Sunday 06 October 2013 – Cambridge.
I cannot believe it has been four weeks since I was in Edinburgh, and almost five months since I arrived back in London. Time has just flown by and I have just realised this is the longest I have been in one place for almost two years. I may as well mention that I am still looking for a job, and starting to get a wee bit disheartened by the whole process now.
On a more positive note one year ago I was just starting off on my travels on the good truck Malakai in Africa. My trip was comprised of three separate tours back to back to form one long ten or so week journey that was one of the real highlights of the past two years. The first leg of the trip was from Cape Town in South Africa to Livingston in Zambia, via Namibia and Botswana and for many reasons it was the best part of the trip. One of those reasons was the people on the truck, the crew were awesome and the other guests fantastic, we just all seemed to gel. A real surprise that after three weeks of heat and dust and living in tents and the back of a truck we were all still friends.
This weekend we had a small reunion in Cambridge. Canadians Dave and Nancy were travelling again and were passing through the UK and with Sanjeev and Vaishali recently moving to Cambridge from Boston it seemed like a good opportunity to get together. El and I went up for the weekend.
We met Dave and Nancy at Kings Cross Station and we all caught the fast train up to Cambridge, where we parted ways with El and I taking a room in the Lensfield Hotel and Dave and Nancy heading of to Sanjeev and Vaishali’s. It was such a ‘typical’ English hotel – kind of old fashioned, slightly creaky floors, narrow hall ways and a bathroom that sort of worked OK, if you don’t mind the shower spraying all over the floor. It was perfectly fine though!
It was the weekend when a lot of the students were returning to university, so as well as there being a lot of people around a lot of the colleges were closed to the public which was a real shame. We were passing Pembroke College just as a small visitors window was open so we nipped in for a look around. Pembroke is one of the smaller, lesser known colleges – and while it is not as lavish as some, it was still very nice in the grounds.
We crossed the River Cam and walked along the backs of the colleges before crossing back over and watching the punts for a bit, not as crazy as Oxford !
We wandered around Cambridge for a while before heading back to the hotel to get ready for dinner.
We took a taxi to Sanjeev and Vaishali’s house and had a very enjoyable evening with them and Nancy and David. We were also lucky to have a quick Skype call with another fellow traveler, William who lives in Brisbane, where it was very early in the morning.
After a food English breakfast on Sunday we checked out of the hotel and went walking again, the intention was to visit Kings Chapel but it was closed for the day so I had to contend with another photo from the outside 🙂
We walked around again looking some coffee that wasn’t in a chain restaurant but didn’t seem to find many options (A business opportunity ?) so ended up getting a take away from a chain and sitting in All Saints Garden for a while. A nice spot to relax and watch the world go by.
We had lunch arranged at a pub just over the river from Midsummer Common so we took a slow walk along the tow path under some pretty glorious sunshine.
The six of us from last night were joined at lunch by Carol and Jackie who had driven in for the meal. El and I had a train to catch back to London so we were unable to stay for long at lunch, but it was lovely to see them again and much reminiscing was had. We drank a toasts to those who could not make it and a special one to Bill who had a stroke a couple of months after returning to New York – we all wish you the best Bill.
It was a great weekend, so nice to be able to see and keep in contact with such a great bunch of people. I look forward to another one.