Standing ankle-deep in salted water, with rays of sun washing over my upturned face, I was reminded inescapably of the idea of the end of the earth: a mythic, utopian place Continue reading
Unlike Rio de la Plata, named in the false hope of silver which would later be found in Potosi, Sucre has no relation with sugar in spite of the link forged by my mediocre French. The city was named for a General who played a part in the independence of the country, Continue reading
When I set my sights on Brazil, a haven of natural wonders with a gloriously long coastline famous for heavenly beaches and tropical climes, I found myself spoilt for choice while simultaneously needing to be very choosy. Seeing the country in its entirety could take months, and even heading north to the shores of Bahia Continue reading
For many, travel is an escape from day-to-day life, a chance to explore other countries, and whether it’s the freedom of the open road for months on end or a quick holiday, it’s a way to leave behind the troubles and responsibilities of home. For me, it has always been a taste of unparalleled independence and liberty. Most tourists will therefore dedicate their time to seeing the sights, relaxing on a beach, or finding adventure — but in order to understand a new country and culture, it’s not enough to explore their art or cuisine. The truth of a country lies in its history, and while it’s tempting to see only the glory and gloss over any uncomfortable episodes, it’s not enough.
A prime example of this is Cambodia, home to the magnificent Angkor Wat and paradise beaches — but also to the terrifying dictatorship of Pol Pot. During the 1970s, his regime saw approximately 25% of the Cambodian population drawn from society either for manual labour or into concentration camps before eventually meeting their death in a 4-year period commonly remembered as genocide. And yes, it’s heart-rending. It’s awful. But in order to truly appreciate the beauty of the country and the spirit of the people, it is necessary to see what they have suffered and survived — in truth, it makes the beautiful parts shine brighter.
Spanning the borders of three countries, Iguazu Falls is an outstanding feat of nature on a continent bursting with surreal landscapes and natural wonders. The Iguazu River tumbles over the Parana Plateau in an enormous, crashing cascade a few kilometres from where the two rivers merge. Continue reading