Wednesday, 27 October 2010

Preparations v2

A few Blog followers have asked if we have finished our preparations. So here is how its all going to date....
All flights booked and paid for. A RTW ticket does not cover all the flights, as we are stopping off in some countries longer than that system allows. So the San Francisco to NY and Bangkok to Singapore legs of the journey have had to be booked separately. Other than those we will be flying on a BA and Quantas "World Traveller" ticket. All arranged by our friendly (occasional neighbour) semi retired, travel agent buddy Malcolm. Thanks Malcolm, see you at Christmas to pick up the tickets and have a few bevvies.
All hotels in major destinations found, booked and some paid for. Others will be paid for on arrival/departure. The only remainders are NZ - B&Bs which we were going to arrange as we went along. However the few NZ ones I have arranged have shown me that this may not be a good idea as several have been fully booked even this far in advance. Maybe there is something on.... other than just peak summer season. So my plan is at the moment to limit driving to about 5 hours a day and have some days when we stop over for a couple of nights in high interest places.  Also a few days between LA and San Fran not sorted yet, but Motels most likely, as we drive Highway 1 up the coast towards SF.
Cars.... Cairns to Townsville, LA to San Fran, and NZ all booked.  Still looking at Fiji, where 2 airport/resort transfers for 2 people costs more than a car for 4 nights. And you get the use of a car when lying on a beach no longer has the attraction. Market day perhaps!
Jabs.... We are told that we need jabs for India and Bangkok.  Typhoid and Hepatitis A&B. Because we are out of the 2 yrs NHS cover here and not yet in the Pensioners age bracket, and also not working here, we are under private health care.  Which means that the insurance will cover us to have the jabs, but not pay for the jabs themselves.  Typhoid = 21 Euros each and 3 x Hepatitis A&B jabs (two before we go and one when we get back) at 70 Euro a go. That works out at 462 Euros........... Long live the NHS!
Ferry ... from South to North Island NZ, Free crossing for the hire car, and 2 passengers booked to accompany car at the time of booking the car hire. Worked out cheaper and more convienient than two car hires and flights between Islands.
Trains.... TranzAlpine scenic train ride across NZ South Island from Christchurch to Greymouth now booked for 3rd Feb. Took some time this, as I was chasing the 30% discount they mentioned in the blurb for "seniors"... that is 60 yrs and over. Ann would just qualify by a few days. However there is NO WAY you can do this on line. Even when we eventually find a ticket booking site that offers a "senior" option (Thanks again Malcolm for that link) it coughs up exactly the same price as a normal adult. After an email direct, I was told that they only offer senior discount to "Flexi fares". When I checked this out, even with the discount for Seniors, it was still more expensive that a standard Adult. Is there a lesson to be learnt here, I ask myself? Just discovered that there is also a train ride to look at in Dunedin......... more later.
Welcome to all the new Blog followers, who have been given the link today, Friday 29th Oct.  Please read on down and follow the links to the photos. These will be more relevant once we get going, but these are here to check the links and show you some photos from previous hols.

Friday, 22 October 2010

Flickr link

Following Iona's Blog example, I have added a link to my Flickr account (MilfoilMan). Click on "Today's chosen image" to take you there, and then the Back button to return to the Blog. These at the moment are a selection of photos taken on previous holidays, just to test the links etc.  Hope you enjoy.

Wednesday, 20 October 2010

RTW Itinerary

4th Jan 2011 ----  Internal BA flight Manchester to Heathrow
4th/5th Jan - Overnight Flight, Heathrow to Delhi
5th Jan to 11th,  Golden Triangle Tour ----  Delhi - Agra - Jaipur - and back to Delhi.
11th/12th Jan - Overnight Flight to Bangkok.
12th Jan to 15th ----- 3 Nights in Bangkok.
15th Jan to 18th ----- 3 Nights in Singapore.
18th Jan to 22nd ---- 4 Nights in Perth, Australia.
22nd Jan to 24th ---- 2 Nights in Ayres Rock  ( 22nd Ann's 60th Birthday)
24th Jan to 28th -----4 Nights in and around Cairns, Great Barrier Reef, Driving to Townsville via Mission Beach, for flight to Sydney.
28th Jan to 1st Feb--4 Nights Sydney.
1st & 2nd Feb ------ 2 Nights in Christchurch, NZ.
3rd Feb---- TranzAlpine Train ride Christchurch to Greymouth. Pick up hire car and drive up coast to Cape Foulwind...... nice name eh?
4th Feb--- Drive inland through Buller Gorge and Minehaha (?) Springs Junction to Reefton (the long way round and most scenic we hope).  GoogleMaps to the rescue.
5th to 22nd ----Continue Hire Car tour of South Island NZ. (See South Island Itinerary)
22nd Feb--- Picton to Wellington Ferry.
22nd Feb to 9th March,  Hire Car tour North Island NZ  Meeting up with Ann's Brother, Pete. (See North Island Itinerary)
9th March to 13th ----- Aukland to Fiji Flight for 4 Nights. Meeting up with friends, Ros and Mac, also on a  RTW tour.
13th March (48 hour day) Fiji to LA Flight. Depart 22:00 hrs Arrive same day! 12:20 --- after a nine and a half hour fight. Should shake up the jet lag a bit.
13th to 19th March --- Slow drive the coast road to San Francisco. Last two nights in Half Moon Bay Hotel. Other nights Motels etc. as and when...........
19th Flight to NY  First night in Queens, Close to JFK.
20th to 23rd Downtown Manhattan Hotel
23rd/24th Newark to Heathrow flight overnight.
24th Last leg back to Manchester.

Tuesday, 19 October 2010

The Sums, 79 or 80?

Just done the sums............ We leave Manchester on 4th Jan 2011 and return on 24th March, which actually equals 79 days.  However, when we fly from Fiji to LA we encounter 2 days in one, as we cross the international date line.  Thus making it exactly 80 days. We leave Fiji having had Sunday lunch and dinner and arrive in LA in time for Sunday lunch .... a nine and a half hour flight later!