Mel and Howard

Teesside Travellers

Mel and Howard

Hi after years of hoping, dreaming and wishing we are taking 2 years out to go backpacking round the world from the end of july and can't wait!

It's now May 2013 so I reckoned i better update this as we are now only 3 days away from the end of our travels!!. Only managed 22 months as we decided we needed somewhere to live when we got back after all, but still not a bad stint. At this moment i can't sum it all up, there have been so many amazing experiences, sights and encounters along the way, i think i need to stop to let it all sink in.

However I was so looking forward to getting home a couple of months back but now it's a reality i feel a bit wobbly at the prospect of no more travelling.

Oh well guess we will just have to get the debts paid off and start saving up again...

North America » United States » Florida » Miami Beach May 23rd 2013

21-23rd May ’13 Miami Beach Today we caught the bus along to South Beach, it took ages to get there as the bus wound its way around all the residential streets but it was interesting to get a glimpse of this wealthy area. Once we arrived in the main shopping area we hopped off and went to see the sea. As you would expect it was a long sandy beach with lots of posh sun loungers for hire. There was a path along the beach side – with no view of the sea strangely, but we passed lots of big, flashy looking hotels and got our first glimpses of the Art Deco influence in some of the building designs. We emerged onto the main road and here every building was Art Deco style and colours, it ... read more
2 South Beach, Miami (3)
2 South Beach, Miami (5)
2 South Beach, Miami (6) Versace's Villa

North America » United States » Florida » Miami Beach May 20th 2013

19/5/13 Fort Myers Beach Survived the night despite the feuding couple – I half expected to hear gun shots and it was another glorious hot sunny day, so it’s off to the beach. We had a quick stop at Walmart to buy a smart price beach umbrella (cheaper than hiring one) and drove down to Fort Myers Beach. Parking was pretty expensive but just back from the sea road we found a pair of enterprising pensioners who had turned their garden into a parking lot and for $5 you could park there all day. We finally got away from Mrs Pensioner who was delighted we were English and proceeded to tell us all about her son who was stationed at Mildenhall with the air force and all of his accomplishments, bless her. Back at the beach ... read more
Fort Myers (2)
Fort Myers (3)
1 Sorrento Villas (1)

17/5/13 Nassau, Bahamas Avast there me hearties! Up, fed and out, Nassau awaits, the proper pirate stronghold, home of Blackbeard and other fearsome and fascinating buccaneers of the high seas. Arrrr Jim lad this be the place I wants to see. First though we had to get off, walk the plank I mean along the pier, go through the welcome centre, run the gauntlets of taxi touts, hair braiding ladies, tour touts and eventually escape through the gates and out into the city. Once more the line of jewellery and souvenir shops but we had a map and things to see so we carried onwards. We had a quick look in the straw market, which was basically a large building full of craft and souvenir stalls with very forceful ladies trying to get you to buy ... read more
4 Day Five - Nassau, Bahamas (2)
4 Day Five - Nassau, Bahamas (4)
4 Day Five - Nassau, Bahamas (5)

15/5/13 Grand Turk We were up early as we were excited to get off the ship and explore. Grand Turk is a tiny island, a British Colony and former pirate hangout. From the balcony we could just see the tip of the island and it is very flat, with white beaches, green palm trees and sea every shade of blue and green imaginable. After disembarking we walked along the pier to the ‘welcome’ building which is basically a duty free shop, then out into a plaza surrounded by jewellery and souvenir shops. We visited the memorial to the astronaut John Glenn whose Friendship 7 space capsule landed in the sea just off the island. There was a replica of the capsule, a pretend astronaut and a small rocket with some information boards. We had a quick ... read more
2 Day Three - Grand Turk (4)
2 Day Three - Grand Turk (6)
2 Day Three - Grand Turk (8)

North America » United States » Florida » Miami May 13th 2013

13/5/13 Florida City to Miami to join the Carnival Victory for our 5 night cruise Well it only took 1 ½ hours to drive the 30 miles back to Miami and then about 30 minutes to try and find the car rental place. This included going right through the airport car rental parking garage, right through the airport, back to the airport car rental shuttle bus centre, spotting the ACO (our car rental company) courtesy bus, nabbing the driver, explaining we couldn’t find the place, following the bus and finally getting there. It was actually only a couple of blocks further up the original road we had turned off! I refused to do the shuttle bus back to the airport, train and taxi version Howard had planned for us to get to the cruise terminal and ... read more
1 Cruise Day One - Leaving Miami (5)
1 Cruise Day One - Leaving Miami (11)
1 Cruise Day One - Leaving Miami (14)

North America » United States » Florida » Keys » Key West May 12th 2013

10/5/13 Florida City, Miami Well I had the best night’s sleep for a very long time! Today we decided not to go anywhere just to get sorted out and take it easy. So we started with a trip to Walmart (ha ha gotta love that place), Howard reckons we were there for 2 ½ hours but I’m sure he exaggerated! There are so many fascinating things to see in Walmart, clothes to try on, gallon containers of a hundred varieties of ice cream to be examined, cds to look through, weapons of every variety to be shocked by, all the different types of m&m’s to be surprised by and so the list goes on! After all that excitement it was back to the motel and two machine fulls of washing to do and finally I was ... read more
2 Everglades National Park (2)
2 Everglades National Park (3)
2 Everglades National Park (4)

South America » Peru » Lima » Lima » Lima May 9th 2013

8th May ’13 Trujillo to Lima We boarded the 8.45am Cruz del Sur to Lima, were videoed and off we set. This bus however was top of the line and we had individual screens so we could select what films we wanted to watch. I found a Jonny Depp and started watching, all was fine until Howard went to the loo and managed to freeze my screen with his bum as he pushed past. An hour later and Howard with a good ear bashing, the hostess came along and showed me how to reset the thing. Anyway we were given a snack with a drink followed by lunch with a drink and then the bingo started (we didn’t attempt it this time!) – it went on for ages and finally 5 people all won at the ... read more

South America » Peru » La Libertad » Trujillo May 7th 2013

7/5/13 Trip to El Brujo and the Lady of Cao I was really looking forward to today’s trip as it was to the Pyramid of the Witch Doctors (shamans) and the Lady of Cao – the first female Moche ruler. Our guide yesterday had told me how the site is still used today by Witch Doctors from Peru, Ecuador and Columbia to perform shamanic rituals. In the past witch doctors went to the pyramid to boost their healing powers as the site was known to be a place of powerful energies. Great stuff! Imagine then my disappointment when after an hour travelling north through barren desert scenery only broken by areas of sugar cane plantations we finally reached the El Brujo Archaeological site and were told we weren’t going to the pyramid! Gutted!! Allegedly the site ... read more
9 Pyramid of the Lady of Cao (3) Outer wall of 4th level of pyramid, outer courtyard
9 Pyramid of the Lady of Cao (5) Outer wall of 4th level of pyramid, outer courtyard, Losers being taken to be sacrificed
9 Pyramid of the Lady of Cao (12) Preparation room and actual grave site

South America » Peru » Trujillo May 6th 2013

6th May ’13 Chiclayo to Trujillo Yet another bus journey with yet another bus company, this time it was Empressta VIP and we were both finger printed and videoed for this one! Nice comfy bus but unlike Cruz del Sur we didn’t get to play bingo – I forgot to mention this, totally mad, after lunch we were each given a one game card, the hostess called the numbers in rapid Spanish and by the time we had figured out what the first number was she was onto the 10th so we gave up! The winner however got a prize – no idea what but it may have been a free trip and then had to sing a Thank you song! Eek how embarrassing, kind of glad my Spanish is rubbish. The bus only took 3 ... read more
8 Hotel Colonial (1)
8 Hotel Colonial (2)
1 Trujillo (2)

South America » Peru » Lambayeque » Chiclayo May 5th 2013

3-5th May ’13 Chiclayo Our first full day here we didn’t do much as Howard’s bowels were causing him grief! We did manage to get to the main square without being mown down (a minor miracle), Howard finally got a haircut and I have never known someone take so much pride in his work – Juan was a perfectionist, he must have been in the military!, we managed to sort out and book ourselves on a tour for the next day and found the bus station we needed to book our tickets for Trujillo on Sunday, which after a long time in a queue we did. The next day was fantastic we were booked on The Sipan Tour with Moche Tours and the guide spoke excellent English and hearing him switch between Spanish and English was ... read more
4 Museum De Sitio Huaca Rajada - Sipan (4) Moche pottery
4 Museum De Sitio Huaca Rajada - Sipan (6)
4 Museum De Sitio Huaca Rajada - Sipan (7)

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