Bel Woodhouse / / Australia

June 20, 2020

As a tarantula the size of your hand winds its way up your arm, it's not the size that makes you uneasy, it's the tingles from each one of eight feet landing that makes your skin prickle. 

I met this beauty in Tikal – the heart of the Mayan empire – in the jungles of northern Guatemala. 

Wandering the winding walkways through sub-tropical jungle there is an abundance of wildlife. Vibrant and shimmering emerald, bronze and azure blue feathered Ocellated Turkeys walk alongside you. Things scurry off into the undergrowth as you come near, exotic birds call from the canopy and if you're not careful a cheeky spider monkey may throw poo at you. It's every nature lovers dream. Well, maybe not the poo throwing. 

Being a nature lover every moment was bliss. Immersed in the jungle I felt my lungs expand breathing in the clean crisp air as my heart eased. Yes, every moment, even the poo throwing incident couldn't squash my joy. But when we came into a clearing and...

August 21, 2019

I don't usually post my articles but this Mexican Organic Chef's Table was unlike any other I have ever experienced. 

A personalised menu, 4 courses designed just for you to your taste showcasing the flavours you love and leaving out those  you don't. It was a truly unique dining experience I hope all of you, my little Travel Baggers get so experience one day for  yourselves.

Until then check this out. Drool, be jealous and love every description of my amazing Mexican Organic Chef's Table catering to my vegetarian taste buds that rocked them out of this world. 

Just click on the link  below and be transported into foodie heaven. Happy travels my darling little travel baggers.

Mexican Chef's Table Inside A Museum With a Caribbean Twist

May 18, 2019

Alright I admit it, for me, being the little peace loving vegetarian I am, this is an easy question to answer. No thank you. 

But you know I love the weird. Discovering superstitions, unusual traditions and strange foods eaten locally around the globe. Well I have a great story for you today my darling little travel baggers.

A tale from México, of coloured bright orange and purple bugs Mexican grandmothers call 'the meat we eat'. They love chowing down on these roasted beauties and consider them a delicacy looking forward to the time of year when they are found in abundance on Mesquite trees. 

Found by accident when I almost face planted into a bunch of these baby bugs in the tree overhanging the stairs, I should tell you that they really aren't that small. About an inch long, thank god they were so brightly coloured or they'd be all over my face. So, imagine my surprise when I actually took a step back and looked at these gorgeous bugs....

March 23, 2019

Giant sea serpents, local legends and myths, an interesting and unique look at Bali's most photographed temple, perched on an ocean rock outcrop, Tanah Lot.

February 22, 2019

Oh what a rush, what a complete life altering experience. Have you ever felt an adrenaline surge so big your fingertips tingled? 

I did. And still get goosebumps to this day just thinking about it... in a good way. Imagine this...

In the complete darkness, pitch black can't-see-your-hand-in-front-of -your-face I stood. In an underground cave. In Mexico. Deep within the earth where things go bump in the night. Then a voice whispered - jump. 

Would you have leapt into the abyss? Not knowing what was there, how long the drop was and what would greet you? Talk about leap of faith. And it was exhilarating. Seconds seemed like hours until the cold black water closed over me. Then BAM, flood lights lit the cavern. Coming up for air, in what can only be described as a life altering moment, descending into the darkness and re-emerging into the light, the deep cobalt blue of the water perfectly balanced the white, creams and honeys of the pristine cave. Oh, what a spectacular sight. Thi...

February 2, 2019

I dreamt of dragons last night, and upon awakening this morning hellhounds and leprechauns, vampires and witches, were my first thoughts. Automatically my mind travelled to Europe, it's many superstitions and protectors against evil, and to how they provided me with a feeling of safety as I explored it's countries.

They are everywhere, secretly watching over travellers, wanderers, locals and gypsies alike.

To this day, legends and myths are passed down, instilling a healthy superstition in its inhabitants surviving the ages. Stories told around hearth fires in the harshest winters to entertain the children that have believed in them since medieval times, are still felt as an undercurrent to the atmosphere. Or perhaps it was just my inner child that it resonated with as I passed through the towns and cites, countryside and wild places making those legends a little more believable.  

Strolling the streets yielded glorious surprises as watchers, protec...

January 20, 2019

Guess what my darling little Travel Baggers?... I'm a jeweller. Well I was for a day anyway. If you are like me and love gems, unique experiences and falling totally love-at-first-sight in love with a piece, then you'll understand how making your own masterpiece is one of the most gratifying experiences in the world. The blood, sweat and tears are worth it! Okay that's a fib, it was more like... laughing with friends over freshly made Mayan hot chocolate from hand ground cacao beans in between bouts of grinding and polishing. 

But when it's finished ... I swear I looked like one of those cartoons, you know the ones, where my eyes stood out on stalks with those little love hearts like the emoji. Yes, that was me making my jade pendant. See, Guatemala is famous for its Jade or haa-dee as they pronounce it, and the process is quite a spiritual one. 

First, you select stone, it can be your favourite colour or a stone that 'speaks to you' when you...

December 7, 2018

I have a confession to make my darling little Travel Baggers. I love doors and doorways and yes I know, a lot of people do because they say a doorway symbolises a journey, or, a porthole to another world, or travel etc. So, is it any wonder that I seem to have developed a bit of an obsession for doors. But not just any doors. Green doors. Weird right.

It all started one day when I innocently turned a corner. Turning a corner in the historic Mehrangarh Fort in Ragasthan India, something stopped me in my tracks and an obsession was born. 

This green door.

The most glorious doorway I had ever seen stood before me and finally a realisation hit, something that never in a million years I would ever have thought popped into my head... architecture can be beautiful. 

People say that right? But never in my wildest dreams did I imagine that one day I would be one of those people. The simple act of turning a corner would be a defining moment of my lif...

December 1, 2018

If you picked up the most beautiful silk you'd ever seen, would you set fire to it if the shop owner told you to? 

Unable to believe my ears, my vision filled with beauty, the realisation hit of what I had just heard. Managing to squeak out a little 'excuse me?'.  Breathlessly I waited for his reply. 

Looking into my face with my eyes as wide as saucers in shock, he simply smiled and handed me a lighter.

'Not all of it.. just a thread.' 

Okay, I started to breathe again and listened as he shared an old silk merchants trick. How to tell an authentic silk from an imposter made of any other material. 

Yes, that's right, you set fire to it. You gently pull out one thread from the bottom and set it alight. As any good silk merchant will tell you, they all have a lighter on hand.

Looking down into my lap, my feet covered in golds and silvers, turquoise, rose and ruby silks I still couldn't believe what he was saying.

A gold and rose silk shimmered down softly landing on me as he threw it on my...

November 5, 2018

Yes I know, it's a little bit of a naughty topic but I'm taking you on a saucy stroll through the Khajuraho temples in Madhya Pradesh, Central India. Commonly called The Karma Sutra Temples, they're a celebration of sex, sensual pleasure and seduction. 

*So, fair warning, if this topic makes you uncomfortable - then please don't read it on the train where people may look over your shoulder and make you blush.*

These UNESCO world heritage listed magnificently carved temples depict all manner of sexual positions, preferences and partners. Men and women, men and multiple women and even men with their horses (eeeek) are all shown.

Let's not forget the lovely ladies. Shown as the tantalising temptresses, the big breasted dancing girls, women in every mood, stage of life and symbolisation of mother, lover, seductress, temptress and more line the temples. The stuff of fantasies and legend.

These temples have their own stories to tell. Tales of lust, erotica, wis...

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© 2015 by Belinda Woodhouse

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