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Archive for November, 2008

Calangute: Where are the smarter hotels?

November 28th, 2008

I didn’t get much sleep last night, the thought of sharing my bed with the bugs kept me awake much of the night. Today, I decided to raise my budget and go in search of better accommodation, with air-conditioning at least. My guidebook paints the next Goan town, Calangute, as the package tourist hotspot and […]

STOP PRESS: We are not in Mumbai, are safe and well

November 27th, 2008

We are safe and well. You’ll know that Mumbai (Bombay) has been sadly rocked by several terrorist blasts and shootings. To save anyone from worrying about us, I’m queue-jumping the forthcoming posts that will shortly be published on India to let you know that we are currently–on 27th November–in Kolkata (Calcutta), India, the opposite side of this vast country. […]

Baga: Bugs to keep me company

November 27th, 2008

I gather that the Western holidaymaker season hasn’t started in Goa yet; December and January are the busy months, by Indian standards. From taking to a few folks here, it also seems that the hippies have mostly moved on too. There are a few hundred Indian tourists, however, mostly down from Mumbai (Bombay) for their […]

India: I for Idiot?

November 26th, 2008

I’m stood wearing my backpack staring into the mirror in the luxurious bathroom in my sister’s UAE apartment wondering, “am I ready to do this again?”. Later today, I will be leaving the UAE and flying to India. Alone. Claire left for the UK three days ago to help her soon-to-be-wed best friend, Naomi, choose […]

Abu Dhabi: Excellent men cocks

November 25th, 2008

Almost every time I pay a hotel to handle my laundry, I inevitably get my bundle back minus a sock or two. To replenish supplies, I shopped around for the cheapest pack of socks that I could find. Little did I realise, until I got home, that I had actually bought “Excellent Men Cocks”. Here’s […]

UAE: Reflections on the land of sandcastles

November 24th, 2008

(Warning: This is a long post. Feel free to skim.) For me, this is a touch nut to crack. I can’t claim to have widely travelled the seven emirates; in fact I’ve not been to most of them, so feel free to read this with a generous pinch of ignoramous-flavoured salt. Save for Abu Dhabi […]

Backpacking the UAE: Not suitable for backpackers

November 21st, 2008

Even on a quite reasonable budget, it’s not possible. Let’s just leave it at that, shall we? You want me to elaborate? If you want to get outside the cities, you really need to hire a car. Buses do exist, but will only take you so far. After that you’re either on foot in the […]

Abu Dhabi: Pulling teeth

November 20th, 2008

Eating has recently been quite a painful experience for me and anyone who knows me, knows how much I enjoy eating! Like any good travelling xenophobe, I checked myself into the local British Dental Surgery here in Abu Dhabi to get my mouth checked-out. Turns out that one of my wisdom teeth had developed a […]

Abu Dhabi: Lazing at LuLu Island

November 19th, 2008

We spent the day relaxing at LuLu Island, a man-made island just a hop, skip and a jump from the Corniche (coastal road) in Abu Dhabi. Whilst the ever-present property developers make up their minds with how much concrete and glass to throw onto the island, it’s been opened-up to the public to come and […]

Fujairah: Buying all the beds at the Youth Hostel

November 18th, 2008

We stayed at the YHA Youth Hostel in Fujairah last night. At 260Dhs (£40) a night it’s a darn site cheaper than any other hotel that we’ve come across in the UAE, but still a real rip-off compared with every other hostel at which I’ve stayed elsewhere on the globe — including a prime location […]