Is it really over?
Trip Start May 20, 2010
195Trip End Sep 05, 2011
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Day : 471
Temperature : 15 degrees
Weather: Grey, Cold and Windy
First of all apologies for not completing this blog earlier. It's taken some time for us to be able to look at our blog, such is the state of mourning that we are now in, as realisation hits that our trip is in fact "over"! And so finally, after 20 hours in the car, an eight hour flight, a seven hour flight, two hours waiting to get through immigration at Heathrow (what a joke!) and finally 2 hours in the bus we eventually pulled up at Cirencester bus station back home in good old Blighty. What a shock to the system it was. We had a small welcome back party waiting for us at the bus station and it was lovely to see everybody again
There are however some positives of being back home which I think are worth mentioning at this point in time.
1. Hot showers that actually have hot water.
2. Soft fluffy towels
3. Proper cheese and biscuits
4. A bed again...as opposed to a tent and a leaky blow up mattress
5. Order and logic in society...people queue politely, there are road rules which people generally follow, thing just "work"
What are we going to do now?? Who knows. We have no home, no jobs, and (almost) no money! But we do have a lifetime of incredible experiences and memories that will stay with us forever.....as well as 40,000 photographs to now plough through.
I have a feeling that our travelling days are not over....whilst it may not be another 16 months RTW trip anytime soon, I expect our rucksacks will not stay empty for too long
So there we are, the best year of lives. I'll leave you with the highlights, the lowlights and a few memorable pictures. Thanks to everybody who followed our blog and all the comments, it really makes a difference when your thousands of miles away.
1. Antarctica....an overwhelmingly beautiful, pristine wilderness like nowhere else on the planet...it's magic gets under your skin and all you can think is "when can I go back?"
2. Camping with wild elephants in Botswana....being in the wild, surrounded by elephants, impala and other beasties. Ever so thrilling and just a teeny bit scary when the lions roar outside your tent!
3. Campervanning around New Zealand.....man, we love New Zealand. We love the people, the landscapes, the wildlife....it's fab! We'd buy Harold our campervan if we ever went back there!
4. Swimming with whalesharks and humpback whales in Mozambique and South Africa....enough said, absolutely incredible!
5. The Galapagos.....animals which seem completely oblivious to the presence of us humans, or being in the blue at 10m depth and having several hammerhead sharks and galapagos sharks come to check you out!
6. Mount Bromo, Java....standing on the rim of an ancient volcanic caldera as the sun rises over a surreal lunar landscape with Mount Bromo puffing silently away in the distance
7. The Bolivian Altiplano and the Salar de Uyuni....let's forget the altitude sickness and the fact that you think you are dying, the landscapes of the altiplano and the Salar are simply incredible.
8. The Namib Desert.....a sea of sand extending as far as the eye can see. The giant dunes of Sossuslvei rise hundreds of metres above the parched dessert land.
9. Tibet....forget the fact that it's ruled by China and imagine a land full of smiles, humbling stories and incredible landscapes. Not forgetting the highest mountain on the planet.
10. Rio de Janeiro....sipping Caipirinhas whilst people watching on Copacabana...all day long!
11. The Amazon....feeling like an insignificant speck whilst being in the middle of the world's largest rainforest and largest river, listening to whistleing bears and grunting birds.
12. Sumatra....tracking down wild orang-utans in the Sumatran jungle....such beautiful animals.
13. The Great Wall.....clambering up and down, and up and down, and up and down for hours. It's exhausting work, but the views are fantastic.
15. The Togean Islands.....making the journey to these beautiful, remote islands in the middle of Sulawesi. You really feel like you are well and trully "off the beaten track".
16. Making friends as you travel, then suddenly making rash decisions like, "let's go to Antarctica!"
1. The aggessive and scary bus drivers of Java...an incident not wanting to be repeated!
2. Struggling to find any decent food in Mongolia and Argentina
3. Seeing the way the rest of the world treats animals with such cruelty.
4. The depressing amount of litter that seems to pile high in towns, cites and villages all over the planet...the worst culprits being Bolivia, Nepal and Indonesia.
So there you have it. 26 countries in 16 months. A complete circumnavigation of our planet....and there is still so much more to see!