I’m wandering around Antigua today on my last day in Guatemala. I will fly back to Canada tomorrow.

You might think that since I’m walking around an old, beautiful, colonial city like Antigua I might take some photos, but I am bored of photos. I am even bored of looking at the photos I’ve already taken. Instead I am wandering around with my eyes alone, not looking for perfect shots or interesting scenes. Many of these would be similar to the photos I have taken elsewhere on the trip: brightly coloured woven textiles; trees; old buildings. I often take a lot of photos while I’m travelling only to never look at them again, or there will be so many of the same thing (ruins) that I can’t tell them apart. I try to put a small selection here and on Facebook but after that, i just hoard them on my computer.

One difference today is that I am wandering around on my own. My tour is technically over as of today. I could have joined the rest of mu group for cooking or chocolate making classes, bit I chose to wander around a bit instead. This means I got lost! But I learned from my trip to England last year with Susan that google maps is very helpful. I am not lost anymore.

Guacamole and toasties for an early lunch, accompanied by a perfectly adequate soy latte

I fly out of Guatemala City tomorrow at 6:05pm, to Mexico City and then overnight to Vancouver. One of my tour friends is on the same flight to Mexico City, so I anticipate a pleasant time.

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Playa day 2 – part 2 – later

I’ve met with my tour group and they’re all pleasant. We all went for dinner. I had tacos. I also had 2 tortilla chips with the teeniest drop of the “hot” dip. Brave: trying things.

Now to bed because we roll out of Playa at 6am to go for breakfast and look at the ruins at Chuchén Itzá.

I’m the only Canadian in the group! Although several travellers have recently visited.

Playa del Carmen Day 2 – Sunday

I had my day planned today: breakfast at the same vegan place, then off for a massage/pedicure. But in the spirit of best laid plans, there was a member of my tour group hanging out at reception. We haven’t all met together as a whole group yet, but we were both studying the notification of where to meet, etc on the reception desk. We went for breakfast, and then checked out Old Navy, before returning to the hotel to see if either of us had to check out before checking back in with the tour. Thankfully, neither of us to move. However, in anticipation of getting a roommate for the duration of the tour, I went bak to my room to tidy the sprawl of my stuff. Manners.

I headed out for a massage/pedicure around noon. I had a 90-minute relaxation massage that smelled so good. I dozed a couple of times. Then I had a pedicure so now my toes are orange.

I’m back at the hotel again. I’d been here just a few minutes when my tour roommate arrived. We both have orange toenail polish so our roommate-ship is obviously meant to be. The whole tour group will meet for the first time this evening.

Now I rest and snack on dried plantains.

Part 1: Going Back to Spain!
I’m on my way to Spain today. And I was on my way yesterday, too, because air travel is messed up with timezones and such. But other than this, I’m “whoo!” off to Spain again.

This trip is labelled “Jerez 2016” in my email folders. Jerez being the city where the flamenco fesival is and where I will be spending 3 weeks taking dance workshops and watching shows and drinking sherry. The 2016 part is to distinguish it from “Jerez 2012” because this is my second trip to the festival and to Spain.

My first trip was amazing, so of course I would want to go back. But also, I set myself a goal the last time. I said to myself, as the trip was ending in 2012, that I would work hard at my flamenco classes back in Vic, and that when I go back to Jerez I would take workshops at the next level (basico classes instead of iniciation). So here I am, and I’m registered for 2 basico classes over the next couple of weeks. So I’ll see how that goes.

Part 2: Airplane Rides
Overnight airplaine rides mess me up. BUT I add another layer of sleepy-time each time I go. When going to Vietnam, I got the good advice from my manager at work to use a face mask and earplugs. When used together, these create a bubble of peaceful sleepy-time. Last trip, on the flight home from Shanghai, my mum had herbal jet lag pills, that conked me right out (shortest 12 hour flight ever!). This time, encouraged by how well I slept last time, I got myself a neck pillow. So the 9 hours from Van to London was pretty quick today (yesterday? It’s all one big long day when you’re travelling somewhere). I didn’t even watch a movie.

Part 3: Present context
On the plane from London to Madrid. One more plane after this to get into Jerez.

I’m listening to Crosby Stills Nash and Young!

OMG I had some food issues. Somehow my full request for a vegan meal wasn’t “logged” properly by the airline. So I got my supper last night, but there was no breakfast this morning. (I’m not vegan, but I’m allergic to dairy, and vegan is a safe choice). The attendant offered me an apple, but I declined because that didn’t seem sufficient. I pulled out my backup granola bar, and one of my travel companions offered up her rice cakes and jam, so that was OK. But then the attendant came back with a big plate of fruit, along with the apple, and an energy bar. (On a real plate with metal utensils – so from first class). She said something along the lines of this being all she could pull together for me. But it was whole tray of food! It was lovely, and I flagged her down later to thank her again.

Today my tour group and I are on a road trip to Siem Riep. The first stop was at a market for bathroom break and I tried deep-fried spider and a squat toilet. Adventurous day.

A twelve-year-old girl speaking perfect English tried to sell me bananas, but we aren’t supposed to buy things from the cute kids so I had to decline, even though she said the money would help her go to school. Who knows where the money would actually go.

I’ve been a bit of a socialite for the past couple of days. I had some clothes and shoes custom made, and in between fittings I had lunches, and went in the pool, and went to the spa to have my nails done. It sounds relaxing but I’m exhausted.

Today I am in the train station at Da Nang, waiting for a train that is 45 minutes late. It’s a 10 hour ride to Na Tranh but have several things to keep me occupied.

Last night when I got back from dinner, my new suit was waiting for me at reception of the hotel as it had been delivered for me. It’s now crammed in my suitcase. With new clothes and shoes, my suitcase is just a titch heavier now, but I was still able to lift it on to the bus.

Just for reference as to how hot it is, as I sit here using my thumbs to type, I am dripping in sweat. I’ve taken to having my hankie with me so that I may blot, but I didn’t think the wait this morning would be so long and I packed said hankie deep within my suitcase somewhere. Hoo. Drippy.

Today.
1) woke up in Halong Bay
2) 4 hour ride back to Hanoi. I napped and listened to music
3)short stint as rice planter. Muddy feet.
4)Much time time spent wandering streets of Hanoi
5)Shopping
6)electic car tour (big golf cart) of streets of Hanoi
5) Water puppet theatre/nap
6) night market
7) packing for tomorrow evening’s overnight train to Hue
8)too tired to write in paragraphs
9)good night.

Today. We arrived at Taipei around 5 in the morning? Then waited 3 hours in lounge chairs at gate A8. There is this thing where the airline calls the flight, and asks for anyone with kids or who needs extra help to go up to get on the plane first. This was when everyone stood up and crowded towards the gate. A secret code, I guess. Julie and I sort of just looped in behind something that appeared to be a queue and got on the plane. I dozed a lot on this one, taking us to Hanoi.

The air stepping off the plane was warm, which was nice after the air conditioned plane. Lots of air conditioning. Our hotel room is like a fridge and we have warm blankies to keep us warm. I have wooly socks.

Change to itinerary. We go to Halong Bay tomorrow morning instead of Saturday as was planned due to incoming tropical storm, which is expected to land Saturday.

We met our tour group at 6pm and trip group leader discussed the particulars of the trip.

For dinner we went to a restaurant serving what people is Hanoi might eat at home. I liked the fried morning glory and the various chunks of meat. I ate something from a cow I don’t usually eat: marrow or tendon or something. I could chew it so I wasn’t fussed.

I have no idea what time it is right now. This is kindof a lie, since I just looked at the in-flight navigator that the passenger in front of me and to the left has up on their monitor (making it so I don’t have to turn on mine.) It’s 12:30 in the night in Taipei, and 9:30 of the morning at home. Currently I’m somewhere over Japan and trying to sleep. Also it’s Wednesday now, so I got a little bit of Tuesday, but otherwise it’s a day that didn’t exist. I wonder what the Lindsie in a parallel universe did on that day. Did it exist for her? Am I the Lindsie in the parallel universe? Probably.

I’ve slept 3 or 4 hours (can’t tell how long. Time is calculated different here.) which is the usual for me on a plane. I would love to sleep longer since it’s a 12 hour flight and time goes faster when you’re asleep.