Bromo revisited

It’s okay, I spouted with a swagger in my step, I walked there before! Same old type of cheap accommodation with the comfortingly super damp bedding. 

Awake! 2.30 or there abouts, up and at it! Stumbling out into the brisk air we were met by a cachophany of noise. Tailing off onto the distance was a column of roaring jeeps. It’s okay, we’ll walk, not like these pampered softies!!!

Through the town and down a steep slippery slope on our way to the Sea of Sand. Lights and sounds pounded past. But we’ll walk!! Down onto the sea of sand and off we went. Mist enveloped us, but no problem for we had my iPhone torch/lamp. Onwards McDuff.

And then from the rear, column after column of jeeps screamed past us. Entertaining it was, look I’m here said my iPhone torch wanly. And on we went. Again and again like The US army in Desert Storm, metal and light flew past us. 

Eventually a horeseman guided us to the base of Bromo, but we hadn’t been too far out. It says here:-) People and beasts appeared wraith like from the gloom but our goal was in our sights. So sad to see rubbish at the base of the final leg up to the crater rim. Guess that’s progress. The light, the view and the atmosphere was amazing. And then a walk back in the daylight and a stop off for food at the Lava Hotel. Ordered tomato soup. Love tomato soup:-) a bowl, two tomatoes cut up and some boiling water. Wouldn’t it be boring if everything was the same! 

To many jeeps and fumes but nothing can destroy the majesty of Mount Bromo. Not even dodgy tomato soup!

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I just got home to find four Police Officers in my house looking

…I just got home to find four Police Officers in my house looking for something, acting like lunatics!!!!! Even searching through my garage. They checked through the air-conditioner and inside my bed, tearing the mattress apart!!

When I asked if they had a search warrant, they answered completely hysterically:

“Where did you hide it?? We know it’s here somewhere!!”

Then I watched one of the Police officers look at his mobile phone and shouted.

” Stop it! We are in the wrong house!!!! The Pokémon is next door!!!”

Roadtrip Tech Checklist

How Does this Work?

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Laptop with charger – check

Ipads, 2 for the use of – check

Kindle –  for me to read and use when laptop is tied up – check

Mobile phones 4 with chargers, reminded mine is an iphone;-)  check

Hair dryer -? – check

Curling tongs – the ladies tell me they are important!

Remington (bought the company blah, blah) beard trimmer, various other uses, too! check

TV’s for children in car, plus adaptors (reminder, take films) – check

Headphones for TV’s vital – check. In cabin not in boot of car – double check

Garmin GPS –  to be stuck like an excited snail on the dashboard – check

Tablet – hope wonky start button still works -check

Digital Camera – what you mean it needs batteries? – check

Pen Drive – in case I can’t – check

Mixer for smoothies – check

Fiszka/skateboard – basic technology but important if I am to fall over it on holiday  instead of at home. Check

Calculator for currency – check

That’s enough to be going on with – check

 

 

 

Road Trip Do’s and Dont’s

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In no particular order of priority.

Do -Do get off the motorways and take the quieter routes. They are toll free and give you the chance to pull over and stop in interesting place, off the beaten track.Independence is paramount.

Don’t – Don’t forget to take that spare key for the car, you know, the one you’re never going to need. So easy to lose when moving and constantly repacking from place to place. But so hard to replace when AWOL.

Do – Do take a fold up map. Useful for directions, even better as temporary sunshade on the beach.

Do – Do liberally sprinkle your tour with water parks and amusement parks for the children. Something for them to cling on to and continually ask about whilst sightseeing and travelling.

Don’t – Don’t leave earplugs or earphones in the boot, at the bottom under everything when on the move, especially when the children want to watch a particularly interesting kids film!

Do – Do down load all the maps and towns onto your mobile phone of the towns and countries on your itinerary, before leaving home. This way they can be used without connecting to the costly roaming services when abroad.

Don’t – Don’t eat heavy breakfasts when you’re going to sit in the car for hours, or later you may be sitting for hours! And make that a maximum 7-8 hour drive.

Don’t – Don’t rely on the GPS as if it is infallible. Crossing fields means the GPS may well be a little awry. Balance the GPS data with the best computer in the world, the brain between your ears!

Do – Do remember that many Southern European countries like a little snooze in the afternoon. So plan accordingly with fuel, shops and restaurants. There is nothing more desolate than a child’s face when you explain that the pizza restaurant, they are already sitting at the outside table,  is closed until later that day. Pizza DENIED!

Don’t – Don’t allow anyone, repeat anyone to remove socks in the car.

Do- Do pack a sense of humour and a smile.

Don’t – Don’t drink scalding hot coffee over your crotch as you drive.

Do- Do remind the navigator to have the map correctly orientated.

Do – Do go to the dentist before travelling for that niggly pain. Trying to sort out a dentist, and any other minor medical needs, is a nightmare, expensive and stressful.

Don’t – Don’t forget to remind the ladies to buy, pack, all of the hair clips, hair bands, hair pins and their favourite shampoos and conditioners.

Do- Do pack extra toilet roll, you have been warned!

Do – Do pack a torch, change and renew the batteries and take spare batteries as well.

Don’t – Don’t plan to travel to a country experiencing fuel strikes, rioting for assorted reasons and, oops, too late!

Do – Do learn the rudiments of polite etiquette and hello, thank you and goodbye in the language of your intended host countries.

Do – Do pack a smile as it is an international and friendly language:-)

 

 

 

Base Camp Rome

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It always sounds easy, doesn’t it? Get off the coach at the train terminal. Check. Take luggage from coach stowage as if in a Rugby Union scrum. Good. MacDonald’s spotted so the children were fed. Great. Then a spot of aimless wandering and staring at GPS and maps in an effort to become orientated. Hold the thought that this is for a  man who can become lost in a shopping centre/mall with signs in English! Downloading Here Maps  and pre-loading Rome to avoid charges helped.  My phone running out of power did not!

Then look at a sign that says Via Cavour, ignore it and set off one block further down.Why? Then it starts to rain, it being the end of January. Lovely. The streets were warren-like, but eventually the Hotel hove into view. The Virgilio on Via Palermo. No taxi, no local help, our own efforts come to fruition. Footsore, wet but satisfied.

The Virgilio is just fine for the budget we had set ourselves. The staff were friendly and competent. The rooms were clean and unimaginatively decorated, and not too recently, either. The bathroom had a window that just wouldn’t close to snugly. But a hop and a skip and  a hot shower drove away the chill.The hotel has wi-fi, great for the children and for us when planning our forays into Rome. All on foot. Comfortable trainers and thick insoles were to be sorely tested! Breakfast is served in a small, possibly former cellar, with  a small bar for the thirsty morning people. The food was standard fayre, but everything was clean and you could eat as much as you wished. All in all an adequate base camp for our purposes.

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