We are home from our Round-the World adventure. I still have to finish the blogs for the following sections:
Sept 14 - 25: Boston, USA to Vancouver, Canada by train.
Sept 26 - Oct 21: MV Volandam from Vancouver to Sydney.
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April 26th 2013
This is a blog where I can post random photos which don't really belong in any specific blog.... read more
October 21st 2012
We arrived home safely this morning. Travelling is good but it's nice to be back home. I'll get the blogs out eventually. I have updated the UK blog with photos. Freighter blogs on their way.... read more
September 20th 2012
After avoiding the worst of hurricane Leslie in the Atlantic on the way to Boston, we avoided the next hurricane which hit New York/Boston yesterday. We are now in cold, windy and noisy Chicago - probably the least popular city we have visited so far. We are leaving tomorrow for Seattle with forecasts of snow on the way in Minneapolis but still reasonably warm in Seattle, about 60F (?16C). Getting tired of traveling now. Looking forward to the cruise back to Sydney when we don't have to plan each day.... read more
September 13th 2012
For new readers: if you click on the photos, you can see them enlarged. Friday, Sept 7 We eventually sailed at 0700. Sunrise was 07:20. The sea was flat but there was a mist that obscured our exit from the harbour. Sylvia had woken at 0330, disturbed by the noise of containers being loaded onto the ship. They were being loaded right next to our cabin and she was concerned that they would “accidentally” be smashed into our cabin. Having experienced how containers are loaded, it was not a frivolous fear but we managed to survive the loading without any damaging problems. As we get further from the shore, however, the waves grow bigger and the period between the waves increases. We are truly in the Atlantic. Lunch: Ham and pea soup / Fish and potato ... read more
September 6th 2012
Tuesday, Sept 4 We woke to a calm sea and a sunny day. The Spanish coast was a distant cloud on the horizon. Around us there was nothing but sea but we knew that later today we would be passing through the Straits of Gibraltar and the shipping lanes would be crowded. The morning was spent catching up on chores – washing clothes, tidying our rooms, cleaning the windows (yes, they do open), downloading photos. Sylvia sewed and sewed and sewed - she has two baby quilts to finish before we get back to Oz! Lunch: Beef soup / Fish, Potato salad / Fruit. We kept a watch on the bridge during the afternoon as Gibraltar got closer. There was a constant radio dialogue between all of the ships in the area and the Gibraltar coast ... read more
September 3rd 2012
Friday, July 31 After our frantic 24-hour rail journey from London to La Spezia in Italy, we were so exhausted that we slept through the noise of containers being loaded onto the ship and didn't wake until lunchtime. No doubt the crew have their own routines that shape their day but as a passenger on a freighter the day is divided into meal times and other times. Breakfast, lunch and dinner are at fixed times - miss out and you don't get to eat. Morning and afternoon tea are optional. Lunch today was: Oxtail soup / Calamari, peas and chips / Fresh fruit. It may not sound exciting, but it was freshly prepared, well presented, very tasty and more than enough to fill us up. We finally sailed at 15:00 only to anchor about a kilometre ... read more
August 30th 2012
You can never get to your embarkation port too early The Monterey was due to sail on the evening of September 1 so we had planned to take the London – Paris – Milan train on August 30, travel on to La Spezia on August 31 and board the ship on the morning of September 1. We checked on August 27 and were told that the sailing date had been brought forward to 0100 on September 1 so we would need to board on August 31. No problem there. We would still arrive in time at La Spezia. We would just need to forgo the night in the hotel we had booked in La Spezia. When we logged on in London on August 29, however, there was an email from the shipping ... read more
August 28th 2012
We have spent the last month travelling around England, Wales and Scotland visiting as many friends and family as we could. Rather than give a day by day account of our travels, this blog is a summary of our experiences. Apologies to those we were not able to get to visit. It is rather a long blog so you may want to get a cup of tea/coffee or a glass of wine before you begin. The train journeys from Venice to Paris and then to London were unremarkable except for the failure of the air-conditioning system between Venice and Milan which meant the sleeping carriage was overly hot, even with the windows open. We picked up the motorhome we hired for the next month from the depot near Luton, north of London, and headed for the ... read more
July 29th 2012
Friday, July 27 The train/bus journey between Athens and Patras wasn't as fraught as we expected though it was tedious. The train runs between Athens Airport and Kiato via Corinth and only skirts the outer suburbs of Athens so it is first necessary to take the Metro from the city to one of the outer-urban stations and change trains to the inter-city train. Once out of Athens, the train follows the coastline for much of the way. It was a comfort to see the water again after being so long in cities. Where we live in Budgewoi, the sea is only a few minutes away and the pounding of the waves and the smell of the ocean is a constant background which we rarely notice until it is absent. From Kiato to Patras the existing narrow ... read more
July 26th 2012
Saturday, July 21 We got upgraded to Business Class for the flight from Dubai to Athens. At least I did. Sylvia got upgraded to First Class! The airline personnel were most surprised when she declined the upgrade and said she would rather stay with me. I hoped they would upgrade me also but it was not to be. We both stayed in Business Class. I suppose the fact that we don't use the same family name doesn't make it obvious that we are a couple. The flight was smooth and comfortable. The food was superb (albeit far too much for one person). The cabin staff were attentive and friendly. Full marks to Emirates for their service. Even Sylvia enjoyed herself after the second glass of Dom Perignon champagne. For what was probably her last flight, it ... read more