Best laid plans and all that … all excited about the new-found freedom of my retirement transition year I spent hours in December 2019 planning what I’d be doing this year.
I started off by putting in the dates of big sporting events – Olympics, Euros Football, Wimbledon etc – to make sure my holidays didn’t clash with them. Then I added in a few of the events I like to go including Hay Literary Festival in May and Henley Royal Regatta in July.
That done we worked our when our five main holiday breaks were going to take place starting with tomorrow’s now cancelled holiday to the Costa del Sol. The next trip we’ve got planned is to Bratislava to see family in July which as the lockdown continues is looking highly doubtful.
Was it worth the effort I ask myself? You know, I think it was and now, while I’ve got the time, I’m going to do a bit more planning starting with my long-awaited travel bucket list. When this all over and I’m going to be ready.
Doing the list is also scratching the itch of my wanderlust, giving me some travel to look forward to.
I’ve been watching the BBC’s excellent Race Across the World TV series following five couples attempts to navigate across South America without taking flights or using smartphones. It’s whetted my appetite for a continent I’ve neither been to and has never ranked that highly on my list of places to go… until now.
In no particular order, here’s the top 10 places I want to visit:
Machu Picchu, Peru – the world famous Inca Citadel, one of the most photographed tourist sites in the world.
Salar de Uyuni, Bolivia – the planet’s biggest saltlake where you can stay in a hotel entirely constructed from salt.
Pantanal, Brazil – these blue-green tropical wetlands sprawl across 200,000 square kilometres is home to some 400 fish species, 1,000 odd bird species and an illustrious list of animal residents.
Tayrona National Park, Colombia – nestled in a curve of the Caribbean, between the foothills of the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta and the Colombian coast. Searching for the ultimate beach spread one of the Park’s six sensational bays.
Cristo Redentor. Brazil – the iconic famous statue of Christ the Redeemer overlooking Rio de Janeiro.
Lago de Atitlan, Guatemala (pictured above) – this vast lake is surrounded by volcanoes and its shoreline dotted with Mayan villages. I also fancy the bars and restaurants of lake town San Pedro La Laguna.
Vallee de la Luna, Chile – the driest place on earth, the area struggles to record even 1mm of rainfall a year, some corner have never seen a drop.
Glacier Perito Moreno, Argentina – the world’s third largest reserve of fresh water, a 250 square kilometre ice formation.
Angel Falls, Venezuala – at 979 metres high, the world’s highest waterfall.
Parque Nacional Cotopaxi, Ecuador – snow-capped, the world’s highest active volcano with ruins, glacier fields and a lake on the lower slopes.
I’m aiming to tick off at least some of these starting Spring 2021.