Well, well, well, what to do, what to do? To blog or not to blog, that is the question. In July 2010 I lost my life partner and good travel buddy Don. Together we had some amazing adventures and I was pretty sure that after he died that would be the end of adventure travel for me. I just couldn't imagine tackling far flung places without him. Buuuut, you know what, my love of travel won out and I am off again.
For my first adventure without Don, I am travelling with my daughter-in-law's dad, Klaus. He lost his wife at the same time as I lost Don. India was a country he had always wanted to visit, as had I, but our spouses were not interested. My daughter-in-law, Tordes, said "That's it, I am putting a plan in place for you and the pair of you will go together." Tordes is an expert on travel within India and doesn't take no for an answer.
So we are off! Now that we are a little more mature in years and since this is our first trip together we are travelling independently, but with a car and driver. In three weeks we will cover Delhi, Rajasthan, Agra and Varanasi. This is going to be a unique experience for us both as we don’t know each other that well - but that is all about to change! I will let you know how it goes .
February 19th 2009
Err, um, now let me see - where shall I start? Two days ago we were traveling along in our breezy mode of transport with me casually watching the tuck tuck ahead of us on the street. I commented to Don, 'This has been an Amazing Race sort of day, don't you think?' He replied, ' Are you saying that because The Blondes are ahead of us!' I was stunned, I didn't think he paid that much attention to the show. Now let's rewind the tape a few hours. Because I was still not feeling right, we had set off a little later than planned for our walk to the Palace Just as we reached the entrance, an enterprising tuk tuk driver approached and told us the museum, temple and palace were closed for lunch ... read more
February 14th 2009
Here we are, in a brand new country. Actually the flight was so short - barely one hour - we hardly had time to complete all the necessary forms before we were touching down. Siem Reap's airport is one of the cutest we have ever seen and brand spanking new. I guess it has been built to accommodate the hoards of tourists who are flocking to this place to see the temples which, from the looks of it, are the number one tourist attraction at the moment. I could go on and on about the the wonderful sights we are seeing, but it is just as easy for you to Google Ankor Wat if you want to know more. The tour guide/blogger is sick with a cold and bad cough and has been this way for ... read more
February 10th 2009
Phew, can you believe it - we have had four days and three nights in the Mekong Delta and now we are back in Saigon. Because of the logistics of travelling within the Delta we did this portion of our trip with a car, driver and guide. Our days have been jam packed from dawn till dusk - no time for R n R when you have a trusty guide such as "Nick" leading you around. Needless to say there are also no 'adventure' stories to tell as we were in his capable hands. We told him we were quite able to walk around by ourselves but he would not hear of it, saying we were his responsibility. The biggest struggle for me was getting on and off the boats and up and down the steep ... read more
February 5th 2009
Okay, now I am really feeling the stress. This our third day in the Mekong Delta and I still have not written about the Cu Chi Tunnels. It has been all go for the last several days, literlly leaving no time for blog entries PLUS access is limited. For example we are now in a large hotel with only ONE ancient, very slow computer so there is always a line up to use it and it keeps bouncing me out of the site. I am going to cheat and back up a couple of days, keep the blog short and let the pics speak for themselves. I will write about the Mekong Delta next time. Although the tunnels are only some 65 km from Saigon it still took over two hours to get there with the ... read more
February 4th 2009
Can you believe it? Our 10 days R n R at the beach have come and gone - just when we were really getting into the swing of things. Now that Tet is officially over and everyone is back at work, we wake up to see all the fishing boats out on the sea. It really is quite a sight. When they are looking for squid a tug pulls out a whole row of the little round bamboo boats and drops them off at strategic locations. A couple of hours later he goes and brings them in again. It looks just like a mother duck being followed by her babies. On Feb 2nd we were taking our usual morning walk on the beach when Don got talking to one of the fishermen. Before you could say ... read more
January 29th 2009
As promised here is Don's Blog. I have told him he can dictate whatever he wants to me and I will write it. He just has to remember this is a public site and goes out to friends as well as our family. Here he is: Re the Sand Dunes. Started out early in the morning in a post war jeep that had no working instruments and the steering was rather hap hazzard as the driver kept jerking on the wheel. After an hour of driving we arrived at the white sands and lake area where the driver said we had 45 mins. In this time we were supposed to be able to climb the dunes and come back. Well, it took 15 min. just to get to the bottom of the dunes. The dunes were ... read more
January 27th 2009
Well, that was a short break wasn't it? It's all your fault Tordes. You threw down the gauntlet and it got picked up. We set out to catch the local bus into Phan Tiet, which is over 20km from our hotel. We knew there were dragon boat races taking place to celebrate Tet. There we were standing at the bus stop, minding our own business when along come these two very persuasive guys with their bikes. Between their pleadings and Don's urgings, I finally agreed to get on one. Only after I had extracted many promises from my driver that he would drive carefully and there would be no crazy antics or rash moves. I spent most of the time looking to the side and praying for the 20k to be over. I felt like I ... read more
January 26th 2009
Okay, Okay, since my last entry, I have given myself a couple of quick kicks in the behind and am now back to normal. It has only taken us a couple of days to get into the R n R groove. You know how it goes; get up, take a walk, eat, read, swim, read and on and on. We will probably plough through a year's worth of books in 10 days. There is no TV here - this was a planned decision. We have peaked in a few resorts along the beach and both agree this is the best set up, for us anyway. Our little hut is in a great location, really close to the beach and away from the road. Thank goodness we booked nice and early because they seem to be full. ... read more
January 24th 2009
Here we are at the beach. What I can't really believe is that this means we are approaching the halfway mark of our trip. It was a long slow drive to get here - about 4 hours of travel time and an hour or so of hanging around, Everyone is on the road heading home for the holidays, their mopeds and motorbikes loaded to the gills with gifts and bags. Here we are in paradise, I guess. Actually I am feeling a little flat at the moment but really don't know why. The resort is everything one could want in a seaside location with quiet, thatched roof bungalows surrounded by palm trees, all facing the sea and nicely secluded. The place is immaculate and pristine. I think that may be a little bit of the problem ... read more
January 22nd 2009
I am not going to say a word about the heat. Having complained about the cold for so long I had better keep my lips zipped. Well, getting around Hanoi was like riding a bike with training wheels. We were just getting warmed up for the main event - Saigon. We are now in the big city and it has that city feel and comes with city traffic. Thank goodness for the occasional traffic light. They have some decent sidewalks but every few feet there are huge concrete planters with trees in. You have to step out into the road to get around them. It is a minefield for someone as clumsy as me. Before we came away I told my friends that I was not going to spend time visiting war sights and museums. I ... read more