Friday, 3 February 2012

January 2012

I have paid the money for the trip so I guess that I will be going overland to Australia starting in April! Most of the kit list has been bought or given to me as Christmas presents (thermal socks instead of ordinary socks this year) and the kit I will list later as it will be interesting at the end of the trip to see what was not necessary and what would have been useful.

My daughters have asked where they can find my will and money! The will is easy but the money will all be spent by the end of the trip. A friend of my wife has told me to keep away from strange women!

At the moment I expect to arrive in Sydney late October of this year. I have not made any arrangements to return to the UK as I hope to spend some time in Australia, Papua New Guinea and Myamar before returning.

At the moment I expect to leave London on a truck with about 20 other people, people I will have not met beforehand. Comments have been made to me that there could be problems with such a group but they could have problems with me as I could with them. I will have to see what happens! Also friends either think that I am mad to do this or hope that I enjoy myself.

Most of the kit has been bought now but I have yet to try to put up the tent, get into it and the sleeping bag. I think that I will wait for the weather to warm up but Mary has had great delight in telling me that I will be camping in the same temperatures or colder. Most items have been bought from the internet as they were certainly cheaper than going to the shops, even with the sales.

The visit to the travel clinic in Norwich was interesting and certainly expensive to the tune of £400 for vaccinations without the supply of malaria tablets to come. The vaccinations have not been completed as yet as some require three visits to complete the course. As a family living in PNG we took chloroquine for 17 years but now it is not worth taking as the mosquito are resistant to it so that more fancy anti-malaria tablets have to be taken, some with nasty side effects so I read.

The visa application form for India drove me round the bend when completing it on-line. Not a user friendly site at all! Forwarded to London on-line with a printed copy with passport in the post. It was sent on-line and by post last Saturday and I received emails on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday advising of the progress of the application and received the visa and passport back on Thursday. This impressed me no end! The last time I was in India a visa was not required beforehand, however long ago that was I cannot remember.

I went to London last weekend, to the Telegraph Adventure Show. I was quite surprised as to how many overland companies there were, especially round Africa, though there were Eastern ones where one would fly to Istanbul, overland to China and then fly back. Most were like this with plenty of gap year opportunities also. As far as I know there are only two companies that do the UK to Australia trip, UK to OZ and Odyssey Overland. I will be going on the UK to OZ truck. There was a Dragoman (overland company) truck outside similar to the one in which I will be travelling and I did wonder how I will manage on such seats for months on end. Regardless of what happens I do intend to enjoy myself, and especially enjoy the different foods that come my way.

That is January 2012 finished. This will be my first post and first use of this machine so I hope everything works aright.