CraSh Williams' Blog

As our journey comes to an end…

Posted by Cool Your Jets IV on September 21, 2011

Andrea, whom we met whilst aboard the Grande Francia continues his journey around the World (do look for two intrepid travellers in the video…)

It seems like a long time since we were aboard the ship, though we’re still talking about it – people we meet are always amazed when they hear about our leaving London aboard a cargo ship and our voyage to South America, following the coasts of France, Spain, Africa and Brazil – an awesome experience that still lives long in our memories. But alas, all good things come to an end and we’ve had a truly awesome time, met some wonderful people and experienced many highs and great times.

The whole adventure had been really special and we both feel very lucky to have had the opportunity to see the World – pretty much on our own terms, having no plan whatsoever, only to arrive in Buenos Aires and go with the flow. Argentina was superb, we wish we’d met our tango instructor sooner though know we’ll take it up when we eventually settle back in the UK. The friends we met whilst learning Spanish will remain good friends – some of whom are already planning to visit London later this year.

Machu Picchu was everything and more than we expected – at one stage we had no plans to see it, so very glad we decided to get to Lima and onto Cuzco – it was mind-blowing. Having no plan saw us leave South America to meet up with friends in SE Asia, Jamie and Lisa in Vietnam, our little holiday within our trip – Vietnam was such a beautiful country and travelling by train, north to south we pretty much saw all of it and so want to go back.

Whilst Phnom Phen wasn’t for us, the rest of Cambodia was – seeing the small river town of Kampot was a highlight with many drunken nights spent in the Rusty Keyhole, drinking cold beers and enjoying great food to meeting up with our friends Dave and Katie, en route to London having been to a wedding in Australia. Seeing Angkor Wat with them both – we couldn’t have hoped for two better intrepid explorers!

Thailand was everything we though it wasn’t – we were both expecting Bangkok to be a little bit like Old Delhi, ramshackle and broken, dirty and not really for us so imagine our surprise to see multiple high-rise office blocks on a par with New York – an incredible metropolis though it the places outside of Bangkok we truly enjoyed – visiting the Islands and being able to climb in Krabi, a longish term ambition of mine. To visiting the north, making friends in Chiang Mai and our nights inside Pinkys – a fine watering hole with some great characters though none more than Fon and Graeme – unfortunately the photo I have of Graeme is long deleted though the image has been burned into my memory!

Then there was India and our being spoilt rotten by Ram Mama and Madhu Mami, both of whom gave up their bed and fed us plenty of home cooked food, which after being on the road for so long was very welcome. Rather than visit the same places we opted to see more of the north and the foothills of the Himalayas. Having now been to Leh I can categorically say that this is my favourite place in India – riding our Enfield in the mountains, riding over the first and third highest motorable passes was a real highlight. Seeing Goa in a monsoon (and meeting our friend Tony from Chiang Mai, randomly paying for something in a supermarket) and for me bathing in Ganga Mata in Varanasi, for no other reason than, why not!

We’re now in Greece, have been for about two or so weeks – relaxing before we head back to London and finding somewhere to live, rebuilding our careers and planning the next stage of our lives with memories of this year shaping our future. It’s been a wonderful adventure and I couldn’t have had a better person to travel with, be with and to share all these wonderful times with than my wife and co-pilot Shelley, none of this would have been possible nor as much fun with out her – it’s been a blast babes x

The End!

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16 Responses to “As our journey comes to an end…”

  1. It looks like you and Shelley have been so fortunate to have met what seems to be lifelong friends. I’m so glad that I had the chance to follow your journey off and on and I’ve learned so much. I know that you are gearing up to face the reality of settling back in London, but you have carved out some pretty awesome memories you two that will stay with you forever! Way to go and enjoy your stay in Greece!

    • Hi Renee –

      Thanks for posting and for all your comments over the last ten or so months.

      This trip has been such a great adventure, one of the best though we’re now ready to get back, hit the job market and get going again though I have a sneaking suspicion that sometime in the future we’ll be planning another trip! No idea where or how long but having made the jump this time, next time should be a breeze….

      We hope!

  2. Rich said

    Great final blog Craig, really enjoyed it.
    I can honestly say that our trip wouldn’t have been the same if we hadn’t have met you and Shelley.
    See you back in the UK fella!

    Rich

    • Likewise, Cuzco will live long in the memory – by far my favourite place in South America (though did only see a handfull of places) still gutted we didn’t get to go for our shaman experience 😉 though a certain disco did make up for it (which you dodged BTW!)

      Can’t wait to meet up with you guys as well, hopefully before Chrimbo then if not the new year.

      We’re still planning to move that way but think London for initial 6 months then come the NY…

      TC you guys and see you very soon!!

  3. Shelley said

    Also:

    Still missing Camilla & Thomas, Alena, Joe, Bob, Sabine and an honorary mention to Jeff in Buenos Aires with whom we consumed kilos of meat and litres of wine.

    Lucy & Richard, without whom the streets of Cuzco would be plain boring (remember the night out in the ‘club’)

    Our fellow passengers Christiane, Claus, Andrea, Christian and the crew on the epic sailing on The Grande Francia

    Vic and the friends at The Rusty Keyhole in Cambodia who made sure we had plenty of British grub to keep us from feeling homesick!

    Fon, Graham, Tony, Richard, Malc and the lovely Minty at Pinky’s where we played endless rounds of pool and ate yummy handmade burgers.

    A journey is nothing if not for the people you meet along the way!

    Shelley

  4. Shelley said

    And those who we met along the way who we learned a lot from. From Philip on the boat to Salome, Spanish teacher and Christian, tango teacher. Our lives have been enriched in more ways than we could ever put down on a Cv but we have the photos, the memories and the blogs to remind us! 😉

  5. toogreytogrind said

    The end! Guess that’s what I said after my first trip to South America. Sounded like you have a great time on this trip, but this type of travel is addictive. Could be The Start.

    Some bike trips through Europa, North Africa, Iceland etc. idea?

    • As I said to Renee (aviewtoathrill) above – no doubt they’ll be more…

      Liking the idea of a bike trip. I’ve noticed that all over Greece there are Transalps and Africa Twins, I’m thinking that the ‘Twin might be my next bike – they’re certainly cheap enough and having ridden one a couple of years back, good fun. As for a trip, take a ferry to Bilbao, ride through Spain, cross over to Tangier and do a circular trip there for a couple of weeks before heading back.

      Just need to get Simpo in gear…

  6. Its a question i’ve been asking – the ZZR1400 rocket or the all singing all dancing 750, fully loaded go anywhere ‘twin – I reckon thats the way ahead.The head down nailing it and losing your licence is not for me.

    And stop thinking about 650.

  7. Sooty said

    Mate, welcome back to you both. My evenings are going to be slightly duller without having your journey to follow!!
    I’m sure you have loads to sort out,but let me know when you have some free time as i’ld love to catch up again.
    Now go and sort out you dhobi you crabby minger!!!!!
    Sooty.

    • Hi Sooty – good to hear from you mate and apologies for my slow response, I’ve been decorating the mother-in-laws flat in lieu of rent and only just finished. Definitely we should meet up though I’m now in the middle of job hunting but not sure how your shifts are at the moment but we’re (all the guys) getting togerther over the bonfire weekend (4,5 & 6 Novemeber) and if the weather is good we’re heading to Stanage in the Peak District to go climbing, or if bad, we’re camping in Uffington (nr Oxford) and having a bonfire/fireworks/several ales in the local pub. Let me know if you’re keen…

  8. my new blog: http://www.coolyourjetsiv.wordpress.com come and have a look!

  9. Sapna said

    Adventurous!!

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