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As a further consolation for having to curtail my ‘Big Central American’ adventure this year, I booked onto an intensive ski course in Switzerland. Considering the amount of times I have been skiing in the past, I should be a contender for the British Ski Team, but, sadly, I am still absolutely terrible. Whilst skiing in March, Husband got infuriated with me whimpering at the top of a blue run, so I decided to ‘Go for it’ as instructed. This resulted in me sustaining two broken ribs. I continued skiing (badly) for the rest of the week, but was unable to cough or laugh for a further six weeks. I see this ski course as my last attempt to improve, before I hang up my ski poles and just concentrate on drinking cappuccinos in Alpine cafes, whilst everyone else hurls themselves off mountains. My journey here yesterday was pretty challenging.…

So, I survived my intense Spanish course and intensive it was. I am now pretty confident at ordering an Uber and a Cappuccino in Spanish, but not much else. I did, however, make  some lovely friends. I tagged along with a group of ladies from Denmark, Switzerland, Sweden and Germany. They very kindly spoke in perfect English to me for the whole two weeks. Unfortunately, they all moaned at the end that their English had improved a lot more than their Spanish. Well, at least I provided a language service and helped post Brexit international relations. The one thing I really don’t understand is the Spanish obsession with tapas. To me, it is a very poor excuse for a meal. One evening  a crowd of us went to a tapas restaurant and were presented with plate after plate of miniature appetisers. I realised quickly that if you don’t like cheese…

Well, I must say Malaga has way exceeded my very low expectations of this city. I always thought it was a tatty place where Brits landed before heading off along the Costa del Sol to drink pints whilst wearing overly tight shorts with their bellies hanging out, and that was just the women… It is actually a beautiful ancient city of culture. It was the birthplace of Picasso and Flamenco dancing. The cathedral is a stunning vision of stained glass and carved masonry, with an interior so awe inspiring that I nearly converted to Catholicism for a few seconds. There is no wonder so many British people retire here. Even in November it is a glorious 25 degrees and the narrow streets are filled with al fresco dining and trendy cafes. I must not forget though that the reason I came here was to learn Spanish, which I do for…

The next morning Luis, my scuba diving instructor, and I were diving in very shallow water when we heard a deafening roar which got increasingly louder. I knew it could only be one thing; a speedboat heading straight for us. Fortunately, my first reaction was to keep breathing through my regulator and to try and get down close to the sea floor. However, my buoyancy prevented me from doing this effectively, so in an instant Luis lay on top of me and flattened me. Within seconds the boat passed over with its propellers missing us by less than a foot. Luis signalled to check I was ok and we swam under water back to the shore with him clutching my hand tightly. Once on the dock he turned to me and asked if I believed in God, before looking skywards and crossing his heart. He then promptly sat on the…

Last weekend I made the tortuous trip from Costa Rica to Belize. This involved 4 flights, and the planes got noticeably smaller as the journey progressed. En route I had to transit through Cancun, Mexico which had the most cripplingly stringent entry process, although I was only going to be there for 3 hours. Four lengthy forms completed, I finally got to the front of the Border Control queue only to be hauled aside by a stern male in a khaki army uniform. Apparently he had noticed I was traveling alone and wanted to know why. Although I could prove I was only in transit, my hand luggage was taken apart, and my Lipton’s English Tea bags were eyed suspiciously. When Trump decided to build that wall, half the Mexicans must have been delighted, as it is quite evident they actually don’t want anyone to enter their country. My next…