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Gilly Smith

Five Days in the Desert. Chapter two

Yesterday evening the mood changed as we headed off to the desert to watch the sun set over Erg Chebbe, the longest dune in the Sahara. It was still a party spirit as Jess and Vago, our intrepid fellow artists and ex pats from Fez climbed atop the land rover as it headed across the sands, the whoops and ululations mounting as everyone turbaned up for photos against the imposing…

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Five Days in the Desert. Chapter One

The Moroccan Sahara. It sounded impossibly romantic on a wet Sussex autumn afternoon as I packed my bags for a writer’s retreat earlier this week. I like the idea of not knowing quite what to expect from my travels, although packing for an early autumn mystery weekend in Florence which turned out to be in Berlin had put me on my guard as I hauled my dusty suitcase out off…

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Tangerine Nightmares

We’ve come a long way since Negombo’s genuine Ayuwoban wished us long life, through tales of corruption and jealousy to stories of survival and resilience, philanthropy and good old fashioned kindness after the war and the tsunami  transformed Sri Lanka’s fortunes in 2004. We’ve seen what tourism can do for a country like this, from cutting edge eco innovations in Jetwing hotels to the warmth of the Sri Lankan soul…

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There’s something about a holiday, particularly a far flung paradise island version that comes complete with rose tinted glasses. Those cheesecloth shirts and garish gems all seem such a bargain at the time, while the boom of the waves crashing against the shores of the Indian Ocean really does make you feel a million miles away from home. So it may be that Jetwing eco-holidays isn’t really a shining beacon…

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