21st September 1991

Australia – Classic Tour

I booked a cheap hotel in Kings Cross and found out why it was such a good deal when I got there. I knew nothing about Kings Cross (it’ the red light district area) and when I arrived a guy was standing in the doorway wearing a leather mini and a blonde wig. I got take away and stuck a chair under the door handle.
15th October 2019

Australia – Sydney, Melbourne, Tasmania, the Ghan and Perth

For a while I take on the role of tracker, following rows of tiny pawprints in the snow. I’m proud of myself for working out that they’re very recent, but whatever I’m pursuing could be a Woozle for all I know.
20th October 2001

Australia – Three Sides

The beaches in the Whitsundays are truly stunning- the best in the world? At aptly named Paradise the silver sand stretches forever and when you do reach the cerulean sea a school of rays are basking gracefully in the clearest of water.
27th September 2019

Christmas Island

Two cars arrive complete with flashing beacons and three officers. They’re very kind (I think they’re glad of something to do) and take me to hospital.
11th October 2019
Cocos Islands

Cocos (Keeling) Islands

Chris descends the ladder, putting one  leg into the water, and then appears again in the boat announcing he has been bitten by a shark. For a moment I think he is joking...
10th September 2013

Cook Islands

Aitutaki is billed as the most beautiful lagoon in the world, so expectations are high. And it is stunning.
14th September 2013


Finally arrive in Fiji but in unscheduled Suva. Only an hour late. Then a taxi ride across the island back to Nadi (say it Nandi) with 2 other stranded passengers. It's really very pleasant, the sun is shining and there are great views of coral beaches and the reefs and islands all along the coast road. About 330 islands here.
13th September 2013

French Polynesia

The views from the air are sublime. This is a volcanic peak surrounded by a fabulous deep blue lagoon and scattered motu, with the turquoise shallows on the edge of the lagoon.
21st July 2017


I’m sitting next to a lady from Kiribati (say it Kiribas) who lives in the States, but is going back to see her family. She thinks I should stay for two weeks, not four nights. I’m not telling her that the guide books say there is little to do and I’m only staying for four nights because there isn’t another plane till then. She also wants to know how old I am. She says that age is venerated here, not like America. Good.