30.06.2008 - 01.07.2008 27 °C
So, here I am on the 213th day of my trip. My flight home is at 11:45 local time tonight and brings down the curtain to an amazing 7 months away from home.
I am incredibly excited about my return - to see my parents, my friends, my dog Toastie - even my sister. I am also slightly anxious that my friends will have changed during their first year at university in some subtle and unexplainable way that will, temporarily at least, alter the connection between us. Everyone tells me that nothing changes back home, but that cannot be true. Time will tell.
In an attempt to form a suitable conclusion to my blog I have created a simple awards list. The winners are:
Favourite countries: Guatemala, Peru and Namibia
Most stunning scenery: Patagonia (Chile)
Best Beaches: Zanzibar
Best sunrise: Journey to Ayers rock (Australia)
Best sunset: On 'El Misti' 4500m above sea level (Peru)
Most interesting museum: Auckland War Memorial Museum (New Zealand)
Best restaurant: Carnivore (Kenya)
Best ice creams: Santiago and Valpraiso (Chile)
Worst buses: Nicaragua
Dirtiest toilets: Bolivia
Dodgiest capital cities: Guatemala City and Tegucigalpa (Honduras)
Worst boat journey: From Honduras to Utila
Worst roads: Zambia
In addition to Bolivia's toilets, there are several other aspects of travelling that I won't miss:
Long bus journeys
In Latin Amercia struggling to express my frustration at the lack of cooperation from the locals
Tiny toilet cubicles and non existent toilet paper...and if there is toilet paper not being able to throw it down the toilet!
Uneven pavements which have left me cut and bruised
Having to collect and carry plastic bags for dirty washing/shoes
Needing to be constantly vigilant against scams
Having the police called (on 3 separate occasions) due to my 'behaviour' (refusing to be bullied into a scam)
Arriving in England at 6:20 tomorrow morning, I will have travelled over 60,000km through 19 countries across the globe. Thank you to everyone who has followed my journey. It should be remembered that some of the best stories from my trip have not been included on the blog due to reasons of personal censorship. I look forward to hearing everyone's news back home and to sharing some stories of my own.