Our reality is very different to that of most people and we are aware of our good fortune in having the ability to lead the life we have chosen. This doesn't make it any easier when a trip comes to an end. We've had the winter of a lifetime, what with a week in Barcelona, Transatlantic Cruise, a month in Florida, three weeks in Puerto Vallarta and a three week trip across Mexico. However the van needs to be collected from store in Spain and all good things come to an end. A punctuation mark has been created during our journey and enables us to think about where we're off to next.
Our last day in Mexico was spent mooching about our part of the city and packing. Taking it easy was the order of the day as I had booked us a potential nightmare from hell with 4 connecting flights. Mexico City, Panama, San Juan (Puerto Rico), Frankfurt and London Heathrow. But it cost a third of the price, and we had the time. A German air hostess made fun of Mike's shiny hiking boots, calling him Mr. Boots and all went to plan, no lost luggage or delays. The journey was in excess of 32 hours, and I was so tired, the first night I went to bed on our return I slept right through and avoided jet lag.
It's boiling hot here!
I've just seen the 'Beast from the East' headline for the UK weather forecast on Sky News and we're feeling smug with our decision to have a winter off, away from the motor home. We struggled enough with the cold last year in Greece and Turkey, so the Floridian climate is providing us with a winter duvet.
As we had time on our side we took a transatlantic cruise to America. 13 nights from Barcelona with stops in Palma de Mallorca, Malaga and Tenerife. The first crossing for the brand new 5 1/2 star Celebrity Reflection. It is a beautiful ship, loaded with all the latest technology. The food, however was deemed a bit too 'Arty farty' by my picky husband. That wasn't their fault, hearty stews with loads of sauce would never have been high on the agenda for the chefs, passengers or crew. As you can imagine Mike wasn't left to starve as there was always plenty of choice. Diners were well behaved around the buffet and we didn't see the stereotypical 'plate piled high syndrome' featured on fly on the wall documentaries. I marvelled at a woman who was asked to walk to the other side of the counter for the patisserie selection because the server was trying to clean the area. A distance of under 60 feet must have pushed up her stress levels beyond tolerable as she actually stamped her foot and said she couldn't walk that far!
Security were called one day over an incident involving Germans and sunbeds so I guess we could have been next to any pool in the world based on that holiday observation. Fortunately no-one noticed the day I found Mike lying on his sunbed, showing off his natty 'Y' fronts when he thought he'd already changed into his Speedos. Very few men can get away with wearing Speedos, but even fewer can show off their shreddies for the benefit of cruise companions. The excitement could have been too much and security may have been forced to throw him overboard.
The itinerary promised 6 days at sea to cross the Atlantic Ocean but this was increased to 9 and the stop in Tenerife was cancelled because there was some problem with one of the engines, preventing the ship from reaching full speed. I must confess that I worried about this. The anniversary year of the sinking of the Titanic and we were making the crossing, away from icebergs but were we risking our lives? Would the headlines wonder what we were thinking? Was the crossing being made in view of commercial pressures and passenger safety on the back burner? Well, of course not. They'd fixed the engine before we left the Mediterranean and the rumours were building up amongst us passengers.
So what do you do with 9 days at sea? Not a lot. Read, sleep, eat, watch TV, sunbathe, go to the theatre, work out in the gym, people watch and make up gossip to scare other passengers. It was relaxing but a tad too long without stepping on dry land.
I love travel, any type. There is always a buzz in finding & exploring a place for the first time, meeting and making new friends and if you return things are never quite the same.
Going away? Travel essentials from across Amazon
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