From Kavousi to the Great Wall and back

Regular readers will be aware that we have been away for six weeks travelling in China and SE Asia. We arrived back in Crete last Monday tired after the long flights, to find all well with both house and car. So όλα καλά (all is well) as they say hereabouts!

It’s too early to digest everything that has happened to us while we have been away and to be able to put anything in context, let alone comment on the multitude of contrasting emotions and experiences that have engulfed us. At the moment, we are just concentrating on getting our diaries up to date and sorting out the photographs but you can be assured that if great thoughts should burst to the surface, we will be granting you the favour of our wisdom at some future date!

Suffice it to say for the present that we had a memorable, somewhat tiring but extremely enjoyable six weeks.  I liked almost everything about our trip, especially the Great Wall and the Terracotta Army in China, time spent with Gillie and Alan in Shanghai and with Emily in Hangzhou, the fireworks in Hong Kong, Halong Bay and cycling in Vietnam and the temples at Angkor Wat in Cambodia. Temperatures ranged from -15C in Beijing to +35C in Phnom Penh so there was lots to carry!

The local people we met were nearly all friendly although we did manage to become the victims of one minor scam in Beijing! Generally the food was delicious and very cheap and the hotels were normally very comfortable. We also got on well with the folk on our tour of Vietnam and Cambodia and hope to see at least some of them again.

However, on the downside, I realise that I do prefer to eat with a knife and fork rather than with chopsticks and we did spend many hours whilst travelling in Vietnam and Cambodia, sitting in buses which was not very interesting because the country was generally very flat. China is also very polluted and the cities everywhere, with the notable exception of Hong Kong are pretty uninviting places in terms of the quality of the air, prevalence of rubbish and obvious poverty.

Rather than ramble on about individual places and issues, I have chosen a selection of photographs which sum up my memories. Sheila may have others and if so, episode two may follow!

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Oh and the beer was pretty good too!

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Since we got back, the weather has been warm and sunny. Yesterday in particular gave every indication that Spring may have arrived.

We cycled the high road to Tholos (our nearest beach) and stopped at a secluded cove for an unscheduled swim.

The water was OK but there was a strong undertow so the dip was short!

However, we were able to dry off in the sun before pedalling back to Kavousi, noting that the almond blossom was beginning to come out.

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Our Greek lessons re-start tomorrow morning, which is a cause of some anxiety as no doubt we will be expected to report in detail on our trip. Help!

John

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