Monday, July 30, 2007

Are cruise liners a viable alternative to flying?

A very interesting article on the environmental effects of Cruising from responsible

You could be forgiven for thinking you would be saving on carbon emissions by taking a cruise instead of flying. But when looking at the statistics, it is clear that the environmental impact of taking a cruise is far worse in many ways…

Gliding along from port to port, cruises take a lot longer to get to their destination(s) than flying would. But it is not just an airline seat, but almost an entire small village with swimming pools, restaurants and amenities that is floating around our oceans.

It may seem like time spent at sea would not have a lot of impact on its surrounding environments, but the facts paint a very different picture.

The stark reality is that cruise liners do have a significant ecological impact – one that has gone largely unnoticed in the global warming debate – and bring little or no benefit to the places they visit.

According to our partner at Climate Care, a cruise liner such as Queen Mary 2 emits 0.43kg of CO2 per passenger mile, compared with 0.257kg for a long-haul flight (even allowing for the further damage of emissions being produced in the upper atmosphere). That means it is far greener to fly than cruise...

According to a report by The International Council on Clean Transportation (ICCT), worldwide, oceangoing vessels produced at least 17% of total emissions of nitrogen oxide and contributed more than a quarter of total emissions of nitrogen oxide in port cities and coastal areas.

The report also points out that carbon-dioxide emissions from the international shipping sector as a whole exceed annual total greenhouse gas emissions from most of the developed nations listed in the Kyoto Protocol. "International ships are one of the world's largest, virtually uncontrolled sources of air pollution. ..air pollution from international ships is rising virtually unchecked," said ICCT president Alan Lloyd. On a typical one-week voyage a cruise ship generates more than 50 tonnes of garbage and a million tonnes of grey (waste) water, 210,000 gallons of sewage and 35,000 gallons of oil-contaminated water.

On average, passengers on a cruise ship each account for 3.5 kilograms of rubbish daily - compared with the 0.8 kilograms each generated by local people on shore. In addition, there is significant damage to coral reefs from cruise liners. There are 109 countries with coral reefs. In 90 of them (about 70% of cruise destinations are in biodiversity hotspots) reefs are being damaged by cruise ship anchors and sewage, by tourists breaking off chunks of coral, and by commercial harvesting for sale to tourists. (Source: Ocean Planet).

Most cruise companies claim to have very good environmental standards and we have recently seen the promising arrival of the first cruise ship to reduce engine emissions by using sea water to remove harmful components, but just look at this sorry tale of environmental fines racked up by Cruise companies.

Mandatory environmental standards of the Cruise Lines International Association relate largely to discharging hazardous waste into the marine environment. The negative cultural impact of large numbers of tourists descending on, in some cases, small destinations can also be significant.

The local economic benefits of cruising are harder to assess, but certainly are limited in terms of their local purchasing of food... Of course the cruise industry is considerably smaller than the air travel industry, but anyone considering a cruise as a green alternative to flying to their destination may want to think again. Apart from the increase in CO2 emissions, there is often a need to fly to the departure points of the cruise, clocking up further carbon emissions. Add to that the waste, environmental degradation and cultural impact, and one can only begin to imagine the size of the footprint produced by taking a cruise – even if it is a once-in-a-lifetime experience, it would take a lot of recycling, energy saving light-bulbs and cold showers to reconcile this!

Our tips If you were considering a cruise, but feel put off by the environmental and social impact they have, it may be worth asking yourself this question: What attracted you to doing a cruise?

If it was the thought of visiting several places on one trip, there are many responsible alternatives that offer this; you can take a tour that allows you to experience the local culture at the same time, or arrange your own itinerary using local transport and ferries. Find responsible overland tours here If it was the idea of spending time on board a boat, there are many options of sailing, or spending time on board traditional boats such as a Keralan houseboat, Egyptian felucca or a Antarctic Expedition Vessel. This may be a far more interesting option than the often sterile confinements of a cruise liner. Find responsible boat cruising trips here If you liked the thought of kicking back and sipping rum with a Caribbean backdrop, there are many superb resorts that allow you to do just this, with the added benefit of allowing you to stay on after the cruise liner has long departed its shores again – giving you lots of extra time to soak up the atmosphere and really unwind away from the usual tourist traps.

All the operators Travel Light use have sound responsible travel guidelines dating back over 15 years

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

How To Avoid Delhi Belly

Traveller's Tummy, Cairo Curse, Montezuma's Revenge, Biological Pressure and good old Delhi Belly. Those and other more repulsive phrases are usually described in way too much detail in many a traveller's tale of adventure in far flung places. This happens to such an extent that most people believe a short trip to India or Egypt will have the same effect on their waist line as a year on the Atkins diet. Not true! try eating Indian food three times a day here for two weeks and then struggle with those tight jeans that you will not throw away because one day you'll be slim enough to fit them again. No better not, it will depress you and you'll head straight to the biscuit tin for comfort. I digress, back to the Aztec Two Step. You see travelling to countries with such bad intestinal reputations need not mean a fortnight on the thunderbox. There are a few things I can recommend to help prevent you having to experience such a nightmare when you are supposed to be on a holiday of a lifetime.

We all know how important it is for us and are constantly nagged by medical professionals to drink lots everyday. Well I'm going to nag you to drink even more when you are travelling. If you are travelling in a country where you shouldn't drink tap water you should be able to find clean bottled water almost everywhere. Drinking clean water keeps your body strong and healthy and in better condition to fight off any nasties that get inside you.

Hand Hygiene
Some traveller's carry with them antibacterial hand wash which is not a bad idea. Remember you can pick up nasties on your hands from many different things such as money or a handshake. If you think you have dirty hands wash them. Also try not to bite your nails if that's your habit.

Eating with the locals
Eating in good local restaurants or street food shouldn't be avoided on the contrary it should be part of your travel experience. I like to ask a local for a good recommendation or look for somewhere busy where food is being prepared fresh, fast and hot. In my opinion many hotels "bland" food down for the foreign palate and prepare buffet food hours in advance.

Eating with your hands
Eating with your hands is one of the most amazing sensual pleasures that you can experience - and write about on a family travel blog. To enjoy a meal using all your senses breaks down barriers and leaves not only your tummy satisfied but your whole being. If you see the locals eating with their hands join them - but wash them first please.

Hygiene Paranoia
No matter what you do you will never stop germs getting into your system and in my opinion it's a good thing for your body to get used to a few "local" germs. I've seen travellers before being over cautious and putting antibacterial lotion on everything and eating very plain food. They all came down with tummy problems that were quite severe. A coincidence?

If you do get it?
Hopefully if you have been drinking plenty of water your body is in a better position to fight whatever nasty has set up shop in your belly.

Can you see a theme developing here? Put back whatever fluid has come out and more. Most pharmacies will stock electrolyte solutions to replace salts and minerals, read the instructions, use them they work.

There is a whole debate about the helpfulness of medicine that stops your runny tummy. In my travels I stay clear of it. I feel that the reason your body gives you diarrhea is that it wants whatever is bad inside you out. These medicines do not allow that instead keeping it inside building up and festering -holds his breath and waits for the Imodium lawyers to phone-

If you think you need to see a doctor get one reccomended. Hotels will have doctor's contact details that have treated travellers before.

Travelling on one of Travel Light's escorted adventures gives you the benefit of travelling with a tour leader that knows the best restaurants and what will keep you healthy travelling in that country.

Travel Light Reading - Travel Light has not read this book
There's No Toilet Paper... on the Road Less Traveled
This collection captures the wackiest experiences of writers whose travels took a detour, such as Dave Barry vainly trying to learn more Japanese than how to order a beer, and Mary Roach, who discovers that utilizing an Antarctic outhouse at the very moment a seal chooses to use its opening as a blowhole may not be the best way to start the day.

Monday, July 23, 2007

Silk Road Adventures

For the past week I have been working on an incredible itinerary for a group travelling the old silk road from Almaty to Ashgabad. It's an incredible part of the world and a real adventure for intrepid travellers. I once took a group from Xian in China to Islamabad in Pakistan on what turned out to be a wonderful journey full of surprises...

Silk Road Adventures

There is something very remarkable about this story. Not the fact that it covers part of the ancient Silk Road route from Xian in China to Islamabad in Pakistan. It’s not the fact that we crossed desserts, remote wilderness and the highest border crossing in the world. Nor is it because we explored the world’s greatest market in Kashgar or stayed with Kazakhs in traditional yurts during a blizzard. These are all special in their own right but what made this such a memorable trip was the group I travelled with. Four girls and you’ll have to wait until the end to find out why they where so remarkable.

We start in Xian ancient capital of China and regarded as the true start of the Silk Road. I was escorting four girls on an Imaginative Traveller tour to Islamabad on what I consider to be a pretty hard going trip into some of China and Pakistan’s remote corners. After meeting the girls and having dinner in a very local street restaurant I was confident we would have a successful journey.

Back to Xian. Xian is perhaps my favourite Chinese city. I love the way ancient and modern blend effortlessly in it’s architecture and local culture. The history is long, sights are everywhere and there seems to be a surprise around every corner. But what really brings travellers to Xian are the Terracotta Warriors. I will not write about them as I’m sure others can and have described this ancient wonder better than I. I will give you a tip though - find out what time the doors to the warriors open and get there first. When I was there is was 8 am. You see most of tourists coming that day are in Xian –one hours drive away- having breakfast at their hotel at 8am. The crowds start arriving around 9 - 9.30 so getting there early means you get the warriors for at least one hour without the crowds.

Now we head west and leave the tour buses behind. We are going to the end of the Great Wall to a small town called Jiayuguan. Famous for being at the edge of ancient imperial China, the Last Pass Under Heaven is the fort we have come to visit. In ancient times an imperial guard was considered very unlucky or must have upset the wrong person to be posted so far away from the centre of the universe. It’s really not that bad! The fort is fine for a few hours but the beauty is in the town’s remoteness and the surrounding snow capped mountains. A couple of us hired bicycles and gently explored the local villages and countryside.

The Silk Road traders took Silk to India and returned with Buddhism which although didn’t take a hold in India spread throughout the Far East. Dunhuang, our next town, was a popular stop for the traders and a large Buddhist community grew there. They built the Magao Grottoes a spectacular series of Buddhist carvings, murals and statues that if were closer to tourist China would, in my opinion, be one of her greatest sights. There are more than 492 caves carved from the cliff face, featuring 2,415 coloured statues and murals covering an area of more than 45,000m². Incredible.

The desert is harsh in this part of China. Mountains of stone become mountains of sand, the sun’s heat is fierce and will run it’s course of relentless torment everyday. Crossing these deserts in search of wealth on slow and stubborn camels must have been daunting. Sitting on our bus travelling on a tarmac road we were silent trying to grasp the enormity of the trek taken by Silk Road traders that came before us. But the desert can occasionally be kind and the oasis town of Turpan was more than kind for the passing trader, it meant survival.

Turpan sits in a depression meaning it is lower than sea level. A basin that holds heat even during the winter months when nighttime temperatures in the surrounding desert mirror the summer suns heat. This can be stifling during the summer but Turpan holds life for the desert traveller in the form of water. It comes from a unique system of ancient aqua ducts bringing water from the distant snow mountains. Grapes are grown everywhere even on the back streets where the vines are trained on trellises to provide shade during the hot still days.

The great thing about this trip is it’s diversity of different landscapes, culture and peoples. Urumqi is in the mountains and the world’s remotest city from the sea, 2,500 km from the nearest coast. We came to spend a night at the Lake of Heaven in traditional Kazakh yurts –felt tents. We had two options, we could stay at the government fixed yurt camp that was very nice, just off the main road and had an ablution block with hot showers. Or we could take a boat across the lake to see if any nomads were willing to let us spend a night with them. A quick vote and we were on the boat crossing this beautiful lake surrounded by mountains and alpine forest dusted with late spring snow.

Our hosts welcomed us the way nomads do. No big fuss just an instinctive show of hospitality and a safe, warm place to stay given to all passing travellers. We paid them the same as we would have paid the state camp but this was so much better. The group helped cook food and milk some goats while I and our local guide helped feed the horses and yaks. After dinner we sat in the yurt around a pot belly stove with the family and finished the bottle of scotch I was carrying. It was probably the scotch that made me sleep through the howling blizzard that night. About 4 am one of our hosts brought in two young goat kids to shelter from the snow. After calling for their mums and trying to eat my hair two of my group took them and snuggled the goats into their blankets to sleep. Sun rose and my guide expressed his concern about the blizzard, we had a plane to catch later that day and the boat couldn’t launch in the snow to take us back to the bus. We had no choice other than take the horses through the forest to the main road. Wrapping up I put three of the group horses while waiting for Peggy, the fourth member, to put on her lipstick! She never left the house without makeup she explained. The trek took two hours and the snow wasn’t so bad in the forest. O.K. it was cold and not the most comfortable ride but what an adventure! We were going to make our flight with time to spare so we stopped at the guides house to have lunch with his wife and kids before heading to the airport.

Half way through the trip and so far so good and the group were in high spirits. It had been pretty hard going so far with long days, strange food, harsh climate and hard beds but for a pick me up exploring Kashgar’s Sunday Market is better than any energy drink.

Kashgar is the trading centre for many different tribes Tajiks, Kyrgyz, Kazakhs, Uzbeks, Uigers to name a few and there has been a market in Kashgar for over 2000 years. Being from the west we are used to traffic jams but a donkey cart jam is another thing all together. Tens of thousands of tribes people make the trip into Kashgar to trade on a Sunday creating one of the worlds largest and most outstanding markets. The animal market is the biggest draw where many come to watch the horses being put through their paces. Boys are paid to gallop horses over a short distance on a dusty track so the potential buyer can see how it performs. The faces and dress of different tribes and their wares makes Kashgar a photographic nirvana.

Xian seemed an age ago, we had done a lot in a little over a fortnight. Terracotta warriors, desert oasis, snow blizzards and ancient markets so what now? Now we needed to get to Pakistan over the worlds highest border crossing the Khunjerab Pass which will take us onto the Karakoram Highway down to Islamabad.

Our crossing date coincided with the opening day of the pass for the season, 1st May and I wanted us to be the first group through that year. I was informed by the operator that I didn’t need a visa as that year Pakistan were issuing tourist visas free on arrival. I knew that, the operator knew that and even the Pakistani government knew that but forgot to inform immigration officials at the border. The most magnificent black moustache I have ever seen told me there was a problem because I had no visa and his subordinate needed to phone Islamabad to “sort this confusion out”. While I was waiting he insisted we drunk tea and discussed the up and coming football world cup, he was a big Manchester United fan. As we had the most surreal discussion on David Beckham’s right foot the all clear came from Islamabad to let me enter Pakistan. A make shift entry stamp was made up and he asked “how long do you intend to stay for” “ten days” was my reply “I’ll give you 60 days, I’m sure you will like it here”

The pass we came over is 4693 m./15,397 ft high but to look at the mountains around you would think you were at sea level. This part of Pakistan boasts the highest concentration of mountains over 7000 meters in the world, it is truly breathtaking. We spent a week in this area and to this day I cannot get over the extreme beauty of this place. Looking down at the Indus River you raise your head slowly pass fruit orchards in blossom, pass mighty glaciers up through the clouds to the top of mountains almost the height of Everest.

From here South to the Pakistani version of Canberra Islamabad. A city designed to house government departments it’s clean, green and very modern. A nice change to the wild remote places we had experienced over the last 21 days and I soon got bored of it. Hopped in a taxi and took a short drive to Rawalpindi. This was more like it. Dust, noise, people, chaos, smells and life, a good way to end a journey like this.

My group and I had experienced a lot and it wasn’t always plane sailing. This route is away from the tourist trail so hotels, food and transport are all basic and not what we are used to. We were taken out of our comfort zone practically for the whole trip but there was no alternative and maybe that added to the experience. So what is so extraordinary about my group of four girls? Well the youngest was 67 years old and the eldest Peggy, remember the girl with the makeup?, was 72.

A journey along the Silk Road needs planning and consultation why not start with the experts? Travel Light

Travel Light Reading
Foriegn Devils on the Silk Road - Peter Hopkirk

Saturday, July 21, 2007

Thailand Wilderness Adventure

Thailand has always held a special place in my heart. I first travelled there in 1991, a wide eyed kid wet behind the ears with a bucket shop one way ticket to Bangkok. My grand plans of a short beach break before heading down to the east coast of Australia joining the 1000’s of Pommie pilgrims earning a right of passage didn’t exactly go to plan. I left Thailand eleven months later to return home penniless, emancipated and full of great stories, which my friends soon got bored with.

I returned a few times mainly to Bangkok and Koh Samui happy to be back in the land of smiles but feeling slightly disappointed at all the changes. The old story of development being good for the locals but not good for my sense of adventure. That didn’t deter me from joining the Imaginative Travellers Wilderness Adventure two years ago.

Arriving in Bangkok this time was different. I had a hotel booked so no lugging my pack in Bangkok’s suffocating mixture of exhaust fumes, heat and humidity looking for a clean bed. I had a group to meet too, this was also good, eating Pad Thai on your own looking for a fellow traveller to strike a conversation with can be hard work. There were 10 of us, a mix of Poms, Aussies, a Canadian, an American and a South African. We all met for dinner and shortly after my first Thai beer I knew this would be a fun trip

Bangkok to me means food and shopping and the best place to find both is the Chata Chuk weekend market. I headed there with belly empty and wallet full destined to reverse the two. The market is huge, really huge, 35 acres of cheap goodies huge and sells everything from furniture to genuine fake designer clothes. The street food is fantastic but remember the Thai’s like it hot. I left my shopping with the hotel to keep safe as I would be returning there once I finished the trip.

Off to Chiang Mai on the overnight train. I like travelling like this, sleeping while moving makes sense to me and the train is clean, functional, safe and fine. I think Chiang Mai is the perfect place to escape hectic Bangkok. It’s a peaceful, happy place and that reflects in the locals. Sight seeing will take you to the Wat Pratat Doi Suthep temple - stunning and golden on a sunny day. The next stage of the trip was trekking in the surrounding jungle, I decided I needed a massage before we set off.

A trek in the hills of Northern Thailand is a chance to escape everyday life and clear your head. The going is not too difficult for someone with fairly good fitness although if it rains the mud can be tricky. I was enjoying my own head space when we arrived at the first village of wooden homes, pecking chickens and lots of smiles, basic but I couldn’t think of anywhere else I would rather have been. Chan, our guide, was a local from a neighbouring village and before long he had us divided amongst our village hosts before the sun set and got too difficult for us city people to do anything without electric light. That night, with the noise of the surrounding jungle lying on a mattress roll on a bamboo floor, was maybe the most peaceful night’s sleep I have ever had.

The next day’s trek was shorter and we covered ground quicker, maybe we were getting used to the trekking but I think it was the excitement of the elephant ride to come that afternoon. Lunch was delicious but we were too busy watching the elephants wash in the river to notice. Elephants are brilliant creatures and being on one journeying deeper into the jungle is a fantastic experience.

The next morning Chan had us up early helping him and the village men build our rafts to take us down river to civilization. It is all part of the experience helping the guys and by helping I mean staying out of their way while they expertly craft our rafts. A serene float down to the nearest small town where our bus was waiting to take us to a hot shower and another massage.

We left Chiang Mai and headed back to Bangkok where we broke the journey up to the south with an over night stay in the city of angels.

I had heard a few good things about Khoa Sok national park, not too popular with tourists or backpackers alike due it not having a major bus stop. To get there you need to stop the bus by the 3rd banyan tree after 17th stream near the big hill and you will find a bakkie waiting to take you into the park. I’m glad we had a tour leader. The first night we slept with the birds in tree houses the second and third we stayed in raft houses on a man made dam. It is a truly beautiful area and a few of us spent the days swimming in waterfalls, flooded caves, kayaking and hiking and some of just sat back and took it all in.

How to finish this Thailand trip? On the beach of course. The islands around Krabi are what we visualize when we think of a Thai beach and they do not disappoint. The Thai’s have a word called sabai, loosely translated it means an inner happiness and contentment. I woke one afternoon from a napping on the beach and understood exactly what sabai means.

The Thailand Wilderness Adventure and many other genuine travel experiences can be found at

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Thursday, July 19, 2007

Donkeys in nappies upset Kenyan traders

LIMURU - Donkey owners in the Kenyan town of Limuru are angry over an order from the local authorities that their animals must wear nappies.

The BBC reports that local donkey owners have accused the authorities of making an ass of themselves and will fight the order.

"If we have to put nappies on our donkeys, soon they will say our cows need them too," one donkey owner said.

Limuru's mayor, James Kuria, insisted, "We must come up with a way to make sure that the droppings are not a nuisance."

Donkey owner, Kimani Gathugu, who lives in the town some 50km north-west of the capital, Nairobi, said, "Donkeys are very important. Not many people have cars in the area and the donkeys serve as a mode of transport."

Water trader Simon Kamau, said, "In all the three years I have been in this business, I have never tied a nappy on a donkey.

"The problem is that the donkey can give you a fatal kick. I was once kicked by a donkey and it broke my leg.

"What the council should do is come to us traders and show us how to tie the nappies on the donkeys."

The man who kicked Starbucks out of the Forbidden City

Finally someone has done something about this. Next is the Starbucks at the Great Wall and KFC and Pizza Hut at the Pyramids!

BEIJING - He is 29 years old, a suave world traveller who speaks near flawless, American-accented English and enjoys the occasional coffee from Starbucks.

This is the description the Los Angeles Times gives to the man who has kicked Starbucks out of the Forbidden City – CCTV news anchor, Rui Chenggang.

Rui has an audience estimated at 100 million, and seven months ago when he complained on his blog that the presence of a Starbucks "undermined the Forbidden City's solemnity and trampled over Chinese culture," there were plenty who took notice.

It was as if he had opened the valve on an espresso machine. Reaction from Chinese readers poured forth, hissing and full of steam.

Many people, it seemed, were offended by the presence of a store selling half-caf mocha frapuccinos in the most hallowed spot in China, a place where 24 emperors had ruled in almost unimaginable grandeur for nearly 500 years.

By the next day, Rui says, the item had been read by half a million people and generated "thousands, if not tens of thousands" of e-mail responses".

Last Friday, under pressure from the government, the Seattle-based company closed its small shop inside the Forbidden City, having rejected an offer to continue selling Starbucks coffee under the Forbidden City "brand."

"It is not our custom to have stores that have any other [name]," Starbucks vice president for Greater China, Eden Woon, was quoted by the Beijing Youth Daily as saying.

Rui, a rising media star who is used to having people listen to him, was not at all surprised by his own clout.

"It was well within my expectations," he said in an interview Monday, sipping orange juice in the lounge of a hotel near the CCTV studios. "It was just a matter of when and a matter of how."

Starbucks has more than 240 stores in mainland China, including 57 in Beijing.

Source: Los Angeles Times

Travel Light Reading
One of my favourite travel books about China is Red Dust A Path Through China by Ma Jian

Red Dust A Path Through China
An extraordinary travelogue traces a young Chinese artist's journey to the westernmost border of China--a journey that lasted for three years and took him to parts of his homeland that Westerners have never seen--and vividly brings to life the places and people that he encountered along the way.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Authentic Indian Curry Recipe

To put it simply I love curry and Indian curry is my absolute favourite. I have tried to cook many different recipes but never seem to achieve the same as some of my favourite restaurants in Mumbai or Varanasi. There are many reasons for this – not using ghee and not being in India springs to mind but I will persevere. This recipe I got from my pukka mate Rajan and although it doesn’t taste as good in Joburg as it does in Jaipur it is still good. Lamb Curry

You can replace the chopped tomatoes with one medium pot of plain yoghurt if you prefer a creamy curry.

5cm of fresh ginger, peeled and chopped
4 cloves chopped garlic
1 cups water
Oil (or ghee)
750gm lamb cut into bite size cubes
6 whole cardamom pods (remove seeds and discard pods if you like prefer)
1 bay leaf
5 whole cloves
Fresh ground black pepper
5cm cinnamon stick
1 medium onions, peeled, finely chopped
1 heaped teaspoon ground coriander
1 teaspoons ground cumin (or seeds if you prefer )
2 teaspoons turmeric
1 teaspoon chilli powder (this isn’t to hot in my opinion, I use 3 teaspoons)
Salt to taste
1 tin of chopped tomatoes
1/4 teaspoon garam masala
1 dash fresh ground black pepper to taste

Heat oil in a suitable pot and brown the lamb cubes in several batches then set aside. Heat more oil / ghee if needed and add the cardamom, bay leaf, cloves, pepper and cinnamon and stir fry for a few seconds. Add the onions to the pan and cook slowly until translucent. Add ginger and garlic cook for 1 min. Stir in the coriander, cumin, chilli powder and the salt mix in ground spices until they soak up the oil / ghee. Add the lamb cubes and stir. Add the chopped tomatoes and slowly bring to the boil. Add water to the curry until it reaches the consistency you prefer. Cover the pan and cook on a low heat for 20 minutes or until lamb is tender stirring occasionally.

If you would prefer a creamy curry then replace the chopped tomatoes with one spoon of yoghurt and blend in to the dry curry. Add the rest of the yoghurt and cook over a low heat for 3 minutes. Add water until the curry reaches your preferred consistency and slowly bring curry to the boil and cook on a low heat for 20 minutes or until lamb is tender.

Just before serving add the garam masala and stir into the curry

Of course you cannot beat the real thing so why not enjoy an authentic Indian curry on an authentic Indian adventure!

What are you waiting for? Dream, Discover, Explore!

Travel Light Reading
There is only one Goddess of Indian cookery and that's Madhur Jaffery

Simple Indian Cookery: Step by Step to Everyone's Favourite Indian Recipes
Madhur Jaffrey is renowned as an international authority on Indian food. In Simple Indian, now available in paperback, she shares her knowledge and her passion, bringing us classic dishes from this hugely popular culinary region.

Buy Wine Here!

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

The New Seven Wonders of the World

It was Herodotus, the Greek historian, who first developed the idea of the seven wonders of the ancient world in the fifth century BC.

Ancient 7 Wonders of the World

  1. Great Pyramids of Giza
  2. The hanging Gardens of Babylon
  3. Temple of Artemis at Ephesus
  4. Statue of Zeus at Olympia
  5. Mausoleum of Maussollos at Halicarnassus
  6. Colossus of Rhodes
  7. Light House at Alexandria.

Sadly all but the great Pyramids of Giza remain which are still magnificent five thousand years after their construction.

Jumping forward 2500 years, to Lisbon, Portugal on the 7th July 2007 – 07.07.07 to be precise, a panel of renowned architects and the former director general of UNESCO revealed the new seven wonders of the world.

New 7 Wonders of the World

  1. Machu Piccu – Peru
  2. Statue of Christ the Redeemer – Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
  3. Chichen ItzaMexico
  4. The Colosseum - Rome
  5. Taj Mahal – India
  6. PetraJordan
  7. Great Wall – China

To celebrate this Travel Light are offering amazing discounts on 7 tours to the 7 wonders and this special lasts for 7 weeks! Promotion ends Saturday 25th August 2007 and is valid for departures in 2007 only.

Organisers say around 100 million votes were cast mainly over the internet and cell phone SMS and the new wonders were tops in a list of 14 which included the The Kremlin in Moscow, the Statue of Liberty in New York and the Sydney Opera House.

UNESCO (United Nations Education, Scientific and Cultural Organization) who in the past have granted world heritage status to 660 cultural sites across the world have criticized the list for being too selective. Other concerns have been raised over the influx of tourists to these sites that will cause extra wear and tear may force numbers to be limited. Although many point out the obvious potential tourism income to gained by the mainly developing countries.

The next project is the new Seven Natural Wonders of World and the winners are due to be announced on 8th August 2008 – 08.08.08

Travel Light are offering amazing discounts on 7 tours to the 7 wonders and this special lasts for 7 weeks*. What are you waiting for? Dream, Discover, Explore!