tinyjo: (girl and boy at night)
I see, as is fairly typical, I stopped updating once I'd done my complaining :) In my defense, the wifi at the reserve was pretty slow so our photos didn't back up to the internet until we made it to Paris for the most part. We were talking in Dakar airport about how unusual it was that actually, if we'd had our phones stolen at that point, we would have lost really quite a lot of data - usually, it's very little.

I will do a proper entry when I get home with all the photos and details of our time at Fathala, but suffice it to say for the time being that it was a really wonderful holiday and I would wholeheartedly recommend it to anyone looking for somewhere peaceful and beautiful. Our luggage never turned up at the reserve, despite repeated contact by the reception desk with the airport but once we had a change of clothes, kindly run up in a very short time by an obliging Senegalese tailor, we actually managed fine. On our way back, we got to Dakar airport ahead of time and so decided to go via the left luggage area on the off chance and lo and behold! Our case, sat there waiting and probably had been for a week. It had lost it's tag, meaning that it hadn't been connected with our lost luggage report, description notwithstanding. Still, we found it, which was a relief as it had my favourite bras in and were able to sort out the details and take it with us on the next leg. It was also perfect timing because it meant that we could collect the other half of the malaria prescription from it just before we would have run out of tablets. It was a bit unnerving to collect it and then immediately check it in again, but it made it to Paris with us, where our two cases were one of the first ones out!

Paris was really lovely - we stayed in a beautiful apartment with some very friendly cats and also some lovely Canadians (<3, [livejournal.com profile] ailetoile and [livejournal.com profile] stevieg) and it was also very restful. Rather than do the museum thing, we alternated chilling in the apartment, with poke-walks and enjoying the ambience and architecture of Paris and actually, todays wander up to Notre Dame, followed by open top bus along the Champs Elysee made me think actually I'd quite like to go back again. Now, we just have to manage to get onto our plane home and off with luggage and then home to kittons!
tinyjo: (clouds)
1) Tofino has almost no internet! Well, the place we were staying didn't have internet in our room (although I think they did in their main building), and only some of the eateries did and then not very reliably. Thus, I have been absent from the internet for several days. Did you break anything? I found this to be not serene and peaceful, but rather irritating and it tended if anything to make me more antisocial as I tried to get an internet connection while we were eating dinner instead of when I was on my own. Basically, internet is good.

2) On the other hand, what Tofino did have was BEARS!! Yes, I have been out on the BEAR boat and watched BEARS wandering along beaches turning over stones looking for crabs and other morsels. They were very charming creatures and quite happy to just ignore us even though we were very close - I guess being on the water meant that they treated us differently. We also saw a rock on the way back that was just a rock, and just a rock and then suddenly we got close enough to realise it was covered in seals.



3) We also spent a very pleasant afternoon in the Tofino botanical gardens, which were lovely. A short wander through some different plantings and some old growth woodland onto the sea shore to gaze across the mud flats (full of migrating birds at other times of the year, nice and peaceful now). There was a slight tendancy to whimsey in some of the points of interest along the self guided trail but it was a lovely place to spend an afternoon (and had actual working internet in the cafe!).






4) Tofino has no Tim Hortons. I am not sure if this means that it is not really in Canada. Probably. It does have the prettiest cat we have met in BC thought (note careful categorization, [livejournal.com profile] elyssa and [livejournal.com profile] stevieg!).


5) For this drive from and back to Victoria, we hired a convertible because I love driving with the top down. On the way out it was cloudy and fairly cold, and on the way back, it was pouring nearly all the way. Of a total drive time of around 6 hours, we managed to have the top down for a total of about half an hour. Still, I'd rather have it that way around than have the bear trip rained off, so I guess it all worked out ok.
tinyjo: (Default)
1) It's been really lovely seeing [personal profile] coalescent and [personal profile] electricant's 5 things posts over the last couple of weeks and has felt very old school internet. In a way, it's reminded me of the fact that I really got into journalling at a time when I wasn't living near my friends, or most of them, and so it was a sort of relaxed chat that we weren't having in other media and actually, there are still people who I'm friends with that I don't see and it could still be serving that purpose. That came out less pointful than I'd hoped! Anyway, I am reading and enjoying those posts, guys, even though I don't generally comment.

2) I also think that having more going on on my friends page make me more inclined to post things myself, so I'm going to cautiously try to up my frequency of posting again. Who knows whether this will lead to anything as this is precisely the time of year when I think "hey, yeah, I should totally do that, I've got loads of time!". By Christmas, who knows :)

3) I am actually still on holiday at the moment. We went to two firework displays in the last two nights and I'm sorry, Victoria, but Vancouver won that contest. You are currently winning the "sufficiently cool for walking around" one though, so don't feel bad :) I failed to take any photos of fireworks because I find it hard to watch firework displays and get good photos at the same time. We did do some cool things in Vancouver though, including visiting the Museum of Art, where there was an exhibition by Geoffrey Farmer, including this room of paper cutouts from The Readers Digest book of the Last Two Million Years:




4) Despite the above, I have been mostly doing work today because I am an enormous dork. I woke up this morning feeling in the mood and with ideas about stuff and a sense of wanting to start getting things down on paper - this happened last time we went on a long holiday and seems just to be a thing that happens. Sadly, I am missing a key resource available only on paper for one of the things but I have managed to be getting on with other things which is good. It also looks as if my new colleague does pretty detailed plans, so that's good to know for next year.

5) Still very much looking forward to the next stage of our trip, which is a trip up to Tofino, with our lovely Victoria host [personal profile] aveleh, where we will be swimming in hot springs and going on a BEAR WATCHING boat trip! This will be awesome.
tinyjo: (Glastonbury)
Hello world! Well, it's about one third of the way through our trip to Canada and we have finally found a hotel that gives decent wifi access! Both the past two places kept dropping my connection every 2 minutes or so - not ideal for browsing the modern web, as I'm sure you can imagine :) Still, we have been having a great time so far, only slightly hampered by some less than spectacular weather. We managed a couple of lovely days in Banff, during which I climbed an actual mountain! Check out the view from the top!


Unfortunately, this wasn't the Burgess Shale mountain, and we decided that the lack of ability to maintain our own pace meant that wasn't going to work that well for me so we went on the shorter GeoScience walk experience where we got to open up some shale and find actual trilobytes! Yes, I have found my very own trilobyte, which is pretty awesome. After Banff, we went on to Golden, on the Kicking Horse River, which was really nice, and we went to see the wolf sanctuary and the grizzly bear sanctuary! We've also seen elk grazing on the highway and three deer, one while walking and two while on the road, so the wildlife spotting is going pretty well so far. We had been planning to stop next in Kamloops, but the nice waitress we were chatting to in Golden suggested that we might enjoy wine country and so we have diverted down to Kelowna, where we have unfortunately brought the rain with us, but have managed to find a nice place to stay with the aformentioned quality wifi :)





By the way, I can't tell if these images are only showing up in preview because I'm logged into google, so if you can't see them, comment and tell me!
tinyjo: (sunflower)
I find it kind of hard to believe, even now, but we have actually made it and I am actually on holiday at last. I was so excited that I was bouncy and enthusiastic at the man at the security check point :) The flight was only averagely horrible - a bit of a bumpy landing and my entertainment system didn't really work, but otherwise pretty smooth so I didn't feel too rubbish and we got a pair of seats on their own so we didn't have to keep getting up past people and stuff. and could be comfortably huggy. Once I got the mirrors adjusted right, the car we hired is pretty easy to drive, and has loads and loads of luggage space and the gps we bought successfully directed us to [livejournal.com profile] elyssa and [livejournal.com profile] stevieg's house, which is huge! You could fit about 3 of our house in it! It is also lovely, with nice squishy sofas, kitchen well equiped with tea and ornamental minous all over the place, which is really good for helping you feel right at home! This place is so big that there is basically a kitty play room!

We are planning to go on an expedition today to do some scrambling around and then some hanging out by the community lake (!) before dinner so hopefully, pics to follow :)
tinyjo: (computer cat)
I had the most lovely morning this morning. I started off with a cup of tea (courtesy of Alex) and a video of Tim Harford doing a TED talk in bed. Then Cassie cat came up to sit down next to me and we both enjoyed a relaxing hour or so, both occasionally stretching, shifting around slightly to stay comfortable and purring when we looked over at each other. True, she was dozing and I was reading some internets on my phone but other than that, we were completely in tune :)

I thought I would write this entry and tried to log in to DW to do it but I couldn't get it to load the main DW pages for some reason, so I had a shower and mused about posting to Google+ but in the end, it didn't feel right. G+ I can imagine using to post things I want to *share* - "look at this" type posts - but this isn't that. There's no reason at all that you should be interested in my morning lounge with my cat and obscurely, I feel like if I post it to G+ then I'm somehow asking you to be. Whereas LJ/DW is different. It's fundamentally my diary (even if I don't write in it very often). Sure, I let you read it if you want to, but I don't feel like I'm saying the same thing by posting something here. I want to record the experience and make it available, to myself if nothing else. It's the first time I've thought about what I might actually use G+ for though, so it's just about possible that it'll get more use than my moribund twitter and facebook accounts. I really shouldn't be on Facebook. I use it to friend people from work, but given that they're active, I really ought to check on it more often. Partly is aesthetic - I just can't get to like the look/layout of Facebook, although I'm not sure why. G+ is much more appealing from that standpoint but I doubt that the work crew will migrate to it, which in some ways is a good thing and probably also increases the likelihood that I'll actually use it.

You can tell it's the school holidays! I'm about to actually post and I have another post in mind already about my own personal food culture. I might try to make a New Year's resolution to actually post some diary entries again. After all, I do love looking back at the old ones - why deprive my future self of pleasure?
tinyjo: (Default)
So, some of you will already have seen [livejournal.com profile] oxfordslacker 's entry on the subject, but here's mine. We've managed to cobble together a rough itinerary for the trip to the states in May that looks like it'll work and also doesn't cost a fortune. It goes as follows:

14th May: Fly into Washington/Baltimore
17th May: Drive to Toronto/Hamilton
20th May: Drive to Chicago
22nd May: Plane to Vegas
29th May: Drive to San Fransisco (possibly stopping with [livejournal.com profile] trelana on the way)
3rd June: Fly to London

We have managed to find this for not too crazy prices so the question is, are we crazy? The driving looks long but do-able and like it would be through some really nice areas. Will we, as non-Americans, have trouble driving across the Canadian border?

[Poll #1125421]
tinyjo: (:p kittie)
We're here!!!!!! There's mad buildings and stuff and also people like my accent :) We've been up since 6am yesterday (my body thinks it is now 3:45a, :) )

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tinyjo: (Default)
Emptied of expectation. Relax.

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