Life's adventures

Category: Travel (page 1 of 8)

Mallorca A Joy To Ride

Spain’s Mallorca is a joy to cycle with friends. A long weekend break in the North of Mallorca proved to be a wonderful break from the rain a cold of London.  I landed in Palma and transferred to Port de Pollença.

My group had already arrived and were already saddling up for a ride out. Some had brought their own bikes but most of us and rented bikes from Pro Cycle which is a stones throw from our hotel.

The bikes had been arranged by Mallorca Cycling Tours  Who guided us on our weekend break. Their knowledge of the island is great and really made our beak enjoyable. They also made sure that everyone rode to their levels.

The weather was just right and even in October suncream wouldn’t of gone a miss. All in all the weekend was a great break and I would highly recommend a cheeky break in Mallorca.


Setting Sun In Thailand

As the sun sets below the sea line and day turns to night I reflect on my time in Thailand. It’s been a relaxing and thoughtful time. I’ve enjoyed seeing new sights at a relaxed pace. I’ve seen a few temples in Bangkok and relaxed on the golden sands of Karon beach Phuket.

I’ve pampered myself with body massages and had more than a few pedicures on my well-trodden feet. I’ve sat soaking up the suns rays with the sea breeze cooling my shoulders whilst people watching. I would say that I am not one for sitting on the beach but that is not the case here. I’ve really enjoyed doing just that.  I’ve taken the time to indulge in me. Watching YouTube, listening to podcasts and enjoying a few beers too.

I’ve missed friends, family and loved one and look forward to seeing them. I think next time I visit Thailand it will be with my partner. The unit then thank you Thailand.



Finding fresh air

I’ve been in Thailand for a week now. I landed in Bangkok and decided that I would spend a week in the city. That was a big mistake. I’d booked an apartment prior to coming in Thong lo area which cost £250, so not a nightmare.

Having never been to this part of the world I wanted to explore the big City for a while. I like to walk and explore and feel the city and the vibe of a place. What I very quickly found out is this that no one walks. Even the locals don’t really walk and that’s because of the oven heat and the most saddening part, is the pollution. It’s really bad. You can taste it in your mouth. It fills your lungs as I’ve never experienced before. So when you see Asian people walking around with face masks you know why. It’s not a germ thing. I assume that Japan or major Asia city is the same.

After walking for a good three to four hours you will be completely soaked in sweat and you will be wasted. After a few days of this, I found out that the best way to get around was on the train which covers a good part of the city but not all.  My favourite was by canal boat. It takes you into the old part of the city and connects you to the main river Chao Phraya. My last day there I took the river cruise which is really cheap.

Of course, the major sights were explored such as the Grand Palace but they were completely mobbed. For me, I like to try and find the hidden city which I did on foot. Walking into slum areas along the canal footpath getting strange looks for the looks as to why the tourist is here in our back yard, but never once did I feel in danger. In main I think Bangkok is a safe city. The danger comes in the form of the bars, Tuk Tuk drivers and certain restaurants looking to cash in on Tourist. They will rip you off in a heartbeat.

The other thing is the sex trade and middle-aged European white men looking for sex or a young Thai girl.
That made me feel a little ashamed to be white and middle-aged. Travelling on my own which I know is not the norm, I felt people were looking at me like that. Look here comes a man looking for sex and or bride and to tell you the truth it made me feel bad. But you can not hide from the truth. You see a lot of that in Thailand. Lots of middle-aged to older white men with Thai girls. Maybe its true love or deep pockets.

Time to get out of smog filed Dodge.

So I’d seen some of the city and I’m sure I could have seen a whole lot more if I’d researched it better. My copy of Lonely Plant guide to Bangkok got a light reading for inspiration but in the main, I got a flavour of the place. I’d planned on going to Chiangmai but the heat in Bangkok was so much that I felt it was time to hit the beach instead of more city adventure so I booked a Flight to Phuket.

I got into Phuket at about nine at night and took a cab to Patong beach where I’d booked a hotel for a night. Checking in I got into an argument with the receptionist as she wanted to hold on to my passport or give them 2000 that as a deposit. After a game of bluff where I said that I was off unless the changed their mind about the whole deposit thing, I went to my room. Very tacky place. I walked down the Patong road where all the sex bars are with girls and men are offering you a free drink if you coming into their bar. Girls dancing on podiums wearing close to nothing. It’s a sight for the senses. Within half an hour of being in Paton, I knew this was not the place for me. I managed to make my way to the beach front and got speaking to a Spanish guy with his Italian wife who lives in Southgate North London. We chatted as we walked and it was nice speaking with what a called a friendly couple. After we split a went into a bar and asked about other fewer tourist areas. Karon Beach was chosen as the place I’d go in the morning. The next day I walk around getting one last look at Patong and got ripped off for breakfast. They changed me 200 Bhat for a one egg omelette. As I said before its not the thefts that will get you. Negotiating a taxi is hard work. Example. I have changed 800 bhat for an hour-long drive from the airport to the hotel. Seems fair. The drive from Paton to Karon Beach is about 15 max 20 mins and every taxi stand/driver want 500. Also now of them want to go on the meter. There are metered cabs but getting one is a different story. In the end, I got a taxi for 250.

So far my stay in Karon at the Kata Tranquil Villas has been ok. And learning my lesson from overbooking my stay in Bangkok I’m only booking a day or so at each place. I’ve booked two days at a different hotel closer to the beach at Karon Beach and maybe I’ll move to a different beach but for now, I’m chilling at Karon in the hot sun with a cool sea breeze.

What I’ve learned so far.

  1. Don’t book a hotel for too long. You might not like it or the area.
  2. Don’t trust the bars or restaurants. They will rip you off. Also, make sure they have their prices displayed.
  3. Don’t trust a cabbie.
  4. Learn to negotiate with a smile
  5. Last, of all, put it into perspective. Don’t start negotiating over 50 or 100 Bhat its about £2.00. Some of these people are poor and just looking to make a life.

London Underground Love hate relationship

imageThis is the second time this has happened  to me and I hate it. They call it planned engineering works which to everyone else means a major pain in the ass. Traveling from Heathrow T5 to Oakwood station which normally takes an hour but when they have engineering works going on the close part of the line and they put on a bus replacement service between the closed stations adding 30 minutes to the journey and not forgetting to hump your luggage across London. The last time this happened to me it was snowing and it was a real headache especially when you have just travelled half way around the world.

What I don’t understand is why don’t they plan theses works at night and it’s always seems to be on piccadilly line which is the line to Heathrow. How do visitors deal with this.  Ok ive done with my rant. I’m now sitting on my train to Oakwood after the bus replacement and it   Won’t be long until I’m in my North London.

Show some love

imageNow most of the time the London transport system is great. You only have to do a bit of traveling to other major sites around the world to realise how comprehensive London transport is. It’s like a web and it extends to most parts of outer London. Even at its furthest points youre only 30 minutes from central London.  When in Rome I jumped on the tube in rush hour and it was like being squeezed in a can. I’m sure if there was a competition in how to get the most amount of people into a train Rome would be a strong contender. From what I hear Japan takes some beating though

Back to London my home.

Ciao Italy

The week as flown by and although the weather was not the great I still enjoyed seeing Rome. The highlight of the week was and still is St Peter’s Basilica, the church always takes my breath away. We visited the Trevi fountain again and as tradition requests that you throw over your shoulder a coin as a statement for returning to Rome. But after visiting Rome for the fourth time maybe its my last. Nevertheless I enjoyed walking and walking and walking the streets.. I leave you with some photos from my travels.


Barstard Stole My Umbrella!

So the second day in Rome was met with rain. Not the small drops that mildly interrupt ones day but the huge drops that feel like someone is pouring water on you from a hose.  Thankfully the pre booked tickets for the Vatican museum saved most of the day. Our entrance was at 10am and as we entered the heavens  opened up as if the gods themselves were angered. The Vatican Museum is vast and even if you had a whole week there I’m sure the you still would miss things. My advice is not to mentally try and view every exhibit but just to let the whole experience flow over you and absorb the place and the history and the truly amazing works of art.

The second half of the day we visited the Saints Peter’s Basilica followed by lunch and then we stumbled upon the Pantheon.  The rain continued and after about an hour of trying to miss the rain we finally gave in and went home. The final blow come when I went to the supermarket. When you enter there is a place to leave your umbrella. Like a good citizen I placed my rain shield in the proper place. All the time I was walking thru the Aisles I was thinking that someone would take the 5 euro umbrella which I purchased from one of the many street salesman you see around Rome. My premonition come true and the cheap umbrella that served me well was gone. I hope the person looks after the umbrella and gives it a good home.

Here are some pictures of the day. I miss you Umbrella 🙁

Rain In Rome

IMG_5208The first proper day in Rome was met with rain and lots of it. Oh well it was still amazing walking the streets with a special one by your side.

This is the thing about Rome. Tagging, it’s  everywhere you go there is so much graffiti which is just tagging type and not the good stuff. I know some people view all graffiti and mindless destruction but when done well it can add a level of culture and character but there lies the problem, controlled graffiti is false and has no message. I’ve visited many countries and see great a bad graffiti and I’m sorry to say Rome doesn’t have good street art so I’ll leave you with the original wall paintings.


Running The Dubai Marina 

Dubai Marina

Running Marina Dubai

Well I finally got to do a run in Dubai coving six miles in just over and hour . My first impressions of Dubai seems to be a sole less place with lots of different types of people only coming here for the money . Most of the people you see other than the Philipino and Indian service works are Europeans office types. There clearly is money to be made here doing what I don’t know. Must be finance of some sort. In my field which is TV media advertising all you see is a mixed bag of people from all over the world.

Taking taxis from meeting to meeting and speaking to the drivers who in 99% of the time are Indian or Pakistan the main topic of conversation  is why do people come to Dubai. MONEY. Most of them say there is no real life here. It’s all based on Money. I’m sure that’s the same for most people where ever they are but in Dubai you really feel that’s the sole purpose.

Looking are round you see a lot of young to middle aged men in coffee shops on laptops working. Even that the weekends which start on Fridays. I myself is stilling in a coffe shop called Martinez writing this blog.  Speaking with the owner who is a Maroocan who was living in Italy for the past twenty years and move to Dubai four years ago due to the failing economy of Italy said that there is very little social life here. He said it takes a good few years to develop a social group and then life is good as long as your making the money.

So life in Dubai could be good as long as your making money and have a good social network but to my eyes it seem to be a lot of people sitting alone in coffee shops.  Looking forward to coming home.


Tall buildings

Statue inside Dubai Mall

Dubai Mall waterfall

burj khalifa

Burj Khalifa Tower