Salty, Buttery Tea: A Trek in the Himalayas

He knew he would never get out alive, so after twelve days he escaped, taking his mother and father with him. He didn’t know how many miles they walked over the mountains, but he told us it took two months to get here and build their first farm out of the local bamboo.

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Arrival at ‘The Queen of Hills’

And they’re off! This is the introduction to our trek into the Himalayan foothills. “Cold and travel weary by 5pm, we stumbled across Joey’s pub… with its cosy bar, ramshackle tables and faded posters it felt immediately like home.” All that Buddhist culture and we end up in a pub. Typical. Lots of atmospheric photographs and an argument with an Indian tourist in this blog entry…

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Pic of the Day: Kanchenjonga From Gangtok

Our Pic of the Day today is an image taken from Gangtok (the capital town of Sikkim) of Kanchenjonga, the world’s third highest mountain. If you look very closely you’ll see that Kanchenjonga itself is on the far right, sitting way above the massif in front, which is in turn beautifully lit by the setting sun.

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Preparing Dinner The Old School Way

Husband and wife Santa and Kabita preparing us dinner. We spent a night at their home in the remote Himalayan village of Baranumber, where all cooking is done old-school style in a smoky wattle-and daub annexe that serves as their kitchen. Food was amazing; so too was the maize wine they distilled on this same stove before our very eyes!

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The Day I Almost Bought A Goatherd’s Son

Today I had an encounter I will never forget. Meet Chella Duri, a goatherder from Tamil Nadu, working in the neighbouring state of Kerala. He earns as much in a month as we spend on an evening out, but I’m not asking for your pity, just a few moments to listen to what he had to say when he heard that I was a rich westerner living on a boat in Cochin…

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Eerily Familiar Kodaikanal

We’ve now left Madurai and we take you up into the mountains. Kodaikanal is an old hill station in the Western Ghats and at over 2,000m it is cool, quiet and peaceful, the perfect juxtaposition to Madurai, that mad and crazy city in the plains. This mountain village offers some of the best views of the Ghats and this little post provides photographic and video evidence of exactly how English some of the countryside looks. Think Lake District in the autumn…

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The Western Ghats Of Tamil Nadu

The Western Ghats is a huge mountain range that runs down from the centre of India to the south, where it divides the states of Kerala and Tamil Nadu. All of these images were taken in the hill station of Kodaikanal.

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Celebrating My 15,000th Nautical Mile

Our one and only stop after leaving Salalah, Oman, before arriving in India would be Ras Al Hallaniya island, which is part of the Kuria Muria Islands, 30 miles away from the piracy attack Liz and I overheard on the VHF the other week. What a place to celebrate my 15,000th nautical mile, especially after catching a beautiful dorado…

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Dugong Delights

We’d spent the last week holed up in Luli and although good deeds were done it was time to get the hell out of Dodge and go discover some Sudanese nature. What better place than Marob?

I won’t bore you with the sail to this wonderful marsa but the log book does mention that we caught a 3kg tuna, saw lots of dolphins and sighted a strange, unidentifiable flashing object. One night sail later and we were quickly approaching a very tricky entrance to Marob via many hidden reefs. No wonder this coast is littered with wrecks.

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Scraping The Propeller Of Barnacles: Man’s Work!

When I was thirteen, I held my breath for two minutes and fifty five seconds, sitting, very still, in my bedroom. Flapping around under a boat in cold water, stabbing a chisel at 4 months worth of crustaceans tends to tire you out a little and I think the best I managed was about 40 seconds.

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Culture, Angry Priests & The Best Pork Chop

At Platres we admired the colonial mansions left by the Brits and stopped to wander round Cleopatra’s, a mad shop full of tat and car boot sale memorabilia, run by a tiny ancient ant-like woman with the innate charm of a Lady and well-oiled diplomat.

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