utterly wonderful places

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There are some utterly wonderful places in the world. Places that astound your eyes, your ears, your nose and make you feel alive, excited and content to the extreme.  My travelling days of open exploration are probably over; perhaps on pause if I’m very lucky. I’m relieved I roamed the world as much as I needed to, at an age it meant the most to me. But I do hope more is to come.

Here’s my top five.

1. Santa Lucia Cloud Forest in Ecuador. A glorious hilltop co-operative with paths roaming through a hilly rain forest filled with amazing birds, like the violet-tailed sylph hummingbird and mountain toucans. The insect noises are to die for, and best of all, it’s too high for mosquitoes. I’d love to retire here, it reeks of paradise.

2. Paris. I’ve never had a less than wonderful experience in the capital of France. French people delight me. Their language is truly the coolest in the world and their often haughtily comic attitude is endless entertainment. The city is beautiful and sparkling and real, in spite of all the tourists. In over two decades of random visits I have never been disappointed.

3. Tikal, Guatamala. Stunning Mayan pyramids appearing randomly in the middle of a monkey filled jungle with weird birds hanging upside down making weird noises. The gods these pyramids was built for almost certainly exist.

4. Alice Springs, Australia. I love all red, rocky desert areas. This one is smack bang in the middle of this huge land mass, and has the added bonus of rock wallabies bouncing about and peeking out behind rocks. The spring desert flowers are stunning.

5. New York, USA. I didn’t have any desire to visit New York, imagining it to be over-celebrated and most probably dull. But I was surprised to find it’s every bit as impressive, vibrant and fascinating as its best reputation suggests. I wish I’d lived there for a few years in my 20s when I had the complete freedom of movement.

I’m itching for recommendations. What are your top five?

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