Since I returned home on November 29, I have been reorganizing the site, sorting out photos and changing most of the blog posts into pages in the section Around the World. Today, Christmas Eve, marks the end of the process, so I can carry on blogging the rest of my life.
And finally, on my last flight of this journey round the world, some caring advice from Qatar Airways:
I saw four monkeys sitting quietly by the roadside, but did not want to provoke them by taking their photo. More stories about Cambodia here.
At Thingveillir the Eurasian and American land masses are drifting apart. At Peggy’s Cove on the South Shore, this poster claims that Nova Scotia was formed by two land masses, Avalon and Meguma, coming together. I do not know why they qualified as “continents”. On the journey, Gordon was telling me about a course in cultural competence at the medical school where he works, and at the Fisheries Museum in Lunenburg I found out more about the original inhabitants and the effect on them of increasingly greedy settlers arriving from the “Old World” – further examples of continents colliding.
See the Canada page for more about my stay.
The device that I thought was a global charger turned out to be a mere adaptor, so I arrived in Halifax with all three batteries (iPad, Kindle and phone) running low. A trip to Betterbuy was called for, and Gordon took me there after church, where a friendly assistant led me to the right section of the shop. Now everything is charged up and ready to go!
Heathrow Terminal 2 (the Queen’s terminal) is much more pleasant and relaxing than Stansted. I said Morning Prayer in the Multifaith Prayer Room. Reykjavik was cold but sunny, and there was a beautiful rainbow as I walked from the bus station to the guesthouse. The “dorm bed” turned out to be one of two in a pleasant room; my roommate was a night owl so I hardly saw her.
Met Bjarni, the priest of the Anglican congregation, and his three daughters for a pizza.
To read more about my stay in Iceland, see the Iceland page of this blog.
In preparation for my journey, I ordered new visiting cards. The Gothenburg ones had a nice photo, but all the text apart from my name and email address was no longer accurate. Visiting cards are taken very seriously in Japan. Is the new design is a bit too frivolous?
Having sorted out flights, trains in USA and India, and accommodation, I turned my thoughts to packing.
After trying two possibilities, I decided on the piggy-back rucksack, with main bag and day-pack zipped together when I have to carry both. Not much room for anything I may acquire on the way, unless I wear my hiking boots. But the larger rucksack would be oversize for the bus from San Francisco to Yosemite, adding $50 to the already high price. I am stocking my Kindle with books, but have a few hard-copy maps, tickets, etc.
The downside (or one of the drawbacks) of having booked flights in advance is that fresh information changes things. My cousin Gordon, whom I shall be visiting in Halifax Nova Scotia, has kindly offered to drive me to Boston along a coastal route, stopping off 3 nights on the way. Together with other considerations, this means that I would not get to Seattle in time for the flight I had booked to San Francisco, so instead I shall take the more scenic Californian Zephyr from Chicago and overnight in Denver, the mile-high city.
I have made contact with two other friends I shall visit on the journey: Bjarni in Iceland and Hanna in Cambodia. And I have possible contacts in Chicago and Delhi. The journey is looking less lonely.
Having been advised by email from bootsnall that the best flight deals could go up to 200 days in advance, I have booked all my flights for a total cost of less than £2000. LHR-KEF-YHZ-BOS then overland to Seattle – SJC, SFO-ICN, Korea to Japan by boat, then NRT-HKG-HAN-REP-DEL-LHR. Only two seriously long legs, San Francisco to Seoul (12 hours) and home from Delhi (15 hours), the latter being the only one where I have to change planes apart from Siem Reap to Delhi, which if more adventurous I could have avoided by going by bus to the Cambodia/Thailand border and on to Bangkok by train. And no very early starts or late landings. Even with this much notice, the flight I chose from Hong Kong to Hanoi was fully booked at the price offered, but Cristina at Bootsnall helpfully rerouted me to Vietnam Airlines for a small extra cost.