Friday, July 15, 2011

Getting Back to Plymouth. 11/6/2011

We said our goodbyes to Shaun and Lucas
and boarded our taxi to the airport. Looking rather happier than we felt we headed off on out Condor flight to Frankfurt where we would change planes to Heathrow. On arrival in San Domingo, where we picked up extra passengers, we were informed that the long wave radio was broken, and the captain made the decision that as we couldn't go the quickest route because we would be out of radio contact, so we would fly up the eastern seaboard, over Greenland, Iceland, Scotland and England before landing in Frankfurt. The only problem for us is that it would take 4 hour longer and we would miss our connection to London. Being a Saturday FedEx closed at 1500 and we had to get Nancy out of there to drive back to Plymouth. Arriving in Frankfurt we went to the check in desk to be told we were booked on a 1830 flight. Luckily for us the very nice man, who spoke very good English, on hearing our predicament with Nancy managed to get us on the 1200 flight as 2 passengers had just cancelled. Arriving back on English soil we headed for a taxi to take us the 4 miles to the FedEx building. 2 people were on guard to make sure you got on a cab, both asking the same questions about where we were going and which cab to get into, but about 10 feet apart. Just as we were seated we were informed that it was going to cost £34 for the 4 mile ride. That's 400 quetzals, 680 pesos, or $55!!!! Being a man of boringly rigid principles and hating being ripped off, I said we didn't want to buy the cab, which is what one says so you can feel better about walking away, and headed for the bus stop grumbling to ourselves. Welcome back to England. 2 buses and £5 later we were left with a mile walk and time was drawing on. Dragging our Panama wheelie bag along like a stubborn mule, we strode towards our destination arriving just before the warehouse closed with the bag much worse for ware. Nancy was brought outside by fork lift
and the put together operation was under way.
Front wheel on, mudguard,
fairing, and things repacked, we were ready for the drive to the hotel that we were staying in for the night. Set off the next day, which was Sunday, the day the 2 month drought in England ended and got soaked and very cold as the temp was hovering around 10C . Welcome back to England again! Home.
5 days latter the day we had returned for. Proud Dad with the groom, both who scrubbed up well. Jill didn't need scrubbing to look gorgeous. There was a bit of a misunderstanding and Eunice was 20 minutes late, a telephone call sorted it out and just as the registrar was about to cancel the ceremony, everybody turned up and the happy couple were united. Then off down a half mile muddy farmers track to the reception by the river Dart. where we camped and partied the night away.

Thank you everybody for following us on our travels. We started the blog as a diary for us but it turned into much more than that and I know that lots of people travelled with us, and sent us good thoughts. Special thanks to Judee, Frank and Carol and Nacho and Stephanie who put us up for extended periods and everybody we met on the road, too numerous to mention here, put who are held within these pages.
Now where too next..........
Until we meet again.............

Friday, June 17, 2011

Safely Home

We arrived back in Plymouth on Sunday 12th June having been reunited with Nancy at FedEx offices at Heathrow. Quite an eventful journey which we will update in the near future but at the moment the preparations for Malin and Eunice's wedding tomorrow are taking priority. Thank you everybody who has followed our trip. It's like Groundhog day being back, nothing seems to have changed, but more of that later. xD&J

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Travels without Nancy

We went to Summit Park and saw some animals at the zoo. Macaws, a crocodile with a great set of teeth, The 'Love Lives here' bench that bit Jill and made my tongue go numb when I sucked the bite, tortoises, a jaguar, deer, a tapir, the harpy eagle, the largest breed of eagle in the world that was truly amazing black monkeys, sad monkeys, and toucans, Plus a lot of other animals that we didn't know the names off.
The following day Jill came down with an attack of Montezumas revenge and spent the day on a couch taking things that made her feel better, and being fussed over by Shaun and Lucas. I went off to see Panama Viejo. There isn't a lot left of the original and oldest Spanish settlement in the Americas and what is left has had a road built through it in the '70 so it was difficult to really get a feel of the place. The view from the Cathedral tower was stunning and the oldest bridge is here in the Americas. Lots of restoration has been going on and there is still more to do, but for a 25 cent bus ride it was worth visiting.
Casco Viejo is the historic district of Panama City. So we decided to spend the day walking around it. There is a mixture of beautifully restored colonial buildings, standing cheek by jowl next to the hollow shell of buildings with only the front fa├žade remaining Looking faded, yet retaining the elegance and majesty of a former era, they are just waiting to to display their former splendour and wonderfully shabby chic dwellings
In fact many of these 'shells' are in the process of being restored and one day soon Casco Viejo is going to be a very stylish place to live
I was still feeling a bit feak and weeble and this road sign was just how I felt
On the way back to Panama Passage David decided to get his hair cut at a barber on the side of the road check out the razor blade and cut throat razor (there have been moments on this trip when I wouldn't have trusted myself with that when I was giving him a short back and sides!!) Doesn't he look like a new man.