We’ve only been in Havana for a few days but already this bruised and battered city is rapidly growing on us. Wearing its scars on the outside, Havana takes its charm from years of neglect. With little investment throughout the communist years, the city is living off its colonial architecture.

But tucked behind the ruins and street art, hipster cafes and colonial bars keep tourists and locals happy with free flowing rum and some of the best live music you’ll encounter anywhere.

Yesterday we tried our first cigar. We failed to replicate a cool guerrilla propaganda poster and produced instead a picture called ‘red face coughing’.

This morning, we left Havana via a bright yellow vintage car and arrived in Las Tarazzas, a UNESCO listed biosphere reserve that’s reclaimed the native jungle from the damage caused by coffee plantations. The walks, birdlife and wild swimming here are excellent.


Early in the new year, Paul went to Paris for a few days with his family who were visiting from Melbourne. Get more than one Aussie together and conversation quickly turns to coffee. The result is an Aussie’s guide to the best of the third wave coffee development that’s sweeping Paris.

After a 10 year hiatus, we also went back to Lisbon in January. The delights of Lisbon rest firmly in atmospheric tapas bars, live music wafting through narrow lanes and the world’s most coveted pastries. A slow-paced week enabled us to pick all the best big sights and a few lesser-known gems for our 3 day Lisbon itinerary which will be out shortly.


We’ve finalised our Mexico content over the last month and captured some of the highs and lows of our month exploring the country on 4 wheels. Over the next month we have some Lisbon content coming out, plus our compete Namibia itinerary.

Here are some highlights from the blog over the last month.

Mexico road trip – Impressions & advice from a challenging journey

Are you thinking of a Mexico road trip? Here are our impressions from a month on the road in this incredibly varied but challenging country.

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Palenque ruins in Mexico through the early morning sunrise

Discover Mesoamerica through these Aztec & Mayan ruins in Mexico

The once-grand cities of Mesoamerica are now overtaken by the jungle. Here are the best Aztec and Mayan ruins in Mexico.

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2-week Turkey Itinerary

Top 10 experiences not to be missed in Turkey

From magnificent ancient ruins, the fascinating history of Istanbul, and the whimsical landscapes of Cappadocia; here are our top things to do in Turkey.

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For the next few weeks we will be seeing more of Cuba from the comfort of their local buses. It already feels like a fascinating place to visit – a country that runs on a different process to most others. Yet things still work, just about.

No doubt there will be both joy and frustration to come.


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Mark & Paul.