Second adventure this time to Iceland

Day 1
Volunteering project this time is environmental one, starts in 2 days so have some free time first. Gatwick is a pain to get to as traffic bad and no easy train route from Essex. So book the gatwick flyer from parents, £63 return not bad! Mini bus turned up early, that’s unexpected but better than being late! Am I first I say? You’re the only passenger! Oh, can’t make much money hey! Easy journey with no traffic so at terminal nice and early. Starting to feel like that tom hanks character in the terminal I’m at one so often! I’m flying with WOW airline! Ever heard of them? No me neither but cheap so I’ll let you know! I get a lovely huge purple name tag for my luggage with WOW on it just so everyone can see who I’m with! Window seat though so may see northern lights? And my baggage was 2kg too heavy, (that’ll be the Christmas pudding and tin of biscuits I’ve packed for international night!) and no excess charge, better than BA!
No wifi at gatwick, shocking!! Realise my headphones are broken, damn you! £10 later from dixons!! I have 4 hours to kill, pret a manger, whsmiths, reading, then eventually head off to gate. Now I’ve dressed sensibly as assuming its icy there. Hoodie, ski coat and boots! No trainers just walking boots, timberlands, slippers and flip flops for pool! As I see other passengers most are less sensibly attired! Am I wrong or will they be cold? I have spotted a trekking looking couple though so at least I’m not as geeky as that, phew!
The plane is purple! It really is an Icelandic easy jet! No leg room, no free refreshments but as it’s only for 3 hours. Good flight, clear skies for half of it. Panic half way when they start talking about how to get from airport to Reyjakvik, omg thought I was landing in town, is there two airports? did I book coach transfer wrong? Can’t check e mails! Aaahhhh. Calm down and realise if I have I’ll just go to the info desk and change!
As we leave plane the staff are on ceremony, now the little purple sailor hats look ok pinned onto the women’s heads but when the captain pops out and wears one he just looks like he’s at a gay bar!
Everything’s closed at airport as it’s nearly midnight, although duty free open so decide to buy a bottle of alcohol for New Year’s Eve. Issue is I don’t like anything! Wine to expensive, no cider there! And no pimms. Settle on Bacardi, safe option. People seem to be in sensible footwear now, not sure how that’s changed? One group of girls were laughing at one of their friends as they decided she had the most inappropriate footwear in the customs line! Boots with a kitten heel.
Head out to coaches and I did it all correctly, thankfully! And there’s snow, well ice but looks pretty after muddy England!
Journey is 45 min, the Icelandic decorate their houses with very understated and pretty Christmas lights, on balconies and windows. Much prettier than chavy England! We drop some people at the hilton and grand hotel? Miles from town and just like staying in an English hotel? Each to their own though!
Those of us not staying in the posh hotels get dropped in downtown and split into minibuses. I notice a Chinese girl with a bloody face mask. Isn’t Iceland one of the least likely to be polluted countries?? So weird! And now I’m pleased with my footwear. Ice everywhere! That kitten girl will go arse over!
My illusion of wonderful Iceland is smashed already. Graffiti on walls in town. Not what I imagined?
The drivers don’t care about the ice here, just get on with it. That’s what we should do!
I am dropped at the end of the road for my guesthouse, have to trek down the icy road to get there but manage without an embarrassing fall. The host is up and welcomes me in. Then he hits me with the fact he’s overbooked and I have to go somewhere else that he has booked. It’s bloody 1am!! Not happy, and he doesn’t help me with my case back out the house back up the icy road and a 5 min walk to his friends hostel! Just smokes his filthy fag and chats a bit. Gggrrrrr!
He redeems himself when I get there as it’s 3 flights of stairs, and carries my case. Nice place but in the only one so not going to meet people which was my idea when booking! At least it’s a bed and a nice view of the cathedral. And no need to pull blind down as no sun until midday. I’m here, in Iceland. Bucket list tick!!! Yay 🙂


31 hour commute cusco to essex

First challenge, was my suitcase within baggage allowance! Yes, bang on. Although that meant I did indeed leave nearly 40kg of stuff for the orphans! The problem with booking connecting flights through an agency is timings don’t always match up! So after flight one I had 8 hours at an airport to kill. Was planning on checking baggage in them sightseeing in Lima. You walk out of arrivals to a gaggle of Peruvians……
Taxi taxi Madame! I is official, look, see!!! Gggrrrrrr!! Anyway over to check in, noooooo inertia not open for 4 hours! Can’t cart luggage into Lima so airport for the day it is! Off for some lunch but more harassment trying to sit in a cafe, every man and his friend try to convince you what you should be doing! Well I sit down and start people watching to amuse myself!
There’s a lady stuck on carpet mat they have at escalators, heavy box falling off noone helps, just walk around her, then there’s a woman pushing trolley in platforms and leopard print leggings….really! Backpackers with everything but the kitchen sink hanging from rucksack, looking rather unclean from the travelling. Newbies being caught out by taxi harassers en route out of airport. Going to be costly. Business class do have a snobbishness walk about them, no queuing and knowing they’ll have a bed! Lucky them!
Peruvian pair of ladies, one with the biggest muffin top her jeans are buckling under the weight and her mate in bright pink leggings and tight top, see through too. No idea where they’re going, walk last four times!
Sat between a gay British man and an Adolph hitler look a like, now that’s a mix!! A British man asks if we’re waiting for Madrid flight then his Peruvian wife turns up, huge age gap!! Internet wife maybe? The man then asks if there’s many people in the queue, there is no queue it’s not bloody open! Then as soon as a few bodies appear at check in area about 15 go and queue. The flights in 4 hours what is the bloody rush!!!
Random ‘cool dudes’ walking past in sunglasses, it’s not sunny outside let alone inside sados!
Gay man trotted off to business class, didn’t gauge that!! After 4 1/2 hours of waiting check in opened yay! Which also meant I could go for a wee. Daren’t leave my luggage before. After heading through passport control I looked for the phone shop to return hired phone. Nowhere. Start panicking. I have this bloody phone what do I do. No information desk so finally find an English speaking security guy who sorts it. They pick it up from my gate. Phew! Loving the toilets with seats, toilet roll and a flush. Luxury!!
See the odd couple again at passport control, he’s called into immigration office.
I’m looking forward to my movie time on the plane. As I get on I’m right at the back, next to a man. He then asks to move. Wow, I offended quickly! The planes half empty so he heads in a free row. Fair enough. Just settled in and the disappointment hits. No tv on chair in front, no movies to choose from. Gutted! Shitty airbus! Then work out why man moved, he can sleep on the row of 4 chairs and get comfy. Missed a trick there! But I have 2 seats to myself. Have a fat Peruvian child behind me, can tell I’m tired as I’m ready to shout at the annoying child for her constant banging the chair. Weird couple get on plane so clearly immigration freed him!
Load of crappy documentaries on generic tv! So crap. Food good though, metal cutlery! Although the dried milk in the tea looks all lumpy, interesting!
Flight pretty good in the end, got some sleep.
Second connecting flight was a half hour walk. So time passed quickly. Again the plane wasn’t full so space next to me, although a very arrogant looking Spanish woman with her guggi bag plonks it down in the spare seat, cheeky cow. I fall asleep and wake up to find her spread out even more, using the table as well.
Weird couple on this plane too, just keep seeing them. It’s just an odd set up I can’t but look at them!
My fear of flying I had for a few years seems to be cured after about 13 flights this year, however the landing at London was a bit hairy, must be the fog!
Waiting at baggage claim I pop to the loo, not only are they posh looking and clean but Christmas songs playing. Made me smile! ‘Driving home for Christmas yeah’. Very apt!
I now have the joy of travelling across the capital to get picked up. Love the tube. Forgot it was rush hour! Firstly there’s people having an argument down one end, then a drunk rasta man mumbling. I hop off at hammersmith to change tubes, didn’t realise you have to trek across the busy road in the rain! Mistake! Head back on tube. Drunks at tower hill, and that’s the older generation! Christmas jumpers around. Great fun. An hour and a half later I get to my pick up and there’s my mum and pooch greeting me, what an excellent greeting!!
Shame the roads were an issue and it takes nearly 2 hours to do a 30 min drive. Some of that’s due yo my mums snail like driving but most due to the national car park!
31 hours later I’m home!!


Last days at the orphanages

Returning from lake titicaca at 5am off the night bus should mean straight to sleep but I was planning on going to see the inca ruins sexy woman (it sounds like that but has a ketchwan name), but half hour too late for sunrise so it was back to bed for a few hours. I wanted to be up for girls so set alarm for 9.30. Missed spending time with them, it’s going to be hard to leave. We did some work books and Christmas decorations, they are just happy being occupied and with company. One of the girls Esther is very attached to me now. So lovely, makes me feel needed and special. Posh Essex girl headed off to boys to practice nativity play with them, so I stayed on my own. Rare that you are on your own but don’t want to miss anytime with girls now and they’d have no one if I headed to boys. Whilst other volunteers have to move like sheep or sit and socialise with each other, that is not what I came out here to do!! We went to the park for an hour, rain had stopped but still muddy. Girls love it there. They swing upside down on monkey bars, swing for absolutely ages on swings, play on seesaws and madly go head first and backwards down the slide! I had to catch them from falling in the mud. Before they were allowed into house again they had to clean their trainers from any mud. They sat there for 30 minutes using sticks to get mud out. Can you imagine English kids doing that!! Even I couldn’t be arsed after 15 mins, thought I’d just take mine off before walking in. But they sat here happily making sure every last trace of mud was off and proud to show their clean shoes off!
Headed into town to get Christmas pressies at lunch. Got some amazing presents but spent loads too. My suitcase may be heavy again after donating loads of clothes that emptied spaces! Spent the afternoon with girls again, arts and crafts and more games. The youngest girl is such a cheat its hilarious. Playing Chinese checkers and she just moves about 20 places in one go, I turned around to answer someone’s question and upon return she’d won!! Bless. Only noticed today (didn’t realise how unobsevant I am) that this youngest girl has half her middle finger missing. Scary to think what could of caused it!
In the evening I had invited all the volunteers over for dinner, my turn to cook en mass! I only ever cook for me, well and maybe my dog!!, so a bit nervous. Posh Essex girl was my sou chef and did a grand job! Fajitas went down well so gold star for me. Yay! Although the youngsters showing their live at parents habits didn’t offer to wash up at all, at least grandad and Swiss girl noticed me washing up after cooking and stepped in. Rude habits but then they are young hey! We all then headed into town for our last night out. Well almost all. Grandad asked Swiss girl if she wanted to come out, her response was ‘I have 3 blankets at home, so no thanks’, such a random answer he had no comeback!! Went to our usual tourist bar to start, then inca team where lazy posh girl went behind bar again! In her element and fun to watch, and this time joined by frizzy and flirty. No free drinks unfortunately but all three had a bartenders gyrating with them permanently! So entertaining none the less! And one of the bartenders girlfriends came over and made a scene. Hilarious!! Having a go at him in front of everyone. Take that Mr! As usual it seems there is a token drunk Peruvian throwing up whilst asleep at bar! Also token fat drunk Peruvian dancing with anyone who makes eye contact! I had three free drinks tickets but donated one to an Oz man, who seemed friendly. However then him and his mates were doing a fab impression of Peruvian sharks on the dance floor!! One tried it on with me, then posh Essex girl then flirty! Hilarious!
Grandad hammered by this point and swaying on the spot whilst talking. Flirting with frizzy. Essex Akon is a sensible drinker and had to avert lots of attention from flirty. I mean real flirtatiousness, his hands in his pockets and her hands grabbing his arms trying to hold hands, love it. I then went for a drink and bartender pointed at tips box, kiss he says, why not so I snogged a Peruvian! Most action I’ve had in months!! And bagged a free drink!
Had a fab night dancing and then decided to move on to another club. Got there and man on top of bar dancing suddenly strips, tucks his willy between his legs and gyrates to the whole club! As Essex akon called it, he had a mangina!
I befriend another gay man. Love them, so friendly. Flirty still trying it on with Essex akon but then pulls a tourist. Drunk grandad chatting to posh Essex girl about life, one of those nights!!
Head home at 4am, don’t want to see girls getting up for school in morning again but posh Essex girl and I chat until 5 about the trials and tribulations of life too!!
Up at 10 to spend last day with girls. Feel a tad hungover which makes me emotional. Cry at least 4 times before the evening! Love these girls! Have brought some gifts from England for girls but not enough for one each so buy more locally. Hats and scarves. Head back and hand out. They love them, hug me lots. Tell me to return at 8pm to say goodbye! Off to boys to say bye. Grandad and posh Essex girl are cooking for boys. Not enough for volunteers as huge portions dished out, oops!! I hand bibs out to boys that I brought over. They fight over them but love them. Wear them for dinner…wrong kind of bib boys! Lol
I have to beg boys I teach to wear bloody bibs in England.
Do a leaving speech, cry! Say bye to all boys getti and giving hugs and kisses, my little angel is the best hugger, and head to girls. They put a show on for me! I cried straight away. Christmas cards, leaving cards, bracelets, 2 speeches, songs, dancing, me looking stupid all in aid of me and my volunteering. Love them. Made me feel special and that I’ve made an impact in 5 weeks! Hand over my bags of clothes etc and say my goodbyes! Although hope to get up in morning to see them off to school.
Head out for last drink with volunteers. Posh Essex girl moody as no food all day. Nutter! So stays home. Quiet night for the rest of us just chatting. Nice bunch but not bonded with those as much as posh Essex girl, polish nutter and marine wife!
Our plan was to get up for sunrise and go to see sexy woman-inca ruins. Frizzy kept calling it sexy sunrise. Not sure what the taxi man would offer for that request!
At 4.40am I get up but looks cloudy, no point if it is, so snooze for 10 more minutes. No still cloudy so won’t see sunrise so back to sleep. Up at 7.30 to say bye to older girls before school. Cry again! Have brekkie then back for last half hour with girls. Tell Esther I’ve asked to be godmother, she hugs me so hard! Bless. I bought her a Christmas pressie yesterday. Never bought girly stuff before so that was a first! It’s a princess horse and carriage that plays music and blows bubbles!
Say goodbye cry again! Staff member cries, hugs me, won’t let me go? She’s the thieving suspect so all a bit weird! Made me a tad uncomfortable to be honest, OTT?? She then asks for my keys which I apprehensively give, then panic that she’ll go to posh Essex girls room whilst out and rob her again!! Pretend I’ve locked my room and need them back! Phew!
Bless posh Essex girl, she comes to airport with me to check all is ok. Been a good friend these 5 weeks and hope to keep on touch.
My adventure is over!! Well for now, and only one suitcase to carry home! Yay!