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My Travels / 25.01.2016

When I popped into the local travel agent’s late last week to book my Brisbane-London return flights, I was aghast at the price – $3,459 Australian, particularly after having just heard a news item about the low cost of air travel due to the fall in the price of oil and a reluctance of people to fly to potential terrorist target locations. Today, I amended my booking to take advantage of the cheaper price of returning to Brisbane from Frankfurt and a considerable saving resulting from departing Singapore at 6.55 am instead of 9.40, which combined to reduce the fare by $900.

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My Travels / 25.11.2015

After an email exchange, I today posted a cheque to secure my accommodation in London for my intended trip to the UK and Europe next northern summer. I got in early because last time when I tried booking in January, my preferred dates were unavailable, my stay had to be pushed back by two weeks and instead of starting in London, it concluded there.

 

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My Travels / 03.09.2015

Stories about freakish delays in postal deliveries occasionally crop up to amaze us, rather like messages in a bottle washing ashore after an unbelievable interval. The postcards I wrote at Chief’s Camp in the Okavango on June 10 don’t quite come into that category, but it is baffling nonetheless that the card I wrote to my daughter-in-law’s parents in Brisbane which arrived today, took four weeks longer to be delivered than the card I wrote on the same day to my cousin in Hertfordshire in the UK. PS The third postcard finally reached its destination in Longreach on September 4.

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My Travels / 07.08.2015

An email from my cousin Leila in London proclaimed the arrival yesterday (ie the 6th of August) of a postcard I wrote at Chief’s Camp on the 10th of June. It was postmarked Botswana, July the 29th . I had given it and the two other postcards I wrote on the same day, irrevocably up for lost. I now await news of their delivery in Australia.

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My Travels / 17.06.2015

I was away from June 4 to 17. The journey began before I left the flat when I somewhat apprehensively took the first of a daily course of malarone anti-malaria tablets, having read the possible side effects which included vomiting. Mercifully my concern was short lived. The pill caused no problems. As you might expect, I will be writing primarily about the fauna and flora. My rapture at seeing the creatures, the vegetation and the lie of the land was identical to the feeling I get when I’m filming a species for the first time or in a new setting here on the mountain. I suggest you google the species to which I refer so that you can at least see what they look like. A warning, this article contains over 9,900 words.

My travels introduced me to four planes I had not flown in before. The first was the Avro RJ85, no longer in production, but an impressive aircraft, which took me from Johannesburg to Maun in Botswana, the southern gateway to the Okavango Delta. From there I boarded the second ‘new’ plane, a single-engine 12 seat Cessna 208 which flew me above the tree tops on… Read Complete Text

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My Travels / 10.02.2015

I have just got back from the travel agent’s after booking the flights for my 12 day African safari, departing Australia on June 4. I have never been to Africa but was minded to bring decades of footage of its big game to life, much as my Canadian rail journey in 1964, when we followed the shore of Lake Superior with its rafts of tree trunks, had done for my secondary school geography lessons. I shall be spending 5 nights in the Okavango Delta, 2 nights in Chobe National Park (both in Botswana) and 3 nights at a lodge on the Zambian side of Victoria falls.The allure of a huge inland delta was irresistible not only to me but to my travel agent. She took her teenage son and daughter on an identical safari during the recent Summer holidays and had an exhilarating time.

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My Travels / 14.09.2014

I was away from 7 August to 14 September. The UK comprised Somerset and London with a day trip to York and Europe comprised Austria and Germany. I was about to start on Germany when I inadvertantly deleted everything I wrote on Somerset and Austria which had taken me several days. No save window appeared. It seems that somehow I had over-ridden the entire document, of which my UK/Europe post was part. This has not happened to me before. I simply don’t have the will or the time to try and replicate what I wrote. Suffice to say that I had a most enjoyable stay with Clive in Somerset and with Herbert & Gil Distel in Katzelsdorf.

What had been a splendid Summer in England and Austria had vanished without trace in August so that my time in both countries involved successfully dodging the rain (it was felicitous how often rain coincided with meals, stopping once we had finished eating) and having to contend with unseasonal cold.

On my first afternoon in Somerset we went shopping in Taunton where I found yellow cotton dusters edged with red stitching, the first item on my shopping list, and a… Read Complete Text

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My Travels / 03.02.2014

I booked the return flight to London for my UK/Europe trip this northern summer. My original intention was to be away for the last week in July and four weeks in August but my preferred London accommodation was unavailable until the end of August. Instead of starting in London, I decided to end my travels there. This meant needing to move ultra fast and winging it. I was hoping to stay with Herbert & Gil Distel in Austria, after missing out in 2012. I was very lucky that in opting to fit in my other destinations before coming to London (a) the Distels were at home in August because they will be away in September and (b) by the time I had replies from Clive, Christina and Herbert, the accommodation was still available. I am including a few days in Berlin. It is high time I went there because of deep family connections. So far, so good.

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My Travels / 18.11.2013

India and Myanmar  3 – 18 November   Reader be warned, I have sought to do justice to my subject. This article contains more than 6,700 words.

INDIA

I couldn’t contemplate a visit to Myanmar without going to India to catch up with family and friends. Usually this has meant staying in Gurgaon with my former in-laws with whom I have maintained a loving relationship. The fact that Kolkata is the city in India from which one flies to Yangon provided an unmissable opportunity for me to spend time with family friends I had last seen more than 30 years ago.

Sightseeing in Delhi

The day before my flight to Kolkata I booked Rajendra, the trusted driver whom the family hires for longer journeys, to take me to some outlying tombs and ruins which I had not seen on previous visits to Delhi. I urgently needed to buy more rupees. Rajendra pulled up at a money changer’s in a busy street en route to our first destination, Haus Khaz. A short external staircase led to a dingy room in which sat a shifty-looking man behind a counter.  A board, listing various currencies but no rates,… Read Complete Text

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My Travels / 09.05.2013

Today I booked and paid for my flights to India and Burma, after initially opting to depart Brisbane on 28 October, only to receive an email from Vanessa a few days later with the exhibition dates. So I am now booked to leave Brisbane on 3 November. In India I shall stay with Maggie in Gurgaon and spend a few days In Kolkota catching up with my ex-wife’s family friends I haven’t seen in decades. I shall then spend 3 days visiting and viewing the temples at Bagan, overnighting in Rangoon (Yangon) on arrival and prior to returning home.