Monthly Archives: May 2015

DK Eyewitness Books: Wonders of the World

DK Eyewitness Books: Wonders of the World

DK Eyewitness Books: Wonders of the World

Highlighting the seven wonders of the world — the Pyramids of Giza, the Hanging Gardens of Babylon, the Temple of Artemis, the Statue of Zeus, the Mausoleum at Halicarnassus, the Colossus of Rhodes, and the Lighthouse of Alexandria, Wonders of the World, a new title in the Eyewitness series, showcases these architectural feats and the marvels of engineering behind these timeless treasures.

For over 25 years, DK’s Eyewitness books have been the most trusted nonfiction series in classrooms, libraries, and homes around the world. In summer 2014 this award-winning series will get a fresh new look both inside and out. The introduction of paperback editions, eye-catching jackets, and updated interiors ensure that the Eyewitness series will continue to be relevant in the ever-changing world of education and remain the go-to source for homework help, research projects, reluctant readers, ESL students, and, as always, to satisfy the minds of curious kids.

Supports the Common Core State Standards.

Buy from amazon

List Price: $ 9.99

Price: $ 5.14

The Shark in the Park

The Shark in the Park

The Shark in the Park

The Shark in the Park.

“Highly original, imaginative and thrilling.”
“The best illustrated children’s book of 2014, hands down.”
“An old, old monster in a supposedly safe environment, one familiar to all. A walk in the park will never be the same again.”
“A hit! A brave and brilliant hit! An immediate children’s classic.”

The air is misty, bright and cool, the morning Michael walks to school.
At the boundary of the park he waits, nervously he hesitates.
The day warms up, the sun shines down and Mike walks on, into town.
Gnarly branches, crook and tight, curl around the ghostly light.
Suddenly he freezes, weak at the knees, what is that swimming beneath the trees?

Terrifying, funny, thrilling! This new, beautifully illustrated children’s book is available in paperback and digital versions. The Kindle version includes links to exclusive interactive content.
Hear 7-time Emmy award winner, ABC News correspondent, and currently the host of Primetime: “What Would You Do?”, John Quiñones read “The Shark in the Park” on youtube here…

Enjoy, and remember, it’s just a story.

Buy from amazon

List Price: $ 11.99

Price: $ 8.51

Thailand: For Tourists! – The Traveler’s Guide to Make The Most Out of Your Trip to Thailand – Where to Go, Eat, Sleep & Party

Thailand: For Tourists! – The Traveler’s Guide to Make The Most Out of Your Trip to Thailand – Where to Go, Eat, Sleep & Party

Thailand: For Tourists! - The Traveler's Guide to Make The Most Out of Your Trip to Thailand - Where to Go, Eat, Sleep & Party

Are You Ready for an Adventure? Thailand Is Waiting For You!

Welcome to the Ultimate Thailand Travel Guide For Tourists!

* * *FREE GIFT INSIDE – How to Learn Any Language 300% FASTER* * *

Are you planning to travel to Thailand soon, or would you like to someday? In that case, you’ve come to the right place! It’s such a good idea to prepare yourself before leaving. Aren’t you excited? Most likely than not, you are! Maybe you have already formed a vague idea of what the travel experience will imply, and maybe it feels a bit overwhelming. You see, when it comes to travelling we are ALL in the same game, and yet most people don’t realize it. Most people don’t even take the time to prepare themselves in advance, and just wish for the best once they have arrived! Most people aren’t aware of some of the most amazing places Thailand can offer… And it’d be such a pity to miss them! That’s precisely why we need the RIGHT travel guide first. There’s no point in going from here to there without a proper guide. I admit it: I used to travel like that a long time ago. It took me time to create the mindset of an experienced traveller. It took lots of time to incorporate the tips and hacks that ended up shaping the way I travel! And now, I’m willing to share those secrets with you!

I wrote this book specifically thinking in you: the tourist, the traveller, the free spirit who dares to go beyond the limits of their own country. I wrote this book to show you how you can have an absolutely amazing experience while you are in Thailand. I will tell you where you should go, eat, sleep, and of course, party! You see, I may not know you, but I know something about you: both you and me are alike. We like to prepare ourselves. We like to incorporate solid knowledge before we dive in. And I know you won’t just settle for average travel guides! I know you are looking for something better; something that will truly help you down the road: a book with real life tips, recommendations, useful travel hacks and data… everything you may need in your trip. And guess what? You’ve just found what you were looking for!

Hey, I’m not saying this will be an absolute walk in the park. You’ve got to trust me throughout the pages. With these tips, rest assured that you’ll have a blast in Thailand! I’m a modern person. I’m aware of the world we live in, and I don’t want to waste your time. So, don’t worry! I’ve got you covered. We’ll go through EVERYTHING you need to know for your trip, and we will APPLY all this knowledge using down to earth guidelines. Because that’s what’s all about, isn’t it? It’s about living life like practical people. Going straight for the good part, providing practical tips, never losing the focus on what’s really important and useful.

My goal is simple. I will help you prepare your trip to Thailand, transforming it into absolutely amazing experience. I will help you simplify your path, showing you exactly where the best places are. Sounds too difficult? It’s not. I will show you how. I will take you through a step by step guide where you simply can’t get lost! Together, we will go to the roots of Thailand and you will end up LOVING every bit of it!

Here Is A Preview Of What You’ll Learn Inside…

  • Introduction: Why You Will Fall In Love With Thailand
  • How to Make The Most Out of This Guide
  • Planning Your Trip Ahead (Budget, Transport, Etc)
  • Where To Go, Eat, Sleep & Party in Thailand
  • Immersing Yourself in Thailand (Culture, Accent, Manners)
  • North, Central & South Thailand
  • Tips And tricks For an Unforgettable Visit
  • Things You Must Know About Thailand
  • Useful Thai Expressions
  • Aren’t You Excited? Your Trip Is About to Begin!
  • BONUS – Preview of “England For Tourists”
  • Much, much more!

For a limited time you can download “Thailand For Tourists” for $ 3.99

Download Your Copy Right Now!

Buy from amazon


Foot Fungus

Im addicted now to my smart phone and it’s Adi’s birthday tomorrow so she’s going to get one whether she likes it or not.

Talking of my Adi, she has been training consistently since spring arrived and can now handle a 250km ride. Paris – Brest- Paris pre qualification is just around the corner and I have jumped in and agreed to host a number of qualifiers in the Tasman area. 

My New Long Distance Mascot as Found.

I’ve put together a couple of rides that I think I could well regret . Rides that I could well find myself as the only entrant. The important thing though is that they will be qualifiers for PBP and I won’t have to fork out dosh to travel out of town to qualify.

Happy to be Loved Again.&

In a months time Adi and I will enter a 400km event to pre qualify. She is naturally worried about how this will pan out for her and is going to take advantage of as much time as is allowed. 

I have the option of riding it with her or going at my own pace. I’m torn between being with her to provide support in the event that she may have a mechanical problem or to leave her to it. I’m erring on the side of just doing my own thing as that is the way we will be riding the PBP.

Last week , after two weeks of Spring sunshine ,New Zealand reverted to Winter rain and snow and I did virtually no cycling. I spent the week helping Adi get addicted to her new smart phone and roaming around the house identifying more areas of wood worm attack. By the end of the week I had ripped out a small section of rotten timber and repainted another. A mere drop in the ocean but enough to make me feel better.

House maintenance didn’t satisfy my cycling head however so not being able to get out on my bike I set about tuning the engine. I cut down on my chocolate intake, increased my coffee consumption and reinstated my sit up routine. And after four years of treatment I am proud to announce that my foot fungus is finally in remission. I started treatment with creams when cycling the US in 2010 because unlike in NZ I didn’t need to mortgage the house to afford the anti fungal creams. Toe by toe I have been driving the invader back. It’s been a tough battle but with only two toes left infected , I will win the battle and banish that evil forever. 

My feet are a little wide for my Sidi cycle shoes so I think this aggravates the problem. I should get my left little toe removed because after a few years it damages the fabric in my shoe. I think little toes are a complete waste of space anyway when it comes to cycling. Babies should have a couple of their toes removed from each foot when their born so that later when they grow there’s more room for the other toes and no chance of chaffing on long rides while out on the bike. Much the same way as my wisdom teeth were removed so that my jaw was not so crammed with teeth that I couldn’t do up my helmet strap. Some things I’ve found happen naturally when you cycle a lot. My hairs rubbed off the top of my head from wearing my helmet too much and my nose has got bigger allowing me to cut through those head winds more efficiently. 

Niel “The Wheel”

The Curious Case of Fudge

People like to debate the differences between “travelers” and “tourists”—and whether such distinctions exist or even matter. I listen to them sometimes, nodding at the points being made. And then I change the subject to fudge. Because, at least in America, wherever you roam, you can only go to one of two kinds of destinations: those with fudge, and those without. Intelligent Travel

Kenya’s Best Beaches

Where To Find Kenya’s Best Beaches

By inventing the wildlife safari, Kenya set itself a tough challenge: to find a second, equally magnetic attraction. As Africa specialist and author of the Rough Guide to Kenya Richard Trillo discovers, it’s ‘hakuna matata’ – no problem…
“The coast of the Indian Ocean to the north and south of the island city of Mombasa has some of the best beaches in Africa, perfect spots to relax after a week of wildlife-watching. Beyond the beaches, you’ll find Kenyan town life in all its noisy muddle, as well as villages of mud-built huts where animals wander and children call out jambo. Close by, there are tracts of bird and monkey-filled forest to delight any nature-lover, and the vestiges of the coast’s classical Swahili civilization stand in eerie ruins between rainforest trees.”

Best beach for families: Diani Beach

“This beach south of Mombasa is the quintessential tropical paradise, with thousands of palm trees leaning out across broad, shelving sands and outrigger canoes anchored in the crystal-clear lagoon. Although the area has been developed, there are still enough patches of jungle to preserve a sense of where you are.
“Most of the hotels here are well-geared for children, but standouts include the mid-sized, all-inclusive Papillion Lagoon Reef, Southern Palms with its chain of giant, linked swimming pools and the boutique Asha Cottages. There are good places to eat too, including the hugely popular Forty Thieves Beach Bar and the upscale (no toddlers) Ali Barbour’s Cave, set underground in a fabulous coral cave.”

Diani Beach by Joao Maximo on Flickr

Diani Beach by Joao Maximo on Flickr

Best beaches for active adventurers: Malindi

“Malindi, a thirty-minute flight or two hours’ drive from Mombasa, is the coast’s only other large town. The beaches to the north are open to the ocean and get real surf, while just south of the town lies the Malindi Marine National Park which is a haven for divers.
“Che Shale is Kenya’s kite-surfing centre, set on a huge bay with three hundred days a year of monsoon winds. Stylishly furnished wood and palm-mat chalets, with soft sand instead of floors, stand between the coconut trees.
“Just south of the town centre where the good coral starts, the Driftwood is one of the oldest places in Malindi, with staff who never forget a face, a pool right by the beach and famous curry nights. They can organise anything for you, from windsurfing and diving to birdwatching or game fishing.”

Best beach for unspoilt beauty and wildlife: Watamu

“Watamu, 7km off the coast highway, is so good that you’d expect it to be better known. But distances make all the difference, as does the absence of an airport although Malindi is less than half-an-hour away. Along Watamu’s seaward side, snow-white sands shelve into the aquamarine lagoon behind the reef, while along its landward edge mangroves and forest fringe the shores of Mida creek.
“Around the shores you’ll find secluded treasures like the deluxe Manfriday’s. Tucked behind a remote headland, it’s a captivating fusion of bougainvillaea and sunken baths, sofas on the sand and transparent rock pools.
“Watamu beach is a turtle-nesting area, and if you’re staying then Turtle Watch will call you to let you know when a nest is hatching so you can watch the babies scuttling down to the sea. To fully explore the area’s natural assets, visit the Arabuko-Sokoke National Park where you can take a guide walk to observation platforms, watch rare birds and monkeys and look out for forest elephants and the bizarre elephant shrew (like a bendy-nosed giant mouse on stilts). The ruins of Gedi, a thirteenth-century town abandoned in the jungle, are also nearby.”

Best beach for genuine Swahili culture: Lamu

“From the moment you wake in Lamu, probably to the call of a muezzin from one of the town’s 23 mosques, you’re assailed by a riot of inputs: a stream of spicy cooking smells; the tang of salt air from the harbour; a blast of African hip-hop from a café; the braying of overloaded donkeys down in the alley; the way the palm fronds circle in the breeze; the taste of fresh mango smoothie and char-grilled lobster; and the liquid gold of the sun sinking behind the town.”

Lamu Beach by MysteryBee on Flickr

Lamu Beach by MysteryBee on Flickr

“A UNESCO heritage site, Lamu is a living museum of Swahili culture, where the layout of alleys and three-storey houses has changed little in five hundred years. While time hasn’t stood still – satellite dishes and mobile phones are everywhere – there are no cars, and therefore no roads: life moves at the speed of a donkey or a dhow.
“The town has no shortage of places to stay: Lamu House is a wonderful, luxury conversion on the waterfront, while Nyuma Gereza is a cool, low-budget option further into town. And if you do want the beach, you have the entire south coast of Lamu – a delightful hour’s waterfront walk, or short boat ride, away.

Best beaches for luxury and solitude: Manda and Kiwayu

“Lamu might feel like the end of the coast, but it’s just the first island in an archipelago stretching north for another hundred kilometres. Facing Lamu is Manda, virtually uninhabited and blessed with two superb beaches. The luxury hideaway here is Manda Bay, a Polynesian-style palm and thatch resort with an exclusive feel. You’re likely to see some famous faces, but every guest is equally indulged with superb food and drink. Every conceivable marine pursuit is available.
“Further north still, the sandy ridge of Kiwayu island rises in front of a maze of mangrove creeks. Here, with views of the ocean on one side and the creeks on the other, you’ll find Mike’s Camp, a classy take on the hippy retreat concept. The island also has an obvious spot for a wonderful honeymoon, in the form of the remote and stunning Kiwayu Safari Village.
“Virgin Atlantic operate daily flights to Nairobi from London Heathrow, and Virgin Holidays offer a wide range of holiday options for a beach holiday in Kenya, a safari experience, or a combination of both.


Sunsets & Side Trips: Making The Most Of Santorini


All of the romantic visions that you have of Santorini are true. Cycladic style houses, castles and churches cling to a rocky Greek island volcano caldera, their whitewashed facades and powder-blue roofs offering a lovely contrast to the azure sky and the calm waters of the Mediterranean Sea, some 300 meters below. Santorini is everything you would hope…

Read More…

The post Sunsets & Side Trips: Making The Most Of Santorini appeared first on Goats On The Road.

Goats On The Road

My First Proper Audax Event.

The day is drawing closer when I will attempt my first 400 km event with the audax club. Last week my Adi and I had arranged to do a local 335 km circuit as training for our respective attempts at the 400 km event. We chose different days so that we could each ride it in our own way and also should either of us crash and burn then the other was at home to feed the fur babies and initiate any rescue mission required.

Being forever the gentleman I let Adi have first crack at it. She started with gusto at 4.30 am and had completed the hilly first third of it by morning tea time. I read on face book of her adventures while on the couch with my coffee and chocolate. By afternoon tea time she was still on track having fended off attacking magpies and battling a strong headwind. I sipped my coffee all the time wishing I was there. She was so lucky to be out there doing it! Here I was stuck on the couch reading all about it on social media like some sorry person. By dinner time and with the sun going down Niel the Wheel had just returned from the fish & chip shop to read that Adi had suffered mechanicals in the dark and had called it quits at the 235 km mark. She was apparently sprawled on the plush duvet of a Havelock motel awaiting the owner to deliver bubble and sweak. It now being late and with Adi arriving in a somewhat bedraggled state the owners did all they could to revive her. Next day she arrived home having completed the final 100  km of the journey. Looking a might glazed in the eyes but with a smile on her face she seemed to have not suffered in any other way. But looks can be deceptive , she had returned a changed woman. She was now in no doubt about the Paris Brest Paris. She said “you can stick getting up early and riding through the night, I’m not having a bar of it!”

The next day ‘Niel the Wheel’ was up ,not so early ,for his attempt at the 335 km around the block. Things went crocked right from the started when my preferred cycling app switched off 30 kms into the course rendering my later posting of it pointless. You can’t brag about stuff like this if you don’t have the stats to back it up. In the dark upon leaving I had also forgotten to start my cycle computer. This was a small thing discovered when I passed under a flickering street light. I’m not a morning person and little things like this can annoy me. As the sun came up I warmed to the ride and come morning tea I was ready for the magpie infested Wairau Valley. 

Bandits at 3 O’ clock high! Bandit at 6 O’ clock coming low and hard! The little shits had me on the edge of my seat for 90 kms. The finally came with one of the feathered cretins forcing me off the road and into a drainage ditch with his persistence .  Clearly he was enjoying every minute off it. I dragged my Mercian back to the road and cycled off into what was now a solid headwind being further attacked until he spied a novice tandem couple coming the other way and clearly felt he could inflict more damage hassling them. Leaving me in peace to tackle the headwind to my late lunch stop. Electronic data transfer once again let me down here and for the rest of the afternoon when I tried to post my experiences on face book. Poo Bum, 2/3 of the ride was done and I had failed to tell the world about it. 

While eating a plate of greasy fish & chips I consoled myself with the fact that bike and body were ambling along happily even if the wi if side was shit. While stuffing down my final greasy chips with the help of a double vanilla milkshake I made one final attempt to post something on the net and voila I was back in business. The final 4 1/2 hours of the ride was completed in darkness. I’d recently bought a Cateye 1200 front light though and the beam was so impressive that apart from almost throwing up at the top of a steep climb ,when my milkshake began to mix with the coke at the other end of my stomach , I thoroughly enjoyed the dark hours.

I dragged my now tired arse across the home doorstep we’ll before midnight and having completed the 335 kms.

So I sit here now awaiting the actual event in 3 days. My marching orders have arrived via the randonneuring club and Adi has once again reasserted that she won’t be doing it. The field looks like numbering less than 10 and the weather at best indication gives light rain. 

I’ve done my homework for this one, the cabins booked and my mudguards will be on standby.

Bring it on.

Niel “The Wheel”

Rick Steves Best of Europe 2015

Rick Steves Best of Europe 2015

Rick Steves Best of Europe 2015

  • You can count on Rick Steves to tell you what you need to know when travelling in Europe. Follow the self-guided tours in these books for a close-up look at the elegant features of Europe. Rick’s candid, humorous advice will give you to good-value hotels
You can count on Rick Steves to tell you what you really need to know when planning a Grand Tour of Europe. In this guide, Rick covers the best of Austria, Belgium, France, Germany, Great Britain, Italy, the Netherlands, Spain, and Switzerland.You’ll find a healthy mix of big cities, small towns, and exciting regions, including:London, Paris, Rome, Amsterdam, and Barcelona
Rothenberg, Bruges, Haarlem, Hallstatt, and Gimmelwald
Provence, the French Riviera, Germany’s Romantic Road, Switzerland’s Berner Oberland, and Italy’s Cinque TerreRick’s candid, humorous advice will guide you to good-value hotels and restaurants. You’ll learn how to find the right bus in Rome, an inexpensive crêpe in Paris, and which museums and sights are worth your time and money. More than just reviews and directions, a Rick Steves guidebook is a tour guide in your pocket.

Buy from amazon

List Price: $ 29.99

Price: $ 14.74

1 2 3 9