After a few days off at home – Ross training for the marathon onSunday and me catching up with work on the book and my charitable endeavours – we set off on part two of our staycation, via lunch with old friends John and Hilary in Penn. Ross is loving experimenting with our new electric car, although we have some interesting challenges plugging it in overnight in our two hostelries. This time we are headed for Hartwell House near Aylesbury where the Bourbon Court were housed after they fled from France. Continue reading
We should have been in Provence for a glorious 12 days of sea, sun and relaxation. For the past few years we have stayed in the delightful Villa du Soleil with various friends, right on the beach of Lalonde les Maures. Thanks to CVOID quarantine restrictions this year it just ain’t gonna happen. Continue reading
Last week it was announced that Brits had to quarantine on return from Switzerland. This quarantine business seems to be peretty arbitrary – for instance I discovered that Romania magically appeared on the list but has never been mentioned in despatches. I can’t help wondering if it’s got anything to do with the fact that the government consider Romanians who live in Britain as EU migrants rather than British holiday-makers, and don’t vote. Anyhow, to continue…here are some photos of the Dents du Midi in all their glory. Continue reading
Here’s something I wrote on the trials of COVID19 for my healthylivingwith cancer.co site…I thought in the absence of travelling further than the local shops it might amuse.
So we are almost 6 weeks into lock-down when I receive a text out of the blue. It’s from the NHS coronavirus service and it says, ‘Your condition means you may be at high risk of severe illness if you catch coronavirus. Please remain at home until the end of June…’.
View original post 720 more words
The final stage of our four month trip takes us by air to Pereira capital of the coffee country. Just as I say, ‘we’re all aboard and taking off 5 minutes early’ we find ourselves being asked to disembark due to a technical issue. It doesn’t look good as we are given drinks and snacks but suddenly we are asked to board again and we leave only an hour or so late. Phew! Continue reading
So here we are almost at journey’s end. The last part of our trip takes us down the western side of Colombia and back to Bogota and then home! But it is so rich in experience that I’m splitting it into two blogs. We travel via a mix of plane and car, and see two extremes of this country – the very rich and the dirt poor and, in Medellin, some green shoots of transformation. Venezuelan refugees continue to be a major theme, always on the road – walking to who-knows-where, begging in the cities, sleeping rough. Depending who you talk to there are between two to three million of them. Some find work undercutting local labour, but most rely on generosity and handouts in this poorest of countries.
The last leg of our world tour! Arrive here after a pretty poor flight on Avianca, the pride of Colombia – they don’t even serve tea. It’s a grey morning here but luckily our room is ready at 7 am and we manage a kip before venturing out to explore Candelaria, the colonial quarter of Bogota, a city of over 9 million people. Continue reading
The howling wind wakes me. It is midnight and we are in Aitutaki the second largest of the Cook Islands with a population of 2000; you can drive round it in under an hour. On our arrival in Rarotonga we were warned that they are expecting a humongous storm, just downgraded from a cyclone. They were battening down the hatches. Continue reading
Our round-the-world trip has two major unexplored dive areas in our itinerary – the first was the Solomons and second is French Polynesia. This area is famous for its passes – the channels between two atolls that separate the ocean from the lagoons, where hundreds of sharks hang desultorily in the blue while the tide washes over their gills for effortless breathing. The Tuamotu islands, where we are headed, has several lagoons with passes and probably has the most famous shark-diving in the world due to the vast volumes of water that swoosh in and out twice a day. We have decided to explore them on a live-aboard, an eight-berth catamaran, the Aquatiki II. Continue reading
On to the Deep South for more mountains, stunning views, sunshine and sandflies! Our journey will take us from lakes to fiords via winding roads and hundreds of camper vans; in between we will continue our walks and try to get away from the crowds – it is Chinese New Year in addition to normal holidays so the major hubs of Arrowtown and Queenstown are packed and best avoided at peak times. Continue reading