Virtual Travelling with Race Across the World

In our last couple of posts Jonno has given you the turn of events, using his excellent dusting of humour, that led to us being in a lovely self contained unit in beautiful Devon for a couple of months.

Counting our Blessings

Honestly though the experience of getting back from Tenerife, the necessity to travel through the lockdown and there being no room at the inn (well lodge really) I look back on and think, why wasn’t I more stressed or worried? I can never quite figure out why I always switch into, “It could be worse” mode, maybe just a coping mechanism.

It probably helped knowing that my younger brother and his friends, that have become friends to us too, were only a stone’s throw away. Through strict social distancing, hand washing and careful rationing of the last little pocket sized hand sanitiser and travel wipes, plus a little bit of luck I’m sure, we have managed to stay virus free so far. Definitely a time to count our blessings.


Race Across the World Update – Episode 3

Through all the ups and downs we have still managed to keep up with the latest episode of Race Across the World.

  • The next leg = 2000 km Panama City to Quito in Ecuador
  • How did the couples do?
    • Dom and Lizzie (the brother and sister combo) spent £197 taking an 8 hour journey in an open boat. When it started to get dark they had to pay $25 each to stay in a hostel on the small remote village of Capurganá on the Columbian coast. Seemed a massive rip off to me when they had been paying only $5 each before but they didn’t seem to be in a position to argue if they wanted to get the first boat out in the morning. During this leg Lizzie wanted to take work looking after some horses which ended up mucking out in the main. Dom was not impressed.
    • Jo and Sam (the mother and son combo) took a different route and ended up in Cali – the Salsa capital of South America and worked in a bar to boost the funds. Sam struggled in this environment and drove Jo to tears but he made it up to her the next day with a home made card. Ahhhh…..
    • Emon and Jamiul (the uncle and nephew combo) didn’t get much air time once again but did work for a dive shop and seemed to make the most of that – better than shovelling poo!
    • Rob and Jen (the married couple) took the same route as Dom and Lizzie and encountered the same rip off hostel but managed to haggle and got the use of two hammocks on the porch of the hostel for $15 each instead of the beds at $25 each. Bartering with Columbian traders who hold all the cards – respect. They have gone up in my estimations.
  • State of Emergency, Ecuador. Part way through this episode they all got a message via their GPS trackers to say that a state of emergency had been called in Ecuador so it was unsafe to travel there. So Quito was ditched a the checkpoint and the rendezvous was at Villavieja, Columbia. This is a town in the Tatacoa Desert and the accommodation looked amazing although it did involve a hike across what looked like a moon-scape. The quickest on this leg were Emon and Jamiul, followed by Rob and Jen, Jo and Sam, and finally Dom and Lizzie.


Race Across the World Update – Episode 4

Before I give you a quick run down of last week’s episode, I must mention that some people seem to think this travelling across South America is actually taking place now and comment how foolhardy it is with everything that’s going on. The shocking truth is that this was filmed back in September and October 2019 long before the current pandemic so relax and enjoy…….

  • The next leg = Villavieja, Columbia to Puno, Peru. The no-flights rule was broken due to the civil unrest in Ecuador and the pairs were flown part way from Columbia to Peru. This leg involves travelling high into the Andes so decisions on routes to acclimatise gradually could be crucial
  • How did the couples do?
    • Dom and Lizzie (the brother and sister combo) worked in a bar for a half day. Lizzie seemed to be doing a lot of chatting while Dom did all the work! It also became apparent that Lizzie is reluctant to speak to locals to get information and had a real crisis of confidence when Dom pushed her to take the initiative.
    • Jo and Sam (the mother and son pair) were flashing the cash a little bit on this leg. Jo felt that Sam needed some treats so he had a haircut, they booked a more luxurious bus and did a jeep trip into the desert with a bit of desert surfing thrown in.
    • Emon and Jamiul (the uncle and nephew team) seemed to get a little more air time this week. They helped father and son fishermen and ate their catch with them. Emon was all reflective about family life back in the UK. They also took time out to take a bus then hike to the top of Rainbow Mountain. A bit risky really with Jamiul being an asthma sufferer and the high altitude but they made it – probably much to the relief of the production team.
    • Rob and Jen (the married couple) worked at a bear sanctuary for part of day during this leg and seemed to love getting an enclosure ready for some rescue bears. They seem to be more relaxed as the weeks go on.
  • The finishing order this week was Jo and Sam first, followed by Rob and Jen, Emon and Jamiul with Dom and Lizzie bringing up the rear (again!) Maybe Lizzie does need to raise her game to help Dom although she did look decidedly dodgy at the end of the programme. Altitude sickness?


Virtual Travelling

Although South America has never really ended up on our “must see” places, we are enjoying following their journey and interestingly it doesn’t give us itchy feet watching it. Like a lot of people we are biding our time until it is safe, sensible and practical to hit the road again and Race Across the World will continue to be our travel fix once a week.

I did happen to see that applications are open for 2020 so if you think you can do better than our four intrepid couples and like the idea of £20,000 if you win, why not apply at ‘Race across the World Series 3

Do you think we should put on a disguise and try again?

04/04/2020

Race Across the World

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