Tell us your story and we will send you a Spiced UP trio.
When in South America we definitely needed total proper relaxation and a good friend told me I had to go to Tayrona National Park. Tayrona is stunning, remote, hard to reach, miles upon miles of beaches, with very basic accommodation and coconut trees everywhere. It’s like a forest of coconut trees, no exaggeration.
There was only one restaurant, getting to it was a life or death journey based on the number of coconut trees en route. A constant coconut thud as they fell randomly here and there. Being Colombia, also the occasional stranger popping out of nowhere to see if you wanted to enjoy any true Colombian produce en route. Seriously? Staying away from falling coconuts was already tricky enough.
It was a less than relaxing two nights, getting abruptly woken up by loud thuds throughout the night with coconuts falling nearby which was already alarming enough. On our second night one or two fell on the very thin corrugated iron roof over our heads.
Luckily my then boyfriend and I survived without injury and are now married with three of our own little coconuts. I really hope one day they will be able to visit, it looks as though they have done a great job of protecting this amazing place and I would definitely recommend the sleep-on-the-beach hammock option to them, just making sure they give the supporting trees a good shake first…or maybe not.
Escaping reality after university I headed to Harare instead of London. A fantastic experience for which I will always be grateful to Roger and Anne Whittall. A great year looking after safari clients in this fantastic country, a lot of driving between Harare Airport and Humani Ranch which was home. 130,000 acres, rare sightings of wild dog, looking after an orphan cheetah, punctures, broken vehicles, daily feeding of the young buffalo and avoiding the elephants.
Having passed my 12 month probation I was then to establish a fishing camp for Roger on the beautiful coast of Mozambique. I was blissfully (?) unaware the impact of the lengthy civil war had done to the country. Mozambique was magical but properly damaged. Destroyed infrastructure, beautifully fertile soil, too little tarmac, no tourism, too many mines and AK47s, stunning scenery, no wildlife, shocking roads, limited agriculture, crippling inflation. The bright blue clear waters off Vilanculos were the prize, a dangerous 12 hour drive the price to get there.
After driving 11 hours from Humani you turned off the main ‘road’ and headed east to the coast. The very best view was the coconut and casuarina trees getting closer and closer, beyond which were the crystal clear blue waters and our camp. These are my favourite coconut trees.
Five years ago I took the family to Mauritius. A really spoiling holiday in Victoria Beachcomber resort. It had been a draining few years and we all needed some sun and relaxation. Mauritius did not disappoint in any way. We ventured out once to see more of the island, really beautiful places but so many 90 degree bends on the road as we twisted left and right around small farm holdings. Not relaxing to be honest!
Everything we did over the 10 days was under the most magnificent coconut trees. I choose Mauritius desperately hoping to get close to dolphins and tick that off my bucket list. One of the boat skippers promised he would show us these magnificent mammals. After a few disappointing trips we gave up hope and each day headed to the cover of the magnificent coconut trees to drink, eat, chill, read, chat and dry off after awesome snorkelling.
On our last day when the skipper found us (under the coconut trees) and bundled us into his boat. Just past the reef we found a couple of beautiful dolphins, which we were lucky enough to swim alongside, as others joined. Oscar looked to take some underwater pictures and below us were hundreds swimming in a shoal. So close, so magical. We bobbed around in the water, watching the dolphins, so close, with my favourite coconut trees in the background. There is a little part of me that hopes some of our coconut oil will be Mauritian.