Travel Blog: Week 14

Belize, USA and Australia Week 14: 11.02.2013 – 17.02.2013 Monday:- It wasn’t the best night sleep. 4 of us in one hot room but a managed a few hours. Up around 6:30 to dress and pack the last few bits before heading off to the water taxi pier in full pack horse mode. We got great seats at the front of the water taxi. It not only left on time but arrived on time and Vic had arranged a taxi

Belize, USA and Australia

Week 14: 11.02.2013 – 17.02.2013

Monday:-

It wasn’t the best night sleep. 4 of us in one hot room but a managed a few hours. Up around 6:30 to dress and pack the last few bits before heading off to the water taxi pier in full pack horse mode.

We got great seats at the front of the water taxi. It not only left on time but arrived on time and Vic had arranged a taxi to great us and take us to the airport. How important do you feel when there is a board with your name on at the disembarkation area!!! Marlin, the name of our driver, loaded our bags and took us to a great take away breakfast cafe. We all had some Belizean sausage mush thing with retried beans and fried jacks.

We got dropped off, ate breakfast in the arrivals lounge ( bloody lovely) and checked in. Nik and I said goodbye to Pam at this point. Always weird saying goodbye after so many weeks together. Pam and I had got on so well together it was all a little sad.

I checked in and was over weight limit so had that embarrassing time of taking stuff out of my checked bag and transferring it to my hand luggage – which was already full. Luckily I had my art in a plastic bag and Nik was able to carry it through the gate. I got stopped going through security – forgot to take my knife out of my first aid kit when I transferred it. It was confiscated!!!

We spent our last Belize dollars on water and boarded the plane. Before long we were at Houston and it was time for a late lunch – Greek salad and sweet potato fries. Oh to be back in civilisation. We said our goodbyes – Nik was a star and took my art back to the UK for me and would post it home.

My flight to San Fran was delayed at least 2 hours – it was going to be a late one and I had no idea how to get to Rose’s apartment. Oh well. The flight was packed and we were all asked to stow our hand luggage or else we were threatened with an even later flight. I took my chances and thankfully managed to find a space in the overheads. I arrived in SF at 11pm and got the easy option of the super shuttle – door to door shared ride. I didn’t relish the Bart and Muni at that hour with my luggage. I shared a ride with an interesting lady which made the time fly and I was soon at 131 Carl street. I rang the bell (around midnight) and a man came to the door!!! Where was rose? Did I have the right place? Yes, I didn’t realise Rose shared with Steph. I was let in, gave Rose a hug and fell into bed. Pooped!

Tuesday:-

Despite the late night I still woke at 4am. Luckily I was able to get back to sleep until 7 ish. I waited until both Rose and Steph were up and out before surfacing for a forage for breakfast. I had some of Rose’s special vegan smoothie (coconut water, coconut oil, hemp, fruit, Kate and some other stuff I have no idea about) an apple and walnuts. It kept me going but I probably needed something else.

I washed, THE most amazing hot shower, and sorted the best clothing candidates for laundry using the tried and tested sniff test. Out for a walk I headed for the park via Haight street. This is a great area – I could so live here. Before reaching the park I stopped by Wholefoods store and bought a small box of freshly made hot mac n cheese – oh yes!!

I sat in the park, passing the scores ( yes scores) of out of their heads homeless, and revelled in my late breakfast – DE LISH. Back to the apartment via the long way home, just in time to meet up with Rose and head out for lunch.

We went down to the marina area and ate at a great restaurant called plant – vegan, as Rose had been vegan for many years and looked good on it. I had a fruit smoothie, hummus and a fantastic veggie burger – boy I was stuffed. We took a walk along the beach with the Golden Gate Bridge off in the distance and sat on the sand for a while. A quick spin around the area and back to the apartment.

  

We both felt tired when we got back so decided to snooze. Well,…….

Wednesday:-

The next thing I knew it was 1am! My snooze had turned into a 5 hour deep sleep. I manage to dose off for another hour but at 2am I updated my music on iTunes, emailed, uploaded photos to my blog, and booked my airport shuttle. I also got into my jim jams – I was still fully clothed from yesterday. Understandably I felt pretty refreshed when I woke again at 7.

At around 8 I got up because I heard Rose and Steph were awake and up and about. I went out to the local laundry and put a load of washing in – the joy of having clean and fresh smelling clothes was almost overwhelming. Next stop the post office to buy a shipping box then back to Rose’s to pack some things in my sparkling new box to ship home – I was determined to have a bag within weight this time.

Back to the laundrette to put stuff in the drier and then out in search of take away breakfast – yog, fruit and granola, and to top it off a grapefruit which strangely I’d really missed.

Back to the apartment to eat (including another sample of Rose’s morning vegan smoothie), shower and pack. The wonder of hot showers was still in full force – I did not want to get out. And miracle of miracles I packed my bag and was at last able to get my baggage strap around my checked bag. Boy, life is good.

Rose took me out to another great vegan restaurant, passing by the post office where I shed some excess baggage and $72 (OMG), where we had the most amazing soup and tortilla (made from collard leaves). Also a very greeny brown smoothie which was surprising tasty. I could get used to vegan food. And check out her bumper sticker!

We drove the long way home via the beach and the park and had only been home a few minutes when my ride arrived.

A short trip to the airport, during which my Dad called and we had a lovely little catch up (thanks Dad – great to hear all is well at home), and I was soon at the airport and checked in.

The airport was pretty basic so I just did a walking tour of all the gate areas then settled in to wait for boarding. It was a 13 hour flight so I stocked up on snacks. I had a great window seat at the front of the plane over the wing. Watched a couple of movies, Looper and End of Watch, ate a couple of meals (dinner and breakfast – both of which were tasty) and slept the rest of the way. I felt pretty refreshed when I woke up.

Thursday:-

Well, due to mid air crossing of the international date line Thursday didn’t exist!

Friday:-

Landed in Auckland around 5:30 local time. The airport was FANTASTIC – not that my credit card thought that. I bought a few things amongst which was a new camera. Roshny, on the project, had the most amazing underwater camera and I’d already decided to buy one – it was on offer here as well as being duty free so I took the plunge. Just need to work out how to use it.

I made my way to the gate and waited for the flight to Sydney. My friend Lynette, who lives just outside Sydney, isn’t free today so I’m not sure how long to stay. I decide when I get there.

I decided to go straight to Perth. I booked a flight online – just over £200 for a 5 hour flight but it wasn’t until 20:30. A quick email to Ange to make sure that was OK with them -phew it was!! Now what to do? After a bit of umming and arghing I checked my bags into storage and got the train into the city. Not the cheapest option but such great fun.

  

First things first, a walk to the opera house with views to the harbour bridge then ICECREAM! I then walked around the circular quays and rocks area- changing into my shorts as it was so warm. General browsing, looking in galleries and maybe a few unnecessary purchases. Dinner was take out calamari and salad, half eaten on circular quay and half in the botanical gardens.

  

  

  

  

Then, what the hell, I spent more than dinner on a dark and stormy in a swanky bar. How often does one have an afternoon trip to Sydney!!!!

Back on the train and onto the airport. Picked up my bags, checked in and went through to the departure lounge. The flight was budget and felt like it – limited recline, no movies, no food and no drinks. The most uncomfortable seat!! I managed to get some sleep and so before I knew it we had landed. Ange and Gareth were there to greet me and to help with cases

Straight to bed.

Saturday:-

I woke up at 4am and dozed on and off until 8. Hot cross buns and bananas for breakfast then a morning on unpacking, laundry, hanging clothes up (makes a change from living out of my bag) and shower. What luxury!!

  

Lunch by the pool, whilst Ange, Nigel and Ewan had a swim

The afternoon was spent watching Gareth play football. Beautiful sunny day.

Take away curry for dinner and early to bed.

Sunday:-

Slept the night through and felt refreshed. Lazy morning with fruit for breakfast – bliss!!

Off to the Arena gym with Nigel. I got a guest pass and the grand tour – the place was massive. Basketball courts, tennis courts, netball courts, 2 pools, cycle room, conference facilities and the gym. I managed a 5k run with a couple of stops. Then we headed back.

  

Shower, change and out. Ewan was playing district cricket all day. Ange had already gone earlier so we went to meet her. Sadly, Ewan was already out so he just watched the rest of the game whilst Ange handled the scoring. It was pretty chilly and had begun to rain. I was introduced to Darren who was a diver and gave me some great ideas for a trip along the west coast – he may also be able to set me up with a night dive here in Perth.

Time for a change of scene. Nigel took me for a tour of the other local gym – Challenge, built 40+ years ago for the commonwealth games. This place was the size of a village and everything was competition standard.

Back to the cricket. I took the opportunity to go to the nearby Woolworths to do some groceries shopping. It’s strange the things you miss when you’ve lived by someone else’s routine for a fe weeks.

Back home and time for a little snooze which ended up being a full blown sleep so I missed dinner.

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