vickygoestravelling

my journey to health and well being via exotic destinations


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Round the World in 113 days: 12-26 diving the Solomon islands

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The next stage of our trip takes us to the Solomon Islands for a 14-day dive adventure aboard the MV Bilikiki. This has been a long-time ambition of ours and the trip was carefully planned around these dates and Christmas in NZ; for dive boats such as this you have to book a year in advance. Continue reading


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Round the world in 113 days: 6-9 Kiri Vongsa school, Cambodia

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With staff & UWS team outside Kiri Vongsa school

‘A long time ago in Kiri Vongsa’ sings Bunthynn, the United World Schools Education Officer as we set off from Banlung – to the tune of the Bethlehem carol. A jolly start to an adventure! If you want to see a map of our journey click here for a link to Ross’s website. Continue reading


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Round the world in 113 days: 1-4 Singapore & Siem Reap

 

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Sunset at Angkor

After months of planning we are finally on our way! Our travels will take us to Singapore; Cambodia to visit the charity where I am a trustee, United World Schools, and the school we sponsored; to the Solomon Islands to dive for two weeks (via Singapore and Brisbane briefly); then to New Zealand for 5 weeks, joined by Tommy, to see all our old ‘nannies’ now married with children; next to French Polynesia for more diving and some island-hopping, including to the Cook Islands before crossing the date line to LA for one night and three weeks in Colombia. Phew! Continue reading


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Commemorating my grandfather Hermann Ungar 90 years on

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Prague Castle at dusk, where Hermann Ungar worked in 1929

I had been invited to Prague to commemorate 90 years since my grandfather Hermann Ungar died aged only 36 from sepsis. He was a Czech Jewish writer who was beginning to build a reputation for himself as a formidable talent amongst the Prague and Berlin literary circles of that time, which included Kafka, Stefan Zweig, Bertolt Brecht among other illustrious names. At the last minute the dates were changed but I had bought tickets and booked the hotel so off we went. Continue reading


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A week in Islamic Spain 3: Granada & Alhambra

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Alhambra in the dying light – see Charles V monstrous carbuncle square box towering over the elegant Islamic buildings

So here we are in Granada, home to Alhambra, which means the Red Fort. It is correct to simply call it Alhambra as ‘al’ means ‘the’ in Arabic. Granada itself is named after the old Jewish settlement, Medina-al-Granata, or Pomegranate City, the fruit being a symbol of fertility, which is said to contain the same number of seeds as the volumes of the Torah. We have a free day to explore before our extortionate tour; still nervous about whether we have been scammed, we are relieved to get a text confirming the meeting time. Phew! Continue reading


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A week of wine, fun & games in Provence

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View out over the vineyards from Chateau Malherbes

This is our fourth visit to the splendiferous Villa du Soleil. This year our hosts JB&C invite our other chums R&C with a brief to come armed with Brexit parodies to the tune of Gilbert & Sullivan…(these can be seen on my Instagram account). As well as a garish shirt competition,  it is a tradition to play musical games and quizzes to counteract the effects of copious amounts of rosé. Continue reading


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Salvador & the seaside: hitting the tourist hotspots in Brazil

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The slave church in the slave market square with a woman in candomble dress

It’s still raining when we arrive in Salvador, Brazil’s former capital, site of the first landing in 1501 by Amerigo Vespucci and centre of the slave trade. It is the most African part of Brazil with 80% of people having African heritage and where traditional African religions survive  today with the numerous Candomblé cults. There is even a choir that sings in Yoruba.

Continue reading


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Dodging the rain in Recife & Olinda

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View over Olinda to Recife

After our magnificent week in the hot & dusty  Pantanal we set off for the NE coast of Brazil, first stop Olinda and Recife. We are due to arrive at 2 am and, despite numerous emails and entreaties to our travel agent, are repeatedly told we have to go via São Paulo, a journey that will take 8 hours. Continue reading


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The Pantanal: Brazil’s wildlife wonderland

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Typical Pantanal view

‘Watch out! The Pantanal has the world’s worst mosquitoes!’ With  this warning  ringing in my ears, here we are with our Avon skin-so-soft spray (the best according to experts), craghoppers mosquito-proof trousers and shirts and even face nets to fit under hats. The African in me who has never bought  any safari gear is appalled. Continue reading


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Long weekend in the Lake District

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It does not augur well as we step off the train in Windermere in torrential rain, me in my summer sandals! The rain continues into day one of our long weekend; our friends John and Hilary had wisely brought forward our Sunday lunch reservation at the Michelin star-winning L’Enclume in Cartmel, so we decide to go for a cultural visit to Brantwood House on the way. Continue reading