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the finale of an awesome adventure

Maidenhead, United Kingdom

New Years was good fun. we went to an expensive restaurant (well compared to the trip- i paid 10 pounds for a meal!) which was called a tapas bar but didnt seem to do any tapas! i had nice spagghetti meat balls though! we then went to an Irish bar thaqt played really bad music, until just before midnight when we went outside. there was a vague countdown then the bar produced a big box of fireworks that they put in the middle of the road with a quick warning of 'fire, move back'. the fireworks were pretty good- especially at the end when they exploded outwards towards us, only a few metres away and i thought i was gonig to get hit! we then moved down the road to see some bigger fireworks at a distance.
the final day was spent meandering around the area and packing. in the evening we went and saw Avator but not 3D as that was sold out. it was still good though.
the following day i said goodbye to everyone as they left for BiRT and to the next campsite. it was sad when i started thinking if i would see some of the group again. but i have found out from old hotrockers that there is no escaping fellow hotrockers, because you will bump into them back in England or in various countries when you least expect it! there are always more climbing trips planned- amazing trad climbing in Jordon, sun-drenched sport climbing in Kalymnos or a boldering festival in Holland, and thats just for this year!
so i put on a barve face as the hotrockers left the hotel and me behind. i then gathered by stuff and went to find a taxi. the taxi took me straight to the skybus, which then took me to the airport fairly stress free. the next worry was when i had to check my bags in- would they be within the 30kg allowance i had bought? they came up as 33.5kg so i held my breath waiting for the check-in lady to notice. luckily she seemed to overlook it and i walked away with the ticket relieved.
the flight was 14 hours and had no TVs on the plane- it was one long journey! i did get the window seat and the seat next to me was free. about 5 hours in i started to feel a bit claustrophobic as it was dark in the plane and i still had so long to go. i looked around and all i couyld see were strangers faces. it was a very strange feeling- for 8 months i havent been away from other hotrockers for a couple of hours at a time, and even then, if for example i walked around Tonsai on my own, i would bump into someone at a restaurant, sitting on the beach or at the internet. suddenly i didnt know anyone. it was bizarre!
i met my parents at Stansted airport at 10pm and was immediately met by freezing cold air and so many English accents! the drive home was great- gliding along the motorway at normal speeds!
what a great trip! im still trying to get used to being back home. it definately feels a bit strange when everything is so familiar but i hasve been away long enough that it has become unfamiliar! i drove my car yesterday which was scary to start with but i quickly remembered how to drive (few!!). some clothes shopping was very exciting and much needed, as is usibng the washing machine a novelty! and the food is great! roast dinner and lasagne, pizza, all the things ive been missing!

i dont know how to conclude such a long and diverse trip. i had my favourite climbing areas- bouldering in Chattru, in the Indian Himalayas, and sport climbing in Yangshuo, in South East China, hiking around Mount Kailash in Tibet. Laos was beautiful with rolling jungle hills, Pakistan was beautiful with huge intimidating mountains and glaciers, Tibet was unique in its endless deserts with only sand to see for miles, Thailand had idilic sandy beaches and crystal blue water. then there was the dirt, filth and poverty we discovered in India, the scary altitude sickness in Tibet, and the government supression in Kashgar, China. driving in BiRT, cook duties, truck jobs, camping under the largest amount of stars i have ever seen, getting the first shower after 10 days, eating endless rice and veg. seeing mountains and sea, climbing to an altitude of 5600m, being in freezing temperatures, to rock climbing in 46 degrees C, getting stomach bugs and skin infections, having christmas on a beach, getting a tatoo. all the Hotrockers i have lived with and shared so many adventures with, from England, Scotland, Germany, Holland, Spain, Switzerland, Denmark, America, Mexico, Australia and New Zealand.
just to name a few!!
Im going to have stories to tell for a long time!
thanks for reading my blog, i have really enjoyed writing it.

permalink written by  Clairesj on January 5, 2010 from Maidenhead, United Kingdom
from the travel blog: Clairesj's Travel Blog
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The Arc of Asia 2009-2010. Bring on the climbing!

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