You are not a hero until you climb the Great Wall of China

“You are not a hero until you climb the Great Wall of China” is the ancient quote written at the bottom of the steps. And there are so many heroes!!!! Old ladies with tiny feet, young ladies in crazy heels, toddlers, dodderers and men with big bellies exposed like laughing Buddhas all climb the steep … More You are not a hero until you climb the Great Wall of China

Facing the wrath and spittle of Sicilian guides on Mount Etna

Red-faced, spitting and swearing, the guide rages that we disrespect the rules, while his group wait wide-eyed and silent behind him. I have never, until this point, experienced anyone who is literally apoplectic. I feel strangely calm. I hold my hands up: “Calm down. Please stop swearing at me.” I suggest he might want to … More Facing the wrath and spittle of Sicilian guides on Mount Etna

A wreck alive

The sunken ship looms up ahead. A ghostly shape in the underwater gloom. The Japanese shipwreck from WWII remains here where it sunk 70 years ago. Swimming closer you can clearly see the curved stern of the boat and the remains of the rudder and propeller but the bow is crumpled. Whether through being bombed … More A wreck alive