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Personal Travelogues 13 July 2023

   I was first bitten with the incurable travel bug when I went on a five month trip round Europe in 1987. Since then I've travelled whenever and wherever I could, mostly on my own, but sometimes with friends and lately with my wife (Karen) and stepson (Scott). There is nothing quite like visiting a new place that has a totally different culture to your own .....

I try and give something back to the travel community by making regular postings to WikiTravel, Trip Advisor, Lonely Planet's Thorn Tree (now unfortunately, and rather inexplicably, shut down) and others.

In terms of travel guides, I recommend The Rough Guides unreservedly - I've found them to be the most thorough, accurate and comprehensive guide books around. The name "Rough Guide" may suggest that these books are only for budget travellers willing to rough it, but that is not the case - Rough Guides are outstanding for travellers on any budget, from penniless students to affluent globetrotters. Visit them at

If you're in Southern Africa, buy your Rough Guide from - simply the best online bookstore around.
International Trips   Countries Visited
June 2023   30 days 1     Türkiye/Turkey
June 2019   29 days 5     Namibia, Botswana, Zambia, Malawi, Mozambique
May 2018   30 days 2     Spain, France
September 2016   30 days 1     Nepal
September 2015   15 days 1     Mauritius
May 2014   24 days 4     Türkiye/Turkey, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania
June 2012   31 days 1     China
June 2010   33 days 3     Peru, Bolivia, Argentina
September 2008   29 days 2     Jordan, United Arab Emirates
September 2007   16 days 1     Italy
June 2006   31 days 2     Thailand, Cambodia
September 2004   31 days 3     France, Belgium, Luxembourg
May 2002   25 days 2     Switzerland, USA
May 2001   46 days 2     Australia, Malaysia
October 1999   15 days 1     England
August 1999   33 days 7     Portugal, Spain, Andorra, Gibraltar, Italy, France, Monaco
January 1999   15 days 1     England
May 1998   59 days 9     England, Germany, Austria, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary, Denmark, Sweden, Norway
May 1997   11 days 1     England
October 1996   16 days 2     England, Austria
February 1996   10 days 1     USA
May 1995   64 days 3     England, USA, Canada
May 1992   17 days 3     England, Sweden, Finland
September 1990   44 days 3     England, Wales, Ireland, France
July 1987 152 days 14     England, Wales, Scotland, France, Monaco, Netherlands, Belgium, Luxembourg, West Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Liechtenstein, Italy, Vatican

South African Trips   Description
September 2021   14 days Ambling along the north-eastern Wild Coast
January 2016     9 days Walking and canoeing the Sunshine Coast
December 2015     6 days Road trip, Cape Town to Johannesburg and back
January 2015     7 days Sun, sand and surf on the Garden Route
July 2014     4 days Books, coffee and icy cold weather on Route 62
June 2011     7 days Ambling along the south-western Wild Coast
April 2010     4 days Exploring South Africa's West Coast
January 2009     4 days Cape Town to Port Elizabeth by train
June 2007   15 days Exploring the Southern and Eastern Cape
September 2003     9 days Canoeing down the Orange River
September 2002   15 days Cape Town to Natal via Lesotho
September 2001     6 days Cape Town to Knysna by train

Continent Countries Visited
Africa 8     Botswana, Lesotho, Malawi, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa, Zambia
Asia 8     Cambodia, China (People's Republic), Jordan, Malaysia, Nepal, Thailand, Türkiye, United Arab Emirates
Oceania 1     Australia
Europe 28     Andorra, Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, England, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Hungary, Ireland (Republic), Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Norway, Monaco, Portugal, Scotland, Slovakia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Vatican, Wales
North America 2     Canada, United States of America
South America 3     Argentina, Bolivia, Peru
Total 50    

A note about countries ...

The following are NOT countries in my opinion and therefore I don't count them in my lists above:

GibraltarA British Overseas Territory, but if it wasn't it would be part of Spain and not independent
Falkland IslandsA British Overseas Territory
St HelenaA British Overseas Territory
Ascension Island   A British Overseas Territory
Tristan da CunhaA British Overseas Territory
CeutaA Spanish enclave on the north coast of Africa, bordering Morocco
MelillaA Spanish enclave on the north coast of Africa, bordering Morocco
Hong KongA Special Administrative Region of China
MacauA Special Administrative Region of China
Rodrigues Island   Part of Mauritius
Northern CyprusOccupied and administered by Turkey
West IndiesA loose affiliation of independent Caribbean island nations
Dubai A semi-autonomous emirate (province) within the United Arab Emirates (UAE);
The UAE comprises seven emirates (Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Sharjah, Ras al-Khaimah, Umm al-Qawain, Fujairah and Ajman)
Abu DhabiSee "Dubai" above
SharjahSee "Dubai" above

However, for various historical and political reasons I DO count the following as countries:

TibetIllegally occupied and administered by the People's Republic of China (PRC);
The legitimate Tibetan government is exiled in India
TaiwanProperly called the Republic of China (ROC);
It is claimed as a province by the People's Republic of China (PRC)
EnglandPart of the United Kingdom
ScotlandPart of the United Kingdom
WalesPart of the United Kingdom
Northern Ireland   Part of the United Kingdom
GreenlandAdministered by Denmark
Reunion IslandAdministered by France
Puerto RicoAdministered by the USA
The VaticanThe world's smallest independent country
San MarinoThe world's oldest independent country
MonacoThe world's most densely populated independent country
SomalilandThis territory declared itself independent from the wreckage
of its parent state of Somalia as far back as 1991
French PolynesiaAn overseas country and "collectivity" of France
Faroe IslandsAn autonomous territory within the Kingdom of Denmark
KosovoA disputed territory in the Balkans, ravaged by war and internal conflict
PalestineA controversial state in the Middle East, widely recognized by many countries;
Its territory and borders are disputed by Israel, the USA and most of Western Europe
Western SaharaClaimed and administered by Morocco;
Also called the Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic (SADR) by the Polisario Front (an independence movement with a government in exile)

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