30th April 2006


The gaudy, bewigged saints, Jesus and Mary, have been removed from their dusty niches in the cathedral and are out parading the streets, hauled by struggling youths in purple Ku Klux Klan style hooded robes.
9th May 2006


Snorkelling trips to tentatively stroke the rays in sting ray alley (they tickle when they waft past) and marvel at the tropical fish on the second largest barrier reef in the world.
18th August 2010


Then a hot and sticky walk round 'Casco Viejo', the heart of colonial Panama City, all Spanish plazas & colonial buildings.
20th August 2010

Costa Rica

I’m awoken by a huge roar. I leap out of bed, wrap a sheet round me (too hot to sleep with anything on) grab my camera and run outside for my own private eruption performance, complete with puffs of pink ash, which lasts over half an hour.
25th August 2010


The car park where we have left the bus has signs that read: ‘Park your vehicle facing the exit’
27th August 2010


Eventually, we meander out onto the tarmac and I scramble onto the small prop aircraft that has been pointed out, just after the pilot. ‘Where are we going?’ he asks.
10th January 2016


Since I got on the plane from Madrid I’ve been trying to spot the drug cartel mobsters. The glitzy ones up front I assume. I was assured that Colombia is much safer nowadays and is gearing up for tourism.
30th June 2016


You get a good view of the city and the even bigger, (longest in Europe) Vasco da Gama Bridge as the plane lands. The tower is suitably photogenic and the monastery is one of the most beautiful ecclesiastical buildings I have ever seen. The tracery is absolutely exquisite. Our bus tour guide tells us that JK Rowling lived in Lisbon for a while and probably based Harry Potter on the city. I bite my tongue.
8th January 2017

El Salvador

En route, at Lima airport, someone is bored and devises a game of musical chairs. We are made to change gates twice as all the planes arrive at different locations to those indicated on the board. There are swarms of people crossing paths as they up sticks and trundle their belongings across the terminal in response to whoever is barking orders over the tannoy.