Category Archives: Travel

The daily struggle

‘I want to be a World Champion’

 

Every day is a hustle for young Ghanaians today. Many young people do not have access to a basic education due to the high monthly fees. Many end up working in the informal sector getting paid day-to-day trying to compliment the household income in any way possible. Some still come every day to train after 4 pm to chase their dream of a better life.

An afternoon walk through Jamestown, Accra, Ghana

Jamestown is a popular destination with tourists visiting Accra, and so overtime locals have become more averse to passers-by and in some cases more hardened. The prevailing feeling from talking to locals has been that pictures taken will be sold to magazines and the images will be used as a source of amusement for audiences in Europe and North America. So, it wasn’t surprising that when we arrived here, cameras at the ready that we were immediately approached by the ‘tourism officer’ who demanded a tax for entering Jamestown and payment for a ‘compulsory’ guide. After a rather optimistic demand of 150 Ghanian Cedis (GH₵), we decided to walk away in the direction of Accra city centre only to be halted by the same ‘officer’ who now offered to reduce the price to 30 GH₵ and provide us with his best female tour guide. Within a few minutes, we were on our way down towards the beach with a very expressive hostess. People in Ghana are very open and friendly, however taking photos without permission is certainly a no-no. In Jamestown, extra caution has to take place, and we shot only when we had gestured for a photo and permission being granted. Our hostess, who had a very important business meeting to attend to, decided to make time for us and guide us through the settlement. Rosie was to tell us when we could and couldn’t take any photos, although she was more interested in attention on herself. The heat and intense smell of the waste along the beach front rose as we walked through patches of sand and rubbish strewn across the beachfront. The population across this stretch of coastline has dramatically increased over the past two decades, and many fishermen use this site every day.

 

Explore the beautiful Beit ed-Dine Palace

 

Beit ed-Dine is a small town and municipality in the Chouf District of the Mount Lebanon Governorate in Lebanon. It is about 45 kilometres southeast of Beirut. The area is predominantly Christian, and it is most well known for its 18th century Beiteddine Palace. Built by Emir Bashir II in 1788 the site’s control has been interchanged between the Ottoman Empire and later the French Mandate. Today you can enjoy walking around this beautiful palace after a short drive from Beirut. Entry for a nominal fee, you can explore some beautiful gardens and mosaics as well as the lavish lifestyle the inhabitants once had. Today it remains open to the public however it can be enjoyed by the sitting President as a summers residence.

Stunning Cheddar Gorge is definitely worth a visit!

Cheddar Gorge is located in Somerset, England. After a recommendation, I decided to visit the area to get a glimpse of the gorge first hand. A quick check of the weather the day before showed a window of opportunity to head across the country and enjoy a sunny and warm day! The drive from London will take about 3hrs 30mins, give or take, depending on how many stops you make along the way.

Cliff-top views

 

You need to give yourself time to explore, so my recommendation is to leave early (6 am) in the morning so you can get there bright, early and find a convenient parking spot. It seemed to be busiest after 1 pm until about 5 pm. There is range of things you can do in the location to keep you entertained. The main attraction being Cheddar Gorge itself, you can walk down to Jacobs Ladder and make your way up to the Lookout Tower at the top which has some excellent 360 views. Note of caution, it is about 274 steps to the top, and you can pace yourself with small rest areas as you work your way to the top. Also, when completing the Gorge Walk, I saw lots of people making their way up to the Gorge which I think is free but the route is significantly more tricky for inexperienced walkers as there is no guidance or permanent footpath.

 

Winding roads back to Cheddar

The Gorge Walk itself is stunning, once at the top you can walk at a leisurely pace and follow the footpath as it straddles the Gorge. Great place for impromptu picnics, taking the dog for a walk or even a few selfies! You can come back down Jacobs Ladder once done or walk the entirety of the Cliff-top Walk which takes about an hour and a half at a leisurely pace. The route down is a little tricky so be careful and make sure you have donned your walking boots before making your way up to the Gorge. Once down you can enjoy a gentle walk back down to Cheddar along with a winding road and take a break at any of the wide variety of cafes or ice cream parlours ranging from Costa to local ones.

 

Gough’s Cave

After a short break, visit the Gough’s Cave and explore the stunning rock formations that lie underneath. It will probably take about 45minutes to see all the caverns and chambers although with the audio guide maybe even longer and look out for the Cheddar that is stored down there! If you have children, I recommend exploring the Dreamhunters Cave which is a much a more interactive experience of how prehistoric societies may have lived. After, why not stop for an icecream or even buy some Cheddar? You may want to end the day at the Museum of Prehistory which has some interesting exhibits with plenty of information to explore for about 30mins.

For the more active adventurers, you can even go caving or rock climbing! You will need to book this in advance.

Overall, this was an excellent day out, and I highly recommend a visit! If you have any questions or queries get in touch!

Sailing in Lebanon

With over 300 sunny days per year, sea water and perfect wind conditions throughout the year, Lebanon, on the eastern shore of the Mediterranean, is the ideal location for sailing. Indeed these conditions played an important role in the development of this coastline over thousands of years. For the Phoenicians, Egyptians, Byzantines and the Ottoman Empires trade along these shores connected East to West. Today, you can find a number of sailing clubs to join (although no traditional sailing boats are in sight!) so you can enjoy the Mediterranean in your own way!

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