There’s something about the order of insect trays I find extremely satisfying. Browsing them, I often feel as if I’ve missed my calling — I love making lists, putting things in order, labelling; organising anything, really.
This tray shows a selection of beetles from around the world, and is one of almost 100 trays found in the insect room at Melbourne Museum. I could wander around there for hours, and often do. It’s especially good for young children; not so good for arachnophobes – although, I seem to be somehow desensitizing myself with each visit.
If you’re looking for something to do in Melbourne, this is the perfect spot to while away a few hours.
When I stayed at The Menjangan, an eco resort in the West Bali National Park, I had an opportunity to have a frank discussion with the manager about the challenges of running eco-branded property in developing countries.
To start with, there is no doubt the people of West Bali care deeply about the environment. Ten years ago the local fishing community decided to stop fishing (often with dynamite) and concentrate on running diving and snorkelling trips. The result is the healthiest coral and most abundant sealife in Bali.
It all began in Sydney, Australia, in 2007, when the lights went out across the city at 8pm, for one hour. Restaurants lit candles, offices switched off lights overnight, all non-essential street lighting was switched off; all in an attempt to save some energy. And the world took note.
“Earth Hour is a global movement uniting people to protect the planet. Towards the end of March every year, Earth Hour brings together communities from across the world celebrating a commitment to the planet by switching off lights for one designated hour.” EarthHour.org
Lions and tigers and bears, oh my!
OK, so there are no bears here, and “Oh my!” weren’t the exact words in my head as I stood motionless in front of a very curious and very hungry lion, not two meters from my face.
Thankfully, said lion was safely ensconced on the other side of a sturdy fence that contained me, along with 15 other brave – or stupid – visitors to Christchurch’s Orana Wildlife Park.
It’s not often that visitors are greeted personally by the King upon arrival, nor is it customary to meet him in the local pub for a drink, but this is what often happens on the windswept island of Tory, 14 km off the north coast of Donegal, Ireland.
Despite its relative remoteness in the harsh Atlantic Ocean, Tory Island has a die-hard population of around 170 people, all of whom proudly speak Irish as their first language.
As the esteemed Vergil once said, “Tempus Fugit.” (Time flees)
Too true, man. Too true.
March is upon us already. Easter bunnies are on their way, and I have yet to post my wonderful Instagram travel photos of 2012! I have decided you’re getting them anyway. They’re kinda cool, so I think you’ll like them.
Before the year bounds on any further, there is something I’ve wanted to share with you for a while, but for one reason or another have only been able to now. Some of you wily readers may have already found the new Eco Traveller Team page, so award yourself 10 points for being on the ball.
On there you’ll see we’ve added another member to the team – Natasha von Geldern.
If, like me and many others, you have a dream of selling everything you own and heading off around the world, then read this book with caution as you might just end up living the dream.
It’s the third time I’ve read this book. [Aside: My memory is shocking. So bad that I sometimes worry about Alzheimer’s in the future. On the upside, I get to see movies and read books over and over again without knowing (remembering) the ending.]
Each time I read Slow Travel I getting this niggling, pulling, wrenching feeling to just go travel. Just pack it all in and go.
I’m hungry, and home sick for Barcelona – my spiritual home. By spiritual, I mean I’m there in spirit, pretty much every few days.
It’s a place I love, and have lived in for a short time. Too short. But it’s a place I will get back to. Move to. Live in again.
I love the fact that it’s right on the sea, but close to the mountains. I can go sailing on the Med in summer and skiing in the Pyrenees in winter.
I love the architecture, and have a dream of finishing my architecture degree there one day. Don’t care if I’m the oldest chick in the Uni; it would be a privilege to study in a city that gives so much architectural pleasure.
I love the shopping, the bars, the vibe. See, told you I was home sick.
And, oh boy, do I love the food.
All images © Natasha von Geldern
Yes, China is the world’s second largest emitter of greenhouse gases and the pollution in major cities is rising to hazardous levels. In fact, on the day I arrived people were being warned to stay indoors in Beijing. But last month I stayed at a real gem of an eco lodge – the Yangshuo Mountain Retreat – that just warmed my heart with its commitment to sustainability and responsible tourism.