To the North

29 06 2010
I am off to Scotland at the weekend for 10 days, and I am really rather looking forward to it.  H and I intend to drive straight up to Loch Lomond on Sunday, which we are able to do because Germany knocked England out of the World Cup, so now we can go out for my Mums birthday.
Anyway, our plan is to go to the highlands and the Isle of sky, I have seen a really good boat trip that I want to go on where you can see Seals.  We also have a Pod booked in Applecross, meaning that we can have at least one night inside, although, hopefully the weather will not be bad.  I will be monitoring it for the next week or so, but once we are there I guess it doesn’t matter.
We also want to head to Loch Fyne so that we can have Oysters, and H really wants to try Haggis, having had it before I am not overly keen, but when in Rome and all that.
I think that we will try and head over to a place by Inverness to see some Dolphins, but we also have a night booked in a 5* guesthouse, near Loch Ness.  Our room is massive and it has a 4 poster bed in it.
I am getting more and more excited the more I think about it.

More Things.

21 09 2009

I was searching round the Blogosphere and came across this on the front page of WordPress.  Its another Things to do before I die list.  Its actually one of the better ones.  I typed this into the search bar, and most of them have the same sort of thing on there. 

  • Create World Peace
  • Go into Space
  • Write a Novel
  • Adopt a child

That sort of thing, which are all very noble (in the case of adoption and world peace), but mostly won’t happen.

I had forgotten that I had made a list a while back in August 2008.  A year later I have realised that I missed some stuff off of there:

  • Do the water experiment at the Equator
  • See a Basking Shark off the British coast
  • Visit Leptis Magna

and some things that can be added to the cool things done section.

  • Seen the Wildebeest Migration
  • Seen a Cheetah Kill
  • Go to Zanzibar

These probably should have been on the original list, but they weren’t.  At the moment the things to do list is stagnating a bit, I am sure that I will kick it into gear again soon.  For Everyone that has written one of these lists, good luck in achieving it, especially if you have put World Peace on there.

To Dar

19 06 2009

We paid our bar bills at the campsite, had breakfast and then set out on our 2 day drive to the beach at Dar Es Salaam.  The first days driving was fairly uneventful and we made it to our camp at Tembo.  After we set up the tents, myself and Hazel went for a walk with a guide, who took us up far higher and Tembofurther than we thought we would.  Walking through the Villages we were greeteb by kids shouting ‘Jambo’ (hello) and and a few of the braver ones shouting ‘Mizungu’ (White man).  We climbed to a logging camp run by a dutch company, that have helped the area no end.  They have provided jobs in the logging camp and factory, a medical centre and houses for the local people and a school for the kids.  Now our guide was at university, studying tourism and Geography, whith my background we got on well.  In the camp they have a cable car for transporting the cut timberLogging Cable Car and workers, the disparity between the european money and the african shanty towns is there to be seen. 

Back at the camp dinner had been cooked and was a fantastic curry made by Dave and a few others.  Dave, conveniently is a chef at 15, one of Jamie Olivers restaurants, and it was good.  We also had chocolate cake and custard for desert.

The next day was the same again, breakfast followed by a long drive to Dar Es Salaam.  Stopping for lunch, we headed into Dar in the afternoon.  This  is the busiest city that we would go to and definately not one that I would like to drive a truck around.  Rich did blindingly well getting the beast around the tight streets, only once having a problem witha turn, almost hitting an car, and once going down a one way street the wrong way, but we got there, and while Marijke was getting our ferry tickets for the next day we hit the slowest internet cafe in the world.

Getting to the Dar beach was a lot easier, we just drove onto a ferry across the water, the sand was amazing and the water warm.  We walked down the beach and then spoke to some Swiss guys who have become my heroes.  They had bought a van in Switzerland and had driven it through Europe, parts of the middle east and down Eastern Africa.  Apart from a breakdown in Ethiopia and one in Nairobi, it had been plain sailing all the way for them.  They were heading towards Botswana and then to South Africa where they are selling their van.  Maybe someday I will do that sort of thing, but I doubt it.

Anyway, next up passports and yellow fever vaccination certificates at the raedy, were off to Zanzibar.


21 05 2009

I am writing this really just to see what comes out. For the last few days I have been suffering a head cold with the full works, buzzing ears, blocked nose, and when its not blocked, running all over the place, sore throat etcetera etcetera. This is probably the fault of the Malaria tablets (that I have now been told are the wrong ones) and have to start taking Malerone now, luckily not Meflaquin, which is Lariam based, and that has all of the horror stories about it including the psychotic breakdown side effect. I am barely able to keep it together as it is without all of that rubbish.

Still, less than 48 hours until my flight. To say that I am nervous is an understatement, but this I think is coming from the fact that I know taht I am so under prepared for this. Plus all of the hidden costs are coming out now, which had I been more prepared would have not been so hidden. Still, how many chances am I going to get to go on a Safari.

The down side to this is that I am leaving H for nearly 3 weeks, and with our burgening relationship going really well, this is most unfortunate timing. Especially as when I come back she is almost straight off again, firstly to the Isle of Wight Festival (the housemate is going too) and then to Barcelona with some of her friends. For some reason I am a bit lot jealous of them.  Recently I have been finding out what it is like to want to spend all of your time with one person who makes you so happy.  Its been a while so I am having to get used to it.  I just hope that neither of us have second thoughts while we are away.  I don’t see why we should, its all going far too well at the moment.

I have had time to get the last of my things now, and am feeling slightly happier about going.  I am relaxed in the knowledge that I have to be there on my own and will have to be exceptionally vigilant at all times.  After the pickpocketing incident in Barcelona (years back now with Mark) I have become a lot more street smart, and spotted what nearly happened to Neil in Madrid a mile off.  I should be ok, but I am still a bit nervous.  Having barely any sleep for the last few nights hasnt helped.   Hopefully I will find it easy to get some sleep on the plane to while away a few hours.  The films that are on really aren’t my sort of thing so I will be taking a few books and from seat 27A (window seat, just behind the wing and the toilets) I will make my way.

I checked in online this morning and picked my chair for the flight and now I have to sit back and wait. 

Now I am going to leave this and finish up my last bit of work.


7 05 2009

I was talking to Andy on Tuesday at the pub quiz (just the 2 of us, we came last, but not by much and we got a good score) about things that we have done, and it turns out that I have done a lot and my looking back at it my life has been much cooler than I thought or seem to remember. 

I suppose I may have blocked the coolness out of my mind by spending so much time in a bad mood, but now I can look at these things in a slightly more objective way.

List of cool things in no particular order

  • Swam with Sharks
  • Ran with the Bulls in Pamplona
  • Climbed an Ancient Mayan Temple
  • Walked on Glaciers
  • Showered under a Waterfall
  • Tubed down rivers in Fiji and Belize
  • Eaten Conch straight from the sea
  • Experienced the Edinburgh Festival
  • Had a Horse Fondue
  • Taken a hot air baloon ride above the Nile
  • Drunk in a proper German brewhouse
  • Watched the sunrise on 4 continents
  • Been to a proper rainforest

As you can tell, I’m not one for package holidays.  I went on one when I was an adult and didn’t like it.  This list will probably keep getting bigger as I remember or think of ways to phrase things, but for now its a start.


22 12 2008

I have added a new page called Globetrotting, you can find it at the top.  At the moment it is just a list of where I have been, but at Some point I will add some photos to it.  Just thought you might like to know.


10 09 2008

I am beginning to get wanderlust again.  I am reading too many books about travelling, Batting on the Bosphorus being one of them and watching far too many documentaries about far flung corners of the world, I really enjoyed the new Charlie Boorman series on sunday, and the legend that is Bruce Parry is back next Monday night with his Amazon series.  Each one has a sense of adventure and appeals to me so much that I want to just get out there and leave everything behind for a few years. 

Sadly, money being what is needed is short, my change of job really didn’t help and come December the Mortgage lenders are going to be taking the shirt off my back.  Still it doesn’t stop me planning things. 

In the past few weeks I have been looking at holidays.  I have seen 2 that really appeal to me.  One is an overland tour of Jordan that is mostly cycling, and the Vodka train through Russia to Beijing.  Both would be really great but not sure if I will be able to afford either.  I might just settle for a long weekend in Helsinki…

Things To Do Before I Die (Updated)

1 08 2008

I wrote this about 2 years ago one night when I had just come back from the pub. This was on my myspace page, but I thought that I would update this and repost it here.

Things to do before I die

Walk the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu

Climb to Everest Base Camp

Go to Tibet

climb Kilimanjiro

Go to Easter Island

Drive the Nurberg Ring

Go to the Galapogos Islands

See The Scream by Munch

Drive Italy in a Ferrari

The Trans Mongolian Railway from Moscow to Shanghai

Visit the Great Wall Of China

See Red Square (Moscow)

See Victoria Falls

Learn to Fly

Become Fluent in another Language

Learn an Instrument

Go to New Zealand

have a tea ceremony in a Japanese Teagarden in Tokyo

See the Terracotta Warriors

party at the Rio Carnival

Either drive or cycle from Lands End to John o Groats

Visit every Country in Europe

Visit every Continent

Build my own house

Get a Masters

Live for a Year in Paris

Cycle to the mediterranean

Go to Ankor Wat

See the Northern Lights

Stay in an Ice Hotel

Party at an Embassy

Be evacuated from a warzone

Go to the Vatican and see the Sistine chapel

So far in my life ive done some cool things, here are my favourites:

Seen the sun come up over the rain forest from the top of a Mayan Temple

Eaten a Conch as soon as it had been caught

Been amazed at the sound of a Hummingbird

Had a bizzarre experience on a ferry in Fiji

Driven round Europe in a Campervan

Seen Michalangelos David

Been to Monets Garden at Giverney

Whatched the sun set over the pacific

Seen a Tornado form and Hit land

Walked on a glacier

Showered under a waterfall

Been on a hot air balloon ride over the Valley of the Kings

Taken part in the Pamplona Bull Run

Ok, I know that most of my choices involve travelling (Infact all of them do as my house is boring), and some people would probably criticse me for not putting have a family or get married on the things to do list. This may happen, it may not, Im 28, and its not happened so far, its not even on the cards so im not overly expectant in the next few years of having a sprog. Anyway im digressing, on the list of things to do, nothing is unachievable, expensive yes, but not entirely unrealistic. I dont see the point in not wanting to travel in my humble (drunk) opinion, a global sense of place is much more of a desirable trait in people than never having been out of the country but having a sprog. I like the fact that I have more in common with an Australian than I do with my niece who has never had a job, but has 3 kids.

To be fair, im not entirely sure of the point that im trying to make, im sure there is one. I like my life and I like the fact that I can go anywhere, any when and not answer to anyone. However I wouldnt change the fact that I know how a hummingbird sounds for anything, even if someone may find this dull.