A Roller-Coaster Ride on San Francisco’s Cable Cars

One of the iconic images of San Francisco is of cable cars hurtling down steep hillsides. So, like any first time visitor to the city, I was keen to try it for myself. San Francisco's Cable Cars: The Only Way to Travel Apart from being a must-do experience for...

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A Walk up San Francisco’s Telegraph Hill

San Francisco is good for developing the leg muscles. We had already walked up Powell Street (long and steep) and back down the hill past Chinatown and towards Levi’s Square. Now we were at the bottom of Telegraph Hill, looking up at an endless flight of wooden...

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Exploring San Francisco’s Chinatown

I always like to wander through the Chinatown area of large cities, enjoying the vibrancy, the bright colours and, of course, the food. So the Chinatown in San Francisco was not to be missed; this is the largest Chinatown outside of Asia and the oldest in the US....

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Learning Jungle Survival Skills in the Amazon

Just outside Manaus we went on a trip to learn some jungle survival skills. "Very useful to know," the guide told us. "In case you are in a plane crash and land in the jungle." As if to emphasise his point, a large black vulture circled above his head as he was...

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Order and disorder in Manaus

Dubbed the ‘Paris of the South’ during its fifteen minutes of fame in Brazil's rubber boom of the 19thcentury, Manaus has never really lived up to its reputation. I expected to find a glamorous city, or at least a certain amount of faded grandeur. However, it was not...

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Exploring Belem, Brazil

Walking out of the port of Belem is a bit like going to a loud and lively disco in the middle of the morning. There is music everywhere, not the insipid piped music we have got used to in the UK, but an insistent, vibrant beat that carries you along with it whether...

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Wildlife of the Amazon

Around 30% of the world’s animal and plant species can be found in the Amazon rainforest, including about 2,000 species of mammals and birds, and more than 2 million types of insects. So how much of the wildlife of the Amazon did I see on my recent visit? That’s right...

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