Category Archives: road trip

Twilight | #TCTikiTour

Exploring California tiki culture old and new turned out to be a terrific way to experience the best of the Golden State and enjoy a tour along its magnificent coast. Continue reading

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San Diego Serenade | #TCTikiTour

Sadly, Kemey and I only had one night to enjoy San Diego – a standalone destination worthy of a far longer visit. But I’d say we packed as much into our overnight as possible. And our whistle stop tour was a conch shell blowout as far as the tiki seeking was concerned. Continue reading

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A Good Time in Huntington Beach? It’s a Shore Thing | #TCTikiTour

From Disneyland, Kemey and I continued our tiki tour to Huntington Beach, where we parked our car for a few days of fun in Surf City USA. Continue reading

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Enchanted Day at Disneyland | #TCTikiTour

Next up on our California tiki tour was a visit to Anaheim for an especially tiki day out at Disneyland. Continue reading

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LA Daze | #TCTikiTour

Resuming the more tiki-riffic goals of our California road trip, Kemey and I said farvel to Solvang and hit the highway for LA. Continue reading

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Sideways Detour to Solvang | #TCTikiTour

Continuing with the More part of our California Tiki Tour & More, Kemey and I made our way to sunny central coast city of Solvang – just up the road from Santa Barbara and about a 100 miles north of Los Angeles. Continue reading

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Big Fun, Big Flavour, Big Sur | #TCTikiTour

Nestled snug in the wooded seaside splendour among all this scenic beauty is tiny Carmel-by-the-Sea, our first stop out from San Francisco Continue reading

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San Francisco: Golden Getaway | #TCTikiTour

The thunder clapped, and the rain came down in heavy sheets. Our California Tiki Tour was off to a perfect start with an exotic night out in San Francisco. Continue reading

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California Tiki Tour & More | #TCTikiTour

A long time in the making and a fine time in the doing, Kemey and I spent the tail end of August and first week or so of September on a California tiki bar road trip. Driving from San Francisco to San Diego, much of our route was along the famously panoramic California State Highway 1 – aka the Pacific Coast Highway – with stops in Carmel-by-the-Sea, Solvang, Los Angeles, Disneyland, and Huntington Beach. Continue reading

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Namibia | Index

It’s hard to imagine a landscape more dramatic than that of Namibia. Add to the scenery an amazing (and rather accessible) assortment of big game and wildlife. Then, lightly apply a sprinkling of well-maintained roads across the country to help folks get to its towns and settlements, best beauty spots, and welcoming network of bush camps and luxury lodges. If you like the idea of hitting the open road, experiencing true wilderness, seeing lots and lots of game, and still being able to take a hot shower and sleep in a comfortable bed every night, Namibia’s the place for you. Continue reading

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Namibia | Sossusvlei

Last stop on my luxury safari road trip across Namibia was Sossusvlei. Not just the ultimate destination of my itinerary but also the ultimate choice for a desert break. Continue reading

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Namibia | Skeleton Coast

Hoanib Skeleton Coast Camp was a khaki canvas paradise of haute design fixed lightly to one of the world’s most desolate and pristine wilderness areas. Open just over a year, this fully solar powered joint venture between Wilderness Safaris and the neighbouring Conservancies of Anabeb, Torra and Sesfontein, was the very model for cutting edge – and sustainable – luxury. Continue reading

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Namibia | Doro Nawas

Although I only had one night at Doro Nawas, it was an impactful stay in one of the most serenely beautiful places I’ve ever been – something I could just as easily say of the whole of Namibia itself. Continue reading

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Namibia | Etosha

Thoroughly well rested from my relaxing stay in Windhoek and more than ready for some serious safari action, I hit the road en route to the first lodge one my itinerary: Andersson’s Camp, set within Ongava Game Reserve on the border of (and with its own private gate to) Etosha National Park. Continue reading

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Namibia

This was my first time in Namibia, but not the greater southern Africa region. I’ve been heading down to this gorgeous part of the world since the mid 90s (and even lived in Mozambique for about a year) – always encountering enthusiastic folks insistent that I get to Namibia but never quite being able to take them up on their advice. But now I’ve finally made it, and I can see what the fuss had been all about it. Continue reading

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#BBQbound: South in the Mouth Success!

My BBQ Bound miniseries chronicling my three-week quest for the best BBQ in the American South has now come to a burnt end. Ready for the recap? Continue reading

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#BBQbound: Atlanta

Hotlanta was a great city to wind down my BBQ Bound adventure. The hickory smoked meats coming out of Atlanta’s smokehouses I visited ranked right up there with any I’d had along the way, and were cooked to perfection with equal parts hillbilly grit and city slicker sophistication Continue reading

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#BBQbound: Athens, Georgia

Before I start my rave about how amazing Athens, Georgia is, please allow for full disclosure. I lived there most of the 90s (making the town second only to London for number of years lived in one place as an adult), I studied as an undergrad there at the University of Georgia, and I enjoyed the hell out of keeping this small open-minded oasis as an off-and-on base during my 20s. For nightlife, art, live music, food and fun, I’m pleased to report that a couple of decades later, the town still excels at showing folks a good time. And one up on when I used to live there, Athens has even better BBQ than it had back in my day. Continue reading

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#BBQbound: Macon, Georgia

For not such a big town, Macon, Georgia has produced a preponderance of world famous musicians: among them the Allman Brothers, Little Richard, and one of the greatest of them all, Otis Redding. Something in the water? Nah,it’s in the BBQ. Continue reading

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#BBQbound: St Simons Island

Locals and vacationers alike know the best bites on St Simons Island are cooked in the kitchens and smoked in the pits at Southern Soul. You’re more than welcome to add my nod of approval to the consensus. Continue reading

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#BBQbound: Savannah

From Charleston, I skirted my way along the South Carolina coast until I made it to my home state of Georgia for a few days more of BBQ and kindly hospitality before heading back to London. First stop in Georgia was picturesque and gracious Savannah, where a too-short but so-good lunch set a delectable tone and kept the bar raised high for an especially for delicious finale of my trip. Continue reading

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#BBQbound: Charleston

Next stop on my carnivorously inclined Deep South expedition was the beautiful and historic port city of Charleston, South Carolina where a new breed of pitmaster appears to be taking over the culinary scene with an approach to making wood fired, slow cooked meats that’s as yummy and inventive as it is a mouth-watering tribute to the area’s great BBQ traditions. Continue reading

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#BBQbound: Pitt County, North Carolina

An epicentre of epicurean wonder (as long as you love whole hog BBQ), Pitt County is a prime destination for some of the best tasting meat in America. I had no idea so much good BBQ could come from such a concentrated and largely rural area. Continue reading

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#BBQbound: Chapel Hill, North Carolina

Chapel Hill is a city I know fairly well from more youthful days. But I’d not been back there for well over a decade – and I must admit I knew nothing of the BBQ there. I’m pleased to report the town is as agreeable place as even – and that the BBQ is fantastic. Continue reading

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#BBQbound: Hillsborough, North Carolina

The small town of Hillsborough, North Carolina made a big impression on me, despite only being able to drop in for a short overnight stay. Completely off my radar before planning my BBQ Bound itinerary, the town is now my top choice for a repeat visit of all the stops I made during my three weeks on the road. Continue reading

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#BBQbound: Lexington, North Carolina

This small town (population 19,000) is home to its own signature Lexington style of BBQ (also known as Piedmont or Western Carolina style). Made with wood-smoked (a mix of hickory and oak) and chopped pork shoulder (aka Boston butt) and usually served “wet” with a vinegar and ketchup based red sauce, the BBQ as a sandwich or more typically as a tray jammed full of BBQ and a side of “red” coleslaw that’s been mixed with the same red sauce instead of mayonnaise, and hushpuppies. It’s distinctive and delicious. Continue reading

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#BBQbound | Road Notes: Arkansas and Tennessee

Blazing a path from Dallas to Memphis and then on through Tennessee to my next destination (stay tuned), I made a few tasty stops along the way. What was on the menu for my roadside dining? Well, BBQ of course! Continue reading

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#BBQbound: Memphis

It had been more than 20 years since I’d last been to Memphis, and I was glad my BBQ Bound road trip passed through it, affording me the chance to reacquaint myself with this fantastic town so prominently set on the banks of the mighty Mississippi. Indeed, a tour of the best BBQ destinations in the South without a stop in Memphis would have been remiss. Continue reading

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#BBQbound: Dallas

From Austin I headed north to Dallas, a city I’d never visited before and one that I really wasn’t certain whether I’d take to or not. I ended up regretting not having more time to spend there. As for the BBQ, Dallas wound up being one of the tastiest pit stops of my three week road trip. Continue reading

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#BBQbound: Austin and the Hill Country

If y’all ain’t never been, let me tell you that Austin is as happening a place to visit as any in the USA. With a booming local economy and a population busting at the seams with an unprecedented number of folks flocking to live there (as much for the opportunity as for the all-but-guaranteed blue skies and sunshine) the city nevertheless retains a warm and informal feel that would have even the prickliest of pears soon feeling at home. Continue reading

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#BBQbound: An Epic Quest for the Best BBQ in the American South

I don’t mean to rub it in, but I’ve just returned from one of the sauciest adventures I’ve ever undertaken: a three-week road trip covering more than 2,500 miles across six states. The aim of my low ‘n slow sojourn was as straightforward as it was overindulgent – to find (and devour) the best BBQ in the American South. Continue reading

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Dixie Detours: Laissez les Bon Temps Rouler!

Happy Mardi Gras! I hope you’ve enjoyed reading my Dixie Detours miniseries featuring the highlights from my recent trip to Georgia, Tennessee, Alabama, Louisiana and Florida along with suggestions for planning your own sojourn to the Deep South. Continue reading

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Dixie Detours: Miami in a Minute

The final stop of our Dixie Detours visit to the US was Miami, where an overnight layover afforded Kemey and me the chance to check in on some friends who had recently moved there – big thanks to Tanya and Francesco for being such fantastic hosts and showing us around so much of your fine town – while soaking up some south Florida sunshine before heading back to Blighty. Continue reading

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Dixie Detours: Sweet Shoals Music

Before our visit to the Muscle Shoals area of Alabama, I never would have imagined the music of Aretha Franklin could resonate even more with me than it already did. Goosebumps on top of goosebumps – how’s that gonna happen? But there I was standing in Studio A of Fame Studios in humble little Florence, Alabama where the mighty diva recorded such classics as Do Right Woman, Do Right Man, and something clicked in a deep and soulful sort of way. In the few days since Kemey and I checked out the Shoals, listening to Aretha’s songs has been coupled with an even deeper and more satisfying feeling than before. Continue reading

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Dixie Detours: Chattanooga, Choo Choo City

Chattanooga is my old teenage stomping ground. Since I’ve moved away, every year or two when I’ve managed to make it back for a visit (usually around Christmastime), the area always seemed to have gotten better than I remembered it being. Same holds true this time round. Continue reading

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