And Finally...

Rochdale Travel Blog

 › entry 115 of 115 › view all entries
Thought I'd finish with a selection of photos from the trip. This is early days in Ecuador. Andy about to tuck into his half of a guinea pig. Nice.

It’s now a month since I flew back into the country. England is January freezing and licking its financial wounds following the credit cock up. Nonetheless, it’s still good to be home. The decision to end the trip before India and head back for Christmas is one that I don’t regret. I had become a clockwork traveller; mechanism well and truly wound down.


My computer at my parents’ house is sat in front of a map of the world. I keep looking up at the names of countries and cities that I visited on my trip, and they trigger memories good and bad. But already the recollections are blurred, strangely second hand, as if they belong to somebody else.


I’ve been dreaming a lot recently, dreams of tropical countries where I’m still travelling.

Tungurahua, the active volcano that looms over the lovely little town of Banos, Ecuador. It was a real thrill to see the small eruptions and hear the seismic rumbling.
Sleep has become a place where overnight bus rides remain the norm, where noodle soup is the food of champions, where I still have to be careful of my bags lest they are snatched.


When I wake up back in Rochdale, in my own bed, it’s a strange feeling. I can only think that it’s my subconscious getting used to the idea that I’m not constantly on the move. After all, I spent no longer than a week in any one place for over a year. In waking life it feels good to finally have some stability, a daily routine.


One of the major travelling clichés is that people go away to find themselves. That was never my aim; I already knew who I was. What I have gained though is a fresh sense of perspective on where I am; this place I call home. Witnessing the lives of others around the world has given me a new way of looking at the people and places that make up my life back in England.

Sunset on the dunes above the oasis of Huacachina in Southern Peru. A beautiful place, even though, at the time, my sphincter was looser than Paris Hilton's grip on reality.
I don’t know if this feeling will last; I certainly hope so. Foundations are important.


As the title suggests, this will be the final entry on the blog. I'm delighted to have written my way around the world; at times it was a bit of a struggle. Looking back on the entries, some are better than others, but I've enjoyed the whole experience and hopefully it's improved my writing.


To everybody who has read my random scribblings; to all those who have commented and given encouragement; to family and friends who contacted me when I was away, reminding me of home; may I take this final opportunity to say a big ‘Thank you!’ If what I’ve written has raised a smile on even a single occasion, that’s good enough for me.


Finally, it’s very difficult to express how much the people I met on the road brightened the whole experience; local people and other travellers alike.

Machu Picchu with a great group of people. Certainly one of the highlights of the whole trip.
Nonetheless, I’d like to take the chance to say that I’m sincerely grateful to everyone who helped along the way; they were not compelled to do so. Despite the thefts and other occasional setbacks, this sarcastic Englishman is slightly less cynical about humanity than when he left England thirteen months ago, and that's no bad thing.


Jean Paul Sartre once said: "Hell is other people." I think he was going to the wrong parties.


Safe travels!


Dave


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Thought Id finish with a selectio…
Thought I'd finish with a selecti…
Tungurahua, the active volcano tha…
Tungurahua, the active volcano th…
Sunset on the dunes above the oasi…
Sunset on the dunes above the oas…
Machu Picchu with a great group of…
Machu Picchu with a great group o…
Early morning in Cusco, Southern P…
Early morning in Cusco, Southern …
Colca, the second deepest canyon i…
Colca, the second deepest canyon …
Squirrel monkey (with a baby on it…
Squirrel monkey (with a baby on i…
A black caiman, also in the Bolivi…
A black caiman, also in the Boliv…
La Paz, AKA The Bowl. Possibly my …
La Paz, AKA The Bowl. Possibly my…
La Paz, Bolivia, and the madness o…
La Paz, Bolivia, and the madness …
A bit of Iguazu Falls, Northern Ar…
A bit of Iguazu Falls, Northern A…
Lago Nahuel Huapi, taken from the …
Lago Nahuel Huapi, taken from the…
Backpackers on the beach at sunris…
Backpackers on the beach at sunri…
Magellanic penguin mama and chick …
Magellanic penguin mama and chick…
The epic lump of ice that is Perit…
The epic lump of ice that is Peri…
Mount Fitzroy, Patagonia, Argentin…
Mount Fitzroy, Patagonia, Argenti…
Torres del Paine, Chile. Yet anoth…
Torres del Paine, Chile. Yet anot…
A superbly wind chiseled mountain,…
A superbly wind chiseled mountain…
A section of Singapore skyline, ni…
A section of Singapore skyline, n…
Sunset on Paulau Tioman, Malaysia.
Sunset on Paulau Tioman, Malaysia.
The beautiful Petronas Twin Towers…
The beautiful Petronas Twin Tower…
And another one of the Twin Towers…
And another one of the Twin Tower…
One of the locals doing the guitar…
One of the locals doing the guita…
Orangutans in Sumatra. Another of …
Orangutans in Sumatra. Another of…
Danau Maninjau at Sunset. Sumatra,…
Danau Maninjau at Sunset. Sumatra…
The beach at D Lagoon, Pulau Perhe…
The beach at D Lagoon, Pulau Perh…
My mate Laura, or an alien. You de…
My mate Laura, or an alien. You d…
Me, tickled by something, at Angko…
Me, tickled by something, at Angk…
Lovely Apsara dancers. Siem Reap, …
Lovely Apsara dancers. Siem Reap,…
Fire whirlers on the beach at Siha…
Fire whirlers on the beach at Sih…
Boats in the Mekong Delta.
Boats in the Mekong Delta.
Saigon sunset, Vietnam.
Saigon sunset, Vietnam.
Australian Miranda goes dune board…
Australian Miranda goes dune boar…
A tattoo on the arm of Renee, a Ca…
A tattoo on the arm of Renee, a C…
In the park in Sapa, Vietnam.
In the park in Sapa, Vietnam.
Trying to cross the border between…
Trying to cross the border betwee…
Me, on the back of a random truck,…
Me, on the back of a random truck…
Motorbiking on some slightly muddy…
Motorbiking on some slightly mudd…
A nice Lao lady makes me a pancake…
A nice Lao lady makes me a pancak…
On the Mekong again, this time in …
On the Mekong again, this time in…
In a hammock, staying in a bungalo…
In a hammock, staying in a bungal…
Western lady Thai boxing volunteer…
Western lady Thai boxing voluntee…
Long beach at sunset, Koh Phi Phi.
Long beach at sunset, Koh Phi Phi.
Me with two Uruguayan ladies. Koh …
Me with two Uruguayan ladies. Koh…
Cooking lesson in Chiang Mai.
Cooking lesson in Chiang Mai.
A small section of the Hong Kong s…
A small section of the Hong Kong …
A dragonfly, Hong Kong.
A dragonfly, Hong Kong.
Me and Limestone karst near Yangsh…
Me and Limestone karst near Yangs…
The Great Wall. You know where.
The Great Wall. You know where.
The Terracotta army, XiAn, China.
The Terracotta army, Xi'An, China.
Backpacked to the max in XiAn.
Backpacked to the max in Xi'An.
Pandas in Chengdu, China.
Pandas in Chengdu, China.
Partying in Chengdu after being sh…
Partying in Chengdu after being s…
In the Himalayas, taken from a rid…
In the Himalayas, taken from a ri…
View toward Everest from Tengboche…
View toward Everest from Tengboch…
An old boat man, Pokhara, Nepal.
An old boat man, Pokhara, Nepal.
Walking wardrobe, Kathmandu, Nepal.
Walking wardrobe, Kathmandu, Nepal.
Home time...
Home time...
Rochdale
photo by: sarahelaine