19.07.2012 42 °C
Hello readers one last time (booo hoooo :-)))),
Well, I'm not going to summarise every event and detail and how it made us feel because anyone who has travelled out of the same bag for as long as this and met the people we have along the way, and counted Rupees, KIP, Dong, Dollars, Bahts, Ringgit, Quetzals etc in the way that we have to eat, sleep, enjoy & escape will know that this would be impossible. It's all part of the joys and trials of travelling.
Every country we visited gave us something...even if that something was not to our taste, unenjoyable, shocking or sad...it gave us memories and tiny, tiny moments that, partly with the help of this blog, will give us memories to live on with tea and biscuits when we're old.
Most people have asked us what our favourite country is...this is impossible to answer because India was probably my favourite in terms of stimulating the senses (and the guts) for something completely utterly different, as well as an education in a religious and cultural perspective (the Caste system) that runs so deep and creates the rich/poor divide that will forever be. But let's be honest, we barely enjoyed it. For that reason alone, I would recommend everyone to try it...as backpackers of course!
Mexico, Hong Kong, Laos and Thailand are highlights for us to kind of answer that question. But it's the experience of getting to each place, travelling around, not knowing if in the morning you are taking a bus to El Salvador or a boat to Colombia....not knowing until a day before that you'll be flying back to London...and having the freedom to just bail out of Mumbai when you've run out of Immodium.
It's also the experience of who you are travelling with. Ross and I could have taken the same route, seen the same places and done similar things with other people and had a completely different experience. Then again, he and I could repeat it all and still have a different take on everything. I feel very lucky to have fulfilled one of my life goals with him...we have spent a total of 242 days and nights together continually, which is far from our natural routine, coupled with the constant decision making, navigating, organising and protecting that goes on. I think that is pretty damn special and a good start to our married lives together.
We have not cured our wonderlust....it's now worse! We already know the next two destinations we want to visit, and there is still the small matter of Colombia and Bolivia (those salt plains are still calling for me to drive and spin across them, top gear style!). But we know we never, ever want to stay in another hostal again!
A big part of our travels has been this blog. We started it so that we would have a momento of our experiences and also to keep our nearest and dearest aware of our rough location to stop them clucking! We never realised just how much you would all enjoy the blog and in some cases you have said that it has been inspiring. That has really been incredible to hear and on days when we are really shattered, flea bitten (literally) and overwhelmed from the days events and sights, the comments encouraged us to keep going with it, we didn't want to let you down.
A quick note on Spain...a beautiful country it still is with some of the most preserved, small Adulucian white villages you could imagine. We spent some wonderful days in Seville with my Mum who joined us for just under a week, lots of laughs, red wine, delicious tapas and a chance to practise our Spanish which has really improved in the last three months....she was impressed!! The last two weeks we have treated as a holiday...I'm sure you'll all laugh at this, but we really felt we needed it after the travels!!!
One last word: Anyone can see part of the world, at any age, in any way they choose fit, depending on their circumstances & budget....whether it's for a month, 6 months or 3 years. We saw people with kids backpacking, we met golden oldies in hostals and everything in between. We met people horseriding, quadbiking and cycling from Canada to Patagonia alone. We are both skint but I feel incredibly rich from the experience and we both know we'll be back to the grind in one way or another on our return. For anyone with an inclin to do this, the only thing I'll recommend is not to put a barrier in the way. You won't regret it, I promise! And we have a tent if anyone wants it, as Ross and I don't do camping anymore!
Failing that, it's 46 degrees at 19.30 in the evenings in Seville at the moment if you're craving some sun!
Thank you all for reading and writing to us, it's been absolutely brilliant, and Thank you World!
I will leave Ross to add the photo's over the next few days, as there are plenty more to come.
Ross & Charlie