So I’ve covered January – June, now it’s time for July – December…
With Hong Kong, Thailand and Malaysia down, there’s still Indonesia, a return home and Europe to come. Picking up from where we left off in Part 1, here’s how the second part of my 2012 happened:
After 6 days in Singapore it was time to head to our final country of our Asian adventure – Indonesia! And most specifically, Bali.
Quickly escaping Kuta, we spent time down south at legendary surf break Uluwatu, before moving on to Sanur, back to Legian, and then to my personal Balinese highlight – Ubud. Soaking up the culture – and lack of Aussie party animals – here was muchly enjoyed before we caught the bus east to Padang Bai and enjoyed it’s superb secluded beach. A ferry ride over to Lombok followed where we wandered around Senggigi for a few days, before returning to Kuta for one last night of shopping and munching before the long trip home.
Oh yeah! And that trip home happened to sneakily be a few days earlier than we had told friends and family, meaning a great surprise for my Mother and friends who thought we’d gone back to Hong Kong for a final few hours! Great success!
Countries visited: Indonesia, Hong Kong (transit)
Flights taken: DPS – HKG, HKG – LHR
So: Home! But only briefly. With 2 weeks to kill before we hit Europe, I was back for two of my best friend’s birthdays and to enjoy the Olympics from the comfort of my TV! But after making the most of our “holiday at home” and surprising my friends with “I’m off” for the second time this year (seriously, they must think I don’t tell them anything…) we were soon off again, flying from Bristol to Paris! Our European adventure had begun. And for me, with hand luggage only!
Having already done the touristy stuff on our previous Paris visits we simply strolled and enjoyed the sun. A couple of days later it was off to my “home” country – España. My first visit to Madrid was scorchingly hot (41° at 9pm!) and well worthwhile if not mindblowing. That was to come next, with my fourth visit to Barcelona!
Whilst it was my stickiest visit to date, it was still my dream destination. We splurged and sank Sangria whilst I got to act as Chelcie’s tour guide. I finally saw the Font Magica in action, and it had been worth the wait. When it was time to move on, I was – as always – gutted to be leaving.
Thankfully Nice was the perfect cure to my post BCN blues. This was the side of France I’d always wanted to see, and the gorgeous promenade and stunning old town made our four days on the Côte d’Azur one of the highlights of our entire travels. Sadly our final country was calling, and it was time to head to Italy.
Countries visited: France, Spain, Italy
Flights taken: BRS – CDG, CDG – MAD, BCN – NCE, NCE – FCO
For the final time this year I was to get that “new country” nervousness/excitement. Upon landing it was time to get our history on in Rome. And also our sweat! The climb to the top of St Paul’s Cathedral left me and many others absolutely dripping from head to toe. Thankfully our accommodation was only a short walk back from the Vatican.
Whilst Rome was full of spectacular sights and a photographer’s dream, after a while it was a little too ancient for me, and began to wear a bit thin. Eluding an attempted pickpocketing incident on the metro was a stroke of luck, but didn’t help improve my opinion of the city. So it was time to break up our Roman experience with a weekend in Naples.
And what a bad decision it was! The filthy, graffiti covered mess of a city might have made for some interesting snaps, but it’s general atmosphere wasn’t at all welcoming. After a couple of days of wandering the city, we were delighted to be escaping back to Rome on the Monday morning. A final few days of exploring the capital followed, with Europe’s scorching heat wave having finally began to subside.
But alas, it was time to bid “arrivederci” to our travels for now, and return home. And to possibly the most stunning evening sky I’ve ever seen in England! Damn camera batteries…
Countries visited: Italy
Flights taken: FCO – BRS
The post travel blues had hit big time in late September and early October, and it wasn’t a fun time at all. Unfortunately it was always to be expected after such an incredible time over the previous months. Thankfully after a month of boredom I got back into work in October, so the savings could begin again. I also managed to put together a small website as both a hobby and as therapy to my travel pining. Wish I could remember what it was called…
With the perma-wet England also now becoming the cold and miserable home country I was used to, living in flip-flops for months on end already seemed a long way in the past. Utterly depressing… 5am alarms for work every other week weren’t helping either. But I was glad to be earning again, and a new job opportunity began to appear on the horizon. An interview for that went particularly well, and soon it was time to start planning for Christmas.
But yes, very boring month overall!
¡Al final! And my big year was coming to it’s end. I landed the brand spanking new graphic design job I wanted, and was able to give up my dull factory job at Christmas. A nice long Christmas break has followed since.
“But this is a travel blog?!” you say? That’s right, it is! I may have landed a new job, but I’ll be making the most of my holiday time and getting to work on that wishlist. In fact, I might just have made one more travel related purchase before the clock ran out on this year…
I’ll reveal where very shortly, but here’s a BIG clue for now:
So that’s my 2012! Hope yours was equally as memorable too!