The Sari Six head to India: follow along.

Tomorrow I head off to India. I wonder if my idea of India and the reality of India are one and the same.

I’m going with the HoiAn group of 4 ladies I travelled with two years ago. Only this time we are 6! In a van !

Our chief organiser, Linda, is a wonderful traveller. She has an amazing interest in history and a curiosity about other cultures that brings together an itinerary that is unique, cost effective and fun.

We’ve been labelled the Sari Six and tomorrow we begin our journey on platform 4 at Roma St station on our way to Gold Coast Airport for our cheap and cheerful Air Asia flight to Chennai via Kuala Lumpur. No business class lounge for me!

Packing has been interesting. Four of the 6 travellers have opted for 7kg of luggage! I splurged and bought the baggage allowance. I packed today. Mostly floaty soft pants, covered tops, sarong and my trusty silver FRANKie 4 walking shoes.

These shoes have been everywhere. Italy, USA, Galapagos, Machu Picchu, Spain, Cambodia, France and now India.

Come on FRANKie 4 send me a new pair!

My bag weighs only 9.5kg so I added in 2 bottles of tonic (large) for the Gin I’ll purchase in duty free on the way. Medicinal use only ūüėė

I’m hoping for a big sleep tonight as tomorrow night will be upright in economy with my attractive dvt avoiding stockings glued to my legs.

Keep reading……. I’ll post the itinerary tomorrow.

Goodnight and if you’ve been to India please post some hints in the Comments box.

Palazzo Tour

  • There’s something lovely about breakfast on a terrace with a beautiful view. Do you agree?

Today we sat on the terrace and had coffee and planned our day.

We planned a trip to the beach but before we left we spoke to Sonia our host at the Palazzo. I asked could we have a tour of the house as our Swiss friends had yesterday and told us the owners were happy to show guests their house.

She was lovely and organised her father to take us.

We had to walk out our door No 27 and along to No 39 -they own it all. We re entered and Luigi Senape was there to greet us. He guided us through their private Palazzo. Too many rooms to count. All very luxurious. He explained the family history – all in Italian and we understood almost all.

Luigi Senape in one of the tooms of the Palazzo

The Palazzo has been in the family for 300 years. Luigi grew up in this place and like his father was an advocat – a lawyer.

There are many old valuable items in the house including 3 pianos,  one a grand which Luigi plays.

He was so charming and at the end told us he was 88.

In the library Steve saw a Dan Brown book he had just finished. He pointed it out and said (in his best Italian) that he had just read it.

Later in the afternoon, after our trip down the coast I saw his daughter and she asked if my husband was Dan Brown!

Lost in translation!

So after the Grand Tour we left for the rest of our day…….

A drive down the coast road to the tip of Italy. A little seaside place called Santa Maria da Leuca.

To get there we drove past : hundreds if not thousands of Italian beach lovers with their umbrellas, plastic deck chairs, buckets, spades, blow up play things. And all the women wear bikinis. Young, old, thin and not so thin. I’m definitely overdressed.

It’s a colourful scene and proves its not just Australians who love the beach!

We stopped for coffee at a little beach side cafe. All blue and white tables and a smiley, friendly nonna served us – but it was very windy so we didn’t swim.


We passed trattorias, osterias, cafes, apertivi bars, camping grounds, holiday homes with shutters down against the heat or …..perhaps they were empty?

We arrived at SS d Leuca in time for a lovely swim and picked a place for lunch right on the beach. The place in the photo above the blue umbrellas.

Once again simple delicious food

We watched the swimmers and soaked up the atmosphere.

Naturally we finished with a gelato – just a small one! As we walked also the promenade.

We arrived back at Gallipoli and our Palazzo Senape and decided to take another swim. This time at the beach at the end of our street.

I love the blue mats running down the sand so when you get out you don’t have to get sandy! This beach unlike many of the rocky beaches has coarse sand.


We’re back at the Palazzo writing and preparing for dinner at Bastion a lovely looking restaurant recommended by our hosts.

More later!

Hotels Booked. Itinerary written………

We are getting set to go and Steve has been busy adding to our written itinerary.  For a brief glimpse here it is:

Paris: ¬† Thursday 30th July. I booked a Hotel near the Luxemburg Gardens.¬† I have a few favourite areas in Paris – the Marais being one , but I also like areas of the Left Bank. Happy memories of staying in Rue de L’universite¬† and as I adore Le Jardin du Luxembourg I have booked Hotel Elysa-Luxembourg.¬† It’s 3* but is in a great position near a metro handy as we are only there one night. I tried to book a popular restaurant nearby but alas they are closed for July29 – ¬†August 29! So I’ll be looking for another.

Biarritz:   Friday 31-2August. We are flying down in the morning to this ritzy seaside resort mainly to visit Mark and Lauren Chisholm and their 5 bambini. Mark plays rugby for nearby Bayonne.Staying at the Radisson Blu near the beach

Saint Emilion:¬†¬† Sunday 2- Tuesday 4: Staying outside of Borgeaux in a charming village . I hope . Found a very good place to stay Les Chambres d’Ovaline

Bayeux: Tuesday 4-Thursday 6  exploring the Normandy area Рthe beaches and the tapestry and staying at La Villa

St Malo: Thursday 6th Visiting Mount ST Michel and Dinan we stay at Ajoncs d’Or

Jersey: Channel Island Friday 7,8,9th . Its high summer in Jersey and accommodation was tight but I found the Hotel Savoy. Not on the water but not a problem as we’ll be out adventuring each day. Plan to visit Guernsey and Sark

Gatwick:  Monday 10.  Arrive from Jersey late and have a quick night here before our flight to Gibraltar the next day.

Tarifa:¬† Tuesday 11 – Thursday 20¬† I looked long and hard to find good accommodation for ourselves, Rob and John, Jordan’s parents Lisa and John, and Rob’s friend Cameron. Not to mention the other 5 swimmers , friends coming from England, the USA and Vanuatu. I eventually book Riad Lolita for our group and the 5 guys are staying at the Hotel Mistral 5 minutes away.

Terrace riad

Roof terrace at the Riad

Riad Lolita

Internal Courtyard

room riad lolita

Our bedroom