Tag Archives: 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.



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

Things I should write about before I forget – No. 3

Forget to put this in my Portsmouth post; when I arrived back at Ashby’s I let myself in the back door and could hear some-one just about bringing the house down snoring. Another woman was coming in through the front at the same time and we just looked at each other and burst out laughing. The owner, who is rather a large man, but lovely, was sitting in one of the lounge chairs with his head dropped way back dead to the world.

Without disturbing him we sat and chatted for quite a while, she’s an American, travelling alone too and had come the opposite way to me so we swapped stories on where we’d been. She gave me a few good tips too. If someone dodgy looking asks her questions she answers them with “sprecken ze deutch?” and makes out she’s German, says no-one messes with Germans!!! And I can’t remember the others now, hopefully I will, because they were good tips – see, this is why I need to write stuff down before I forget.

Anyhow, we were there chatting for a good half hour before old mate woke and joined us for a chat. Somehow they started talking about little known facts, they said something about there always being a “green man” somewhere in the windows or decorations of cathedrals – strange, I know, and I’m not likely to ever find out if it’s true as churches and cathedrals are not high on my lists. Next thing you know the owner toddled off and came back a few minutes later with two pages printed for each of us with little known English laws; that kept us amused for a good while then.

Just another one of the little things that keep it interesting!


Filed under England, Mid-life travel, Travel

What I’ve been preoccuppied with – or why I haven’t been blogging

I haven’t blogged for a while as I’ve been struggling with things the last 5 or 6 weeks.

My job as the Admin Manager  (where I have been for over 13 years) was made redundant  on the 20th February.  I was called into the board room, given the news, asked to hand over my keys, passwords etc, was allowed to take my personal things and was out the door all within 20 minutes.

I have always reported directly to the Managing Director and knew he was a brilliant businessman but that he didn’t win any prizes for his warmth or personality but this was even lower than I had ever seen before. I was shocked, speechless and felt absolutely gutted by the way it was done. I spent the next five weeks beating myself up as to why they would do that, wondering what I had done so wrong that I could be treated like a piece of dirt.

He had a senior partner from the accounting firm that processes our salaries read me the letter saying they were reorganising the company and I was no longer needed. I was not even spoken to, by him, during the termination. Even though he could go away for weeks at a time and know that everything would be run just perfectly, even though in every performance appraisal since we started doing them he has rated me almost as high or as high as the scale goes, even though just that morning he had given me incorrect instructions about a huge amount of money to transfer and I had picked up the error, corrected it and completed the transaction, all without bothering him at all. It’s just totally wrong that you can spend that long working loyally and to your best ability for some-one and then out of the blue they can do that to you and not even thank you for your contribution over all those years or wish you luck or even give you some notice and explanation of what was going to happen.

Then, a couple of weeks ago, I had lunch with my part-timer from there and found out they are going to employ a company accountant to undertake more than I would be able to – fair enough, but why not just explain that to me at the time.

I do feel better now, knowing the why behind it but I’m finding it really difficult to have any nice thoughts about the company or the people who own it – although in a way it has brought my dream of travelling for an extended period to reality.

Long story short, – I leave on Tuesday 9th April for London!!!

I’ve booked a return flight for late October so hopefully everything will go fine and I’ll be away for about 6 months doing the backpack and hostel thing around the UK and Western Europe.

Soooooooooo, I’m hoping spring arrives sooner rather than later over there because the temperatures at the moment are frightening. We’re still having daytime temps of 30 degrees here so I’ll probably have that many layers on I’ll look like the michelin man.

Oh well, if that’s the price I have to pay – bring it on!!


Filed under Mid-life travel

All aboard the bus around Athens

25th June 2012

View from dining room, Astor Hotel, Athens

View from dining room, Astor Hotel, Athens

I thought the view from the rooftop of La Palma in Stressa was impressive but this morning I found another view just as jaw dropping. The dining room is on the top floor of the hotel and when the lift doors opened I’m afraid some very “ocker” language slipped out – the view was astounding. The Acropolis was just there in front of us – well, actually it was probably a few kilometres distant but it took my breath away. I couldn’t stop looking at it and marveling that today I was going to see another of those places I’ve been reading and dreaming about for years and years.

We had a huge day around Athens on the hop on hop off buses. First stop was the Acropolis for a few hours – I was just so happy to be there. I feel inadequate that I don’t have the words to express how I feel when visiting places like this but to walk in the footsteps of the ancient Greeks and to see and touch the stones they carved thousands of years ago is truly a dream come true for me. Sharing it with Sarah is a nice change because even though I’ve been with a tour most of the last month I’ve usually taken in the big sights on my own. We took miles of photos, probably none that haven’t been captured millions of times before but we had a great time. A few people also took pity on us trying to take “selfies” – we must look like a pair of dills at times because we usually laugh hilariously at our results. I have to tell you the freshly made lemonade at the kiosk outside the site was most welcome after wandering around out in the sun and is easily as good as the Italian version at Pompeii.

Great spot for lunch in Athens

Great spot for lunch in Athens

We made good use of the buses, visited more of the ancient sites and found a lovely little shady street full of cafe’s and shops for a yummy lunch and window shopping. After lunch we boarded the bus again and took in the sights down around the port then late in the afternoon made our way back to the markets we’d seen earlier in the day. By the time we got there most of them had packed up so we sat and had a wine and more food because of course we had to keep up our energy.

Markets in Athens

Markets in Athens

Then just because it was meant to be we found a few market stalls still trading as we made our way back to catch the bus. Sarah bought a couple of cute old ornaments and I bought a few old postcards and photographs of Athens. They are little treasures, one was posted to Paris on 13/4/36 while another shows the Parthenon and is dated 28/12/52 – not worth much really but great reminders of a fantastic day.


Filed under Greece, Mid-life travel, Travel