Posted by: glenswatman | December 6, 2010

2010 Xmas letter and summary

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Dear friends

Another year has flown by and we hope it has been a good one for you.  All is well with us although old age is beginning to catch up with us and we are not quite as adventurous as we used to be and realise that after 7 months in South America we are not cut out for extended back packing trips!  However we have managed to fit in 11 countries this year running through from Antarctica to Falkland Islands, Brazil, Argentina, and Uruguay then back to England with a side trip to Hungary. Hong Kong en route to Australia and a cruise to Vanuatu and New Caledonia completes the list.  After 14 years of travels we are still addicted but changing the way we do it and also trying out new things like crewing on a yacht and house sitting so to recap on our year….

December (2009) in Chile awaiting our Antarctic cruise.  After 13 years on the road we had been very lucky and have never been mugged in our lives.  Luck ran out in Valparaiso when a lad with a knife slashed and stole my bag.  Stupidly in the heat of the moment Steve decided to play the hero, gave chase, caught the lad and wrestled him to the ground but got a badly cut hand and a few minor knife slashes for his troubles.  The Police were excellent and we had the lad in court the next day with us doing a video statement.  Steve now adopts his version of a masons left hand shake as the nerves have not healed.  After that we were only too pleased to board our 20-day Holland and America cruise to Antarctica.  It was a really wonderful trip over Christmas and New Year whilst enjoying the amazing spectacle of Antarctica.  Of the ports of call the Falkland Islands is a big memory and we hope to return in the future.

Back on land in Brazil we had great experiences with local people through Couchsurfing; Brazilian hospitality is over and above anything we have experienced elsewhere.  Of course we enjoyed the highlights of Rio and Iguazu Falls but the people remain our best memories.  Our onward plan was to go to South Africa for the world cup but negotiations on a campervan fell through and all the signs were that there was going to be a lot of trouble during the games.  By chance I stumbled on a web site for people crewing on a yacht and within 5 days we had signed up to join one in Australia in May.  After backpacking through Argentina and Uruguay we ran out of steam so refreshed with a bargain Brazil 6 day coastal cruise to small islands to save us having to get to and from them on ferries.  After 7 months in South America we realise there is much more to see there, we missed pretty much everything south of a line from Santiago to Buenos Aires and in Brazil all points north or Rio so Steve is hoping we will put this right with a return in 2014 to fit in the football world cup.

Returning to England in April we made a quick visit to friends and family and did the grandparent thing and took Daniel and Natasha to a theme park and I still managed the “big” rides!  Steve’s Daniel has now taken up acting classes and is a real natural whilst Natasha is following in Claries footsteps and becoming a good swimmer.  Steve’s Dad was struggling health wise but everyone else was fine.  We took a cheap flight to Hungary to combine their cheaper dental work with an enjoyable visit to our Dutch friend Henk and Klara who live there.

Quick visit to England then on to Australia via Hong Kong.  Stopped over in Hong Kong for a couple of nights to catch up with some old friends, Marek from Perth and a friend from 37 years ago Paul (my ex boyfriend prior to Steve).  There was so much to catch up with so the rainy weather didn’t bother us as we just sat and drank and chatted.  We did manage to fit in a few of the tourist highlights but realise the Hong Kong is not our kind of place.

Arriving in Australia we joined Jim on his catamaran to travel up the coast of Australia.  His wife doesn’t sail anymore so he likes crew for safety and company.  Kiwi Sam also joined us but sadly had to leave after 10 days as her Mum was sick.  A couple of weeks later Chinese  Jenny joined us but language difficulties prevailed.  The stops we enjoyed most were Percy Island and the amazing deservedly top rated Whitehaven Beach.  After a couple of months we realised that this type of sailing was not for us and by agreement “jumped ship” at Airlie Beach in Queensland.

We quickly rehashed a new plan and ended up staying at Taylorwood throughout August then the rest of the time in Aus either catching up with friends or house-sitting.  At one stage I was in grave danger of becoming normal doing bits of house work etc.

Christmas will see us house-sitting in Mildura, Victoria in the middle of a vineyard with our own swimming pool so that is going to be really tough, hopefully our Christmas dinner will be a steak on the barbie.

It’s been a hard year in some ways and many times we have wished we were nearer England so we could just pop back for a short spell to help.  Daughter Claire has been struggling with work load, son David is awaiting a kidney pyeloplasty operation at the end of December, Glens Mum has just had a 3rd hip operation but seems to be doing well and Steve’s Dad continues to have health problems and his Mum and Dad moved house.  This has all contributed to us making the decision to have another motorhome in Europe so that we can be nearer to help where needed in the future.

During a house-sit with lots of Internet time I began onward research and actually ended up buying a motorhome, a brand new Rimor Koala 48 end of season discounted model (6 berths).  Whilst “Eddie” is now shivering in the snow waiting for us in Bradford we still have to fit in a 3 month trip to India beginning end of January.

Talking of Internet if you are still brave enough to try to get through my diary you can find it on line and for travel hints and tips but if you want to have the diary sent to each month then please let me know as I do a new list each year.

We love hearing all your news so please send us an Email and let us know what you are up to (no large attachments) and from June 2010 Swatours will be back in business with Eddie heading for Europe, already taking bookings!  Wishing you a very Merry Christmas and a Happy and Healthy 2011

Love from Steve and Glen

The Nu Drovers



  1. Hi Glen and Steve,

    We are the couple you met at Magnolia Beach, Texas my wife visiting with you regularly while you were there. We have your adventures bookmarked and check in regularly and just drool and drool. We are each winter on South Padre Island, Texas for 4 months, then we work driving tractor trailer team across Canada for 3 months then we spend June July August September and October on our live aboard 28 foot Carver boat exploring the Great Lakes, Canada side. We really enjoy your storyies and follow you as if you were family. Hope ya’ll get back here some day, bye for now.

    • Yes we remember, did you get to use all the stuff Linda bought?

  2. 3 month trip to India !!! Alright for some ! We will treat you to a Bradford Curry when you come to pick up your van, see how it compares to a real Indian one !

    • Looking forward to it. Many thanks

  3. Ey up,
    Not sure if you got the reply I may or may not have sent????? a couple of minutes ago.
    Good to see you’re still on the road, sea & air.
    Can’t say we’re not jealous.
    We ended up getting hitched and have a 7 year old girl to give my 16 year old a run for her money. Still both working and living in dear old Grimsby but wishing we were back travelling. Still have a LHD motorhome and get way when work and life allow. Just too much of both at the moment.
    If you are ever in the area you are welcome. We have a drive big enough for your new van (nice motorhome by the way) and it would be good to see you both again.
    Take it easy, (Vulcan salutation) live long and prosper and have a happy 2011.
    Jools & Oz.

  4. Ooops! Jool n Oz Email adress below.

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