Andrew and Kate Thorley

Kate and Andy wandering

Andrew and Kate Thorley

We are an English couple who seem to spend a lot of time away from home. We started this blog when we took a 7 week winter road trip through California in 2007 and have continued to update our travels since.

Over the last 2 months we have celebrated both of our birthdays and our 20th wedding anniversary, we have completed 3 pretty big projects, been on a trip around the island and had guests to stay. Great times... For our anniversary we travelled to the opposite corner of the island and stayed at Jungle Bay. A lovely experience and an opportunity to explore an area we haven't been to. Our hike to Sari Sari falls was a real hi-light and quite an adventure. Between trips and other jobs we finally finished the kitchen with just one day to spare. We ripped out everything and built what we have wanted for the last 3 years. There are no fitted kitchens here, we designed and built it from timber, ply, tiles and paint. When Sue and Patricia came ... read more
sunset at de champ cocktail bar in Portsmouth
anniversary trip jungle bay bed
anniversary trip jungle bay pool

It's been 2 months since the last post and we have no excuses. Just having a good time! Although we have a house here, Dominica is usually an adventure, often a surprise and always beautiful. So that's why we continue the travel blog, because this is a different world... We have been getting on with a great deal of gardening (mostly Kate) and quite a bit of project work (mostly Andy). But it's the walks in the rainforest, the trip to Chaudiere pool, the evenings at Taco Tuesdays, the boat trips, the beach trips and the fun with friends that are the most memorable. Thanks to you all for making Dominica even more wonderful. The pictures below tell the story (well part of the story anyway)...... read more
chaudiere pool - Kate with John and Rob
Called a "Costal Wine Cruise" this was a great day out on Helen's boat
chaudiere pool - Andy with the pool to himself

Central America Caribbean » Dominica February 22nd 2012

We have comfortably settled into island life and love it. After initially missing all the family and the first couple of weeks of problems and repairs, we have been able to enjoy our surroundings and catch up with friends. So the problems of those first couple of weeks… well the car needed new brake pads and lights to pass its annual inspection… the dishwasher was broken so fixed that… the brakes failed on the car (rear cylinder seal) – on a rather steep winding road, scary… we replaced the broken hinges on our bedroom door… also replaced a broken door handle… the brakes failed on the car again (cylinder seal again)… we got the house phone re-connected… and the brakes failed on the car again (cylinder replacement this time). The car is working fine now but ... read more
part of the garden
first fruits from the garden
Portsmouth market saturday morning

Middle East » Turkey » Mediterranean » Cavus Bay October 13th 2011

Kas and Kastellorizon. Kas is an OK town with a harbour and a brand new marina. The marina have had a few offers on the summer to attract business, the best of which is pay for one night and stay for 7! So we did. So we relaxed by the pool, cycled into town and generally hung out. Local paragliders launch from the nearby hills and land by the harbour, or as we realised one day, right into the marina. Our Turkish visa lasts 90 days so to renew it we had to leave the country and then return. We managed this with just 2 days to spare by taking the ferry to the Greek island of Kastellorizon just 4 miles of the Turkish coast. We went there last year and it is a tiny Greek ... read more
Swimming turtle, Cavus Limani
Kate at the baths, Phaselis
A fish's eyeview of Freedom - Yesilkoy bay near Kalkan

Middle East » Turkey » Mediterranean » Gocek September 26th 2011

Our last guest this summer was Andy's mum, Jill. But before that we should go back a few weeks. Before Helen and Chris came onboard, we had delivered our 2-year-old netbook to an engineer in a hopeful attempt to fix it. So our first task after they left was to return to Fethiye to discover the result. With no reply on the phone we went to the shop to find it closed. After enquiries we discovered it was Ramadan – just our luck. 3 days later the news was bad, the netbook was dead. We left with the hard drive re-packaged so at least we had all our documents and photos. Within 2 days we had ordered a replacement netbook to be delivered to Leeds – Jill would bring it with her. Other incidents in the ... read more
Kate takes the helm on our fast and furious cruising chute sail
Jill and Kate shopping in Gocek
Jill takes the helm on the way back to Gocek

Middle East » Turkey » Mediterranean » Gocek August 30th 2011

Day 1. We started the first day with a big shop for the important stuff, wine beer and a bit of soakage (food), oh and of course Helen's cowboy hat!! Then motored out of the marina and Chris got stuck into the sailing from the off. Hoisting the sails, taking the helm and tacking the boat to our first bay where he even swam the stern line ashore – it's great having a crew!! We all chilled and had a late lunch then in the afternoon Chris and Helen had a bit of a nap zzzzzzzzzzzz. After a few games in the water and a lot of chatting over dinner C & H sat on the bow and watched the stars. Sweeeeet. Day 2. After a very slow relaxing day Kate baked scones during the Helen ... read more
A relaxed sail towards Fethiye
All the crew at sunset - Gocek Island
The one and only cloudy day in 2 months 2 days before Chris and Helen arrive

Middle East » Turkey » Mediterranean » Gocek August 5th 2011

For a month we sailed quietly through a few Greek Islands and down the Turkish coast. We came to Fethiye to meet up with Tom, Linda and Glen, and then things got busy! We were very excited about havng Tom on board and from the start he took to the boat and everything we did was 'fantastic' - well apart from the pump toilet which he thought was very wierd! Along the way Tom experienced helming, winching, swimming, snorkelling, diving, water skiiing, jet ski, multiple inflatables, water tennis, frisbee, fender racing, being towed behind the boat on a rope, driving the dinghy, rowing the dinghy and so much more. We swam around an underwater town and visited a roman amphitheatre, and he even saw 2 shooting stars when we were star gazing at night on the ... read more
fethiye at dawn
kate and her kindle

Somehow this blog from May was never published. So take yourself back to spring and here are our final thoughts before returning from Dominica... There has been lots of rain so our snorkelling trips were delayed due to murky water but we still got out there as much as we could. The Reef Fish book comes out after each trip to check on new fish we have seen. Life at the house is still wonderful, and as trees come into bloom we watch the small colourful birds – including lots of humming birds - darting around. The local Zandoli tree-lizards continue to be a favourite to watch and Andy spends his evenings gazing at the ceiling and our unpaid cleaning staff – the house geckos hunting insects. Son continues to help us with our ever expanding ... read more
Toucarie reef - blue water
Toucarie - Son with 2 new cutlasses (Gardeners of the Caribbean)
Toucarie - a Zandoli bites off more than it can chew

Never can you have so much fun with so little effort! Just sit back and let the river take you - this is not an extreme sport! We were taken very good care of by Malin and David from River Tubing Dominica - - from the tubes being brought down to the river to managing the floating bar (a coolbox with its own tube). Periods of calm drifting and gentle chats with other floaters were broken by bursts of speed along narrower stretches, usually involving bouncing off rocks and disorientating spinning. All this under the canopy of the rainforest without any sign of civilisation. So a couple of hours after leaving Hibiscus Cottages, after much laughing and squeeling, the occasional beer and a long stop at a beach en-route, we hauled our tubes out at ... read more
River tubing - the launch
River tubing - Stacey rollin' on the river
River tubing - Andy drifting downstream

At a Saint Patrick's day party here in Portsmouth, Dominica – thanks Orla – late into the night, we were introduced to Susie who said “Oh, you're English, do you want to come sailing?” And we said yes, of course we said yes! Sailing North A week later we were motoring out of the anchorage at Prince Rupert Bay aboard Spirited Lady of Fowey heading north to The Saints and Guadeloupe. We were a crew of 7, Susie, Roger, the two of us, 2 dogs and a cat. The cat stayed out of the way. The sail across was fabulous, with 2 reefs in the main and a steady force 5 we cut through the swell easily. We all took turns to helm (just the humans) – it was a joy and produced big grins. For ... read more
Pretty Terre-de-Haut
Kate at Baie de Pompierre
Kate at the helm under Susie's watchful eye

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