‘THE GHAN’ – Named after the Afghan cameleers who blazed the trail across one of the most dauntingly inhospitable deserts in the world, The Ghan is the stuff of genuine Outback legend. The journey from Adelaide to Darwin provided time for me to come to terms with the incredible immensity of this island continent as the landscape changed from the dust-hazed ochres of the Red Centre to the rioting lushness of the Northern Territory’s ‘Top End’.
David Whitley takes a look at the extra countries you can easily add to your tally from popular RTW destinations
Travel isn’t a competition. There is something pathetically childish about people who measure their importance by how many countries they’ve been to. But, let’s face it, sometimes it’s nice to be able to say you’ve been somewhere – even if it’s just for a day or two. And there are a few countries that are tantalizingly close to popular round the world flight hubs that you can easily sneak off to without taking a massive detour. Such as…
Sometimes, what you don’t do on your holiday is almost as important as what you do. I got to Chiang Mai after a ten-year absence and found myself blown away by the heavy development and construction that has transformed the city. I came to Chiang Mai to spend a week volunteering with elephants at Elephant Nature Park, which operates a little like a retirement village for elephants (and an experience I highly recommend). There, elephants are treated with dignity and the project provides income for a number of families and locals. Before I started at the project, however, I had three days to hang around while I waited for my boyfriend to fly in and join me.