Where to go on holiday?

We’re planning a week’s holiday at the end of September with my brother and his girlfriend but we’ve got no idea where to go. For the past few days we’ve been scouring every holiday site we can think of but every time we see something that looks good and within budget, tripadvisor.com tells us that people hated staying there.

Have any of you had a good short break recently? Where did you go? All we’re looking for is somewhere with some sun, a pool and perhaps a nice beach (although it’s not essential). Help!

Plastic wrapping machines

As I’ve been travelling over the past couple of years I can’t help noticing the proliferation of machines at airports that will wrap your luggage in a ton of bright blue plastic for a small fee. My only thought is…why?! A complete waste of money and resources in my view. What if security need to get into your bag because something looks suspicious on an x-ray? What happens to all that plastic once you get your luggage back?

See a recent video of some fool getting their luggage wrapped at Budapest airport here:

“Let’s see, do I have everything? Currency – check. Passport – check. Tickets – check. Luggage wrapped in a ton of bright blue plastic – check.” Again, why?


India_flag.pngI’ve recently arrived back from a week on a business trip to Pune, India. It was quite an experience, from the moment I arrived in Mumbai to the journey home. I had never been to India before and from what I had heard I expected to be similar to Brazil, which I visted last year – a developing nation with a large, visible gap between rich and poor. But it was very, very different – whereas in Rio, there are physical barriers between the ‘haves’ and ‘have nots’, in Mumbai it seems like everybody is living together, literally on top of one another, and many in extreme poverty.

The roads in Mumbai are being concreted over but I cannot see them being any less busy once the roadworks are finished. For a westerner, Mumbai is visually striking; there is so much going on everywhere you look – people washing clothes, dogs running around, cars, trucks and rickshaws honking their horns, people relieving themselves at the side of the road, street sellers showing their wares…
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On to Salvador

We managed to survive our encounter with the Amazon jungle, which included grappling with a torrent of insects at dinner time on our first night, piranha fishing, caiman hunting, frogs and cockroaches in our bathroom and lots of mosquitoes, and we’ve now been in Salvador for the past two days. This is a wonderful place – we spent yesterday wandering around the old city, looking at the lovely old buildings and coming across a performance by the Olodum school, which was great fun. Last night we attended a Candomblé ceremony at Terreiro Casa Branca and we hope to catch some Capoeira before we leave here in a couple of days.

We’re heading back to Rio de Janeiro next and then back home to work!

Into the jungle…

We spent the day yesterday travelling from Foz du Iguacu via Sao Paulo to Manaus, in the heart of the Amazon. What a different place this is – gone are the tourists, the quatis and the cool climate and we now find ourselves sweltering amongst the hustle and bustle of this busy port town. Just one more night here and then we’re off into the jungle…

Wedding…and Brazil!

On 14 August, it was my absolute pleasure and honour to get married to Katie at St Mary’s Church, Ross-on-Wye. We had a wonderful day, with so many of our friends and family there, and the weather held out for us. People said to us beforehand that the day would go very quickly, but we had no idea how true this was – it zoomed by. But, it really could not have been more perfect.

Mat has already put up a few photos on NotMyFace.com and it looks as though there will be many more there soon, so watch that space.

We’re now on our honeymoon in Brazil, which has already been wonderful. We’ve been in in Rio de Janeiro since Monday and tomorrow we’ll be flying to Foz du Iguaçu before heading to Manaus, Salvador and back here to Rio. The country is amazing – the people here are so very friendly – and we’ve been busy wearing ourselves out by trying to see as much as we can. I’ll be sure to post a few more details (and photos) of our trip when we get back.

See you all soon!


Zuerich tram number 6

I spent most of this week in Zuerich on business, the second time I’ve been there in about three weeks. The theme of this trip seemed to be the number of dodgy air conditioning units that I encountered! On Tuesday I spent all day in one of our offices with a very ropey AC unit, which I think made three of us ill with sore throats and coughs; Wednesday and Thursday they seemed to have failed completely so we all sweltered in 30 degree heat.

Still, we had a great trip with some good nights out at the Blue Monkey Thai Restaurant and the wonderful Zeughauskeller, the latter of which sells metre long sausages and meat swords (ahem).
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