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Showing posts from September, 2013

Burmese Days - The Road to Mandalay - A tradition revived

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Years in the making, Rod gets aboard the smaller boutique RV Katha Pandaw at Mandalay for an exploration of the upper Irrawaddy River and the historic colonial-era port of Katha, the spiritual home of the once great Irrawaddy Flotilla Company.
See full itinerarySee vessel details Editorial and pictorial will be available from mid-October 2013


Freelancer or Freeloader: the quest for the 'free lunch'.

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It’s one of those things all professional travel writers have to endure.

“You’re always going on free trips!”

“So, who’s paying for this?”

Continually being interrogated by fellow travellers, family members and other office-bound journalists is something I always dread. While there is always varying financial participation by all parties in any given familiarisation trip, there is an old truism that always holds.

“There’s no such thing as a free lunch.”

Now legend has it, that once upon a time all a journalist had to do was call their mate at the airline and a First Class ticket came by courier with a bottle of French Champagne. Now, there might be one or two esteemed scribes still alive who can command that kind of worship, but let me assure you, my dear reader, those days are OVER.

Even getting an upgrade on a fully paid ticket is a chore. Lounge admission, check-in queue jumping or an amenity pack is the best we can often hope for. While some airlines may be marginally more gener…

Travel Lines Travel story starters slideshow

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It's all just a SeaDream

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* travel completed, stories available *

In early December 2013, Rod will board this much-lauded vessel for a week sampling what the respected Berlitz Complete Guide to Cruising & Cruise Ships describe as the “Best Specialist Cruise Line”, achieving the top rating in the 'Boutique Ships' category (50 – 250 passengers).

Give your readers an intimate, very personal opinion on this luxurious vessel.
The writer will supply his own high quality images, supplemented by PR images. [email enquiry]

Derelict Tourism: exploring deserted and abandoned places

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Sometimes it's just a little building on street corner, other times a vast complex or even a city. What is the attraction we have with the empty and cast off? We wonder about the history, the stories of those who once lived (and died) within. Some are centuries old, others look like the inhabitants left just yesterday.

In this story I share my own fascination with the crumbling urban decay and mysterious emptiness of these forlorn structures. From sprawling whaling stations in the sub-Antarcitc to massive buildings in the middle of huge cities, let's investigate. [Email me]

West Africa: Voodoo Town

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“You will travel far and the spirits will guide you safely through many perils,” Anthony whispers into his hands cupping the tiny object. And with that short and sweet blessing, he inserts a tiny wooden pin into the little shaft and presents me with my travelling talisman. Anthony, not his real name I’m certain, looks at me with the satisfaction that reminds me of a triumphant used car salesman.

In his tiny, darkened back room, Dr David Conrad (a PhD in African studies) and I survey the bizarre assortment of fetish idols arranged on the little table. “You won’t find these legba (vodun idols) out in the market,” he says to me through barely moving lips, “these are the real deal.”

David accepts one of the idols with all the solemnity of a holy treasure, only this macabre, roughly carved figure about the size of a premature foetus has none of the beauty associated with divine objects. Its blank gnarly body is covered in coarse dust, cobwebs and lumpy red stains which need no further descri…

Bill Peach Journeys Classic Australian Aircruise

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Around Australia by private jet. Sounds like a dream, but it's for real and Bill Peach Journeys have been doing it for 30 years. Jump aboard for the Classic Australian Air Cruise. [contact]

Travel Lines - 2012 flipbook

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37 pages of editorial and pictorial offerings from the latest destinations and locations