PP and Granny Jac are planning their next great adventure. PP has managed to wangle a year off work and she wants to see a bit of the planet. Dutifully I have to pack my bags and go with her.
This trip should be a huge adventure - we've leaving much of it to chance and the Rough Guides to travel.....and we're going to be away for a long time. Oh, and some time between now and leaving next year we have to fit enough to climb Machu Picchu; dedicated enough to learn some Spanish and rich enough to be able to stay in at least one hotel.
I've given it away now, haven't I - we're planning to head to South America
So, how do you get ready for such a long time away when you're middle aged and not so fit, and never learned another language and don't have any money? (And we don't know how we'll go with altitude sickness and eating guinea pig)
But, we do need to know a bit about this huge continent. It's useful when you're thinking about important things to see and do. So, of course, we went to the library. And there it was, lurking on a shelf, "South America on a Budget".
We do know that we'll start off with three weeks at a language school, staying at a homestay, where we'll learn Spanish in the mornings and explore or volunteer in the afternoons. But that's as far as we've planned and as far as we probably will plan really; we're going to leave a lot of the trip to chance and chance encounter.
Maybe we'd better learn a little bit more before we wave goodbye for half a year, given our limited knowledge of the local geography. Hopefully we'll stop having conversations like this:
Me: "I'd like to go to Bolivia because that's where Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid were".
She: "Okay, that's right up the top isn't it."
Me: "Ummm, I think you mean Bogota".
She: "I think we should get a map".
I'm busy working on my blog posts. Watch this space!