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Sloth in treeI am pleased to announce that I am still ‘ringworm free’ and have now moved to work in a wild animal rescue centre. This is the most amazing place. Sick and injured animals are brought here by members of the public or the Costa Rican government. Some have been trafficked or injured and others have been kept as pets. The aim is always to release them back into the wild. Sadly this is not always possible. There is a Sloth that fell out of a tree as a baby, and hence requires physio on his back legs every morning, and there is a Capuchin monkey who was tragically kept in a bar and fed on alcohol and cigarettes and is now too domesticated to fend for himself.

The  work here is enormously rewarding, we feed and clean out over 100 animals every day. Although the policy is that we must never touch them, being up close to monkeys, parakeets, sloths, raccoons, lizards, deer and wild pigs feels a real privilege. These residents live in complete luxury and eat the most delicious combinations of fresh fruits and vegetables, which we chop up every morning. I wish the same could be said for the humans…

Well I have settled into a routine in Cusco. I spend the mornings working in a dog rescue shelter and I have Spanish lessons in the afternoons.

I use the word ‘shelter’ loosely. This is more of a dog rescue ‘shed’ high up in the Andes, about 40 minutes from the city. An amazing old Peruvian lady, Maria, set up this shelter 4 years ago to try and tackle the street dog issue here. To be honest about a 1000 shelters would be needed to make any headway with this tragic problem.

Llama peruGreetings from Cuzco, Peru.

You may recall in my last blog I joked about altitude sickness, I wish I hadn’t… After 24 hours traveling and 36 hours without sleep I arrived in this beautiful city and was taken straight to a 2 hour induction meeting, then a Spanish test. By this time I felt so ill that I muttered ‘Put me in the Beginner’s group’ and stumbled back to my hotel. I collapsed into bed and that is where I stayed for 38 hours with just the worst headache, sickness and nose bleeds.

solo volunteering in Peru

Hello readers, or should I say ‘reader’?  The blog is back!

South and Central America are open for travel and I leave on Saturday for 14 weeks of volunteering!

When I returned from my Midlife Crisis in Asia two years ago Husband hoped that I would just adopt the normal symptoms of a midlife crisis e.g., excessive Botox, inappropriately short skirts and fancying my son’s friends. However deep down we both knew that my desire to see the world and immerse myself in different cultures had been heightened not quelled by my trip.

So this is my itinerary:

Peru-Street dog rescue

Ecuador-Sea Turtle conservation

Galapagos Islands-Galapagos Tortoise conservation

Costa Rica-Rescue centre for trafficked wild animals

Belize-Coral reef conservation

The Solo Female Traveller Returns So here I am sitting at my desk, and safely back Lingfield. It is so cold in this country! I have had to ramp the central heating up to 32 degrees, and even so, I have 3 jumpers and 2 pairs of socks on. Hippie Homecoming My adventure has come to an end, but it was so wonderful to be reunited with my temporarily orphaned kids and the hugely supportive Husband at Gatwick last night. What a wonderful homecoming I had, complete with my perfect meal of lasagne and cheesecake. There have, however, been a few negative comments about my appearance. Apparently the wrist full of friendship bracelets, which I have collected along the way, and my long scruffy hair make me look like an ageing hippie. The second ear piercing has also gone down badly, but I did point out that it could have…

My Sri Lankan Blog I am coming to the end of my epic 91 day Midlife Crisis trip, and this Sri Lankan blog post will be one of my last. What an adventure it has been. By pure chance every time I have moved on I have enjoyed my adventure more and more. And, most importantly, my accommodation has got better and better. You may recall that in Nepal I had a cow shed with mattress and barely a bathroom, in Goa I had a bed with legs, and hot water, but no air conditioning, and in the Maldives I had air conditioning but no hot water. This was so cruel. Jumping into an ice cold shower after working in 33 degrees heat was hideous. Still, I did learn how to shampoo and condition my hair in 19.6 seconds. Living In Luxury So here I am in Sri Lanka, where…

Volunteering In Sri Lanka There are 40,000,000 (yes million) street dogs in Sri Lanka. When I decided to volunteer at a rescue centre here, I envisaged an underfunded complex, full of tatty cages and ramshackle buildings. How wrong I was. Dog-Care Clinic RV resembles a 5* luxury resort. There are lily ponds, streams, ornamental bridges, and a doggie swimming pool, on a site which sprawls over 25,000 square metres. This volunteering in Sri Lanka is very different. I was totally stunned when I arrived, and actually considered moving in myself, as the accommodation here is better than anything I have enjoyed on my trip. In 2007, an inspirational German lady, Marina Möbius, came to Sri Lanka on holiday, and saw the plight of the street dogs. She started by caring for a few herself, and then funded a small clinic which has grown into the state of the art centre…