Sri Lanka Hill Country – go for the tea, stay for the curries​

Sri Lanka is foodie heaven and a vegan paradise

It’s mid-morning and the train to Nuwara Eliya is climbing through the lush, green countryside on its way to the hills of Sri Lanka’s tea country. Since I boarded at Haputale the scenery has changed completely and I find myself jostling with other passengers, hanging precariously out of the open carriage door as we wind our way through the undulating, rough country risking my life to get the perfect photo. Yes, the tea plantations are impressive and that is why I’m making the journey, but it’s the manicured terraces brimmed to capacity with vegetable plots that are really getting my attention. I had no idea that Sri Lanka produced such an abundance of fresh produce but then I suppose there’s a reason why the national dish is rice and curry and most of those curries are made from vegetables.

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India is topping the list for solo female travel and I understand why

India may be the Marmite of destinations but I love it.

Mention India and it tends to gets quite a polarised reaction. People either love it or can’t think of a worse place to go. It really is the Marmite of destinations but for me, however, it was love at first sight. (For all you non-Brits who don’t know what Marmite is I’ve added a postscript below!)

In 2014 I finally took my first trip to India. I say finally because it had been on my list for a long time but sadly not a choice for my ex and so it was only after my divorce and I began to travel solo that I could fulfill my dream and explore the country.

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A day trip to Marathi Beach

Seeing more of Crete

After a few days exploring Chania, I decided that I needed to go further afield if I was to experience a little more of the authentic Crete that I was craving. I had my mind set on Marathi Beach – around 30 minutes by car from Chania and back over towards the airport. I’d heard that it was delightful and also had a great place for lunch. I was sold.

I asked one of the two young guys who manned the hotel rection desk how I could get there, not having a rental car. After much deliberation, we decided that I’d be best taking a taxi there as it might be a bit tricky to get there via public transport but I could most definitely get a bus back. I asked him to order a car to pick me up at 10.00am. This, he said, was far too early and I shouldn’t get there before noon at the earliest as it would be freezing on that side of the island first thing. I ignored his advice and arrived at Marathi Beach at 10.30am. It was a chilly 29 degrees C!

I shouldn’t get there before noon at the earliest as it would be freezing on that side of the island. I ignored his advice and arrived at 10.30am. It was a chilly 29 degrees C!

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5 things I’ll miss the most about Rio (plus a few that I won’t)

I love large cities by the sea and, in my humble experience, Rio is the most beautiful one that I have visited (followed closely by Sydney and Cape Town). It lived up to my expectations in every way and despite many people telling me that I was crazy to go there, ‘Rio is so dangerous’, ‘You’ll get Zika’, ‘The country is broke and the government is corrupt, it will be depressing’,  I could not have asked for a better experience. It certainly has a bit of an edge about it but use common sense and leave your valuables at home and you’ll be fine.

There are many things that I’ll miss about Rio but here my top 5.

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