Just before Christmas last year, I found out that I was going to have a month’s leave prior to this Easter. With Christmas over, I began to consider what to do with myself during this time off. My children would still be studying and my wife was unlikely to leave them alone for the whole time; perhaps this would be a chance for me to do ‘something significant’ – something that only I would want to do – but what? On a trip to Perth, Australia, between Christmas and New Year, the answer came to me. I’d hired a bicycle for the day and cycled from the city:
to the beach at Fremantle and back again.
It was ‘only’ 40 miles, or so, it took me most of the day and I ached afterwards. However, I’d enjoyed myself so much that I determined on the ride that my ‘something significant’ for my month’s leave would be to cycle from one end of Great Britain to the other – commonly known as ‘Lands End to John O’Groats’, ‘LEJOG’, or ‘The End to End’ . My ‘End to End’ would only require me to cycle approximately double my Perth day’s cycling distance and maintain that for 16 days continuously. OK, it would be during the months of ‘Windy March’ and ‘Showery April’ in UK (not the glorious sunshine of this Western Australian day) but, with 3 months to train and prepare for it, how difficult could that possibly be?……………………..…what a great idea……………………………………………!!!!
Driving away from John O’Groats at the end of my recent long cycle ride (www.lejoblog.wordpress.com), we were following signs to Perth for a while. That was Perth, Scotland – not Perth, Australia as in this photo. Mind you, you could be easily mistaken – Shakespeare sign, turreted castle at the end of the street, Elizabethan era styled buildings, Olde English writing on the signs. For all the world it looks like it could be the UK, but the mid-twenties temperatures after nightfall on the 26th of December are a dead cert giveaway that this has to be elsewhere!
OK, the post is slightly contrived, but I had to have some link to getting back to posting on this site!
Having been called out to go to work on Christmas Day, my spirits were not so merry by the time I got to Perth, in Western Australia, that evening. This photo of the Swan Bell Tower was taken during a very nice sunset and has produced a most acceptable image, but acquiring it did little to lighten my mood that day.
A common means of transport around the islands of the Philippine archipelago is the Banca (or Banka if you prefer). These craft can vary in size from being suitable for just one or two, to large commercial vessels carrying over two-hundred. Regardless of their size they all seem to offer cheap, if not a little noisy and uncomfortable, transport. What is certain however, is that around the coastlines, you are going to be presented with a journey of very pretty views.
Having enjoyed the experience of 72 hours in a historic Indian city, we touched base briefly in Hong Kong in order to change over clothes and collect another daughter, then it was back to the airport for a flight to The Philippines. When we eventually settled at our destination, this was the view that greeted us from the balcony of our rented apartment. The quayside is that at Puerto Galera, on the island of Mindoro, and it sits at the head of a bay that is supposedly included in the ‘Club of the most beautiful bays in the World’ – it is certainly a most picturesque location
Continuing on the theme of colour, here is another photo from the Shilparamam craft village in Hyderabad. On such a bright and sunny day, the amount and variety of colour that was in abundance throughout this place was almost overwhelming.
Can you beat India for choice when it comes to buying items of fabric in rich and attractive colours? Here at the Silparamam Arts and Crafts Village, it is hard to argue that you can’t!