Pinge and Woe!

This post is coming to you heavy of heart, as Jill has just received an email from her travel insurance company telling her that her policy is up for renewal. After the first thought of “Go me – I was ORGANISED last year buying travel insurance!”, the woe crept in as usually at this time of year we’d be all excited and putting last minute finishing touches to this year’s trip and telling you all about it.  You will have noticed that we have been a bit quiet recently (well, more quiet than usual – last time Susan was back in Sunderland we gave ourselves a good stern talking to that we WILL improve our social media presence and interaction this year!  And we still haven’t finished posting all the blogs from the Stans last year! They are all pretty much written up but it depresses Susan too much to sort through all the photos to make a proper post) and the reason for this is that Jill has not been allowed her holidays off in March this year due to “business needs” and all that bollocks. So we’re having to reschedule for later in the year, which is bad as we have to wait so long for our next wangering but we’re trying to look on the bright side – it gives us more time to save up (this one promises to be quite spendy), sort out visas etc. and we won’t have the usual taking-pretty-much-full-annual-entitlement-in-March-and-being-stuck-at-work-depressed-for-the-whole-rest-of-year problem. At least we have this to look forward to, to drag us through the tedium of existence for another few months!

This year’s trip, we are proud to announce, is to AFRICA!  We’ve been gagging for it for years, as neither of us have ventured very far into this continent (Jill has been to Tunisia on a family holiday and Susan has yet to have a beer on it) and are absolutely mad for the wildlife, beautiful landscapes to have beers on and a whole load of different cultures’ worth of people to meet and talk shit to. Not to mention all the delicious and dubious new foods and boozes to try! As it’s obviously a VERY HUGE FUCKING CONTINENT, we’ve had to just focus on one area this trip and have decided on “Bottom-Right Africa” – Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi, Tanzania (including Zanzibar), Malawi, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Mozambique and Swaziland (yeah, we’re overlapping Eastern, Central and Southern Africa regions so we’re just calling it “Bottom-Right”).  Here are the brief highlights of what we’re hoping to do :

  • Uganda : Flying to Entebbe from Dublin, Some monkey place we haven’t fully researched yet
  • Rwanda:: 2 day mountain gorilla safari
  • Tanzania:  3 day safari in the Serengeti National Park/Ngorongoro Crater, diving on Zanzibar
  • Malawi: Nkhata Bay and the Chilembwe Ferry across Lake Malawi
  • Zambia/Zimbabwe:  Night train from Lusaka to Livingstone (Victoria Falls), sunset booze cruise and some wildlife spotting activities on the Zambezi, night train from Vic Falls to Bulawayo (have a day/night there).
  • Mozambique: A couple of days chilling in Beira, a couple of days and a casual dolphin encounter in Maputo (sheesh Mozambique – you’ve totally lucked out with our time here!)
  • Swaziland: a “last huzzah” night out in Mbabane before flying back to London from Johannesburg.

You’ll notice we have deliberately skirted around South Africa. This is because Natalie, a good friend of ours (and erstwhile flatmate/partner in crime in Amsterdam/Copenhagen of Susan) is from there and Susan flat out refuses to go unless we go with Nat.  We couldn’t avoid the flight from Johannesburg on the way back though but we don’t think it really counts.

The whole trip is pretty much planned from start to finish but as it was based on the original dates in March, it will probably need some tweaking here and there to ensure that the flights/trains/buses are running on the right days.  At the moment we’re waiting to hear from the gorilla and safari men to see what their recommended time of year to visit is…  so we’ll hopefully have a full itinerary for you in the near future!

We’ve also decided that next year’s Pinge and Wang will be SOUTH AMERICA!!!! It’s been three years (is that all? It seems like a lifetime away!) since Central America and we are absolutely gagging for some rum, beaches, jungles, and general Latino goodness.  Again like Africa, obviously we can’t do the lot in our meagre three week trip so watch this space for when we do decide where to go!

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