vickygoestravelling

my journey to health and well being via exotic destinations


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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: 83-89 tropical storms in the Cook Islands

 

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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


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Round the world in 113 days: 65-82 diving & island-hopping in French Polynesia

 

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The Aquatiki II at the Tetamanu Pass in Fakarava

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


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Round the world in 113 days: 53-64 the fiords, mountains and lakes of South Island

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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


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Round the world in 113 days: 46-52 Marlborough country to the southern Alps


The next stage of our journey takes us to the South Island. We leave Wellington by ferry, dumping the car, and three and half hours later are in Picton where we collect another. Like everything so far in New Zealand it’s all gone like clockwork, on time, efficiently and with a smile.

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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: 28-37 Christmas & New Year in NZ

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Auckland skyline from our apartment

My New Zealand visit starts badly. I am so obsessed by the thought of the rigorous customs police confiscating our Solomon wooden carvings we have brought as gifts that I completely forget the banana I popped into my bag in the lounge, intending to eat it on the flight. Suffice to say, dear reader, I got done and it cost me $400 – ‘no criminal record’ the official says brightly. I have to admit the officials are charm itself – and I just feel a complete fool.

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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