erm, I was told off for not keeping this site up to date, but I forgot to mention that I've been keeping a different site going. please visit http://shezzaMitch.bebo.com to find out the happenings of Australia etc.
Saturday, January 20, 2007
Monday, November 27, 2006
Whats happening next....
Apologies for not keeping this up to date; thought I better keep you informed of whats happening now rather than what happened months or years ago!
I leave for Oz on Tuesday of next week; I'm going down to London on Sunday though. I'm very excited and can't believe that time has gone by so quickly! I'll try and keep this site posted on my travels and get some pictures up of me having fun!
I return back to UK turf on the 3rd January (more than likely with a suntan!); and back to Dundee a week or so after that.
Hope your all well
Thursday, September 28, 2006
France and Spain 2004: Nice to Barcelona
The Rucksack club is full of people who have travelled all over the world and have many exciting stories; I wanted a piece of this and no one was going to stop me finding some adventure of my own.
For the summer of 2004 my parents had planned a family holiday to Lanzarote. However, I was now feeling like I wanted to holiday without my parents and see different things to them, having never really been away without them.
At Easter I set off back to my homeland, in Yorkshire, to 'ask' my parents if it would be okay for me to travel through France and Spain over two weeks and then fly to Lanzarote for a couple of days to meet up with them. I had done much research and the only thing that I felt would really put them off was the fact that I would be traveling alone.
To my amazment they said yes and I wasted no time in making all the necessary bookings and proceeded to get very excited.
I flew into Nice on the 15th July from Edinburgh, all of my accomodation and transport had already been booked for the entire trip; as a precaution having not really travelled or undertaken a trip alone.
My first experience in Nice airport was fairly 'interesting' to say the least...
I arrived safely and on time, following the directions of the hostel I went to find the bus that took me into the city centre. There was a strange atmosphere as I stepped outside into the car park and drop off zone; no cars were moving at all and the army were walking about with huge riffles. I didn't really think too much of it and was more concerned with getting onto the right bus. I got on the bus, but the engine was off and there were cars parked infront of it; we were going no where. Now my French barely extends past 'Hello', never mind 'what the hell's going on?'. Then I saw people at the front of the bus putting their fingers in their ears...what the??!!...so I did the same!
There was a huge expolosion; a guy must have seen my puzzled expression, someones bag had been left unattended and they had to destroy it. We drove away shortly afterwards and rounded the corner to see the offending article, no longer even resembling a suitcase. The hostel couldn't have been further away!
I stayed a Hostel Meyerbeer beach, it wasn't a bad introduction to hostels and had a fantastic central location. Nice is nice, that is about as excited as I can get about it really. I stayed for 3 days which was too long really. I was reliant on public transport, the links to more rural areas were poor and I had planned to get into the French Alps, but that was 'impossible without car' as the tourist information girl told me. So I was bound to the city limits.
I mainly wandered the streets of both the old and new town, always finding something new to see, especially in the old town with its pavement stalls and narrow winding streets. I visited the Colline du Chateau, which is a wonderful building set high on a hill above the city its self. There are fantastic views and a huge park at the top, it takes about 15 minutes to ascend from the west. I descended into the harbour, similar to the old town, but not as well kept. This is where I booked my SCUBA diving for the following day.
It was fantastic, we didn't go very deep, but apparently that isn't a problem in this area for viewing the sealife as it is pretty much uniform no matter how deep you dive. The instructor picked a sea urchin off the seabed and placed it on my hand, the waters were turquiose and the tranquility of swimming with tiny fishes was sublime.
I also went paragliding and more importantly topped up my tan in the remainder of my time in Nice.
I left at some uneartly hour to travel by train to Barcelona and arrived in the early evening after a not unpleasent journey, seeing the sunrise over mountains and then arriving in a hazy Barcelona. Where things were about to get a little more exciting...
Monday, September 25, 2006
The DURC entry: 3 years in 15 minutes!!!
Where to start???
Well I joined the Rucksack club a wee fresher back in '03, I recall my first day trip quite distinctly....
Thurst into a minibus at 7am on a Sunday morning surrounded by strange faces, I promptly fell asleep for the tow hour journey to Arrochar. We were fed wonderful chocolate muffins and I naively signed up for a random walk that some of the people on my bus were going on, with the delusion that I had relatively good fitness.
Needless to say I was the stereotypical fresher, with heavy weight trousers on that may have well been jeans, a waterproof that could have been replaced with a bin bag, a gormet lunch that required table, chairs, cutlery (I wouldn't have said no to a wine glass either) and walking boots that were not waterproof at all and had a squeak. I was the envy of all as I trooped up the hill, which to my eyes at the time may as well have been Everest, I became a sheep, but a lame one trying to keep up with the group.
Actually, considering its suprising why I ever went up a hill ever again; the weather was awful, it wasn't properly raining just misty and damp but with my attire I was drenched within the first hour (of a 6 hour day). The low cloud also shrouded the mountain, so we had very little view. I was also clearly the unfittest of the group, my previous delusions were well and truely washed away.
But in the pub, still damp, I was smiling and drinking one of my first Scottish ales. I think many of us that climb hills have yet to understand why we realish in the challage of reaching the summit of a hill, despite a view or weather conditions. I recently wrote this that is the nearest I can get for the moment " One never descends a mountain, Physically ascending, One always remains at the top."
Soon after this trip I invested my student loan (thankyou very much) in some shiney new gear, so to speak. Infact I have learnt that one can never have enough new gear despite dwindling finances.
In the coming years, not only did I attend the trips, I also took part in the orgainsation of meets and social events. It did become an obsession for a while, where I misunderstood the reason I was really in Dundee.....studying, but I now have had counselling and its under control.
With the club I have been to Skye, Glencoe, Glen Etive, Glen Nevis, Glen Affric, Achnasheen, Glen Clova, Barisdale and the Isle of Mull.
Last year, I went cold turkey and was a social member, not that there's a difference in membership fees! But my fees went far, with the Autumn Ceilidh, Christmas dinner, Burns' Supper, Annual Dinner and every Wednesday night in Speedies (Mennies for purists).
This year, I actually plan to do some walking, not just to the pub, after some training this summer from living in Glencoe. (I was running up them 'ills, honest)