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Backpacking... it's not as fun as Insurance

a travel blog by lizziecarver

I'm going round the world but I don't know where yet.

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Bye bye England

London, United Kingdom

I'm finally doing it... I'm going travelling. Its my last day at work and by the time everyone else gets into work on Monday and finishes chatting about X- factor I will be sitting on my own in the departure lounge.

Given that its a Friday I'm obviously incredibly hungover following another boozy night in the city. For everyone that made it down last night thank you so much for coming, I had a brilliant night. Here are a few of the (pretty dodgy) photos from my phone.

My personal highlights from the night were, having a deep and meaningful with the boss- none of which I can remember, looking around to see my sister with Kevvo's tie on his head, getting a fireman's lift from Adrian, finding Anna dead to the world in the toilets, leaving Anna in the toilets for 45 minutes so me and Fiona could go back to the dancefloor, having a charcuterie in the back of the taxi on the way home

and... waking up this morning to find that, in addition to Anna being broken, so was her laptop.

Thank you all for being brilliant, I'm genuinely sad to be going.

See you all next summer! xxxxxxx

permalink written by  lizziecarver on October 15, 2010 from London, United Kingdom
from the travel blog: Backpacking... it's not as fun as Insurance
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I'm here!

Nakuru, Kenya

Hello All,

I have to be very quick because we have just stopped for a lunch break so I don't have long.

I had the worst journey ever getting here (Its a long Story involving 3 cancelled flights and a detour via Saudi and Dubai)... but I got here Tuesday nights.

I met the group across town on Wednesday morning. Everyone is very nice. Mostly late 20s, people that have worked for a few years and then decided to go on an adventure. A mix of brits, Kiwis and Canadians. After introductions we got on the bus.. and headed through the Great Rift Valley

The truck is big and yellow and fits 24 passengers. There are 13 of us at the moment and we are picking up another 10 when we pass back through Nairobi. We have lockers under our seats, a safe in the floor and on the outside lots of storage for fuel, water, camping gear and the kitchen.

Yesterday we spent the day doing Safari which was ace. We saw antelope, giraffes, zebras, white and black Rhino and a shed load of flamingos.

Its going into raining season at the moment and we had a big down pour yesterday. Pretty smug that I've got my walking boots and waterproof jacket but the next 2 weeks are going to be WET until we head down south. I wish I'd packed waterproof trousers and a hat!

Tonight we are bush camping (camping in the middle of nowhere) in a forest near the Ugandan border. I am on cook group so I've just been to the market to buy all the ingredients for jacket potatos and vege chilli. We are cooking over an open fire so I've stocked up on marshmellows too.

Anyway have to dash because the truck is leaving soon. We are heading north east towards Uganda today.

me! x

permalink written by  lizziecarver on October 22, 2010 from Nakuru, Kenya
from the travel blog: Backpacking... it's not as fun as Insurance
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All the Gandas

Kigali, Rwanda

Hello All,

I am currently in Rwanda in just about the worst intenet cafe ever, complete with power cuts and a terrible connection.

Rwanda is incredible definitely the most stunning place I've ever been. Its a but like the alps but with tea plantations, padi fields and mud huts. We arrived here yesterday and stopped of in the capital (Kigali) to visit the genocide memorial. I have read a couple of books on it but they didn't really prepare me for the brutality of some of the images. Its incredible the the Rwanda has recovered so well in the 16 years since it ended. In the evening our guide hooked us up with a local man who gave us a personal account of his experiences... We are very lucky to live in the UK.

This morning we went Gorilla Trekking. This was the whole reason I booked the Africa trip in the first place. We met our guide and got taken to the bottom of the volcano where the gorillas live. We only had to walk for about 40 minutes when we found the trackers. Then we left our back packs and our guide started cutting his way though the undergrowth. Suddenly we were surrounded by gorillas. It was incredible. The babies were playing about 3 feet in front of us and they kept moving so we would have to make way for them. The silverback was huge and gave us all a fright when he walked past. By this point we were covered in nettle stings but I didn't care. It was one of the best things I've ever done. I would really recommend it.

To get to Rwanda to make our Gorilla trekking date we had to drive through Uganda fairly quickly. We stopped in Kampala for a few days because our driver had the squits and went on a slum tour. It was really fun playing in the streets with the children. They love having their picture taken and then seeing it on the screen on the camera.

Due to this crap internet connection I cannot upload any pictures. One of the girls from my group is on the computer next to me and has been trying to get onto Facebook for 1 hour 20 mins and counting.

When I get somewhere with broadband I will upload some pictures and maybe even a video to Youtube.

Having a great time.

Hope you are all well xxxx

permalink written by  lizziecarver on October 27, 2010 from Kigali, Rwanda
from the travel blog: Backpacking... it's not as fun as Insurance
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Photo Update

Kampala, Uganda

Here are a couple of photos from the past week...

me x

permalink written by  lizziecarver on October 28, 2010 from Kampala, Uganda
from the travel blog: Backpacking... it's not as fun as Insurance
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Another Hideous Campsite

Kabale, Uganda

We spent the end of last week chilling out at Lake Bunyonyi. Uganda is stunning. The lake is 6500 ft deep and surrounded by mountains, perfect!

permalink written by  lizziecarver on October 29, 2010 from Kabale, Uganda
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Another Equator Crossing...

Entebbe, Uganda

Me and Meg at the Equator again... this time its not raining!

permalink written by  lizziecarver on October 31, 2010 from Entebbe, Uganda
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The Source of the Nile

Kampala, Uganda

After a very eventful Journey we arrived in Jinga (about an hour from Kampala) on Sunday night. Ginga is the watersports capital of Uganada and sits on the Nile just at its source on Lake Victoria.

On Monday we all signed up to go white water rafting. Having never been rafting before I very much underestimated how big these grade 5 rapids were going to be. After an hour of drills we reached our first set of rapids. It was all going well until we got to a rapid from called the Silverback. We all got thrown out and sent flying down the rapids in different directions. There was a brief moment when I thought I was probably dead before being rescued by a kayaker. It took me a couple more rapids to get my confidence back but the rest of the day was incredible. I must have been thrown out 4/5 times but the rest of the just funny, no getting sucked under. Our favourite part was a 5 meter waterfall that we dropped down. Some how we all stayed in the boat.

After a few G&T's last night we got up this morning and me and Meg decided to visit one of the local community projects. It was a really inspiring project set up by an English tour leader 10 years ago. They provide free schooling for all the local children, a local clinic and wider community education to adults on efficient agriculture methods, sustainability, health and family planning and ICT. They take on lots of volunteers and get a lot of their funding from tourists who have visited and UK university societies. It was quite cool to see an effective project that has found solutions to some of the local issues.

The rest of today was spent eating Japatis and sunbathing on the Nile... its a hard life :)

permalink written by  lizziecarver on November 1, 2010 from Kampala, Uganda
from the travel blog: Backpacking... it's not as fun as Insurance
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Lake Naivasha

Naivasha, Kenya

This week we spent a couple of days camping on Lake Naivasha on the way back to Nairobi. The camp ground itself was pretty basic but the location was incredible. You can wake up in the night and hear all the hippos from your tent. On the first day we got there it was one of the girls birthdays so we decided to get dressed up and go for afternoon tea at Elsemere. Elsemere was the home of Joy Adamson of the Born Free books/films/charity. Its now a museum and afternoon tea venue! We spend about 2 minutes in the museum part and then got our dollars worth in tea, quiche and cake. YUMMMY!

The next day we decided to go on a bike safari through Hells Gate National Park. It was a beautiful day and the scenery was stunning. We rode past Zebras, Antelope and Warthogs before getting off our bikes and climbing through a gorge.

We're back in Nairobi today (7th) just waiting to pick more people up before heading to Tanzinia. I'll be in Zanzibar next weeked... LUSH!

permalink written by  lizziecarver on November 4, 2010 from Naivasha, Kenya
from the travel blog: Backpacking... it's not as fun as Insurance
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The Bumpy Road to Tanzania

Arusha, Tanzania

Today we took a very long and bumpy road from Nairobi, Kenya to Arusha, Tanzania. The journey was fantastic. Quite suddenly the scenery changed to arid plains. Somewhere near the Tanzanian border we started passing through tribal villages. The tribal costumes were amazing, they have lots of piercings and face paint and still carry spears. It was a really good drive day made better by the fact that we picked up 5 new people at the beginning of the day.

During one of the many toilet stops along the way (we opened the beers early afternoon) we attempted some classic jumping shots

permalink written by  lizziecarver on November 8, 2010 from Arusha, Tanzania
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More Safari :)

Arusha, Tanzania

We spent the next couple of days on Safari. From Arusha we first drove to the Ngorogoro Crater which backs onto the Serengeti and is the remains of a Volcano. The remaining Crater is full of animals almost like a little eco-system. We saw lots of animals that I haven't seen in the wild before like jackals, hyenas, ostriches etc. The scenery was incredible but by midday we had to get out because of the heat.

In the afternoon we had lunch on the rim of the Crater and then headed into the Serengeti National Park. The Serengeti is famous for seeing cats and everyone knows I LOVE CATS. Almost immediately we saw a cheetah on the side of the road with a kill, and then a couple of minutes later her 4 cubs emerged we also saw leopards and heaps of lions. It was such a good day, I could watch them for hours. They are just like massive moggies!

That evening we slept inside the Serengeti in our tents, in the middle of the park, with no fences, just a guard with a gun. It was a brilliant experience, I went to sleep listening to hyenas laughing, and it was crazy to wake up, get in the vehicles and see elephants less than 100m away.

permalink written by  lizziecarver on November 11, 2010 from Arusha, Tanzania
from the travel blog: Backpacking... it's not as fun as Insurance
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