Published: January 24th 2008January 23rd 2008
Finally I get round to doing this last blog. Way out of date, but better late than never...
As some of you didn't know, you'll see now there is an end to this story, or at least another beginning - yep, I'm in Dublin! but I'll leave that till later on; first, I've got the task of remembering back the last couple of months.
I flew to Auckland from Melbourne, and for the first time since being on the other side of the world, suddenly really felt very far away. I'm not sure why, maybe the knowledge of New Zealand being that much more remote, two small islands in the middle of the pacific, maybe also the cooler weather, and the harsh blustery winds.
I couldn't decide what to do in New Zealand, so was in Auckland nearly a week before moving on. I was struck immediately by the fact that the Maori culture and history there is so much more acknowledged and embraced, than the Aboriginal culture is in Australia. In Oz I was there more than two months before being introduced to any aspect of its indigenous history, whereas in NZ, it was immediate. Signs are
in Maori as well as English, Maori people work alongside white people, and museums are full of Maori culture and history, and New Zealand is transparent and informative about the arrival of Europeans and the effects it brought upon the Maori people there. Although Auckland, being a major city and the main gateway to NZ, is less of a true cultural introduction to the country, I still felt immediately more comfortable there with the vibe and the people. The geology of New Zealand is also fascinating, being a volcanic region and very susceptible to earthquakes, due to a lot of stuff I spent ages reading about in museums and still didn't properly understand; suffice to say the plates underneath the earth's surface seem like a badly laid laminate floor in this part of the world, and you end up feeling you probably shouldn't do too much stamping around anywhere. I visited Rangitoto island, just off the coast of Auckland, which is a volcanic island, almost entirely black rock, almost alien looking.
I headed north east from Auckland, where I saw for the first time what people say about the place, that it looks quite like England - it is pretty
strange, seeing the similar countryside, and so much green. I travelled up to the Bay of Islands, to a place called Paihia, a small, pretty coastal town, where I visited a place called Waitangi, where the Waitangi Treaty takes its name from - this is a treaty that emerged from the settling in NZ of, and subsequent control by, white Europeans, which was agreed between the Europeans and the Maori people, laying out laws protecting the rights of the Maoris - currently in New Zealand there is still a lot of unrest, and I saw more than one protest/demonstration in various towns by the Maori people, who are trying to get the Treaty updated as it's still very restrictive and limiting. But at least there is a treaty, something to work with.
I also finally managed to see dolphins in the sea in this area, which was amazing, though there were about three tourist boats around the area where dolphins are spotted and although the tour guides were saying a lot about how the dolphins come up to the boats and 'enjoy' swimming around them, I couldn't help feeling we were still invading their area. Anyway, it was still fascinating
to see them, and at least better than if they'd been taken out of the wild and trained to do tricks.
I went on from to a place called Rotorua, still on the north island, which is a geo thermal region, with areas with bubbling, steaming geysers, which were pretty amazing; I visited them at a place called Wai-o-Tapu, which was great and just a shame the shuttle bus that took me there only gave us an hour and a half to look round, not nearly long enough - this always seems to ruin great sights - time restrictions.
A word, though, about the buses in New Zealand, that you get from place to place, these are pretty good. I got an Intercity pass where you just top up your hours and get so many hours for a certain price. The drivers are good in that they do a little commentary while they're driving ie pointing out good scenery, telling you about the history of places etc; although much of this anyway on the north island tends to be: 'we're passing through a small farming community, population 350,' and then, 'we're passing through a small farming community, population 220,'
or maybe, 'we're passing through a small farming community, population 187,'... though in all seriousness, it is quite nice as it gives you the sense that you're finding out stuff about places you're passing through, not just getting from A to B.
Also in Rotorua, I took a tour out to a Maori village, which I wasn't sure about, thinking it might feel a bit voyeuristic or that the village was 'set up' for tourism. Both were a bit true but it was actually a great experience - the tribe there do actually live there, seem to be really happy and very engaged in their culture and sharing it. A lot of young Maori people are getting much more involved in traditional Maori culture, in an effort to revive it. There was a traditional Maori warrior welcome ritual, Maori dancing and singing, then a really nice dinner. Our tour guide comes from this tribe so it felt quite authentic, not too 'tour' like, and before we left, he gave a talk where he spoke a lot about the Maori culture and what it means to their people, and poignantly saying that the Maori people have had to give up 80%
of their culture in order to survive in New Zealand. I was talking to him afterwards about the situation in Australia, and he was saying how shocked he had been when he visited Australia and the only Aboriginal people he saw were completely apart from society, often sitting in groups in parks, drinking a lot, and this being reflective of the fact that their culture has not been respected or accepted at all, to the point that so many of their people can't embrace it or feel a sense of pride and roots in what should be their own country.
I didn't really do my research properly about where to go next and went on from Rotorua to the East Cape, which looked like it had some good places to explore. I ended up in a place called Gisborne, but it didn't really seem that accessible using it as a base. The city itself didn't have much to it, it's the easternmost city in the world with the sun rising there before anywhere else, but you can see when you're there why people perpetuate the myth that Sydney is the easternmost city in the world; can't imagine millions of
tourists flocking to Gisborne for new year's eve... The hostel I was staying in was also awful, it was freezing while I was in Gisborne and there was no heating, and the hostel manager shouted at me for locking the front door when it had a sign on it saying 'don't leave the door unlocked.' ????? Needless to say the argument didn't really get anywhere, and he then apologised for being grumpy, then shouted at me again about two minutes later. So I cut my losses and skipped out of there to Wellington earlier than I'd planned.
Wellington was great because I stayed with Jean and Ronan, a really lovely Irish couple who I'd met in Varanasi in India way back last February; we'd only known each other there for two days but had stayed in touch, planning to hook up maybe somewhere in south east asia, where they were travelling on to, then that didn't end up happening, so we'd had another plan to hook up in NZ, where they were heading to settle and work for a year. It was great to see them again, brilliant to stay with them, and it was good to have a
rest from hostels and be in a home for a while. Wellington was a nice city too, a bit more cosmopolitan and more compact than Auckland, though hugely blustery; Jean and Ronan took me to a lookout, apart from that the only sightseeing I really did there was to go to the Te Papa museum, which is really good, and took me two days to explore. I was in Wellington just over a week, and then just had a week left in NZ for the south island, where I'd only planned to go to the top half. I flew from Wellington to Nelson on a little plane with propellers, getting a great view of the bays and the tips of each island.
I visited a national park north of Nelson, the Abel Tasman National Park, bit disconcertingly getting dropped off from a boat on to a deserted beach with forests behind it, and told to head up the path where I'd see signs directing me through the park. I would've enjoyed the walk except the signs were practically non-existent, there was no-one else around, and I had no idea if I was going in the right direction or not;
but it was ok in the end, I found my way back to the deserted beach to wait for the boat to come along and fetch me.
I went to Christchurch from Nelson, which really looks English and is a bit strange being there, and being short of time, I took a day trip across the southern alps, which turned out to be probably the most hair-raising day I had on my whole trip away. There was a small group of us with a tour guide in a small van which started off gently across some deserted unsealed roads at the bottom of the mountains, and was all very civilised, till we turned to go up into the mountains, around narrow, gravel unsealed paths with the ground dropping away, and the van not more than a foot narrower than the road. Earlier on in the journey I'd decided to sit up front to get a better view, and then ended up really regretting this decision as all I could see was a road which seemed to disappear round each bend, and nothing but a huge drop to the side of me. This seemed to go on for hours, then
of course we had to go down again, which was even worse and by this time I was hiding at the back of the van not looking at anything; and just when we got to the bottom and I thought the terror was all over, we got in a jet boat down the river. 'It'll be fine,' I thought, 'I've done white water rafting; here you're actually sitting in the boat, it all looks very safe - it'll be fun!' Two seconds in to it and I was wondering how I could possibly have been terrified on the mountain roads, compared to this. We travelled 15km in less than 10 minutes which gives some idea how fast we were going, with huge rock faces on either side of the water, which were so close you could have touched. The force was so strong I thought my face was going to fall off, and it was only one of the other tourists next to me, who obviously clocked the terrifying torture I was going through, who managed to calm me by saying that it must be reasonably safe, as the tour company wouldn't dare take risks with Americans on board for
fear of being sued. The best bit was the chocolate cookies we got with our tea at the end of the ride, but even they weren't worth the fear that had gone before...
So, five weeks in New Zealand passed in a bit of a blur; as I said I didn't go any further south than the southern alps, and so missed seeing the glaciers etc, ie the most spectacular parts of the south island, but you can't see everything and I'd reached the point in my travels when I felt that less was more - just not having the energy anymore to fill my senses with too many experiences.
So I went back to Melbourne. I hadn't planned to go back there and was due to fly back to Adelaide, but as I'd really liked Melbourne, and had time on my side, I thought I'd change my route and go back there for a while. I also decided at this point in my trip about when I was going to end my trip, which up till now had been more vague. I'd been planning on going back to India for a short while after Australia, before
finishing my travels, mainly as I'd been so sad to leave there. But with time, those feelings had faded more. Also by the time I got to Australia originally, I was already beginning to feel a bit travel weary and not sure if I had the energy to go back there, so I was really undecided for a long while. And I also knew that after seeing Baz again at christmas, I wasn't going to want to have to say goodbye again. We'd been talking about plans for when I came back so with those in mind, I decided I wasn't going to go to India after all, and would finish my trip after new year. MORE LATER!
I wanted to meet up with someone in Melbourne who coincidentally I'd also met in Varanasi last year, Kirsten, who came from Melbourne, but had been travelling in Europe last time I'd been there. So I spent two more weeks in Melbourne, enjoying being in a comparatively familiar place, and not having to use maps for once, and hooked up with Kirsten, which was really nice, and got back to my writing, which I hadn't done any of in New
From Melbourne I flew to Adelaide, where I met up again with Tomoko, from Japan, who I'd met in Byron Bay back in August; it was great seeing her again, and we were both there about a week. Adelaide's a nice enough city, not too much to say about it, the gateway to the desert and the red centre. I couldn't decide about going up the red centre and where to stop on the way, and I wasn't sure I wanted to take buses all the way up there, and it didn't seem possible to take a bus just halfway without having to pay for a bus pass to take you the whole way, so in the end I decided to take the train the whole way instead - on the Ghan railway, the last part of which (the last 1500km up to Darwin) was only properly modernised in 2004 - in the past the journey could take days and days and occasionally weeks if the trains got stuck, the tracks resting just on sand, but these days it's a two day journey. The train stops at Alice Springs and then again at Katherine, and you can do short
tours, so I decided on this, rather than stay in the towns for a few days. For me I just wanted the experience of travelling through the desert, more than actually stopping anywhere, and I was going to go to Uluru (Ayers Rock) anyway when Baz came out, so I had no reason to stay in Alice Springs. The short tour I took in Alice was a bit crap, I'd wanted to do the desert park tour and wasn't allowed as I was the only person booked on it, so had to do the tour of the town instead - though did get to see some weird looking lizards in a reptile park. I enjoyed the stop in Katherine more, I took a nature trip down the Katherine river. One thing I did love about Australia was the wildlife; amazing creatures and fascinating birds.
The train journey was great, and the thousands of miles of desert out of the windows is surreal - it looks like Mars. It was my first real experience of how completely huge Australia is, and how much of it is remote. All the more so when we eventually arrived in Darwin at a tiny railway
station, and I was thinking, 'oh this must just be for the Ghan railway, I guess the MAIN railway station is in another part of the city'... before remembering, no, why would there be another railway station, Darwin is thousands of kilometres from anywhere else in Australia, and there's just the one railway, heading down, with a train twice a week, and everywhere else, you get on a plane to. (well, or a bus, for a good few days).
Darwin felt REALLY weird - I was really pleased I already had my flight booked out of there, it could almost make you panic realising how far away you are from the next place - this city of 100,000 people perched on the tip of the Northern Territory, which is so remote it's actually closer to parts of Indonesia than it is to other parts of Australia. I was there just before the monsoon season and it was incredibly, almost unbearably humid. The museum and art gallery are worth a visit but apart from that, there's not much else there, apart from the crocodile park, which I was going to go to with Marijeke, who I'd met in the hostel, but
there was no way of getting there on a sunday, when we wanted to go.
Not wanting to do any more overnight or two or three day organised trips since Fraser Island and the Whitsundays, I decided to just do a day trip to the Kakadu national park, a few hundred kilometres south of Darwin. I was up at 5.30 to get the tour bus, after a night of drinking too much wine so the first hour and a half of the trip didn't feel so good. When we finally got there, we took a walk out to see the Aboriginal rock art, which was pretty good, though the whole walk was really ruined by the fact that there were SO many flies flying round your face all the time, it was impossible to concentrate. In the afternoon we went on a nature cruise down the river which was really good, saw a lot of evil-looking crocodiles, and some more amazing birds and wildlife.
So finally it was time to fly to Perth, where it was now just a few days till Baz came over, so I was getting really excited. In Perth, I stayed with my friend Line
from London (who's originally from Perth and goes back there every christmas) - before I'd left we'd said, well, if I was still travelling in the end of 2007, we'd maybe meet in Perth, I don't think I really believed it would happen, but it did! - I had a great few days with her, it was brilliant to see her again and catch up, and meet her family who were really lovely to me. We went to the botanic gardens, to see a gig which her friends were singing in, and a comedy gig by another of her friends which was really funny; and went down to Fremantle, a suburb of Perth on the coast.
So at last, after a long, long five months, and lots of counting of days and weeks, endless hours spent in messenger conversations, Baz came out to Perth, and the last three weeks of my trip was spent with him. It was brilliant, we were really busy, spending christmas round at Rod's place (you remember him!), in the middle of a 44 degree heatwave, then flying across to Alice Springs, where we then went to Uluru -we had less than 24 hours there
because of only being able to get accommodation there for one night, so we hired a car from the airport, spent the last few hours of the day walking around the rock, which I can't really describe, it's pretty amazing, then went to the sunset point to watch the changing colours and shadows on the rock, and Baz had his camera taking shots of the rock every 30 seconds over an hour period to when it was dark. We got back to the Ayers Rock resort, only just managing to get dinner before everywhere shut for the evening (9pm!); went out again later for baz to get some shots of the stars, and then were up at 4am to get out to the Rock again for sunrise. The man at the hotel had told us to get up at 4 as sunrise was at 5.15; but as we were driving across there, and it was about 4.45, it didn't look like the sun was planning to rise anytime soon, and this was confirmed when we got to the sunrise point and it was deserted, and one of the rangers came along and told us we shouldn't really have come here
so early, and that actually sunrise wasn't till nearly 6. It was good to get a spot though, because minutes later, about 3 tour buses descended on the area and we were surrounded.
After that, we spent a bit more time around the rock, then headed back for breakfast, drop the car back to the airport and fly back to Alice springs - by the way not much to say about Alice as it's a really small town, which has been a bit built up only for the tourists passing through it on their way to Uluru. After another day in Alice just relaxing, we were then off to Sydney for new year, arriving on the 30th. So we had a flight every day for four days between Perth and Sydney.
We'd only just managed to get somewhere booked to stay and that was back in October, already everywhere was full for new year, but the place we got was better than we'd thought, just a 15 minute bus ride into the centre.
Sydney for me was completely transformed from when I'd last been there in August, for two reasons; one, because now it was summer, and two, because baz
was here with me this time. It had a great buzz to it this time round, everything looked different in the sunshine.
So here we were for the famous new year's eve in Sydney.
Story A: we went down to Sydney harbour to watch the fireworks. There was a brilliant vibe, everyone happy and excited, and it was like a great big party. At midnight the firework display began and they were the most amazing fireworks we'd ever seen - it was a once in a lifetime experience. Can't describe it, it was so spectacular.
Story B: we went down to Sydney harbour to watch the fireworks. Already at about 5.30pm there were millions of people there and we could barely get in the gates. We tried to get in the opera house side but couldn't, so walked, or rather pushed our way along the rocks side, where we managed to find one inch of space left to sit down. People were trampling all over us, the place was getting busier and busier; it was one of those situations where you feel like you should be having a brilliant time, you're in Sydney harbour on new year's
eve and blah blah blah, but the reality is just not like that. We sat squashed up amongst everyone else for hours. At 9pm they had an early fireworks display for children. We stood up, Baz got his camera all ready..... ok, so there was the noise of the fireworks, but where the hell were they? By the harbour bridge? Over there? Where? Oh yeah. There was an ice cream van in front of us, which was perfectly parked to completely block our view of anything, and the fireworks happened to be going off on the other side of the harbour, right behind the van. We would have seen more if we'd got a packet of sparklers.
No chance of being able to move anywhere better for the later display, and people filling up the place more and more, we decided in the end not to stay, which we were pleased about when we walked back up George Street, the main street leading down to the harbour, and there were thousands more people coming towards us. So we headed back to the hotel and went out on to the balcony where we saw the light from the fireworks and even
some of the fireworks themselves, which was definitely more than we would have seen from the harbour.
Pick whichever story you prefer.
In any case, the rest of our time in Sydney was great - we spent a lot of time around Darling Harbour, can't remember what I said about it last time I was in Sydney, but it's the more vibrant harbour, full of eating and drinking places, and just nice to wander around. We went to the opera house, up Sydney tower, to the aquarium. Baz wanted to do the Sydney harbour bridge climb - if you look at the pics of the harbour bridge, people climb up the arches - steep, high and very very treacherous (my view, not his). It's a climb of 3 and a half hours, you're harnessed on to the sides but even so. Anyway he didn't do it in the end as they don't let you take your cameras (instead taking pictures of you and then charging probably extortionate amounts on top of what you're already paying to do the climb). We did walk across the bridge one day, level with the cars, and the climb looked even more treacherous
close up than at a distance so if I'd had any intention of doing the climb originally (which I didn't), I would have definitely changed my mind at that point.
Instead, we took an amazing helicopter ride over Sydney city and harbour where we had even better views from 1500 feet - really spectacular.
For our last few days we flew back to the west coast, hired another car, and drove south from Perth to a place called Margaret River, in the middle of a vineyard region. We never made it to any wineries in the end, being sick of tours, and being also disappointed by a visit to a chocolate 'factory' and cheese 'factory', which turned out to basically be overpriced shops selling chocolate and cheese, we didn't think the wineries would probably be any better. Nice enough few days but not all that much around, and another place where everything seemed to shut at about 9.30pm.
So, after a quick trip back to Perth and dropping into Rod's again, that was it - the end of our time together in Australia; and the end of my trip. The last few days it started hitting me that I
was coming to the end of my time away, which felt really strange. I didn't have any regrets, and I was very happy to be completing my travels; I was out of steam. And I was really excited about going back to start a new life. But at the same time, I felt sad, and it got difficult to decide what stuff to take out of my rucksack to make space for the trip back, and what I wanted to keep.
The plans we'd made were that I was going to go back to London for a short while, and then come and live here, in Dublin, with Baz - which is where I'm writing from now - as Baz said, having taken the scenic, and very long, route to end up in Ireland! And where I'm really happy and excited to be. It was great to catch up with family and friends in England again, bit surreal and a bit of a shock to be back there; and then it was great to come here. The end of my trip is the start of a whole new chapter - exciting: new life, new love, new country, new
start, new energy, fresh outlook on life, memories of incredible, amazing experiences and adventures, following my dream at last of writing a book, and doing it - if I'd sat down at the start of my trip and wished for certain outcomes from my travelling, I couldn't in my wildest dreams have come up with all of that!
I can't begin to properly describe here what my travelling has given me, so I'm not going to try - anyway, it's all in my book, which hopefully you'll be able to read one day! When the plane flew back into London and was circling the skies, waiting to land, I remembered looking at the same view when I took my very first flight from Leeds to London to catch my plane to Mumbai - feeling so many different things at once, nerves, excitement, sadness at the thought of leaving people for so long - and then all of a sudden, or so it seems, it's 15 months later, 15 months jam packed full of new experiences, things I couldn't possibly have imagined - and I had just as many nerves coming back into London, as I did leaving. Strange.
I feel incredibly privileged to have had the opportunity to visit so many different and amazing countries and cultures, and though I may have had mixed opinions about the places I saw and visited, I'm really grateful that I was welcomed into all these countries, was free to explore them, and had the time of my life. I can honestly say that it was the best thing I've ever done; I definitely didn't know that at the start of my trip, truth be told I had no idea what I was doing or why I was doing it, but there you go. And I'm left with a brilliant feeling of having finally fulfilled a dream I had for a long time; it was well worth the wait.
I have met so many great people along the way, who I want to mention; the list isn't exhaustive at all, but these are the people who I feel really added something special to my trip and made it what it was.
So, from start to finish:
Nikil who I met on the plane to Mumbai who kept me calm, told me all about India during the journey, and walked me
off the plane when I was so nervous; the people who run the Sivananda ashram in Kerala - I may have moaned about it at the time, but I was really grateful to be there and be safe and looked after in my first few weeks in India; all the other travellers at the ashram but specially Rebecca who I met there and who was my travel mate for 2 months afterwards, who gave me so many laughs and good times, and also the courage to go out into India alone; also Celine, Carola, Sarah and Jenny who I met at the ashram; Viera who worked at the ashram and added much needed fun to the place, and Dr Aardash, the lovely ayurvedic doctor there and Nalini, who gave me ayurvedic massages. Paru and Sita, the lovely Karnatakan mum and daughter Rebecca and I got to know in Goa, who sold sarongs on the beach. Mel, who I travelled with in Hampi and then again in Mysore and on to Ooty; Babu, my tour guide in Mysore, who buffered me from the constant onslaught of silk and sandalwood sellers; Matt and Andy who I travelled with in Bangalore; the Indian
family who insisted on sharing their dinner with me on the train from Hampi to Bangalore; Aisling who looked after me in Mamallapuram when I got sick, even though she'd only just met me; Priya and Bhagras in Mamallapuram; Anthony and Angela, who I met on the 2 day train journey from Chennai to Varanasi; Amy, who I met in Varanasi and then again in Delhi - great times!; Jean and Ronan who I met in Varanasi and then again in Wellington, NZ, and who one day I'll see back here in Dublin; Kirsten, also from Varanasi; Simon, also from Varanasi, who lent me a chain for my luggage for the train journey to Agra; Kris who I met in Agra; Mario from Jaipur who looked after me during the hash/bad trip incident; Stacey from Pushkar; Reiner in Udaipur and again in Bangkok; Mike in Udaipur who I travelled with through Rajasthan and who gave me copies of all his pictures after my camera got stolen; the people who work at the temple complex in Amritsar where I stayed; Joachim, Danny and Morley in Amritsar (also Delhi); Alex and David in Dharamsala, Jonathan and Adam in Delhi. And hundreds of
kind, warm, Indian people too numerous to mention, who helped me out along the way on so many occasions when I couldn't find my bus or train or my way round the chaos of India. And the many many many many many many many many rickshaw drivers.
My friend Tracey back in England who came out to join me in Singapore, Hong Kong and Tokyo; Daniela who I met in Kyoto and then again in Bangkok, Cindy also in Kyoto, from Sydney, who I met up with there, and who was really kind to me; the man on the street in Tokyo who helped me find my way to the Manga cafe when I got lost in Shinjuku.
The man who helped me find my way out of the labyrynthine neighbourhood I got lost in, in Bangkok; Vicky who I met in Bangkok, Charlotte and Julia in Kanchanaburi, Tara and Alice in Ayutthaya.
Baz! - who I met in Sukothai, and who completely made my trip; and Rod and Eimear of course, and the fantastic 2 and a half months I spent with all of them, through south-east Asia; Helen, who we met in Vietnam and who was so kind
to me in Australia, and Tony, who we met in Laos.
Mark and Zainem in Woy Woy, Oz, friends of my sister's who'd never met me but had me to stay for the weekend; Tomoko from Japan, who I met in Byron Bay and then again in Adelaide; Tom and Dave the young Irish lads who I met in Noosa and who were around on and off between there and Cairns; Kath who I met in Hervey Bay and who was my sanity on Fraser Island and again on and off up to Cairns; Ben, Baz (different one) and Annie on the Whitsunday islands yacht trip; Emma in Melbourne; Marijeke in Darwin, and my friend Line from England who had me to stay in Perth.
This is now at risk of sounding like some oscar winner's speech, but I'm gonna do it anyway, as I do want to also mention people in my life back in England, my family who were really positive and supportive over me going on the trip even though they probably had doubts; and all my friends and particularly Tim who got me to the airport and on to the plane to start with, and stopped
me feeling completely terrified of India; Liz and Tony who sorted all my post for me while I was away and spent so long putting music on my mp3 player for my trip and were just always there; Sue who through her own courage in life and travels gave me inspiration, and had me to stay last week back in London; and also thanks loads to everyone who gave me a roof over my head in between the time I sold my flat and left for my trip, Beth, Liz and Tony, Sue, Tracey, Tim, Kathy, Kshantika and Rachel. And I really really appreciated all the emails, messages on my blogs, texts etc, which kept me feeling connected to everybody and not feel so far away.
Ok it's over. I don't know how to end this, thanks for your patience in reading my blogs,
signing off :-))
There are more photos below