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Thursday, 23 May 2019

A Busy Year Of Travel.

My last post - on the 27th August 2018, related to our fabulous P&O Cruises visit to the Scandinavian Capitals of the Baltic including St. Petersburg for an overnight stay during July last year. However, one of the aims of our own travel is to escape the nasty Winter weather of Britain, and the year since then has been no exception.

At the beginning of October we had planned a two month visit once again to Southern Spain in the motorhome. We visit Cabo de Gata, as being so far South the region gives us the best opportunity for fairly reliable decent weather through the Autumn period into the start of Winter. We have done this several times now and on this occasion we travelled there and back to Bilbao from Portsmouth using Brittany Ferries for an overnight passage. Once again that all went without issue and we were lucky enough not to have to experience the sometimes rough sea crossings of the Bay of Biscay. Whilst there we once again hired a car at a very reasonable rate through our campsite Camping Cabo de Gata.

During the Brittany Ferry crossing to Bilbao.

After an overnight stopover at Aranjuez, we are pitched at Cabo de Gata.

Not too far from Cabo is a fantastic new Lidl at San Isidro.

Inside the new store.

During our Spanish stay we used the hire car to visit my brother in Marbella.

Old Marbella Town.

As is usual we made several visits to the beautiful City of Almeria.

And the rural parts of the Cabo de Gata Park Naturel.

A visit to Mojacar Pueblo is another one of our usual haunts for coffee and tapas during a day out.
At the end of November we made our way back home with just enough time to unpack and tidy out the motorhome before we were off again - this time a cruise of the Canary Isles aboard P&O Cruises Oriana with a visit to Madeira on the way out and Lisbon on the way home. This is the ship we first cruised on back in 2010. She was built in 1995 and has recently been sold to the Chinese to become a casino ship there, so this was our opportunity to say goodbye. Once we arrived back in Southampton it was just a few days until Christmas, so we travelled from Southampton to our daughter and her husband's home in Surrey to spend a planned Christmas with them.


Once home from Surrey during the week between Christmas and New Year it was time to pack up again to visit Margaret's sister in Vilamoura, Portugal for a couple of weeks. We once again successfully used Ryanair to get us there and back at a very reasonable price and our stay there was living expenses only.


The best part for us of out of season visits is the lack of others!


On arrival home towards the end of January we had a very exciting time to look forward to. On the 8th February we had arranged to fly to Goa for a couple of weeks in Candolim. After that we would return back to Manchester Airport and home before travelling back to Surrey to meet our newly born granddaughter who arrived while we were there. After a week in Surrey it was then off to Heathrow Airport from there to start our month away to hopefully take us into Spring in the UK once back home. We flew courtesy of British Airways to Delhi and once settled into our lovely hotel we were visited by our friends that we had first met in Shimla in 2015 who live there. We had dinner together before saying farewell to prepare ourselves for our second Golden Triangle tour. After two nights in Delhi, with a day's sight seeing, we were then driven to Agra to visit the Taj Mahal with an overnight stay, followed by a drive to Jaipur to see the amazing sights there with another two night's stay. Then we took an internal Air India flight back to Delhi before boarding an Air India International flight on to Dubai for a few night's stay there. It was then time to make our transfer to Port Rashid to join Arcadia on the last sector of her world cruise back to Southampton via Muscat, Haifa and Cadiz.

We used a great value Tui package to visit Goa. This was our hotel.

The Lui Beach Resort pool.

Candolim Beach.

We also hired a scooter for the duration in Goa. This is us taking the ferry across to Panjim.

The usual chaos joining the Panjim Ferry.

Panjim Market.

A fabulous overnight trip on a Kettuvallam.

And a day out to Monkey Island


I visited a tailor in Panjim to have a new Tux made. Ready in 3 days and a very reasonable price.

We just love to visit India and this was our 6th time, making two visits on the same visa this year. The history, culture and people there are so interesting. Now it is time to think on using the motorhome during our British Summer.

Our first hotel of the India tour in Delhi.

Visited there by local friends for dinner.

The start of our Wendy Wu Golden Triangle tour. This is our lovely guide Vivek.

The sights of New Delhi.

And of Old Delhi.

We are often asked if we will have our photo taken with locals. I agree but insist on one for me too. This then happens!

They asked us for a pic, so I asked them for mine. They appear shy.

Margaret's "Diana" pose in front of the Taj Mahal.

The hotel doormen are often traditionally dressed.

You can arrive at attractions in style if you like.

The amazing Amber Fort in Jaipur.......



Our Dubai Hotel.

The Dubai Skyline.

Joining Arcadia in Dubai.

Lovely restful days at sea after a busy tour of India.

The handmade Tux I had made in Panjim the previous month.

Lunch with our friend - lovely Arcadia crew officer - Samrat.

Cadiz Market.

The start of the very spectacular final sailaway from Cadiz.

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