I decided to check out what kinds of rates I can get when I change my money into Euros today. As I will be changing quite a lot I was hoping that I may be able to get a better rate as a result – I wasn’t wrong! It wasn’t a massive increase but it will certainly make a difference. I was actually surprised at just how different the rates are depending on when you go. I was quoted as high as 1.151 Euros per £ but also as low as 1.125 Euros per £. I’m glad I decided to take a walk around as I now know which places are the most flexible and will be trying to get them into a war with each other for my business when I do change it!
I am trying to sell some of my things at the moment to boost my funds such as my televisions, DVDs, books, etc. I am hoping I can raise up to £750 extra by doing this and this would certainly help a fair bit. Using the conversion rate of 1.151 I was offered today this would equal about 860 Euros which would easily cover a month’s rent when I get to Rome. I have been looking at some estate agents in Rome to see what sort of stuff is available for when I get there and it looks like I will be paying around 800 Euros per month. This is pretty expensive compared to what I am used to so I will have to be quick finding a job!
I am hopeful that, by the time I reach Rome, I will have just over 4000 Euros left so I will have a little breathing space but it certainly won’t last a long time and I will have to be very careful with my money! I’m no stranger to living on a budget though, I have had to do it many times in my life due to certain circumstances so I guess I will just have to be disciplined again for a while until I can get myself a decent job.
I am resigned to the fact that whatever jobs I do find I am suitable for are not going to be great in terms of pay but as long as they enable me to get a foothold in the country I will be happy enough. I am sure that the first six months to a year will be pretty difficult and will certainly not be the free living I will become accustomed to on our journey but I am sure it will all be worth it once I have established myself there properly. Nothing worthwhile in life is ever easy!
I bought a couple of phrasebooks today whilst I was in town comparing Euro rates. I got one French phrasebook and one Italian phrasebook. I can remember bits of French from when I was at school but I am sure that a phrasebook will come in very handy. As for the Italian, I am improving each day but a phrasebook is a must for me for when we arrive. I downloaded a couple of teach yourself Italian things last night and have now organised them in my iTunes library so I will be able to put those on my iPod.
The solar charger I ordered arrived today and I must say I am surprised at the size of it. I thought it would be much bigger than it is but it’s quite compact really. It’s roughly the same size as a hip flask, maybe a little bigger. It will be invaluable to me on our journey and will enable me to be able to carry on learning Italian whilst we are travelling. It is imperative that I am as good at Italian as possible on the day we arrive.
I ordered myself a new laptop too last night and that should arrive either tomorrow or the day after. I was considering the practicalities of updating my blog weekly from an internet café and, normally, this would be pretty straightforward. Once you throw a 55kg Rottweiler into the mix it becomes a little more complicated! Not all establishments, if many at all, will be happy for him to be with me so I had to consider this possibility. I decided that if I organised my photos and wrote a piece for my blog each night on my laptop then I would be able to sit outside the café using their internet access solving that problem altogether. Another benefit is that I may not have to stop in one place for quite so long – if it is all organised on my laptop then it may just be a 30 minute job to update my blog.
I played in a football match tonight for the team I played Sunday league football for last season. It was our second preseason friendly. Although I will not be there for next season it’s a good way for me to keep in shape whilst Roman cannot be walked so much. I should get the boots for him tomorrow evening so we can start walking properly again on Saturday. I can’t wait, it’s been far too long already!
Our sixth day of walking will be a slightly more intensive day than the last. As P&O Ferries are only able to supply us a ticket for the evening of the 30th August I need to make sure that we allow ample time to reach Dover in time so I decided to add a few miles onto a few of the days’ walking. Our sixth day will see us walk about 24 and a half miles from Kilsby to a place called Stony Stratford, just outside of Milton Keynes.
It will be another pretty much unremarkable day of walking and I don’t expect to see much of interest along the way. I think the largest place we will walk through will be a place called Towcester but there will be a rather humorously named town that we pass through – Weedon. I will be sure to get a photo of Roman and I by the sign welcoming us to the village!