2013 in review

As I reported at the tail end of last year, 2012 was a big year for travel – I visited eight foreign countries in total, the most since 2001. My prediction that 2013 would be quieter on the travel front was correct, but only to an extent. Yes there was no overseas travel, but I…

TROTMH 7: San Francisco

This is the seventh and last in a series of extracts from my new book The Return of the Mullet Hunter, which I am posting over the the course of this week. This final extract is an account of a day’s touristing in San Francisco. The photo is of the city’s skyline, taken from the Coit Tower.…

TROTMH 6: Fresno

This is the sixth in a series of extracts from my new book The Return of the Mullet Hunter, which I am posting over the the course of this week. This penultimate extract describes an evening in the curious, almost claustrophic town of Fresno, California. The photo is of the town’s utterly out of place cinema.…

TROTMH 5: Salton Sea

This is the fifth in a series of extracts from my new book The Return of the Mullet Hunter, which I am posting over the the course of this week. This antepenultimate extract is about the harsh landscape of the Salton Sea, in the desert of southern California, which I visited in search of Mullet Island.…

TROTMH 2: Motutapu Island

This is the second in a series of extracts from my new book The Return of the Mullet Hunter, which I am posting over the the course of this week. This second extract describes my visit to Motutapu Island, an uninhabited island off Auckland which was home to Mullet Bay, one of New Zealand’s five mullets.…

TROTMH 1: Tipping

This is the first in a series of extracts from my new book The Return of the Mullet Hunter, which I am posting over the the course of this week. This first extract is from my trip to Canada, the second country I visited in the book. In amongst the mullet hunting, I was able…

Kelkaj tagoj en Esperantujo

The following is a blog post about this year’s Scottish Esperanto Congress, which I attended last month. In it, I mainly write about what happened at the congress and my slow improvement in the language. Have a wee read and feel free to comment about how much you understand of it! Ŝajnas ke kiam oni…

Wild camping at Loch Ericht

This year will see at least four camping expeditions, and the past weekend will probably be the toughest-going as it will be the only actual wild camping, where we were in the middle of nowhere with no facilities. Trowel on standby… A group of us spent two nights wild camping by Allt Na Bealach Dubh…

Shenavall circuit

The year’s mission to get out more at weekends and make the most of the beautiful walking opportunities nearby, continues. As does the weather’s mission to be as miserable as possible. Thankfully Saturday’s walk around the Shenavall circuit, south of Ullapool, wasn’t a particularly rainy one. But the mist obscured our views quite considerably, even…

Return to Kintail

This weekend past saw a trip to Kintail to knock off a few hills, during which a group of us stayed at the NTS bunkhouse that we’d stayed at on one previous occasion two years ago. We had planned to spend Saturday doing the well-known Five Sisters of Kintail, a stunning ridge of peaks close…

The old railway at Invergarry

Much of Britain is littered with the often rarely visible remains of closed railways, many of them victims of the infamous Beeching Axe. Of course, Beeching can’t take all the blame for railway closures in this country, because many closed long before (and, in some cases, after) his efforts. One of those that closed beforehand…

An in tents experience

There’s been so much snow and cold weather lately, not least up in the hills, that I wasn’t particularly looking forward to the camping side of our weekend away on the west coast. And waking up most mornings with frost on the tent (see above) was a sign of how cold it was. As was…

The road to Scoraig

I hate the word “remote”. It is patronising and culturally biased, because inherent in the use of word “remote” is the rarely added follow-up “…from…”. In other words, somewhere is deemed remote only in the context of another place. And there lies the flaw: because if you swap starting points, it is the other place…