After 10yrs of working for cops in Manchester, England it's time for a little soul food and to remember that there's a great big beautiful world beyond these borders.
Like most people, some of the trip is light hearted and some to see the richness, culture, history - and favourite for me, the natural beauty of the world. If you have any comments on how I can improve my blog please feel free (deleting it is not an option!!) although I have felt that some of my entries have been a little too long to be enjoyable so will now blog a bit more often with a little less to try and cram in! I haven't gone to town with details of costs of things and the details of how I got from place to place but if you think you'd find any of these things helpful and current to your adventure please just drop me a message and I'll send you what information I can!
Overall I hope you enjoy reading my blog as much as I've enjoyed creating it!
July 27th 2010
3.1.12 - I really can't believe that its been so long since I came home. Nor that it has been so long since I logged on to this site! (sinful!) However, there's a rhyme and a reason for everything and as I logged on today I found my final blog of my world trip unpublished. I guess I must have just hit save. Either way, even though its so long after the event it seems somehow incomplete to not now publish this. Enjoy x _______________________________________________________ Today is the start of the big countdown. One month today I land back in the UK and this last month has been a sort of re-entry process, at least to Western life ... but more about that later. What has been circulating in my mind though are a few lists ... read more
June 26th 2010
The first sensation I will think back to when I think back to Ecuador will be the smell of cut grass. It wasn't of course the first thing that happened in Ecuador as I reduced myself to that dream like state that is the uncomfortable snooze of one who can't sleep on long distance buses. The first thing of course was the border crossing - and given I've now made quite a few of these I can fairly say that this was amongst the weirdest. The drive to the border is fine although somewhat disconcerting when someone from the bus company gets on the bus to 'help' the westerners with the crossing. From there you get to the migration office and stamped out of Peru .. no problem. Then back on the bus and the drive ... read more
May 20th 2010
I left Bolivia over a week ago but since then have been wracking my brains over what to write about the experience. I finally decided that the difficulty was caused by this being the land of extremes. That to write about its incredibly rich beauty doesn't properly acknowledge its poverty. That to write about sport and adventure doesn't quite reach out to culture. That if I write about the development and modernity then I am somehow blind to some of the worst working conditions ever. So, with this in mind, I find myself now trying to write a blog, if nothing else but to not leave a hole in the journey! The bus journey from Puno followed the outskirts of Lake Titicaca, the reported but sometimes disputed, highest navigable lake in the world. Its sapphire waters ... read more
May 11th 2010
I don't think that I've ever really cried out of happiness. Sure, I've choked back a few tough tears at a few events in my life but not really had a good cry ... but this achievement took me to that place. While I was on the Inca trail one of my group was excitedly telling me about a peak in Bolivia that was over the magic 6000m and was suitable for 'beginners'. I was interested! I hadn't really considered or researched much about Bolivia as the good news about extending my career break had only come through in recent weeks - so suddenly I had an itinerary to create! On reaching La Paz I settled into my nice hostel and decided to have a day or so relaxing and seeing the sights before making any ... read more
May 2nd 2010
The first thing that I saw was the mountains. Despite my bleary and jet lagged eyes I couldn’t help but be awestruck by the majesty of the Andes piercing through the thick cloud that covered Peru. Out of one side of the plane the peaks were snow capped, from the other brown and rounded. As we cut through the clouds though my first impression reminded me of Egypt - it would appear that Peru also has a tax on completed buildings so most have the top floor unfinished. Despite having completed three flights, crossed the date line, had a sixteen hour lay over in LA and a two hour delay in Panama my journey was not yet complete despite now having a Peru stamp in my passport. I had one night in a lovely and new ... read more
April 26th 2010
It was not an auspicious beginning The future neither could see I hadn't thought no booze was easter My friend hadn't bought duty free Things didn't get any better As we set off in hire car Abdul The whales didn't want to be spotted The weather remained pretty dull We set off to do some tramping The New Zealander word for a hike The views were truely gorgeous But the blisters sure started to bite My friend was fairly hobbled But a soldier she is it is true Stuck a pin in those nasty buggers And carried herself on to day two And here was the turn point of our trip Shooting stars and stunning views of the Sound Inspired by our hostess Noeline And the beauty that was all around From here we went south ... read more
March 29th 2010
Since leaving Asia the background noise that is present in my mind seems to have returned. I don't know if it's the proliferation of beauty magazines, fashion and 'stuff' that inspires the return of craving, but, if anywhere stands a chance of reducing that in a Western environment I think that NZ is the place! Auckland was a real crash and my first, and gratefully wrong impression of NZ. On the surface it looks like Sydney but scratch that veneer and it is, sorry Aucklanders, a dump in comparison. However, get out of there and NZ has got me turning over a very positive new leaf in an exceedingly beautiful country! If I lived forever there are enough walks to keep even the keenest 'tramp' happy (NZ for a hiker, rambler, walker) and I'm a very ... read more
March 18th 2010
As I walked towards the check-in counter at Tokyo airport I saw a whole line of faces like mine - Western. I couldn’t help it, the tears welled up and I ran back to the phones and cried to my friend ‘I’m not ready to leave Asia’. Asia - where being different had inspired the most incredible kindnesses I’d ever experienced, where it was cultural, unusual, cheap and of course such an incredibly happy time. And all this given that I was travelling to the arms of my best friends family in Oz - where I'd been asked what I wanted more than anything before I got there and I just said - have your hugging arms ready - some decent wine and a greek salad! So really my tears just sound ungrateful given what I ... read more
February 20th 2010
When Sir Thomas More wrote a book called Utopia back in 1516 there maybe wasn't the global reach available to see if he'd researched it in Japan - but it is quite possible! I sat in Shanghai, procrastinating over the cost of Japan, and, had I not had a driving need to get to Tokyo (at the very least to see my friend and then fly to Oz) I might well have still be sat there! A few up tempo messages from after reading her blogs got me off my lazy ass and I sorted the flights - well I actually managed to do that from the comfort of my seat too! What I did need to get moving on was the Japan Rail pass. I went to the wrong office on the Friday so was ... read more
February 6th 2010
As I had stepped, disappointed, away from Halong Bay in Vietnam I realised that my travels further north were going to be far more dependant on the weather. Maybe it was therefore better to turn my attention to attractions that were ‘in season’ and there was going to be none more so than the Ice Festival in Harbin a city that sits slightly north west of Vladivostok in Russia - cold cold cold! Train tickets towards Beijing had not been a problem despite the approaching holiday season. Like most capital cities the majority of its population are not from the city and would therefore be going home for the holidays. The difficulty was buying a train ticket away from Beijing. I took it as a sign of destiny when a guy in the dorm was heading ... read more