The final bit of my ’08 round-up is a quick photographic journey through the most memorable travel moments of the year. (In case you’re interested, you can see all my 2008 photos over at Flickr)
Another Lao highlight was a visit to the Bolaven Plateau, home to most of the country’s coffee production. Everywhere we went we saw piles of coffee beans drying in the sun.
Moments later, I ate this crispy, deep-fried Mekong Frog, which is not something I ever expected to do. Surprisingly lovely. And no, it didn’t taste of chicken.
A beautiful, crisp, cold winter day walking through the grounds of Stowe House, some of the finest landscaped grounds in England.
I’d resisted skiing for years. Why did no-one tell me one of the best bits of the experience would be the breathtaking beauty of the mountains?
1500 metres downhill on the 1994 Olympic track. Over 100kph, inches from the ice. The best 72 seconds of my life.
You don’t need to spend a fortune on a bobsleigh run to have fun though: an afternoon bouncing on the trampoline at my sister’s house in Essex was nearly as fun.
Freezing rain and winds so strong you could barely stand up – but making it to the top of Wales’s highest mountain was worth it.
Before I did it, I thought 26 miles of hiking up and down three hills would be a bit tough. I ended up running the last few miles. And I even got a certificate to prove I’d done it too (I’m like a child when it comes to external validation).
The restored De La Warr pavilion is absolutely stunning, and utterly incongruous to find in town like Bexhill.
Even more fun than usual, thanks to the absence of mud and flooding. I’ll miss the madness in 2009.
Recovering from festivals by going on holiday straight after is totally the way ahead.
…except it wasn’t even that. We spent nearly as long in Madrid airport as we did on the island. Still, I made up for it by having a fantastic four days there the following month, seeing how the other half live. Although it did give me boat envy.
Cool abandoned hotel in Lagos, one of my favourite photos of the year. The town is pretty great too.
Unlike Faro, which was just plain weird. Also: I assumed Pigeon-racing was one of those weird eccentric English things. Turns out the Portuguese do it too.
We kept being told it was the largest square of its kind in Europe. We never did find out what that meant exactly. Lovely place to spend my birthday (although I think Uluru in 2009 may just top it). Just don’t mention the borscht.
If there’s been one thing that’s really stood out from my travels this year, it’s been falling in love with the mountains, and it’s certainly something I’ll be doing a lot more of in 2009.
Thanks to everyone who has read and commented in 2008. It’s been a bit of a dry run while I get the hang of writing (the only writing I’ve done for the last decade has been on Powerpoint slides, which is really quite different) and posting pictures. Hopefully 2009 and the start of my long-term travels will make this an even better read going forward!