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Diary Entries

Friday, 12 September 2008

Location: Isle of Wight, UK

And some from the Isle of Wight.

Friday, 12 September 2008

Location: UK

And some from Senegal.

Thursday, 11 September 2008

Location: UK

and a few more from Mali.

Saturday, 14 June 2008

Location: UK

and a few more from Benin, Togo and Ghana.

Saturday, 14 June 2008

Location: UK

And more from Benin, Togo and Ghana.

Thursday, 12 June 2008

Location: Tooting Bec, UK

And a few from Nigeria.

Thursday, 12 June 2008

Location: Tooting bec, UK

Here are a few photos from Cameroon, not in any particular order.

Wednesday, 26 March 2008

Location: Dakar, Senegal

Hi again, well we left Bamako on St Patricks Day. No green guiness for us. In fact no cold beer at all. Oh well. I spent the morning in the pool before we headed off for a few days of driving. We crossed into Senegal with a very quick border crossing. Lunch stop under a tree before heading off for more bush camping.

The next day we stopped at a place called Tambacounda we our cook group had to go shopping. How many different dishes can you cook with just tomatoes, garlic, onions and pasta?
After a very long 2 hour drive over the bumpiest road ever we got to our campsite in the national park, overlooking the river. It was beautiful. We sat in the bar and watched a hippo emerge every so often to see if we were still there. We spent a couple of nights at the the national park doing a walk, a game drive as well as an afternoon on a boat, floating past more hippos. They look really big especially when there is only a thin hull of a boat between you and them.

Another bush camp alongside a road that was more pothols than tarmac. and the best thing was.....they charged us to drive on it.

Easter Sunday had us waking before sunrise. No easter eggs for me. We averaged 20km/hr for the whole day over more pot holes before camping in a quarry under a huge yellow moon.
Then Dakar here we come. It was a bit of a culture shock to drive into a capital city after spending the past few days out in the bush, with no showers and no tarmac.
3 days spent in civilisation. Running water, electricity and pollution. Not the best. We wandered around the markets, streets and museums. Even spent a day heading out o the slave market. Lots to see, many people to meet. Dakar was great!!!

Sunday, 16 March 2008

Location: Bamako, Mali

We spent the day walking around Timbuktoo trying not to breath in the sand being blown everywhere. Even my tent nearly got blown off the top of the hotel where we were sleeping.

From there we headed off for a few more days of driving and bush camps.More waving at the local children. We camped under a huge escarpment, beside a village built into the rocks. Mo and I went for a walk around.I spent half the night sitting out under the stars gazing up in the heavens. Very pretty with no moon.

We headed to back to Sevare and stayed at the same hotel as last time. Relaxing evening packing our bags in preparation of the 3 day trek into the Dogons. The first day was an afternoon hike along the top of the escarpment before a near verticle drop in to the valley and then along through fields of lush greenery till we reached our roof top hotel for the night.

We had dinner and then watch a performance by the local women of a funeral ceremony. It went on for hours and was amazing to watch. whistle blowing, drums beating, women calling out. We sat there watching in awe. Bed time was having to climb up onto the roof via a tree trunk. I counted 4 shooting stars.

The next morning I awoke to find 3 little faces peering at me from the end of my sleeping bag. the local children were on their way to school. African donuts for breakfast before heading out on another massive day of treking through heat, sun and sand. Unfortunately no surf. We walked from village to village looking at the different architecture and speaking in pidgeon african french to the local children. Our next hotel was also on the roof. It was much cooler than on the ground. we lay in our sleeping bags listening to guns being shot and singing and music. It turned out to be a funeral ceremony and it went on all night. Amazing to lie there and listen and watch from afar as the torches being held by dancers were being flung around under the cliffs of the escarpment.

We spent another few days driving through Mali to get to Bamako the capital. Our campsite/hotel was on the edge of the river famous for its mosquitos. I covered myself in deet and they still got me.
We spent 3 nights in Bamako, going to the National Museum, and walking through the markets. Huge city built along the river. We also spent a lot of time lazing beside the pool. What else do you do in 40C heat. I especially enjoyed the view. It was a hangout for the local 'cool' crowd.

We ventured out one night craving red wine and pizza and we found the best pizza outside of Italy. Amazing !!!!!!! I think the red wine added to the experience. It was in the nirth of the city and I had to use all my pidgeon french/african to get us there. It might have helped to know the words for left and right and not to get them confused. hehehe

Friday, 07 March 2008

Location: Tombouctou, Mali

Hello, well it's been a very busy past 3 weeks since Accra.

We headed up throught the middle of Ghana, stopping at Mole National park to see some elephants. We watched from our campsite on the top of a hill as 14 elephants swam in a waterhole directly below us. We kept heading north crossing into Burkina Faso where we spent 5 days crossing the country to Ougadougou and then to Bobo-Delassi. Try and pronounce those names when you've had a few local beers. hehehe

In Ougadougou we spent the morning walkking around the city only to be encourqged back to our campsite by the militia who were walking around town all with the biggest guns I had ever seen. There had been localised riots and there was talk of a fullscale riot in the afternoon. what an excuse to spend the day beside the pool.

After Bobo we headed into Mali for some nights in the bush before heading by ferry across to Djenne to see it's famous mosque and surrounding markets. The colours, sights and sounds were amazing. Tuareg people everywhere where brightly coloured scarves and peering out at you with piercing eyes. After Djenne we jumped on a boat and cruised up the Niger river spending 3 days gettting to Tombuktou. We stopped off at a few villages along the way tto pick up chickens or fish for dinner, spent hours waving at people, children in particular, on the babks or on other boats. We counted 16 hippos in the water, some of them enormous !!!!!!!!!!!!! I decided then not to go swimming.
Today we walked around the old town of Timbuktoo looking at it's 3 old mosques and markets and tried not to get covered in the dust and sand that is everywhere. Tomo^rrow we head southwest across the country.

Tuesday, 19 February 2008

Location: Accra, Ghana

Hello all, Am in Acrra at the mo about to head west to Elmina to spend some time on the beach then north to Kumasi to see the Ashanti capitol.

From Cotonou in Benin we headed to Grandpopo beach and then kept going west to Togo and then into Ghana. More beaches, lots of people around for the football cup, even Bush is making an appearance tonight. We spent last night in the pub with 20 of the US Marines that are here to 'protect him'. They are supposed to be secret service but after a stomach full of the local brew all the secrets came out. it was very entertaining having a 'discussion' with someone who other than for his job, would never have got a passport and left the country, to say that 'all the middle eastern countries are shit and that they don't produce anything'. When i mentioned oil, he said that they didn't produce it they just took it from the ground. Unbelievable how narrow minded they can be. oh...... and I now know all about Bush's visit, where he is going, staying and even that he is only here for 2 days not the advertised 3. so much for the secret service.

I have finally found some sweet chillli sauce. heaven !!!!! so avocadoes here I come.

Tuesday, 12 February 2008

Location: Cotonou, Benin

hi all, sorry about the spelling in advance but the keyboard is a la africa.

since my lqst email wa have travelled through Cameroon into Nigeriq qnd from there to Benin. It's been very hot qnd sticky qnd humid not helped by the fqct thqt we haven,t had running water in most of the places we have stayed at.

Qfter leaving N'goundere we headed through the Camaroonian bush north west to Waza National Park where we saw some giraffes and lots of ants and mossies.

We then headed west to Nigeria taking nearly 5 hours to get qcross the border, into another national park called Yankari National PArk where we saw elephants galore.lots of babies!!!!
We spent the qfternoons lazing about in the warm springs. Heaven !!!!

From there we headed to Jos where we checked out the locql museums and sampled the local cuisine. Chilli everywhere.

After a few more dqys in the bush we crossed into Benin and stqyed in q cqmpsite in Abomey. it is the centre of the Danhomey capitol/religion. We scooted qround on mopeds having a look at local handicrafts and sampling more local food. We even went to a voodoo ceremony one night which was amazing !!!!! lots of costumes, dancing, singing, drums and twirling. Great fun.

We went from ther to Cotonou to apply for our Ghanian visas, only to be told they would take 3 days. so we headed to Grand Popo beach for some time in the sun. swimming in a warm atlantic ocean, eating seafood, and going to another voodoo ceremony this time for 3 hours. what more can you ask for?

We spent 2 afternoons on boat, once going around a stilt village looking at the houses in the middle of a lake, and the fishermen on their boats, qnd qnother spent in the mangroves going qcross to a village to walk around and look at more voodoo fetishes.

Back to Cotonou last night in an attempt to pick up our visas this morning then off to Togo tomorrow.

Thursday, 24 January 2008

Location: Ngedonderie, Cameroon

hi again;

am somewhere in north Cameroon after spending the past fewnd are very much looking forward to a shower:

kath x

Thursday, 17 January 2008

Location: Douala, Cameroon

yes I am back to living out of a backpack. joy of joys.

Having only just arrived yesterday I don't have much to say, other than to share the fact that we spent 4 hours sitting at the Nigerian embassy today trying to get our visa. A little smiling and some under the table passing of a 'donation' enabled us to get them sorted in one day rather than one week.

Sunday, 28 October 2007

Location: Tooting Bec, England

Oh my gosh !!!!!!! My photo is on the title page again !!! Yeah !!!

Thursday, 25 October 2007

Location: Richmond Park, England

Last Saturday (my birthday !!) I went to Richmond Park to try and find some deer.

As you can see I did. It was beautiful walking around in the mist before dawn, but really cold. !!

Monday, 15 October 2007

Location: Tooting Bec, England

Yay !!! my photo made it to the front page. !!!!!

Sunday, 07 October 2007

Location: Libya

I got back a couple of weeks ago from Libya. An interesting country, but I have to say I'm never going to a 'dry' country in the middle of Ramadan again.

But it was nice having a bit of sunshine, though the only bits of me that saw the sun, were my hands and feet and face. Everything else was covered up.

I had a great week anyway. Lots of Roman, Greek and Byzantium ruins to see. We went to Leptus Magna, Sabratha, Tripoli and many others. We spent most of the time by the coast, which was great. Nice cool breezes and lovely sunsets. We went in some beautiful mosques, walked along covered walkways and did some people watching.

Friday, 07 September 2007

Location: Cornwall, England

well I've decided that I must have been a blackberry eating druid in a past life. I spent a week driving around Cornwall in the rain, following random signs to various stone circles and standing stones, and little stone huts built into the ground.

All great fun, as long as I ignored the rain, slippery firlds covered in cow poo, and prickly blackberry vines.

I also took in a bit of culture and saw a few old houses, ancient abbeys and walled gardens. Not to mention many cream teas with clotted cream and icecreams on the beach, trying to pretend it was warm. I caught a little row boat over to St Micheal's Mount and walked through St Ives, and even ventured long the north coast of Cornwall following the track from tin mines to tin mines.

Now I'm back in London. I passed my Tropical Nursing Diploma...Yay !!!!!!

And have unfortunatley been put on another course by work. I thought I'd packed up my computer and writing table for a while. Am looking foreward to next week though. Am off to Libya to walk around even more ancient ruins and I get to play with my new camera.
love Kath.x

Saturday, 02 June 2007

Location: Havana, Cuba

Well 2 weeks in Cuba was an eye-opener! There is something to say for democracy.

We spent our time going anti-clockwise around the island sampling many concoctions of rum and a variety of juices. Many of our own design. Seafood for dinner many nights as well as the obligatory rice and beans, and 'salad', which was mainly a plate of cabbage.

We left Havana and headed south to Trinidad (not the island), via Cienfuegos for lunch. We had what we coud only call 'boiled alien'. It was supposed to be calamari, but they had boiled it with some unknown red stuff (probably old socks). Absolutely gross!

We finally got to Trinidad, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It's a quant town of cobbled streets, villas and courtyards. We spent a couple of nights there, heading to the beach for an afternoon, stolling around the streets, looking at the houses and doing some people watching. We sampled the local bars and clubs, and I became addicted to salsa (and mojitos).

We then headed up into the mountains searching for Fidel's hideout up amongst the forest. We saw snakes, spiders and even a few crabs, but no 'human' guerillas. After hiking up to his old house and camp headquarters we got back to our cabins to discover no water. No problem...we just jumped in the very fast flowing river and kept holding on to the rocks to stop floating away. Bex even managed to wash her hair without floating away.
Dinner that night was in a local farmhouse. They had cooked a baby pig on the spit for us. We filled up on fried banana and cava, and then pork, crackling and more rice and beans. Yum !!!

Off we headed the next morning to Santiago de Cuba. Cuba's second biggest city. More colonial mansions and wide streets. Another lobster for dinner, before heading out on the town. More dancing.... I'm addicted now. I ran into Leo, an SHO I worked with at St George's. It's a very small world. We dragged him and his friends out with us to the next club and made them twirl us around the dance floor most of the night.
We also spent a night at a cabaret show Lots of girls in skimpy costumes.

From there, we headed to Baracoa on the eastern point of the island. Supposedly famous for its chocolate, although it was mothing special. Our hotel was on the top of a hill, overlooking the town and across the bay to the mountains. To get there, we drove past Guantanamo Bay -couldn't see much, just a few buildings in the background.
We spent an afternoon walking around the town and along the water's edge.
Then I spent the next day lazing by the pool, working on loosing my London tan, whilst the others walked up a mountain.

We drove north and west back to Havana. Stopping along the way at a few towns, Holguin, Camaguey and Santa Cara - not very attractive. More rum and seafood.

Back to Havana, where the four of us spent a day doing some last minute shopping, rum drinking and listening to music. Havana is an old interesting city. People everywhere......sitting in doorways, standing around on corners and leaning out of windows. Lots of great old american cars everywhere.

I wouldn't go back to Cuba, but I do think people should go, if only for a week. Before it changes.

Sunday, 27 May 2007

Location: somewhere on a beach, Cuba

Just a quick note to say hi. Am somewhere on the southeast point of Cuba. Overlooking the beach, about to go enjoy yet another mojito.
We've been working on our tans, dancing salsa with the locals, and eating seafood most nights. It's lobster tonight!!!!!

Having a great time. Kxxx

Wednesday, 16 May 2007

Location: Richmond, England

Johnny's 40th. !!!
Any excuse for a work gathering. A great night by the river in Richmond.

And ankle is still intact. Despite all the dancing.

Friday, 11 May 2007

Location: Tooting Bec, England

It's time for another update.

Over the past few weeks I've been out and about in Kent, Devon and Kew.
The weather's been great, the sun out and all the flowers blooming.

Here are a few snaps.

Bec, and I are off to Cuba in a week. Till then.....

Saturday, 07 April 2007

Location: Picadilly Circus, England

Yes, photographic proof. I fell and sprained my ankle. (All the boys' fault for buying me champagne). Photos will be added as the bruising progresses.

Saturday, 07 April 2007

Location: Kent, England

I spent a few days driving around Kent, chasing daffodils, crocuses and badgers, not to mention the occasional peacock. Here are a few photos from Kent, Lewis, Kew Gardens and Hampton Court Palace.

Friday, 16 March 2007

Location: Clapham Junction, England

Im sitting here at work, waiting for my last few patients to turn up. It's a beautiful bright sunny day, the daffodils are out and people have actually ventured out to cafes with tables on the pavements.

It's a bit like home, when the first sighting of a cicada heralds the coming of summer. Though I still haven't spotted the first pair of lilly white english legs in a pair of shorts yet. Seeing James at the airport in a pair after flying from Peru last month, didn't count. He was the only one getting off the plane in a t-shirt and shorts and quickly got changed before leaving the building.

That seems like ages ago but was only 3 weeks.

I started my Tropical nursing Diploma on Wednesday. Amazing. I think I'm going to have to be doing some serious studying. !!!!

Did you know only female mossies bite.?! And tetanus doesn't kill you (if you have access to an ITU and a ventilator.)

Right, back to work to make young children cry..........
yes that's right, I give kids their vaccinations. They come in all smiley and happy. And then you should see some of the looks I get from them as the go out the door. I think I need to invest in some ear plugs.

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Recent Messages

From Kathy
Getting very jealous reading all your emails... particularly as I have to start work in a minute!!! Glad to hear you're having a great time, but how long until you're back home again??? Lots of love, Kathy xox
Response: home soon. how is you little visitor? Don xx
From Tanya
Loving all the photos... the deer ones are just brilliant. rock on chicky
Response: Ta XXXX
From Cherry
Love the pics.. Libya looks awesome! great new camera.
Response: Thanks ! See you in Nov.
From Murray
Hey, Cornwall photos look nice. Good news about finishing the course. I'm finishing up the Masters degree in November. Can't to have that finishes. Looking forward to havig weekends again.
Looking forward to seeing you in December. Can't weight to see the photos from Libya. Take care. Love Murray & Louise.
Response: hi, have a look at the main page. I am the feature photo !!!
From James
Hey. Great pics. Looks like you had an amazing time. :) Almost home. Last flight tomorrow. 10 months. 18 planes and 74 hostels/hotels and one day to go. Got you those ID's in Thailand by the way. For next year and the year after. Give them to you in Dec.
Response: Hi Welcome Home !!!!! 18 planes must be a record for one trip. Have you finished doing your washing yet? Kath xx
From stu
I would love to go to trinidad and the carribean some day
sounds like you enjoyed it
Response: Hi Stu, you definately have to go!! I'm already planning my next trip to a Carribean isalnd. Kath xx
From Anne Archer
Hi Kath

Stunning photos! How are you? Hope that you are having a good week.

Response: Hi Anne,
thanks again for a great trip. see you soon, Kath xx
From Pip
Hey Hon. wow photos great your making me want to be back oversea's. Did I tell you I bought a house need to get organised and send everyone photos. Still haven't gone to see Jamies baby yet really should do that.
Response: Hi Pip,
congrats on the new house. Where is it? See you in Nov, and we'll both have to go see James' baby. Kath xx
From Shauna Chapman
Thanks for the Brugge advice. Brussels is OK in some areas but Brugge is acre upon acre of lovely streets and sights. ~Shauna
Response: Glad you had fun. Brugge is really beautiful. I'd love to go back for more beer tasting. (and chocolate tasting) see you Sat night.
From kylie abson
hi kath,
how are you
long time since ive hesrd from you
whats new except buying doonas?
Response: Hi, I'm still at George's, working and travelling. Heading home soon though. Kx
From Stu
Hi there,

You are obviously having fun with your diary entry

catch ya
Response: Hi,
I can't believe I never set this up before. Oh well. Now that I've picked my computer up from the repair shop you'll get sick of hearing from me every day ( or nearly every day). How is the house hunting going?
From Ams
Hey you,
Just to wish you a very happy new year, and hope that it brings you exciting things. But then what more could be more exciting than duvet shopping ay! Hope your taking care of yourself flower and hope to catch up with you soon... Take care & lotsa love x x
Response: Hey hon,
Am off to look into Bingo tomorrow!!! Can't wait. Kx
From Brian
So you spent two hours playing 'duck, duck, goose'. Now you can enjoy the warmth of your new duvet. Of course you could have picked up a Ralli quilt in Rajasthan for 150 rupees. (but it would not be as comfy as the duvet).

If the 20% white goose feathers came from Russia, would the geese be called ‘White Russian’ geese?

Response: I suppose so...hehe I did actually buy a duvee cover in India in the beginning of the trip and had to lug it around till the end. It's blue with stitching all over it. I just have to remember which box I've stored it in.
How are you? and life?
Hope all's going well.