Hello! I've decided that I've had enough of work and it's time to scratch my itchy feet. Over the next 12 months I'm planning to travel to Brazil, Argentina, Peru, Bolivia, Chile, New Zealand, Australia, Singapore, Thailand, Laos, Vietnam, Cambodia, Japan, Hong Kong and India.
As well as travelling on my own, I'm going to take a couple of organised tours and meet up with friends in Oz (hello, H!). Sarah, my sister, is also coming out to join me for a couple of months.
Well, that's the plan. Might run out of money in a month!!
July 25th 2007
After Iguazu Falls from the Brasilian side, we then hopped over the border back into Argentina again to catch another overnight bus from Puerto Iguazu to take us to Uruguay. This bus was even nicer than the last 15hr one - they even provided food and a glass of vino! We watched a couple of videos (and I pity the spanish speakers trying to follow the subtitles to Hot Fuzz which just did not translate) and had a fair sleep. Trouble was that the bus was so hot and we couldn't open any windows - it was so hot that the condensation that fell from the roof onto my face during the night was a welcome relief. I tried my best not to think that it might be sweat!!! The bus didn't go directly to Uruguay ... read more
July 21st 2007
From Ilhe Grande we made a brief ovenight stop in Parati, a beautiful old Portuguese colonial port and then we headed for Foz do Iguazu which is on the border of Brazil, Paraguay and Argentina. The initial plan was to take a six hour bus ride to Sao Paulo then catch a flight to Foz. However, due to the plane crash in Sao Paulo we had to take an additional 15 (yes, fifteen!) hour bus to Foz. I thought it was going to be my worst nightmare, but no! The buses were great - loads of legroom, reclining seats, dvds etc. I wish my flight could have been that comfortable. I even managed to sleep quite well. We arrived early in the morning and after checking into the hotel headed across the border into Paraguy to ... read more
July 17th 2007
I've just left what can only be described as a paradise island - Ilha Grande. It was only a 2hr bus ride from Rio and then an hour or so on a ferry across to the main port of Vila do Abraao. There are no cars allowed on the island, no ATMs, no mobile phones and the pace of life is very relaxed. On the night we arrived there was a local fiesta (done during the winter months to attract people to the island) with live bands and food and drink stalls. I have now found my new favourite cocktail - caipirinha - a mixture of cachaca, lime and sugar. Mmmm. After a few of these learning to Samba on the shoreline was easy and I may now class myself as an expert!!! The day after ... read more
July 11th 2007
After a long journey from Manchester, via London, via Sao Paulo we are completing our approach into Rio when the pilot in his very calm, perfect english pilot-voice announces that there may be a fire in the hold and we need to make an emergency landing. As he is so perfectly calm, with his perfect english pilot-voice we just don't quite understand what is going on. It is only when the cabin crew (now elevated from trolly-dolly status) are donning hi-vis vests and checking us individually to make sure that we know what the brace position is, that it starts to sink in. I try to dipell that secretly exciting thought that we get to jump down the inflatable slide (I must grow up!) and then think about the fact that the plane may be on ... read more
May 13th 2007
OK, OK, so I've not gone just yet. But I thought I'd better give this blog thing a trial run before I'm off for real. So it was off to Paris for the night to surprise my Mum for her birthday. Arrived safely at Paris airport and left complete with all luggage so I think I've now beaten the CDG demons - I still kept a look out for a lonely suit carrier but I think I have to accept that it's gone forever! We met up with my parents in the hotel lounge - not quite the 'knock on the door here we are' surprise that we were planning, but I still think it was quite unexpected. BTW - the hotel, George V, was amazing. Beautiful, comfortable and with fantastic staff - I'm sure ... read more