and skittering iguanas, and the chance to sit back and relax on […]

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