Hiya, we are Dee and Holly
from Northampton, England.
We left home on 1st October 2009 to see the world and were away for 447 days in total.
Our journey started in India, Nepal and Hong Kong [~2 months] then SE Asia [~8 months] then Australia and New Zealand [~3 months] and South America [~3 months]. We were home for Christmas 2010.
We were looking forward to finding paradise and the perfect mojito, dabbling in adventure and making new friends along the way. Holly was a little worried about going without hair straighteners and having to 'pack light'. Dee did not pack light, took his skateboard and searched for Chin and pie! We missed our friends and family and a proper cup of tea the most.
We hope you enjoy our blog!!H&D
December 22nd 2010
Said Adios Bolivia by getting a rusty locals bus from Tupiza to the Argentine boarder. Quick and painless through customs and into the last country on our round the world adventure. Bit annoyed because we got lied to at the bus station. A bus company agent assured us we were on the direct bus to Salta but instead it was 2 buses and a long lay over in Jujuy. But while waiting in Jujuy bus station we did eat the most amazing Lomito (steak sandwich) and were befriended by a lovely chap who invited us to smoke cigarettes and sing songs in his parked car, so ever cloud has a silver lining! NB, we declined his kind offer ;-) Arrived in pretty Salta city in the middle of the night and allowed a hostel tout to ... read more
December 10th 2010
Our 2 week whistle-stop tour of Bolivia...... La Paz We arrived in huge bowl-shaped, frantic La Paz and checked into The Adventure Brew Hostel right by the bus station. Enjoyed their free beer every night policy but at 3660m above sea level, one beer was enough! Wandered around the city and took advantage of the cheap shopping. Browsed the Witches Market, which sold all weird and wonderful potions and good luck charms including disgusting dead dried llama fetuses. So many traditionally dressed locals here, the women wear full skirts and bowler hats and have their hair long and in plaits, even the little old ladies. Excited to find a Brit run Indian curry house (Star of India) but although the food was tasty (Bolivian food is not!), we're sure they made everything with jars of Pataks. ... read more
November 30th 2010
We were sad to see Jo leave Cusco after having such a brilliant time, so after cheering ourselves up with HUGE Pisco Sours and a scrumptious meal at 2 Nations (Aussie Peruvian fare including stuffed alpaca and quinoa risotto!) we got the chilly night bus west, across the Andes, to Nazca. Went straight to the tiny airport and got ourselves an early morning flight to see the famous Nazca lines. We were a bit scared because there had been 3 fatal plane crashes in 2010 but did our research beforehand and went with a reputable company (Aerodiana!). We went up in a 12 seater cesnar and both got a window seat. We took off (shakily as aways in a small aircraft) and the pilot took us to see the main and best preserved geoglyphs in the ... read more
November 24th 2010
Finally the day came we had been planning and looking forward to for ages, our 4 day 43 km trek along the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu. They only let 500 people a day onto the trail so we'd had to book our places months ago with United Mice, a recommended local tour company. When we went for our briefing, we found out that only the 3 of us would be doing the trek that day, which at first we were a little despondent about. Usually, the Inca Trek is done in groups of up to 16 people and we imagined it would be really fun and great to meet new like-minded people. As it was, it would be just us three plus Fredi plus our 6 porters, which would still be great but different to ... read more
November 21st 2010
Ok, so Cusco isn't mysterious or gold but we were very impressed when we rocked up after our night bus from Arequipa. The main cultural city centre was full of impressive stone architecture and cathedrals, plazas, fountains and Inca stone walls and we liked it immediately. Checked into brand new Ecopackers hostel (the cleanest and shiniest hostel we've ever seen) and began our ''acclimatisation'' by relaxing in cafes and window shopping! Our good friend Jo arrived on a bus from Puno and we were very excited to see a friendly face and catch up on the news from back home over a Pisco Sour! Jo also bought us a South America guide book to replace the one we'd had stolen, thanks mate!! Next day was Dee's 34th birthday and after opening cards and reading messages from ... read more
November 6th 2010
After having to wait 8 days for our Argentinian visas (should have been 3 days!), we were really glad to get out of Santiago and Chile, even if this did mean getting a 33 hour bus back up north. We'd stayed again at Hostel Casa Roja in the capital, the staff really helped us to chase the frustrating Argentine Embassy and we became one of the family. We arrived in dusty Arica after our long and boring journey (extra boring because all the films were dubbed in Spanish). We only stayed one night near the bus station so didn't do this town justice and left early the next morning for Peru!! Took a 'collectivo' taxi with 2 locals over the Chile/Peru boarder and to a town called Tacna. Really easy boarder crossing and very helpful driver. ... read more
October 18th 2010
After saying very fond farewells to Jorje and Valparaiso, we got the night bus to La Serena. The bus station was very busy as it was a Bank Holiday in Chile so everyone was also on the move. Could only get the pricey Cama seats (kinda like business class!) so we had a very comfortable journey. Arrived in cold and grey La Serena very early at 7am on Sunday. Our room at the nice German owned Hostel Del Punto wouldn't be ready until 1pm so we dumped our bags and we out for a walk. Our first impressions of La Serena were not good. The town centre was shut but didn't look great. We walked to the beach front to kill some time but this was horrible, no nice promenade, grey sand, ugly high-rises, stray dogs ... read more
October 9th 2010
After spending an action packed last day with Christine and Steve in Auckland (pancake brunch, walks around ancient volcanoes and lamb petting!) we + didgeridoo took our delayed LAN flight to Santiago in Chile and began the final phase of our trip....South America! Chile is 16 hours behind New Zealand so it was weird living Sunday all over again. This meant we were knackered and slept for 16 hours straight on our first night! Stayed in Casa Roja Hostal, a huge old converted mansion in nice Barrio Brasil near the city centre. It was mostly full of Brits and Aussies so we didn't have to worry about the language barrier! Spent a few days exploring Santiago and it's skate parks. The didgeridoo got posted home. The 8.8M earthquake that rocked Santiago in Feb 2010 was still ... read more
September 26th 2010
Calm ferry journey from Wellington over to South Island. Drive along bendy Queen Charlotte Drive from Picton to Nelson, fab views of Malborough Sound. Love driving our little Nissan Sunny on the NZ country roads. Stayed in a backpackers hostel in Nelson, where we were clearly the only 'backpackers'. Everyone else looked like they were on the witness protection scheme or something! Anyway, didn't linger. The weather had taken a turn for the worse and a big storm rocked the west coast.....just our luck! Made our way south past Cape Foulwind and a quick stop to see the seal colony there and stocked up on supplies in small town Westport. Stayed a couple of nights in tiny Punakaiki, made famous by the interesting layered ''Pancake'' rocks on the coast line. We have never seen sea so ... read more
September 17th 2010
Cheap and tacky Qantas flight from Brisbane to Auckland after a slightly stressful early morning. The people at the Jucy office forgot we were dropping the camper van off early so we had to just leave the van outside the locked compound and Dee jumped the fence to leave the keys somewhere safe before we raced to the airport. Anyway, yay New Zealand! Got stopped going through Customs with the didgeridoo, which had to be unpacked and checked for insects. But this did distract officials from Holly's illegal collection of Asian shells, Australian sand and a chicken noodle cuppa soup so it worked out ok. Picked up our hire car, a very worn 'rent-a-dent' Nissan Sunny and got on the road. We spent the weekend with our friends Christine and Steve in their lovely home in ... read more