Sunday, 15 May 2011

Spark your Travelling Dream

Whilst diving in Borneo earlier this year, I met Candelaria and Herman Zapp. An Argentinian couple, who after growing up together, decided to follow their dream and jumped in to their 1920s wooden wheeled car in search of adventure. After 11 years on the road, having visited over 30 countries (and still counting) and four children later, it seems nothing is going to dampen their wanderlust.

All their travelling tales were so fascinating; you really can't beat finding serendipity on the road. Here's to many more adventures.

For more information on the Zapp family and their trip, visit

Saturday, 7 May 2011

Tufu dancing on Ilha de Moçambique

The former capital of the country, Mozambique Island (or as known in Portuguese - Ilha de Mocambique) is so spectacular that it was declared a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1991. It's an intriguing and enchanting anomaly.

Settled by the Portuguese and the Arabs from the 16th century as a trading port from where to export gold, ivory and slaves, the island nowadays has a very distinct character where its colonial influences are evident throughout. The fortifications on the island are a great example of an architecture in which local traditions and Portuguese and Arab influences are interwoven. Indeed, the tiny Chapel of Nossa Senhora de Baluarte is considered to be the oldest European building in the southern hemisphere.

Extraordinarily nothing has changed in the last 500 years. Whilst meandering through the sleepy cobbled streets, it feels like time has frozen. The narrow alleyways echo with the sounds of playing children and squawking chickens, whilst fishermen sit on the sand repairing their long, brightly coloured nets

Whilst visiting Ilha last year as a guest of the Mozambique High Commission, I had the pleasure of watching a group of ladies from the Estrela Vermella neighbourhood perform the traditional Tufu dance. Influenced by the Arabic heritage, this celebratory dance is now performed by six different groups on the island and is truly spectacular to watch.