Our long-weekend to Kraków, Poland, was a trip of extremes - and an unexpected waterfall!
In order to visit the Eiffel Tower as a day trip I booked an early flight from Southampton to Paris Orly airport. After a ridiculously early 5:15am alarm call Andrea, Jamie and I finally arrived in the centre of Paris at 11am for "2nd breakfast" of fresh ham & cheese baguettes under the tower. Suitably fortified we then climbed the 669 steps in the South leg to the 2nd stage.
We saw hundreds of zebras crossing, or at least trying to cross, the Grumeti River, which is one of the 2 big river crossings on the Northern migration into Kenya.
Usually the most challenging part of the London to Brighton charity bike ride is getting up Ditchling Beacon (a 160m ascent in just 1,600m - ie a whole mile of steep up hill) but 2011 was different. Shortly after our tea and cake at the top, the heavens opened!
On our trip to Mnemba in the Indian Ocean, we were lucky enough to include a number of dives and a quick dip with a passing dolphin.
For our 15th wedding anniversary, we were lucky enough to be on the island of Mnemba when turtles were hatching on the beach. Female turtles have around 600 eggs, and they are fertilised by a number of males, about 5. They then lay their eggs in 4-6 batches in holes at the top of the beach. Each batch of eggs will be 100-150, and contain eggs from all of the fathers. The eggs hatch and the baby turtles dig themselves out of the hole, and typically emerge about 2 months after the eggs were laid.
Rarely does a "perfect island get-away" live up to expectations. But Mnemba, just off Zanzibar in the Indian Ocean, certainly does. We loved the people, the food and the wildlife - both above and below the water. It was a great way to relax after being on safari in Tanzania, and to celebrate our 15th Wedding Anniversary, in 2011, in style.
Our first brush with death on our visit to the Serengeti in 2011 was innocuous enough: simply getting out of the jeep to have breakfast, overlooking massive herds of zebra and wildebeest. Another jeep dashed over to speak to our guide, and they pointed out that a lion was just a few hundred yards away. We could see that the American woman in their jeep was highly concerned, but we had no idea we were at risk. We saw the lion shortly thereafter, and parked quite a way away to have our breakfast!
The day we set out from our tented camp in the Serengeti to find the migration didn't start well. I was: cold, wet, tired and blind!
Lake Tanganyika contains a sixth of the fresh water in the world! It is the world's longest lake, and the second deepest (the deepest being one is in Siberia, see below).