5 watery adventures in 5 different countries

Messing about in boats — there’s nothing quite like it. I first got a taste for it when I was seven years old on Loch Lochy near Inverness. My father stationed me at the helm of the little motorised dinghy we’d hired and off we went, zig-zagging erratically across the water. My ashen-faced little brother nervously gripped the sides, while I struggled to keep control. My parents thought the whole thing was hilarious. I am the first to admit that when it comes to propelling and navigating a craft through water, I am always more enthusiastic than I am skilful.…

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Gili Islands mini guide

There are few places in the world where you can sunbathe on white sand beaches while admiring volcanoes in the distance; where you can snorkel with turtles right off the beach and yet pay practically nothing for your accommodation. Like the handful of other destinations that fit that description, the Gili Islands are pretty special — which is no doubt why so many of you end up arriving at An Unfamiliar Sky looking for scraps of information about them. I went to the Gili Islands as part of a six-week trip around Indonesia in 2010 and along with my time in…

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7 Super Shots

This post has been inspired by two things: firstly I am taking part in HostelBookers 7 Super Shots, the challenge from the HostelBookers blog to post seven travel photos I’ve taken that fit into various categories. Secondly, the Ansel Adams exhibition at London’s Maritime Museum in Greenwich, which I visited last weekend. It not only allowed me to check out some of my favourite landscape shots of all time up close, but encouraged me to work harder on improving my own photography skills. It’s closing in just over a week, so get down there fast if you want to catch it…

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5 beautiful, remote spots where time stands still (and you can too)

When all the things that need saying have been said, and all the things that need doing have been done, where can you go to be still and quietly enjoy the lightness of just being? Here are five rustic, remote spots where you can hide away from life as you know it, and rest your eyes upon the world’s prettiest parts with nothing to distract your gaze. The Sunset Gecko, Gili Meno, Indonesia How do you like your sea? I like mine soupy and full of turtles and all different shades of turquoise. My relief on the greyest of British…

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