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Gitsy's Gibberish

Hola,

I've started this site to keep people up to date with my goings on. Please all stay in contact.

Very Basic Itinerary: Asia - Australasia - South America

See you soon

Ash/Gitsy

Diary Entries

Thursday, 20 December 2007

Location: Guayaquil, Ecuador

¨This is the End¨ by The Doors keeps coming in & out of my head. Maybe a little melodramatic but it is one crazy feeling to be returning home.
I’ve wrote probably a million words on here, half of it gibbering tosh. How do I sum it up after nearly 2 years?

Simply….spectacular!

I’ve seen some very famous landmarks; The Great Wall, Ayers Rock, Kruger Park & Macchu Picchu. Some, not so famous; The Tiger Leaping Gorge, Karijini National Park & Ciudad Perdida.
But for me, it’s the people that have made it.

Everywhere I’ve been, I’ve encountered overly friendly people and had some amazing experiences as a result. It’s a daily event but here are a few that come to mind:

Sitting in Forbidden City, Beijing: Only my 2nd day in China & an old man sits next to me & puts his arm around me. Bit disturbed, I grab my pockets only to see his wife holding out a camera. Then his whole tour group of about 30 line up for a snap with the white trash.

On a typically overcrowded train in China: I showed my camera to the guy in the next bed who proceeded to pass to the next guy who passed it to the next guy & so on. About an hour later, it came back on the other side of the train with hundreds of nodding approvals. The same guy then walked me to Shanghai underground & paid for my ticket.

Crammed into a 12 seater mini bus with 30 Vietnamese guys in rural Vietnam: Getting an overnighter to Ho Chi Minh, every single local was putting fags, fruit & chocolate in my mouth wanting me to accept theirs. During the night I had one guy on each thigh & 2 on my chest.

Playing 5 a side football in Hanoi: A guy who worked at the hotel had taken me around the city, including a visit to his house & then to play 5 a-side with his mates. During the game, one of the little fellas knocked me off my feet to halls of laughter & high fives from our game & adjacent ones too!

Australian hospitality: Met at Perth airport by virtual stranger, Mardi. She put me up for 2 months & gave me a job. Knocked on strangers’ doors up the west coast and got shown around. Lived my last 5 weeks in Melbourne rent free as my housemates put me up, even had a mate stay for a week at one stage too!

Kiwi reaction times: Getting out maps in New Zealand knowing full well where I was, just to be amazed at how quickly a local would react. On average about 6 seconds, no joke!

Bienvenidos Columbia: Met 3 separate Columbians on a bus from Ecuador and was subsequently put up by 3 different families in 3 different towns for a week. Shown around, fed, given a bed when there was no bed, laundry done, the lot. For what? Just to feel at home in their country.

Part time Columbian father: A black mother placing her young daughter on my lap to sleep on an overnight bus. No worries of kiddy fiddling, racism or all that bullshit, just simple trust. Even the little girl wasn’t put out by sleeping on a strange looking gringo.

As I said, there’s many more, including with fellow travellers, but they’re some that came to my head just now. One thing that has just stood out to me & is worth noting for any future travel, all these experiences came alone & most, off the beaten track.

In such a ´dangerous´ World full of paranoia, I’ve encountered absolutely no problems in 2 years (with the exception of cheeky scamp robbing my wallet in Cambodia). I’m the slackest f--ker around too. Never worn a money belt. Left bags alone, on buses, in hostels or with strangers. I’ve walked to the middle of nowhere with locals, stayed in random houses, jumped in random taxis , kissed random girls ;-)
Am I dead hard and own the face of a mad dog? No I’m stupid and very lucky but also I don’t suffer from paranoia and trust people when 99% of people are worth trusting.


As for future travel, who knows. Obviously there will always be a desire to do more but I’m also realistic to the fact that these opportunities won’t always exist, especially as I get older.
It’s not financially or mentally sustainable so I’ll have to spend some time in some sort of routine. And if I do go? I still want to see India & Central Asia, & south Argentina & Brazil in South America. Then there’s Africa, the Middle East, Europe, North America and a strange desire to backpack the UK. Jeez, I’ve not seen anything!

Well, I’ll call it a day & enjoy my last uncomfortable night’s sleep. Thank you to everyone that has kept reading my bullshit and left messages, they’ve definitely helped. Any readers that don’t know me, I’m honestly not a complete whinging cynical arsehole. It’s my bizarre style of humour!

Monday, I was crossing the Columbian border. Yesterday, I was white water rafting. Today; I was eating Ecuadorian chicken whilst the restaurant owner’s family looked around desperately for their Bee Gees CD to impress me. Sunday, I’ll be wrapped up in my bed eating my mum’s porridge….madness!

xxx

Tuesday, 18 December 2007

Location: Baņos, Ecuador

No more long bus journeys, woo hoo. No more border crossings, woo hoo. Cold, grey & long nights, boo hoo. Well that’s apart from a 6 hour bus ride & 15 hour flight, but that’s almost enjoyable.


As expected, not much else to report from Cali. Friday night was a bit of a washout as it was a bunch of horny gringos jumping from one club to the next looking for single girls.
Sat night was much better as just 3 of us went out & I put my foot down saying we were staying in the first club we got to. It was a funky alternative ´electronica´ club and I got talking to most of the club including the DJ who falsely kept promising to play New Order’s ´Blue Monday.´
Other than that went to a pretty good Zoo, which gave me a nice realisation of how much wildlife I’ve actually seen in the wild since leaving.

I was very sad to be leaving Columbia after 5 brilliant weeks. The people were amazing; friendly, funny & very approachable. The scenery was beautiful; tropical to alpine. I didn’t encounter one single moment of fear despite all the bullshit of it being one of the World’s most dangerous countries. In fact, it was the most hassle free country I’ve been to in South America.
And as for the girls….perfecto!
One of my mottos is `never visit the same place twice. ` A, as there’s so much else to see & B, because it won’t be as good the 2nd time around. However, I can envisage a return to Columbia & I wouldn’t even rule out spending considerable time in Medillin.
All this & I’m at the end of my trip, thus at my most cynical.
I probably shouldn’t talk it up as the lack of tourism is probably half the reason it’s so great.

With not a whole lot of time til my flight home & quite a lot of distance to cover, I decided to do most of it straight.
Started with an overnight bus through Guerrilla territory (I can say that shit now as in a few days all my mother will have to worry about is getting a bottle of Bud wrapped around my face ´darn tarn´).
Got to the Columbian border where the power went off for 3 hours whilst I was queuing for my exit stamp. Finally got into Ecuador where I was subject to 3 roadblock bag searches! The first being particularly unpleasant as an Ecuadorian sniffer got his pinkie out & rubbed it all over my backpack. Luckily my Spanish isn`t too bad these days so I was able to explain the copious amounts of unmarked coffee & stolen army cap!

6 buses later, I arrived here in Baños, a beautiful Ecuadorian town set in a valley overlooked by an enormous volcano.
Today, I went hiking up into the hills to get a view of the town & a closer look at the very active volcano. It actually started to erupt about 5 years ago & the town was evacuated but things are only on yellow alert these days but they still think it could be anyday. In fact, there’s been ash in the air all day which has pissed off my eyes.
Was a good energetic hike & I had soup & tea with a friendly farmer up in the hills. After getting back down, I thought I’d enjoy one of the town’s natural hot spas (´Baños´ means ´bathes´ in Spanish). The water was bloody 55 degrees and the locals were certainly amused as I went plum red.

One more day here where I’m going to go white water rafting. Can do it anywhere in the World but I never actually have so should be fun. Then it’s to Guayaquil for my flight.
Look out for another entry either from Guayaquil or England, plenty more spiel left in me yet!

Friday, 14 December 2007

Location: Cali, Colombia

Ron & Putas (rum & whores), that`s the topic for this weekend.
Got to Salento on Monday morning & passed out for most of the day.
After a heavy weekend in Bogota & being kept up all night on the night bus by Alfredo, a friendly old fella wanting to tell me everything he knew about Columbia, I felt almost jetlagged.
I did manage a stroll to look at the beautiful surroundings of Salento & to people watch the cool looking locals in their cowboy hats & wellies.
Went off on a proper walk on Tuesday up to Cocora Valley. Absolutely beautiful green spot and quite unique. Highlighted by crazy looking 50 metre waxy palm trees. Bought a load of beautiful coffee from the local coffee plantations too.

Wasn`t sure what to do after Salento as basically the only plan is to be back in Guayaquil by next week. So in the end, with my birthday being yesterday, I thought I`d return to Cali (salsa capital) for yet more partying. Well, I may aswell live it up for my last days.
Cali was my first stop in Columbia an unbelievable 4 weeks ago but I`m staying in a totally different area. Last time, I crashed in a local suburb with the hospitable Nancy & family. This time, I`m in the ultra modern upper class part spending silly money in cafes. Needless to say I preferred the local experience but civilization isn`t all bad when you`re on the sauce.

Ended up getting an alright crowd together last night as a few English & an Aussie guy I`ve met previously, were fortunately in town.
After some top notch tapas, I splashed out on a litre carton of rum. I absolutely love Columbian rum so no better way to get the night started. Things never really kicked off as every suburb of Cali we went to was half empty or full of hookers. Ended up beating the 3 a.m. Cali curfew in some bizarre huge Salsa club out of town. Was alright but hoping for better things for the weekend.
So that`s about it, more rum & dancing ahoy for the weekend. Will hopefully get some more photos of Columbian girls although I wasn`t having much success meeting any last night.
English Clive summed it up ¨Ash, not every girl is a give `un you know & you`ll certainly need to get use to that before next week.¨

Sunday, 09 December 2007

Location: Bogota, Colombia

Did very little in Taganga apart from chill out on the beach & attempt at ridding the pasty English skin.
Cracking spot to rest as most of South America, unlike Asia, is devoid of beach towns.
I did head to Santa Marta market one day which was quite amusing. I really wanted to get a CD of one of my favourite Columbian songs. Only knowing the track, one guy eventually rocked up with a triple CD of a Columbian boyband. Only a quid so I still bought it despite the embarrassment. Then I was subject to a sexual assault by 3 girls in one stall. One dragged me in & they started doing that revolting North African hissing in my ears & trying to cup my balls. The girls were desperate for some gringo action up on the coast, possibly with it being a poorer region of Columbia.

Being completely rejuvenated, I began my long trek back to Ecuador with a bus to the capital, Bogota.
Got here on Thursday & was shocked by the drop in temperature, feels freezing compared to up north.
Didn`t do a whole lot, met up with 2 Aussies & had a few before passing out.

Possessing possibly one of the scummiest backpack wardrobes around, I went on a crazy shopping spree on Friday ready for a return to image consciousness.
I hopped on a bus to far out Bogota armed with little info of where to shop. I asked a local businesswoman, Paula, who ended up saying she`d accompany me after doing a bit of business. Very much the Columbian way so I went with. After pissing about in different offices where the staff where quite bemused by my presence, I said I had to get off shopping. Hopped in cab where she decided to tell the driver her dilemma of having a fella but not knowing whether she should sleep with me or not! Came to me as a shock as I`d never once implied that was what I wanted. A bloody 28 year old accountant, Columbian girls are nuts. Anyway I eventually aborted to the shopping centre & said I`d call her later (lying in such situations is the only way here!).

I ended spending a small fortune on new clobber & somehow came out resembling a football hooligan.
Friday night, looking smooth, me, Lael (Argie), Scott (Oz) & some Greek nutjob headed off into Zona Risa, a posh suburb of bars. We ended up in the Ministry of Sound with English DJ`s. I had a great night as I`ve been deprived of house music for a long time. Met some sound locals & ended up home well after sunrise.
A bit knackered, me & Lael headed up to a lookout point later on. Took an hour & half, & combined with altitude, was a killer. Then the shite Bogota weather hit & we got crap views.

Last night, a load of us from the hostel headed to `Andreas Carne de Res.` This is a massive restaurant/salsa club on the outskirts of town & was very different to owt I`d seen before. Over 1000 people pile into this one place to eat amazing steaks, dance the night away & rinse the bank account. It was expensive for me so you can imagine the rich & pretty clientele it attracted. Great fun & another late night so today has been the usual mewing around not really seeing much of Bogota with it raining half the time.

Am off to Solento tonight in the Coffee Region. Suppose to be beautiful so looking forward to it. After that, probably bomb to Ecuador as the end is nigh.

Monday, 03 December 2007

Location: Taganga, Colombia

No more bloody trekking for me I tell thee.

Mud, rain, mossies, deep burn of the calves and a throat infection... I loved it.

After my glands became the size of golf balls the day before, I debated whether going into the middle of the jungle with no insurance cover (thanks to the hypocritical British foreign office) was a wise idea. However, after a chat with our guide, Castro, some anti biotics from the pharmacist who said I had to `stop kissing dirty girls,` I went ahead with it.

First day was a bit knackering, feeling rough, getting caught in a storm & constantly falling in the mud. After that I was in full swing enjoying it.

It felt like a real adventure, with very few other trekkers, climbing over rocks, drinking from streams, sleeping in hammocks & crossing several flowing rivers.

I loved interacting with people along the way. I quite often got chatting to the young soldiers guarding the site who were basically just bored cowboys. I even cheekily got a few photos with them, played with their AK47`s & stole one of their caps for a souvenir. One night, a group of them slept in hammocks next to us & just left all their loaded rifles & grenades underneath the hammocks!

Other people along the way were the indigenous Kogis who still live quite primitively & were interesting to learn a bit about.

2nd day, a Coca farmer took a few of us to cocaine cookery school which was an experience! We basically helped him make some coke from scratch & some of the ingredients weren`t too appetising! I.e. Gasoline, magnesium & sulphuric acid. He let us keep what we cooked up so it ended up being a cheap demonstration!

As for the Lost City, it definitely wasn`t as grand as Macchu Picchu (60% of which has been rebuilt), but I definitely got more of a feeling for the place as it hasn`t lost it`s natural allure. Trekking high up into the jungle for 3 days just showed how remote it was & being the only ones wondering around made it a great experience.

Sure there`s other things worth mentioning but they`re not coming to my head so I`ll leave it there for the trek.


Got back into town on Saturday & after 6 days in the wilderness, it was off out on the booze into Santa Marta with some of my trekking group.

Ended up being a late one as I ended up away from my group celebrating a Venezuelan girl`s birthday with a few of her mates, into Sunday morning.

I`d obviously mentioned where I was staying cos they rocked up to my room again yesterday, interrupting a much needed siesta.


In no rush to leave Taganga despite time ticking away & a long trip back to Ecuador ahead. It`s a really friendly, relaxed place with cloudless days on the beach. I absolutely love the Columbians, whether it`s the lady making my maracuya juice, the laundry man or the girls who patiently try to teach me to rumba, they`re all extremely friendly and just want to chat without any alterior motives.


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Recent Messages

From Carl
Gitsy,

You don't know me; I’m a mate of Frankie (he's got a blog on planetranger too).

Just thought I’d make a comment about your entry on December 20th concerning the people/hospitality you've encountered on your adventures and say that it warms the heart to know that there are still people in this world that are happy to help/trust a stranger on their travels.

I can only hope he has as good an experience of other countries and their inhabitants that you appear to have had.

Thank for sharing your experiences.

Regards

Carl
Response: Cheers mate. I read some of Frankie's blog the other day & found it amusing.
I can't speak highly enough about the people I met travelling. The Aussies in WA were amazingly hospitable too so I'm sure he'll be having a great time. I'm told the UK was once a little less paranoid too!
From armo
just to piss more people off
i am bored on a day off so why not, hope all is well mad dog
Response: Haha, I've been tempted to make a return to share my gripes! E.g. Why do some English restaurants charge you £20 for cold veg & rice?! Disgrace!
From Fitz
Gitsy,

I have just finished reading through your blogs and your travelling sounds like an amazing time if a little pissed !!!!

The Toffees appear to have grown in quality since your departure and your first match back against Oldham Doh !!!!

Anyways I look forward to reading your further Installments of your English travels over the coming months.

All the best Fitz

Response: Aha, Fitzy! 2 years too late but glad it still gets read. Unfortunately I gave up on the English entries before I ran out of all friends with my bitterness.
I read back on it the other day & couldn't believe how much I drank, it never felt like I was pissed all the time.
Living in London now so make sure you give me a shout when you're down watching Orient Posh!
From Grazmataz
Hey dude. You dont know me but just wanted to say your pics of colombia have been most helpful with inspiration to travel to places there. Good work and thanks
Response: No problem. It's an awesome country with amazing people so make sure you go. Enjoy!
From Gam
Hey again,

Well I will definitely take up on that offer...if I do come over to London...Tuanh aka Taiwan and I are planning to come to the UK next year and do that whole UK thing....Hopefully it'll work out and it's nice that we'll know at least one person there. So, by all mean keep in touch till then.
Ducks, Phuong is making me go this weekend...So, yea yummo!!.....Chat soon.
Response: Helloooo Gamster!

I look forward to visit and there's always a bed for you & Taiwan! Give me good warning though so I can fish out a good duck!

See you soon
From Dave
I HATE GITSY......Tracey should be number 1 for ever and ever and ever!! I dont understand whats going on here!! Just remember, If you're not first............you're last x
Response: Even my long serving fans are turning on me. Y O Y Jesu, make it stop!
Moving down tomorrow x
From mrs b
Taking about the No 1 place, I wondered if this is a true placing, as No2 have not written anything since Sep 2007!! So how are they still there?
How is life in the smoke? That is if you have moved there, not heard from Dave
Hope you enjoy it,
Mrs B
Response: Arrr Mrs B, a friendly face when I need one.
I bumped into Sarah & Emily (no.2) in Oz and they seemed the type to keep pressing refresh!
I'm still at home enjoying the northern cooking. Move down next week so will keep you posted on Dave's antics!
From Tracy's Gram..
Hi You..This is the real Gram of Tracys. Thanks for making me No.1 too.I too, wish I could have traveled all over the world as you have. I really wonder if you realize how lucy you are, to have been able to have done all that. You must have been born with a silver spoom in your mouth. I'm glad God keep you safe as you traveled and are now home. Remember that Tracy's doing her thing to keep you safe too...Tracy's Gram
Response: I do realise how fortunate I've been, that's why I spent every penny of MY hard earnt cash living my dream.
Where is all this coming from? I really want out of the top 5 now!
From Carolyn
Hi! I'm a sister of Tracy from "To Bagram and Back" fame. I hear you've caught some flack from her other so-called fans for keeping her out of the #1 position over the last year. (You have dominated!) Your dad posted on Tracy's site that some people were being mean-spirited, and even thought I've never been mean to you there I felt bad, and wanted to say hi. I must say I have checked your page several times out of curiosity and I'm a bit jealous of the adventures. I've only been out of the country on a select few occasions. I know some of Tracy's friends have never traveled, and jealousy can do funny things to people, you know? Forgive the Bagram clan. Here's to another hit on your list!
Best of luck in your return to home,
C
Response: Haha, please don't feel bad. People can often feel withdrawn from reality when writing on the internet, so I take any banter very lightly!
My direct style of writing has been taken out of context a few times.
Thanks for the message, I hope Tracy remains #1 and has a safe return soon

From Tracy's Aunt Jerrie
Hi- Just wanted you to know that we just wanted for our neice, daughter, sister, mom, grandduaghter, aunt & wife to be # 1 since she is fighting a war to keep us safe and we miss her very very much. I'm sure you are a very nice person and I'm sure no harm was intended. God bless
Response: What's going on here?! No rivalry coming from me.
She should be the undisputed #1 now as my travels are unfortuantely over.
All the best to you and your neice
From Gam
Hey you.
How is it all....so you're finally home? Well just wanna say hi and to let you know how very jealous i am still of your yrs of travelling, you've done well. I'm still here at AXA working and will be starting to clear some old FAS cheques and receipts...oh no...indeed....i will feel your pain and sorrow soon. Otherwise, catch ya round and enjoy.....
I'll have a read of your entries later when I actually do have time....yes....very busy....chat soon!
Response: Hey Gam!
Aye, am finally home. Still not working yet though!

FAS you poor fecker, I still wake up in cold sweats over that.
How many poor ducks have you eat recently?

Living in London so if you ever join half of your compatriots on the 'better' side, you've always got a place to stay.

Speak soon xx

From The Nips'
Of course, consider the gaff all yours. Maybe you could be our cat minder!!!x
Response: Happy days. Minding that cat is a full time job in it's own! x
From The Nips'
Well thought we'd finally leave you a little post treat as we were so rubbish when you were millions of miles away. Sounds like an adventure and your nan sounds alot like Grandma Alice. God love them!! Enjoy your jaunts around scootland. See you soon for a brew x x
Response: Better late than never! Tell P Nips I never made it to Fort William. Me & Mahone are looking for somewhere to have unemployed coffee mornings, can we use your gaff? xx
From salv
well my friend it sounds as though your having as much fun on home soil as i am away, plz dont tell me im all this way from home enjoying my self when i could of done it on my door step, mind you dont think i could of coped with the weather.
stay safe captain xx
Response: Haha, the travelling life is great wherever. No hot beaches here though lad & your money would soon be gone!

Stay safe brother & enjoy Borneo, it's class! xx
From john-in-dubai
Nice one. You really rounded it off well. It's about people for me, too, and you really hit something with the trust/paranoia thing. You're right. After 2 years away, I now see the 'civilised west' as a bit of a global anomaly - most of the rest of the world seems to see things differently from 'us'. How does it seem to you now? Are we 'right'? Ahead of everyone else? Or just f@cked-up?
Enjoy the UK! J
Response: Thanks John. I definitely think parts of the west live in fear. The media has a part to play. Old people are always saying how much better it use to be but I think they were less exposed to all the scaremongering.
Just a shame, life is more fun when you get on with it!

From Dave
Heading back to the roots then lad!! Best be letting your ginger beard grow through then!
When are you returning from your mini tour of our fair isles? x
Response: The beard, a kilt and some growling. Whoever doubted I was a sweaty?!
Back in a week. Still habouring pipe dreams for a Everton - Yids final! xx
From armo
well well well mad dog nice to see you got a couple more post on here haha
and sounds like you having a good time,see told you lake district was good
and yes you guessed it i am bored so thought i write a little something

sounds like you got on well with the girls from hull then haha
seee ya soon dude
Response: I couldn't resist a few cheeky UK entries. It's definitely an interesting comparison.
Lake District was a top spot, I bet you've shanked a few by those lakes!
The Hull lasses were hard work. They blatently thought I was an oddbod, staying in a hostel by meself & who would argue!

Keep The Feathers safe xx
From Hayley
I see you've wisely left out the Hackney tour from your blogs - very wise indeed! Hope the north is a bit easier to navigate! x
Response: Yes, very wise! Don't think planet ranger is ready for that.

Luckily they know their left and rights in Scotland, even if it is a little phlegmy.

Take care & give JLB a smooch from me xx
From jock
oh gitsy I loved your 20th December entry - among many others, amusingly some of the UKones! Bingo huh??! - its made me smile loads. No wonder yyou are so chilled out, my goodness, so jealous of all you've experienced! Not so much the cultural divides you experienced in lesser-travelled wilderness of Hackney...hehe!

Great to have you home and I'm still enjoying reading!

love n hugs, and I would recommend (against Shavey's primitive desires!) undergarments for your journeys to the North....it may retreat inwards! How long you up there for?

love n hugs, kirsty xxx
Response: Alreet KC!
I tell you Hackney is definitely up there as one of the 'most interesting places to get lost in the middle of the night.' The locals were all more than friendly enough if a little illiterate with their directions!

It's definitely cold up here. Currently residing in Matt Cox's freezing loft & I haven't seen the wee one for days (that's my penis, not Matt!)
I'm here for another week so we'll have to meet up and speak Scottish when I'm back! xx
From Dad
Thing 1 of the rats in Kendal is that Liam (you have to have seen Coro).
xx
What you going to do tonight? No SKY.
Response: Aye I know who you mean, anyone goosing lovely Maria is a rat!
Managed to watch it on Albanian tv in Brampton with another Cumbrian blue. Think we may have blown our chance not being able to defend looping balls to 5ft 4 Wright-Phillips. Lescott was still our best player by a mile though. xx
From Shavey
Brilliant! The tales continue! I think enthusiasm for travelling round England is at an all time low but with the help of your blog you could rejuvenate a nation!

Only in one blog could you go from a character out of The Football Factory (the mad dog of old times when weekends were spent following the Toffees and getting toshed up instead of cramming for your finals) to the Sunset Sheila Gitsy we have come to know during the past two years!

Top stuff! Currently composing you a mail chief! so will send shortly!
Response: Haha, I have more sides than a dice la. You may go full circle & fancy a UK trip one day. In all honesty, it's a blatent attmept at staying positive though! Currently in my homeland & seen some reasonably priced casualwear kilts so watch out for it!
Enjoyed the e-mail, will reply properly when I get chance but for now, 'ditto!' xx
From Mrs B
did not know you have northern blood in you as well, You have gone past Dave's birth place Burnley, also mine Ilkley.
Us northerns are very friendly. Do we get any pic of UP NORTH then?
Enjoy
Mrs B
Response: Aye Mrs B, why do you think I always spoke back to you in Safeway! A southerner would think you're weird ;-)

There's a few pics on me phone but not enough for a whole page yet. I might need to photoshop the grey skies too!
From Maz
Hey Ash, merry chrimbo, and welcome back to the uk. Can't believe that ur home - well if you got on the plane!
Really hope ur settling back well and enjoying the festivites. And make sure u keep up ur idea of writing ur blog post travels, as i wanna hear exactly ur thoughts on going back to live in uk.....!
cheers
maz
x
Response: McCoshhhh! How's the hot Crimbo. I tell thee what, it just ain't cricket. Give me the cold anyday for xmas. Not Jan though. So far so good but everyone says the first week is class. Might do an entry or two but not a whole lot to talk about other than the fights outside of kebab houses etc! Have a good one & speak soon xx
From Nick Draper
Well Gitsy,
What a journey you've had. That last entry nicely summed it up. Think you've set a precedence for us future travellers. It doesn't seem that you've been away for more than two years but then that trip to Cuba seems like a lifetime ago, even more for you I'm sure. Good work keeping up the enthusiasm to keep the page going. I will too, miss checking it during my many long days bored at work.

It seems that you've never been away so am sure there'll be no surprises when you return & mad-dog will be back! Was hoping you'd come back with dreadlocks or something! Looking forward to the coming few weeks fella, get your drinking boots on!
Response: Soon to be you doing a site & me sitting bored in my office!
Aye no suprises what so ever, exactly the same but with a a slight glow. You know all this anyway!!
From Dave
Just one last message i promise! It was quite emotional reading your last post, thinking it was almost two years since i started reading, what am i supposed to waste time at work on now? Guess there's always Shavey's and Salv's to read so its not too bad!
Anyway, farewell Gitsy Spirograph, i shall miss clicking on my favourites button before clicking on your page! Ah the time i've spent in fron of this page........i'm gonna have to leave before my tears stain the keyboard! See you back in NN10 the Den! Have a safe flight brother x x
Response: You probably are the main poster so only right!
Hopefully Shavey & Salv forget their mothers & start telling the real tales of debauchery soon.

Debated carrying the site on for a random UK tour but not so sure if it`ll work. Anyway, I´ll leave the idea open for a possible sequel...

In a bit xx