Mark and Kate


Mark and Kate

Kicking off the blog again as we head off to South America for a 3 month trip. Hi to both of our Mums who we hope are reading! We have moved to Walla Walla, Washington from California and although we enjoy it greatly it feels good to be dusting off the rucksacks and leaving the below freezing winter weather for our first major trip since 2012.

Previously in 2011/12.......We are 2 British citizens who live in California. After much planning and some angst we are taking a break from reality and taking a trip around the world. One car is sold and the house is rented but before kicking off in Central America in mid June we are driving through Oregon to visit friends in Seattle, taking a quick trip to see family in S Carolina and then we are off!

434 days on the road and now we are home!

Use the links below to see maps of Our Trip Route to Date and Our Original Plan/Intended Route. or in travelblog Our Trip To Date or in travelblog The Original Plan/Intended Route

South America » Chile » Magallanes » Puerto Natales December 31st 2018

K - We booked our Navimag ferry trip between Puerto Montt in the lakes and Puerto Natales in southern Patagonia way back in August. 3 nights/4 days cruising through the beautiful Patagonian fjords with the opportunity of seeing glaciers and a bit of marine life sounded much more attractive than yet more airports or tackling the notorious Carretera Austral, a challenging 800 mile road route. Once booked we hadn’t thought about the ferry much more until a couple of days before arriving at the departure town of Puerto Montt. That’s when I went on line and saw that the new Navimag website had some beautiful photos but that everyone in them was wearing Gortex and woolies. Further research identified blogs highlighting how rough part of the crossing can be. This is when the ferry moves out ... read more
Mixed weather
Safely back on land with our ride behind me
Messier channel - the wreck of the MV Captain Leonidas used as a marker for the rocks

South America » Chile » Valparaíso Region » Valparaíso December 19th 2018

K – We had a limited time in Santiago so we probably did not do it justice. We felt it might a great place to live but it seemed to lack the “must see” tourist attractions of some other major cities. That was fine with us and we enjoyed walking around the Plaza des Armas and the surrounding districts. We did go to Cerro San Cristóbal planning to walk up the hill to see the full view of the city and the mountains beyond. Plan B was to catch the funicular up the hill. Plan C ended up walking out of the queue and heading to a nice restaurant for lunch. Plan C was great. Unfortunately for Santiago, when you look in to “what to do in Santiago”, one of the top tips is to go ... read more
Loved this one...
Dogless hot dog
Off with her head?

South America » Chile » Easter Island » Hanga Roa December 18th 2018

M - Easter Island really is a long way from anywhere … Easter Island is one of those places neither of us ever dreamed we would visit. As young kids we both had seen the pictures of the Moai Statues looking out to sea that the island is famous for. Never did either of us ever think we would visit the island of Rapa Nui as it is known locally. Getting to Easter Island - we knew it was a long, long way away, a big thanks to friends Robin and Adam for convincing us earlier this year that it really was worth the trip! Some mention of great Pisco Sours I believe? I don’t think it really hit either of us just how far out into the Pacific Ocean this island actually is until we ... read more
Sunset at the harbor
Sunset near the harbor
Arrived at last

North America » Mexico » Oaxaca » Oaxaca December 9th 2018

As I write this we have only three days left of our two weeks in Oaxaca and wish we were here for longer. Perhaps next year we will spend a month. We came to this great little town, only an hour’s flight from Mexico city/ two hours from Houston, a couple of years ago for Christmas. We fell in love with the food and the easy going people and the small number of foreign tourists. When Kate found the great reviews for the ‘Spanish Immersion School’ it was a no brainer to kick off our South American trip with a little Spanish learning in Oaxaca. We have been doing one-on-one Spanish for five hours a day split over two instructors - half in the morning and half in the afternoon. The school however offers whatever combination ... read more
Festival or Its a Knock Out practice
THis little lad was part of a wedding procession going through town.  If you look closely you will see that the anoimal is actually covered with fireworks.  We didnb't get to see him lit up . (2)
Cooking Lesson - cheese stuffed plantain

North America » United States November 27th 2018

It’s been a while since we set up this blog for our 2011/12 round the world trip but we are finally back. Why now? Well it’s hardly risen above freezing here for the last few days (see the photos) and we think this is complete justification to go south for the winter! Mexico, Easter Island/Chile, Argentina, Uruguay and Bolivia here we come! Just like last time I intended to kick it off with a few packing shots but I think someone has hijacked the shots or her packing! As before I will add initial map of where we ‘plan’ to go as soon as I remember how to use the software on this site! Some of the travel needed to be booked but a good portion most is not. Let’s see how close we stick to ... read more
Our street last week, 6 below freezing - all day!
Will it survive the winter?  We'll see in February!
Autumn arrive quickly a few weeks back.

Europe » France » Burgundy » Montbard July 9th 2012

K- Our original intention, and something I have wanted to do for years, had been to spend a gourmet week or so in Lyon which is home to 14 Michelin starred restaurants and is arguably the best place to eat in France. Incredibly however after 4 weeks in France we just couldn't face it. We were stuffed full of foie gras, cheese, delicious meats and sauces and we just didn't feel we could do justice to the amazing and relatively expensive restaurants. As I write this a year later I cant believe we didn't go but I can still vaguely remember that sated feeling and I know it was the right decision. However I would kill for that gourmet week now and it remains high on the bucket list. So instead of our food extravaganza we ... read more
Tpical Cote d'Or countryside
Canal de Bourgogne
Blood Sausage

Europe » France » Rhône-Alpes » Vienne July 1st 2012

K- Maybe we should have paid more attention to the picture of a nuclear power plant on the map but it soon became clear after we left Orange that our guidebooks passing reference to industry in the Rhone Valley was a little rose-tinted at best. Mile after mile of grim and industrial scenery and no sight at all of the Rhone river. Moreover, it soon began to rain. And I mean seriously rain. It was grim. And so we decided as the rain just hammered down that we would opt out of traveling for a day. After 13 months why should we have to go and get gloriously wet in a dump of an area. That's what you do on vacation. When traveling you can, and should, just take a break. So we did. A 79 ... read more

Europe » France » Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur » Orange June 30th 2012

K - My usual caveat applies to this blog - traveling for several months is not vacation and things that you would appreciate on a 2 week holiday can be wasted as pearls before swine when they crop up in the middle of a 14 month trip. So........ I did not want to visit the South of France on this trip due to time constraints and also because although areas of the South of France are stunning it gets incredibly busy in the Summer and heat, traffic and tourists were not high on our "must-do" agenda. We had agreed (I thought) that our focus instead was to be on other less busy, areas of France. Moreover, I had just spent nearly 24 hours getting from the South of France up to Limoges to meet Mark and ... read more
Canal du Midi
7 locks

Europe » France » Aquitaine » Dordogne June 24th 2012

K- my challenge is to finish these blogs before the anniversary of our return to real life comes around. As we were in the Dordogne on June 24th 2012 and it is now June 12th 2013 I had better get a move on! The Dordogne (or more accurately the Aquitane region) is almost impossibly pretty - perhaps teetering on twee, with castles and medieval squares in abundance. It seems that nearly every town or village has been accorded "le plus beaux villages" status and actually deserves it. Mix in the lovely green countryside and rivers, the weather and of course the amazing food and it is easy to see why it became the retirement destination of choice for Brits - at its peak around 30,000 lived in "Dordognshire". Although we are a little bit away from ... read more
Chateau de Biron
On my way to market

Europe » France » Aquitaine » Saint-Emilion June 22nd 2012

K- The theme of our final few blogs is basically going to be the same - ancient and medieval cities, beautiful countryside, local markets and good food and wine. I could really just cut and paste the place names. However, for our own historical record I will continue to blog as accurately as possible. Our first stop after leaving Colondannes was La Rochelle, a seaport on the Bay of Biscay and an important harbor since the 12th century. It is a pretty town with beautifully maintained architecture and impressive fortifications. As we so often do we spent the evening walking around before enjoying a kir or two. We then retired to a traditional French Irish bar to watch Euro 2012 - another great thing about being here was to follow the football in countries that cared ... read more
Classic Saint-Émilion
Picnic time!!
A typical view near Saint-Émilion

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