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I am staying on Isabela Island. At 60 miles long it is by far the largest island in the Galápagos and also one of the most volcanically active places on earth. Understandably, I didn’t share that bit of info with my family before I set off on my trip. My home is in the only town, Puerto Villamil, which has a population of 2000. I have to say that these are the friendliest, happiest 2000 people on the planet. I ride around the town on a bike and it is impossible to go more than 10m without someone shouting ‘Hola, Buenos Dias!’ Whilst in England road users have to stop at traffic lights, here you might have to stop to allow a family of iguanas to traverse the sandy streets. The people here live simple lives with one room houses made of concrete blocks and very few possessions, but they…

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

Shed with a view over Kathmandu My Nepal Trip My first few days in Kathmandu have been a challenge. When I arrived at the hostel (compound) I was surprised to see that the walls were topped with razor wire and there were huge metal gates. Foolishly I thought these were to keep the volunteers safe, but soon realised they were to stop us escaping. I had paid extra for a private room as I did not want to spend every morning surrounded by nubile 20 year olds in thongs, making me feel even more depressed about the toll age and gravity have taken on my body. Stable Life My quarters are separate from the rest of the house and it appears that the last thing to live here had 4 legs. Someone must have shooed it out and threw a mattress on the floor hours before I arrived. The only…

The Lone Traveller I leave for my trip, as a lone traveller, in less than 48 hours, so my preparations are really ramping up. I have drawn up the ultimate packing list. Meanwhile unhelpful Son decided to do something helpful!  He Googled ‘Things that can kill you in Sri Lanka’ and found: ‘Sri Lanka is home to a spider the size of a dinner plate. With a leg span that can reach up to a rather terrifying ten inches, the Fringed Ornamental Spider is the second largest in the tarantula family’ And ‘Sri Lanka is known as having the most venomous snakes of any country in the world’ Snake Wrestling Thanks Son, if only you had applied as much enthusiasm to your university research you might have kept out of the Uni Bar for a few hours longer last term. However, I did decide that I must get better at dealing with…

Well, this is a first…. I have actually walked past the enticing windows of Hobbs and Jigsaw and I have ended up in……. Millets camping store! Yes, really! This place is so alien to me, I might as well be in a Hoover factory.   The last time I ventured in here I had to get Daughter a tent for a festival. I selected a bargain £25 pop-up tent which blew away at 3am on the first night of her trip. This meant she spent the next 2 nights sharing a tent with her best friend and best friend’s boyfriend. The downside was that she learnt way too much about her mate’s sex life. The upside was that she has never had any desire to go to a festival again. Shopping Time So, I have my list: ‘sleeping bag, mosquito net, water bottle, head torch etc’, but worst of all…. SANDALS. I have…

Midlife Crisis Stages Preparations for my Trip over the past few months have been extensive.  Firstly, I had to make the announcement to Husband.  Normally when I say ‘Darling’ in a semi sexy voice over supper, I am about to admit to yet buying another Ralph Lauren shirt, or some Take That tickets.  This time the ‘Darling’ was sexier than ever… Husband coped very well with the announcement that his wife of 23 years was buggering off to Asia for 3 months to find herself. He knew there were midlife crisis stages, but he just wasn’t sure which one I was in. Cool Mum I actually think he saw a green light for more tennis matches, meals out with the Boys and to get his motorbike licence.  Which led me to believe he, in his own way, is having a mini midlife crisis too.  My grown-up kids, to be honest, were shocked.  Reliable Mum, always…