Home > Europe > Observations from another planet called home

Observations from another planet called home

Feeling more than a bit alien, we were home.

It’s so green, it’s so clean, look how big the roads are, they are so smooth, there is no rubbish, we haven’t heard  single horn yet – IT’S SO COLD!

 

 

 

our last night - Delhi Airport floor

It is good to be back – the trip was amazing, but it was intense, and the chance to unwind and decompress is very welcome. We wander around just appreciating everything – simple things like being able to wake up and make a coffee, or being able to clean your toothbrush under a running tap, eating some salad, walking along a pavement, looking a dog in the eye, not holding the kids hands 24 hours a day – all the simple things we take for granted.

 

Theo, with his toddler honesty had a few classics; walking into the house for the first time, with no previous recollection and thinking it was another hotel. He looked around wide eyed, “this hotel – it’s beautiful” – he is very happy to be here. A week later, he had his first afternoon at pre-school, coming out of the classroom at the end of his session he pronounce excitedly, “mummy – they all speak English!”. So funny, it is the simplest things that make the most difference.

 

People often ask us, “what is your favourite bit”, and it is impossible to find an absolute favourite, the year is more of a collection of standout moments, but we do all have our own personal favourites. Sticking to three each, we chatted it though and came up with our family list, it was a tough choice, but in the end, some common favourites emerged:

 

Alan:

  1. Salt Flats of Northern Argentina
  2. Snorkelling the Great Barrier Reef
  3. Amber Fort – Jaipur – India

 

Jo:

  1. Salinas Grandes – Argentina
  2. Halong Bay – Vietnam
  3. Taj Mahal

 

Kai:

  1. Iguazu Falls
  2. Great barrier Reef
  3. Camel trekking

 

Elena:

  1. Taj Mahal
  2. Great barrier Reef
  3. Iguazu Falls

 

Theo:

  1. Coming back through the front door of home
  2. Swimming in Koh Mak
  3. Running in the biggest sand dune in the world – the Thar desert
  4. Playing on Daddy’s i-phone

 

We also put our heads together to compile our best of / worst of; giving some idea of what we really experienced:

 

  • Best sunset – Colonial del Sacramento over Rio De la Plata
  • Best sunrise – Ganges at Varanasi
  • Best Ice cream – Colonial del sacrament – Uruguay
  • Most ATM’s – Saigon
  • Worst Postal service – Vietnam
  • Worst coffee – India
  • Best steak – in Cafayette – Argentina
  • Worst car journey – tie between Cachi Road and Shimla to Dharmshala
  • Best wine – Argentine Torrontes white
  • Best Empanadas – square in Salta with celery dip
  • Best indigenous food – Cittoraha’s homestay Jodhpur
  • Highest Altitude reached – 4210m
  • Biggest shock – crossing monkey bridge in dark with children and backbacks
  • Most unsafe – Buenos Aires
  • Best waterfalls – Iguazu Falls Argentina/Brazil
  • Best trek – camel trek in Thar Desert India
  • Best stars – Australia
  • Most motor bikes – Saigon
  • Best boat ride – Arriving in Queen Charlotte sound South Island
  • Best white beach – Koh Mak
  • Best Black Beach – Okoura – North island
  • Longest train – Rajastan – 72 carraiges
  • Wettest Night – Arthurs Pass Zealand
  • Best Nature experience – Diving great Barrier Reef
  • Friendliest people – Thailand
  • Slimmest people – Vietnam
  • Longest journey – Jaisalmer to Varanasi – 35 hours in train
  • Best Dal – Pahar Ganj – New Delhi
  • Best internet access – Argentina
  • Worst internet access – New Zealand
  • Best Camping spot – Beach near Greymouth blow holes South Island
  • Best Train – Rajastani Express 1st Class
  • Second best camping spot – Side of Mount Taranaki Volcano
  • Best food – Chick-pea and lamb  stew in Salta
  • Best Museum – Bangkok Singapore Hanoi Wellington – all brilliant
  • Best Massage – Wat Pho – Bangkok
  • Best Opium – Bishnoi Village Jodhpur
  • Best Accommodation – Bijaipur Castle
  • Worst Accommodation – Dharmshala
  • Cleanest city – Singapore
  • Dirtiest City – New Delhi
  • Coldest water – Valporaiso
  • Warmest water – Port Douglas – Tropical Queensland
  • Best bike ride – Mr Hugo Wine tasting – Mendoza
  • Most Expensive – Australia
  • Cheapest – Thailand
  • Best tea – Masala Chai at dawn in Thar desert
  • Worst tea- Tibetan tea Dharmshala
  • Best Beer – Czech Republic
  • Best busses – Argentina
  • Best trains -India
  • Worst trains – India
  • Most dangerous roads – India
  • Most budhha’s – Thailand
  • Spiciest food – Thailand
  • Windiest City – Wellington
  • Coldest City – Hanoi
  • Hottest City – Port Douglas Tropical Queensland
  • Best aircraft – LAN Airways
  • Worst Aircraft – British Airways
  • Most dangerous boat – speed boat to Koh Mak – Thailand
  • Most luxurious boat – junk in Halong Bay – Vietnam
  • Most reflective place – Hellfire Pass
  • Best place for your feet – Hot springs in NZ
  • Worst place for your feet – India
  • Best Cave – Surprise Cave– Halong Bay (closely followed by glow Worm Cave Waitomo)
  • Best Mine – Graphite Mine Czech Republic
  • Wettest country – New Zealand
  • Driest Country – India
  • Scabiest Dogs – Valporaiso Chile
  • Best handicrafts – India
  • Best food – Thailand
  • Healthiest food – Vietnam
  • Best swimming pool – Port Douglas Esplanade Cairns
  • Best place to Kayak – Halong Bay
  • Most bizarre religion – Cao Dai
  • Happiest Religion – Buddhism
  • Happiest Family – the Simpsons!

 

 

So with this blog we say a sad fairwell to our adventure. It is strange now – almost like we never went away with only our memories and our photos to sustain us in that special glow that we felt as we travelled around in our little family unit. For us it was unique and very special.

 

A big thank you to all of those who have followed our trip on the blog, some silently, others with welcome personal comments – we hope you enjoyed it.

 

Signing out with love from your Five Tourists XXxxx.

 

 

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Categories: Europe Tags: , ,
  1. Bambula Indijana xxx and kiwi Pauli
    April 25, 2012 at 8:39 pm

    Our beloved, tired but happy globetrotters,

    On behalf of the Lehmann and Thomas 5-tourist Blog Fan Clubs, we congratulate you to this amazing family achievement. We are relieved that you got to your final lovely hotel 🙂 in Sandbach,UK , safe and sound and that you will for ever treasure your memories from all those incredible places that you were lucky enough to visit.
    You are much richer then you ever were, though surely with less cash in the bank than a year ago 🙂 … We bet that It was so worth it, on all levels…

    You have proved to everyone what an exemplary family you are and we are all proud of you!

    Well done, Team !!!

    Lots of love
    Jana xx

  2. joe & verna
    April 25, 2012 at 11:56 pm

    What can be said after Jana,s comments except we are glad to see New Zealand featured in the best list a few times.
    We always looked forward to the next Blog and we hope we meet again to enjoy your company. Regards Joe & Verna

  3. Steve & Patricia Willis
    April 26, 2012 at 6:46 am

    Brilliant !

  4. fatclive
    April 26, 2012 at 9:47 am

    Sarah cried reading your last blog……..FFS!

    I say,well done.
    Right, what’s next?

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