Ten years ago I had a particularly stressful holiday to Cyprus which was entirely down to my poor choice in travel companion, and ever since then I’ve avoided going back, despite it being a beautiful destination. A decade later I’ve decided to right that wrong by booking a week at a fantastic luxury, beach-front hotel where I’ll over-indulge in all-inclusive food and drink while staying in a beautiful room with a sea view and balcony. There’s even an indoor pool, sauna and jacuzzi for guests to use should the weather be less than perfect during your stay!
It’s going to be utter bliss looking out at the Mediterranean and taking sunny walks to the nearby harbour to enjoy all things boaty. I’m very excited to be returning to Paphos, strolling around in the evening listening to the crickets chirping, sitting in the warm breeze watching stunning sunsets and exploring all the places I never got the opportunity to visit previously. Although I still adore the Canary Islands, a change is as good as a rest, and change is definitely in the air for 2018…
You know you’re in Maspalomas when you’re greeted like a long lost friend by an excitable Spanish gay chap who you’ve never met before, as he hugs you while giving you a kiss on each cheek (how very continental) before welcoming you to ‘paradise’!
While the UK was covered in snow I was stripping off at my adults-only, all-inclusive, 4-star hotel in Gran Canaria (yes, it’s a hard life). I don’t know what gets into me but the minute I arrive in Gran Canaria I can’t keep my vest on!
All-inclusive food and drinks means over-indulgence renders you incapacitated for hours on end. Thank heavens for the fabulous rooftop terrace (with bar, obviously). I’ve had some surreal moments during this holiday; not least when I spent the evening with a couple of Swedish guys watching a female contortionist and her strongman partner on stage, as I knocked back large glasses of Baileys on the rocks.
I did occasionally drag myself away long enough to enjoy boaty things and travel around the island a bit but the majority of my week involved nothing more strenuous than slathering another layer of sunscreen onto my burnt bits. Feliz Navidad!
Wow, what an adventure! I’ve just returned home from a fantastic long weekend visiting friends and until now I had no idea you could cram quite so much into 3 days. I’ve visited places that I’d never knew existed and met some truly lovely people. I’ve eaten everything from a delicious risotto to a scrumptious pavolva thanks to my Cordon Bleu hostess, and I’ve consumed the equivalent of a small swimming pool’s worth of chilled white wine. I was even chauffeur-driven through the countryside with the roof down in a very zippy Mercedes sports car with my hair blowing in the breeze!
The weather was extremely kind throughout, so we were able to fully enjoy the sights and sounds of a historic town, a stunning cult TV series location and a fabulous castle surrounded by beautiful gardens under blue skies, with the sun shining down on us all day long. It’s been an emotional whirlwind of heartfelt greetings and heart-wrenching goodbyes, but travel is addictive and the more I do it the further I want to go. For the moment I need to unpack my case, along with my many wonderful memories, and let my liver recover before looking ahead to Lanzarote.
After weeks of hell, not knowing whether the lumps I have on my neck are cancerous, or not; all the scans, xrays, blood tests, a rather challenging morning at the cancer clinic in the haematology department followed by day surgery for a biopsy, I finally have a diagnosis…. I DON’T have cancer (phew!) I DO have ‘reactive lymph nodes‘ that will need further investigation, but I can’t tell you how much weight has now been lifted off my shoulders. To top it off, I’ve just seen my cardiologist and although he confirmed my heart murmur there’s no immediate need to operate (another phew!!) I’ll need to have annual scans but that’s easy peasy.
I am a very lucky girl indeed, and it’s things like this that make you sit up and take notice; appreciate what you have and focus on living life to the full. Right, I must now book my travel insurance – España, aquí vengo…!
Should re-name this blog Life Begins at Fifty Three and a Little Bit…!
Just got back from a fantastic week of winter sun in Gran Canaria and I think I’m still a bit tipsy.
A few thankyous; to Bex for being naturally blonde in every way possible, to Ian for being so sweet (and for explaining the lighthouse thing), to Carol for introducing me to baileys on the rocks, to Paul for all those brandies, to Len and Maria for all those fascinating travel tales and to Stefano – REALLY?! Also, muchas gracias to all of the very fit waiters for providing high quality Spanish eye candy for the entire 7 days. Those tight black t-shirts over rippling muscles made an old lady very happy!
I think I learnt more in the past 7 days than I did in the past 7 years! Apparently 9 Bailies on the rocks isn’t enough to numb the tedium of Country music… but 10 is. Going topless round the pool is a liberating experience and hilarious to watch all those wives giving their husbands the evil eye if they so much as glance up from their kindles. And hangovers are easily cured via the late breakfast menu at the poolside bar – where all-inclusive alcohol provides hair-of-the-dog to accompany the ‘full English’.
Feliz Navidad / Merry Christmas – hic!
Oh yes…. H-O-L-I-D-A-Y!
When the weather’s turned decidedly autumnal, and the cold & miserable winter is looming on the horizon, there’s only one thing for it – book a fabulous, all-inclusive holiday somewhere hot! Obviously, this won’t be a practical solution for everyone, but if you try to plan ahead and put aside whatever cash you can, it might not be beyond the realms of possibility that while everyone else has their central heating on full blast and are frozen solid simply walking to the car and back, you and your mates could be lounging around under a palm tree, sipping cocktails while letching at fit Spanish waiters! It’s certainly something nice to focus on to get you through the misery of dark, damp mornings and even darker, damper evenings.
Even if funds are a little too low to consider such a luxury right at this moment in time, if you enjoy foreign travel and feel in need of some RnR in the not too distant future, there’s nothing stopping you from creating a ‘holiday fund’ which you can stash any birthday and xmas money in, along with any unexpected windfalls. If you shop around you really can find some extremely affordable deals out there. The world is your oyster – so tuck in!