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maristu

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  • Added on: October 23rd, 2012
Hello all! I've been mostly lurking around BootsnAll for the past year, and in the meantime I was planning my own RTW. Well, my departure date, which is Dec. 26th, is almost here! And I must admit I don't have much to show for all my planning... But that was mostly a choice, I wanted to try being more spontaneous and less of a planner... We'll see how it goes! What I do have so far is a one way ticket from Brasília (capital of Brazil) to Sydney, Australia, about 75000 Brazilian Reais in the bank (which amounts to about US$37000 right now, but can fluctuate as the exchange rate varies), and a rough itinerary. Oh, and I'm also on the process of getting visas for Vietnam, China and Japan (hopefully I'll be able to get them all before I leave - I already have the Australia one), and travel insurance.

So... Here's the itinerary that I was thinking. I don't have a time limit for this trip (well, I do, but it's three years, which I think is more time than I'll need), my only constraint is how long the money will last :-)

Australia - Ringing in the new year, I'm thinking about a month in Australia, I'd love to dive at the barrier reef and I have friends I can stay with in Sydney and Melbourne
New Zealand - about 2-3 weeks
Vietnam, Cambodia, Thailand - 4-5 weeks
China - a month
Japan - I'd love to spend a month, but it might be too expensive, I'll see when I get there.
Russia - trans-siberian, stopping at Lake Baikal, I'd say about 2-3 weeks in Russia total.
Ukraine - might actually skip this, I wanted to take pictures of Chernobyl, but it's more of a hassle than I expected It to be... If I do go, I probably wouldn't stay much more than a week.
Turkey - 2 weeks, mostly on the Asian side (I've done the tourist route of Turkey already)
Israel and Jordan - 2-3 weeks
Egypt - a month
Tanzania - safari! My mom's coming and buying, so that's really a no-brainer :-) Probably around 2 weeks
South Africa - 2 weeks, just to stop for a while, enjoy the beach
West Africa (Nigeria/Benin/Senegal) - this is actually work related (research for a documentary), so I'll probably stay longer than people would normally. I'd say about a month, maybe a month and a half, but this one's up in the air.
Morocco - 2 weeks, and I'd fly home from here. Considering there's any money left, I might hop on to Spain and see some of Europe, but I'm not counting on it.

So by my (rough) calculations, this would be a little over a year of traveling. So my question is, is this doable? Is my budget enough? Am I cramming in too much, and if so, what would you take away? There's actually stuff I'd like to add, like India/Nepal, Lithuania/Latvia/Estonia, more of the middle east (considering it's safe)...

Also, am I crazy to go without much of a plan? I mean, I guess for some this would very much be a plan, but I'm usually more of a "book all transportation and lodging 6 months in advance" kind of girl, and just having a rough itinerary and no dates whatsoever is very much a new thing for me...

I'd love to hear your thoughts! Thanks :-)

Mariana

Sophie9

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  • Added on: October 24th, 2012
For amazing photos of Chernobl, do check the website of this incredible Ukranian woman Elena Filatova, who photographs the area avoiding barricades on her motorcycle. She always travels with a geiger counter. :shock:

Fascinating woman, website, and photos.
http://www.elenafilatova.com/

busman7

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  • Added on: October 24th, 2012
Sophie9 wrote:For amazing photos of Chernobl, do check the website of this incredible Ukranian woman Elena Filatova, who photographs the area avoiding barricades on her motorcycle. She always travels with a geiger counter. :shock:


Very interesting, thanks for posting.
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Andromeda

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  • Added on: November 2nd, 2012
Sophie9 wrote:For amazing photos of Chernobl, do check the website of this incredible Ukranian woman Elena Filatova, who photographs the area avoiding barricades on her motorcycle. She always travels with a geiger counter. :shock:

Fascinating woman, website, and photos.
http://www.elenafilatova.com/


Has actually been discredited as a fake- she never just went around solo on her motorcycle as that's illegal (but the photos are real).

Further my understanding is that Chernobyl tours have changed significantly as of last year (tourists were unfortunately stealing things and desecrating the site) so I'd do a little research to see what exactly you get to see if you're going out of your way to get there.

busman7

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  • Added on: November 2nd, 2012
Andromeda wrote:
Sophie9 wrote:For amazing photos of Chernobl, do check the website of this incredible Ukranian woman Elena Filatova, who photographs the area avoiding barricades on her motorcycle. She always travels with a geiger counter. :shock:

Fascinating woman, website, and photos.
http://www.elenafilatova.com/


Has actually been discredited as a fake- she never just went around solo on her motorcycle as that's illegal (but the photos are real).



Please post a link, just because something is illegal doesn't mean it can't be done.
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Andromeda

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  • Added on: November 4th, 2012
busman7 wrote:
Andromeda wrote:
Sophie9 wrote:For amazing photos of Chernobl, do check the website of this incredible Ukranian woman Elena Filatova, who photographs the area avoiding barricades on her motorcycle. She always travels with a geiger counter. :shock:

Fascinating woman, website, and photos.
http://www.elenafilatova.com/


Has actually been discredited as a fake- she never just went around solo on her motorcycle as that's illegal (but the photos are real).



Please post a link, just because something is illegal doesn't mean it can't be done.


http://open.salon.com/blog/mary_mycio/2 ... that_wasnt

Sophie9

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  • Added on: November 4th, 2012
Tempest in a teapot.

I don't care if Filatova did it all or if her husband is responsible for the website.
Still fascinating.

My point was that our OP need not endanger herself in Pripyat to do something that has already been well done and documented.

And nobody has bothered to address any of the rest of her post while they were debating the authenticity of Elena Filatova.

Moving along.....

maristu

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  • Added on: November 5th, 2012
Thanks everyone for the replies. I'm not planning on doing anything illegal (mostly ;-) ), so if I do go to Chernobyl, it'll be in an official tour. Thanks, Andromeda, for the heads up on Chernobyl tours, I did read something about a change, I believe they're not allowing people inside buildings anymore because of an accident involving tourists. I'm fascinated by ghost towns and abandoned places, and Chernobyl is way up high in my list of ghost towns, so I might go anyway, but again, it seems to be more of a hassle than I expected...

And yes, I'd still love comments on the rest of the itinerary, if anyone has anything to comment on... It's mostly a guide and not a rule, I've already added (in my head) Indonesia to the list of countries I'd like to see. I know I can't see everything, but at the same time I feel that I should make the most of my time in Asia as it's such a far away place for me. Any tips are appreciated :-)

busman7

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  • Added on: November 5th, 2012
Oh Great Turtle, using Wikipedia for reference is bad enough, they have been known to be right on occasion but "open salon" give me a break! :(
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maristu

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  • Added on: November 5th, 2012
Busman, that link does link to an LA Times article, which is usually pretty reputable... So personally I believe it. Either way, I don't see any intention on actual comments to my itinerary, so I'm peacing out. Thanks all, maybe we'll meet somewhere around the world :-)

Sophie9

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  • Added on: November 5th, 2012
maristu wrote:Busman, that link does link to an LA Times article, which is usually pretty reputable... So personally I believe it. Either way, I don't see any intention on actual comments to my itinerary, so I'm peacing out. Thanks all, maybe we'll meet somewhere around the world :-)


We're going to Ecuador tomorrow, will you be there? :D
Happy to meet up with you in Quito.

As far as your travel itinerary goes, I can offer very little of usefulness.

But I do have an opinion, and my opinions are usually of little value, but here goes....

There is no way on god's green earth I would take the trans Siberian across Russia. Just нет. I know it's some kind of pilgrimage that world travelers feel they must make....but dear god why? Five hours out of Moscow looks the same as five days out of Moscow except that it's five days later and you're still stuck on the train.

I've been on a number of Russian trains, local and distance, winter and summer. I can't think of anything less appealing than 5,000 miles on a Russian train across nothingness for ever and ever.

I know Lake Baikal has a tremendous appeal for adventurers, but if you really feel like you need to go there just book a flight and get there. Jeezus, days and days on a Russian train through Siberia....gah.

Russia has several domestic airlines with very reasonable rates that go to every oil patch and village from Murmansk to Novsibirsk and Sochi.

The Trans Siberian (although I have never taken it) is not the Orient Express. When you've seen 500 miles of birch trees and wooden villages the next 5,000 miles look just the same.

Just sayin'.....

P.S. I love Russia. I love Russian trains. I speak a cacophony of crappy Russian. But the Trans-Sib is a no way Jose.

busman7

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  • Added on: November 6th, 2012
@ maristu So what if the link, linked to another article (didn't click it as when I saw open salon well!!) in the LA Times, that's an American paper subject to American politics so it can't be trusted where Russia is concerned. Besides if the pictures are real, who cares about slanderous allegations about how they were obtained. :shrug:

@ Sophie9 it's obvious that you have never traveled across Siberia "Five hours out of Moscow looks the same as five days out of Moscow----" is a foolish & untrue statement. :shock:

The trip is worth it, if for nothing more, than to see how we were misled in school about Siberia. You have villages & towns every few miles, cities, Novobrisk with over a million people, birch trees giving way to wheat fields etc etc.

Combine that with the comraderie that comes from sharing a compartment for 5 days, another aspect of the whole experience making for an enjoyable trip. 8-) I suggest you try it. Just sayin'

FYI I took the Chinese train on the 5 day Trans-Mongolian trip to Ulan-Bator where I spent a few days before backtracking to Ulan-Ude then continuing on theTrans-Siberian to Vladivostok.
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maristu

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  • Added on: November 6th, 2012
Busman and Sophie, I agree that the pictures are what matter, and they truly are beautiful. Thanks for the link. I do still want to go and take my own, since each person's perspective is different. We'll see.

As for the Trans-Siberian, the whole point is the journey in itself, at least for me. I'm making a point of doing it solo (although a lot of people wanted to accompany me on that one), because I want those five days to reflect, and traveling by train or bus is one of my major reflection moments... I love watching the scenery, it doesn't really matter if it's the same or not. I'm also crossing Australia on the Ghan, and will probably find some other great train rides along the way (in China, for instance). But thanks, Sophie, for your post! All opinions are much appreciated :-)

Cheers!

busman7

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  • Added on: November 7th, 2012
maristu wrote: I'm also crossing Australia on the Ghan, and will probably find some other great train rides along the way (in China, for instance).

Cheers!


Actually the Ghan runs north/south up the middle of OZ from Adelaide to Darwin, I traveled it as far as Alice Springs (no seats available from Alice-Darwin the day I wanted to travel) it was a nice trip. It's the India Pacific that runs across OZ from Perth to Sydney, another enjoyable trip.

Be sure to buy a rail pass to keep the prices affordable as the Ghan is outrageously expensive, alone the lines of the Orient Express & it's a long ways from being in the same league as the Orient.
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BlueLlama777

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  • Added on: November 10th, 2012
Sounds like an awesome trip! One question tho, have you already done Western Europe and North America, or don't have room on this trip for them? Is there a particular reason to put emphasis on Africa over Europe? Just curiosity on my part :)


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