Category Travel in the Middle East

Oman -why I fell in love with it

Oman… I wasn’t quite sure what to expect before arriving, not having done much research. Saw a few pictures, heard it was nice, that’s about it. And then I arrived and it all fell into place…

Syrian Refugees

Valuable lessons about giving charity

Recently I posted a picture on Facebook of an old Egyptian man sitting in his chair on a chilly winters day outside a pharmacy in the little Red Sea town of Dahab. Spread in front of him was a blanket, where he was trying to sell odd things – shoes, some clothes – to eke […]

The Sinai Trail – a 220km hiking odyssey across the desert

The Sinai Trail is a 220km epic walk accompanied by Bedouin guides through the mountains and desert of South Sinai

Hiking 200km through the desert: the Sinai Trail – part 1 – Anticipation

You know that feeling of needing a soul-stirring adventure? A little challenge to get your pulse up and give you that “alive feeling” again? That was me, stuck in my office a few months back. Bored and flicking through Facebook I found something that rang my bell: the opportunity to hike 200km through the Sinai […]

A fascination for the Sahara

Sahara is the Arabic word for desert.  Visit a desert or two, and you will find out that the desert is a magical, ever-changing landscape and not just a huge pile of sand:  huge golden dunes,  flat packed desert,  a moonscape scattered with strange rock formations or craggy and colourful mountains. If you care to spend a few days […]

It’s Christmas: still no room at the inn

It’s quite hard, I find,  to enjoy a cup of tea at someone’s house when you can hear gunshots being fired outside. It was late in the afternoon, and I was at Hashem el-Azzeh’s house in Hebron, Palestine. My friend, Sophie, and I had just spent an interesting and moving day walking around the settler-occupied neighbourhood […]

“Egypt must be at least 10,000 miles from New Zealand”

A client of mine (who was on a Venus Adventures women-only trip to Morocco with me) sent me an excerpt out of her travel diary from when she visited Egypt in the 80s. It is always fun to read old travel diaries – to see how the world has changed, how life has changed and […]

What ever happens to the bracelet girls?

“Fatima, when are you getting married?” I asked 14 year old Fatima. Fatima is one of the bracelet girls who plies her colourful wares to tourists laying stretched out on sunbeds, baking themselves red-raw under the hot Egyptian sun along the beachside promenade of Dahab. Not that I expected her to get married any time soon, it’s just […]

9 different reasons why I love to visit Muslim / Arab countries

In these days of rampant Islamophobia, a trip to an Arab country could do everyone a bit of good. Being amongst Muslims has certainly changed me, and understanding other cultures, not judging them, is key, I believe, to  peace. Travelling either as a lone female or with a group of women in the Muslim world, […]

Desert Days – spending time with nomads

Recently I had the privilege of spending a couple of days in the Sinai desert with a nomadic family. They are not quite as “nomadic” as they used to be, as modernity and necessity has crept into their lives, forcing them to adapt in different ways. Whereas children used to learn survival in the desert (how […]