Saturday, July 29, 2017

Lonely Planet's 'Epic Drives of the World'

Lonely Planet Explores the World's Most Thrilling Road Trips with Epic Drives of the World

Six Australian Road Trips Showcased

50 Classic Driving Routes * Six Continents * 200 Ideas for Great Drives

Buckle up for a lifetime of memorable road trips this August, with the publication of Lonely Planet's Epic Drives of the World.

This beautifully illustrated hardcover book is the second instalment in Lonely Planet's Epic series (following last year's best-selling Epic Bike Rides of the World).  It features 50 classic driving routes across the world (from Argentina to Zambia), and 200 ideas for great drives - ranging from easy-going cruises to back-country adventures.

Australia is represented by six driving routes highlighted in the chapters "The Great Ocean Road", "A Short Hop from Hobart to Queenstown", "Across The Kimberley: The Gibb River Road", "Following the Captain Cook Highway", "The Great Alpine Road", and "The Track: Alice Springs to Darwin".

"This book is intended to offer fresh inspiration for your next road trip," Lonely Planet says.  "We have routes written and ridden by motorcyclists and even a tour of Northern California by electric vehicle. A few of these drives take a day but others can be enjoyed over a weekend, a week or more."

"What they have in common," Lonely Planet continues, "is that the road tripper is always independent. Want to take a detour (and we suggest some gems) or stay an extra day? Go right ahead. It's all about the journey. Driving a car need not be a mode of transport that insulates you from your surroundings: if you stop regularly, explore, encounter local people and their culture, you'll have as rich and rewarding an experience as you could hope for."

How to Use Lonely Planet's Epic Drives of the World

The main stories in each regional chapter feature first-hand accounts of fantastic drives in that continent. Each includes a fact-box to start the planning of a trip – when is the best time of year, how to get there, where to stay. But beyond that, these stories should spark other ideas. We've started that process with the 'more like this' section following each story, which offers other ideas along a similar theme, not necessarily on the same continent. Drives are colour coded according to difficulty, which takes into account not just how long, remote and challenging they are but the logistics and local conditions. The index collects different types of drive for a variety of interests.


Published 3 August 2017 / 328pp, full colour, H260mm x W200mm, hardcover / RRP: $44.99

Sunday, July 23, 2017

The Rag Tag Fleet


Ian W. Shaw

Published by Hachette Australia in July 2017, format, RRP $32.99, Ebook RRP $16.99

A fascinating account of the part 3,000 Australian men - either too old or too young to join Australian regular forces - played in the war in the Pacific

This book conveys the fascinating - and unknown - story of the Rag Tag Fleet, a collection of hundreds of Australian fishing trawlers and schooners, organised by the US Army, which transported vital supplies for US and Australian forces across the South-East Pacific.

Boys under the age of 17 and men over 60, and those who weren't well enough to join the Australian regular forces formed the crews. Each boat was armed with one machine gun - and sailed under the American flag. Conditions on the boats were grim. Numerous crew members contracted diseases including malaria, dysentery and dengue fever. Vulnerable to aircraft attack, the boats were frequently strafed and bombed.

The story is told through the experiences of the Australian crew on half a dozen ships - including Jack Savage, boat builder extraordinaire; Ray Parer, air fighter, explorer and gold miner; and Norm Oddy, bandleader, drifter and mechanic.

The focus of The Rag Tag Fleet is the unknown story of the final months of 1942, when these men ran the gauntlet of Japanese air attacks, reefs and shallow, shark-infested waters to bring in the supplies and equipment for the US and Australian troops that defeated the entrenched Japanese forces at Buna on the PNG coast, and so helped turn the course of the war.

Ian W. Shaw lives in Canberra, and is the author of a number of books, including On Radji Beach and Ghosts of Roebuck Bay.

Thursday, July 20, 2017

Kit Harington, Jon Snow in Game of Thrones, at Giffoni Film Festival 2017

"Winter is coming"

Kit Harington enchanted the Giffoni Film Festival 2017: well-known for his portrayal of Jon Snow in Game of Thrones, Mr. Harington was literally overwhelmed by the affections of his fans, many of which had been waiting all night at the Cittadella for their darling to arrive, eager  to get some sneak previews on the series as well as the actor's background.

"I don't think Jon Snow will ever become king, he's not ambitious enough for that, but I could see Tyrion sitting on the Iron Throne: I've always considered him the right person to rule over the Seven Kingdoms", said Harington, and went on declaring himself a great fan of Harry Potter – with a preference for the Gryffindor - and Italian director Matteo Garrone.

"What I like most of my character – he revealed - is the fact that he's always siding with the weakest. He's a man of action and I like fighting in movies. That's why this show fits me so well. The hardest scene to shoot? Maybe Ygritte's death".

From Ygritte's death to Jon Snow's death and resurrection the step was short: "When I read the script of the 5th season, which ended with something like: 'Jon Snow dies with his black curls', I tried to react without panicking and started waiting for an official mail of dismissal from the production, but a week went by, then two and three and nothing happened, until I was eventually summoned by the producers.  Then I thought: "That's it: they will either ditch me or tell me that somehow Jon is rising from the dead'. Luckily, the latter supposition proved to be right, but I was imposed the utmost confidentiality because only for people, including me, knew the forthcoming development of the plot. I took a great leap and shouted: 'Yeah! What a relief!"

He was only able to say "ciao" and "grazie" in Italian, yet his face clearly showed immense gratitude: "I'm always asked how fame has changed my life – he went on- but I really didn't expect anything like that. I just wanted to become an actor, not a celebrity, which, incidentally, is a word I'm not quite fond of. After all, fame is not about me personally but rather about the Game of Thrones series. In my future career I might not be able to find another role of the same relevance as this, and I will never stop to be grateful for it, even if I should be trapped in Jon Snow's shoes forever. After 9 years together he's a part of me, and I think he will always be".

Before leaving  the Cittadella, where he received the Giffoni Experience Award , Harington also mentioned his Italian holiday and confessed: "I really enjoyed my stay in Naples: they made me dance, eat and totally forget about myself!".

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Kasbah Tamadot: Best Resort Hotel in North Africa and the Middle East

Kasbah Tamadot has been named Best Resort Hotel, North Africa and the Middle East in the Travel + Leisure World's Best Awards 2017 readers' survey.

To celebrate the Travel + Leisure award win, here are very latest photos from Kasbah Tamadot,  hot off the press.

Check out the new images for yourself.

When you book a stay for three nights or more, you'll be able to enjoy an extra night for free until the 10th September 2017.

Rates start from MAD 5,300 per room, per night and include your accommodation, breakfast and taxes.

Book now.

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Deliveroo and TripAdvisor bring the restaurant to you in Europe

TripAdvisor and Deliveroo Announce Agreement Bringing Restaurant Delivery Services to Hungry Travellers and Locals throughout Europe, the Middle East and Asia Pacific

TripAdvisor® (NASDAQ: TRIP), the world's largest travel site, and Deliveroo, the on-demand food-delivery service, today announced the integration of Deliveroo's restaurant network into the TripAdvisor desktop website, mobile web and mobile app experiences across 12 countries throughout Europe, the Middle East and the Asia Pacific regions.

Consumers browsing TripAdvisor restaurant listings now have the option to order food from more than 20,000 of Deliveroo's restaurant partners spanning across 12 countries and more than 140 cities.

By simply clicking the "Order Online" button when browsing the TripAdvisor restaurant listing of one of Deliveroo's partners, consumers are brought to Deliveroo's online or mobile platforms to quickly and easily place an order.

The integration with Deliveroo expands TripAdvisor's food delivery service into 12 new countries:  United Kingdom, Ireland, France, Germany, Spain, Italy, Belgium, the Netherlands, United Arab Emirates, Singapore, Hong Kong and Australia.

"Through this partnership with Deliveroo, we aim to give our restaurant listings a new way to engage with the TripAdvisor community – both at home and on-the-go. TripAdvisor is already a highly effective marketing platform for restaurants, and new services like food delivery create incremental value for both businesses as well as consumers," said Bertrand Jelensperger, Senior Vice President, TripAdvisor Restaurants. "Whether reading reviews, reserving a table through TheFork or placing a food order through Deliveroo, our goal is for TripAdvisor to serve as a one-stop-shop for diners around the world."

At Deliveroo we're always looking for new ways to bring great food to people's doors", says Will Shu, Founder and CEO at Deliveroo. "We're excited to partner with TripAdvisor to make it even easier for our customers to order delicious food from the best local restaurants, wherever they are in the world."

Terms and length of the agreement will not be disclosed.


Monday, July 3, 2017

New book examines the scandalous history of Nazis in Australia

In a new book due to be published this August, bestselling author Frank Walker shows the ugly side of war and power and the many betrayals of ANZAC and Allied troops during and after WWII.

Here are ten of the shocking revelations committed by our own side against our brave soldiers, sailors, airmen and nurses:

· The gross betrayal of our Anzacs who risked their lives to fight the evil of Nazi and Japanese imperialist by Allied politicians and intelligence agencies who let war criminals go free in order to use them in a new war against communism.

· Nazi doctors conducted live human experiments on ANZAC POWs and how they fought back.

· The evil of Japan's top secret Unit 731 that conducted widespread live human experiments on Allied POWs, and how Allied leaders later hired these same scientists to continue their horrific work.

· As the war in Europe was coming to an end Churchill drew up battle plans to ally with defeated German troops and launch a new war against his exhausted eastern ally, the Soviet Union.

· How the Catholic Church helped install Hitler in power, then cooperated with the Nazi regime in order to preserve its own power in Europe.

· The extraordinary story of the Ratlines – the underground network for Nazis and war criminals to escape Europe and justice that was assisted by the Vatican and Allied intelligence.

· Many household names in today's industry and manufacturers of everyday products made a fortune out of the war, using slave labour from concentration camps and by secretly trading with the enemy.

· After the war the Allies, including Australia, made a desperate scramble to seize Nazi and Japanese scientists, engineers and technicians who were responsible for the deaths of countless thousands, if not millions of deaths, to come and work for them.

· What was Australia's Hollywood action hero Errol Flynn doing mixing with notorious Nazi spies?

· Why did our US and UK allies pressure Australia after the war to drop investigations into Nazi and Japanese war criminals and let some of the worst get off with light sentences or not face justice at all?


Get the whole story at

Struth! National Ice Cream Day lick-starts US dairy industry



David Ellis

WHEN President Ronald Reagan proclaimed July of 1984 to be National Ice Cream Month, and the third Sunday of that month to be National Ice Cream Day, there were those who suggested that maybe the President had lost the plot.

But it was, in fact, the result of some very clever political lobbying by the American dairying and ice cream industries, both of which were hurting from then-tough economic times, and desperately needing a kick-start to help them get moving again.

And it paid off. Sales of ice cream and frozen dessert products across America skyrocketed – not just during 1984's National Ice Cream Month and Day, but for years to come, ballooning from a modest 3,357 million litres of their products worth the equivalent of 4.6 billion in Aussie dollar terms back in 1984, to an astonishing 5.8 billion litres of sales worth a staggering AU$51 billion this year. That's right, billion. And in a year.

The industry dreamed-up new flavours too, so while old-faithfuls like vanilla, choc chip, Neapolitan and rocky road will always be there, in America you can also tuck into such bizarre unknowns to us as bacon flavoured ice cream, crab, garlic, oyster, squid ink, strawberry-rhubarb, honey roasted peanut butter, grape and nut, and caramel cheesecake flavoured ice creams – to name a few.

And one of the most off-beat of all, Superman Ice Cream that was created in a store in Michigan in the super-hero's colours: a swirl of blue, red and yellow, with the blue being vanilla flavoured, the red cherry flavoured and the yellow banana flavoured.

All whipped together and served rainbow-like in a cone or cup, or as a separate scoop of each piled into those cones or cups.



[] JUST some of the many flavours and colours of ice creams in America today, ranging from traditional vanilla, choc chip and rocky road to such bizarre creations as bacon-flavoured, crab, garlic, oyster, strawberry-rhubarb, grape and nut, and sweet caramel cheesecake flavoured.  (Wikimedia)

[] SUPERMAN Ice Cream dreamed up by the owner of an ice cream shop in Michigan USA, and offered as a swirl of the super-hero's colours of blue, red and yellow in cone or cup, or as three individual scoops in those colours with the blue being vanilla flavoured, the red cherry flavoured and the yellow banana. (Wikipedia)

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