Here we are again – nine months on the road and not quiteready to call it quits yet. Back in Malaysia, we spent a few hours in Kuala Lumpur waiting for an overnight train to our next stop – Georgetown – and went back to the same street food stall we visited nine months ago on our first night on our travels. It doesn’t seem like that long ago we were first here, slightly wary of the street food scene but enthusiastically diving in nonetheless. At the same time, I think back to moments from our travels, such as driving around New Zealand, and they seem so very far away that I can’t believe they have been part of the same trip.
I like doing these posts – it is a chance to reflect on our month as a whole, rather than individual moments. If I’m honest, this has probably been our toughest month on the road, and that has caught me unexpectedly. Apart from brief moments of unpleasantness, I’ve adapted to travel like a duck to water (or so I think, anyway). Last month was a busy but incredibly interesting and rewarding one as we explored Japan and Burma and looked forward to the Philippines. I was very excited.
Sadly though, for reasons I’m still mulling over, it went a bit wrong. Something just didn’t “click” for us in the Philippines and, after a couple of weeks, we decided to call it a day and move on. It was a huge disappointment for me, as I’d had high hopes for getting to know and love yet another country but left feeling quite confident I won’t be back. We’ve also had the UK’s general election which, despite being on the other side of the world, was something we’d been following closely. Whatever your political leanings, the result was certainly an emotional roller coaster to watch! So bring on next month, I say.
Here’s our last month in bullet point form…
- Countries: Four
- Places: Nine
We’ve mixed it up a bit this month while we got around – six flights – two international and four internal flights around the Philippines, seven trains (including one overnight one) and three buses plus four ferries. We’ve also hired another motorbike, which is fast becoming my favourite mode of transit, and added a new transport to our list when we took four cyclos in the Philippines.
- Favourite dish: Back in Malaysia, we are spoilt for choice but it has to be satay – delicious meat or veg skewers drizzled in a peanut sauce.
- Snakes: About thirty, but the figure is slightly skewed by a trip to a zoo and an exotic pet shop; thankfully we only saw two in the wild. Unfortunately for Craig those two were sea snakes and we were trapped eight metres under the sea…
- Whale sharks:Three
- Biggest extravagance: Last minute flights to Singapore. No regrets.
- Biggest bargain: In an expensive city like Singapore, freebies count! The free (if rather cheesy) light show in the gardens by the bay provided some fun evening entertainment.
- Best purchase: Stamps and an envelope so Craig could register a proxy vote for the UK general elections. Thanks to the efficient Japanese postal system, it arrived just in time for him to cast his vote.
- Best item in our rucksacks:Rain ponchos! After months in the wilderness of the bottom of our rucksacks, the super-thin rain covers that Katie’s Mum bought us as a bit of a joke leaving present came in very handy during a downpour in steamy Malaysia!
- Reading list: Craig read Bridge over the River Kwai, while I finally started the Game of Thrones books and read three in one week!
- Favourite photo spot: We visited Hiroshima twice on our tour of Japan, and I was surprised by how much I loved the city. It has seven rivers, and walking down the “promenade of peace” by the water in the warm spring sunshine was a simple but unexpected pleasure.
Until next month!