Western Mongolia: one of the most sparsely populated areas on the planet. Unrelenting in its beauty and its harshness, it warps your sense of distance and scale, and redefines your concept of isolation and remoteness. And yet, it's teeming with life, from the thousands of wild and herd animals we cross paths with each day, to the omnipresent nomadic herders whose stark white yurts dot the landscape. Loz Blain spends two unforgettable weeks on the Mongolian steppe with a battered Royal Enfield Bullet motorcycle, as a guest of Extreme Bike Tours.
When we visited Australia's Blue Mountains earlier this year to feature this extraordinary clifftop cave, we had no idea that the cave itself might not be the most amazing piece of architecture on the property. Almost as an afterthought, Wollemi Cabins owner and master builder Lionel Buckett invited us down to yet another secluded pocket of the gigantic wilderness area to discover another gem: his treehouse cabin. Built around a turpentine tree and fireproofed against the harsh Australian bushfire season, it's a magical space with profoundly stunning views.