Epilogue, A Month In and a New Group
Trip Start Oct 29, 2011
48Trip End Jun 01, 2012
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First of all, the thing I am noticing the most is how much this travelling on your own malarky really does make every single experience and every since emotion become heightened. This is in one sense brilliant but then in another sense really quite unhelpful. I have had the most incredible time over the last month, first of all with Helen in Sao Paulo and then with the group on the Avenue of the Volcanoes trip. I think I have been a bit scared that the rest of the big adventure will not be able to compare to eveything so far and I won't meet as amazing people as those I have met so far.
Before I came away I thought that when you do travel on your own that it would make you a bit more independent, but I’m starting to notice that you do actually really rely on others around you so much more than ever. That hit me hugely on Saturday when the bulk of the group headed off on the bus to the airport and it was back to little old me, in a taxi was heading off into the unknown again and all by myself. I missed everyone incredibly then (old and new friends).
It also didn’t help because I had been let down hugely by my leatherman (it’s a type of pen knife). I was happily settling down on Saturday night to an evening of catching up on Strictly Come Dancing on t’internet and was even going to incorporate in some research for mine and Helen’s Christmas trip to Mendoza in Argentina by trying some of the red wine from the region (it’s all about careful planning folks). This is supposed to be the top of the range type of knife. You can use it to repair your 4 wheel drive when lost in the outback, you can use it to help you survive for months on the end with just a few berries and some mushrooms like Bear Grylls. You can even use it to amputate your arm as it’s stuck under a 12 tonne boulder after 127 hours stuck in a canyon somewhere in Utah. But has it got a corkscrew on it !!!! No !!! So an addition to my book, "Gap years for people who are bordering on being anal, have obviously created a spreadsheet for the trip and with a perchant for putting things in zip Lock bags and money bags" will be a chapter on suitable tools for the trip with appropiate wine bottle opening implements.
But then panic over - just under 48 hours later I was back with a group of lovely people as I had met up with the new group for the Galapagos trip (and more importantly had got a corkscrew). This one is going to be very different to the Avenue of the Volcanoes as there are only 7 of us, and to be honest at the moment there are only 5 of us who are really hanging around together.
There are three other couples on the trip, but at the moment I am spending my time with the scarily knowledgeable Jake and Caroline and the lovely Italians, (who as well as being knowledgeable speak fluent English, an amazing amount of Spanish – oh and a bit of French of German) Marco and Paula.Will update you on the other couple in a few days, needless to say - late 50's, from Bradford and he has already told me three times about why you now cannot fly from Leeds-Bradford to London Heathrow with BMI because Lufthansa has taken all of the routes, hence why they went via Amsterdam with KLM. Oh and yes Heathrow has 5 terminals.
We’ve had a very unexciting trip to the Botantical Gardens (Kew Gardens shouldn’t be worried), and last night had an amazing meal in one of the best restaurants in Quito – Swordfish was to die for and the wine list was on an ipad !! Even better was the fact that there wasn’t a panpiped rendition of Guantanamera or El Condor flippin’ Pasa to be heard. Today I did another city tour of Quito (with a few different bits to the one two weeks ago – thank God) and then have spent several hours planning for later in the big adventure and then trying to get this blog done.
Tomorrow morning nice and early we finally fly off to the Galapagos Islands (and finally back to sea level where hopefully I can finally shift this stupid cold) and begin our 8 day cruise.
So my next update should hopefully be just over a week (can’t leave it this long again – these updates over the last few days have nearly killed me - yes I could make them shorter!. It doesn’t actually help that I’m a perfectionist Virgo who is just a little bit terrified about writing about myself – give me a powerpoint on’ the regeneration of dockland areas’to write any day over all of this.