Hireagreencar.com News Portal http://www.hireagreencar.com/ Latest green, travel and car hire news en Hireagreencar.com Hireagreencar.com 2014 The world's biggest superyachthttp://www.hireagreencar.com/latest-news/the-worlds-biggest-superyacht.htmlThu, 15 Aug 2013 13:51:37 GMT
    






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An Odd Crown for Atlanta: Most Guns at the Airporthttp://www.hireagreencar.com/latest-news/an-odd-crown-for-atlanta-most-guns-at-the-airport.htmlMon, 12 Aug 2013 21:29:49 GMT
    






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Country diary: Chelmorton, Derbyshirehttp://www.hireagreencar.com/latest-news/country-diary-chelmorton-derbyshire.htmlMon, 12 Aug 2013 19:59:00 GMT

Chelmorton, Derbyshire: There can be few better vantage points for the quick and the dead to contemplate infinity

At over 1,000 feet, Chelmorton is the highest village in Derbyshire, and few enjoy so auspicious a location. The village runs uphill from Townend Farm into the southern slopes of the steep and grassy Chelmorton Low, sheltered on all sides and basking in early morning sunshine as I walk under a powder-blue sky up its single street.

Where the hill steepens, just above the church of St John the Baptist, is Chelmorton's sweetest piece of luck, a clear, reliable spring known as Illy Willy Water. This flows year-round and once fed a now buried stream that ran a quarter of a mile before plunging underground again through the porous bones of this high limestone country. The village grew in a line along this stream to its limit, where it disappeared down its "swallet".

The original boundaries of many Peak District villages are now blurred with modern housing – not so Chelmorton. Its field system, predating the Norman conquest, is largely preserved, inked in later with limestone walls.

Time has slowed here. In the church, someone had put RS Thomas's poem The Village on the wall: "Stay, then, village, for round you spins/ On slow axis a world as vast/ And meaningful as any posed/ By great Plato's solitary mind."

The church, its tower capped with a golden locust (the symbol of St John), marks the northern limit of the village. A track leads up and round the hill. Harebells grow in abundance along this path, busy with insects and a peacock butterfly, luxuriant crimson wings snapping shut as I approach.

East along the crest of the hill, with glorious views stretching north across the Wye valley towards the distant moors, is a chambered neolithic tomb that is among the highest such remains in England. There can be few better vantage points for the souls of the quick and the dead to contemplate infinity.


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(more...)]]> Gap year case study: on the anti-poaching patrolhttp://www.hireagreencar.com/latest-news/gap-year-case-study-on-the-antipoaching-patrol.htmlThu, 15 Aug 2013 07:48:52 GMT

    






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2013 Smart Electric Drive: 4 Stars Overall For Crash Safety From NHTSAhttp://www.hireagreencar.com/latest-news/2013-smart-electric-drive-4-stars-overall-for-crash-safety-from-nhtsa.htmlThu, 15 Aug 2013 14:00:00 +0000 The 2013 Smart Fortwo Electric Drive is the latest electric vehicle to have undergone the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration's crash test procedures. Following frontal crash, side impact, and side pole impact tests, the Electric Drive was awarded four from a possible five stars overall. Individually, the electric smart was rated best... (more...)]]> Lib Dems could ban petrol and diesel carshttp://www.hireagreencar.com/latest-news/lib-dems-could-ban-petrol-and-diesel-cars.htmlMon, 12 Aug 2013 12:19:45 GMT

The Liberal Democrats have said that they intend to take climate change more seriously and have suggested banning all petrol and diesel cars by 2040. The party's environmental spokesman, Chris Huhne, said that he imagined that hydrogen fuel cells, advanced batteries and other new technologies that are yet to be developed will be able to power all the road transport by 2040. The leader ...

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Pursuits: ‘Walking the Water’ in the Evergladeshttp://www.hireagreencar.com/latest-news/pursuits-walking-the-water-in-the-everglades.htmlFri, 09 Aug 2013 19:47:13 GMT
    


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Gap year case study: a sponsored career breakhttp://www.hireagreencar.com/latest-news/gap-year-case-study-a-sponsored-career-break.htmlWed, 14 Aug 2013 14:14:39 GMT
    






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Tesla Model S electric car arrives in Europehttp://www.hireagreencar.com/latest-news/tesla-model-s-electric-car-arrives-in-europe.htmlThu, 15 Aug 2013 10:40:00 +01:00Tesla Model S electric car arrives in EuropeElectric car maker, Tesla has made its first delivery of its new Model S to Europe, with the first customer in Oslo, Norway receiving their car. According to CleanTechnica.com, electric car enthusiast Frederic Hauge is the lucky recipient of the first European Model S, taking delivery of a new Si[...] (more...)]]> Luxury hotels in Los Angeles: reviewshttp://www.hireagreencar.com/latest-news/luxury-hotels-in-los-angeles-reviews.htmlThu, 15 Aug 2013 10:53:44 GMT
    






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Update: Mount Fuji, So Popular It Hurtshttp://www.hireagreencar.com/latest-news/update-mount-fuji-so-popular-it-hurts.htmlTue, 13 Aug 2013 14:57:06 GMT
    






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2013 Fiat 500e Recalled Over Potential Half-Shaft Failureshttp://www.hireagreencar.com/latest-news/2013-fiat-500e-recalled-over-potential-halfshaft-failures.htmlThu, 15 Aug 2013 11:00:00 +0000 It hasn't been on sale for long, but the 2013 Fiat 500e is already subject to its first recall. Chrysler has announced it's to recall more than 270 examples of the battery-electric 500 to replace bolts securing the car's half-shafts. Detroit News reports the recall was initiated following an investigation into power loss of a customer's 500e... (more...)]]> BMW partners with Schneider Electrichttp://www.hireagreencar.com/latest-news/bmw-partners-with-schneider-electric.htmlMon, 12 Aug 2013 10:10:09 GMT

BMW has announced that they will be teaming up with Schneider Electric to provide customers with somewhere to plug in the all-electric BMW i3 at home. The partnership sees Schneider Electric become not only the manufacturer of the BMW i Wallbox, but also the recommended installer. This collaboration will allow Schneider Electric to work closely with the BMW i Sales Agents and customers...

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Don't Dismiss the Hyperloop Opportunityhttp://www.hireagreencar.com/latest-news/dont-dismiss-the-hyperloop-opportunity.htmlThu, 15 Aug 2013 06:05:00 EST (more...)]]> New technology makes "Smart Windows" even smarterhttp://www.hireagreencar.com/latest-news/new-technology-makes-smart-windows-even-smarter.htmlWed, 14 Aug 2013 16:11:00 EST (more...)]]> U.S. Gas Prices Falling; Does It Matter For Green Cars?http://www.hireagreencar.com/latest-news/us-gas-prices-falling-does-it-matter-for-green-cars.htmlWed, 14 Aug 2013 15:30:00 +0000 Gasoline prices rise. Gasoline prices fall. And every time there's significant movement, it's a news story. Last week, for instance, CNBC (via The Car Connection) reported that a gallon of regular unleaded gasoline dropped to about $3.59 last Friday. That's almost 8 cents lower than the cost two weeks previously. Headline fodder Cue headlines... (more...)]]> Birmingham Bullring adds new charge facilities for electric carshttp://www.hireagreencar.com/latest-news/birmingham-bullring-adds-new-charge-facilities-for-electric-cars.htmlThu, 15 Aug 2013 16:21:00 +01:00Birmingham Bullring adds new charge facilities for electric carsBirmingham’s famous Bullring shopping facilities has upgraded its charging facilities for electric cars, installing two Dual Outlet wall mounted units in its Selfridges’ Moor Street Car Park. Supplied by APT Technologies, the new Evolt charging stations come with dual outlet charging for both 16[...] (more...)]]> Car club gives access to wheelchair usershttp://www.hireagreencar.com/latest-news/car-club-gives-access-to-wheelchair-users.htmlWed, 14 Aug 2013 17:07:00 +01:00Car club gives access to wheelchair usersOne of the great things about car clubs is the way they can give affordable access to cars to everyone, and now that really should mean everyone. Aberdeen’s Co-wheels car club has become the first in the UK to offer wheelchair adapted vehicle (WAV) as part of their street fleet of cars. The new [...] (more...)]]> Alberta by tandem bicycle: episode threehttp://www.hireagreencar.com/latest-news/alberta-by-tandem-bicycle-episode-three.htmlThu, 15 Aug 2013 09:00:01 GMT
    






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China's Choicehttp://www.hireagreencar.com/latest-news/chinas-choice.htmlThu, 15 Aug 2013 10:10 +0000 In Transit Blog: Call It Rail and Sailhttp://www.hireagreencar.com/latest-news/in-transit-blog-call-it-rail-and-sail.htmlMon, 12 Aug 2013 14:15:24 GMT
    


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In Transit Blog: Ace Plans to Open Luxury Hotel in Panamahttp://www.hireagreencar.com/latest-news/in-transit-blog-ace-plans-to-open-luxury-hotel-in-panama.htmlTue, 13 Aug 2013 17:01:07 GMT
    


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Egypt travel advice: is it safe to go?http://www.hireagreencar.com/latest-news/egypt-travel-advice-is-it-safe-to-go.htmlThu, 15 Aug 2013 12:10:00 GMT

Egypt is under curfew as it reels from violent clashes in Cairo. What should you do if you have booked a holiday to a Red Sea resort, such as Sharm el-Sheikh?

As Egypt reels from the worst violence in decades, the nation's vital tourism industry seems certain to suffer. Egyptian security officials are forcefully dispersing sit-ins, resulting in a spiralling toll in deaths and injuries, while the country is under emergency law until further notice. So what to do if you're already booked to holiday there?

The Foreign Office (FCO) currently advises against all but essential travel to the country, except for the Red Sea resorts, such as Sharm el-Sheikh and Dahab. Meanwhile, the Egyptian daily newspaper al Alhram reports that the ministry of state for antiquities has closed all archaeological sites and museums across Egypt.

British Airways says it has altered flights schedules to Cairo so that they do not land in the evening, into the dusk-to-dawn curfew that has been imposed across the capital and other major areas. "We are keeping the situation in Egypt under constant review," a British Airways spokesperson said. "We are also offering customers the option of rebooking to a later date, or to another destination."

Britain's biggest travel operator, Thomson and First Choice, states: "The majority of our customers are in Sharm el-Sheikh which is a considerable distance – indeed, an eight-hour drive – from Cairo. There have been no related incidents in Sharm el-Sheikh or any of the other popular Red Sea tourist areas." Booking conditions for the resort destinations of Sharm el Sheikh, Marsa Alam, Taba and Hurghada remain "as normal", with tourists flying into the resorts airports. The operator currently has 11,769 British tourists in Egypt.

The vast majority of travellers heading to the Red Sea resorts fly there directly. EasyJet runs flights to Sharm el-Sheikh, which land outside of curfew hours. A spokesperson for the airline said the company can refund tickets that have already been booked, but added they haven't seen any demand for this.

The UK travel association Abta also states that conditions relating to travel to Red Sea resorts are continuing as normal, although customers travelling outside of this area "will be offered the option of deferring their date of travel, transferring to another destination or having a full refund for as long as the advice remains in place". It assures that: "Red Sea resorts are largely self-contained and autonomous with the majority of customers staying in large complexes, often all-inclusive with a wide selection of bars and restaurants."

But the FCO has further cautions on what travellers should do when they actually get to these resorts. Its latest statement says: "Travel advice for Red Sea resorts remains unchanged but local authorities in Sharm el-Sheikh have temporarily stopped tourist excursions. In Hurghada the police have advised tourists to remain within hotel grounds. We advise British tourists to follow the regulations set by the local authorities and to obey curfews. British tourists should also ensure they keep valid identification with them at all times."

Travel journalist Matthew Teller, who specialises in the Middle East, says that there is an inherent difficulty around travel advice in such cases.

"What the FCO does or doesn't say rules the roost in terms of what tour operators can and can't offer clients." Even if it doesn't seem like you can do much while you're there, major tour operators aren't likely to let you change plans if you're booked to travel to an area the FCO has deemed to be safe for travel.

Meanwhile, cruise operators MSC, Costa and Holland America Line are all reported to have pulled their Egypt-bound ships. This latest crisis will be a sharp blow to the Egyptian tourism industry, which is struggling to recover in the turbulent period following the uprising of 2011, which deposed Hosni Mubarak.

In 2010, a record 14m tourists arrived in Egypt and the industry represented 13% of GDP, directly or indirectly employing one in seven workers. But even before the recent crisis, the Egyptian tourism federation estimated hotel occupancy rates in Cairo to be around 15% while in Luxor – the site of the Valley of the Kings, that figure was barely in single digits.


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(more...)]]> Backpackers' diaries: watching India awake in Manalihttp://www.hireagreencar.com/latest-news/backpackers-diaries-watching-india-awake-in-manali.htmlWed, 14 Aug 2013 06:00:00 GMT

Simon relaxes in Manali, at the head of India's lush Kullu valley, and contemplates his next appointment: riding over the terrifying Rohtang Pass

The small town of Manali sprawls at the head of the Kullu valley on the west bank of the Beas river in Himachal Pradesh. I am staying at the Himalayan Country House, a modern, spotless guesthouse at the top of the old town. I have a room with bath, a window overlooking the valley and a broad balcony. At first light, 5am, I delight in sitting on the balcony watching and listening as the town awakes. Manali is beautiful from up here. The barns and houses are a muddle of crudely slated roofs; walls are of wooden beams packed with mortar; most upper floors extend to create a covered walkway with a veranda above and arched windows in intricate carved frames.

It is apples, more than tourism, that have made Manali a prosperous community and the valley floor is lush with orchards. The eastern side of the valley is steeper than the west. A sheer wall of rock soars to the north and is capped with a fringe of pine trees and two small patches of highland meadow. Trails of thin cloud cling to the pine trees. Four cascades divide the mountain. It is less steep directly ahead with more grass and a scattering of deciduous trees and bushes.

Later, cows and a few sheep will spot a high meadow to my right. Manali awakes late. A crow is first to call. It perches on a spike of reinforcing iron projecting from the upper floor of the house next door; this is India so many buildings are half built and I spot an animal, probably a cat, curled on a lone plastic chair on the open top floor of a concrete skeleton way to my left.

The crow is answered by other crows. Dogs bark to each other. Black birds with bright yellow beaks and squeaky cries set up a chorus. A woman's still-sleepy voice comes from the barn below and is accompanied by the smell of kerosene from a stove. A calf bleats. Small, very busy sparrows dart hither and thither; one alights on the balcony rail to inspect me. Grey doves peck on the grey slate.

A few lights still sparkle in the strip of apartment blocks on the far side of the highway. The highway climbs to the 4,000 metre-high Rohtang Pass, connecting the Kullu valley with the Lahaul and Spiti valley, a climb that I fear yet hope to make on my motorcycle in a few days. The sun will appear soon over the mountains, and rickshaws and motorcycles, cars, overburdened trucks and jeeps will drown the background roar of the river.

Someone stirs downstairs, coffee on the boil. Do visit soon. Such small paradises are speedily destroyed.

The Himalayan Country House (+91 98572 44988, himalayancountryhouse.com) has doubles with bath from around £13 a night; mountain and culture guides available


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(more...)]]> Are Diesels The Future For Luxury Sport Sedans? Audi Says Yeshttp://www.hireagreencar.com/latest-news/are-diesels-the-future-for-luxury-sport-sedans-audi-says-yes.htmlWed, 14 Aug 2013 13:00:00 +0000 As gas-mileage standards tighten steadily through 2025, how do you have a big, powerful, luxurious sedan more efficient? The Tesla Model S shows one way--make it all-electric--but other makers are taking other routes. Audi, perhaps more than any other German luxury make, says the answer is diesel engines. It's long sold its low-volume A3 compact... (more...)]]> Electric Car Prototype Can Run 12 Miles On Solar Power Alonehttp://www.hireagreencar.com/latest-news/electric-car-prototype-can-run-12-miles-on-solar-power-alone.htmlWed, 14 Aug 2013 12:00:00 +0000 Due to the very specific processes by which the universe works, it isn't really possible to power a modern electric car via on-board solar panels. Current photovoltaic cells simply don't produce enough power over a specific area to supply the needs of a power-hungry electric road car. It's why World Solar Challenge vehicles are like giant solar... (more...)]]> Is the Airbnb rent-a-room site really easy money?http://www.hireagreencar.com/latest-news/is-the-airbnb-rentaroom-site-really-easy-money.htmlSat, 10 Aug 2013 06:00:46 GMT

A friend has been making £45 a night – but I'm not sure it's as simple as it sounds

Every week a Guardian Money reader submits a question, and it's up to you to help him or her out – a selection of the best answers will appear in next Saturday's paper.

This week's question

A friend has been using the Airbnb website to rent out his spare room occasionally. He gets £45 a night and says he is enjoying it. I am thinking of signing up. Is it really only a case of washing the bed sheets and offering a bit of toast? Anyone else got any experience of it – good or bad?

What are your thoughts?

Have you got a personal finance question you want readers to answer? Email personal.effects@theguardian.com


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(more...)]]> Nissan is ramping up LEAF electric car production in the U.S.http://www.hireagreencar.com/latest-news/nissan-is-ramping-up-leaf-electric-car-production-in-the-us.htmlFri, 09 Aug 2013 16:08:23 -0400 Nissan is ready to shift production of the LEAF electric car into higher gear if demand from buyers stays high. (more...)]]> Tesla Model S gets 5-star safety rating in every category in NHTSA crash testshttp://www.hireagreencar.com/latest-news/tesla-model-s-gets-5star-safety-rating-in-every-category-in-nhtsa-crash-tests.htmlFri, 09 Aug 2013 12:25:00 -0400 Tesla's epic winning streak continues, with one more success under its belt: The Model S electric sedan received a perfect score after crash testing by the NHTSA. (more...)]]> Nothing pneu about tubular trains like the Hyperloophttp://www.hireagreencar.com/latest-news/nothing-pneu-about-tubular-trains-like-the-hyperloop.htmlTue, 13 Aug 2013 14:31:00 -0400 Elon Musk's idea has a long history of precedents; we wind up the wayback machine and have a look. (more...)]]> Forbidden Fruit: Europe's Ford Focus 3-Cyl EcoBoost Gets Even Greenerhttp://www.hireagreencar.com/latest-news/forbidden-fruit-europes-ford-focus-3cyl-ecoboost-gets-even-greener.htmlWed, 14 Aug 2013 11:00:00 +0000 As the U.S. still eagerly awaits the introduction of the 3-cylinder EcoBoost Ford Fiesta, European drivers are buying Ford's tiny-engined cars in their droves. Various versions off the 1.0-liter, three-cylinder, turbocharged gasoline unit are available in both the Fiesta and larger Focus--and when the Ford Fusion hits Europe as the next Mondeo, it... (more...)]]> In Transit Blog: Italy Gets a Bastianich Restauranthttp://www.hireagreencar.com/latest-news/in-transit-blog-italy-gets-a-bastianich-restaurant.htmlFri, 09 Aug 2013 19:43:15 GMT

    


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Five Vehicles That Make Green-Car Drivers See Redhttp://www.hireagreencar.com/latest-news/five-vehicles-that-make-greencar-drivers-see-red.htmlThu, 15 Aug 2013 16:00:00 +0000 Driving a Toyota Prius hybrid, a plug-in electric car from Chevy, Nissan, or Tesla, or even a small, fuel-efficient car isn't always about green sentiments. People buy those cars for many reasons: fondness for early-adopter gadgets, concerns over energy security, and total-cost-of-ownership money savings, as well as environmental concerns. But... (more...)]]> Swimming spot of the month: Bude sea pool, Cornwallhttp://www.hireagreencar.com/latest-news/swimming-spot-of-the-month-bude-sea-pool-cornwall.htmlWed, 14 Aug 2013 07:00:00 GMTEveryone loves a tidal pool, right? The venerable Bude sea pool, which is run by a charity and open to the public, is one of the last – and best – in the country





(more...)]]> Heads Up: In Bangkok, Chefs Look Beyond Thailandhttp://www.hireagreencar.com/latest-news/heads-up-in-bangkok-chefs-look-beyond-thailand.htmlTue, 13 Aug 2013 18:55:42 GMT

    






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Another day, another electric car recallhttp://www.hireagreencar.com/latest-news/another-day-another-electric-car-recall.htmlThu, 15 Aug 2013 06:15:00 +01:00Another day, another electric car recallIt's been a difficult start to life for electric vehicles in a production sense: with many of the earliest models to make it to dealerships suffering teething problems that have led to recalls. Earlier this week we told you about Ford recalling the Focus Electric (see article) due to an issue with [...] (more...)]]> Holiday Cottages is playing cat and mouse with our refundhttp://www.hireagreencar.com/latest-news/holiday-cottages-is-playing-cat-and-mouse-with-our-refund.htmlSun, 11 Aug 2013 06:01:04 GMT

When we arrived at the booked property there were mouse droppings everywhere

In January three friends and I booked a holiday cottage for a week's break. We arrived to find mouse droppings all over the house, including in the kitchen cupboards and in the beds.

The owner and Holiday Cottages, the Devon agency we'd booked through, said a cleaner would be sent the next day and offered us accommodation for the first night in a B&B up the road. But it was clear that the place wouldn't be habitable for a while and when we spoke to the cleaners they agreed so we had to abandon the holiday.

We've been trying in vain since we got back to have our money refunded. Holiday Cottages has been slow in responding and told us the owner would be in touch, which has never happened. KG, Egham, Surrey

Holiday Cottages tells me it didn't realise the owner had not called and says it offered you a £200 refund after your original complaint. Naturally, you want the full £600 back. Initially, the company seemed to think infestations can be cured overnight with Jeyes Fluid and a sonic mouse deterrent and it reckons you could have stayed the course, but it's now acknowledged that rodents make for disagreeable bedfellows and finally sent you a full refund.

If you need help email Anna Tims at your.problems@observer.co.uk or write to Your Problems, The Observer, Kings Place, 90 York Way, London N1 9GU. Include an address and phone number.


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(more...)]]> Frugal Traveler: Eating in Iowa: Farm-Fresh, Fried and Frugalhttp://www.hireagreencar.com/latest-news/frugal-traveler-eating-in-iowa-farmfresh-fried-and-frugal.htmlWed, 14 Aug 2013 22:43:34 GMT

    






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Cruise holidays with teenage daughtershttp://www.hireagreencar.com/latest-news/cruise-holidays-with-teenage-daughters.htmlThu, 15 Aug 2013 11:30:36 GMT
    






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Swimwear faux pashttp://www.hireagreencar.com/latest-news/swimwear-faux-pas.htmlThu, 15 Aug 2013 10:37:24 GMT
    






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Power gradually returning to Santorinihttp://www.hireagreencar.com/latest-news/power-gradually-returning-to-santorini.htmlWed, 14 Aug 2013 13:05:33 GMT
    






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Backpackers' diaries: in Mongolia, disaster strikes for Zachttp://www.hireagreencar.com/latest-news/backpackers-diaries-in-mongolia-disaster-strikes-for-zac.htmlWed, 14 Aug 2013 06:00:00 GMT

Horse riding in Mongolia, Zac falls and breaks his arm, badly. The only solution is to air-ambulance him out

It will take six days' hard riding to return to Hatgal from Mongolia's reindeer people. We are four hours in when I hear Zac yell.

Shorty is in full gallop across the hilltop, pulling hard to the left, while my son hangs at an odd, unnatural angle from his right. Shouts from the Mongolians. A strangled squeak from me. But there's nothing we can do but watch. Zac falls. For 10 sickening metres, he is dragged like a rag doll towards the tree line, head bumping over volcanic rocks so jagged it's impossible to imagine his helmet can withstand them. Then, silently, with what looks like a conscious movement, his foot is free and he's down.

I'm off my horse, and running, and I can't even see if he's moving. When I reach him, Zac is scarlet with pain and rage. "My arm is broken," he says. I'm so relieved he's conscious I lose all grasp of diplomacy. "Why do you think your arm is broken?" I ask.

"Because I can feel the bones," he spits, adding a virulent blast of Anglo-Saxon. And, when we cut his coat off, there's a lump in his upper arm which wasn't there before. A rider races down the valley to fetch a jeep to fetch a doctor. Then a motorbike sets out to fetch fuel for the jeep. We give Zac ibuprofen and he sips fluids. He wants Riesen, but we're out of chocolate.

Four hours after Zac's fall, the jeep returns. The doctor shoots him full of Tramadol, field-splints him with sticks, and we bump over river beds and gullies to her clinic in Tsagaannuur. The nearest x-ray is 12 hours away, as is the nearest road.

I buy Riesen, get Zac settled and hit the phone. By 1.30am, SOS Medica, the only international-standard clinic in Mongolia, has a helicopter ready to fly from Ulan Bator in the morning and our insurers are on side.

Twenty-six hours after the accident, the heli arrives. "Am I the first horse-riding injury of the season?" Zac asks. The doctor nods. "I'm honoured."

Thirty-two hours after the accident, we are in the tender arms of SOS Medica, eating pizza. Zac's arm needs surgery, which can't be done in Mongolia. I email family.

Sixty hours after the accident, our insurers have signed off on an air ambulance to Hong Kong, to arrive at 9am. Weather problems hit. It will arrive at 11am … 12.30pm … 2pm … We get to Hong Kong around midnight, almost five days after Zac's fall. His father will be meeting us at the hospital.
Theodora blogs at escapeartistes.com. Zac blogs, rather less frequently, at kidventurer.com


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(more...)]]> DoE Halted Ecotality Payments; 12,000 Charging Stations To Have Plugs Recalledhttp://www.hireagreencar.com/latest-news/doe-halted-ecotality-payments-12000-charging-stations-to-have-plugs-recalled.htmlWed, 14 Aug 2013 14:00:00 +0000 Electric car charging network provider Ecotality announced Monday it had suspended trading due to "material adverse developments". The company, which sells charging equipment and runs the Blink network of charging stations, filed an 8-K report advising of several factors preventing it from meeting ongoing obligations. Failure to meet those... (more...)]]> A Laid-Back Napa Neighborhttp://www.hireagreencar.com/latest-news/a-laidback-napa-neighbor.htmlThu, 15 Aug 2013 14:07:50 GMT

    






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British holidaymakers in Egypt told to stay in their hotelshttp://www.hireagreencar.com/latest-news/british-holidaymakers-in-egypt-told-to-stay-in-their-hotels.htmlThu, 15 Aug 2013 10:33:10 GMT
    






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Petroglyphs confirmed to be really old!http://www.hireagreencar.com/latest-news/petroglyphs-confirmed-to-be-really-old.htmlWed, 14 Aug 2013 06:24:00 EST (more...)]]> Elon Musk's Hyperloop: 30 Minutes In Windowless 800-MPH Pod?http://www.hireagreencar.com/latest-news/elon-musks-hyperloop-30-minutes-in-windowless-800mph-pod.htmlTue, 13 Aug 2013 16:00:00 +0000 Tesla CEO Elon Musk is a man of many and advanced interests, and his latest notion--the Hyperloop rapid transit system revealed as a concept yesterday--fits into his vision of a very different future. In a nutshell, the Hyperloop is a system in which people board pods inside an elevated metal tube on pillars that carry them from San Francisco to... (more...)]]> Hemel Hempstead residents hit back at 'ugliest town' votehttp://www.hireagreencar.com/latest-news/hemel-hempstead-residents-hit-back-at-ugliest-town-vote.htmlFri, 16 Aug 2013 05:00:06 GMT
    


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Nissan LEAF joins Motability Schemehttp://www.hireagreencar.com/latest-news/nissan-leaf-joins-motability-scheme.htmlThu, 08 Aug 2013 09:54:30 GMT

The 2013 Nissan LEAF has become the first electric vehicle to join the Motability Scheme, allowing the scheme's 620,000 current users the opportunity to explore zero emission motoring. The new UK-built LEAF is now available from just £999 Advance Payment (AP). For £1,299 AP customers can upgrade to the Acenta model featuring Nissan's CARWINGS telematics system as well as useful fea...

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Interview with Robin Hayles, ix35 Fuel Cell Product Manager for Hyundaihttp://www.hireagreencar.com/latest-news/interview-with-robin-hayles-ix35-fuel-cell-product-manager-for-hyundai.htmlWed, 14 Aug 2013 11:32:00 +01:00Interview with Robin Hayles, ix35 Fuel Cell Product Manager for HyundaiKorean carmaker Hyundai has been a surprising leader in developing hydrogen fuel cell vehicles, already taking its ix35 FCEV into series production, with plans to increase that in 2015. Despite competing with some of the heavyweights of the automotive industry such as Toyota and Daimler, the carmake[...] (more...)]]> Nightvision: Europe after darkhttp://www.hireagreencar.com/latest-news/nightvision-europe-after-dark.htmlThu, 15 Aug 2013 11:27:09 GMT
    






(more...)]]>
36 Hours in Monacohttp://www.hireagreencar.com/latest-news/36-hours-in-monaco.htmlThu, 15 Aug 2013 21:55:10 GMT
    






(more...)]]>
Gap year case study: volunteering in Ugandahttp://www.hireagreencar.com/latest-news/gap-year-case-study-volunteering-in-uganda.htmlFri, 16 Aug 2013 07:30:38 GMT
    


(more...)]]>
Red Sea holidaymakers confined to hotelhttp://www.hireagreencar.com/latest-news/red-sea-holidaymakers-confined-to-hotel.htmlThu, 15 Aug 2013 10:07:26 GMT
    






(more...)]]>
What children want to do this summer: canoe down a riverhttp://www.hireagreencar.com/latest-news/what-children-want-to-do-this-summer-canoe-down-a-river.htmlThu, 15 Aug 2013 12:40:47 GMT
    






(more...)]]>
10 best in-flight essentialshttp://www.hireagreencar.com/latest-news/10-best-inflight-essentials.htmlTue, 13 Aug 2013 16:39:35 GMT

1. (Malin+Goetz) Essentials

The M+G essentials kit is the friend everyone wants to be travelling with. It comes with face cleanser, moisturisers for face and body, shampoo, body wash and conditioner – all of which are small.

£20, uk.spacenk.com


    


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Blue Boar Smokehouse: restaurant reviewhttp://www.hireagreencar.com/latest-news/blue-boar-smokehouse-restaurant-review.htmlSun, 11 Aug 2013 06:29:00 GMT

From limp chicken to vile banana ketchup, the Blue Boar Smokehouse takes the "dirty food" trend to a new low

45 Tothill Street, London SW1 (020 3301 1400). Meal for two, including wine and service: £120

Not far from the Blue Boar Smokehouse, which is a smokehouse much as I am a prima ballerina, is New Scotland Yard. And so it was that I spent much of lunch – less eating, more pushing platefuls to one side – wondering whether there were any statutes under which it would be possible to prosecute the place. Sadly, I concluded that shameless bandwagon jumping, grievous bodily harm to an entire culinary tradition and atrocious cooking are not yet criminal offences. Oh, that they were. This country would be so much the better for it. Make me prime minister. I'll sort it.

The Blue Boar Smokehouse is a grotesque marketing conceit, realised in acres of dark wood veneer, hefty linen and glassware. It occupies the back room of a corporate hotel for businessmen, dreaming only of an in-house movie and a handful of tissues, and feels like two hours of death by PowerPoint, presented by a lifestyle trends consultant who once went to Hoxton. You can imagine the pitch: "dirty food" is cool; people like pulling their pork, whatever that means; fried chicken isn't just for sink estates in Peckham; making this kind of crap is easy and cheap. Fill yer boots.

Or don't. Their ribs arrive dangling out of a mini bucket. Ah yes. I've seen things like this before; it's like experiencing a vicious flashback before you've taken the drugs. The sauce is at first as sharp and acidic as a cheap packet of salt and vinegar crisps and then as sweet as a six-year-old's confection stash. If the meat has spent any time in a smoker, I'm afraid it will take a more acute palate than mine to detect it. My mouth had been brutalised by the sauce. On issues of smoke it had nothing to say.

The least offensive of the main courses is the crab, baked in the shell under a Cajun mayonnaise gunk. It looks like a hefty sneeze into a shell, after a long swim in the sea to clear a cold. To be fair, the first forkful is just about OK. After that it goes from cloying to "please stop" in easy steps. The accompanying chips would have proved a moment of nostalgia for anybody who has ever worked in a fast food joint emptying the freezer bag into the deep fat fryer.

From the list of pulled meats we order the suckling kid: a heap of something tired and drained, violated and one-note sweet arrives on a wooden board next to glazed onion rolls made from a dough so overworked that tearing them open offers the chance to burn all the calories involved in eating them. The dish is completed by a motorway service station coleslaw.

Worse than this is the "southern fried chicken", which must never be granted freedom from within those quotation marks: a tube of breast and a reformed leg, clumsily coated in bright orange crumbs the colour of the cast of TOWIE, fried off so limply that those on the bottom come off on the plate. Underneath lies a banana ketchup which has the honour of being the worst thing I have put in my mouth since the incident with the washing-up liquid when I was seven. It tastes like those sweetshop bananas, blitzed with the remains of someone's forgotten 1970s spice cabinet. It looks like something you would treat with antibiotics.

The dessert menu includes an Eton Tidy for £7, which is not merely a violation of ingredients but also of the English language: splodges of strawberry purée, hard, dusty meringue, flaps of crumbly gel, artfully draped. It's the sort of thing that would get a Professional Masterchef contestant sent home in the quarter finals.

As to wines, a waiter had to be called back to deliver a full measure of the glass I had ordered. Shortly, I expect to receive a press release announcing the relaunch of the restaurant at the Intercontinental Hotel, Westminster. I'll regard that as a very good day for London.

Email Jay at jay.rayner@observer.co.uk. Follow Jay on Twitter @jayrayner1


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(more...)]]> Eating More Fruits and Vegetables: An $11 Trillion Stimulus?http://www.hireagreencar.com/latest-news/eating-more-fruits-and-vegetables-an-usd11-trillion-stimulus.htmlWed, 14 Aug 2013 08:57:00 EST (more...)]]> Green car hire firm opens first US businesshttp://www.hireagreencar.com/latest-news/green-car-hire-firm-opens-first-us-business.htmlWed, 14 Aug 2013 12:24:00 +01:00Green car hire firm opens first US businessFamed for its fleet of low emission diesels and hybrids, low emission car rental firm, Green Motion is to open its first franchise in the USA. Independent rental company, Total Auto Rent has acquire the franchise for Florida and will commence operations at both Miami international airport and down[...] (more...)]]> Ford reveals greenest petrol Focus yethttp://www.hireagreencar.com/latest-news/ford-reveals-greenest-petrol-focus-yet.htmlTue, 13 Aug 2013 09:56:35 GMT

Ford has announced a brand new ultra-efficient version of the Focus 1.0-litre EcoBoost model that will be the first petrol-powered family car in Europe to offer 99g/km CO2 emissions. The Focus 1.0-litre EcoBoost has returned 67.5mpg in tests thanks to its specially calibrated 100PS version of Ford's award-winning engine. It will become Ford's most fuel-efficient family petrol car ever when ...

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BMW reveals secrets of new hybrid designhttp://www.hireagreencar.com/latest-news/bmw-reveals-secrets-of-new-hybrid-design.htmlWed, 14 Aug 2013 05:56:00 +01:00BMW reveals secrets of new hybrid designBMW has been grabbing the headlines in recent weeks after revealing details of its i3 and i8 models (i3, pictured): and now it has shed some light on the technology that is driving their success. As the heart of the vehicles will be a new eDrive motor, which is a hybrid synchronous motor meant to e[...] (more...)]]> Travel tips: Devon's new waterfront spa hotel, and top literary breakshttp://www.hireagreencar.com/latest-news/travel-tips-devons-new-waterfront-spa-hotel-and-top-literary-breaks.htmlSun, 11 Aug 2013 05:01:00 GMT

Salcombe Harbour Hotel, retreats for writers, plus the week's best deals

Take Me There

Cornwall has no shortage of sleek seaside retreats but now it's Devon's turn to get in on the act with the reopening of the Salcombe Harbour Hotel. The new owners have spent millions turning this tired hotel into a luxurious waterfront retreat, with a spa and a restaurant overseen by Michelin-starred chef Alex Aitken. The style throughout is crisp and nautical, and many of the bedrooms have balconies overlooking Salcombe estuary. Poolside cabanas, a cinema room and a Crustacean Bar serving up seafood complete the picture. The hotel opens on 15 August with rooms from £295 per night (salcombe-harbour-hotel.co.uk)

It's a good time to… take a literary break

Hotel du Vin has teamed up with Random House to introduce a series of writing courses hosted by top authors, as well as literary events and a book of the month club. The Writers' Academy will launch in September at Hotel du Vin, Harrogate, with an introduction to crime writing hosted by the lecturer and playwright Henry Sutton and SJ Watson, author of the thriller Before I Go to Sleep (20–21 September, thewritersacademy.co.uk). Future Hotel du Vin weekends will be dedicated to different literary genres, with an introduction to writing children's literature taking place in Brighton in January.

It's not the first time the publishing and hotel industries have joined forces. In the 1930s Foyles began a series of literary lunches at the Dorchester, and more recently the Radisson Blu Edwardian became the first UK hotel to launch a book club.

If reading rather than writing is more your thing, the Turnberry Resort in Ayrshire, Scotland has made a fixture of its popular reading weekends hosted by the journalist Damian Barr. The next one takes place on 18-20 October and features a guest appearance from novelist Patrick Gale (turnberryresort.co.uk/reading-weekend).

Give me a break: the week's best deals

Family adventure Book a family adventure holiday at Preseli Venture in Pembrokeshire for four people or more and one child goes free. Prices at the activity centre are from £479 for adults and £375 for children for a five-day break, starting on 26 August. Activities on offer include coasteering, surfing and sea kayaking with beach campfires in the evening and lodge accommodation (preseliventure.co.uk)

Ibiza clubbing Hit the closing parties in Ibiza this September with a week's holiday from £339pp. The offer is with British Airways and includes seven nights' self-catering accommodation at the three-star Aparthotel Reco des Sol in San Antonio – home to clubs Es Paradis and Eden, and the famous Café del Mar – and return flights from Gatwick (ba.com/holidayfinder)


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(more...)]]> Naturist hotels laid barehttp://www.hireagreencar.com/latest-news/naturist-hotels-laid-bare.htmlFri, 16 Aug 2013 06:30:34 GMT

    


(more...)]]>
In Transit Blog: Hunting and Gathering at Canyon Ranchhttp://www.hireagreencar.com/latest-news/in-transit-blog-hunting-and-gathering-at-canyon-ranch.htmlThu, 15 Aug 2013 14:00:12 GMT
    






(more...)]]>
Green Car Reports Switches To Disqus For Reader Commentshttp://www.hireagreencar.com/latest-news/green-car-reports-switches-to-disqus-for-reader-comments.htmlThu, 15 Aug 2013 07:00:00 +0000 We love our commenters: You all are an informed, passionate, and very active group, and we thank you. So, here's some news. As of this morning, we've switched our commenting system from the old homegrown one to the Disqus system you've likely seen on an increasing number of websites. There are two important things to know right up front. Existing... (more...)]]> Bites: Restaurant Report: &Samhoud Places in Amsterdamhttp://www.hireagreencar.com/latest-news/bites-restaurant-report-samhoud-places-in-amsterdam.htmlTue, 13 Aug 2013 18:56:44 GMT
    






(more...)]]>
Badgers: the truth behind the cullhttp://www.hireagreencar.com/latest-news/badgers-the-truth-behind-the-cull.htmlFri, 09 Aug 2013 08:47 +0000 Volvo offers free home charging for V60http://www.hireagreencar.com/latest-news/volvo-offers-free-home-charging-for-v60.htmlThu, 15 Aug 2013 10:13:47 GMT

As deliveries of the Volvo V60 AWD plug-in diesel hybrid start in the UK, Volvo has announced a new partnership with British Gas to help ensure that customers are able to charge their vehicles at home. Until March 2015, customers who buy the new model will be eligible for a free car charging package from British Gas, which includes a charge point and free access to the Polar Charging networ...

(more...)]]>
Gap year case study: learning a languagehttp://www.hireagreencar.com/latest-news/gap-year-case-study-learning-a-language.htmlFri, 16 Aug 2013 07:00:37 GMT
    


(more...)]]>
SpaceX Grasshopper aims to kill "disposable rockets", make going to space cheaphttp://www.hireagreencar.com/latest-news/spacex-grasshopper-aims-to-kill-disposable-rockets-make-going-to-space-cheap.htmlThu, 15 Aug 2013 12:05:46 -0400 Creating a privately financed startup that builds space rockets to compete will all the national space programs in the world is probably a more impressive feat than building the Hyperloop would be. (more...)]]> Aeroflot to launch low-cost airlinehttp://www.hireagreencar.com/latest-news/aeroflot-to-launch-lowcost-airline.htmlWed, 14 Aug 2013 13:43:40 GMT
    






(more...)]]>
Study reveals the obvious: The rich are different from you and me, especially behind the wheelhttp://www.hireagreencar.com/latest-news/study-reveals-the-obvious-the-rich-are-different-from-you-and-me-especially-behind-the-wheel.htmlTue, 13 Aug 2013 11:04:01 -0400 It appears that drivers of fancy cars are more likely to go through pedestrian crosswalks (more...)]]> China's State Council has announced plans to make green industries central to the economy by 2015http://www.hireagreencar.com/latest-news/chinas-state-council-has-announced-plans-to-make-green-industries-central-to-the-economy-by-2015.htmlThu, 15 Aug 2013 08:58:00 EST (more...)]]> Letters: Cycling from A to Bhttp://www.hireagreencar.com/latest-news/letters-cycling-from-a-to-b.htmlMon, 12 Aug 2013 20:00:00 GMT

Improvements in our cycling infrastructure should not just be confined to eight cities but must extend to linking villages etc (Cameron to announce £77m boost for cycling, 12 August).

Cycling is the most popular leisure activity in many European countries; it develops a tremendous amount of tourist business; and greatly improves the health and attitude of a nation. Unfortunately, however, it will be light years before Britain can reach anything like the standards of Germany, the Netherlands, Denmark and Switzerland.

I have cycled many long-distance routes on the continent, including fairly recently from Ashford (Kent) to Berlin (A to B); during that journey by far the most difficult and dangerous section I experienced was getting from Ashford to Harwich.

Germany has a wonderful and extensive network of traffic-free farm roads, which add greatly to the country's range of cycling facilities.
Ted Prangnell
Ashford, Kent


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(more...)]]> Kill a rat, save an ecosystemhttp://www.hireagreencar.com/latest-news/kill-a-rat-save-an-ecosystem.htmlThu, 08 Aug 2013 10:52 +0000 In Transit Blog: Sudsing Up, Memorablyhttp://www.hireagreencar.com/latest-news/in-transit-blog-sudsing-up-memorably.htmlTue, 13 Aug 2013 20:13:50 GMT

    






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Tesla Model S Quality Testing: 5 Hours Of Indoor Inspection (Video)http://www.hireagreencar.com/latest-news/tesla-model-s-quality-testing-5-hours-of-indoor-inspection-video.htmlThu, 15 Aug 2013 13:00:00 +0000 Thorough pre-delivery testing is commonplace in the modern automotive industry, and means the shiny new cars we pick up from dealerships are of higher quality than ever before. It's always nice to know just how much care is taken to ensure a car is perfect before you're handed the key though--and Tesla Motors' pre-delivery checks are particularly... (more...)]]> Honeywell defends R1234yf refrigerant against Daimlerhttp://www.hireagreencar.com/latest-news/honeywell-defends-r1234yf-refrigerant-against-daimler.htmlTue, 13 Aug 2013 03:00:00 -0400 Shocking video makes new coolant the hottest front in the battle for climate control. (more...)]]> Will Audi's Next Sports Coupe Use E-Tron Quattro Hybrid Tech?http://www.hireagreencar.com/latest-news/will-audis-next-sports-coupe-use-etron-quattro-hybrid-tech.htmlThu, 15 Aug 2013 12:00:00 +0000 It seems strange that Audi has so far failed to capitalize on the huge success of its R18 e-tron quattro endurance racing cars. They're without doubt some of the most technologically-advanced race cars of the modern age, yet the Ingolstadt automaker has made only token references to the R18 with plug-in hybrid or diesel A3 hatchbacks, or the... (more...)]]> On the TV tourist trail: from Game of Thrones to Downton Abbeyhttp://www.hireagreencar.com/latest-news/on-the-tv-tourist-trail-from-game-of-thrones-to-downton-abbey.htmlSun, 11 Aug 2013 06:00:00 GMT

Whether you're a fan of Thrones' Ned Stark, or Broadchurch's Ellie Miller, there's a location tour to take. Here's our pick of the latest on location television tours

Game of Thrones

Game of Thrones locations are doing great business, with hotel bookings in Ouarzazate, Morocco (the city of Pentos in season one) up 100%. Closer to home, Viator has bus tours to the show's Northern Ireland locations (£72pp), and walking tours in Dubrovnik (£48pp), setting for King's Landing. Self-drive tours in Iceland take more intrepid travellers to locations beyond the Wall, including Vatnajökull glacier (discover-the-world.co.uk/en/holidays/iceland/beyond-the-wall, from £620pp for four nights).

Midsomer Murders

Perennial detective drama Midsomer Murders shows little sign of slowing down, now sold to more than 200 countries. Tourists from all over the world flock to South Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire locations such as Wallingford, Warborough and Dorchester on Thames for fictional Midsomer county (visitmidsomer.com). The average Midsomer murder rate is 32 per million inhabitants, three times the rate of the actual area and equivalent to murder rates in Latvia and Chile.

Doctor Who

Doctor Who and spin-off Torchwood have bolstered tourist numbers in Cardiff. As part of the 50th anniversary celebrations at The Doctor Who Experience , visitors can upgrade Experience tickets (family £46) with an official tour of the Tardis set (family £74.50) and Cardiff Bay. Fans might spot the new Doctor, Peter Capaldi, filming on location this autumn.

Broadchurch

The popularity of the TV whodunnit has drawn tourists to West Bay, Dorset and Clevedon, Somerset. Writer Chris Chibnall calls Broadchurch "a love letter to the scenery of the Jurassic Coast". Many tourists are already finding their own way around, but Literary Lyme Walking Tours has launched a route in West Bay, to Broadchurch's locations (£8). The second series, in the works, won't do business any harm.

Downton Abbey

Fans of ITV's Edwardian juggernaut can take bus tours between Downton village's Bampton and Highclere Castle in Hampshire (britmovietours.com, £95). A visit with P&P Tours (£125) includes afternoon tea at Highclere. Despite the hefty price tag, advance tickets for the 2013 summer season have almost sold out. Tickets for the castle itself (highclerecastle.co.uk, £5-£18) have also sold out but eager fans can try their luck with walk-up tickets, available each day until 12 September. Dates for 2014 have yet to be announced – the Dowager Countess would not be amused.


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(more...)]]> Volvo V60 plug-in hybrid teams with British Gas for home charging pointshttp://www.hireagreencar.com/latest-news/volvo-v60-plugin-hybrid-teams-with-british-gas-for-home-charging-points.htmlThu, 15 Aug 2013 10:03:00 +01:00Volvo V60 plug-in hybrid teams with British Gas for home charging pointsManufacturer of the world’s first plug-in diesel hybrid, Volvo, is to team with British Gas to ensure that buyers of its new V60 D6 AWD hybrid have home recharging facilities. Until March 2015, customers who buy the new sportswagon plug-in model will be eligible for a free car charging package f[...] (more...)]]> Got a tip for somewhere to stay in a UK national park?http://www.hireagreencar.com/latest-news/got-a-tip-for-somewhere-to-stay-in-a-uk-national-park.htmlWed, 14 Aug 2013 06:59:49 GMTB&Bs, hotels, hostels and pubs with rooms: send us your favourite overnight spot via GuardianWitness and you could win a tent for your next trip



(more...)]]> Non-food crops lock up enough calories to feed 4 billionhttp://www.hireagreencar.com/latest-news/nonfood-crops-lock-up-enough-calories-to-feed-4-billion.htmlWed, 14 Aug 2013 11:58:00 EST (more...)]]> Ford To Lower Disputed C-Max Hybrid Gas Mileage Estimates: Reporthttp://www.hireagreencar.com/latest-news/ford-to-lower-disputed-cmax-hybrid-gas-mileage-estimates-report.htmlThu, 15 Aug 2013 17:30:00 +0000 Ford will lower the 47-mpg gas mileage rating for its C-Max Hybrid hatchback, a much-disputed metric that was never backed up by real-world owner experience. Soon after the cars launched a year ago, widespread media coverage--on this site and Consumer Reports, among others--indicated that owners were getting real-world figures that varied... (more...)]]> Don't forget Canada! Chevrolet Volt gets $5000 price cut up Northhttp://www.hireagreencar.com/latest-news/dont-forget-canada-chevrolet-volt-gets-usd5000-price-cut-up-north.htmlWed, 14 Aug 2013 13:54:38 -0400 Canadians are used to paying more than Americans for a lot of things, even now that the Loonie has been hovering near 1:1 with the U.S. dollar for years. (more...)]]> Half-a-million bees live at Seattle Airport, meet their beekeepers (video)http://www.hireagreencar.com/latest-news/halfamillion-bees-live-at-seattle-airport-meet-their-beekeepers-video.htmlThu, 15 Aug 2013 14:20:17 -0400 "Since 2006, 30% of the bee colonies in the U.S. have vanished. A huge problem, considering Bees pollinate 1/3rd of everything humans eat." (more...)]]> Imprint: Echoes of the Savage and Sublime on Mount Tamalpaishttp://www.hireagreencar.com/latest-news/imprint-echoes-of-the-savage-and-sublime-on-mount-tamalpais.htmlWed, 14 Aug 2013 19:06:13 GMT

    






(more...)]]>
How voluntourism changed my lifehttp://www.hireagreencar.com/latest-news/how-voluntourism-changed-my-life.htmlThu, 15 Aug 2013 08:21:57 GMT
    






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In Transit Blog: Delta to Offer Shuttle Between Los Angeles and San Franciscohttp://www.hireagreencar.com/latest-news/in-transit-blog-delta-to-offer-shuttle-between-los-angeles-and-san-francisco.htmlTue, 13 Aug 2013 18:25:53 GMT
    






(more...)]]>
Next Stop: Overcoming the Past in Lively Kampalahttp://www.hireagreencar.com/latest-news/next-stop-overcoming-the-past-in-lively-kampala.htmlThu, 15 Aug 2013 21:56:49 GMT
    






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Mike Williams obituaryhttp://www.hireagreencar.com/latest-news/mike-williams-obituary.htmlThu, 15 Aug 2013 17:06:25 GMT

Keen ramblers – or even Sunday strollers –will be familiar with the photographic guides to national parks, and to long-distance walks, that have been created in ever-increasing numbers over the last 30 years. One of the most respected authors of this guidebook genre, the Derbyshire-based photographer Mike Williams, has died aged 66.

Born in Maidstone, Kent, he attended the local technical high school before becoming a photographer with the education department of Kent county council in 1972. This followed a number of jobs that included forestry worker and railway signalman. He studied part-time at Maidstone art school before becoming staff photographer at the Peak District national park – a job coveted by many professional photographers at the time.

Mike was passionate about landscape photography and was always eager to extend his knowledge and skills. He came to lectures by well-known visiting practitioners at Trent Polytechnic, Nottingham, which is where I first met him, and was a participant on the first-ever residential photography workshop in Britain, at the Photographers' Place, near Ashbourne, Derbyshire, in 1976. In that year he provided the photographs for one of the best ever national park guides – First and Last – for his employers.

A year later he spent some time with the American photographer and conservationist Ansel Adams, in Yosemite national park in California. Mike felt that revealing, through his photographs and writing, the attractions of the landscape was a double-edged sword. He was always conscious of the conservation versus footfall debate, but he felt there was no way you could control the public's love affair with rugged landscapes or picturesque villages.

In 1978 he left the Peak park to freelance, and was able to develop his reputation as an author/photographer, first with Wildest Britain (1983), followed by The Peak District National Park Guide and The Lake District National Park Guide (both for the Countryside Commission, 1987). Then, for Ordnance Survey and Aurum Press, he produced Southwest Coastal Path (1988), North Downs Way (1992), Two Moors Way (1997) and Wessex Ridgeway (1999). In 2004 came Pennine Bridleway for the Countryside Agency.

He was diagnosed with motor neurone disease two years ago. When I last saw him, he told me: "The consultant says I could go on for another 10 years, but if I can't walk or enjoy the countryside, I hope it doesn't take that long."

Mike is survived by his partner, Di, and daughter, Kate.


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(more...)]]> Scenes From Monacohttp://www.hireagreencar.com/latest-news/scenes-from-monaco.htmlThu, 15 Aug 2013 21:54:59 GMT

    
(more...)]]>
Electric Car Price Guide: Every 2013-2014 Plug-In Car, With Specshttp://www.hireagreencar.com/latest-news/electric-car-price-guide-every-20132014-plugin-car-with-specs.htmlTue, 13 Aug 2013 15:30:00 +0000 It's a hot topic whenever anyone mentions electric cars: pricing. Many electric cars are more expensive than their regular counterparts, though naturally they cost less to run too. But what do today's electric and plug-in cars actually cost? We've gathered together each plug-in car on sale today in one place. Every vehicle here shows the... (more...)]]> Tokyo, as you've never seen it – 360° interactivehttp://www.hireagreencar.com/latest-news/tokyo-as-youve-never-seen-it-–-360°-interactive.htmlMon, 12 Aug 2013 14:36:00 GMT

To create this 360º 'Gigapixel Panorama' of the world's largest city, photographer Jeffrey Martin took over 10,000 photos from the Tokyo Tower, and combined them digitally to form an interactive image, the second largest photo ever taken

The image shows you a great deal of the Tokyo metropolitan area – you can see about 25km to the horizon, which adds up to about 500 sq km. I was lucky there was a big storm the night before, which cleaned the air, extending the visibility by many miles.

I spent months putting the whole thing together, but still haven't seen every detail in the image. But I've found a few nice highlights, including a guy sleeping on the ground after a rough night out, a Ferrari, a couple of guys practising baseball, and scores of little alleyways and streets where life is unfolding. I shot on a weekend so there are a lot of people simply doing their thing; there is a lot of life in the image.

I shoot almost exclusively 360º images. To me, it is the perfect kind of photography, capturing everything that exists from a single point in space. It is inherently geographic, in describing a single point on the earth, and in far greater detail than anyone could experience with the naked eye. I think it is amazing that I can extend the human senses in this way.

I shot the image using a standard DSLR camera, a Canon 7D, and a 400mm lens. The only special gear used was a robot camera mount connected to a laptop, onto which I bolted the camera and lens. This expensive piece of kit allows you to turn the camera by precise amounts using powerful stepper motors. On this shoot, the camera was moving, and simultaneously focusing and shooting frames, all without stopping, which lets you accomplish something that would otherwise take 10 times longer.

The entire image, taken from the Tokyo Tower, is made from three different sections which were shot pointing out from three different places around the tower. (These sections were joined together at the very end, on the computer.) Each section of images took 30-90 minutes to shoot, depending on the speed that the robot was turning the camera. So, I shot a whole set of images twice, on two different days.


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(more...)]]> Check In: Hotel Review: Palermo Place in Buenos Aireshttp://www.hireagreencar.com/latest-news/check-in-hotel-review-palermo-place-in-buenos-aires.htmlWed, 14 Aug 2013 19:08:07 GMT

    






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Electric NASCAR? Not Yet, Just Dozens Of Teslas On Trackhttp://www.hireagreencar.com/latest-news/electric-nascar-not-yet-just-dozens-of-teslas-on-track.htmlWed, 14 Aug 2013 16:00:00 +0000 Ask the average NASCAR fan whether they think the sport should go electric, and the response probably wouldn't be repeatable in polite company. Fans of electric cars already know they can be fast and with success at events like Pikes Peak, they can win against gasoline vehicles too. But NASCAR is as much about the sound as it is the color, the... (more...)]]> Close-Up: Just Try to Top Geoffrey Kent’s Travel Taleshttp://www.hireagreencar.com/latest-news/closeup-just-try-to-top-geoffrey-kents-travel-tales.htmlWed, 14 Aug 2013 19:06:35 GMT
    






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In Transit Blog: Morocco, From Market to Kitchenhttp://www.hireagreencar.com/latest-news/in-transit-blog-morocco-from-market-to-kitchen.htmlWed, 14 Aug 2013 19:34:39 GMT
    






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In Transit Blog: Hard Rock to Open Hotel in Ibizahttp://www.hireagreencar.com/latest-news/in-transit-blog-hard-rock-to-open-hotel-in-ibiza.htmlTue, 13 Aug 2013 14:16:57 GMT
    






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Holidays to help you live longerhttp://www.hireagreencar.com/latest-news/holidays-to-help-you-live-longer.htmlFri, 16 Aug 2013 07:00:51 GMT
    
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Ford to re-label C-MAX Hybridhttp://www.hireagreencar.com/latest-news/ford-to-relabel-cmax-hybrid.htmlFri, 16 Aug 2013 06:46:00 +01:00Ford to re-label C-MAX HybridFord has decided to downgrade the fuel economy of its C-MAX Hybrid vehicle (pictured) following EPA testing and consumer complaints. The vehicle was initially reported as achieving 47mpg combined, but now its fuel economy estimates are 45mpg city, 40mpg highway and 43mpg combined. In addition, For[...] (more...)]]> Electric car concept covers 20km on own solar energyhttp://www.hireagreencar.com/latest-news/electric-car-concept-covers-20km-on-own-solar-energy.htmlWed, 14 Aug 2013 09:54:00 +01:00Electric car concept covers 20km on own solar energyA new electric car prototype hopes to overcome the issue of electric cars only being as green as the electricity that drives them. Able to drive up to 20km (12 miles) on solar power generated via the car’s own on-board solar panels, the new P-MOB car could ensure that short journeys are completely g[...] (more...)]]> Stansted baggage scanners plan Bank Holiday strikeshttp://www.hireagreencar.com/latest-news/stansted-baggage-scanners-plan-bank-holiday-strikes.htmlMon, 12 Aug 2013 15:34:08 GMT

Workers who scan baggage at Stansted Airport are to stage strikes over the Bank Holiday weekend this month in a row over pay.


    


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Next Green Car Awards 2013: Winnershttp://www.hireagreencar.com/latest-news/next-green-car-awards-2013-winners.htmlThu, 15 Aug 2013 11:39:21 GMT

Next Green Car today announces the winners of the Next Green Car Awards 2013, the most scientifically-based Green Car Awards in the UK. Next Green Car has made awards across eight vehicle categories including the 'Next Generation' Award, which includes new technology models close to market launch. The eight winners are selected from shortlists of 26 of the UK's greenest new cars of 201...

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In Transit Blog: A Fitness Program Gets Fasterhttp://www.hireagreencar.com/latest-news/in-transit-blog-a-fitness-program-gets-faster.htmlWed, 14 Aug 2013 18:47:20 GMT
    
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New 1.0 litre engine for Vauxhall Adamhttp://www.hireagreencar.com/latest-news/new-10-litre-engine-for-vauxhall-adam.htmlWed, 07 Aug 2013 11:27:47 GMT

Vauxhall will be unveiling an all-new low emission 1.0-litre threeâ€"cylinder petrol engine at next month's Frankfurt International Motor Show, ahead of its debut in the Adam city car next year. The 1.0-litre petrol turbo represents a new benchmark for efficiency of Vauxhall engines, and has noise, vibration and harshness (NVH) characteristics superior to many four cylinder units. ...

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On the Road: Barrage of Fees Is Starting to Follow Fliers to the Hotelhttp://www.hireagreencar.com/latest-news/on-the-road-barrage-of-fees-is-starting-to-follow-fliers-to-the-hotel.htmlMon, 12 Aug 2013 19:05:41 GMT
    
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Antarctic Warmed Its Way Out of The Last Ice Agehttp://www.hireagreencar.com/latest-news/antarctic-warmed-its-way-out-of-the-last-ice-age.htmlThu, 15 Aug 2013 09:20:00 EST (more...)]]>