I came round in Xiamen city at about 5 a.m., disrupted by something outside.  Piped music had started playing over some tinny speakers.  I looked out of the window.  A solitary man ran towards a wall, and then ran backwards to where he had started before.  Of course : they do their exercise routine in … Read more


For all the change in situation from the last 9 days, I slept miraculously well.  Mind you, with the day we’d had, it was not surprising.  The stomach seemed to have calmed down slightly, and I dared to have something resembling coffee and a bit of dried up bread with jam, but drew the line … Read more

Eastern Turkey

Surely the overriding reason for coming to Kars must be a trip to Ani, a strange, ghostly plain of buildings left over from the former Armenian capital, but now deserted for centuries.  Like any site that has been primped and preened by expectation, the danger lay in my initial, gut reaction.  And that was one … Read more


If I thought I had cleverly missed the bus ride from hell by flying here, I was today sorely mistaken.  The bus left at 7 a.m., and not knowing how difficult  or otherwise it was to get a bike to haul me and my gear up there, I actually decided to leave the hotel at … Read more