The Grand Canyon – July 2021

Trying to organise a trip to the Grand Canyon from Vegas is quite frankly hard work; confusing and a bit of a minefield. There are so many options in terms of which area to visit; South, West or North rims, which mode of transport to use; car, bus, plane or helicopter and what company to book through; the prices vary from the reasonable to the outlandishly ridiculous. It took us days to decide which trip to book and quite a lot of internet research but we finally decided to visit the West Rim via an organised coach trip.

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The Galápagos Islands 2021 – Part I – San Cristóbal

At San Cristobal ferry terminal we were met by Lelanes, the 18 year old daughter of our host family. The walk from the ferry to our accommodation is one we have done several times since, is only about 800 metres and takes between 5 minutes and half an hour depending on how long we stop to look at the local wildlife, but on this occasion, fully loaded, we were grateful Lelanes hailed a taxi to get us ‘home’ and she also paid the $2 fare. We unpacked, settled in and started talking about how we would get the most out of our time here.

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Dominica – The Nature Island 2020-2021

For us Dominica immediately takes a place in the Top 3 favourite countries we have ever visited, along with (in no particular order) Iceland and Fiji. We have now visited 3 islands in the Caribbean including Barbados and Antigua and as beautiful as their beaches are, Dominica will definitely be remembered as our favourite Caribbean island.

Visiting Dominica during times of Covid has meant we have had a different experience than most visitors to this lovely Island. During our time here England has locked down and many other countries have put in curfews, tiers and other measures to try and manage the virus. Here in Dominica however we were in one of the safest countries in the world; looking at covid stats Dominica was 199 out of 220 countries in term of covid risk and it has been managed very well here. At the time of writing there have only been 121 cases throughout the pandamic and no deaths. We were therefore not only visiting an absolutely beautiful island, but also currently one of the safest places in the world!

One of the problems of writing a travel blog, is that it’s a snapshot in time. New buildings will be built and some, such as those damaged in hurricanes, will be bulldozed – landscapes can change and a view of any place can be skewed by the size of the crowds. When visiting a bar or restaurant you don’t want to be the only ones there, because other people add to the ambience, but you also don’t want it to be crowded, or to have to queue. However having some fantastic beaches and snorkelling waters entirely to yourselves is a whole different matter. Absolutely beautiful. One thing’s for sure, thanks to the COVID pandemic, very few will ever see Dominica the way we saw it!

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Sopot, Gdansk and Hel! – September 2018

We decided to have a ladies short break away in September and knowing how much we all enjoyed Krakow for the sights, food and affordability we decided to have another trip away in Poland, this time heading to the Gdansk region.  There was some planning involved but we decided that a Wednesday to Saturday trip was more affordable and convenient for us all.  With flights and accommodation costing just over £100 each for a 3 night trip for 7 of us we decided to go for it!

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Ambitions, aka The Bucket List

I’d like to see the whole world, but I don’t think that’s achievable in my lifetime. What is more realistic is;

  • To visit each of the 51 countries in Europe (2/3rds of the way there, 17 to go)
  • To visit each of the 7 continents (5/7 on that score, South America and Antarctica to go)
  • To see, and hopefully join in a Tango in Buenos Aires (and maybe try my first ever steak. If you’re going to do that once in your lifetime, that’s the place to do it surely?)
  • To cage dive with Great Whites (happy to do this anywhere, but South Africa is looking favourite)
  • To see the big (and small) 5 in southern Africa.

What’s on your bucket list?

Nigel

Sofia, Bulgaria – our final stop

Sofia was our final and shortest stop; we had worked out our route and that we were able to fly back to the same airport we left from if we could make it to Sofia; our prior research showed that we could get a bus to Sofia for 15 euros each booked directly at the bus station.  The journey was due to take around 5-6 hours depending on stops at the border.   We arrived at the bus station and departed on time at 8.30am.

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How we planned our European Adventures – March/April 2018

Many people have asked how we managed to travel so cheaply to the 7 destinations we have just visited and the short answer is lots of research and planning!  Initially, we had our dates set off when we wanted to go and then did copious research online to determine how easy it was to travel from country to country…of course what we did would not be everybody’s cup of tea but for us we wanted to make the most of our two-week break!

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Switzerland and Liechtenstein New Year 2017/2018

Excitedly, off we set on our Easyjet flight bound for Geneva! The flight itself was only about an hour and a half and that was fine; we got there early evening and grabbed a taxi to get to our pre booked hotel.  We had been warned how expensive Switzerland was and even by booking our trip we had already spent a small fortune on train passes and hotels; however nothing prepared us for the taxi cost.  We travelled approximately 4 miles and sat watching the meter as it clocked up the equivalent of £5 waiting for a red light! After we coughed up 35 swiss francs (approx £27) we checked in at Ibis Centre Gare, our home for the next two nights.    Continue reading “Switzerland and Liechtenstein New Year 2017/2018”

Bulgaria – Varna and Golden Sands September 2017

Mum and I decided to have a break in the sun in September but took a long time to decide where; neither of us were particularly flush and wanted to go somewhere with value for money so we looked outside the box from the normal greek/italian/spanish breaks and decided after much deliberation on Bulgaria.

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Camping in Essex! August 2017

What better way to spend an August Bank holiday than camping! we had been promising Tilly we would go camping for a while and managed to grab ourselves a quite late 3 night break at Waterside Holiday Park near Maldon.  We hadn’t been camping for a while but still had everything from a few years ago so armed with our tent, airbeds and cooking equipment off we headed to Essex.  Previously we had camped in Dorset, Cornwall, the New Forest and the Isle of Wight but knowing how bad the traffic is heading west on a bank holiday we decided to go against the grain and go east in the hope we would avoid the worst of the traffic

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