Time to change this profile blurb ... the travelling bug really has a grip on me now. And keeping this travel blog enables me to reflect and record my journeys as well as communicate with my family and friends.
I shouldn't be amazed me that complete strangers in this travel community will want to read about what I am up to as they are a great bunch of folk.
I have swapped my home and hospitality for many years now and always I have met such wonderful open, generous and friendly people. Travelling alone lots of the time I am never lonely ..there is always the travelblog to keep me company.
Nothing planned at the moment but where to next for another big trip I ask myself ?
October 26th 2013
Well .... almost all closed for the season but not quite as we drove from the White Mountains to the coast of Maine and then southwards back to Boston for our last night. Some blue skies greeted us at the Atlantic Ocean at Boothbay Harbour and as one of the few places open it was lunch at the Tugboat right on the water.... could we resist crab rolls and fried Maine shrimp - of course not. These towns along the coast here must be buzzing in summer with their quaint houses, interesting shops selling everything from a million sorts of popcorn to salt water taffy, lobster shacks, whale watching cruises, harbours filled with boats and then of course the light houses dotted along the rugged coastline. There were still only a few folk out and about ... read more
October 25th 2013
Yes - good old John Denver - Suz is a great DJ - she has playlists with Abba and Queen and Babs and John Denver, Roy Orbisob and Glen Campbell, Ella Fitzgerald ( all my favourites) ... and we while away the hours singing along as we drive the country roads... knowing eventually they will take us "home" wherever that happens to be at the time. Those very picturesque country tourist maps with pics of mountains and rivers and shops and cafes etc are very cute to look at but sometimes can lead you astray but what the heck in the end we are discovering the highways and byways of New Hampshire White Mountains as we bool along and I think we have by now driven every roads there is in this region. But yesterday we ... read more
October 22nd 2013
Hi folks What a wonderful drive .... we set off early morning yesterday and took all day in beautiful autumn sunshine to drive along the Kancamagus Highway and then in a loop north from Woodstock , Franconia State Park and back via Crawford Notch and Bartlett , then along Bear Notch Road to our base in North Conway (- probably about 120 miles ) There are many scenic overlooks and waterfalls and hikingtrails along the way....beautiful mountain views and colours of the trees all along the route. The best hike of the day was Flume Gorge - where a basalt dike has cut into the granite at a geological fault and as it erodes more quickly than granite there is a steep sided canyon with the river running through. Wooden walkways and steps enable you to ... read more
October 22nd 2013
Once again we have struck lucky with our choice of places to stay...this week we are based in North Conway in a timeshare unit at Eastren Slope Inn. It is an old American Historic Building - very quaint and we have a nice two floor condo in the main hotel building. It's a great location as it is right on Main Street and there are lots of great cafes, restaurants, shops to see on our doorstop. But I am getting ahead of myself - we had a good drive here from the Cape - 280 miles - we started off along the KIngs Highway along the Cape ( a slower road but very picturesque with quaint villages and houses dotted all along this )and we decided not to drive back through Boston but took a wide ... read more
October 19th 2013
Luckily one of my home exchange partners has a house Brewster, Cape Cod and very kindly said yes to my request to stay here for a couple of days ...so here we are in a beautiful condo in a village setting on an ocean golf resort. With only 2 days to explore we will give golf lessons a miss and we set off to drive up the coast to Provincetown making numerous stops along the way at beaches and lighthouses. Just what we imagined it to be like - sunshine on sparkling sea...long sandy beaches with waves of sand dunes and to top it all seals frolicking in the waves a few yards away. Along the tree-lined highway we drove oohing and aahing at the cute little ( and some BIG) shingle and clapboard houses with ... read more
October 15th 2013
I cannot stay away from the USA this year ...here I am back with Suzanne for two weeks - this time on the East Coast. Our first few days in Boston we are trying out airbnb for accomodation for the first time. We are in a tradional house ( 15 mins walk from Harvard) - the top floor (attic)with a deck in the treetops has been converted and the house owners rent out this cute space. Its all wood and windows - light and airy and we even have a sunken jacuzzi bath to soak the muscles after a tough day sightseeing. Always ready for a bargain we found flights to Boston with Aer Lingus - from Gatwick to Dublin and after a few hours mooching around the airport on to Boston. The plane was great ... read more
July 15th 2013
Leaving behind the delights of Najac and the Aveyron Gorges we had 5 days to potter up through the middle of France to get to Calais. The plan was to spend the last few days just north of Paris near Compiegne and visit some friends. Patchwork fields with dry stone walls and bordered with trees reminded us of home ..but then passing through villages with beautiful old stone houses and flower bedecked streets - mostly ville fleuries we knew it was France. I love the large brown tourist signs at the side of the roads - depicting the delights of this or that town or city ...some of them works of art in themselves ...who designs them - is it a state department ?? an arm of the tourist boards?? or are they commisioned...I would like ... read more
July 9th 2013
Leaving Olonzac and the the south behind I said I would like to drive north our second week on country roads not motorways all the way...ahem !!! First bit of the journey into the mountians with views of the Pyrenees was stunning - and we planned a route to avoid the Tour de France ( roads were closed) - we motored through Castres - lots going on as the bikers had just left - lots of old houses bordering the river - very nice. And then we arrived in Albi - the red city it is called because of the red brick - well trusty Sally took us to a carpark right by the cathedral ( magnificent made of bricks in 13 century ) ..we had a quick walk about admiring the old buildings and a ... read more
July 6th 2013
Oui, il fait chaud maintenant - at last it is is hot but there were days in this first week when we struggled ...with comments from me at Carcassone like "no I am not walking up on the ramparts of this medieval city walls- I will freeze to death" and "let's have a hot chocolate to warm ourselves up". Then suddenly summer arrived - HOORAY. In this week we have driven about in the mountains up and down river valleys to villages ( most of which are named " one of the most beautiful villages in France" ) - this is the Cathar country where the Catholic Crusaders led by Simon de Beaufort did not like any other version of christianity - so they set about sieges to lots of towns and castles and if the ... read more
June 27th 2013
My dear friend Lesley and I set off at 5.30 am for the Dover - Calais Ferry... at last we would get some sunshine we thought ...little did we know!! I should have left my woolly hat and gloves in the car. Every time we stopped at a picnique area we froze - 12-14 deg is not what we expect in a french summer. And everyone remind me not to drive round the east side of Paris ever again !! Even with the help of Sally Satnav and maps we managed to take the wrong ramp and god knows how we eventually found our way back onto a road which took us out and onwards south...and also there were the most terrific traffic jams. No never again. So on we went to find a small chambre ... read more