It’s been 7 months since we returned from Thailand.
In that time we have finished the renovation on the Bungalow, well, inside at least and Georgia has come home prematurely, which is a bit awkward as we only have two bedroom’s and there are now three of us. (Those of you who read the blog over the last few years will know I’m a martyr to nocturnal noises of the Snoring variety.)
So its with some relief that we have only a week to go before Jaki retires (prematurely) and we resume our nomadic existence.
I found last winter particularly difficult and swore I couldn’t face another, so we’ve got ‘cunning plan’.
Firstly, we’ve booked a trip back to Asia via India starting on October the 1st, and then were going out to Spain for the rest of the winter with Christmas back in the UK.
We booked the flight’s to Bangkok through Trailfinders which may not always offer the cheapest seats available but are competitive and deliver on service. When we were sat in their office organising the trip we asked if there was anywhere we could stop en route to break the journey and see some where new?
They suggested New Delhi and as we hadn’t been to India before we looked at some of the all inclusive tours they had to offer and chose an 8 day trip around the Golden Triangle, which included the Taj Mahal and Jaipur, the setting for a BBC serial ‘The Real Marigold Hotel,’ which followed some elderly celebrities checking out retirement in a Hotel in the centre of Jaipur.
The program was magic and it really made us want to see the place for our selves.
So we fly to Delhi on the 1st October and have 9 nights to sample the delights of India before flying on to Bangkok.
When we get there we expect to be tired as the India trip has a lot of activities built in and some friend from the local Pub did this trip earlier in the year and said it was amazing but very full on.
So we’ve booked 3 nights back in the Chatrium Hotel Riverside, where we’ve stayed before. This is a five star hotel and a bit over budget (though in reality its about 4500 Baht a night for both of us, which isn’t too expensive) but it will be the springboard for the next adventure.
The Kids did Cambodia, Vietnam and Laos as part of their travels and, not to be outdone we are going to try to do the same. Their feed back was a bit mixed though. Georgia & Frazer loved Vietnam and wished they’d stayed longer but they gave mixed reviews about Laos and Cambodia. They were agreed that the country side was spectacular (I’m trying to avoid using awesome ) but felt, in parts it was a bit challenging and slightly intimidating. Though to be fair, they were staying in back packer Hostels at about £4 per night, for two.
So, we will have to find out for ourselves.
We plan to travel up to Chiang Mai by train and then work our way up to Chiang Rai (which is pretty close to the Mekong River and the Laos border) and then we hope to sail down the Mekong and end up in Vientiane the capital of Laos.
This is where our planing end’s as we haven’t as yet worked out the logistics of this part of the trip, booked any transport or accommodation. But, there’s plenty of time and, some of this will be best done from Bangkok which seems to be the centre of the hub for travel around this part of Asia.
We’d like to avoid flying as much as possible preferring instead to use the train, boat’s or buses though we may need to be a bit flexible about this when the time comes.
We will be flying back to the Uk on the 10th December as Jaki wants to be home with the family and especially with Georgia for Christmas.
So that’s the first part of the trip sorted.
The second stage sort of begins in January 2017 but kind of starts now.
We want to rent a place in Spain for a few months to see if we like it. We know we like Spain, but whether we will like staying in one place for several months is a different matter. Last time we were in Spain we were in the Camper-van and when we got bored, we simply packed up and moved on.
Staying in a Villa or apartment will be less flexible but will offer some advantages. There will be more space, proper facilities for washing and showering and I hop,e satellite TV so I can watch English Football.
The down side might be that we get bored and don’t make any new friends but were hoping to rent a 3 bedroomed place which will mean people can come and stay with us. But not permanently, Pete!
We also want to learn Spanish, take up bowling, cycle and swim regularly and we intend to drive down so we will have a car with which we can explore Spain, using the apartment as a base. If we get bored it will be our own fault, no one else.
So ,we fly out to Murcia for 10 days in August to look at long term rental properties and try and find the ideal place.
However, booking a place in Mojacar Playa in August wasn’t easy, nor was it cheap.
We tried using several different web sites some of which were pretty good and others which left a lot to be desired, though in fairness, this was more to do with the individual owners rather than the web site. Each property (Owner) responded differently with some being very helpful, very quick to respond and answer questions and others who clearly couldn’t be bothered.
In the end we went with Holiday Lettings which is a part of trip Advisor and we found them great,easy to work with, helpful and competitive.
The flight is with Easy Jet from Bristol and the car hire with Argus.
I did try http://www.findtransferes.com which is a pretty cool web site for providing bus/coach or taxi’s from the airport to your Hotel but in this instance it was significantly cheaper to hire a car for 10 days than it was to book a taxi to and from the resort. I will give them a try again though, perhaps for the Bangkok transfer and see how it works.
So were all booked.
Over the next few months well need to get the dreaded vaccinations, visas, currency and a range of other things sorted and I’m sure there will be highs and lows.
I will keep you up to date with most of them.