Hey, I’m Heather. Often found wandering purposefully around the world, journal in one hand and camera in the other, I haven’t quit my job, or sold all my possessions and gone to discover myself whilst backpacking around the globe for years on end! I have a day job, (and a mortgage and a husband), but I also love to travel. It turns out you can do both…more
Last seen: Putting off the inevitable hours of chafing atop a camel for a few more moments, watching the Saharan sun welcome a new day, Morocco
Next up: Rock-pooling by the light of the moon in remote Wester Ross, Scotland
I travel for: the shy smiles and enthusiastic waves from curious village children, and the adventures that come from following the advice of strangers.
The latest from Heather’s Blog:
Sand, sea and snow! in Applecross - by heather on December 3rd 2013
The trusty packhorse staggered along the trail one foot after the other, head down in the driving wind and wondering just what he’d done to deserve such a plight. The undulations of the path seemed like sheer peaks as the loads got heavier with each journey, and hubbie seriously doubted the wisdom of the missus insisting on bringing the frying pan. Which, of course, meant him bringing the frying pan. Looking back over his shoulder he saw she was a fair way behind, dwarfed under a mountain of baggage, no doubt much lighter than his own.
I’ve arrived in the travel blog world! My first interview - by heather on 24th November 2013
So I’ve just done my first traveller interview, whoop whoop! It’s about how after years of swearing by my worn and beaten up old flagpatch-covered rucksack, I discovered the delights of suitcase travel. And I’ve never looked back. Even when we trekked into the Sahara by camel… I’m delighted to have been asked to do a few more interviews, so watch this space for more over the next couple of months!
Want to travel but no-one to go with? - by heather on November 13th 2013
So you’ve made the decision you’ve been mulling over for a while now. You’re finally going to take that time out you’ve been talking about for ages, and travel the world experiencing new places with your mates. But there is a slight problem. When it comes down to the line, you discover your mates don’t want to come. So what do you do? Give up on your dreams, or go anyway and be lonely?
Chebbi v Chigaga: the battle of the Moroccan Ergs – by heather on November 3rd 2013
So you’re going to Morocco (great choice by the way), and fancy yourself a wannabe Lawrence of Arabia whilst riding a camel into the desert sunset…but just how do you decide between going to the more popular and well known Erg Chebbi, and it’s less visited but equally photogenic sister Erg Chigaga? I figure sand dunes are female since they’re undulating and stunningly beautiful even in the mornings.
Best Beds – places to fall in love with – by heather on November 2nd 2013
Fancy staying somewhere really unique? Somewhere with a bit of local flavour, oozing charm and with hospitality as warm as toast? Somewhere tremendously photogenic and with food too good to eat? Then look no further. Discover some of my favourite places to stay, until now jealously guarded secrets. I guarantee you won’t want to leave…
Kif in the Rif – tales from the ‘Blue City’ - by heather on October 28th 2013
The slightly dishevelled figure lurched at us out of the darkness, his unkempt hair flying out at all angles, and his clothes smelling sweetly suspicious. We jumped aside, pressing ourselves up against the still warm blue wall, hoping to blend in with the shadows. We weren’t looking for a late night confrontation in this unknown Moroccan alleyway. Not tonight anyway.
The best place to stay in the world – by heather on October 20th 2013
The title just has to go to Kasbah Ellouze, in Morocco. Just hearing the name never fails to bring a smile to my face. The best maison d’hotes in tout le monde may be a world away, but whenever we visit it always feels like coming home.
Chameux 2531 – by heather on October 17th 2013
Chameux 2531 stared unblinking, curling his bottom lip in distain as I gracelessly manoeuvred myself onto his back, clutching the inadequate handlebar and trying desperately to remember whether the standing up process involved the front or back end first.
The Traveller/Tourist Divide – by heather on September 18th 2013
Shoulders aching and backs nearly broken, hubbie and I thankfully dumped our heavy backpacks and collapsed exhausted on the veranda of our tiny bungalow at Chiang Dao Nest in Northern Thailand. I was so tired I didn’t even do the obligatory check for spiders before sprawling out across the deck…
F#ck me! – by heather on August 15th 2013
We’d arrived exhausted late at night in Bali…An hour later hubbie was snoring peacefully, no doubt dreaming about what delights breakfast would bring. I on the other hand lay wide awake, unsure whether to be amused or indignant at the noises that were keeping me from my beauty sleep…
Cottage by the Shore – by heather on August 6th 2013
The moon shone so brightly it was casting long shadows as we silently crawled through the heather on our bellies. Easily visible against the starry sky, our quarry raised his head as he caught scent of us on the breeze. Holding our breaths, we waited until he was calm once more, before slowly taking out our equipment, and getting ready for the shot…
The truth about Trip Advisor - by heather on July 30th 2013
You may have seen in the news this week the story about a Devon businessman setting up a fake restaurant in an attempt to expose the failings of Trip Advisor. Supposedly built in the hull of an old fishing boat…the wetsuit clad staff would dive into the water to catch whichever fish the customer desired…
Souks: haggle heaven or hassle hell? by heather on July 18th 2013
The carpets in Morocco must indeed be magic. Certainly at the price the berber vendor was asking. I spluttered into my mint tea and tried to remember what the limit was on our credit card….
Being taken for a ride: the perils of public transport - by heather on July 15th 2013
The case of the TAXI DRIVER. These must be the richest guys in the world given their rip off tactics, taking particular advantage of weary and naïve travellers just off the plane. Why then do their cabs often come equipped with mouldering refuse lining the foot-wells, designer worn patches on the seat covers, and overtones of their own unique eau des cigarettes…
How not to smuggle in the Galapagos - by heather on July 10th 2013
Newly-weds hubbie and I were sitting in the airport departure ‘lounge’ having a heated discussion about just how many photographs of sea-lions we actually needed when a loud Hispanic voice crackled authoritatively over the airport tannoy: “Would Mr Cole come to the security desk – IMMEDIATELY!” …
The question of ‘The Return’ - by heather on July 8th 2013
I floated lazily in a natural rock pool, watching the little fish dart around as flower petals tickled my toes, dreamily sipping a cocktail of exotic rainbows, and admiring the dramatic valley of precariously perched Balinese rice terraces stretching out below me. Had I finally found a place I couldn’t resist returning to…
Not another sodding temple - by heather on July 5th 2013
I didn’t want to climb yet another Mayan temple. Once you’ve seen six, you’ve seen them all. Desperately hot and tired, I was being unreasonably irritable towards my patient boyfriend. Why was he so eager to continue in this heat? We were literally glistening with sweat, and I just wanted a cold shower and an afternoon in a hammock…
1001 nights - by heather on July 2nd 2013
Despite it being late, and so hot that I was sweating profusely, I felt like Scheherazade stepping into a palace to regale a sultan with her stories. My particular sultan was dressed in camo-style cargo shorts, and preoccupied with locating the bathroom after the long journey and a particularly unpleasant burger at Luton airport…
Always have beer for breakfast - by heather on June 30th 2013
“Singha Beer? Singha Beer!”
Irritatingly cheerful chanting drifted along the corridor, gradually increasing in volume. A rosy cheeked attendant opened our door, asking the inaugural question. Stomachs churning after lunchtime curry, we declined, thus receiving our first black mark…
Why do we always end up birdwatching? - by heather on June 28th 2013
Ok, so we know what sparrows look like, or ‘Captain Jacks’ as hubbie calls them, and black birds are also pretty obvious, unless they’re female. They’re both common visitors to our garden, along with tits of varying design. Beyond that however, we’re both pretty ignorant when it comes to birds…
Rome: the place to be, or not? - by heather on June 26th 2013
So we’re in Rome. The sun is shining, we’ve just experienced rapture with our first gelati (it turns out kiwi, pineapple and white chocolate are a match made in heaven), and we’ve discovered wine is cheaper than a can of coke. All is going swimmingly. So why do I not feel on top of the world in a place that was once deemed to be the centre of it…
Journal: Notes from the Road - by heather on June 20th 2013
I began my first journal at the tender age of 13. It was a slimline red diary from Sainsburys that had come free with a magazine. My parents didn’t want it so I grabbed the chance of adding something else that I didn’t need to my hoard of pointless teenage stuff. It sat there a while, until bored one day, I decided to put pen to paper…
How to Wild Camp in the English Lake District - by heather on June 19th 2013
In England it is illegal. But also lots of fun! There’s nothing quite like a spot of wild camping for a real and rewarding landscape experience. Whether you’ve hiked hard all day to find that perfect spot, or just nipped up 20 minutes from the road, each site will have something unique to offer…
Marrkech Riad Reviews - by heather on June 14th 2013
These are some of our favourite Marrakech riads, all chosen for their style and character, as well as location. Further, more detailed reviews can be found under my profile (Rena77uk) on tripadvisor…
The journey south from Marrakech to Ouarzazate - 5th June 2013
Scrawny goats, roadside gasoline barrels and small barefoot children whizzed by as we made our way south towards the High Atlas Mountains. We’d conquered the red city and were now heading for our next adventure in the rocky desert, the bit between the Atlas and the Sahara…
The Conversant Traveller - 2nd June 2013
Most dangerous travel situation you’ve been in?
That’s a toughie! It’s really a toss up between being caught in the cross fire of a drug smuggling shoot-out in Lesotho, or nearly being auctioned for sex in the middle of the night in deepest Guatemala…