TRAVELS WITH NINA

is the online portfolio and journal of Australian travel writer Nina Karnikowski.

THE MOST INSPIRATIONAL PEOPLE IN TRAVEL: SMH TRAVELLER

 

URI JEREMIAS, RESTAURATEUR, AKKO, ISRAEL
Uri Jeremias has been luring travellers to his famed seafood restaurant Uri Buri (and his opulent, historic 12-room Efendi hotel down the road) in the northern Israeli town of Akko for 21 years. His bait, he says, is never using more than eight ingredients in any of his mouth-watering dishes, keeping the focus on the region’s fresh, high-quality produce. See uriburi.co.il

 

ANOOP MEHROTRA, OWNER, INN SEVENTH HEAVEN, PUSHKAR, INDIA
One of the oldest and most hallowed places in India, Pushkar is home to a holy lake, a famous annual camel fair and a charming hotelier by the name of Anoop Mehrotra. The owner of the excellent Inn Seventh Heaven, Mehrotra is likely to whisk you off through the desert on his Royal Enfield motorbike to introduce you to local gypsies, walk you around town as he feeds stray dogs treats from his pockets and maybe even take you out for a wine, like gold dust in this dry city where neither meat nor alcohol is allowed. See inn-seventh-heaven.com

 

ETIENNE GARCIA, CAPTAIN, PONANT CRUISES
When you’re snuggled up in bed on a luxury ship in Antarctica, it can take a miracle to prise you out and onto the glacial deck for sunrise whale watching. That miracle, however, takes human form in Etienne Garcia, French cruise operator Ponant’s most eccentric captain, who has been sailing to Antarctica for 13 years. His boundless enthusiasm, quirky sense of humour and effusive wake-up announcements of “OH MY GOD! Get out of bed quick! You would be completely MAD to miss these whales!” make Antarctica all the more magical. See aptouring.com.au

 

BANNA TRIBESMEN, OMO VALLEY, ETHIOPIA
With their bright “miniskirts”, patterned singlets, vibrant beaded jewellery and armfuls of bangles, the Banna tribesmen of Ethiopia’s Omo Valley are endlessly fascinating. Head to the dusty main drag of Turmi village, grab a beer at one of the ramshackle outdoor bars and watch the tribesmen work the street like a catwalk, dangling the customary tiny carved wooden stool from their fingertips. See benchafrica.com

 

MONGOLIAN NOMADS, MONGOLIA
If you need reminding of how little in life we need to be happy, a visit to the Mongolian nomads could be in order. Living in small gers (the Mongolian version of a yurt), the nomads dismantle their homes seasonally, packing them onto the back of yaks before relocating to more weather-appropriate locations. A stay with them gives fascinating insights into their customs, cuisine (if boiled goat and yak vodka counts as cuisine), close-knit communities and daily life. See frui.co.uk

 

THIS IS AN EDITED EXCERPT FROM THIS STORY WHICH RAN IN PRINT AND ONLINE

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