The final entry

September 24, 2009 - Edinburgh, United Kingdom

We travelled over 65,000 miles on 35 flights, countless hours on buses, boats, campervans and our feet.  We visited 14 different countries on 3 continents.  We took thousands of photographs (possibly deleted just as many).  We saw glaciers, deserts, oceans, mountains and great expanses of nothing.  We ate guinea pig, piranha and llama but drew the line at insects.  We've been so hot we couldn't move and so cold we couldn't sleep, met some amazing people we hope we'll keep in touch with. 

It has taken us a little while to come back down to earth and finally realise that this particular adventure is over and we have been procrastinating in writing this final entry...we call it denial!

It's quite hard to know where to start in summing up 10 months worth of amazing adventures and experiences, we have been consistently asked what our favourite place was and each time the answer is different, we have also been asked where we didn't like and that is an easier question to answer as there is nothing we would change about the trip.  We figured the best way to sum up this trip is with the Rainbow tour Oscars.

And the nominations are:


For best country:

South Africa - for being different and stunningly beautiful

Ecuador - for the amazing diversity of the Galapagos Islands

Bolivia - for the bowler hats and the salt flats

New Zealand - for being generally fantastic


And the winner is:

New Zealand – Nic has been round it twice and we’d go back again tomorrow.


For best city:

San Francisco – for being so very gay

New York – for being alive

Sydney – for the beautiful harbour


And the winner is:

San Francisco – Baby!


For best animal:

Platypus – for being so weird they shouldn’t be allowed

Shark – for their silky beauty

Koala – for being the cutest animal on the planet

Tucan – for being just like the Guinness ads


And the winner is:

This one is very hotly contested on both sides so…

Koala and Platypus – Australasian gems you just want to take home


For best meal:

Ruth’s birthday meal in Port Douglas (Aus) – for the mushroom soufflé

Italian delights in Santa Fe – for the goat’s cheese parfait

Van Sandwiches – for their universal appeal


And the winner is:

Van sandwiches – others created marvels for us but these kept us going for 10 months

(we will explain if asked!)


For best soundtrack:

No nominations are needed - Evita wins through!


For best hike:

Tongariro – for the volcanic wonderment

Machu Picchu – for the Incan wonderment

Mount Cook – for the glacial wonderment


And the winner is:

Machu Picchu – don’t take the train, the only way to see it is to hike the Inca trail.


For best drunken night:

San Francisco – for the quiet night in

Las Vegas – for the girls in Coyote Ugly

San Francisco – for the smallest dessert in the world and 5 bottles of fizz


And the winner is:

San Francisco (the quiet night in) – we drank a weeks supply over a game of cards


For the biggest extravagance:

5* Cape Horn cruise – for carrying our bags for us

Galapagos Islands – for being totally worth it

Abercrombie & Fitch jumper – for being trendy and cosy!


And the winner is:

5* Cape Horn cruise – ask us about the avenue of the glaciers


For cheapest moment:

Funyuns – for the fun oniony flavoured maize goodness

Starvation bus days – for just not having time to eat

Last day campervan meals – for the potmess


And the winner is:

Funyuns – We lived on them for two days, despite the ant infestation


For best hospitality:

Pat & Mike (Melbourne) – for their house, their car, their wine and their air conditioning!

Jack & Margaret (Cape Town) – for the best chicken pie on the planet

Sally & Dave (Christchurch) – for making us sleep at a 45 degree angle

Lisa & the Bear (Albuquerque) – for picking us up @ 3am and trusting their house and ducks to us

Dina (Chicago) – for giving up her bedroom

Nancy, Jeff & Ben (New York) – for the fabulous apartment and the piano concerts

Nancy & Marty (Washington D.C.) – for helping us end the trip so beautifully


And the winner is:

…we couldn’t possibly choose, we’d like to thank you all for having us and we hope to return the favour in Edinburgh one day


For best beach:

Coral Bay (WA) – for the perfect sand and snorkeling

Tulum (Mex) – for the perfect sand and sea temperature

Kangaroo Island (SA) – for the crystal clear water


And the winner is:

Coral Bay – it’s quiet, it’s beautiful and there were no mosquitoes


For most useful travel item:

Pegs – for always having a use

Super glue – for fixing almost everything we own

Mosquito nets – for doing what they are supposed to


And the winner is:

Pegs – an unexpected but indispensable addition to our rucksacks


For the worst moment:

Malaria scare in South Africa

Hiking in the Colca canyon

Losing Nic’s passport in La Paz

Altitude headaches in the Andes


There is no winner here, we just thought it shouldn’t be all shiny and bright, we are Scots after all!


For worst cuisine:

Peru – for the guinea pig

Bolivia – for the Home soup for breakfast, lunch and dinner…every day

Brazil – for the deep fried Piranha, we don’t even do that in Glasgow!

South America – for the coca tea, Nic just doesn’t get it!


And the winner is:

Bolivia – I (Nic) normally love a wee bowl of soup but this took it too far


For best blog entry, by popular vote:

The visit to the pencil museum (by the way, it was naturalist, not naturist!)

(Aside from this, could someone please tell Ruth they enjoyed all of her geological facts)


Absolute top moment(s):

New Zealand in the campervan – Ah Fern...

Arriving at Machu Picchu at the end of the Inca trail – so dirty, so tired but so totally worth it

Diving the Blue Hole in Belize – Ancient geology and big sharks, what more could you want?!

Getting soaked in Iguaçu Falls – you can’t help but shriek and laugh!

Sunning ourselves in the Caribbean – One place we can imagine living

Swimming with sea lions and blue footed boobies in the Galapagos – there was also a moment involving a pelican landing on Nic’s head


And the winner is:

…you didn’t really expect us to choose one did you?!


That’s it, thank you for sharing in all of our adventures, now all of you get back to work!




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