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Walking Over Haddon in The Peak District

I confess I'm a fair weather walker, which means I often want to walk on our holidays, but whether we go is always dependent on the weather. I have a Goretex jacket but it's like a talisman. I own it, but I don't want to wear it and I hope vainly that just by having spent so much on it an schlepping it with me that it's going to ward off the rain! As you can see my travel planning involves a good deal of "magical thinking!" In California our cultural exuberance (paired with low standards) means we shamelessly call anything a "hike"  - as if we've scaled Everest in an afternoon. Here in England I'm not sure I even qualify as a "walker" because that denotes a level of seriousness I've failed at previously. Minimally it means you're wearing boots  and have an Ordnance Survey map (and possibly a compass) in your back pocket. I guess I'm more of stroller to be honest and I've blogged about my strolls all over the world; m…

Modes of Transport - Vietnam and Siem Reap

Our boat moored for the night in Halong Bay, Vietnam

I'm feeling the need for some more inspiring pictures so I thought I would dig through photos from our old trips, looking for  the varied and various forms of transport we saw or took. The first thing that struck me is how rarely I bother to take photos at the airport, or on a plane. The second thing I realized is that  the one mode of transport that you remember, above all others in Vietnam, is the motorcycle and ironically I don't seem to have a single good photo. Having spent a great deal of our holiday merely trying to dodge them as we crossed the road in Hanoi, it seems hard to believe I failed to take one photo of the ubiquitous machines which swarm everywhere. I can barely believe I didn't attempt to document, with a photo, how many people, children and baskets can be balanced on one small motorcycle. I think the largest number was a family of seven or eight and I remember that this topic was a mainstay of our vacation conversation! The balancing acts were mesmerizing.

Tethered balloon over Siem Reap, we chose to walk around the site

We travelled by foot, tuk tuk, car, boat, train and plane, but we managed to resist an elephant ride in Hue. We flew into DaNang from Siem Reap on Silk Air, and flew from Hanoi to Koh Samui (via Bangkok) when we left. It was an interesting trip and I enjoyed it. However, as Vietnam is a long skinny country, it feels as if all the tourist are on the same road, moving either north or south, through a predictable set of preselected destinations. 

Traveling north on the train between Hue and Hanoi, Vietnam

Charming scene in Hoi An on the central coast, Vietnam

A riverside market in Hoi Ahn, Vietnam

Tourists dressed as the Emperor and Empress - they look more like Barnum and Bailey than royalty

Fishing in Vietnam