Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Reporting in..two months on the road

Two months ago today I left Regina for this big adventure.  It has been an amazing journey so far.  Except for two weeks in January I have spent my time in London.  That has always been the plan.  I am not tired of this city yet...I still marvel at it every day and am loving the fact I have the time to explore it in more depth. 

Beds slept in during the last month:  seven - I was with Emma until the 12th when I moved down to the Kings Hotel in Brighton for three nights, then six nights at the Turim Suisse Atlantico hotel in Lisbon, seven nights at Jorge and Andrea's place near Funchal in Madeira, three nights at the St David's Hotel in Paddington, London and now here... at Janet and Paul's in Brockley,  SE London.  Favorite place?  Definitely in Madeira.  Our room suited our needs and we had a fantastic view - Jorge could not do enough for us. I guess the only down side was it was quite far out of town but accessible by bus.   I really do enjoy airbnb rentals.  The hotel in Lisbon was a great one though and was in a central location - ideal really.  (thanks Pat!). After the shock arrival in Lisbon it was nice to have a comfortable room to relax in. 

The view from our balcony

Jorge's home - our balcony was the one in the middle. 

High point:  Definitely Madeira...I absolutely loved it there and I do intend to go back.  Probably not for a few years and by then I probably won't be walking any levadas but I will have a good time anyway.  In our week there we barely scratched the surface so I am thinking at least two weeks next time. 

Low point:  When my airport bus hit the woman in Lisbon..it still haunts me.  Enough said.

Best meal:  Hmmm... that's a hard one.  Can I say the custard tarts in Lisbon?  And I can find them in London as well so that's a good thing.  I first had one in Toronto in Little Portugal where my niece once lived and I sampled quite a few while in Lisbon but the two (yep, two) hot and fresh ones I got in Belem (the home of them) were the best by far,    

Regrets?  None. Okay that's a lie....I am not keeping up a personal journal at all... not too late I know and I should be doing more blog posts as well.  I plan to get a book made of the blog posts from my time here (which I do for all blog posts anyway) so it's for me as well... but the journal is the one I regret the most... day to day stuff and things I am thinking about that I don't put on the blog.

No home sickness yet - I still wake up eager to explore.  For now I am in London until near the end of the month and then I move to St Ives in Cornwall for a few days. I can't wait to be by the sea again and I got a great deal on a sweet looking bed and breakfast there. (because who is crazy enough to go to Cornwall in February)  From there who knows..any ideas are welcome!   I am going to Turkey later in March which was booked before I set off on this journey but as of yet I haven't booked flights.  I hope to get at that in the next couple of days. I think I am so busy here that I don't have time to settle down and think about it and the choice is overwhelming.  I am already realizing there is not time to do everything I want to do.   There will be more activity coming up - this will be my last time spending three weeks in the same place.  However I am totally enjoying it but I really do need to tidy up my room.  Another task for my rest day today!

My friend June joined me in Madeira then flew back to London with me where we spent a few days.  We went to the annual Destinations travel show here which was amazing and got the wanderlust going full steam - I nearly got talked into a trip to Abu Dhabi - I said nearly!  I do want to visit the "real" Arabia though someday but probably on the way to somewhere else like India or Sri Lanka.  (from London of course)  I saw three shows in one week here in London:  "Miss Saigon", "War Horse" (both with June) and "Sunny Afternoon"... all were wonderful....tonight it's "Swan Lake" at the Royal Opera House.  Due to finances I could only afford a seat in the nosebleed section and it says narrow steep stairs - oh goodie, my favorite.  I think that will be end of my night life for a while now.  The new Carole King musical "Beautiful" is on the list though but that can wait a month or two.  I will be seeing Eric Clapton and the Beach Boys at the Royal Albert Hall in May so am looking forward to that.

The area I am staying here in London is great - no tube service but there are two overground stations nearby that take me to Elephant and Castle and London Bridge respectively.  As well as long journeys by bus - I have taken both buses from here into central London just because they are there... and I wanted to see more of London. 

So many walks around here to do yet and I have taken the opportunity while I am in the South East to explore Hackney and Brixton. 

Broadway Market, Hackney on a rainy dreary day - note the pissed off looking dog 
Five miles by five miles I am doing the Thames Path.  I have made a decision that I will not finish it... it's just not possible this trip and I am not keen on wandering around in the countryside on my own.  Not because I am afraid of the big bad wolf but because I can get lost in a paper bag and I know I would end up god knows where.... and my arthritis will only get worse.  I think if I can get back to doing my 10 km walks I will be happy.  So the half marathons are over too... but I sure had fun doing them. So I will likely go as far as Windsor or Henley and call it a day.  And that's okay. 

I need to talk more about Madeira and Lisbon on the blog as well before I move on to the next place and they get left behind....

It will be interesting and fun to see how the next month unfolds.  London, Cornwall and a mystery destination... what will it be?  Beats me!   

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