Caqalai, Fiji

Just back from an overnight trip to Caqalai, a tiny, blissful desert island in Fiji.  I’ve had a wonderful twenty-four hours of swimming, bonfires on the beach and delicious fish to eat before a rather bumpy boat ride back to the mainland.

Desert island

Sunset

I stayed in a very cosy “bure” overlooking the beach.

My bure

I tried snorkeling for the first time in Caqalai, which I loved – the coral was absolutely beautiful as were the tiny, luminous, multi-coloured fish and inky blue starfish everywhere.

The most exciting bit of the trip was the moment at 6.30am this morning when a shark swam right past me!  I was reasonably terrified (although apparently the type of shark I saw is a friendly shark that doesn’t eat people) but haven’t stopped talking about it since . . .

Less scary sea creatures

Off for further island adventures this weekend in the Yasawas, so I’ll post more pictures soon.  Happy Jubilee Weekend everyone!

 

Northampton, MA

Northampton banner

Well, I finally made it to Northampton, Massachusetts, after a rather eventful (and long) journey involving two subways, five buses and one flat tyre.

Northampton, Massachusetts is not all that reminiscent of Northampton, England.  Things it has that Northampton, England does not include a beautiful women’s college, lots of hipster shops and an Occupy movement.

Occupy Northampton

I was incredibly excited to visit and had an excellent conversation with a postcard-selling man about the two Northamptons and about the film “Kinky Boots”. I also took lots of photos of everything that had “Northampton” written on it, for example:

The history of Fran in Northampton . . .

Posted in USA

Cambridge and Boston, MA

I think Cambridge, MA might just be my kind of place.  Beautiful university buildings, lots of bookshops and hippy vegetarian cafes.  I’ve been exploring all the above as well as trying to get used to how polite and friendly everyone is in America!

Harvard Yard

Boston is very beautiful as well, lots of lovely cobbled streets, ivy and old-fashioned street lights.  It’s absolutely full of sights relating to the Sons of Liberty and the American Revolution everywhere, which is helping my (admittedly rather shaky) grasp of US history no end.  We took a Freedom Trail walking tour in the sunshine on Sunday with a tour guide (moonlighting from his day job as a stand-up comedian), who seemed only slightly fazed by the task of talking about the American Revolution to two Brits . . . I also went to the JFK Library and Museum yesterday to add some 1960s American history context to my current Mad Men addiction.

Beacon Hill, Boston

But the highlight of this trip may well be yet to come – next stop: Northampton, MA.  Watch this space!

Posted in USA

Boston bound

At Heathrow en route to Boston

At Heathrow en route to Boston

My dad kindly got out of bed early to take me to the airport. My dad brought me a cup of tea in bed to bring me gently into the land of the living. My dad gave up a good part of his Saturday to drive me to Heathrow. My dad took this photo of me in the departure hall. My dad posted it on my blog and wrote this self-effacing entry.

Posted in USA

Off on the next stage of my travels

I’m flying off tomorrow for my next adventure: a round-the-world tour stopping off in America, Fiji, New Zealand, Australia, Hong Kong and India.  I’ll be catching up with lots of friends and family along the way as well as exploring places that I’ve always dreamt of seeing – so excited!

First stop is Boston, Massachusetts for a week hanging out with my friend Daniel.

I’ll be adding words and pictures to my blog as I go, so do keep reading and posting comments.