So Chris and I are getting ready to welcome our house sitters, who do a great job looking after the house when we go away. They are coming because we are about to embark on the third part of our fragmented ‘Gap Year’, which has in fact spanned 9 years so far. We have brought trip 3 forward a few years due to family circumstances, and a realisation that this one is a trip we want to do while we are still as healthy and strong as possible.
Planning it has made me wonder where my urge to travel comes from.
Both of my Grandfathers were seamen, each serving for many years in the Navy and Merchant Navy. So they certainly travelled! My father proudly told me how, in the 1920’s, he and 2 friends cycled to Portsmouth and persuaded a boat to take them to France. They then cycled round Brittany, sleeping in barns, and caught a boat back! Aged 13! So travel could be in the genes!
But my travel bug was fuelled by a large book my father bought me in Leather Lane Market when I was about 8. It was about countries and their people, and every page was a treasure trove of landscapes, architecture and cultural images that were so different to anything I had ever seen. I have vivid memories of a picture of the Taj Mahal, one of Orang utangs in Borneo, and a double page spread of Venice. And I knew that I wanted to see them all! In fact, there was hardly a page in the book that didn’t make me go WOW! Even though, at 8 years old, the furthest I had travelled from my home in London was Worthing, about 70 miles away!
My first real travelling was done on a school cruise at age 11, visiting Florence, Pisa, Ephesus, Antalya, Santorini, Malta and Lisbon. I was hooked.
Luckily Chris is now hooked too!
So this time we go to a continent that is new to us. It has the potential to be the most challenging of our trips, but holds the promise of some wonderful encounters with diverse wildlife, scenery, climates and cultures. Certainly we have the opportunity to see many of the pictures that my 8 year old self dreamed of.
We are off to South America… with a stop in Cuba on the way! Sadly (but not surprisingly), this is a Bimble without Boris!
We should be used to the packing now, but the beds are strewn with clothes and kit, and we are trying to work the magic that will make it miraculously shrink and fit into our bags. Our super mosquito net is definitely coming.
We’ve had all the vaccinations we can, and have even had some Spanish lessons so that we can try to have the courtesy to communicate a little in their own language. Chris says all he needs is ‘Una cerveza por favor’!
Once again, we are using a Multi trip ticket from Travel Nation., with the long haul segments business class, this time with KLM and it’s associated South American airlines. 17 flights for less than 1 business class ticket to Sydney. The rest is planned and booked by us, using local accommodation and tour guides so the money we spend stays in the country.
We’ve just spent a super, laughter filled weekend with all the family which included a fabulous Moroccan meal, lots of games including Human Buckaroo… sorry Tracy… how you slept through this was a miracle!!!
I cannot end this preamble without mentioning the ‘B’ word! Brexit! Our return is just after the deadline. Whatever will we return to? Still in the EU? Out with a deal? No deal? Or just a postponement of the uncertainty?
As most of you know, our blog is our diary. We are very happy to share it. If you have received notification of this blog post, then you are all signed up and ready to receive the posts from this trip. They may be at erratic intervals because internet is very variable in some locations.
We look forward to having you join us vicariously on our trip. We love your comments and messages, and we wish we could sneak you all inside our bags…but it would play havoc with our weight allowance! XX