Tag Archives: solo female travel

People I met

Part of the reason for my blogging is to have a record of the the places I visit and the people I meet, so forgive me for naming a few here, or skip it entirely!


Of course, my German mates, they were full of fun but were also great to talk with about Europe and it’s way of life. Heather, Stewart, Catherine, Fiona and Myles, parents and three adult children travelling together. They’re spread all over the place normally but have a family holiday each year. They’re hugely entertaining and just all round nice people.

Bob, the Tom Hanks look-alike, from New Jersey, whose wife agreed to him having an amazing holiday in South America and Antarctica for his 50th. In a weird coincidence there was John, also from New Jersey and also celebrating his 50th in South America and Antarctica with his wife’s approval; that was pretty amazing. Agnès, who was my second roomie, originally from France who is now an Aussie. Her luggage didn’t make it to Ushuaia so she had to quickly run around buying things before boarding the ship, I’m sure I wouldn’t have coped as well as she did, she’s a troooper!

Andrew and his dad Tony who had people in stitches most of the trip – when Andrew wasn’t suffering sea-sickness! Andrew lives in Alice Springs these days but is from England where his mum & dad still live. We were talking about the seasickness patches one night and Tony told us a story that had me crying with laughter. This old guy went to the doctor one day awfully embarrassed. Turns out this guy’s wife was using HRT patches, each night she’d slap one on her leg, thigh, where-ever. The trouble with this was the guy kept waking up in the morning with these patches stuck to himself! Tony’s punchline was along the lines of  ‘his boobies were growing’! Obviously it looses something in the rewriting but to hear Tony tell it in his broad norther accent was totally hilarious.

Life is only travelled once

I couldn’t forget Karen, who helped me with my sleeping bags when we camped, Staci & Fredrik, Giovanni and Costanza, Marco and Catarina on their honeymoon, the 4 bubbly girls sharing a room, Adam from Melbourne and his other 3 roomies, Mary and Bruce, Ariel, a 10 year old and the only child on the boat, travelling with his parents, the list just goes on…. The 4 Portuguese men, one of whom was my kayak partner, the older two were brothers and the younger were their sons, didn’t get to have much conversation with them because it seemed only one had much English and my  Portuguese is pretty much limited to hello and thank-you, although there were always smiles and a few words here and there. Michael Jackson and his Mum from America – I never did get round to asking if he’d changed his name by deed poll!

The number of young people on the boat surprised me, lots of couples in maybe late twenties or early thirties and probably 8 or more singles in their twenties. They were from all over the world but one recurring theme it seemed, especially with the younger travellers, was their wish to have visited all 7 continents – and some of them by the time they were 25, 30 or 40. That had never entered my head, I just became fascinated with Antarctica after visiting the Hobart Museum last year, but on reflection, I’ve now been to them also – mind you my age is vastly more than theirs!

As I’ve said before, the ship crew and expedition staff were amazing. I won’t quickly forget Marijke, my roomie, Louise who almost cried when I showed her the kayaking sketch featuring herself, Johnny who rescued me with a couple of packets of unmentionables I’ve become slightly addicted to again recently, (nothing worse than cigarettes), and all the others who made this trip so memorable.

Most of my travels have been totally independent so it this list seems a tad overboard to me, but I guess this is showing me organized tours do have their advantages. I also keep remembering something one of the young couples said to me, who’s names I never found out, even though I spoke with them heaps. They said – may we meet again – what a lovely farewell after such an adventure.

The people you meet shape your travels




Filed under Antarctica, Mid-life travel, Solo female travel, Travel

Off to Antarctica on Christmas Day 2016

25th December 2016

Well, this is something you haven’t seen for quite a while, a new post from MidlifeTraveller! I last wrote about my 2013 travels a year ago, and was only up to Vigo in Portugal on 6th August 2013. I continued my travels that year until early November and continued on to Spain, Morocco, Croatia, and Puglia in Italy as well as Sicily. I still hope to write more about this one day!!! In December 2015-January 2016 I had a fantastic trip to Cuba and Mexico and same time this year I was off on an Antarctic cruise, just returning home on 13th January 2017. If I don’t write now it won’t happen, so here goes.

Hobart Museum sketched Jan-16

Hobart Museum sketched Jan-16

I took a trip to Hobart last year over the Australia Day weekend, and found the Antarctic section of the museum there totally fascinating. Then and there I decided my next destination was going to be the great southern continent. By the end of March it was all booked and deposit paid, only thing left to do was save the rest!!

On Christmas morning 2016 I flew out of Brisbane on Air New Zealand bound for Buenos Aires via a few hour stopover in Auckland. I’ve never flown with them before but couldn’t recommend the airline highly enough. The plane, staff and service was exceptional, we even had NZ wine poured out of full-sized bottles, something I haven’t experienced before in economy class! Being Christmas Day also bought a visit and chocolates through the plane by Santa and one of his elves – how cool was that.

Santa & helper on Air NZ flight Christmas Day 2016

Santa & helper on Air NZ flight Christmas Day 2016

About 20 hours later I arrived in Buenos Aires to Christmas Day still, about 3 in the afternoon, talk about making the day last. Stayed 2 nights at the Hotel Merit in San Telmo and took a half day bus and walking tour around the tourist hotspots of the city. Being only 5 of us in the group, it was a very relaxed and fun morning. This gave me a good idea of where I wanted to revisit when I came back for a few days at the end of my trip. La Boca was one of my favourite spots, seemingly, along with plenty of other tourists.The rest of the day was spent wandering back around the streets near the centre of the city.

Flying over NZ on the way to Buenos Aires, peaks in the distance

Flying over NZ on the way to Buenos Aires, peaks in the distance

An early start to the next day saw me at the airport by 5:30am and landing in the southern most town of Argentina at Ushuaia by about 10am. I must say it’s quite a change for me to be met at the airports by someone holding a sign with my name on it who whisks me off to the hotel. Much less stress that finding my way in a country where I don’t speak the language.



1 Comment

Filed under Argentina, Mid-life travel, Solo female travel, Travel

A good find – Somerset House


I hadn’t thought how I was going to fill my afternoon until Natalia finished work at 6 so wandered along Southbank for a while then crossed the Thames again and came across a place called Somerset House.

I’m sort of kicking myself now as there was a  Picasso exhibition that I was too stingy to pay to see – don’t you hate that? You make a decision about something then later on think you should have done the opposite. Oh well, if I’m not completely over art exhibitions when I pass through again on my way to Europe I’ll go see it. I think it runs until the end of May.

But I did spend a good couple of hours taking in the Landmark: Fields of Photography exhibition.The collection is loosely landscape based but you won’t find your average landscapes here, there’s some pretty amazing pieces amongst them.

As per usual with me, I’d have a hard time deciding whether it was the exhibition or the building that fascinated me most. It’s an absolutely huge but quite lovely building built around a central square. The square has 55 fountains sprouting from the ground and apparently in winter is  used as an ice skating rink.

The courtyard of Somerset House, The Strand, London

The courtyard of Somerset House, The Strand, London

As I was making photos in the square a couple walked by who caught my eye – they looked just how I imagine Londoners dressed many years ago. I love seeing old people wearing what we’d class as vintage clothing but to them are just their normal clothes. Ummmm, maybe I’d better be careful here – I could be one of those people sooner rather than later!!

A great coffee, a piece of home-made cheesecake, a seat outside overlooking the Thames towards the London Eye, weak sunshine with no rain or wind, a magic way to top off a lovely visit.

Leave a comment

Filed under England, Mid-life travel, Travel

London – at last

Wednesday 10th April 2013

I must be getting old, I really didn’t handle the flights very well at all this time. I had a middle seat in a row of three on the first leg so my sardine comment was very accurate. My aisle seat on the Dubai to London leg was great but by then I had a killer headache and nothing apart from strong painkillers and a good sleep was going to fix it.

Even though I felt like s#%t I was thrilled to be able to find my way to Natalia’s place in Leyton via the London Underground.

I always thought the “tube” was completely underground – but, no, it goes under and above ground.. There you go, that’s my piece of useless information for the day.

I also saw may first red double decker London bus from the tube and was all excited.    Then I saw another fifty and it wasn’t so exciting anymore but I would like to try and   sketch one.

Poor Natalia, I felt so bad, I was terrible company and could hardly keep my eyes open once I got here. I finally put her out of her misery and fell asleep after a couple of hours.


Filed under Mid-life travel, Travel