Latest journeys

Walking in Portugal: Day 4 – Milfontes to Almograve

Walking in Portugal: Day 4 – Milfontes to Almograve

Yesterday, I neglected to note the sad passing of a pair of reliable friends.  One of Kieran’s sturdy walking boots gave up the ghost about 5km out of Milfontes, its flapping sole sucking up sand like a dredger with every step.  Held together with elastic bands until we got back to base, into the bin it […]

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Walking in Portugal: Day 3 – Porto Covo to Milfontes

Walking in Portugal: Day 3 – Porto Covo to Milfontes

  Before I get back into this, a word of explanation and caution.  There’s a special kind of ego and insanity that inspires you to announce you will be writing a daily travel blog. “Oh, will you really?” the Gods of travel smirk as they line up cancelled flights, blistered feet, catatonic exhaustion and a bug in your […]

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Favourite places

Vietnam… with a side order of Romance and Intrigue

Vietnam… with a side order of Romance and Intrigue

Vietnam has plenty of attractions, writes Jimmy Thomson, but when you travel with The Quiet American by Graham Greene in your pocket, and Indochine on your laptop, a whole new world opens up to you. There’s something magical about travelling to the locations of your favorite works of fiction. It’s not as if Vietnam doesn’t […]

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Tour of duty

Tour of duty

With Vietnam increasing in popularity for all sorts of tours, including the recent, chaotic 50th anniversary of the battle of Long Tan, Tunnel Rats author Jimmy Thomson recalls how his first tour as a guide began with less than military precision. I was standing in the courtyard of a small temple in Long Phuoc, south-east of […]

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Advice & Info

Tips for wannabe travel guides

Tips for wannabe travel guides

If you are ever in a position to be a tour guide – official or otherwise – there are a few golden rules you show try to follow … beyond getting your fellow travellers to follow you. 1. Listen to the local guides These are local people who have first of all gone to the […]

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50 essential tips for happy travel

50 essential tips for happy travel

Do you address someone by their first name in a foreign country? Should you take an antibiotic with you when you travel in case you get ill? Is it ever advisable to eat on the street alongside the locals in a capital city? What’s the best way to wash your knickers on the move? Sue Williams […]

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Published pieces

Military History: Our Secular Religion

Military History: Our Secular Religion

“Our military history is so ingrained in the Australian psyche,” says Mat McLachlan, “You can understand why people have called it our secular religion.” McLachlan, 42, who 17 years ago wrote Walking With The Anzacs, a guide to the battlefields of Europe,  now runs one of Australia’s largest and most successful battlefield tourism companies and […]

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CARGO CULT: Cruising Pacific islands by working freighter

CARGO CULT: Cruising Pacific islands by working freighter

Nothing adds to the pleasure of a holiday quite like watching other people working, discovers  Jimmy Thomson, especially when it’s in the most remote islands in the Pacific There’s a first time for everything, especially on the maiden voyage of a new ship.  For me, it was the first time I had been on a cargo […]

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Other Recent Posts

Walking in Portugal: Day 8 – Aljezur to Arrifana (or not)

Walking in Portugal: Day 8 – Aljezur to Arrifana (or not)

. June 19, 2018 . 0 Comments

  The day started with an interesting breakfast during which Kieran almost projectile vomited on to an American girl who took off her shoes and socks at the table and starting picking bits of dead skin from between her toes. Her friends vacated abruptly, leaving us alone with her feet. Kieran went off to do […]

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Walking in Portugal: Day 7 – Odeceixe to Aljezur

Walking in Portugal: Day 7 – Odeceixe to Aljezur

. June 17, 2018 . 0 Comments

“I am not walking down that f#$%^&g hill just to f#$%^&g walk back up again.”  I can’t recall if those were the precise words I used but the general gist is spot on. Kieran and I had emerged from an excellent breakfast in the Windmill Cottages HQ and had set off full of confidence along […]

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Walking in Portugal:  Day 6 – Zambujeira to Odeceixe

Walking in Portugal: Day 6 – Zambujeira to Odeceixe

. June 10, 2018 . 0 Comments

First, a word about feet. Before I set off for Portugal, my wonderful wife who tries to look after me, insisted I get a haircut.  She might have done better to suggest a pedicure.  It all began with the second toe on my right foot, the nail of which was too long. So the first […]

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Walking in Portugal: Day 5 – Longueira to Zambujeira Do Mar

Walking in Portugal: Day 5 – Longueira to Zambujeira Do Mar

. June 7, 2018 . 0 Comments

A word about breakfasts: there’s a lot of bread.  In most of the B&Bs and small hotels where we stayed along the route, breakfast was simple but sufficient.  Fresh orange juice and drinkable coffee were a given.  Fresh fruit – either peeled and chopped or available intact in a large bowl was often on offer. […]

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Walking in Portugal: Day 2 – London, Lisbon and beyond

Walking in Portugal: Day 2 – London, Lisbon and beyond

. May 27, 2018 . 0 Comments

90 minutes till we land at Heathrow and the logjam at the bathrooms is already forming as 300 passengers try to perform a full travel wash, shave and do their hair before landing. I’ll sit this one out. Phone pings to life as I’m getting off the plane – our 8.10 flight to Lisbon has […]

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Venice Virgin: A film festival first-timer

Venice Virgin: A film festival first-timer

. June 26, 2016 . 0 Comments

Back in September 1999 (was it really that long ago?) My partner Sue and I covered the Venice Film Festival. It was her second time there, and my first. As a Venice Virgin I found it exhausting and exhilarating in equal parts, as I hope this piece I wrote for the brilliant Urban Cinefile website conveys. […]

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