January 26th, 2011
The Spice Route – Ten Best Journeys

The retro trend continues apace, and the travel biz is agog with it all. The wave of adventure shows has whetted our appetites for derring-do (Bruce, Bear, Ben) so why should we miss out on the fun?

Suddenly, tour ops are offering us the chance to up sticks (okay, we’re toting Sisley lipbalm and tubes of Dr Hauchka) without a nosey camera crew in tow.

Great journeys like The Silk Road incite our passion. Old seaplane routes from Poole Harbour to Cairo are travel nirvana. But we’re transfixed with The Spice Route, as it’s not only one of the oldest sea trade routes, but it takes in some of the most beguiling regions on earth. Plus there are two, with exotic names like The Cinnamon Route and The Clove Route.

It weaves together histories straight out of Chinese, Arabic and Greek manuscripts, and links ancient kingdoms from the Philippines to Persia. Not least, it hits the olefactory (that a nose to us) trail, direct to the home and hearth. And yes, food.

Starting in Malacca, outside Singapore, it scoots up to India, via teardrop shaped Sri Lanka. Travelling west, it crosses the Arabian  Sea, skirts the old port of Muscat, shimmies around the Red Sea and Egypt, then hugs the east African coastline. The Clove route makes a little foray meanwhile into the Persian Gulf towards Basra.

 Hopping into the Swahili dominated ports of Kenya, the romantic island of Lamu, it takes you south towards Tanzania, looping around Zanzibar.

We’re off soon to research part of it, from Sri Lanka to Zanzibar. There are dozens of new ways to explore, from new cruise routes (Dubai to Colombo for example), cool little budget airlines around India and Asia, seaplanes criss crossing Sri Lanka. And some amazing dhow tours in Oman and Zanzibar.

THE TEN BEST TRIPS. Email us for the full article or stay tuned for more news.