WHAT A PEARLER
Cable Beach in Broome, Western Australia, stretches for kilometres with golden sands and warm seas. On our recent trip we sat one evening eating fish and chips at cafe Zanders on the beachfront watching the spectacular vision of a huge, red sun sinking slowly below the horizon.
The cafe has a live “Broome cam” on the rooftop where you can stand and call family, who can see you enjoying yourselves. And during the day we swam in the clean warm seas, safe in the dry season with no stingers, while backpackers, campers and others basked in the sunshine.
We stayed at Beaches of Broome, an upmarket backpackers on what was a relaxing holiday on our own shores with a tropical, multicultural backdrop of pearling days gone by.
Alison Watts, Haywards Bay, NSW
LIFE ON THE VEG
In Switzerland, where the prices often rival mountains for stratospheric impact, we discovered a way to ease the pain of forking out for the usual carb-laden sausages, dumplings and pasta.
If you happen to be in Basel or Zurich and find yourself hankering after crisp, steamed vegetables and tasty salads then head to Tibits vegetarian restaurants.
Catering to vegetarians, vegans and vegie-starved others the range is extensive, the presentation delightful and the food delicious. Better still, each meal comes with a free bread roll, free water and you can buy beer and wine by the glass or carafe at reasonable prices.
Each plate is loaded up by you at the self-serve buffet then weighed and priced accordingly by friendly counter staff irrespective of what you have chosen. Many of the dishes change daily so there is always something new to try, while old favourites reappear regularly.
The restaurants are light and airy, decorated with flair, staff are friendly and keen to assist customers to create and pay for their meal. We got our five daily serves of vegies, didn’t miss the meat and stabilised the budget for Switzerland all at once.
What a find!
Lee Hedberg, Orange, NSW
One of my favourite stopover cities on the way to Europe is Muscat, Oman. To walk along the Corniche, particularly after dark, and browse through Mutrah Souq is the closest I have ever come to an Arabian Nights experience.
Kirsten Walla, Vaucluse, NSW
I am the expat Australian Helen Rushford mentions in her letter about Cuba (Tip-o-meter, September 25), which highlights the pitfalls that can befall people through no fault of their own.
I was staying in my house in Havana opposite where Helen stayed with her husband when they had their problems, and I was able to help out. I have spent over two years in Cuba in total, spread over 20 visits and 15 years, and I know that in Cuba (and probably most other places) it pays to have a plan B, especially as regards money.
Never take anything someone in a bank tells you for granted, because in most cases they don’t know themselves. Get it in writing, and confirm it again with someone in authority.
I used to use a St George Visa debit card for years in Cuban ATMs until suddenly a couple of years ago it was no longer accepted. Luckily I had other access to cash there. I got a NAB card after assurances from the bank that it would work, and it did, until 2015, when I tried to withdraw some money for Helen.
Apparently now NAB has some connection with a US bank, so it no longer works. CBA still works, but they don’t have Visa debit cards. So have a Plan B, and in Cuba, also a Plan C and D.
Alex Danilov, Naremburn, NSW
For me, travel anticipation is almost as good as the real thing. So, when planning my recent trip to South America, I began building the pre-travel excitement with online Skype lessons from Spanish & Beyond. And because we were landing in Santiago, I read Isabel Allende’s book My Invented Country – it is history, magic and memoir rolled into one.
I also watched YouTube trailers for The Violin Teacher and Neruda, and the Spanish film Truman. I knew I was going to Buenos Aires and would be visiting La Recoleta cemetery and the tomb of Eva Peron, so I revisited Don’t Cry for me Argentina. Pre-travel prep makes for an even more wonderful holiday.
Judith Salmon, Haberfield, NSW
What’s your advice for beating stress when passing through busy airports around the world?