Following an energy-sapping hike through sublime Utah scenery, a conversational impasse is broken by talk of Mormons and mass shootings. A strange choice for small talk? As the author discovers, everything comes down to timing.
The Mexican state of Guerrero offers iconic beaches, culinary delights and a pleasing climate. But for tourism promoters trying to sell it as a dream destination it has one major hitch – a frighteningly high crime rate.
In north-eastern Spain, an ancient tradition combines daredevil skill with strength and teamwork – all amid a festival atmosphere. But just viewing these human castles in the air is not for the faint-hearted.
The Ponte City apartment tower in Johannesburg was built for high-flyers before becoming a violent slum ruled by gangsters. Its rebirth as respectable, affordable housing is a model of community renewal.
Within Borneo’s Gomantong Caves – slippery with teeming insects, bird droppings and guano from two million bats – fine dining is likely far from the mind. But overhead a perilous harvest ensues for the key ingredient of Chinese bird’s nest soup.