Hello, my name is Gilda.
Since reaching a certain “milestone age” I have found myself feeling a great sense of urgency to make changes of lifestyle that would better suit this stage of my life. I have found a greater need to ensure I use my time wisely and follow dreams not yet realised. I have just taken early retirement, from a job I loved to search for adventure. I feel the moment has arrived to explore the world, create new experiences, let curiosity take me away from my comfort zone.
From 18/09/15 to 27/09/15 we spent 9 amazing days in Iceland, including 7 days travelling the Ring Road, also known as Route 1 and our final 2 days we spent in Iceland’s Capital – Reykjavik.
As we landed in Keflavik, Iceland’s main airport, it became clear to us that this was going to be a place unlike any we have visited before, and I could see why people describe it as like “landing on the moon“. We looked out to see a breathtaking landscape of solidified lava flows covered in a velvet green moss with reds and yellows thrown into the mixture; steam was coming out of the ground in the nearby “Blue Lagoon”. Iceland has been in our bucket list for ages in fact our son James visited it with his High School Geology class few years ago and loved it so much he is coming back again with his girlfriend Meghan, they are both Geology students at University and Iceland is like a big playground for them. It is a relatively young country in geological terms and it is still growing, moving and transforming itself by powerful natural forces that will continue to shape the Icelandic landscapes.
I have never climbed a mountain before, never mind climbing the highest one in the British Isles outside the Scottish Highlands, but one can argue that if you are going to start climbing mountains why not start with the highest? (although the Himalayas usually is what springs to mind when we talk about high mountains to climb and maybe one day I will get there). Snowdon has been on my bucket list for ages and it has became even more appealing since my son climbed it last year with his girlfriend Meghan and loved it. From their account it did not sound like an impossible feat for an unfit couple like Brian and I, but let’s just say that I had totally underestimated how hard it was going to be for me.
DAy 9, Sunday 02/02/2014 – We were not sad to leave Patong as a mini bus pulled up to our hotel to take us to the Ferry Port where we boarded the Ferry Cruiser boat to Ko Phi Phi Island ( we purchased our Ferry ticket to Ko Phi Phi Don a day before in one of the many tour agencies in Patong, it also included the minibus pick up from our hotel). We boarded the Ferry boat after queueing for a little while to collect a stamp like a ticket that we then attach (glue) to our clothes.
As we waited for our sleeper train to Chiang Mai, at Bangkok Station, we felt for the first time like we were real backpackers!
We heard that train travel in Thailand is easy, comfortable, inexpensive, and is the best way to see some of the Thai countryside. We booked a first class ticket. There are various combinations that can be made with shared cabins etc, but we decided to go for the single berth compartment, that although more expensive (about 1, 953 Baht, £40 per person, per compartment ), we felt that would give us more privacy and also a better sleep.