Saturday, March 10, 2018

Two months on the road - the highlights, lowlights and future plans

Today marks two months since I slunk out of my apartment at an ungodly hour of the morning to begin this adventure.  It has certainly been two months of highs and lows - luckily more of the former.

Places I have been

Barcelona, Spain
Durham in NE England
Sri Lanka
Kerala, India

And now I am back in London

Beds slept in..


The highlights...

The best thing so far on this trip has been the elephant gathering in Kaudulla park in Sri Lanka.  To see that many elephants in one place was mind boggling and very humbling.  They are such magnificent creatures and I feel so fortunate to have witnessed the gathering.

Lunch on the move...

I also loved my three nights at the Peacock Villa in Mirissa after the tour had finished.  It was perfection.  Sitting on my balcony overlooking this...

and seeing a wild (male) Peacock sitting on the branch of a tree was surreal.  And that was a constant every day occurrence.  Even being woken up every morning to the Peacocks calling was not annoying - and at least they didn't start as early as that &@%^&;%$ bird in Fort Kochi!  I spent hours on that balcony watching the peacocks, monkeys, monitor lizards and various birds do their thing. 

My time in Barcelona was good as well...I enjoyed wandering the city seeing the beautiful creations of Antoni Gaudi. 

La Sagrada Familia blew me away. 

Dubai was amazing but my favourite part was my morning in a nature reserve in the desert.  Not only did I see the UAE's national animal, the Arabian Oryx but I got to be close and personal with a ten month old camel at a camel farm.   

Oh yeah and going up the world's tallest building was kind of cool too!!

Being high up in the hills of Munnar, India was so relaxing.  I could easily have spent another day there just sitting on the balcony of our guest house with my kindle and the never ending cups of tea that seemed to come my way.  I mean, look at the view!!!

And that is tea...not beer.  Honest! (the beer came later...)

Scruffy little Fort Kochi stole my heart..while I probably booked my stay there for a day or two too long I still enjoyed myself.   My homestay was perfect.  It was terribly hot so I would wander in the morning, go back to my air conditioned room for a rest around noon and head out in the late afternoon again. 

I could go on about other experiences as well - there really wasn't anywhere that disappointed me. 


I haven't been the healthiest on this trip.  In fact there were times I lay in bed and wondered if I should go home early. I was on Westjet's website on more than one occasion ready to book a flight home the end of March.  I have been plagued with a cold/flu that just never seems to totally go away but I will soldier on.  I am nothing if not stubborn.  Besides, I have built a lot of rest days on this trip and for that I am grateful. 

Thelma (my knee replacement) 

Thelma has been a star.  Okay I can still feel her in there and it still doesn't feel 'normal' but it's getting better each day.  However she is strong and I can walk with no problems.  I am just super paranoid about falling...

What's next?  

I am in London for approximately two weeks.  One of the highlights will be meeting up with friends.  I will be spending the day with my friend Pat and then being a "tour guide" to my friend June and her family when we stay in a hotel in the Paddington area for a couple of days.  Next week I am off to Liverpool for the day to see the Terracotta Warriers at the World Museum as well as paying my respects to the Beatles statue on Albert Dock, perhaps attending an exhibition at the Beatles museum and having "scouse" (beef stew) at a pub near the rail station before I head back to London.  And somewhere in there (when it's not raining...) I hope to test out Thelma on the Thames Path starting back at Shepperton where I left off two years ago.  (and this time I will resist a glass of wine at the end...well maybe...)  If it goes as I hope it will I will be back on that path in the weeks and months ahead. 

Then it's off to the Channel Islands again - this time to the island of Guernsey for a week.  I hope to visit the nearby islands of Sark, Herm and Alderney.  I am going a little early in the season so we shall see what I can see.  

After that I will be venturing into Eastern Europe.  First to Budapest which is some place I have been wanting to visit for a while.  I will be packing my swimsuit to try out at least one of the thermal baths. After five nights there I will board an overnight train to Krakow, Poland where I will be staying for four nights.  I have heard wonderful things about both places so I can't wait!  And that will bring me into the start of my fourth month but you will just have to wait to hear more about that! 

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