Norfolk / South Africa
Norfolk will always remind me of visits to my cousin in the summer holidays. Lashings of strawberries and cream and a feeling we were living in an Enid Blyton Famous Five story. Older now, but I am just as excited to be here as I was back then and will probably do some of the very same things! We are enjoying housesitting a wonderful quaint Norfolk cottage and just like the Famous Five, we are joined by a fabulous dog – a lovely Collie.
As soon as we leave here it’s off to South Africa, flying into Durban and out of Cape Town a few months later. Our first time to South Africa, the plan is to hire a car and take a road-trip through the country to experience the incredibly diverse landscapes and explore the varied food scene (biltong and bunny chow – not made from bunnies!). As usual we will be getting off the beaten track but we don’t intend to miss any of the many highlights for which the country is famous. Very excited !
Our month in Bologna last year started our love affair with Italy.
This year we are headed to the Piedmont region – one of the great wine growing regions of this wonderful country which is also home to Fiat and Ferrero Roche chocolate. I think we are in for a treat.
Our adventure will begin in a friends villa in the foothills of the Alps – a stunning backdrop to this region. Wandering the cobbled streets of quaint towns and villages full of historical intrigue, castles and towers will be irresistible in this region. We will finish our trip in the vineyard covered rolling hills of the Langhe region – we fell in love with the food, the wine, the architecture and history and I am sure the love affair with Italy will only deepen.
Before even departing for Mexico, we have already extended our stay to the end of December. The warmer weather *may* have been a factor, but there just seems so such we want to see. Our plan is not to cover a huge geographical area – just a few states in the south around Mexico City such as Oaxaca, Chiapas, The Bajio and Michoacán.
In our minds, this is a preview for a longer trip to this part of the world. Unusually for us, most of our accommodation has been chosen and booked. As it happens, this was a good thing as many of the good places were getting fully booked. We have decided to stay mostly in independent boutique style places with something special about them – interesting history or architecture (or hosts!) for example.
Just can’t wait!
We have rented a beautiful apartment in what was once a Palace within the old city walls of Bologna in the Emilia Romagna region of Italy. We are here for a month and have plans to explore further afield from our base here, although I rather expect it will be hard to tear ourselves away from the charms of Bologna.
Within 24 hours of arriving, we are already thinking about returning again later this year!
Bologna is known for many things, the food scene being justifiably high on that list. In fact, it was watching Rick Stein (Long Weekend Away series) that tempted us to visit Bologna, but there is so much more to tempt us to return!
We have come back to England for a few months. Although it is January as I write this (and it is snowing outside), I like to think of it as coming “home for Spring”. It’s a time for new life as the tiny new plants battle their way through the frost and frozen earth and for us, January is all about planning the rest of the year, life in new locations.
Having agreed to a series of housesits in England, all in lovely locations – The East Coast, Oxfordshire, Hertfordshire and Cheshire, we will be exploring some of the many delights England has to offer. We are also looking forward to walking in the British countryside and sitting by some roaring log fires in quaint places.
For more of our international travel plans for this year, click here
September and October 2017
Australia and New Zealand
A long anticipated week in Sydney, Australia will be followed by two months of campervan life in New Zealand. It’s our third visit to these locations, so we already have ideas of what we will be do doing in Sydney and a rough route plan for New Zealand.
Sydney is all about visiting family and being immersed into the life by the beach, good walks, good food, some decent wine and a planned walk over the Harbour Bridge.
New Zealand is amazing and we plan to make the most of our self-contained campervan by spending many a night in impossibly beautiful, wild and rural spots. We arrive in the last week of winter and look forward to watching Spring arrive along the shorelines, lakes and in the forests as we drive, bike and hike through the landscape. How wonderful to wake up with a stunning view through the window as we aim to find some remote beautiful places to park our little home for the night.
July and August 2017
Borneo, Taiwan, Malaysia & Indonesia
Borneo is a good gateway for flights in to Taipei, Taiwan and as it is always enjoyable for its food and wildlife we plan on getting to Taiwan this way.
Taiwan and Sulawesi region in Indonesia are previously unknown to us and so we are looking forward to find out more about these two enchanting cultures we have heard so much about.
May and June 2017
We will be in Vietnam for a month, until our visas run out. Starting in Ho Chi Minh City (aka Saigon) and traveling overland by train and buses, we will slowly head northwards.
We love this country for many different reasons and have made some wonderful friends here. The incredible food is an obvious major draw, but there is so much more that makes us smile :
The chaotic traffic that somehow feels safe whether riding in its midst or crossing the road through it.
The street life – cut throat shaving and ear cleaning on busy street corners.
The 9 inch mini stools used by food and drink vendors.
The fast internet that miraculously appears through the crazy street wiring.
The fantastic coffee that arrives with a side order of iced tea.
The alleyways which hide some of the best food in the city and offer a glimpse into family home life.
What is not to love ? There is so much more that we may have to do a “The things I love about Vietnam” post!
Where next ?