Panama: Canal Zone

THE TRUCK, belching black diesel smoke, slithers and slides as it struggles up the steep incline of the wet road. It is not much of a road, although it used to be once, sure. Then the weather and the jungle got at it, patiently aiming to outlast it. Now this stretch is a collection of potholes stitched together with some tar, tiptoeing past dramatic gullies washed away by landslips.

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Dominican Republic: Friendly faces

WAS it only last month I was saying the Caribbean has little to offer once you get past the rum bar and white sand beaches; that it’s hard to distinguish one island from the next?

The Dominican Republic has gone straight into my list of favourite places – and that’s without going anywhere near its famous beaches. Whitewater rafting in the mountains, horse-riding to a waterfall, dancing merengue until late at a carwash (!), visiting historic colonial buildings or a fascinating tour of the world’s largest cigar factory – it’s been an interesting week.
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