Welcome to our first, slightly belated, update of the decade.

The end of the teens came and went in a flash with family visits from Australia, the obligatory Christmas traditions and as always, much to do on the blog.

Unusually for us, we spent an extended part of last year based in the UK which was a great opportunity to be tourists in our own country.

We took a couple of trips down to the Jurassic Coast in Dorset to enjoy some crisp winter walking followed by quaint English pubs. It’s an absolutely beautiful part of the country and we couldn’t believe we were discovering it for the first time.

A little spot we rediscovered was London. With Paul’s sister here for Christmas, it was great to get out and enjoy some of the tourist highlights in our hometown. This was followed by Christmas in the countryside which provided the idyllic scenes we captured for a takeover on Lonely Planet’s Instagram account.

VISIT FLANDERS CAMPAIGN


Towards the end of last year, we did a campaign for Visit Flanders to promote some of the slightly less-visited parts of the region. We started in the beautiful university town of Leuven (famous for being the home of Stella Artois), then discovered the cool and edgy Mechelen, before finishing up in artsy Antwerp.

If you’re looking for an easy weekender from London or something different on your next trip to Europe, we highly recommend this part of Belgium. With interesting history, quality food and a vibrant art scene, it’s a great alternative to dealing with hordes of tourists in some of the more popular European destinations.

UNDERVISITED DESTINATIONS IN SOUTH AFRICA


With winter dragging on just a little too much, we took a sun-drenched escape in South Africa. While we’ve been a few times – exploring picturesque Cape Town and the wildlife mecca of Kruger – this time we went off the beaten track a little to KwaZulu Natal.

We started at Durban and travelled up the north coast through the wetlands of St Lucia to Kosi Bay near the Mozambique border. It’s a beautiful part of the country where a tropical forest grows on sand dunes along stunning untouched beaches. We tracked turtles on the beach at 2 am, went snorkelling among mangroves, had a close encounter with hippos and saw around 30 of the once-endangered white rhino.

But the highlight for us was the Drakensberg Mountains – one of those must-see destinations that many people skip. Over 8 days of hiking, we experienced breath-taking scenery, terrifying chain ladders, and some of the most challenging driving we’ve ever attempted.

If like us, you love hiking, then this area might be for you. It boasts the second highest falls in the world, an amphitheatre of rock rising 1300m almost vertically, and perfectly positioned accommodation with staggering views.

All our updates are coming out on Instagram now, but stay tuned for our guides on the blog / SOUTH AFRICA

WHAT'S HAPPENING ON THE BLOG?


We’re almost finished finalising our Morocco content after 3 weeks exploring the high Atlas Mountains on our visit last year.

If you want a completely different culture that’s only a short flight from many European cities, then Morocco is a great choice. It’s much easier and safer than many think, the people are supremely friendly and it’s the ideal destination for a good old fashion road trip.

Our itinerary includes all the best bits of this excellent road trip destination.

Here are some more recent articles you might enjoy:


WHERE NEXT?


We’re heads down for the next month or so finalising our new South Africa content, so keep an eye out for some great hiking stories, wildlife encounters and interesting scenery.

In March, we’re back in Spain to bring an early end to winter, indulge in sunset cervezas and tapas bars on cobbled lanes while we develop more content about one of our favourite countries in Europe.

After that we’re in Japan for most of April to rediscover a South-East Asian destination we only scratched the surface of a few years ago. With our itinerary fairly unplanned we would love to hear any suggestions you’ve got of things we shouldn’t miss. Just add them in the comments section below and we will endeavour to include them on our trip.

Cheers,
Mark & Paul.