Thursday, December 27, 2007

A New Plan

Day 92

As some of you may know, we have been revising our travel plans over the last few weeks. We knew in the beginning that a 2+ year trip was going to be hard to plan. However, you have to start somewhere and then work through the details. In the beginning, we set a date, chose a method of transport, drew a line on a map and went from there. After 92 days we finally have a pretty good idea of where we’re headed. I like to think of it in terms of having a new job and getting through the 90 day review. First impressions can be meaningful, but you have to give something new a little time.
Ok – enough of the philosophical. Here’s the new plan…
Instead of 2+ years on the road, we’ll probably end up with 15 months under our belt. Given our budget and what we’ve spent so far, we’ll be coming home at the end of 2008. No worries – it suits us fine. We looked at the goals for our original plan very carefully and decided what was most important in this grand adventure. We still want to travel around the world and we still like riding our bikes. So we’re moving forward with that in mind.
We fly to Melbourne, Australia on January 10th. We’ll tour the Great Ocean Rd and then take the ferry to Tasmania (“Tassie”) towards the end of the month. We’ll visit with some friends and then tour until mid to late February.
The next stop will be Southeast Asia and we hope to spend 3-4 months traveling through Thailand, Cambodia, Vietnam and maybe Laos. Some of where we go depends on the monsoon season and the amount of time we can get on our Chinese visa. Less time in China means more time in SE Asia.
That brings us to China. It’s exciting and overwhelming at the same time. The Far East has always been a part of the plan, but we just didn’t have a particular route in mind. One day in Wanaka we were having a discussion about it - where should we start, how much of the country could we really see, etc. Coincidently, that same day we got an email from a friend with the title “Tibet 2008?” At first I thought it was a joke and then I blinked a few times. I quickly read the email and said to Chris “you won’t believe the email we got from Anne…” OK – now I can get to the point. We’ll be riding from Lhasa to Kathmandu in September. We’ll be part of a tour and are actually looking forward to someone else carrying our gear for a month. We thought it was an opportunity we couldn’t pass up – how often does a friend invite you to go on a bike trip in a region of the world that you happen to be traveling through? Enough said. Now we just have to figure out where to ride from June to the first part of September.
From Kathmandu we hope to fly to Europe. Our finances are likely to be very depleted at this point, but we should be able to enjoy a few more weeks on the road. There has been a lot of talk about France and Spain.
Then we’ll be home for a short break at Thanksgiving before heading to Hawaii to spend Christmas with Chris’ family.
Of course, all of this is subject to change. If it doesn’t, we’ll all be disappointed.
Keeping it real,


JennSean said...

Sounds like a good plan!!

Sundarraj Jayaraj said...

Nice blog !!!!! .I am interest to post comment in this blog about my china trip last year .me and my family member enjoyed lot . Hukou Waterfalls (Kettle Spout Falls) is very beautiful waterfall in china .
The Yellow River is the mother river of the Chinese nation. In its basin, there is a tourist attraction that visitors should not miss. That is Hukou Waterfalls, a glistening pearl in the middle reaches of the Yellow River. It is located in Yichuan County in Yan'an City, Shaanxi Province. It is the only magnificent yellow waterfall in the world and the second biggest waterfall in China after Huangguoshu Waterfall .
When the mighty Yellow River flows through mountains and gorges to Hukou, the billowy water streams narrow suddenly, falling 30 meters (33 yards) into a deep riverbed like a herd of galloping horses, transforming the quiet river into a turbulent one. The thundering sound can be heard from quite a distance. The tremendous mass of water strikes the rocks, creating piles of foam and huge water poles. It is an amazing view with mist all around. The riverbed here is like an enormous teapot absorbing all the rushing water, so the waterfall is named Hukou Waterfalls (Kettle Spout Falls). No matter its rumbling sound, its grand vigor or its marvelous scenery can make you exclaim that the nature is really incredible.
The power of the yellow water of Hukou Waterfalls is tremendous when falling down to the pond, so it is hard for you to get close to the main waterfall. Looking from a distance, you still can enjoy the vast and gorgeous yellow ocean of mist-covered water. The big waves and foam, like angry beasts, are running and roaring. The beauty and vigor of the waterfalls are indeed beyond words. You cannot know unless you visit it in person.
There are many wonders at Hukou Waterfalls, such as smoke from the river, boats on land, rainbows in the sunshine, and so on. In Hukou the water falls to the deep pond from a relatively high place, stirring the mist which rises high into the air like surging heavy smoke coming out of the river. You can see various shapes of rainbows formed by the rising mist, refracted by the sunshine from different angles. Sometimes rainbows are arched, cutting into the river from the sky like a dragon playing with water; sometimes they are colored ribbons lying across the river; sometimes they become colorful masses which change second by second. The water in Hukou is very much torrential, so all the boats from the upper reaches must be pulled out of the river onto to the bank when they arrive. These boats will have to detour around this section, carried by a group of boatmen or shipped by truck before they can be put in the river again.
The view of Hukou Waterfalls changes according to the seasons. In spring the frozen ground thaws and the stalactites of snow fall into the pond like the mountains collapsing and the earth cracking up. In summer and autumn there is much rainfall. With the rains, the river rushes and the yellow waves seem to reach the sky. In winter Hukou Waterfalls gives the visitors another new look. On the surface of the silvery ice waterfalls, cool water flows down. Little silver icicles hang on the cliffs around the waterfalls. It presents you a distinctive natural landscape of the northern region of China.
The Hukou Waterfalls has for years attracted visitors from all over the world. You can have a better understanding of natural wonder if you come here in person. The Hukou Waterfalls will give you a warm welcome with its thrilling sound, rolling golden waves, changing scenery and majestic vigor.
Transportation: You can take number 4, 6, 16, or 19 bus to the bus station in Yanan City and then taking the regular buses to Hukou Waterfalls. The buses to Hukou Waterfalls will be delivered every 30 minutes and the whole journey will take you about four hours.