Monday, 4 March 2013

Back home !!!!

The awesome falls


Hot and humid

Sorry about the delay but I am now home and it has been an adventure in itself but more of that later........Our chill time in Mancora was lovely, we even ate in a posh restaurant with fabulous food and some lovely Argentinian wine. We enjoyed walks along the beach and eating lovely vegetarian food. But all too soon it was over and we were off on the travels again.

On 20th February we left Mancora , in a minibus, for the airport in Piura and got to Lima about 8.30 pm. Our transport was waiting and we literally slept and then had breakfast and left for Lima airport again the next morning. Our flight to Iguassu was nearly 4 hours and there is a plus 2 hour time difference. When we got to Iguassu, in Brasil there was no transport-our hostel did free airport transfers. A lovely taxi guy rang the hostel who said it wasn't booked.

When we got to the hostel things just got worse, the guy said he had never heard of Pacarama, the booking website. When he checked there were no rooms. Eventually he found the e mails and realised that they had confirmed the transfer..........but still no rooms!! Eventually he found us another hostel, although more expensive. Joe came and picked us up and took us to hostel mango rosada -the pink mango. We were the only guests and he and his wife Gisella had been running the hostel for a year. These things happen for a reason and we would not have got much rest in our original choice. It was quiet, clean and comfortable with a huge Jacuzzi bath in the room and we quickly dropped our stuff and went in search of food. Pizza and beer have never tasted so good. Our plan was to see each side of the Iguassu falls on the next two days.

The hostel was quite away out of town but a good local bus was close by. We then got the bus to the falls, and paid our entrance. There is a 1.3km walkway that gradually reveals the fall and it is stupendous. Those of you on Facebook have already seen the photos..........At the very end you are on a walkway over the falls getting totally soaked by the spray. It was boiling hot, about 35 C and the humidity was about 90%. We loved it and it was so well laid out, the highlight of the trip for me.

We got back to town exhausted and decided not to spend the next day going to the Argentinian side of the falls- it was 2 hours drive each way and a 9k walk in the heat. We just went into town and then lazed by the pool. One of the advantages of independent travel-just going with the flow........  Next day up at 4.15 to get out next flight, 3 down 2 more to go. We flew the short hop to Sao Paulo and stayed in the Parnaby, an airport hotel with free shuttle. It was luxurious by our standards, but a corporate hotel and we could have been anywhere in the world. We enjoyed the pool and had a buffet dinner and then a buffet breakfast and ended up paying as much in extras as we did for the room!!

We got our flight from Sao Paulo and I was disappointed with Singapore airlines, everything at check-in was geared for their first and business class customers. The food on the flight was pretty average and we arrived in Barcelona tired and ready for a chance. Ibis budget doesn't do flexible check-in and with an international mobile phone congress on we ended up in a smoking room!!!GROSS.   After a nap I had to get out and went and sat at a cafe drinking red wine and eating tapas.........ah Spain.  We had a bottle of wine and some nice Chinese food -lovely after months of chicken and rice!!

Wednesday we flew Barcelona to Newcastle with Easyjet ( a low cost UK airline) and the customer experience was so much better than the previous flight with Singapore. Met my old boss and her husband returning from 2 nights, as a birthday treat for Karen's 50th.

It was wonderful to see Amy at Newcastle airport and Imogen came in on her way home from work. I have loved the trip but 10 months is a long time to be away from home. Would not do the same length of trip again, I missed the girls too much

Back home and it has just been constant hassle, my tenant left in January and her idea of clean and mine or totally different, so have had to clean from top to bottom. Needed a new mobile and that hasn't been straight forward either. But the most difficult part is coming home to find that my phone was disconnected and she has taken my number...........25 years with the same one........... BT can't reconnect me till Thursday so I have really struggled with no landline and no Internet. Thankfully got a laptop today and using my neighbour's wi-fi , which means I can use skype for calls. 

It feels really strange to be in one place and not having any planning to do but I am sure it will feel better soon. Got good news at the dentist today, my tooth doesn't need to come out PHEW.

 Met up with loads of my ex-colleagues at Karen's birthday party and know that retirement 4 and a half years ago was the best decision I EVER made.

Talking of decisions Chris and I have just been travel buddies for a long time now and in December, when he thought he would come home to help out with family problems, I realised that would be a good opportunity for a natural break and for me to continue on alone and possible meet someone new. He didn't return home but it was the impetus we needed. Everyone assumes we are a couple, I gave up explaining that he wasn't my husband and we have had a blast over the last three years but time for pastures new. Our travel plans may overlap in the future -we both have the Great Wall on our list.

So what next?? Well, a holiday with the girls in France over Easter, then a short house-sit for some friends. Spain for four days in May with my best friend and June 2nd off to Australia for 6 weeks to see the rugby. Amy and Carl are getting married in December and I want to spend Christmas at home this year. I would love to sell my house this year and no idea where I want to live.

My next big trip will only be 3 months and will either be China, Tibet and Nepal or Laos, Cambodia, Vietnam and Northern Thailand and not till 2014. Hope you have enjoyed these blogs, for me they supplement my daily journal and will make happy reading some time in the future.

I have a new mobile number 07581200375 and will have a landline by Thursday-I hope.

Best wishes

Norma xx

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