Broad Itinerary is tentatively:
October 2008 - March 2009 = South East Asia
March 2009 – April 2009 = Mongolia and across to the UK
May 2009 – June 2009 = The GREAT Britain Pilgrimage (towing a caravan)
July 2009 - September 2009 = Europe on a Shoestring (still in the caravan)
Slightly more detailed would be:
Malaysia (Melaka, Kuala Lumpur, Ipoh, Penang)
Thailand (Bangkok, Chiang Mai, Chiang Rai)
Laos (Luang Prabang, Vientianne)
Cambodia (Siem Reap?, Phnom Penh, Kampot, PP)
Vietnam (Ho Chi Minh……Hanoi, Halong Bay)
China, including Hong Kong (Nanning, Guangzhou, HK, Xian, Shanghai, Beijing)
Mongolia (UB and Anak Ranch)
Russia (Moscow, St Petersburg)
Denmark (Copenhagen, Esbjerg)
England (Norwich, London – taking in South Bank Walk, Tate Modern, Globe Theatre, Tower of London, Big Ben, National Gallery Art Museum, Trafalgar Square, Picadilly Circus, Harrods, Westminster Abbey, St Pauls, British Museum, Buskingham Palace, Hyde Park, Hampton Court Palace, Science Museum – Oxford Canal, Salisbury, Devon, Cornwall, Weston-super-Mare with side trips to Bath, Chippenham, Wookey Hole, Cheddar Gorge, Clifton Suspension Bridge…Stratford-on-Avon, Warwick, Ironbridge Gorge, Wroxeter)
Wales (Menai Suspension Bridge, Holyhead, Ty Mawr stone huts, Beaumaris Castle, Conwy Castle, drive by Caernafon Castle, Harlech Castel, Criccieth Castle, Flint Castle, Denbigh Castle..enough castles everyone?)
England (Windermere to search for Swallows and Amazons, Rach wants to wander round Ambleside, the castle boys think they’ll still be keen on seeing Caerlaverock Castel, Cardoness Castle, MacLellan’s Castle and Orchardton Tower - that last one’s free so they might be in luck!)
Scotland (Glasgow, Oban, Coll, Castle Campbell, Craigmillar Castle, Doune Castle, Edinburgh)
England (Lindisfarne – we’d better not be *over* castles at this point because we all want to see this one!, Hadrian’s wall, Harrogate, Leeds, Yorkshire Dales or North Yorkshire Moors and coast – Whitby, Filey, Robin Hood’s Bay…..Sherwood Forest, Cambridge, and the plan runs out!)
Europe….no details at all! (we’ll plan it when we’re sitting in Mongolia)
(that Rach is really keen on, Rob not so sure about – actually, he IS sure….he’s sure he just wants to come home and go back to work…..Rach is struggling to understand that!):
September 2009 – May 2010
Poland (get a job!!!)
June – December 2010
Central/Southern Europe, maybe even Egypt (put that caravan back on the road)
Then do we just fly home (we may have had enough by then – will have to wait and see) or do we keep dragging the caravan on to Africa? Or India? Or Australia? OK, so that’s probably all a bit ambitious unless we find a generous benefactor to put petrol in the van and food in our tummies…but we would if we could! Serious.
Start that stable job again.
Or if there’s no job, our dream to become self-sufficient would take on a new meaning! We’d *have to* swap our house in the suburbs for a piece of land to grow our own food, build an eco-friendly house with composting toilet…….
Save for five years and take the family to America. Write a book called “Eight Kids and an 84 year old Bike Across America” Sign up for your pre-order copy now!
Alternatively, we could take one of those high-powered-make-lotsa-dosh-jobs in Japan for two years to fund the American Adventure in 2013…Grandpa would be in his eighties so the book title would still work! Just so you know the likelihood of this option, Rob’s eyes glazed over about four lines ago and he mutters things about marrying a romantic idealist with no sense of reality…on the other hand, noone ever thought we’d take eight kids out of the country, so maybe the story isn’t over.
Added in 2012….oh how it all changed. We couldn’t all travel in one vehicle in Europe and so bought two motorhomes instead; we never got to London because the vans were old diesels; we missed booking the ferry to Coll so skipped Scotland altogether (besides it was pouring in the north of England)…and ended up with wonderful sunny times in France and Italy and Greece and and and instead; we didn’t come home in September, but stayed on till the very end of the year.
And now we’re going back. One week in Paris. Three weeks walking part of the Camino de Santiago. One week in London. One week on a canal up to Oxford. The pilgrimage continues, the dreams are being fulfilled.