A hike in the desert: Mount Masada at dawn

As our little group huffed and puffed up the baking mountainside in the semi darkness of pre-dawn, I wondered what I was actually paying for here? Having been whipped into a frenzy of excitement by the hostel guy about this hike and then impulsively spending my entire weeks budget on it, I started to get the feeling that I wasn't going to get what I paid for. 'It's awesome' he promised, 'Mount Masada at sunrise is like nothing you've ever seen before ... it'll literally blow your mind all over the floor!' Well, then good sir ... where do I sign?! I went to my mattress on the roof that night (probably quite stoned, not gonna lie ... it was the 90's and I was very liberal, peeps!) in a haze of

Remembering Dunc; thanks for the good times, love

Duncan was born with a rare condition. His kidneys were underdeveloped and didn't grow as he did. This meant that by the time he was 19, he was terminally ill. His tiny kidneys couldn't process the toxins in his grown mans body and were failing on a chronic scale. He lost an incredible amount of weight, being unable to eat or drink anything without throwing up, he could barely stand and his skin was like paper. When he walked into the A&E department, it was unanimously agreed that he should already be dead ... let alone standing and admitting himself to hospital. What followed were long, gruelling years of tests, dialysis 3 times a week and waiting ... he was on the transplant list but as an

West is best; waking up in Jerusalem and falling in love

'West is best', the guy at the hostel desk told me. 'The sun rises in the East and if you sleep on the East side, you'll start sweating at 5am ... believe me, that sucks!' I had landed in Jerusalem that morning, after a trip riddled with bomb scares and gun toting soldiers. Nearly getting blown up on your travels seemed to be the order of the day here and when a lone rucksack lying innocently in a corner had drawn attention to itself by simply existing, some worried soul had called the army. Now, I don't know how much you know about the Israeli military. They are pretty terrifying (well, they were to me ... I'm a super scaredy cat so that doesn't really say much). Nearly every young person h


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