vickygoestravelling

my journey to health and well being via exotic destinations


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Round the world in 113 days: 100-105 Cartagena and Medellin, contrasts of rich & poor

 

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Cartagena

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Medellin from Comuna 13

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.
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Round the world in 113 days: 92-100 colonial Colombia & Tayrona

 

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In Villa de Leyva

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


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Round the world in 113 days: 38-45 from Waiheke to Wellington

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View from Te Mata Peak out towards the sea, Hawkes Bay

New Year’s Day and it’s time to move on. We board the Waiheke ferry and then head south-eastwards then back up north towards the Coromandel Peninsula. Tommy entertains us with various podcasts to pass the time. When we reach the peninsula we decide to go the scenic route up the west side. Continue reading


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Round the World in 113 days: 12-26 diving the Solomon islands

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The next stage of our trip takes us to the Solomon Islands for a 14-day dive adventure aboard the MV Bilikiki. This has been a long-time ambition of ours and the trip was carefully planned around these dates and Christmas in NZ; for dive boats such as this you have to book a year in advance. Continue reading


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Round the world in 113 days: 6-9 Kiri Vongsa school, Cambodia

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With staff & UWS team outside Kiri Vongsa school

‘A long time ago in Kiri Vongsa’ sings Bunthynn, the United World Schools Education Officer as we set off from Banlung – to the tune of the Bethlehem carol. A jolly start to an adventure! If you want to see a map of our journey click here for a link to Ross’s website. Continue reading


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Round the world in 113 days: 1-4 Singapore & Siem Reap

 

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Sunset at Angkor

After months of planning we are finally on our way! Our travels will take us to Singapore; Cambodia to visit the charity where I am a trustee, United World Schools, and the school we sponsored; to the Solomon Islands to dive for two weeks (via Singapore and Brisbane briefly); then to New Zealand for 5 weeks, joined by Tommy, to see all our old ‘nannies’ now married with children; next to French Polynesia for more diving and some island-hopping, including to the Cook Islands before crossing the date line to LA for one night and three weeks in Colombia. Phew! Continue reading


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The Pantanal: Brazil’s wildlife wonderland

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Typical Pantanal view

‘Watch out! The Pantanal has the world’s worst mosquitoes!’ With  this warning  ringing in my ears, here we are with our Avon skin-so-soft spray (the best according to experts), craghoppers mosquito-proof trousers and shirts and even face nets to fit under hats. The African in me who has never bought  any safari gear is appalled. Continue reading


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A Swiss Sunday stroll turns into a snowy scramble

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Chez Christine sits under the pass to the Dents du Midi

It’s a beautiful morning in the mountains and our Canadian guests are easily dissuaded from leaving until after a gentle stroll. The chosen route is a steep climb up  through the woods to Sous la Dent and then doubling back to Signal de Bonavau and down to Chez Christine’s for lunch. A couple of hours plus lunch should do it, Ross reckons. At first all goes well, gorgeous views down to Champery… Continue reading


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Eat, sleep, dive, Bequia

IMG_7788We’re going to Barbados – for a wedding! The son of our old friends who live there is getting married, so we have hired an apartment – but more of that in the next blog. Cashing in on so-called BA freebies means we have to arrive a little early – so we find ourselves in Bequia spending a few chilled-out days doing some diving and getting into training for the wedding! Continue reading


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Reunions & races on the Swiss ski slopes

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The Dents du Midi from the 8-man chair in Les Crosets

It’s January and the annual Queens College ski reunion. This is the 10thyear that old Cambridge friends have gathered in Switzerland, and now France, to remember trips of yore, including the celebrated one to Avoriaz where Ross and I met 40 years ago! Continue reading