Travels of the boys 2013

The boys saw New Year in in Malta, gorging on mince pies. They had to leave that life behind when they returned to Moraira on Jan 19th. Ahead of them was a year full of travels

A trip to the old country in February for a 50 year on Campbellian reunion saw them spending St Valentine's Day at Kells, in the Headford Arms owned by Mrs Duff: they could not resist imposing on her for a photo opportunity. Then 2 nights in Belfast, seeing their father's name on the Campbell Honours board, and with trips to the giant's Causeway and to the Titanic exhibition in Belfast- here they found Titanic Bear to liberate.

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Cape to Cape . Equipped with thermal clothing, they flew out to Ushuaia- stopping for a wander round Buenos Aires en route - and boarded the Silver Explorer. They were chuffed to have a deluxe cabin with their own butler, Albert, plus steward, Larry. Managed to persuade them that it was our anniversary too! Just 58 passengers aboard and they got to know quite a few of them, deciding to participate in more outings than was their norm, even bugging the tour leader, Staffan, to assist them in a photo opportunity .. Also met other closet furries - dogs, lion & Minnie . They particularly liked the afternoon teas- though often missed out on lunch - and the penguins. And Pembroke particularly liked the icebergs. Decided not to but any more furry Penguins in the Grytvicken shop, but managed to get a china penguin mug home without breaking it . Made a sortie to Robben Island , off Capetown, but decided not to stay!.


Click on any of the thumbnails below to get a larger photo

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These exciting three weeks were followed by another three driving around Namibia. They had a night in Windhoek and then drove south to the Kalahari Lodge, where Pembroke managed to lose himself in the bus that transported us to our hilltop chalet- was found fairly soon! and demanded he have his own photo taken. Then on to ish River Canyon & Klein Aus, which they really, really liked - a great chalet built around a rock, with wondrous views across the plains . They liked the deserted town of Kolmanskop, also the desert horses. Then moved on to the Kulala Lodge at Sossusvlei, land of sand dunes - the travelling left them very tired and they were staight on to the bed as usual! They missed out on the apple pie at Solitaire and were pretty quiet at Swakopmund, but then enjoyed searching for desert elephants in Damaraland, needing a drag of water during the long search . Maybe the 2 days driving round Etosha were the highlight of their holiday - just so many animals to wave at! Then on to Ndhovu, with its unusual approach, on a makeshift raft, with an imitatation heffalump outside their tent. . Next stop Lianschulu Lodge - some nice tapas, a river dinner, and such a herd of elephants crossing the road! Next stop: a houseboat on the Chobe river, just 3 other guests, Lots of game to see along the banks, plus a hottub to pass the time of day. Even came across 2 leopards one dusk/ Finally to Vic Falls, where they got to have dinner on a Steam Train- and their mother had a go at driving it!. Decided not to dive into the Falls. Holiday's over, boys. After that it was the long road back to Moraira, via Livingstone Airport, Johannesburg Airport, Heathrow, Gatwick and Alicante.

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At the end of April, they went to an Oxford Reunion in Madrid., enjoying the ride in Corisande- well, actually, they got a speeding ticket! They enjoyed the hotel with great views, but sulked a bit about not being taken along to the British Embassy - could have left their photo on the desk there: they seemed to be impressed by important people!. Somerville was in his element as he snook into the Somerville Dinner at the Ritz and had his photo taken with the charming President, Alice Prochaska. Pembroke had his turn the next day, when he was allowed into the Royal Observatory and got to sit on Herschel's Chair

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They had a week's holiday up in France with Gaynor & Vic in July

Then in September they set off on one of their more adventurous holidays. To break themselves in for this, they started with 3 days in Istanbul - well it was en route.They seem to have kept a low profile there- no photos were taken of them. But they enjoyed the Sultan Mehmed Hotel in the old town and heard a lot of calls to prayer. Then on to Ashgabat, the capital of Turkmenestan- a strange place full of impressive white marble buildings, but no people - and. come to that, they did not see any other bears either. Next day on to Dervizi - an accidental crater where gas has been burning for 40 years - a bit frightening for them: why had they been brought all this way to see this Infierno of Hell??: they snuggled up closely to each other in the tent. Then across the desert, lunching in a yurt in a very primitive village, before camping for another night, exploring the ruins of Gonur Depe & Merv before crossing the border into Iran - kept a low profile here to avoid that messy ink on their paws!. Once in Iran they seemed to have a new mother!- why was she in disguise??. Then they had a nightmare night on the train to Tehran - glad when morning came, even though they were then bundled into the chador!


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They kept their heads down in Tehran, but they were bought a fantastic double sided silk carpet. They enjoyed the village of Zaramat, but rather wished they had not gone to Masuleh- the accommodation was somewhat basic!. Just before exiting Iran for Azerbaijan, they realised that not many photos had been taken of them, so got themselves snapped with Majid, Hossain and the padres.

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Enjoyed the cold mud volcanoes in Gobustan, but weren't allowed to put their paws in, but were allowed to play at the Gobustan petroglyphic site. Then in Baku Pembroke made his last purchase - an Azerbaijan flag. Finally farewells were said to Jake, their tour leader, before flying home on their magic carpet. .

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In October they ventuered north to Lossiemouth to see Stephen. Found they had a liking for Scotch Whiskey, and rescued poor Douglas Dhu and took him onto warmer climes in Malta. Each time they go there they visit the wee garden where all the unwanted teds provide a cosy bed for the neighbourhood cats.

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December saw them off down under, 6 weeks. Flying Singapore Airlines from Barcelona, vai Milan & Singapore, to Melbourne, where they stayed with 2nd cousin Carol, and Russell.

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Then on to Tasmania where they were glad they were not sent out as convicts 140-170 years ago: but exploring the convict sites was quite educational. And the kangaroos and wallabies were such fun, and quite easy to spot. They had a nght near Hobart and then drove to Strahan, on the west coast- a very nice appartment , the Aloft Boutique.

There they enjoyed a day out in Maquarie Harbour and the Gordon River on the SS Eagle, helping the Captain steer the boat and listening attentively to the good lady telling them about the Hell Hole that Sarah Island prison was back in 1830.

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En route from Strahan to Cradle Mountain , they chanced upon a cottage selling bears, bears and bears in Tullah: the lady there had started selling them to finance her daughter through college. They then saw lots of wombats, and even some Tasmanian Devils, in Cradle Mountain National Park, but all they ever saw from their living room window was birds.

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Had nice breakfasts of strawberries from the garden in Stanley. Then made friends with the hundreds of penguins in the eponymous town of Penguin before a good lunch in Barrington Vineyard. Had a few days around Launceston, a couple at Swansea - another nice bed in an old colonial house - then 2 glorious days at Port Arthur: my, weren't they happy not to have been with the bad lads there!. Finally, Christmas in Hobart before flying off to Adelaide. South Australia.

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They had a super fishy dinner, well washed down by a couple of bottles of Grange, with Sue & Pat, befriended in 2010 in Peru. Unfortunately, once in Kangaroo Island they seem to have been too busy spotting roos, seals & pelicans to worry about having their photos taken. Onwards to the wine region of Coonawarra - Father Christmas was very much alive here, outside all the vineyards, so they managed a few photos with him, plus a few tastings. .

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Then onto Clare, where they had a realy nice motel, with a great pool. Lots of vineyards around, plus the mining town of Burra. North to the Flinders Ranges, incredible scenery, luxurious eco-villa, plus a pie lunch at Blinman. And they really liked this pink post box- had a quick drive in it when the coast was clear!

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Finally to the Barossa- lots of vinyard lunches and tastings- before flying back, mid january 2014, having to slum it with Singapore Airlines- no magic carpet this time!


Pembroke Castle Bear and Somerville College Bear really had a splendid time this last year of their lives. How sad that they were stolen in my backpack at Barcelona Airport on January 12th 2014 - one would have thought the ladrones would have taken pity on them and left them somewhere once they had obtained what valuables they wanted from this bag, but NO. All that remains of them are the photos taken of them over the years and their original 2 very tatty, faded jumpers, abandoned in 2008 after receiving too much sunshine touring Australia.

Their demise left a sad hole in their parents' lives and all their mates in Media Luna were similarly devasted.. But 2 new lives then started- those of the new ositos, Pembroke College Bear and Somerville Bear- each with slightly different full names! -, provenance Oxford University Shop. . They have now settled down comfortably in Media Luna, after losing their way here and having to be picked up from Correos in Moraira!

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And they are going to ensure that they get their photos taken on a regular basis! Tried taking one themselves, but it came out a tad skewed! Note the paintings of their colleges above the bed

Travels 2014.