Rail trips in China – part 1

Beijing rail station is busier and larger than most airports I have visited. It’d also a dramatic introduction to the difference between English and Chinese social norms. Arriving at 10:30 pm for an overnight rail  trip to X’ian, we found ourselves trying to enter the two tiny open glass doors of the train station, seemingly […]

The Great Wall of China

We set off before dawn with the uncle of our Beijing hostesses to head to Simitai – the less touristy and less frequently visited part of the wall. It’d take 4-5 hours to hike to Jinshanling where we’d be picked up around lunchtime. The journey to Simitai should, I’m convinced, have taken longer than it […]

Swimming with manatees

I love nothing more than encountering new wildlife when on holidays, and my ultimate favourite has to been the Floridian manatee.  My first encounter with a manatee was during a trip to SeaWorld, Florida when much younger. My family and I immediately fell in love with these giant gentle beasts of the rivers. I recall […]