Category: JOURNALS OF TRAVEL

Truthful quotes from my journals Accounts from my handwritten diaries en route.

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NEW YEAR, FRESH HOPES.

OR, BEING THE BEST VERSION OF YOURSELF.

Sunset ride on the Ganges at Varanasi.

Happy fresh start my birdies, I’m hoping I find you all invigorated and full of hope for another year of new battles and victories. For wonderful awe-inspiring new sights and smells, sounds, tastes and sensations? Join me for a quick run down on why I’ve been so quiet and my new plans.

Horizens new. Rididing to the top of the volcano in the Philippines

GHASTLY DECEMBER.

I was sick for everything in December.

Art work in Jakarta gallery

I projectile-vomited my way through every planned festivity, sobbing quietly alone on my sofa. If anything was to prove to me I’m as hard as nails December 2022 was. I lost ten kilos in the month and went from lithe and fit to emaciated and terribly, terribly weak and fragile.

The long and winding path of life

What the hell was the matter I hear you say? I was mystified and cut out flour, eggs, dairy, and so forth. I finally have tracked it down to firstly stress, which triggered me not eating as well as usual due to lack of appetite, then more insidiously, one of my newly prescribed supplements.

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SO YOU THINK THIS IS COLD?…

OR, LAKE BAIKAL WITH ITS -40 WIND CHILL IS REALLY NIPPY!

Alert: Just wanted to look back on my Trans Siberian Express adventure birdies. I can say it was a truly magnificent solo trip and very suitable for lone travellers. The beauty of seeing the huge terrain, art and culture keeps one busy and happy with no loneliness creeping in. Links of various places are available when underlined and in bold type.

Just because it’s cold and wintry we are all complaining, normally we would welcome this for the festive season but our heightened awareness of the rip-off bills that will ensue. Escape with me on trips when I thrilled at all bracing weather as I knew it would be toasty wherever I was staying.

Purple cheeks near frostbite!

I had left in February so knew it would be a winter viewing of the harshest time of the year but I loved every brutal minute. I know that Russia is being demonised at the moment but I was talking to a lovely lady the other day who was desperate to get on that magnificent choo-choo before she dies.

View of the frozen Lake Baikal at sunset.

So here I recall a previous reminder of those chilly trips until my next trip actual to Turkey in January. Enjoy the frostiness and the ride!

ARE YOU MAD REBECCA?!!!..COLD, COLD PLACES AND HOW TO PREPARE.

Siberian winter from train.

…NO I’M NOT. A LOT OF YOU WILL ONLY WANT AND FEEL SAFE TO TRAVEL MUCH LATER THIS YEAR AND YOU SHOULD PREPARE FOR YOUR….

…….NIPPY TRIPS

Alert: This is from a page on my site with bits added. It’s to get you old girls prepped up for colder trips when the travelling will have become a lot laxer again hopefully. Until then get yourself ready and take note from this post the way to approach any cold trip. There are links all the way through to help a bit

My trusty boots that served me so well and didn’t cost a fortune

Hurry up! It’s soon time for your Nippy Trip……

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THE WONDERFUL UNDERWATER KINGDOM.

OR SUNSTROKE HITS HARD AFTER OVER-ENJOYING BEING A MERMAID.

Up close and part of a magic kingdom

You had to be an old mad bird to end up with sunstroke from being too in love with a turtle.

Porcupine fish

I’m a dummy. That beautiful girl, my turtle, took me for such a ride that I hadn’t wet my head once in the half hour I was with her and returning to the boat. This was in the searing midday sun in Indonesia central! I would be more penitent later as the full horror of proper sunstroke waved over me. I should have known better I’d had it before, but this time it was horrendous. I was pretty much bed bound for the next couple of days before I left this island paradise.

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DAY OF THE TURTLE. TELEPATHY.

OR, BEING ONE WITH ANOTHER CREATURE.

“Animal telepathy is mind-to-mind communication. It is feeling across a distance. We are all made of energy and connected by a vast web of energetic pathways. To speak to an animal telepathically, you just tune in to the right energy channel,” says animal communication expert and author Mary J. Getten.

My love, my companion my spiritual awakening.

Falling in Love with ‘my’ Turtle.

Her normal distance from me for twenty minutes.

A fresh morning at my new pad and a day that would change my life. I had slept well and had a lovely early breakfast before being picked up for another look at this amazing underwater environment. While there I went on seven snorkelling trips and upon returning, was constantly waiting for the next one. I never got bored and I never stopped having that lurching feeling in my stomach just before jumping in off the boat each time. The butterflies continue until you adjust to the alien underwater seascape and you adjust all your senses and become truly immersed. It’s an odd feeling, and if you’re like me you will not raise your head again above the waterline unless your goggles malfunction or you want to check where you are in relation to your boat. So basically you are very fishy for the half hour or so that they give you at each spot. Sometimes it’s at shipwrecks, sometimes it’s the main coral reef, sometimes it’s a spot near an island where they don’t have to fret over you too much.

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SNORKEL BUNAKEN! CORAL AND FISH GALORE.

OR, ISLAND LIFE, THE GOOD, BAD AND UGLY.

I had survived my lengthy trip from Jakarta with all its trials and tribulations and arrived in Bunaken and got back from my first fabulous official snorkelling tour and was a little singed and sandy but triumphant. I had stopped and had a cocktail at the beach and got back to my dwelling ready for a shower and dinner before hitting the sack. I was knackered. I’d had little sleep the night before and had swum about for miles with all the excitement of being in this amazing place. As soon as I got back the woman told me that food was ready and to sit down out on the large terrace, my food was ready.

Beach bar at the harbour for incoming boats.
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FINALLY, ISLAND PARADISE, AND MY TURTLE.

OR, ESCAPING JAKARTA AND THE JOURNEY ON TO BUNAKEN, SNORKELLERS HEAVEN.

And finally paradise.

I rushed to leave Jakarta for my final destination of Bunaken. I was so happy to be on the road again (or should I say in the air) that I never even contemplated it being dark when I arrived at the bustling port of Manado in North Sulawesi. It was, and the hotel was scary, and the place was alarming, but I had got there and would spend the night before bartering for a boat ticket first thing the next morning.

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MALACCA THEN JAKARTA.

OR, TIMING IS EVERYTHING, MINE WAS PANTS.

Me in Jakatas National Museum

Top Tip: However well organised you are things can go awry. There was no way to know that they had stopped boats over the Straight of Malacca to go to Indonesia without having to retrace my steps to KL then fly to Jakarta. There was no way of knowing that a massive and contentious protest was on the very weekend that I was over in Jakarta so many things were closed. Shit happens and you just have to deal with it when you’re on the road solo travelling. This however did weaken me again after my healing time in Kuala Lumpur. This was a real bummer as stress always is a thing to avoid when you’re trying to rebuild your immune system as I explained in a previous blog “How My Troubles Began” When travelling, however much of an itinerary you have, you must take time out and rest up. I tried to squeeze in a lot making up for lost time which never works does it now hmmmm?

Photo of me having lost loads of weight in Kuching

After my huge success in fabulous Kuala Lumpur, I got a bit cavalier and decided to go to Malacca which people said was lovely. I really should have learned by then that most tourists are idiots and headed straight onto my snorkelling target on the remote island of Bunaken. Stupid, stupid old bird.

A galleon. Super.
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KUALA LUMPUR, MUSEUMS, ORCHIDS AND BIRDS.

OR, LEAVING BORNEO AND ARRIVING IN KL FOR A BIT OF TLC.

Journal Excerpts and Perfect Timing a continuation from last post!

KUALA LUMPUR

It wasn’t even in my plan to go there.