Open Jaw Where readers write back

Angst in Italy

You suggest [the walk connecting the towns of the Cinque Terra] might reopen in July. We are going in June. Knowing the Italians, the chances are it will be September before they get the work done.

I have planned a trip to Italy to include the Cinque Terre. We have the ferry booked and a hotel in Moneglia all ready to do the walk. We will have to spend more time on the beach.

Vicki Friend

I live in Levanto and work as a guide in the Cinque Terre area and haven't heard anything definitive. It's fairly common for the "pay" trails to be closed in the winter (and this winter has been a long, wet, terrible one) but by Easter things are usually up and running. The Via dell'Amore is almost always open (including now).

Kate Little

I giggled repeatedly at your video of the Cinque Terre and watched it twice. I know that cinque ("five") is a rare and very difficult word, but you must realise that it is pronounced cheen-kweh, not cheen-keh.

Ciao ("chow").

Cynthia Boston

Family safaris in Africa

We have found family safaris to be more successful when flying into the camps or lodges, rather than driving, unless a destination is not served well with flights, eg Nakuru or Elementaita.

We use a three-hour maximum driving time rule for families with young children. So from Nairobi you can reach Lake Nakuru/Naivasha, but fly out to other destinations such as the Masai Mara, Amboseli or the Indian Ocean coast. We also recommend booking an exclusive on camp vehicles rather than shared game drives offered as a default. Governors' Camps in the Masai Mara is very child-friendly and we recommend it as it has always performed 100 per cent with our family groups.

Several destinations in Zambia are best flown to, eg Kafue, South Luangwa, Lower Zambezi.

Altaf Visram, AfricanMecca Safaris

Should you visit Japan?

Please don't give up on Japan. We are trying our best to deal with an enormous crisis and we will continue to tackle the overwhelming situation.

As a Japanese national who has lived in the UK for over two decades, I have felt a sense of extreme helplessness with my inability to assist in this crisis. During this time of uncertainty and with various degrees of alarm experienced by different communities in Japan and abroad, I found Mr Calder's positive article uplifting and giving me some sense of hope for Japan's future.

By visiting places such as Okinawa, one will be helping support the Japanese nation.

Naomi Furihata

British Airways merger with Iberia

I live in Spain and have travelled thousands of flights with Iberia over the years. Iberia is inferior to BA in every possible way, to the extent that I always try to avoid it wherever possible. The misery of its cabin and ground staff is enough to make any normal passenger travel with another airline. Before this takes the tone of Iberia-bashing, which is not my intention, I wish to highlight a problem: as they're essentially now one, the risk is that booking on what may appear to be a BA flight may well turn out to put you on a plane that is dressed in the red-and-yellow livery of Iberia along with poor service and miserable crew.

Once the ticket is paid for, at the boarding gate is not the time to turn tail and run!

David Jackson

Welsh Wonders

Good to see an article balanced about North and South Wales. Obviously written outside Wales [irony].


Off-season Iceland

I went to Iceland a couple of years ago and it was definitely worth it. Also "Black Death" isn't as bad as the name would suggest! I reckon now is the time to go as the Icelandic economy is through the worst and starting to improve once again.

Matthew Green