Top 10 Mountain Treks: (#3) Torres del Paine

I’m getting towards the pointy end of my list of favourite mountain treks…and quite literally with this entry. Chile’s multi-pronged Torres del Paine are one of South America’s pin-up images, with the massif’s sharp peaks rising as bent and broken as a fisherman’s fingers. Continue reading

Winter Trip to the Walls of Jerusalem

Often as travellers we revisit places we loved at first brush, only to be disappointed by the inevitable change. Very occasionally we return to a place to find it exceeds memory. Such were the Walls of Jerusalem for me last weekend. Continue reading

Friday Foto: Mt Oakleigh, Tasmania

View over snowy treetops on the slopes of Mount Oakleigh

Last winter, I spent a week in Tasmania’s mountains, hiking the Overland Track. Setting out at almost the exact moment of midwinter, it was a journey to experience Australia’s most popular long-distance walking trail at its least popular time. It was a week in which a whole lot of rainy days bracketed this one perfect day of snow. Continue reading

Cycling Manali to Leh, India

Between the Indian cities of Manali and Leh, a highway wriggles through the Himalayas. It travels for 500 kilometres, crossing five high passes, including some of the highest road passes in the world. It journeys from the monsoon-washed greenery of Himachal Pradesh to the high, stark desert of Ladakh, passing through terrain so gorgeously brutal that the road is usually open for just three or four months of the year. That time of year is now. Continue reading

Colours of Colombia

I’ve just returned home from a couple of weeks travelling through Colombia, a country where preconceptions are inevitably misconceptions. Behind its dark recent history, Colombia is a place that’s rich in life and colour. Travel here and you discover that its cities are sophisticated, its landscapes inspiring, and its people somehow retain their beauty despite the party that never seems to end.

Here’s a short look at the many colours of Colombia. Continue reading

The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galapagos Islands

I needn’t bother introducing the Galapagos Islands. Some bloke named Darwin beat me to it. Then Vonnegut. Then Attenborough. I suspect even Billy Connolly might have triked across them at some point. But even when you have an expectation of the Galapagos Islands, they can overwhelm you. Continue reading

Walk this Way

I’m not the first to believe that footsteps, pedal turns and paddle strokes can feel like the essence of life. Never does my mind function better, or my soul feel more connected to some sort of natural order, than when I’m hiking on a mountain, cycling an empty road, or kayaking along a wild strip of coastline.

“I can only meditate when I am walking,” Jean-Jacques Rousseau once wrote. “When I stop I cease to think; my mind only works with my legs.” Friedrich Nietzsche was even more resolute on the subject: “Only those thoughts which come from walking have any value.” Continue reading