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Discover Jordan

It’s been two hundred years since a young Swiss explorer, Johann Ludwig Burckhardt, discovered for the western world one of the greatest treasures of antiquity – Petra. The capital of the Nabataean kingdom between 400BC and AD106, the ancient city carved into pink sandstone cliffs lay hidden at the end of a twisting, river-cut canyon […]

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Georgia

Georgia on my mind

I love this country. I am still wondering why I left. There are so many incredible people I met here that I didn’t get photos of, I just didn’t carry my camera enough. No reflection on how happy they made me to meet them.  Did you know Georgia is where the Ibero-Celts originated from? Was […]

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Dawn drive to a captive lake in the mountains…

Up at 05:15. Woke to a cool breeze and an oozing treacle light. Deliberated about more sleep but realised it was probably the best time to drive. Yesterday I nearly cooked the engine. Steep hills, a hot day and driver nonchalance-negligence meant the water temperature was in the danger zone for far too long.  With […]

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A night at a Turkish truckstop

Sat outside eating an excellent kebab and sipping tea at a trucker’s overnight rest stop with about 60 Turkish truck drivers, striking up basic conversations using google translate. Collecting facebook friends from smiling men who speak no English. The soundtrack is diesel and drilling: engines running to keep refrigeration trailers cold, and gearing down rigs […]

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Small is Beautiful

Long renowned for its historic sites and desert adventures, Jordan is building a reputation among wildlife enthusiasts – especially those who enjoy life’s smaller pleasures, reports Huw J. Williams.  The sudden movement grabbed my attention; then, in a black flash, it was gone. I was panting my way along the dry riverbed of Wadi Dana, and […]

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Cairo to the Sahara: A Road Trip from Chaos to Serenity

Being a sucker for Land Rovers and off-road Adventure, Huw Williams didn’t take much convincing to join a new self-drive option in Egypt’s Western Desert. Driving off-road for 500km through the immense Saharan wilderness was child’s play compared to the first fifty getting clear of Cairo. Twenty million people live in Africa’s biggest city and the roads […]

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Helmet cams

GoPro HD Helmet Hero Don’t let the quirky, retro looks deceive you, the Go Pro HD Helmet Hero is top notch technology: full HD 1080p at 30 frames per second and also 960p and 720p at 30 fps. If you want your action replayed in slo-mo, there’s a 60fps option in 720p and also one […]

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Hennessy Expedition A-sym Hammock

Why take a tent? Just string up the easy-sleep hammock with built in mosquito net and waterproof cover sheet. Traditional hammocks only support  the upper spine, so a night in one can be a pain in the back. Not in the Hennessy; it’s asymmetrical: sleep diagonally across the centre line and lie virtually flat out. […]

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Leatherman Charge AL Multi Tool

The Rolls Royce of multi-tools: function and form in perfect harmony. Go camping without a Leatherman and you’ll curse yourself.   There are a garden shed load of multi-tools on the market. Not all of them are up to the job, but the Leatherman AL certainly is. It’s the best camping tool since cavemen invented […]

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Spot Satellite Messenger

Spot – Backcountry Satellite Messenger and emergency distress beacon – works where your phone gives up trying. Even when you are miles out of mobile phone range, a Spot Satellite Messenger keeps you linked directly to the global matrix of GPS satellites, SMS and the web. It has three levels of communication, OK, Help and […]

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SteriPen Traveler

No need to run the risk of a bad case of the trots from bad water supplies – zap the bugs with UV light and safely sip away. Drinking water from a gushing mountain stream might seem tempting but finding a dead sheep further up the trail will signal the onrush of liquid bowel movements. […]

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Lippi Selk Bag

A cross between a baby-grow and a sleeping bag for roasty-toasty free-range camping. Hug me baby Pull on a Selk Bag and there’s a danger that you might get mistaken for one of those dodgy geezers that get their sexual kicks from dressing up as a baby. Baby Grow Chic Yes, it is a baby-grow […]

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Take me higher

Huw J. Williams enrols on a course that shows him how to play safe in the backcountry This season’s late and light snowfall in the Alps had crowds of skiers and boarders scrambling over any white stuff they could find, no matter how poor and tracked out. Even without this added pressure, the reality of […]

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Monkey around in the land of the rising steam

 Japan is the hot new destination for skiers and boarders with Crystal and Inghams, Britain’s biggest ski companies, launching trips there.    The snow has been falling steadily for two days. Huge flakes have piled up into thick slabs on the gently sloping roofs, adding an entire storey to the height of the houses. As […]

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Sleeping Giant

Kafue, Zambia’s oldest national park, is so vast it could swallow both the Serengeti and Ngorongoro whole. Yet the number of visitors it receives is tiny. For decades it’s suffered from under-investment and neglect but now, little by little, things seem to be changing for the better. With the opening of an impressive array of […]

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Ethical tourism in Rwanda

Serenity is not a word that springs to mind when mention is made of Rwanda, where nearly 1m people were slaughtered in 1994, mostly Tutsis killed by their Hutu compatriots. Yet the serenity—of its countryside and people—is what the Rwandan government is marketing in an effort to woo tourists. It also hopes that tourism can […]

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What to do when a playground in white turns into a killer zone

This year’s avalanche toll is set to be a record, but still most skiers ignore the risk. Huw J. Williams signs up for the course every off-pister should take Massive snowfalls across the Alps last weekend have helped make this one of the best ski seasons for years. It’s also been the most deadly. Avalanches […]

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Walk this way

If quality of guiding were the deciding factor, then Zambia’s Luangwa Valley would probably be voted Africa’s leading safari destination, by a comfortable margin. South Luangwa National Park has game in abundance and no shortage of unexplored, unspoilt wilderness. So far, so wonderful. But how long is it going to stay that way?   Never […]

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Highway to powder paradise

A new charter flight starting next month puts the big snows of Colorado within easy reach. Huw J. Williams reports Colorado snow is among the world’s best: deep, luxuriant and effervescent stuff that has been dried as it travelled across North America in the jet stream before falling on this mountainous arena. Last week resorts […]

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Cashing in on appetite for adventure

Sun, sand and sea are losing their allure for British holidaymakers. A traditional beach holiday is still the favourite, but a rapidly growing number of Britons are choosing activity holidays. These range from sports holidays such as skiing, sailing or diving to yoga retreats, cookery courses, needlepoint lessons, painting in Provence, trekking in the Himalayas […]

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Last rides

Ruemkatanyu is a Bhuddist charity that is often the only source of medical attention for Bangkok’s poor. Huw J. Williams joined its nocturnal ambulance patrol, which cares for the victims of the city’s horrendous traffic. In Bangkok, in the absence of an official ambulance service, charities patrol the streets. Carrying the accident victims they find […]

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Deserted slopes on the cheap

Huw J. Williams checks out the budget options People go to resorts because they have lift facilities, but there’s plenty more winter wonderland than the best-serviced ski hills offer. Helicopters can provide a Pegasus ride to deserted powder fields but £300-plus is a lot to pay for a day’s play. Now, instead of getting the […]

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Riding high in Kicking Horse

Huw J. Williams puts Canada’s newest resort to the test Hard-packed snow, coffee-coloured slush, rocks that hide millimetres below the surface – just some of the reasons helicopters are becoming the preferred means of transport for those whose winter holiday budgets are big enough. But carving through fresh snow on a two-hour descent needn’t involve […]

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Aroma therapy

Huw J. Williams finds out how to blend exotic fragrances and flavours in Thailand Mom Tri’s Boathouse sits at the end of a large moon-shaped beach on the island of Phuket. It is a small, comfortable hotel of subtle Thai style emerging between trees that were growing before it was built. All of its 36 […]

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