So it is now a week back at home, and it still feels a bit weird. Fortunately we have come back to find that Spring has well and truly sprung and the weather is not too dramatically different to what we have become accustomed too over the past three months. Perhaps the oddest feeling is waking up and occasionally wondering where I am and where the loo is. In this blog I want to try and sum up our holiday, and a few facts for those interested enough to want to know but mainly as a reference for us to look back on in years to come.
Things we acquired on the way round:
New Phone - got totally ripped off in Singapore when my present Nokia gave up the ghost in the humidity, (typically worked again once back in the good old UK)
Things I used (nearly) everyday of my travels:
- Netbook - provided the ability to write this blog and keep in touch with home, family and friends
- Our Itinerary- did a fine job of keeping us on track of where we needed to be and when. Thanks Tailor Made Travel you did us proud.
- Olympus U Tough Camera & Flip Video - Captured so many of our experiences, well until the Underwater camera got water in it in Port Douglas and ruined all the photos on the inbuilt hard drive, that's when the Flip really saved the day by recording our trip to the rain forest and in Bali.
Things I lost en-route:
White Cardigan - dropped somewhere near Sanctuary point, Australia
Pair of knickers- left in a launderette somewhere in South Island, NZ
Number of Flights Taken: 19
Hours in the Air: 64
Ferries Taken: 2
Vehicles Hired: 7 including Motorhome
Hotels Stayed In: 29 + 1 Yacht
Total Cost: ~don't really want to think about it, suffice to say it wasn't cheap but that's what Endownment Policies are for isn't it.......
Amount of Fun Had: Absolutely bucket loads!
Would I do it again: In a heart beat
The first question people seem to be asking is which country did we enjoy the most. Number one has to be Fiji and principally Royal Davui Island. So much luxury. The water was so clear and beautiful with white sandy beaches plus the people so friendly, a real paradise island if ever there was one. Loved the Hawaiian Islands too, especially Kuaui, I would love to go back and see more of it. New Zealand is a beautiful, beautiful place where I could happily spend much more time simply enjoying the space and time that is available. I am so grateful that we were able to enjoy and appreciate Christchurch before the terrible earthquake destroyed so much of both the city and people's lives. I thank God that we rescheduled our trip to the South Island first as we would have probably been caught up in this and may not have been around to write this now. The South island is beyond doubt a wonderful place but both of us felt more at home in the North Island with Auckland, Mt Maunganui and The Bay of Islands firm favourites. Who could not favour a place that allowed us to spend an unforgettable day with a pod of dolphins. Australia is so vast a continent with places that differ so greatly it's like visiting a new country with each different state. We both loved the hustle and bustle of Sydney; the drive from Melbourne to Adelaide along the Great Ocean Road was everything that it promised to be. Queensland whilst still suffering from the cyclone still had the power to entrall us. Perth gave us an opportunity to see relatives and to meet up with the "locals" and another chance to get up and personal with dolphins at Bunbury in SW Australia.
Now I need to get back to "normality", but I do I have one final thank-you to make. I want to say thanks to our neighbours who kept an eye on the house for us, Olly for staying over and checking things generally and piling up the masses of mail we came back to. Julie, Mum's next door neighbour for checking on her daily and Mel, Den and Rich for picking up the rest of the duties. It made travelling so much easier knowing that things were be looked after back here.
They say everyone has a book inside of them, I think this is probably mine, or the closest I'm going to get to writing one. Writing this blog has been an interesting but strange experience as I've never been one to keep a diary. I'm glad I did it, and as soon as I have uploaded all of our photos I will be getting a hard-copy printed as a permanent reminder of our journey. In that sense, I did the blog for my own benefit but I hope those of you who have followed our travels have enjoyed a little of it with us.