An amazing last nine days in Piedmont, Aosta and Liguria

From the coast we headed inland to the city of Turin, the capital of Piedmont. Off the radar of most foreign tourists, it was a gorgeous mix of baroque buildings lining beautiful boulevards and sumptuous squares. We had a delicious wine-fuelled seafood lunch at a casual place in the centre: As well as trying bicerin,…

Eating in Emilia Romagna and hiking in Cinque Terre

The region of Emilia Romagna is one of Italy’s best known food areas. It is home to the heavyweights of the cuisine such as bolognese, Parma ham, balsamic vinegar and Parmesan. To eat in Emilia Romagna we based ourselves in Parma, another stunning town (does Italy even do mediocre ones?): And ate our way through Parmesan…

The Dolomites: the most beautiful mountains in Europe

I was really excited about visiting the Italian Alps as they looked beautiful in photos and driving the Canadian Rockies was one of the highlights of the trip. They border Austria and German is the main language. We rented a car for four days in and around the area and it was even better than…

Our first week in Italy: Milan to Venice

We were sad to leave Africa behind but incredibly excited to back in Europe, surrounded by historical buildings, amazing food, clean toilets (!), a temperate climate and the ease of public transport in a developed country. We’d never visited Europe on our previous two RTW trips so weren’t sure how enjoyable it would be on…

Africa summary

So, the continent that we secretly weren’t sure we would make it to? It was our favourite of the trip. From safaris to sand dunes through Zambia, Zimbabwe, Botswana, Namibia, South Africa, Lesotho, Swaziland, Rwanda and Uganda, here’s the summary of our two and a half months in Africa: Destination highlights: Arriving in Livingstone, Zambia…

Gorillas in the midst of Uganda

We left our packs and walking sticks behind as the guide cut a path through the lush green forest with his razor sharp machete to reach the gorillas. We crossed a flowing river and slipped down a vine-covered hill before coming into a small clearing. Here sat a lone ‘silverback’ male (named after the stripe of…

Rwanda: the land of smiles (and a thousand hills)

We were loving Africa and didn’t want our time there to end so we booked a flight to Kigali, the capital of Rwanda in eastern Africa. The freedom we have to just change our route on a whim is amazing and I will be sad when it’s over. The country is mainly known for the…

Seeing the magnificent big cats in the Kruger National Park

“What is that!?”, Becki asked the guide as we passed a tree with what looked like a carcass hanging high from a tree. On further inspection it was the hind legs of an impala suspended from a branch. He answered with just one word: “Leopard”.  This is what we had hoped to see in the…

The mountain kingdom of Lesotho

Within South Africa sits the independent nation of Lesotho (population 2.2m). It shares no borders with any other country, nor has any coastline. This mountainous country (the highest in the world as measured by having the highest low point at 1,400m) is tricky to get around without a 4WD, so we approached it from both the…

Journey through the Capes

After a few days in stunning Cape Town (post to follow when we return to the city), we picked up our trusty Toyota Corolla Quest and headed east. We had booked the car for nearly four weeks so had plenty of time to explore the country before dropping it in Johannesburg. Here are some highlights…

Stellenbosch and the end of the overland tour

We had three nights in South Africa before the overland tour ended in Cape Town. The first night was spent amongst beautiful vineyards at a pretty campsite which was a precursor to our following two nights spent in South Africa’s top wine region, Stellenbosch. On arrival we snuck away from the group and had a…

Northern Namibia: Etosha to Swapokmund

We were very excited about crossing into Namibia and it was the country our tour was spending the most time in (two weeks) so we had high hopes. Our first stop was a cheetah sanctuary where we got very close to these amazing cats. Four cheetahs had been rescued by a couple who had previously hunted them and then…