Hi Wendy and fellow travellers,
I waited a long time to get to China. I had wanted to go there since 1988, when we had Expo 88 here in Brisbane. Going to the China Pavilion, I was enthralled by the pointy mountains which were pictured on the walls.
A seasoned traveller
I’ve travelled quite a lot. Firstly with my husband, mainly around Britain and Europe and later to Turkey (Gallipoli), Thailand, Hong Kong and Singapore. After he passed away, I was not sure if I was brave enough to travel alone. Despite this, I went to Canada. I had a wonderful seven weeks there on tours from the West Coast right across the country. This also included two cruises thrown in Alaska, around Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island. I found it easy to make friends as there were always other single travellers to meet up with.
Once I got in the swing of it over the next 10 years I went to Africa, Vietnam, Cambodia, South America, Spain, Portugal, Morocco, India and New Zealand. A Mediterranean cruise was to be my swan song, three trips back to back: A French river cruise, a trip to the Western Front (the Dawn Service at Villers Bretonneux in 2015) and lastly, the highlands and islands of Scotland.
Over the years I had done three light aircraft tours to Birdsville and Uluru, Flinders Ranges and lastly Western Queensland, Thursday Island and the tip of Cape York.
By this time, I was 80 and decided I was over long-haul flights and my solo travelling days were over.
A new adventure
In 2018 my daughter gave me a lovely surprise. She asked me if I would like to come to China with her. After all these years I was finally getting to see China!
We went on Wendy Wu’s Wonders of China tour and I enjoyed every minute. I was determined to climb The Great Wall and we went to the Juyong Pass. I made up my mind to make it to the second tower, with puffing and a rests on the way. My daughter was even asking “are you sure you don’t want to go down”?
By the time I got back down, my legs were like jelly, but a good strong coffee revived me. We loved the entombed Warriors in Xian – another long held ambition. Enjoyed the Yangtze cruise and finally got to see those mountains around Guilin after 30 years.
A time well-had by all
It was great fun having our photos taken with two cormorants with a pole on our shoulders. We flew out of Shanghai – a lovely city. Our bags were loaded with a silk doona and runner from the Silk factory, some pearls and some jade. Lovely mementos to add to our memories of a most enjoyable trip.
Everything ran very smoothly thanks to our lovely guide Alice, who was so friendly and capable.