vickygoestravelling

my journey to health and well being via exotic destinations


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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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A Belgrade wedding – and a wonderful weekend

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Belgrade skyline with St Michael’s Cathedral centre stage

We are in Belgrade for a family wedding. Cousin Nico is celebrating his recent marriage to Dragana, who is Swiss of Serbian heritage, in the Orthodox Cathedral in Belgrade. A great excuse for a gathering of the clans – literally, as cousin Christine, Nico’s mum is Scottish and her mother and sisters are coming from Belgium and Tunisia. The dress code is kilts, even for baby Stevan. 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.

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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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São Paulo in half a day

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The Banderas monument made from Italian marble to commemorate the early explorers. Took 30 years to complete.

We arrive early in the morning to azure skies, winter sun and a distinct chill in the air. It takes us a good hour and a half to struggle through the snaking  immigration queue so it is a relief to find our driver who whisks us off the the Tivoli Mofarrej in the peaceful Jardins area of SP. 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