It's travel link up time again. This time the topic is 'Your Greatest Adventure'. Which I'm actually finding really hard to narrow it down. The more I think about some of my trips the more I think 'that's my biggest adventure to date'.
It started in 2006. That's when I caught the travelling bug. I travelled to India as part of a group of Girl Guides. I had the most incredible time, and at the age of 18 experienced a lot of amazing things. I helped paint a refuge for women and children in Pune. We spend time learning about the Indian culture at one of the Girl Guiding world centres. We took part in Bollywood dancing, laughing yoga and a homevisit with a local family. After our time in Pune We then visited the Golden Triangle; Jaipur, Agra and Delhi (in that order)!
We took a sleeper train journey from Pune to Jaipur, which was an experience in itself - taking 26 hours due to some delays. I remember 'sleeping' on the top bunk, hearing 'chai, chai, chai' as the tea seller moved up and down the train, and some sort of deep fried curry sandwich for breakfast! We explored Jaipur, the pink city where we rode elephants at the Red Fort and saw the 'Water Palace;, or Jal Mahal.
Then it was onto Agra, I was lucky enough to visit the Taj Mahal and see it at dawn and dusk, which I'd highly recommend. It really does take your breath away. When you walk through the archway and faced with the famous white building. I even queued to sit on the bench that Princess Diana sat on all those years before. It must be a very different photographic experience now the selfie (and stick, is such a thing) I also went to the cinema to watch a Bollywood movie - it was called Kabhi Alvida Naa Kehna and it was 3 hours 13 minutes long. I cried. The audience clapped and cheered, it was all a little bit different to your average cinema trip in the UK. Just writing this post is making me want to go back to India to share some more Bollywood dreams with The Boy, to experience the culture and food that India has to offer. Perhaps that was my biggest adventure yet..
But then there's New Zealand... We had 8 days in New Zealand, by no means enough days at all. However it was a once in a life time opportunities. I flew out with a family, so had my flights paid for. And then The Boy and I paid for his flight. We explored the North island. Auckland was our first stop, and a great city. We then visited places like the Coromandel which I read about in Kelly's latest post. (It brought back so many memories, and probably why I'm writing this now, thanks Kelly)! We also visited Rotarua, the set of of Lord of the Rings and Waitomo glowworm caves.
Driving around in a camper van, means this was probably our biggest adventure yet.. never had we slept in the back of a vehicle, driven an automatic or navigated the coastal roads of NZ.
But then the adventure really began.. at we sat waiting to board our plane home (eventually to London). We were told to hang on.. and as it turns out we weren't able to travel home until 10 days time. Cue panic and tears, I had studies to get back to, the Boy a job. What are we going to do... Grab it with both hands and enjoy it that's what we finally persuaded ourselves.
The following day after being put up in a hotel by Emirates we were told the next available flight would be in 10 days. It was all due to the Icelandic volcano. Thanks Eyjafjallajökull for giving us 10 more days of New Zealand. 10 more days of memories. An extended trip.
I'm not going to lie it was a bit worrying we'd spent most of our NZ dollars. We'd handed back the keys to our Camper. We didn't quite know what to do... But then we realised that's why we have an emergency credit card! Cue friend of a colleague, who agreed to put us up for a while. We jumped on a train to Wellington as fast as we could. Another city to explore - wonderful. A spot of working on their vineyard to earn our keep. We had the most wonderful time. Learning about wine making and sampling some too.
We even made it to the South Island which as we were so close I decided we had to do. We visited the lovely little town of Picton. After a ferry journey from Wellington. Wellington is a great city, we enjoyed the cable car. The harbour and the museum of New Zealand 'Te Papa'
Soon it was time to start heading back to Auckland this time we took a bus to Naiper, to try some more wine (this is Hawkes Bay) and then back towards Auckland to get a plane back to the UK. Wow. What an adventure. We've promised ourselves that one day we will return to New Zealand and do the South Island properly...
One day... She says day-dreaming. I think it's what they call Wanderlust!
There's been plenty of other adventures along the way, but I'll save those stories for another day.
Here's to the next set of adventures too...
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