22 October 2012

Something approaching a plan

I think I've got something approaching a plan and approaching a route!  Don't worry, it surprises me too.

The previously mentioned Istanbul to Ulaanbaatar trip has me finish in UB on the 22nd August - allowing a couple of days slack to allow for randomness (there is no way a journey that long over that distance is going to work to time) I'll be departing UB for Lima on the 24th August.  Cue 30-35 hours of travelling via a route to be confirmed (although I've got a fairly good idea) and I'm in Lima.

Hello Gil.

We've then got 10 days to do a journey we could do in 24 hours if we had to, but where the first day or so will mostly involving me doing nothing more taxing than picking what I want to eat for breakfast, lunch and dinner, possibly with a bit of the watching the world float by - I'll be jet-lagged to hell-and-back-again after that journey and probably unable to tell which way is up.
We work our way up from Lima to Guayaquil overland and then fly to the Galapagos, where I get to spend about 2 weeks playing tourist and Gil gets to start her medical volunteering - playing tourist with me when she can.

About the 17th September I head back towards Lima and spend the next 6(ish) weeks poking around Peru, taking in everything it has to offer - the short version of which is: lots.

At the end of October / beginning of November it's time to move on again - to South East Asia, via one of two possible routes:
1) Fly back to Beijing, spend a week or so there and then take the train to Hanoi
2) Fly back to Beijing and then fly straight out to somewhere within SE Asia, probably Bangkok.
The route comes down to visas.  Again.  This probably won't be sorted until I reach Lima after the Galapagos - as it depends on my routing in-and-out of Mongolia and what the visa people have to say.

I want to spend at least 3 months in SE Asia, spending more time if the funds allow.  This is somewhere I've wanted to spend a significant period of time for as long as I can remember.  This is that.

After the travelling part of SE Asia I'd like to spend about a month in one place studying, as this way I'll be heading back to the UK with a few professional certifications under my belt and that means it'll be easier to find work (yep, I'm months away from leaving and I'm already planning the return); realistically this means Bangkok or Hanoi, as these are cities where I'll have better access to the study materials and exam centres I'll need.

This has me heading back towards London in February/March 2014, depending on money.  The logical route home would be to fly from Bangkok or Hanoi back to London, but today I had the idea of taking the train.  Needs research.

So there you have it kids - the route in all its sketched-out glory.