Well well, where to start? Perhaps an apology, for all those regular/semi-regular readers who put up with my rambling nonsense for a year, and who I left in the lurch?
Or an explanation? Just what happened to me? A combination of things, really. After New Zealand, my next stop was South America. A real culture shock again, after the home-like comfort of Australia and NZ, and one which entailed learning Spanish pdq as nobody, understandably, spoke English. Considering my Spanish to date consisted of “Hola!” and “Por favor”, I had to put some effort into language-learning, and signed up for a course at my hostel that consumed my every waking thought and energy for a couple of weeks. By the end of this course in Santiago, (my teacher held the title of best name ever, Jesus Wong), I was speaking a tad more Spanish, but was feeling pretty mentally empty. Not much change there. Straight after this, I headed straight up to the Atacama desert, so no internet connection, and then made a very-unlike-me decision to go to a whole new country that was never on my original itinerary, Bolivia. This was wonderful and beautiful and challenging, but again, very little internet access. Following on, I went on to Peru, by which time I was out of the blogging habit, and by December I was in Argentina with Mum, spending a strange but wonderful Christmas in the sun,
and heading up to the mind-boggling Iguazu waterfalls, straddling the Argentina/Brazil border (another stamp in the passport – one day DOES count!)
So, no excuses really, but at least there’s an explanation. If I was lax on the blogging front, please be reassured, it was for no other reason than I was having fun.
The fun continued in the next year…
Late in January, Andy came out to meet me in Buenos Aires. Despite only having a few short weeks together in Australia, we both knew it was long term. So we lived together there in BA, in our wonderful apartment in Barrio Norte, just one block away from an amazing parilla restaurant, one block away from the subway… how I love city living. Living in that particular city was just an exciting, exhilarating experience. We went to football matches at La Boca, we went to weekend markets, we nipped across to Uruguay to update our visas, we ate out and drank lots of wine a few times a week, we had restaurants where we were considered regulars, we chatted to taxi drivers, we got caught in the floods, we picnicked in the parks, we visited museums, we wandered round neighbourhoods, we went ALL over the city trying to find a flower fountain, we picked up local slang, we got to know “Juan, Juan, the wine shop man” who sold us under-the-counter wine on election day when it was verboten elsewhere.
After 6 months (and some more travel round the country), though, our time there had to come to an end. Family reasons were calling us home, and so, on 1st August 2007, that’s where we headed. The flight home could probably take a whole blog entry in itself, but we got here safe and sound, to be fully inducted into each others families and friends.
Now, if we were watching a black and white film, there would at this point be a calendar with all the pages flying off it to represent the passing of time.
After three years, two homes, eight weddings, and a funeral, Andy and I are still very much together. We’ve had holidays in St Lucia,
We’ve been on the train between Manchester and Cardiff so many times we know the stations. And now we’re ready for a new adventure. We’ve been granted permanent residency visas for New Zealand, and so we’re about to move there. However, us being us, we’re not doing it the easy way and, while all our possessions are on a boat heading for Southern Seas, we’re going to take a more meandering route there, and are working our way south via Nepal, India, Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia, and Australia.
Ambitious? Definitely. Mad? Probably. Exciting? Very.
Are you up for another adventure? This time I won’t leave you hanging. Promise.