Posted by: glenswatman | April 11, 2007

2006 Xmas letter

“Edelweiss”. 8 Newtown. Market Drayton. Shropshire TF91JU England

E-mail glenswatman@yahoo.com

South Africa Cell 073 973 5877

UK Mobile 07761 078025 (Used for SMS only unless we are in UK)

 

Hello there

 

Season’s greetings, and we hope this finds you well. Trust that you have had a good year, do write and tell us all about it as we really appreciate the contact.  As always I must apologise that I have not written to you all individually.  I would love to do so but with our ever-increasing number of global friends I would probably end up doing just a short letter to you all and at least this way you get chapter and verse (whether you want it or not)!    

 

Amazingly we are just coming to the end of our 10th year on the road.  Our families are all well and we continue to remain in overall good health. 

 

We ended last year in Australia sharing a very pleasant family Christmas with our friends Bev & Norm.  In March our daughter Claire joined is in Australia for a 2 week visit, 1 week for a whirlwind tour of Victoria and another to take in many events at the Commonwealth games in Melbourne.  We then sold “Billy” our trusty campervan as we plan to give Aussie a break in order to explore pastures new.

 

On the way back to England we had a 7-week stop over visiting mainland Malaysia Langkawi, Sarawak, Brunei, Sabah and the Philippines.  We did a number of internal flights but also used public transport buses, boats and trains.  A 2-day journey up one of the rivers (on ever decreasing sizes of boat) took us to and beyond a remote village where we spent a night camped in the jungle, a highlight for Steve but not quite so for Glen.  We also really enjoyed flying up to the remote Bario community to stay for a few days and experience the peaceful life of days gone by.  The whole trip went really well and we hope to return and explore the area further in the future. 

 

Before visiting Malaysia we discovered Hospitality Club and this was a huge bonus for us.  You join up on the Internet and are then given the opportunity to take up offers from people in different countries varying from help and advice through to accommodation and sometimes also meals.  We stayed with many people and it has opened our eyes to the different cultures and made us many new friendships. 

 

Whilst back in England we surprised grandchildren Daniel & Natasha with a 4 day visit to Euro Disney and managed to fit in a 2-week Mediterranean cruise to help Glen escape the World Cup football fever.  It took us a couple of months to catch up with family and friends before setting off for Southern Africa.

 

Early July we arrived in South Africa where we bought a 1984 Bedford motorhome “Millie”, so old it is a classic car.  We nurtured, coaxed and cursed it along to travel up through Swaziland before having a superb week wildlife spotting in Kruger.  We battled for 3 weeks in Mozambique but the roads were bad and the locals continuously tried and usually succeeded in ripping us off as tourists. 

 

Back in South Africa we had just completed an interesting spell in the Battlefields and were ready to do lots of hiking in the Drakensberg mountain ranges when Glen had an accident playing squash.  A ruptured Achilles tendon needed immediate surgery leaving her in an initial cast for 2 weeks, followed by a walking cast for 5 weeks then a support boot that she will use for a total of 9 months.  In the first few months walking any distance was impossible so the trip had to be amended accordingly. 

 

We joined the coast at Durban then made our way down to Port Elizabeth where our son David joined us for a short time as we explored some of the “Garden Route”.   South Africa has exceeded our expectations in that the people are friendlier, the scenery more varied and as tourists we encountered no safety problems.  Being enclosed in a caravan park at night was a bit of shock though. 

 

Glens 50th birthday passed rather uneventfully as we were broken down at a service station at the time.  Christmas and New Year should be in the Cape Town area before we continue our South African tour travelling up through Namibia then into Zambia and Botswana before dropping back into South Africa.  Anticipate visiting England in the summer then maybe heading off to America to buy a motorhome and begin another adventure, although this plan can and probably will change a bit.  Regardless of which we are looking forward to our next decade as nomads. 

 

As always we wish you a Happy Christmas and all the very best for the New Year.  We always enjoy receiving news from you, by E-mail or letters to Market Drayton, which we pick up when we visit Mum. 

 

Should any of you still have the stamina to receive my diary by E-mail then please let me know, as I will begin a new list for 2007.  

 

Love and best wishes from

 

Steve and Glen

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