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Hiking in the Central Drakensberg

As published on my sister travel blog.

These Archived Memories

I’m presently working as a volunteer at Ardmore Guest Farm in the Champagne Valley area of the Central Drakensberg, KZN, South Africa. I’ve been here a little over 2 weeks but I feel I’ve settled well. I am one of 4 volunteers,  the last of which only arrived today. More of that in another post!

I guess I’ve missed the hustle and bustle of the hospitality trade even though I can tell you it got my blood pressure up at times! Today has also been one of those days but it’s an exception to an otherwise pleasant stay. The landscape is incredibly scenic around here. At almost any time of day (poor weather notwithstanding) one can see a panoramic vista of the mighty ‘Berg from almost anywhere in the valley. Paul and Sue (the owners) have built a dozen or so chalets and bungalows, some mountain-facing, others garden-facing. You pay a…

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The Taizé Mission and the Trouble Next Door

The second part of my recent trip to Antakya, the Hatay, Turkey.

These Archived Memories

When I questioned Barbara on her source of funding for the renovations she revealed that she was solely dependent on income derived from visitors to her guesthouses. She had originally come to Antakya in the mid-1970s to establish a Catholic church, now presided over by Fth Domenico, a Carmelite priest.

The church backed onto the Taizé guesthouse which she had established subsequently. She’d rented the various rooms and courtyards for several decades. She was by no means assured of keeping them indefinitely. In recent years wealthier individuals and families had begun to buy the older houses for restoration. She worried that her landlord/s might be enticed to sell one or other of the accommodation she rented were an attractive offer made by a prospective re-developer.

She worried that her landlord/s might be enticed to sell one or other of the accommodation she rented were an attractive offer made by a prospective re-developer.

On…

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Back to the Hatay

Part I of a recent trip I made to the Hatay region of Turkey.

These Archived Memories

I ‘d visited Antakya (formerly Antioch of old) and some notable attractions in the Hatay province back in 2013 when I’d last travelled the country beyond Istanbul. On that trip I clocked up a number or towns and cities along the Black Sea coast and further east, but Antakya stuck firmly in my mind as being somehow different. There was something about its history and assortment of communities that set it apart somehow.

I hadn’t even seriously considered visiting until by chance I fell in with a fellow traveller in Mardin, an Englishman called Ben. We were both travelling east to west and Antakya was firmly on his radar.

Antakya stuck firmly in my mind as being somehow different. There was something about its history and assortment of communities that set it apart somehow. 

During our brief stay of several days we occupied two of the guest rooms at a…

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Back to Istanbul and a short hop to Izmit

My latest updates from Turkey.

These Archived Memories

I’m back in Istanbul!

I’m back in Istanbul! That was me announcing my arrival (to myself of course) of a Sunday evening on the 18th of January, 2015. Although I hadn’t thought it at the time it was a rather auspicious date: my late mum was born that day back in 1952 and, coincidentally, my passport had been issued that day 4 years earlier (definitely not of great significance).

I had a good view of my previous place of employment as I flew out of London-Luton Airport – the manor estate called Luton Hoo (hotel, golf couse and spa) which borders on the one side of the airport – but not before I had to go through some unprecented formalities prior to check-out. You see, anyone traveling to Turkey today from mainland UK, especially men of a certain age, is deemed a potential Jihadist en route to Syria.

anyone traveling…

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Childhood Memories

A retrospective piece written a while back but no more (or less) retrospective than before! Basically about my childhood, growing up in Zimbabwe.

These Archived Memories

A little over three years ago I went through a retrospective phase and managed to sit down for several months and dedicate myself to writing about my life and experiences from childhood to the present day. Yes, it was therapeutic to a certain degree, but also a testament to things that have come and gone, things worth remembering. It is easy to grow nostalgic and sentimental looking back at the innocence of childhood, which can distort the objective recollection of the reality of the time, but this is not meant to be a historical piece.

Fortunately my mum was a quite an avid amateur photographer. I recall her brandishing a fairly basic but decent Minolta film camera at birthday parties, festive occasions, early family vacations: basically whenever she deemed it an appropriate moment to capture the moment for posterity. This foresight has been an obvious boon to me now because…

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