Category: SOLO TRAVEL FOR WOMEN

All you want to know about mature solo travelling.

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SIXTY-FIVE TOMORROW AND JUST STARTING WITH SOLO TRAVEL!

OR, SPRING CHICKEN NOT JUST A TOUGH OLD BIRD!

Loving art from the start.

I come to you just the day before a bit of a milestone birthday, it’s sixty-five. Boom. Well not really. I always say I’m a year older so I’ve been that for the last year. I lie about my age in a different way, sort of back to front, a year older every year.

This is a very apt video I made for my blog at the very beginning.

In love with life, I don’t really care how old I am I just love living it and that involves learning and exploring day by day. Without this, as I’ve said before, I am a shell of a person and no longer able to function. I think that’s how most people are but they aren’t lucky enough to pursue walking on the wild side and this eventually leads to going to seed mentally and physically and ultimately dying from lack of input and loneliness.

My son and I in Athens while I was filming
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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.

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COOL JUNGLE TREK IN CROCODILE TERRITORY!

OR, GOING WILD WITHOUT A GUIDE IN BAKO NATIONAL PARK BORNEO

The beach. Reward after the trek but sadly no sight of Mr Crocodile

Gimme some wild savage land and I’ll show you a happy woman. (Oh and a map that tells you what colours to follow for easy, medium or hard routes. I’ll still screw up but still be very happy!!!)

Morning boat to the park entrance.

After ghastly Kuching, I sped along the motorway in a cab at the crack of dawn to go to my pickup point for the Bako National Park. The place is a simple cafe where you grab much-needed caffeine and a life jacket then jump into a boat to go to a remote section of the park designed, in hopefully a foolproof way, for a wonderful jungle trek for all levels of difficulty. The boat ride which lasted about half an hour took us past fabulous rock formations and mangroves leading to dense jungle.