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The Chap Travels

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Bohemian Paris

I still find the Eurostar really rather wonderful. You get on a train at St. Pancras and alight some two hours later at Le Gare Du Nord into a different world, where the attitudes, tastes, smells, people and culture are as different from London as sand is to salt. Undeniably, it is quite an anomalous experience – one that usually only a plane journey can really prepare us for – stepping off a train into this alien environment that’s both Paris and, due to French colonisation, Gambian, Moroccan, Tunisian, Sudanese and Algerian. It’s in all respects downright foreign. I have… Keep Reading

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The Chap Travels/The Chap Travels

Puerto Vallarta, Mexico

From the eleventh floor balcony of a hotel overlooking the Pacific Ocean, the horizon flashing with lightning, brassy wisps of Mariachi music wafting up from somewhere through the heat of the night, was the sense that we were definitely in Mexico. It had taken nearly 20 hours to reach this moment of Mexican awareness, though our sense of time had been hurled out of the window on the journey; it was either tomorrow or yesterday in England, the confusion of jetlag and 6-hour time difference loosening the mind from the shackles of the clock. Puerto Vallarta is a sprawling series… Keep Reading

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The Chap Travels/The Chap Travels

Rajasthan, India

On a recent trip to Rajasthan, I discovered that not only does India possess its famous wealth of history and architecture, but it is also one of the most natural habitats for the travelling Chap. My journey took me first to Delhi, only nine hours away by plane but, as soon as you land, the noise, bustle, phantasmagorical arrays of spices, colourful fabrics and around 18 million people, all jostling for space, make it seem like another planet. I took a quick look around before heading out to the land of the kings, Rajasthan. It’s quite a drive to Rajasthan… Keep Reading

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The Chap Travels/The Chap Travels

Kentucky

Kentucky is regarded as the first of the Southern states, sitting south of the Ohio River on the eastern side of the United States. It is a green and pleasant land, literally. There are miles of gently rolling hills, clean air and plentiful amounts of fine pure mineral water. All these elements play a large part in the success of the state’s principal assets. This ‘porch of the south’, as it is known locally, has many things going for it, not least its hospitality. Everywhere I went in the state, whether it was the ‘metropolis’ of Louisville or the quaint… Keep Reading

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Quito, Ecuador

One of the fourteen countries that straddle the Equator, Ecuador took its name from that imaginary line and offers an engaging place for the traveller to explore with much historical interest, museums and art galleries but, more significantly, it’s the best place in the world to buy a Panama hat. I took a trip out to the far-flung continent of South America to find out what a chap really needs to know about the intoxicating capital of Quito. This is a country where avocados grow all year round and there are only two seasons: wet and dry, although it might… Keep Reading

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Miami, Florida

Miami greets the arriving driver with a glittering cluster of skyscrapers flanked by bright blue sea. As soon as the heart of the city has caught your attention, you’re in it, cruising through mid-town Miami with the buildings getting taller and taller and the sea coming nearer, like the opening scene of a disaster movie but with the only impending calamity being: where on earth will we park? Our first hotel was on an island across a bridge at the very tip of Downtown Miami, reached over a narrow two-lane bridge over the sea. The Mandarin Oriental dominates Brickell Key,… Keep Reading

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Miami Beach

As soon as you cross the narrow causeway to the large island that is Miami Beach, you depart from a world of hi-rise wealth, power and keep-fit fanatics to a world of wealth, power and sun worshippers. The tans on display are unlike any of the lobster-hued disasters you see in Southern Europe – a Miami Beach tan is sleek, smooth, healthy and perfect. Suntan lotion is squirted free from dispensers all over the beach provided by the Miami Medical Centre. To reach the beach itself, you dart off any side street on the main strip, where super-luxury hotels are… Keep Reading

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