Well actually a little further than that really. On Wednesday we drive to Rome to overnight there and on Thursday fly to Hong Kong to see my daughter and her husband.
We plan to be away about 5 months returning to Puglia in early April. I have set up a new blog which you can link to by clicking here which I have called Travels With My Wife with apologies to Graham Green who wrote Travels with my Aunt. I was going to call mine funded by my aunt but the wheels of probate move slowly in the UK and I don’t want to tempt fate !
I would love you to join me metaphorically speaking on this trip by following me around South East Asia . As a taster this is a vague outline of the trip . We fly from Hong Kong to Bangkok and then wander a bit before heading north to Chiang Mai and on to Chiang Rai. From there we move up into the Golden Triangle the one time home of the poppy growing areas of old. I read today in the paper that an Italian sheep farmer has just been arrested for growing marijuana in his fields. Apparently to make the authorities less suspicious he was allowing the sheep to graze on occasions in the area where the weed was being grown. They developed quite a taste for it and one can imagine loads of Italian sheep sitting up against a dry stone wall rolling their spiffs and taking long drags exclaiming bellissimo as they exhaled. The drug police have of course now cleared the area of the offending grass and so the sheep are now suffering withdrawal symptoms! As I write councilors are arriving to help them come off their high and get back to munching normal non hallucinatory grass. I have ordered one of the sheep for my freezer so maybe after my trip I will be able to get on a different type of trip.
We head to Vietnam for Christmas then into Cambodia via the Mekong river and into Laos before heading back into Vietnam and working our way up the country via the Central Highlands and China Beach to Hanoi.
Lots will change as we get going so if you want to come along please do. I will anyway be staying in contact with people here by Skype and will be commenting on life here in Puglia as well as no doubt meeting loads of Italians as we make our way around.
We have a budget sorted for the trip which is a first I think and from it we must deduct £1,200 for the wood we are not burning, £800 for the GPL gas we are not using and £700 for the electricity we are not consuming and that certainly helps the maths. Eating can be amazingly cheap out there as are beers. Wine is normally a crazy price but the food certainly doesn’t lend itself to wine anyway. That is my story and I’m sticking to it.
Obviously there are train rides and the odd Air Asia flight as well as the ferry on the Mekong to Phnom Penh. On this last point I want you to know I am pushing the boat out ( pun as always intended) and have booked one of the plastic chairs to sit on at US$1 a day. Which one of us gets to sit on it we will have to sort out nearer the time. Each night we hop off and spend the night in an hotel and catch the next day ferry further up the huge river.
Our neighbours who look after the house when we are away think we are crazy of course. They point to the weather today and say why bother going. To be fair it has been amazing ( sorry Britain I saw the storms) with temps of 24C each day but we know that it ain’t going to last. Of course we don’t have a great track record with weather in S.E. Asia either as I mentioned on an earlier post but at least it is warm. Anyway I have had an haircut now so there is no turning back as I asked Franco to cut it short so I have no hope of surviving the winter here.
So if you can, join me daily at the other site and we can journey together. I start tomorrow.