Friday, 31 December 2010

Happy New Year to all our Blog Followers

Thanks for all the 800 or so hits so far. Wishing you all a Happy New Year. Click here for a musical version. View Full screen if Possible (thats the four arrows in the bottom RH corner) We are now only 4 days away from starting the RTW tour and getting ready all the time.  Thankfully the snow that could have delayed us, seems to have left the UK for the moment.

Wednesday, 29 December 2010

Just had to do it, Sorry.

Saw these (cheesy) crisps in Tesco and just had to
take this photo..... Sorry...
"Phileas Fogg and Passport Two"

Sunday, 26 December 2010

Boxing Day -- Yorkshire Sculpture Park

Well here we are in a part of the world where we have not been before, so I consider it part of the RTW tour. To help Iona gain a few extra miles towards her target, and because we have never been here, we decided to have our Boxing Day walk around the Yorkshire Sculpture Park. Very cold as you can see from our photos....  click here and more available on Iona's blog.... found here ..... 1st Jan Update -- Iona has completed her charitable  task of walking, swimming,  jogging or running 365 miles in 365days. I'm sure any donations would be gratefully received.

Saturday, 25 December 2010

Merry Christmas to the World

Many thanks to all those out there who have bought us RTW related presents. We have received .... a wind-up torch ... suitcase scales ... eyemasks ... insect repellant ... imodium (for Delhi belly) ... Vitamin B1 tablets (keeps mozzies away so they say) ... neck cushions ... travel plug adaptors ... first aid kit ... and a set of cards (Lingopix) covered with a range of pictures to which you point, when in shops overseas. All of which will come in really useful. Wherever you are..... whoever you are, have a really brilliant Christmas.

Wednesday, 22 December 2010

Tickets to fly

Yesterday we called in on Malcolm in Leek to collect all our flight and hotel vouchers that he has arranged for us. He and Sue, Ann and I, went for a great curry to get us ready for the India part of our trip. As a seasoned traveller he has offered loads of advice and helped craft our trip into a real adventure. Thanks Malcolm you have been a real asset. Click here for a novel airplane safety check.

Monday, 20 December 2010

Its Cold in the UK

For those back home......... This morning when we got into our son's car it was -10.5 degrees C. The washer liquid was frozen as was the boot lid! Click here for some music

Friday, 17 December 2010

To the UK

 Well here we are in the UK ready to start our Christmas celebrations with the family. Our 2 suitcases weighed in at 44.5kg at Menorca and 43.5kg at Barcelona.  So there you have it... Gravity is more powerful in the Balearics. Fortunately neither check in charged us for this excess.
Next morning we get up to a covering of snow.  See photos via "Today's chosen Image". Iona, our daughter, has been doing a 365 miles in 365 days challenge for charity. She is a tad behind target at the moment and as encouragement we decided to join her on her morning mile. Clicking here  will take you to her blog and further photos of this morning. For some appropriate music Click here.

Tuesday, 14 December 2010

Welcome or Добро пожаловать

One of the nice things about this Blogger software is that I can see where the Blog Followers come from. We now have an audience in Russia and Croatia.  So.........Welcome to our new found friends where ever you come from. I have found this site......... which translates into 325 languages some standard phrases.  Could come in useful.
So... Dobro pozhalovat  and Dobro došli to our new Followers.

Monday, 13 December 2010

Money Matters

In an attempt to get my head around all the currencies used in the countries we will be visiting, I have spent some time with . Below is a chart which should help us get to grips with the "value" of a basic block of currency.

100 Euros............ = £85
1000 Rupees .........= £14
1000 Thailand Baht. = £21
100 Singapore $..... = £48
100 Australian $..... = £63
100 New Zealand $.. = £48
100 Fiji $............. = £34
100 American $...... = £63

All values either rounded up or down to the nearest £ and exchange rate on 13th Dec 2010. Is it by chance that the US and Australian $ are the same, and the Singapore and NZ$ are the same? Or are they in some way linked? Either way, it should make our lives a little simpler.

Tipping.  I have been looking into Tipping around the world. Quite a can of worms! In some countries an absolute "must do" and in others a "must not do". To help me decide which is right, I have started reading up on the subject. Starting with a BBC offering. What is evident, is that when you arrive at an airport you must get some low denomination notes as a matter of some urgency and before you get into a taxi.  Otherwise you will end up offering far too much as a tip or nothing at all.  I have always given tips if (and only if) the service and quality of goods have been at least acceptable. If not, then the tip is not given.  If the service is outstanding and above expectation, then the tip offered is increased. As a guide I usually work on 10% (plus or minus as mentioned above). To my horror, I have discovered that to give a tip can be considered an insult in some countries. In others, 20% is the norm, always given, always expected and often for indifferent service. In the USA it is the way that some workers get their wage. Their actual wage is so low that they could not exist without tips. I'm sure we will survive, but will report any problems we encounter along the way.

Thursday, 2 December 2010

New Blog Followers

Welcome to the new Blog Followers who have recently been given the link. To get the whole picture, you are encouraged to go back through the archive to read all the postings from the beginning in October.

Packing Hints

As we get ever closer to our departure date, we are starting to consider packing the suitcases. When you consider that we have all weathers to cope with, we have something of a problem. We only have 20kg each for allowance. We have 40+ degrees and dry as a bone in Ayres Rock, 99% humidity in the rain forest around Cairns the next day, and below zero on Fox Glacier in NZ 10 days later. All countries in the southern hemisphere will be in their summer and LA, San Francisco and New York will be in their Winter.  So far we are packing some clothes that we are prepared to throw away once their job is done. Some of our India hotels are rather posh and jeans and tee shirts would not be acceptable there. So what do we pack?  If there are any seasoned globetrotters out there with hints and tips for us we would be very pleased to hear from you.

RTW or ATW ?

The Film is called "Around the World in 80 Days" as is the book.  So why is this blog "RTW"?  Well, if you type ATW into a google search, you will not get anything back that relates to going 'round the world.  However if you type RTW you will get loads of travel info. So with a nod towards grammatical correctness, I have added an apostrophe in front of RTW in this blog title.  The web address has not changed, so no need to change your link.