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Preview: A Regular Travel Digest from Mark Moxon

A Regular Travel Digest from Mark Moxon

A selection of travel tales by Mark Moxon.

Published: Wed, 23 Aug 2017 07:05:02 GMT

Copyright: Copyright 2017 Mark Moxon

Australia: MacDonnell Ranges (Western)

Tue, 22 Aug 2017 00:00:00 GMT

Written on 22 August 1996, 21 years ago. The following morning I got up, thawed out under a hot shower, and set off for the Western Macdonnell Ranges National Park. Alice Springs is situated in the middle of a range of mountains – the Macdonnell Ranges – that extend to the east and west, and along this range are various gorges and waterholes that make for a pleasant day's drive, especially as the tourist-conscious Territory government has sealed the roads to both sides of the range. Heading west I visited...

Jubilee Line: Dollis Hill to Green Park

Tue, 22 Aug 2017 00:00:00 GMT

Written on 22 August 2008, 9 years ago. It's a bit of a happy coincidence that most of the Beatles-related locations I've managed to track down for my tubewalk appear on the same day's walk – this one. I've been a fan of the Beatles ever since my parents introduced me to the 'Red' album (their 1962-1966 hits) when I was a kid; however, they never played anything later than Revolver, so imagine my excitement when I discovered the 'Blue' album (their 1967-1970 hits) as a teenager, which soon led to a fascination with the...

Jubilee Line: Stanmore to Dollis Hill

Mon, 21 Aug 2017 00:00:00 GMT

Written on 21 August 2008, 9 years ago. I was hoping that this, the last line on my tubewalk, would start with a bang rather than a whimper, but I've just got back from ten of the most tedious miles I've had to endure so far on this walk, and the only silver lining I can think of is that I'll never have to walk through this part of London again. I suppose there could be an element of fatigue creeping in after so many tube lines, and I'm certainly looking forward to finishing next week, because the novelty of walking through the...

Australia: Townsville

Sun, 20 Aug 2017 00:00:00 GMT

Written on 20 August 1997, 20 years ago. My next stop after two days' recuperating in Cardwell was Townsville. Townsville's main claim to fame on the travelling circuit is its ferry port, which serves nearby Magnetic Island, and most visitors head straight through with little more than a stop to stock up on sun tan lotion and books for the beach. Having just walked across another island, I thought I'd stay in town for a while before heading for the ferry. This turned out to be a bad move, not because there's anything terribly wrong...

Australia: Alice Springs

Sun, 20 Aug 2017 00:00:00 GMT

Written on 20 August 1996, 21 years ago. Oh take me back up north, where you can wear shorts and thongs and the T-shirt is optional. The Red Centre is freezing – or, at least, it's freezing when it's not bloody hot. It's funny how you dream of cold mornings when you're stuck in the muggy sweat shop they call Darwin, but it's a different matter when you wake up and, no, you can't feel your feet, your fingers just can't get the hang of fumbling the radio on, and your breath is frosting in the early morning air (it gets to...

Australia: Daly Waters

Sun, 20 Aug 2017 00:00:00 GMT

Written on 20 August 1996, 21 years ago. After a couple of days relaxing in the bush, I set off from Elsey to take a big chunk out of the journey south. The road stretches for an awfully long way with very little to see on the way – Darwin to Adelaide by road is 3019km, or about 30 hours of driving – and the only way to get it done is to devote entire days to driving. So to break up the first day back on the highway, I made two little stops, one at Daly Waters, and one at Tennant Creek. Daly Waters is a little...

Victoria Line: King's Cross St Pancras to Walthamstow Central

Sun, 20 Aug 2017 00:00:00 GMT

Written on 20 August 2008, 9 years ago. Wow, the relief is palpable. Last night I was on tenterhooks, poring over the free papers and checking the news on the red button, because yet again Bob Crow and his pals at the RMT were threatening a strike, probably over the number of biscuits they get on their tea break, the colour of the socks that station janitors have to wear, or one of the other rent-a-reason justifications they keep coming up with. This was going to be a 72-hour strike, staring at midday today and lasting into the...

Australia: Hinchinbrook Island

Sat, 19 Aug 2017 00:00:00 GMT

Written on 19 August 1997, 20 years ago. Quite why I got drunk on the Tuesday night, I don't know; the excuse was something about it being my last night in Cairns, and the next thing you know... but whatever the justification, Wednesday morning was a struggle, boarding the 8.45am coach while still quite drunk. I slowly surfaced throughout the day, but there was one good thing: I was out of Cairns, camping again, and looking forward to some good walking. Cardwell was the little town I stopped in, which is famous for neighbouring...

Victoria Line: Brixton to King's Cross St Pancras

Sat, 19 Aug 2017 00:00:00 GMT

Written on 19 August 2008, 9 years ago. It's a bit like walking on eggshells round here at the moment. Every night I check out the weather forecast, wondering whether I'm going to get a soaking on tomorrow's walk, and every night the forecast is for scattered showers, sometimes heavy, sometimes not. And so I get up in the morning and frown out of the window, angry at yet more pathetic August weather and expecting the worst. But does it rain? Well, no, not really. Yesterday's forecast was for scattered heavy showers, and it rained...

Australia: Travelling Possessions

Fri, 18 Aug 2017 00:00:00 GMT

Written on 18 August 1996, 21 years ago. One thing I'd hoped to lose by travelling on a tight budget was my possessiveness – from the man with a mobile phone to the man in a mobile home, that sort of thing – but I didn't really want to end up losing my possessions themselves. Within the space of four days both my sleeping bag and my camera – the two most expensive things I own, after my little computer – were no more, one to theft and one to a swimming hole in Litchfield National Park. What a...

Piccadilly Line: Uxbridge to Acton Town

Fri, 18 Aug 2017 00:00:00 GMT

Written on 18 August 2008, 9 years ago. So, do you want the good news or the bad new first? What, the good news? OK, here goes... The good news is that I've finished the Piccadilly line, the second longest line after the Central line, and I've only got two more to go, the relatively short Victoria line and the rather longer Jubilee line. The bad news is that I woke up this morning in a terrible mood, and the last thing I wanted to do was go walking. I snoozed the alarm twice before finally swinging myself out of bed, and after...

Australia: Elsey

Thu, 17 Aug 2017 00:00:00 GMT

Written on 17 August 1996, 21 years ago. After a night in Katherine, I waved goodbye to Ted and Gill and hit the road south, but I didn't get very far; just over 100km south of Katherine I turned off the highway to Elsey National Park, home to the Mataranka Homestead and some thermal springs, and I instantly fell in love with the place. Elsey is the setting for the famous Australian novel We of the Never Never – well, when I say famous, it is in terms of Australian literature – and it's now a pretty little...

Piccadilly Line: Bounds Green to Cockfosters

Thu, 17 Aug 2017 00:00:00 GMT

Written on 17 August 2008, 9 years ago. I love reaching the end of the line: it's such a satisfying feeling taking the Tube back through all those stations you've walked through, flying through days of walking in a matter of minutes. But the end of the line is often worth celebrating for the quality of the walking too, as some of the most enjoyable rambling can be found out in zones 5 and 6. Today not only did I reach the eastern end of the main Piccadilly line, but I walked through some lovely parks, explored some incredibly leafy...

Piccadilly Line: King's Cross St Pancras to Bounds Green

Tue, 15 Aug 2017 00:00:00 GMT

Written on 15 August 2008, 9 years ago. If today's walk had a theme, it was the invasion of privacy. As the sun shone down on a beautiful summer's day, I was stopped by the police and issued my second stop and search form, I was accosted by a grumpy local in Wood Green who wanted to know why I was photographing the suburbs, and to end the day with a dose of irony, I spotted the Google Street View car in Bounds Green and fired off a few photographs of him, just to redress the balance. As for the walk itself, this is an interesting...

Australia: Litchfield

Mon, 14 Aug 2017 00:00:00 GMT

Written on 14 August 1996, 21 years ago. After drinking Darwin dry, I struck west for Litchfield National Park, some 150km from the state capital. A lot of people rate Litchfield more highly than Kakadu, and I wasn't disappointed; what a lovely place. It's lusciously green, the rivers and waterfalls are fast-flowing and you can swim in them, the mozzies aren't that bad, and, as with Kakadu, the main roads are all bitumen (there are dirt tracks, but they're all 4WD-only). My first stop was at the Magnetic Anthills that the area is...

Piccadilly Line: Hammersmith to King's Cross St Pancras

Mon, 14 Aug 2017 00:00:00 GMT

Written on 14 August 2008, 9 years ago. I wasn't expecting much from today, as last night the BBC weather site was showing a dark cloud and two rain drops, with the sun vainly trying to poke out from behind. In the event it was a gloriously sunny day, and the rain only kicked in as I reached St George's Gardens, just a few minutes from King's Cross... for which the technical term is, I believe, a result. And what a difference the sun made. I've walked across the centre of London quite a few times in the last two-and-a-half months,...

Australia: Cairns

Sun, 13 Aug 2017 00:00:00 GMT

Written on 13 August 1997, 20 years ago. I shan't dwell on the bus journey from Brisbane to Cairns; it was pretty long and tedious, but at least I managed to get some sleep. Coaches are designed to stop light sleepers like me from getting any shut-eye, with their hissing pneumatic brakes, stops every three hours or so that jolt you wide awake, seats that recline only as far as is uncomfortable for both yourself and the person behind you, movies that don't even tax the mentality of test-tube babies, leg room that makes a coffin look...

Piccadilly Line: Boston Manor to Hammersmith

Sun, 13 Aug 2017 00:00:00 GMT

Written on 13 August 2008, 9 years ago. The weather can make or break a walk, and in this case it completely beat the crap out of it. The photographs don't do it justice, as they don't show the fierce gusts that blew rain into my eyes in Gunnersbury Park, and took my umbrella and smashed it into little pieces along the river in Hammersmith. On a nice day, this would be a very enjoyable walk, but August is proving to be a pathetic month for weather, and I'm afraid this section joins a small but growing list of tubewalks that the...

Australia: Darwin

Sat, 12 Aug 2017 00:00:00 GMT

Written on 12 August 1996, 21 years ago. Darwin's a strange place. Back on Christmas Day in 1974 the entire town was flattened by Cyclone Tracy, so everything's brand new, there are very few old buildings (and by 'old' I mean any dating from the town's inception in 1869), and it's a very cosmopolitan city, if you can call a place with only 70,000 inhabitants a city. I spent most of my four days in Darwin doing very little, enjoying the lack of mosquitoes after Kakadu, and doing things like picking up my post, finally tracking down...