Skyscanner, Singapore Slings and Surprise Stopovers

Imagine my surprise when I touched down in Singapore in July last year and realised my connecting flight to Istanbul was not at 1:45pm that day, but 1:45am the next (read about sleeping in airports here).

Slightly blearily on account over over indulgence on the delicious complimentary Singapore slings   (anything with gin and/or grenadine, yes please!) I decided it was time to go exploring.

With a few Singaporean dollars, a metro pass and a sense of adventure I roamed around this oriental delight of a city for the best part of a day.

If you have a couple of hours to kill in Singapore, i can recommend purchasing a sweet crepe from the Bugis street markets (and doing a spot of shopping of course!), marvelling at the stupendous Marina Bay sands mall and the accompanying Gardens by the Bay where the canopy of super-trees will really have you feeling like a ladybird in a field of grass.

The floating baby sculpture at Gardens by the Bay also had me wondering whether those Singaporean slings had been incredibly potent or I had simply lost the plot from delirium due to my hasty flight booking.

Here are a selection of snaps I took on my (surprise!) stopoever. Continue reading

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paragliding in pokhara nepal

pokhara paragliding view

My mother has always told me “if you are going to jump off a cliff, don’t tell me until you’ve done it”. So far she has been rather lucky in that department, I am yet to take up basejumping or go skydiving. The one thing which I have done, however, which essentially involves exactly that is to go paragliding.

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Blessed are the girls of the west

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It is amazing how snippets of people’s lives that you witnessed while travelling can stick like glue in your mind, and how you often find yourself thinking about encounters you had months or even years later. Sometimes time is a lens through which we can reflect on our encounters, and the more time passes, the deeper the reflection.

Whilst backpacking in Nepal, I accidentally stumbled across a traditional wedding ceremony, and I have even though I do not even know her name or her story, I have often thought about the girl who was around my age, and what may have become of her.

It was that magical hour before sunset when the shadows grow long. The orphans, from my volunteer placement and I were going about our twilight task of collecting tomorrows water in old faded sprite bottles.

As we awaited our turn, amongst some monks and several shoeless gap-toothed children, the peaceful serenity of the late afternoon was disturbed by the screech of a scooter. This was unusual as the water pump was on the outskirts of Nepal’s second city, Pokhara. It was located next to a crumbling but still majestic temple and a rice field on a little-used side road and was generally exempt from the numerous scooters that zigzagged around filling the fresh mountain air with petrol on the main roads.

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