Monday, 12 October 2009


It's a bittersweet goodbye today as I spend my last day in London and bid all my travels farewell for now.

Marike and I managed to survive the Contiki tour. Our health is more or less back in tact and while she is preparing to get back to work in England I have packed my bags and am just waiting for tonight to arrive so I can get on that plane and head back to the dark continent. My heart has been pining for some African air for a long time now and I am struggling to keep my heartbeat at a civilised pace because of the excitement.

However, the expectation of seeing my family and my home again is a bit overshadowed by the sadness at having to say goodbye to my friends and family in London and Clapham in particular. Who knew you only needed a few weekends with your little brother who used to irritate you until you turned blue from shouting at him, into a friend and confidant. Don't know how either of us are gonna survive without the other one just being a cheap phone call away.

Anyway, enough about that, this is supposed to be a travelogue. The rest of the Contiki was just as much fun as the first half was. Oktoberfest was definitely one of the highlights. Never before have I seen so many drunk people just hanging out and having a good time... no fights, no unpleasantness, no bad Afrikaans music... my kind of drinking festival. We met Corrie and Mark there and had a ball of a time there. We both also realised that German men are by far the most attractive men in Europe and I got to know a Swedish man a little better as well. I won't kiss and tell, but I can say the Swedish sure are pleasant people.

Austria is a sparkling place with my kind of activities. We did mountain biking, paragliding (so peaceful) and listened to Mozart and Brahms. Switzerland was just as beautiful and I saw snow again when we went up the Jungfrau mountain. Unfortunately we got stuck in the elevator on our way down from the top of the viewing point and had to wait half an hour in the freezing cold before they managed to open the doors for us. Luckily the doors were glass so we could see out and managed to keep the claustrophobia at bay. That did mean that we felt like chimpanzees in a cage though, because all the Japanese tourists that passed us just had to stop and take several hundred pictures with their big cameras before they proceeded to get into the elevator next to us to go the viewing point. I'm not sure if I'll get into a lift right next to one that is broken down. We did get a free hot chocolate out of the adventure though and another story to tell.

Had another short stop in Germany in the beautiful Rhine Valley before we headed to our last stop, Amsterdam. I loved the little city with all the pretty canals, thousands of bicycles and coffee shops. Needless to say I frequented a couple of the coffee shops and enjoyed my visit to Amsterdam thoroughly. We had to say a sad goodbye to all our new friends on the tour and I set of for Clapham for a prolonged goodbye. And now this is it.

I'm excited about going home and have already applied for a few positions back there but I suddenly experienced a smidgeon of jealousy when I read a friend who just starting teaching English in Vietnam's blog. So who knows, maybe this is just "See you later" and not "Goodbye". If I get back to SA and the ants in my pants reappear you never know where the next place will be where I will be writing from.

So that's it, thanks for reading...
See you later.