17.08.2006 25 °C
Our flight from Hong Kong is 13 hours direct to Paris. Alex and I are sitting at different ends of the plane – I next to a fat French tart who’s fancies a bit. I am still livid that this trip has come to an end – no warning, no build up, no getting ready, no time to reflect on what we have done over the last 10 months. Its over.
We arrive in Paris and I break down – gutted. Yes we’ve still had good times. Yes we were knackered. But we only had 10 days left and it would have been nice to end it in a good way. But not like this. What now. What the fuck are we doing in shitty Paris. I’ve been here countless times before. Its cold and its raining. We’re not home yet but we might as well be. What now? We look at hiring a car. We look at getting the train to La Rochelle or somewhere but its hopeless so we decide to stay in Paris for a couple of nights and get sorted. And that’s what we done nearly all the time we were there. Ringing around, looking at the internet. We saw the Eiffel Tower from a distance (just down the road), we went for a walk round, through Le Jardin de Luxembourg. We went to the Sacre Coeur and enjoyed a nice meal. In between we booked flights from Gatwick to Malaga and hired a car for the week and rented out a town house in a nearby village to Malaga called Competa. The aim: to visit my good friend Whitley and his gal Shelby who since moved out to Nerja on the Costa del Sol to run a bar. On the way we would stay at Alex’s brothers in Sutton and see her niece who’s yet a year old.
Landing back in London was just as horrible as when we landed in London. Grey old Britain with grey old British faces. What a shit country this is I thought. Why and what are we doing back here? Thankfully, the next day we were off again to sunny Spain. We wanted to stay in Nerja but it was too hard at short notice. Competa was 15km and half an hour away but it was pure picturesque postcard. A real Andalucian town in the mountains. All white washed buildings, tapas bars and a charming church plaza. Luckily for us there was also a flamenco festival on during the evening and it was buzzin. Free homemade booze (a type of warm red wine) was flowing and it was a great cultural night. The next day we surprised our friends by popping in their bar with towels swarthed across our faces. They didn’t have a clue. It was the perfect surprise.
For the next week we enjoyed the sunshine, good food and good booze and catching up in the company of good mates. We had a couple of very drunken nights when Alex woke up to find her right wrist wasn’t working. A trip to the hospital told us nothing and she now had a floppy wrist rendered useless. It was funny watching her trying to apply make up or moisturiser or drink from a bottle with her spakky hand. We spent a nice day in Malaga and then it was home – finally. After a night in a hotel near Gatwick it was typical that getting back to Jersey would be the biggest nightmare out of all our travels. No problems with the tens of flights we took around the world for the last ten months. But the very last flight and back to shitty, shitty Jersey was pure grief. Two airplane cancellations and a delay for 14 hours. Horrible. We inevitably bumped into other people from Jersey we knew and now we knew it was all over. It was whole new low. The dream had ended – back to reality. Back to planning our next adventure. Three days later it was my best mate’s wedding in Jersey. Five days later we found out that Alex was pregnant.
No warning, no build up, no getting ready, no time to reflect on what we have done over the last 10 months. It is over. It was the time of our lives.
Evan Paul Lees was born on 5 May 2007. He is was conceived in Tokyo on 22 July and is only the one real tangible souvenir we have of our travels. He is amazing and we love and adore him. I life has turned completely upside down and its unbelievable that a year has nearly passed since we finished our trip of a lifetime. It went so quick because of the news that our lives have been a whirlwind. Time has flown by too quickly for our liking and because of what happened we still have not had a real good chance to reflect on what we done and I doubt we ever will. It’s over and we’ve had to move on. As at the time of writing we still haven’t even had our photos developed to look at and reminisce. Its sad but that’s the ways it gone. But nothing can match the bundle of joy that baby Evan has brought. And, again, it still was the time of our lives!!