Round The World and other travels

A frequent flyer's collection of trip diaries

This is: Indian Ocean 2012


This trip took a while to settle down into its final form, but some aspects of it will be immediately familiar. For one thing, it took place in late May and was, at least in part, the latest adventure with my California-based friend Bruce. We both wanted to visit Sri Lanka, but whereas Bruce only had a total of ten days available, I had around three weeks. So while he was hurtling around the globe at breakneck speed, I had decided on a more leisurely exploration of selected islands of the Indian Ocean. The overlap in our respective itineraries was all too brief, but that's just the way it worked out on this occasion.

Another familiar feature is that the journey was based around a shell constructed from redemption flights arranged through bmi Diamond Club, one of the last occasions on which this would be possible, following the company's acquisition by International Airlines Group, parent of British Airways and Iberia. With Diamond Club rules in play, it should by now come as no surprise that the main part of the trip starts and ends in Scandinavia, rather than the UK. I managed to chalk up two visits to Sri Lanka and one to the Maldives, both of which countries meant new stamps for my passport. The other two islands were Langkawi (a first for the island, but not the country) and old favourite Singapore.

Flying highlights were an intra-Asia journey on Singapore Airlines, followed the next day by my first experience of Asiana Airlines in First Class. The two most memorable hotels were both in southern Sri Lanka: The Fortress, Koggala and Amangalla, Galle.

Looking back, I am in no doubt that this was one of my all-time great trips, probably due in part to the high proportion of new destinations with a genuinely exotic feel. I hope you enjoy reading about it and feel inspired to visit some of the places!