Wednesday 25 January 2012

Little and Large

In a new move for me, I've written a guest post on another blog: Blogger At Large, which is a proper travel blog full of information and latest news, as well as being very chirpy and enthusiastic. It is, as they used to say in the 60s, a now and happening sort of place, unlike the more leisurely and reflective blog that this one is. The post is about Highclere Castle - yet again. I may be laid-back here, but even I can't ignore the opportunity to jump on such a big bandwagon as the Downton Abbey phenomenon. Why not pop over and read it, and have a look around there while you're at it?

I've done a couple of trips with Megan, who writes Blogger At Large, both at her very kind invitation and both brilliantly good fun. The first was via Tahiti to New York, my first trip to that exciting city, and the second to Disneyland for a mind-blowingly extravagant famil to mark the opening of what was then the new Finding Nemo ride in the old submarine pond.

I'd been to Tahiti years before, but on this trip we went to Fakarava - always fun to say - in the Tuamoto Islands. It's a huge coral atoll, the rectangular lagoon about 65km long, the land surrounding it so narrow that you can see from side to side. On one sparkling day we went on a boat like a flying fish to the far end of the lagoon, skimming along the turquoise water for an hour or so until we fetched up at a tiny motu, or island, with nothing on it bar a handful of palm trees, a bush or two, and tiny white shells scattered over the pink sand. The water was warm and clear, and we had a swim while Coco our guide laid out our picnic on a white cloth and made a fire from palm fronds to barbecue our steak. It was a feast, and the setting was idyllic: just us, the seabirds, the lapping of the waves on the sand, and nothing/nobody else for miles and miles and miles. The world has never felt bigger, and my place in it never smaller.

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